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Happy New Year from The Back Forty!


However you are celebrating this night, all of us here at The Back Forty want to wish you a happy new year!

Take a moment to enjoy these inspirational thoughts to start out your new year right:

Expert Tip #6: Consider Your Purpose


Purpose. It’s a word that seems to carry a lot of weight. When someone says their career gives them purpose or their family gives them purpose, it has a kind of awe-inspiring effect.

People with a purpose to strive towards are naturally propelled forward and makes it easier to see long-term goals.

People without purpose (or people who haven’t thought about their purpose in a while) tend to focus more on the short-term and ultimately have a smaller picture than those who are striving for something.

If you take some time to reflect on your first half of life it may be easier for your purpose in your second half of life to become more defined.

The next step is to accept your purpose, the only thing that can prevent you from living out a purposeful second half of life is letting yourself fear failure. When you are truly striving towards your purpose there is no possibility of failure, only progress and learning.

Come back next week for Pro Tip #7 and remember that purpose is key!

See other tips here!


Get ready NOW to fulfill on Your New Year Resolutions


As we finish putting away everything we didn’t know we needed but bought for Christmas or Hanukkah, we realize that – ZOOM – New Year has come up FAST and, with that, our habit of making New Year resolutions.

Lots of people make New Year resolutions.  Many are addicted to making New Year resolutions because they make us feel good…even if only for a few fleeting moments.  Also, we engage in this antiquated practice because we really, really… like REALLY want to have them accomplished.

We get excited, even giddy… and start making plans.  Then, when we outline our perfect goals, objectives and execution plans, we get more excited still.

Finally, eagerly and impatiently, we wait for Jan. 1 to come so we can start to make things happen.  Now THIS will be a really great year!!!

Coming back to Earth from Cloud 9, here are some interesting statistics…new-year-resolution-chart

  • By the third week in January 65% of the people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions.
  • By February, people will have broken more than 90% of the resolutions they made.
  • Only 20% of people maintain the resolutions past Valentine’s Day.
  • Overall, somewhere in the vicinity of 97% of New Year’s resolutions won’t be kept.
  • Over 70% of people make and break the same resolution year after year.
  • Only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

What is it that makes New Year resolutions fail so massively and miserably (No Go)?

And more importantly – what can YOU do to make sure YOUR resolutions become realities in 2017 (Go)?

Here are 6 choices you can make immediately – NOW Resolutions, “no optimistic waiting” until Jan. 1 – to make 2017 a radical, purposeful, and successful Back Forty year.

  1. No Go: Letting the past bite you in the butt. All of a sudden, the mistakes you’ve made in the past, the disappointments of all the goals you didn’t achieve and the resolutions you didn’t keep descend on you like bees on honey.  The fear of failing – worse yet, failing again – rears its ugly head.

Go:   Get crystal clear on what did and did not work last year, what “mistakes” you made in the past, and glean everything you can from them.  Mistakes = Learning Opportunities…no more, no less.  Do it The Back Forty way – use what you have learned to grow your success.  Then put the past in the past, so that the road to a successful future is wide open and clear.

  1. No Go: Most resolutions are set up as things to do, like a laundry list of action items to be ticked off.  That makes them dry and uninteresting, pretty much guaranteeing you a prime spot in the statistics mentioned above.

Go: Create your future in an empowering context, a future that enlivens, inspires and lights you on fire. Having a strong, fit, and fabulous body for that vacation on St. Thomas is much more inspiring than working out 3 times a week – don’t you think?

  1. No Go: For many, New Year resolutions exist as a mental list or collection of post-it notes and scribbles on scraps of paper.  In best – case scenarios, they are neatly typed with bulleted and numbered items on a page placed prominently to be seen every day.  The bad news is, neither of these work due to either disorganization or disappearance into the woodwork.

Go: What works is having specific structures breaking down your major objectives into goals, plans, and specific measurable results you intend to accomplish, all scheduled in your calendar with specific dates and times.  Also important is taking into account and planning for the resources you’ll need to accomplish your goals. (Want to learn to play the piano? Make sure you plan for getting a teacher, instrument to play, time to take lessons and practice, necessary funds, etc.)

  1. No Go: Most treat their resolutions as wishful thinking or involvement, not as a promise or a commitment.  Their goals are something they want, but not something they are committed to doing what it takes to achieve.  Herein lies the gigantic difference between your resolutions becoming real or one of the sad statistics.

Go: Get FULLY in the game – not 100%, but 200%. Being committed and making promises – and keeping them – work.  Remember Martina Navratilova’s clarity on this: “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.”  Commitment is key to having your second half of life being the best half.

  1. No Go: It is very easy to break promises, when you only make them to yourself, in the privacy of your own mind and your own calendar.  Many people fail with resolutions because they don’t have anyone to account for their keeping their promises and sticking to their plan.

Go: Get an accountability buddy! Someone you talk to every week or every day.  Make promises to each other and hold each other accountable for keeping those promises. 

  1. Go: Do all of the above and give it your best shot.  You’ll do better than 90% of the human race.


Go: If you are REALLY committed to fulfilling on your New Year resolutions – get a coach.  Achieving your resolutions will require you to create brand new habits and practices, and to see yourself in a brand new way.  Coaches are experts in supporting you in doing just that, keeping your promises and realizing your goals. In the words of Tom Landry, the legendary Dallas Cowboys football coach, “a coach is someone who makes you do what you don’t want to do so that you can be who you always wanted to be.”

Who do you want to be in your radical, purposeful second half?



The Simple Reason to STOP Investing in Your Viewpoints

Today I want to share with you a concept that most people don’t take the time to realize, although, when you read it, you will know it is common sense.

Take a moment to read the below quote and I’ll meet you on the other side.


How many of you have gotten stuck in your viewpoints? I would assume that everyone has, at one point or another. After all, we’re human. It is part of our nature to get caught up in our own lives and assume that our views are the correct ones. But that’s not always the case, is it? For every aspect of our lives, there are different views of that aspect, and we are guaranteed to be wrong at least some of the time.

Which view can you try to see from a different perspective today? After all, like the quote says,  “we may have a lot invested in them”. Investing in a flawed perspective can hurt you in the long run. With that in mind, I challenge you to think about a viewpoint that you hold dear that might not be right. Can you let go your preconceived notions about it? Can you try to see it from a different perspective? I think you can and that you might be shocked at what a simple change in perspective can achieve.


Invited Obstacles


“You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goals.”
-Booker T. Washington

There are lots of ways to treat and greet an oncoming New Year with possibility.

We can commit to resolutions.

We can assess the stats of our goal attainment for the last year and make new stretch commitments.

We can capture our intentions of who we want to be in the next 12 months in a theme, and make plans to live by that theme…posting reminders everywhere.

Yet, in any and all ways we propose to take our life into new realms of who or where we can be and what we can do or have in the next 365 days or less, know that it will invite obstacles.

We can’t expand until stretched to new proportions, and many a resolution, goal or theme are abandoned when the invited roadblocks naturally come.

When JFK was rousing American sentiment to take on a huge commitment to the space program, he quoted a story told by Irish writer Frank O’Conner. O’Conner and his childhood friends would walk the countryside trying to find the biggest wall, and then throw their hats over it.

In those days, your hat was a prized possession, and your mother would be quite upset were you to show up at the end of the day without it. So, this left the boys with no option but to find some way over that wall to retrieve their hats.

Though one could make an argument – from a Law of Attraction perspective – that inviting struggle is a no no…I believe it’s all in the flavor and intent of the invitation.

Most folks invite struggle all the time, albeit unconsciously, through the obsolete or unexamined attitudes they bring with them as baggage into any new job, business, relationship, hobby, venture, activity, or group. That is what LOA is speaking to.

However, to set one’s sites on some rather extraordinary ways one wants to be, do and have life, to get into the actions, mindset and visioning process of achieving those be/do/haves, and then to invite with willing abandon all that the Universe needs to bring to support you to have it – good, bad and ugly) — that’s another thing entirely.

We might call that an act of realistic and practical intention. A good phrase I once heard, for it is “Throwing yourself on the sword.” Not waiting to be cut open, but offering yourself to such a process for the sake of the greater Self, breaking free within.

This takes Back Forty Boldness, and definitely Back Forty Badassity…and yet, what else do you have to do in the next 40 years anyway?

Though contrary to the giddiness of listing high aims and objectives, perhaps a sober and conscious Open Letter of Invitation to Obstacles over the next few days will serve our 2017 of growth even better.

“You can either allow the obstacles in your life to be the excuse for your failure or make them the reason behind your success. ”


Holidays Joy Research


Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen

We all know how this time of year is “supposed to” be.

I’m not saying it isn’t.

Yet, what if we discovered what “joy” is for ourselves this year (and in the year to come) vs. whatever pictures or already-ingrained-perceptions of it that we have?

In life’s second half, we have an opportunity to move past the bustle of already-routined ways of experiencing life, and the holidays in particular.  The kids may be off to college now.  Our parents may no longer be with us.  We may be still single or still married, neither of which we would prefer.

In the Back Forty, rather than have our holiday practices focus on old, unthought patterns, we can invent new ones as well as new perceptions.

Very often, we miss what might be possible for us to experience because of what we think we should/could/ought-to-be experiencing.

For example, some may be experiencing this season without the loved one they had always by their side.  Others may be in the most challenging times of their lives, for one reason or another.

Those are very real experiences which – if we subscribe to the general pictures of how “happy” holidays are supposed to look – there could be a tendency to feel separate from this time of year…like an imposter or foreigner.

Time to invent!  Rather than buy into the feeling of separation from the season, where could an experience of “joy” be found even in the midst of that?

Regardless of your current state, as my holiday gift to you, here is a helpful pocket list of various thoughts on “joy” so that you might use this season as a research project as to what joy can be for wherever you are now.  What if you didn’t already know…and yet were about to discover?

Keep it close, share it with others…and explore your own Back Forty relationship to joy.

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”

Marianne Williamson

Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.”

Helen Keller

Joy is untouched by circumstance.”


Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”

Brene Brown

Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.”

Robert Schuller

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Consider it all joy.”

James 1:2

“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.”

Eckhart Tolle

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive you will see it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Remember that your natural state is joy.”

Wayne Dyer

“Life is hard. Choose joy anyway.”


“A joy that’s shared is a joy made double.”

English Proverb

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”

Mark Twain

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Rabindranath Tagore

“If you can’t find joy in the path you are on and what you are working toward now, how do you expect to find joy once you get there?”


“When you choose joy you feel good. When you feel good, you do good and when you do good it reminds others of what joy feels like and it just might inspire them to do the same.”


“We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.”

Roger Ebert

“…Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.”

Robert Louis Stevenson



This Song Will Make You Smile About Midlife Crisis

I stumbled across this video this morning and it actually made me laugh out loud. Take a moment to enjoy it!

How many people do you know who seem to be going through a “midlife crisis”? Once we hit midlife the word “crisis” often seems to hang over our heads. Like the song says, we start to see people around us having a crisis, or maybe we find ourselves in the midst of one ourselves.

Regardless of where you fall in the above scenario, you fall into one of two categories:

1 – You are going (or have already gone) through your own midlife crisis


2 – You see others going through their crisis and find yourself wondering, “am I next?”

No matter if you are well aware of the ups and downs of a midlife crisis or if you are dreading what might be coming your way, I have the perfect article for you!

If you find yourself wondering why you haven’t had your crisis yet, click here to see why you’re not alone!

If you are in the midst of (or have already had) your midlife crisis, click here for a new perspective or click here to count your blessings!

Regardless of where you find yourself in midlife, remember that your crisis can be “twice as good as any big gut suckin’, sports car buyin’, self-deludin’, comb-over tryin’, skinny jean-wearin’, wrinkle denyin’, bucket listin’, grey hair dyin’, existential mid-life crisis!”


Expert Tip #5: See Midlife Crises as Opportunities


Regardless of if you feel you are in the middle of a midlife crisis or not, let’s face it, midlife is full of obstacles.

Between children, parents, work, and finances there are endless pitfalls that seem to spring up out of nowhere. These “crises” are going to happen and anyone who tells you that you can avoid them is delusional.

The key lies in how you face these problems.

Many people find themselves victimizing themselves over past challenges they have endured. How many times have you even blamed something in your present over what has “happened to you” in your past? By victimizing yourself, you are actually holding back your true potential.

This concept is also true for hardships that you currently find yourself in the midst of. Instead of feeling like a victim of these (guaranteed) changes, try to see them as opportunities to change for the better.

Come back next week for Pro Tip #6 and remember that the only person who can decide if you are a victim is YOU!

See other tips here!


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