Making Magic Happen with Sally McGraw

Sally McGraw Already Pretty

We’ve all got different definitions of making magic happen. What’s yours?
Every six months, my husband and I write down five things we want to come into our lives and five things we want to leave our lives. We put the lists in a sealed envelope and forget all about them. Or so it seems! When we re-read them six months later, we’re inevitably amazed by how many of them have already come true or are in process. Intentionality is a very real force.

Of the things that you’ve accomplished in your life, what are you most proud of?
Every week, I receive e-mails from women all over the globe telling me that my writing has helped them feel better about their bodies. I am honored beyond words by their gratitude and thrilled every day of my life to have helped women shift their feelings about themselves toward the positive.

When you’re taking on a big new project, or you’ve set your eyes on a new goal, how do you  actually, you know, make it happen?
Bit by bit. Nothing in my life or career has happened quickly and all of it has taken hard work. I will admit that I’m not much for five-year plans and extensive outlines. I tend to work better by diving in, working through the process organically, and revising as needed. Consulting my trusted friends and advisors at every stage has been key to my success, too.

What books/tools/products/apps have helped you on your journey?
Google Calendar is my personal assistant! Without a constant stream of reminders, I’ll forget virtually everything except my own name. And as a freelancer, being able to divide my time visually and into color-coded chunks? Essential. My weeks would be a complete mess without my calendar.

Most of us living big, challenging, magical lives have met our fair share of naysayers. How have you dealt with that?
I keep a folder of notes from people who’ve told me about the positive impact I’ve had on their lives and refer to it when the nasties come out to play. After all, if I’ve helped even one person improve her body image and feel more confident, I’ve done good and valuable work. I also love this quote from the venerable Churchill: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

When you have moments of doubt or get distracted, how do you refocus on your goals?
I have a wonderful group of girlfriends who are also entrepreneurs, and I do rely on them to help me stay focused! When I’m feeling lost, I often reach out to them for advice and support. I also keep a close eye on my mission. If something I’m doing isn’t supported by my mission, I reevaluate.

What’s the most magical thing going on in your life right now?
I’m seeing seeds that I planted YEARS AGO finally sprout to life. Opportunities are presenting themselves that I’d thought might never arise, and they’re happening because I’ve been patient, done good work all along, and carefully tended my relationships. I’m most excited about a project that would allow me to work with middle school and high school girls on body image and style. Fingers crossed that it comes to fruition!

If you could build a perfect day from scratch, what would it look like? (Where would you be? When would you wake up and go to sleep? Who would be with you? What would you eat/drink/do?)
Well, now you’ll see my lazy side shining through! I’m a total homebody, so my perfect day would be spent at home with my husband – who is also my best friend and most valued confidant. We’d wake up late, take a walk or a bike ride, grab a cheeseburger somewhere, go to a movie (preferably something funny or weird), maybe spend some time reading in a cafe, then go home to snuggle with our kitties on the couch. I wish I could say something thrilling and impressive like, “Skydiving in New Mexico” but that’s just not me. I’m an introvert and need quiet time to recharge.


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Sally Already Pretty Navy DressBio: Sally McGraw is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, blogger, and communications professional. In addition to writing her popular daily style and body image blog, Already Pretty, she contributes to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Huffington Post and has published a style guide titled Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress it Well. She firmly believes that style is a tool for self-love that should be accessible to everyone. Including you.


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