When I was a girl, I loved a small appaloosa mare named Shortcake. After school each day, I walked back in the fields to where Shortcake and the other horses grazed, and I flopped over her bare back like a rag doll. The horses continued munching grass while I lolled in the sunshine (or the rain), imagining that I was one with my horse.

Eventually, the horses decided it was time to head to the barn for the evening. The bareback ride from the back pasture to the barn was the highlight of my day. No saddle, no bridle…just bare legs clamped hard against dappled horse hide, hair whipping my face, and a wild thunder of hooves up and down hills, through woods, and across creeks.

By the time the herd careened through the last gap into the barn lot, fire pumped in my veins…I felt so alive!

“Let’s ride this horse while it’s running.” This is a saying I use with my kids when they are especially excited about a new project or challenge. Let’s face it: much of life is pretty ho-hum. Bursts of heart-pounding excitement are rare and short-lived. If you WAIT, not only will the opportunity pass, but so will the excitement – and the energy that excitement generates.

Something about the beginning of a new year, filled with possibilities and unpacked opportunities, like a compressed spring ready to launch you into…into what? What adventure? What new endeavor?

What would YOU like to do in the year ahead? Write a book? Learn a new language? Run a marathon? What possibility makes your eyes light up and puts fire in your veins?

Are you reluctant to attempt something new because you fear your motivation and enthusiasm will wane in a couple of months? Let me tell you something: your motivation and enthusiasm most likely will wane in a couple of months. That’s life. But don’t let that stop you. While you are excited and full of daring, jump in.

Jump on. Hold on tight. Ride this horse while it’s running, and see where it will take you!

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