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We come together to celebrate the HOPE of a new year

I started this New Year’s Eve blog earlier today and finally decided one hour before midnight in Saint Paul, Minnesota, I must hit send. (Happy New Year to my friends on the East Coast celebrating now!)

I am in awe of this night. For all it is…and all it promises.

The truth is, I have not always been a fan of New Year’s Eve. My new fascination has much to do with my personal transformation of the last two years. This year I simply could not let this day, this night, go by without a blog message from me to all of my friends and readers. The message is about HOPE.
It is simply amazing to me that on this night, and only on this night, the whole world comes together to celebrate the hope of a new year. Whatever we’re doing. Whomever we’re with, on this night our hearts are most likely filled with hope.

Hope is a powerful thing. It represents opportunity. Possibility. Promise. Perseverance. Faith. A new beginning. A necessary end. It makes us believe that anything is possible, or might be possible, even if only for a fleeting moment. But that moment can be all we need.

Two years ago, I learned first-hand that hope often comes when you least expect it. It can arrive in unlikely shapes, and sizes and packages. And if you’re paying attention, and you let it in, it can rock your world. Which is exactly what happened to me.

For those of you that don’t know my story, HOPE came to me in 2010 in the form of O’Neal Hampton Jr. who had walked the path of personal transformation before me on NBC’s Biggest Loser Season 9. O’Neal knew what was possible. And he cared enough to take the time to give it away…to me. He took the time to listen, to inspire and encourage, to share…to nudge. He gave me hope. He helped me believe that I could do this. That indeed, I could climb mountains.

And that I did! Now, I have the privilege of providing that same hope to others. What an amazing gift! For O’Neal, my hope and inspiration. For the God-given gift of transformation and the opportunity to provide hope for others, I will be forever grateful. Forever…wholeheartedly grateful.

And so on this special night – New Year’s Eve 2012 – as we wait for midnight to approach and the infamous ball to drop, we are given a chance to reflect on 2012 and all that has transpired. And, a chance to look forward with hope and promise to all the new year will bring.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched the movie New Year’s Eve and was inspired by the speech that Hillary Swank’s character gave as the ball was stuck/suspended in mid air. She explained why the ball in Times Square was stuck/suspended:

“It’s a chance to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by,” she said. “To remember both our triumphs had missteps. Promises made and promises broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt. That’s what New Year’s is all about. A chance to forgive. To do better. To do more. To give more. To love more. To stop worrying about “what if?” and start embracing what will be… Let’s remember to be kind to each other – and not just tonight, but all year long.”

I’m with Claire (Hillary Swank).  I think New Year’s Eve is a good time to reflect with gratitude for all we have been given. I am grateful that two years ago I found hope and inspiration in O’Neal Hampton. And in Leif Anderson’s belief in me and his nutritional transformation program. I found hope in my rockstar trainer Sandra Swami, in my counselor Denise, in my business coach Anne, and my friend, Jimbo. But most importantly, eventually, I found hope in myself. And I found it in all of you – and especially in the close friends, family and colleagues who took the time to care about my journey, to give of yourselves and to cheer and support me all year long.

Don’t underestimate the power of hope, my friends. As you sit beside your friends and loved ones tonight at midnight, as I do now, may you find the hope and promise of the new year. May you know in the deepest part of your heart that anything is possible. Anything can happen. And that you have within you the power to rock this world and achieve your greatest dreams. I know this. Because it happened for me. And it started with a thing called HOPE.

Thank you from the bottom of my very full and happy heart. I could not be happier or more blessed this holiday. Nor could I be more filled with love and hope, and the promise of a great new year.

Happy, Happy, Happy New Year. Thanks for coming along with me on this journey in 2012. I leave you with this quote,

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

Wishing you a night filled with hope and a New Year filled with great things that have never been.





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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Disney Dean #

    Happy New Year, my amazing, amazing friend! As you know, YOU were my O’Neal in 2012. At a time when I wasn’t quite sure if I believed in myself, YOU believed in me. All you had to tell me is that I was going to rock this, and as I sit here 1 day before the end of my first 16 week transformation, I now believe in MYSELF. I know I am worth taking care of, and it’s a gift that you can’t put a price on. Thank you, my friend, for being there for me through the good times and the bad. You are an amazing person, and I am thankful every day for you – not just on this night before the closing of my first transformation.

    January 1, 2013
    • Lori Schaefer #

      Dean, you are certainly one of the reasons for the smile on my face this New Year’s Eve/Day. You are a special, special person and I know that we’ll both be rockin 2013. You deserve so much happiness and love as you have given so much of yourself. I look forward to your next chapter and I will be right here supporting you always. Now, remember, we have to celebrate too. Happy New Year. 🙂

      January 1, 2013
  2. Sandra Swami #

    Love, love, Love this post, Lori. Happy New Year to you, too! You will continue to inspire others and give them hope because you are so awesome and caring. Way to go, YOU ROCK!


    January 1, 2013
    • Lori Schaefer #

      Thank you Sandra. What a distinct pleasure it has been for me to train with you and get to know you better as a human being. You are not just my coach and trainer in the gym, but in life. Your wit, wisdom, passion, energy and inner beauty inspire me every day. Thank you for being the fantastic coach, trainer and friend and for being a hope spreader, like me. I am so happy for you and look forward to 2013 with such anticipation and excitement. Yay! A new year. See you soon. Thanks for the comment. Love!

      January 1, 2013
  3. Lori,
    A beautiful post by a beautiful lady. You are a living reminder that one can achieve greatness if they only set their minds to it. Thank you for reminding me of that. And, may your 2013 be filled with nothing but achieving your dreams!

    January 1, 2013
    • Lori Schaefer #

      Happy New Year, Beth! Thank you for your support and kind words. I feel blessed that our paths crossed two years ago and that we have gotten to know each other. It has always been my goal to surround myself with kick-_ _ _ people, especially intelligent women with wit, wisdom, and passion for a full life and career. Women who are always moving forward. You not only fit that bill but have been an example to me and others this past year on how to achieve balance and enjoy the simple things in life. I trust our paths will cross more in 2013. Enjoy this new day/year. 🙂

      January 1, 2013

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