2016, New Year Resolutions Craftsman Workshop Concept with Asorted Tools, Pencil and Notebook for Writing Goals and Aspiration in Following Year

You are a work in progress. That’s good to remember as you enter 2016. Like gratitude and the smile that goes with it, your “to do” list every day should include building a better you from the inside out.

The “People Who Inspire” and “Strong Women” featured here this past year showed us how it’s done.  I’ve taken a quote from each of their stories to help you create your best you and your best year yet:


tim-mcclellan-land-cruiser-944x4471. Know what drives you. “I always wanted to be a co-creator; take things made by the Creator and transform them with my hands; manipulate the materials around me and be part of a creation.”

  People Who Inspire – Tim McClellan on becoming a designer, builder and story teller


Andrea - feature 1 not cropped2. Appreciate your co-workers. “Everybody’s job is hard. Everyone is stepping up. We have to do more with less. By the grace of God, it’s working. People are helping me.”

Strong Women – Mrs. Michaux is lifted up by the hand of God to lead




Fr. Bob feature photo cropped3. Meet people where they are. “Being myself is good for evangelization. I look like them so if I’m talking with people, they’re already interacting with me before they put their guard up.”

   People Who Inspire – Fr. Bob on living an unconventional life


Lauren feature photo cropped

4. Pick up new skills. “I’ve built steps and a wooden fence, poured concrete, split logs, used a hand saw to cut wood, stapled planks, painted, dug holes, driven a stake body truck and operated a Bobcat loader.

This is a self-esteem booster. I’m so much more confident in myself. And I’m not afraid.”

Strong Women – Lauren Shroyer Gross is transforming from the inside out


Dominick Domasky photo to use cropped5. Write your goals. “The company I worked for wanted me to write my goals down every day. I found a tiny spiral notebook that I had used years before and put my pen to the pad. That was the light. Goals became sentences and sentences became paragraphs. Before long I had a bigger goal, and I wrote on the cover, “First Book.”

People Who Inspire – Dominick Domasky on the flip side of failure


Daynelle Sanner headshot color


6. Get out of your comfort zone. I had no idea what to expect, so I was very nervous. As I was swimming through muddy water, climbing high obstacles, carrying heavy sandbags and rocks up steep hills, I was saying to myself, ‘I just killed that hill! I just climbed those boulders!”

Strong Women – Daynelle Sanner tackling challenges with grit and grace



Michael Edwards and Dan Cocks cropped for blog7. Be part of something bigger. “It’s not just a small group any more making a difference. This community has literally blossomed with people wanting to be involved with activities, events, and city-wide clean ups. So many people are now taking an active role in making the city a better place.”

People Who Inspire – Michael Edwards and Daniel Cocks on the rebirth of a city


Gina Lynn linked in photo8.  Make time for you. “Now I do a 5k three times a week on the Yough trail. It’s my zen zone. I think of nothing or it could be a firestorm of ideas. I’m able to release the stress after work. It makes me a better person to my husband and kids.”

Strong Women – Gina Lynn isn’t missing what’s around the bend




Larry Orlando - New Photo9. Create an environment that works. While some might call it clutter, I like to think of it as personal texture. The room was peppered with pop culture and literary illusions!”

People Who Inspire – Larry Orlando on making a lasting impression



10. Live in faith. “I am strong when I realize I don’t have to be. I know there’s something stronger than me – the Lord. My strength comes from realizing how small and unworthy I am. My place in this world only exists if I’m in line with what God wants me to do.”

Strong Women – Gina Jones embraces servant leadership to empower others



Tim Anderson cropped11. Stay focused. “The love of life is what helps me to have a deepened focus. I want to live to climb again. I have to be fully aware. I channel that same focus when I’m balancing rocks.”

People Who Inspire – Tim Anderson on living life in perfect balance


Joyce - Feature photo12. Confront your fears. “The only moment I had of regret was before I boarded the plane in Pittsburgh. I called my friend, Jody, and said, ‘What am I doing? She said, ‘I’ll come get you. They don’t have you. ’Yes,’ I said, ‘they do. I took an oath.’

That conversation was good. I had to confront an option, made the choice not to take it and got on the plane.”

 Strong Women – U.S. Air Force veteran Joyce Robley found her wings to fly


Joe Walko feature photo cropped

13. Prepare for what’s ahead.“When Deb’s cancer advanced, I did a solo, self-supported 130 mile biking, rafting, hiking trek through the southern Utah Escalante Desert. I wanted to test how far I could push myself. I knew that if I could do that, I could travel through whatever challenges came from facing a terminal illness in the family,”

People Who Inspire – Joe Walko on a journey with grief

 Margaret headshot14. Be present. “One January 1st, I called him up and said, ‘Dad, I think I want to jump in the Yough (an annual Connellsville Polar Bear Club river plunge). He said, ‘That’s going to hurt. I’ll be ready in ten minutes.’

He was always interested in everything I was doing. I want to do the same for my kids.”

Strong Women – Margaret Zylka House is raising her kids to be strong

 Ed Cope - Feature15. Trust your gut. “You make decisions in life and you hope you make the right decision. It’s a gut feeling this is what you have to do.”

People Who Inspire – Ed Cope on life through the camera lens




Dawnetta family photo16. Unplug and reconnect.As the kids were growing up, we went camping, fishing and to the beach to get away from electronics – and still do. Sometimes we would lay out in the back yard looking at the stars talking about God.”

Strong Women – Dawnetta DeCara on surviving Hurricane Joaquin and 30 years of marriage

These special people all have one thing in common. They strive to be better every day. May their quotes be your tools to build a better world, a better life – and your best year yet.

Thanks so much for visiting today. If you or someone you know has an uplifting story to share, send me a note at MaryMotivates@gmail.com. For more motivation and inspiration in 2016, follow MaryMotivates.com here.


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