May is my anniversary. The fourth anniversary of my Do-Over!  Four years ago I left academia after two decades, and I never looked back.
To celebrate my big "4," I’m offering Do-Over! advice in "lists of four." Let’s start in the garden.
Recently I’ve been spending as much time as possible in the garden, seizing the last opportunity to dig in new plants before the heat and trying to keep up with the weeds. (Warning: don’t be seduced by how sweet violas look. They will take over.)
Whether or not you’re a dirt diva like me, these four strategies from the garden will help you cultivate your Do-Over!:
The better part of creating a beautiful garden is choosing the right plant for the right spot. Similarly, a successful Do-Over! requires strategic planning.
Not only does Weed’n‘Feed not work, it also damages your trees and plants. You see, there are no shortcuts or two-fers in gardening. Or in Do-Overs! Instead, what you need is compost, which nourishes the soil, the very soul of your transition.
It’s ironic, but plants and trees grow more lush and shapely when you prune them. Same with Do-Overs! The more you cut back, the better you can focus on what matters most.
I see it too often in my ‘hood: someone puts in an elaborate garden, never to set foot in it again. It goes to seed with a season or two. Don’t let this happen to you. When the initial Do-Over! euphoria passes, there’s still a lot of work to do.
Do you have a "list of four" you’ve learned from your Do-Over!? Post it to the Do-Over! page , where you can share your wisdom.
Ann Daly PhD (www.anndaly.com ) was a journalist and women’s studies professor before reinventing herself as a life coach. Her most recent book is Do-Over! How Women Are Reinventing Their Lives .