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But:  this ain’t gonna be that kind of 12-Step Program

The New Year is just around the corner and setting goals is a common endeavor (maybe even torture) for many of us.   But New Years’ Resolutions rarely bring about the desired effect – to permanently change some kind of behavior.

I know this.  You know this.

Yet, here it is December 30th and I’m thinking about next year.  Let’s see, will I commit to getting more exercise (how many times has that been on the list) or losing a few pounds (yup, that one’s been there for the past few years too) or eating healthier, eating less sugar (sorry to say this goal has showed up too often without a good outcome)?  And yet, I do this to myself each year right about now–look at the weak areas in my life, create a wish list and hope that they in fact get resolved.

It appears that 40 – 45% of us set at least one New Year’s goal.  However, according to a study by author and psychologist Richard Wiseman, not many of us keep our resolutions past January. His research found that 52 percent of resolution-makers were confident that they’d achieve their goals, yet only 12 percent actually succeeded.

What is the secret behind those who succeed versus those who don’t? It appears that those who take meaningful steps to achieve their resolutions — setting step-by-step goals or telling their friends and family of their intentions, for example — were far more likely to achieve their desired change than those who made no specific commitments.  Those who worked within a group system (letting natural group dynamics generate motivation) succeeded more than those who worked alone.

So, what are the programs that really do help people make life-transforming permanent changes?

Twelve-Step Programs provide a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems. As summarized by the American Psychological Association, the process involves the following:

  • Admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion;
  • Recognizing a higher power that can provide strength;
  • Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member);
  • Making amends for these errors;
  • Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior.

The 12 steps first appeared in 1939 in the book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism. These 12 steps became the guiding spiritual principles for recovery from alcoholism which members of Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) use.

Today, 12-Step programs are quite ubiquitous and include (short list):

AA – Alcoholics Anonymous
ACA – Adult Children of Alcoholics
Al-Anon/Alateen, for friends and family members of alcoholics
CA – Cocaine Anonymous
CoDA – Co-Dependents Anonymous, for people working to end patterns of dysfunctional relationships and develop functional and healthy relationships
DA – Debtors Anonymous
GA – Gamblers Anonymous
NA – Narcotics Anonymous
OA – Overeaters Anonymous
SA – Smokers Anonymous
SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
WA – Workaholics Anonymous
WA – Workaholics Anonymous

What might your program to discover/uncover your true feminine voice look like?  What one-step-at-a-time program would finally give you the voice you want?

But, this ain’t gonna be that kind of 12-Step Program.

I’ve organized your 12-step program so you can easily and simply complete one step each month.

Those of you who have worked with Fundamentals of Your Feminine Voice or Beyond the Fundamentals, already have an understanding of the “Nine Elements of an Exceptional Feminine Voice.” I’ve added three more elements for a total of twelve.

Each month I’m going to walk hand-in- hand with you through these steps.  I’ll provide practical, easy-to-use strategies and techniques for each of the elements.  It is the mastery of these elements that will finally help you sound like the woman you are.

The 12 Steps to Sounding

Step 1 January:  Feminine Posture       — long, lean and elegant is always feminine!

Step 2 February:  Belly Breathing       – where it all begins, air is power.

Step 3 March:     Pitch                           –getting into the right neighborhood.

Step 4 April:        Voice Quality             -–a little hoarse is not a little pony.

Step 5 May:         Loudness                 – can you hear me now?

Step 6 June:             Resonance   – what divides the women from the men.

Step 7 July:               Articulation    – no more mumble jumble.

Step 8 August:          Phrasing       – the first of the supra-segmentals of speech.

Step 9 September: Pacing (tempo)  – not too fast, not too slow, just right.

Step 10 October:      Melodic Intonation – gliding up then stepping down.

Step 11 November: Fluency          – smoothly flowing like golden honey.

Step 12 December: Transfer of Learning – bringing it all together.


On second thought, maybe the original 12-Step Program does offer something for us.  Let’s take a closer look at their ‘guiding spiritual principles.’

  • Admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion

“Hi, I’m Michelle and I’m powerless over my voice.”  Ok, this has some potential.   Because, isn’t there some truth in it?  You have tried and tried to create a feminine voice, but you’re not there yet. You’ve hit the wall.  If you’re reading this, you may be powerless over your voice and you need a program of discovery.

  • Recognizing a higher power that can provide strength

What is the source of your inspiration? Where do you find the motivation to practice day after day?  What inner resource do you call upon to help you persevere in this difficult and long process?

  • Examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member)

Past errors!  Wrong directions!  Heading south when your direction is true north!  There are techniques, exercises and strategies that work, and those that don’t.  Usually a qualified person (your speech pathologist/voice feminization specialist) can show you what you’re doing wrong and can direct you to the approach that works.

  • Making amends for these errors

Making amends might look like self-forgiveness.  Developing acceptance, self-love and a gentle, loving manner of working with your voice will absolutely move you in the right direction.

  • Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior.

This guiding principle of a 12-Step program is also what we’re all about!  You must develop a new set of vocal behaviors that you can use everyday of your life!

A year through the steps!

You can and will sound feminine with a clear step-by-step program and the care and loving support of your sisters who journey with you.

Don’t be like Coop (see the little kitty photo above).  There is no rescue party.  You are it!

Just us

One year

One small step at a time.

Next year at this time you can be right here again–wishing, hoping, yet not taking action. Or you can finally get to work and make this year’s resolution a reality.

Are you with me?

Think about what  we might be able to accomplish together!!

I’d love to hear from you.

Keeping you and your voice close to my heart,


Denver, Colorado

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