An Interview with Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal

Magic is Within Reach

Say it with me now: “I am capable of nothing short of miraculous.”

As Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Here’s an important question to ask yourself as we peek over the edge at 2020: Which person will you choose to be in 2020? A person who believes nothing is a miracle? Or a person who believes everything is?

The process believing in the possibilities, miracles even, of casting your vision for the year ahead is the first step toward making the life you desire a reality.

You can’t achieve what you don’t believe.

You can’t follow a path that you cannot see.

Taking time to release, renew, dream, and yes, even scheme will pay dividends toward making 2020 and this brand-new ensuing decade your best years yet.

In order to orient toward your inner desires and greatest aspirations, tap into three significant aspects of your inner being and use these as touchstones to determine your vision and goals for 2020 and beyond:

  1. (Re)Focus your Actions – Align your effort with your vision
  2. (Re)Claim your Joy – Tune into what brings you the greatest fulfillment
  3. (Re)Connect to your Truth – Listen to your inner wisdom to provide guidance and discernment

Contemplating these three key areas of inquiry will serve as your north star to create a deep focus on your rock-solid vision for the new year.

In order to consider your life holistically, the Seven F’s model is an invaluable guide: Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Fun, and Future.

See the source image
Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal — Photo By Kseniya Berson

Using the Seven F’s model, you can rate yourself in each area, from 1-10, with 1=the farthest you can imagine from your ideal in this area, and 10=your ideal, and then set your future goals accordingly.

Oh! And one more thing! This is important:


Rather than setting goals, just to simply set goals, it’s important to go a few clicks deeper and ask yourself “What’s my why?” Our why is about what we stand for. Our why is about what we are in service of. Our why is about our deepest passion and commitment to influence our planet.

For me, my why is the following:

I exist to:

Support people in accessing the power of resilience, resilient living, and resilient leadership to promote healing and to support all of us, the planet, in, ultimately, reaching our full potential.

In the most succinct sentence possible, write your why below (or on another sheet of paper):

I exist to:

It’s okay if your “why” evolves over time. The important part of having a why is, well, having one! Once you have a central mission, a focus, this “why” serves as your North star, you are in a position to vet all activities against your personal mission. You can ask yourself over the course of the year, “Does xxx activity, relationship, investment, serve my why?” If not, you can choose to say “No.”

(Re)focus your actions – Align your effort with your vision

First, ask yourself, “What did I accomplish in this past year?”

Take a moment to reflect on what you achieved (and didn’t) over the course of the past year.

What did you try out?

What worked? Why?

What didn’t? Why?

What did you do that made you proud this year? 

What did you do that makes you squirm, or you wish you could take back?

Taking account of your achievements, successes, failures, non-starters, procrastination, and “I tried” moments will help you understand what you can build upon.


You are the architect of your life. You determine the foundation and contents of your life.  

Nothing exists in your life without your agreement to its presence.

(re)claim your joy – Tune into what brings you the greatest fulfillment

When we tune into what brings you the greatest fulfillment. (Re)Claiming your joy can be about adding new elements to your life AND letting go of other aspects of your life that no longer serve you.

These could include:

  • When / what were the moments when you felt happiest?
  • When / what were the moments when you felt most at peace?
  • When / what were the moments when you felt most miserable or joyless?
  • When / what were the moments when you felt least aligned with your core values / you why?

The elements of your life (read: YOUR LIFE – as in, this life belongs to you and no one else – just in case you needed a friendly reminder) that both bring and detract from your joy are important beacons as you determine how you want to structure your life going forward.

I’ve often heard people ask the question “What would you do if you couldn’t fail?”

I’ve always thought this was the wrong question.

Instead, ask yourself, “What do I want, what speaks to me so much that I will pursue it with my whole heart even though I could fail?”

The goals and experiences that we are willing to risk failure for are the real core of ourselves, of our soul.

A Word (or Two) on Letting Go

We live in a society that often sends the message that in order to live the life we want to lead, in order to be more, we must do more.

Rather than doing more, there is power in doing less, in divesting. Letting go of roles, routines, expectations, relationships, and commitments that no longer serve your highest purpose, your greatest good.

Often, it’s not that we need to do more to be happy, it’s that we need to let go of the things that steal our joy. This could be letting go of comparison, saying negative things to ourselves, a relationship that doesn’t give us what we need, etc.

What are you willing to let go of to have the life you say you want?

Change is hard. There are people in your life who will be invested in you remaining the same.

Once you understand exactly what you want to change, you can do the real work figuring out HOW you will change or let go.

(re)Connect to your truth – Listen to your inner wisdom to provide guidance and discernment

When we listen to our inner wisdom to provide guidance and discernment, connecting with our innermost voice BEFORE we start clipping cute quotes and pictures out of inspirational magazines, is crucial to creating a vision board that serves our purpose. 

How do you know your truth?

Great question, I’m glad you asked.

Quick story: A few years ago, I lost my way. I had done everything I thought I was supposed to do – got the promotions, the corporate job, the big house, the swimming pool, the husband, and children.

And yet.

I wasn’t happy.

While I felt grateful for everything I’d been given, I was living the life I thought I should live, instead of living in accordance with my truth.

In short, I’d done what I thought everyone else wanted me to do, and I was completely out of integrity with my own desire, thoughts, inner knowing, and intuition.

So, how did I begin living a life that was more aligned with my truth? First, I had to stop letting everyone else’s voice around me be louder than my inner voice.

I asked myself a single question, written on the first page of a journal:

  • How do I live a more authentic life?

All those lined pages spiraled before me. I thought I would never fill the little journal. But fill that journal I did.

  • Each day I looked at my life, and I listened to the truth within me about what I wanted and what I didn’t want.

I used my listening to myself, my inner wisdom to begin to create a life that was more aligned with my truth. For me, there were many big shifts. My marriage as I knew it ended, and we engaged in learning to be co-parents. We learned how to continue to be a family, even though we were no longer a couple. We sold that beautiful home in the suburbs and moved into the city.

All of your shifts won’t necessarily be this large. Listen to your inner voice and allow yourself to be the one who guides your life to align to your personal truths.

In closing, I hope you’ll take the time to reflect on this prior year and create a thoughtful vision for where you want to take your one wild and precious life.

Planning for the life you want to create, the experiences you want to have, the achievements you want to pursue will make the probability of these coming to fruition much much greater.

When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

Okay, that last sentence was a bit harsh. I’m not saying you’re going to fail necessarily.

What I am saying is that when you (Re)Claim your Joy, (Re)Focus your Actions, and (Re)Connect to your truth, these moments of reflection will go a long way to setting you up for success and preparing your vision for your life in the year and decade again, before you begin creating your vision board. Invest in your most important asset: You! Good luck! You’ve got this!

IG: @tarynmariestejskal