YOU CAN DO BIG THINGS! Let me tell you how...

Posted by Monica A. Tierney, MBA, MEd., CPRE at 04/14/2023

by Monica Tierney, MBA, MEd, CPRE, Director of Parks & Recreation, Lower Makefield Township

It is time to think BIG and make a BIG impact on your community. The Power of positive thought is not made up it is a research-backed, proven method. So why do we fight it?

Most of the people reading this blog work for a nonprofit or government agency. Some are a little more seasoned than others, and many are completely burnt out and overworked. It is very easy to get caught in a cycle of preservation rather than innovation in our industry. The thing is there is no need to give up, if you think something is important speak up, set BIG goals, and push yourself to believe they are possible.

Research shows that mindset can have a significant impact on achieving your life outcomes. From health to financial success or general wellbeing, there are many studies that support that a positive mindset alone will determine your success.


If you believe you can succeed, you will. Once you believe something is possible doors will open for you that you never imagined would be available. You will look at different possibilities and find resources that will help get you to where you want to be.

Sometimes our biggest adversary is the one in the mirror. The idea that you are going to fail enters your thoughts and possibly your speech and eventually it will be true. This is a self-fulfilling prophesy. The good news is, if you believe that you are going to succeed, and you speak about your success, this will all come true for you.


Speak it into existence, learn more about others who have had success, excite people around you. Speak positively and look at yourself in the mirror and imagine yourself where you want to be 1, 2, 5, 10 years.

What good is a personal goal if you do not share the idea with others. The Truth is none of those doors will open for you if you don’t open the door first. Do not keep your goals or big picture items to yourself., share them with others. Start talking about it to your peers and discuss them with your most trusted advisors.


In my office, we call this the Universe but many call this a vision board. When we set the goal of CAPRA there were many more micro goals that came about as we discussed certain aspects of Accreditation. We started saying to each other, let's just put that in the universe. Eventually, we decided that we would create a Universe where we can put everything in writing. Do you know what, many of the things we placed in the universe came true. Once the staff recognized the success of the vision board each individual employee added vision boards to their desks to set individual goals for themselves.


It is so easy to get wrapped up in a negative space, we all do it, me included. Recently I heard another Parks and Recreation Professional say “we all know committees are where things go to die.” If we think like that things will die with committees. If there is something you truly believe in, reframe your mindset, and discover how you can best work with the committee to make this a reality.

Now it is your turn, go make the impossible possible in your community. If you Believe It, Speak It, Write It and Reframe your Mindset you can build a bridge, conserve land, build a playground, a park, and accomplish things you never imagined were possible!

Research and Articles worth reading:

Crum, Alia J., and Ellen J. Langer. 2007. Mind-set matters: Exercise and the placebo effect. Psychological Science 18, no. 2: 165-171.

What Leading with Optimism Really Looks Like (

Positive Intelligence (