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Business, Goals Edition Recalculating: The GPS Girl’s Guide To Getting More of What You Want


By: Karen Jacobsen •  4 years ago •  




e start out with all the enthusiasm in the world before the first in a string of disappointments. Someone tells us we are crazy to think we could reach a goal, that they see themselves as too small to chase, and we believe them. We doubt ourselves and for self-protection we start playing a much smaller game.

What if there was a way to keep going no matter what? A way to be able to let go of what did or did not happen on a daily basis? To start afresh?

Welcome to the world of Recalculating.


When we are in the car and we hear the voice in the GPS say “Recalculating”, we know we have taken a wrong turn. The satellites work their magic and in a few quick turns we are headed toward our destination. In fact, by the time we even hear the word “Recalculating” we are already back on track.

I want you to think of this word as good news! If we can Recalculate when we are driving and quickly get ourselves back on track, we can Recalculate our lives when things are not going as planned.


Often an emotional response will be your best way to “notice you are off route”. You may be frustrated, upset, overwhelmed, disappointed or angry. This is the signal to assess where you are and where you are headed.

It takes all kinds of courage to be the kind of person who is willing to consistently look at how they are operating in their lives. We get defensive and protective of the decisions we have made. We certainly do not want anyone to think we have made any mistakes along the way. What will they think?

Imagine being able to identify a situation is not how you want it to be, and in five quick steps have a way forward that leaves you empowered.


In fact, there are 5 Directions for Recalculating I am going to share with you right now; a process to use when you know you need to regroup or course-correct along the way to what it is you really want.

  1. Notice You Are Off Route – Simply noticing we are not where we wanted to be gives us the power to make new decisions.
  2. Be Willing To Change Direction – Perhaps the most challenging aspect of Recalculating is having the courage to be willing to make a change.
  3. Clarify Your Destination – Re-presence yourself to the outcome you are working toward, and zoom out to the satellite view.
  4. Embrace the Steering Wheel – Move from the Passenger seat to the Driver’s Seat and get yourself in gear.
  5. Accelerate – The true power of recalculating is action. Take a step in the direction of your destination.


I am so glad you asked.

  • Be able to navigate change powerfully
  • See problems coming with the confidence you can recalculate and move through them effectively
  • Build your ability to be solution-oriented and to create a solution-oriented culture
  • Increase productivity
  • Continue your momentum
  • Maintain an evenness of emotions when challenges arise


The first step toward getting what we really want is deciding. Simple enough, but it is amazing how indecisive we can be. Not deciding is another way of proving to ourselves that we ‘don’t know what we want’. We are going to break it down.

  1. Choose a destination.
  2. Put one foot in front of the other toward it.
  3. Recalculate when necessary.

Here is the most beautiful part about choosing a destination when creating a road map for your future. It is an ever-changing, ever-flowing work in progress. You are not married to it. You can and will make changes to it all the time. Where are you headed? Where would you love to be headed?

I think part of our reticence to going for what we really want, or allowing ourselves to even contemplate what that could be, is the thought we may choose the wrong thing and be stuck with it. What if we do make a wrong decision? What if we don’t love our dream destination when we arrive? What if we get what we think we want and we are still not happy? This kind of thinking is just another distraction. Let it go.

Allow yourself to want what you really want. Think, “If I had a magic wand, how would my life be?”

Perhaps you would love to be filled with joy going to work every day. Or to feel completely comfortable in your own skin. It could simply be to feel good more of the time than not.

Put aside all the considerations and rules you have created about how life should be, and ask yourself again: If I had a magic wand, how would my life be? “It’s the journey, not the destination!” I hear you cry.

I agree, but it is having the destination in mind that contributes to the experience of the journey. What we expect is going to happen can bring fear or joy, so I find it a lot more enjoyable to plot my desired destination and enjoy the ride.

When I was seven years old, I saw Olivia Newton-John on television and my life changed. I knew I wanted to be a Professional Singer and move to America. There she was, a blonde Australian singer and actress who had travelled to the U.S. and was welcomed with open arms. I had no idea how I was going to be just like her, but I knew it was my destination.

  1. Choose a destination.
  2. Put one foot in front of the other toward it.
  3. Recalculate when necessary.


For a moment we are going to pretend. Turn back the clock to a time when you were seven years of age. Anything you want to do with your life is possible.

What do you want to be when you grow up? You may already be doing what you love, however, if you are still wondering what that could be, here is a place to start.

Write down whatever comes to mind.

Now we know how to navigate change and how to identify what it is we really want, how can we believe it really is possible? By working on our belief.


We are giving ourselves directions every moment of every day. Every thought we think is like a direction.

“It will never happen.”

“Why bother.”

“I am not good enough/tall enough/rich enough/thin enough/young enough.”

It is time for some directions that will lead us toward the destination of our dreams.

You have probably heard of affirmations. They are phrases that affirm good and positive results. We are actually using counterproductive and negative affirmations constantly whether we realise it or not. Just revisit the phrases above.

When we say an affirmation aloud or write it out, we are creating a future we are designing. I don’t know about you, but my default setting is to beat myself up. Through using affirmations, reading inspiring books and surrounding myself with energised, purposeful people, I spend less time than ever feeling bad about myself. It still happens now and then but my bounce back time is much faster.

When I start my day with an affirmation like, “I love my life”, I set myself up for a vastly different experience than if I use, “I am so tired.” At first, it can really feel like a case of ‘fake it until you make it’.

Affirmations have worked wonders for me. Here is how they work.


  1. Create a phrase that describes the kind of experience you would love to be having.
  2. Feel great while you say the affirmation aloud or as you write it down. You may have to fake it until you make it.
  3. Repeat the affirmations every morning and every night in the bathroom mirror. Start with just one. Try it. You may feel resistant, confronted, annoyed or perhaps excited as you proclaim your affirmations out loud.

Some of my favourites I use again and again.

  • I am being totally taken care of.
  • I am always in the right place at the right time.
  • I am on the right track.
  • Great things are happening for me.

Start by writing a list of words you love and then create your own affirmations. Say them out loud every single day. Feel good as you say them. Write them down. Allow yourself to believe you can have what you really want to have happen in your life. The world needs you and all you have to give, more than ever. In the nicest possible way – hurry up and get on with it! And when in doubt remember it is never too late to Recalculate.

Karen Jacobsen

Karen Jacobsen is The GPS Girl®, who moved in 2000 from Australia to New York with a suitcase and a dream. Karen gives directions as the speaking voice of “Australian Karen” in over 400 million GPS and smartphone devices around the world.

A professional speaker, singer and voice-over artist, Karen travels the world speaking on navigating change and performing concert-style keynotes to groups who want to be able to Recalculate and give their best in business and life.

Karen has enjoyed wide international media coverage but was told she had really made it when she was a clue in The New York Times crossword puzzle and has shared the bill with Norah Jones, Neil Sedaka and Christopher Cross in concert. She serves as the Immediate Past President of the National Speakers Association-New York City, and with an 8-year-old son is Recalculating and still figuring it out on a daily basis. For more information, visit Connect with her @thegpsgirl on Twitter and

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