Letter from The Publisher
Happy New Year! It’s the time when many of us set goals and intentions (let’s skip the “resolutions” word) to make positive changes in our lives. Perhaps it’s time to mentally clean house or detox our bodies from an overabundance of fall comfort foods and holiday cheer. Maybe a relationship has grown rough around the edges or we need to throw open the windows to new experiences. Weight loss, a new job, closet clutter; our goals tend to reflect our pain and desire to become a better version of ourselves in the coming year.
I believe that how we choose to approach these goals can make all the difference in what we perceive as success, what we give up on or what leaves us unfulfilled. The need to get things done and out of the way makes it easy to lose track of our journey and cause stress as we strive to get it right. A sense of competition with self or others may set in, and reaching our goal becomes a chore and part of a checklist, where each step to self-improvement becomes something to “fill in the box” on a schedule.
Here are some suggestions to better savor your 2018 journey and reach goals with exuberance. First, recognize that each goal is a moving target, and often the endpoint will change as your perspective changes over the year. Life is a work in progress, and a goal is often just a starting point to the next chapter. Embrace this and you won’t be disappointed.
Grow at your own pace (not what a book dictates), reduce your self-pressure and you may just enjoy it a bit more (even the difficult steps). Take a few moments to read the daily signs of progress as you move toward where you want to be, celebrate your successes and try to forgive your missteps. A friend once told me a secret to meeting your goals: rather than scold yourself for missing the mark, moving backward or feeling stupid over something you did, step back and laugh. Loudly. The laughter will break the mental pattern of negativity and change your mood. Try it!
And give yourself enough time to experience your path and absorb what you are learning about your subject matter and yourself. Take a proverbial coffee break to read your mental notes and sort through the photos in your mind’s eye. And don’t be afraid of perceived missteps, delays and side trips, because they may open up new opportunities that you would have missed in your rush to completion.
We’d like to welcome you to a new year of Natural Awakenings Chicago, and we hope you like our fresh look! Here’s to the new year, and here’s to you!