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Welcome to 2006!

It’s five days into the New Year. Mr R and I are back in the UK after a hectic, though v.relaxing, 3 week holiday in Mumbai-Mangalore-Goa. We’ve reached home late last night and while Mr R is trying to catch up on sleep before going to work later today, I’m wide awake, still on India time.

I love the first few days of January. It’s a week of promises, of new beginnings, of dreaming big, planning and being determined. The ‘promising’ hangover usually fades in a few weeks, but for now I shall enjoy the atmosphere of hope and freshness that New Year brings.

More on that later. For now, here’s an excerpt from Cheryl Richardson’s first newsletter for 2006. If you’ve skipped making your resolutions this year, read on. Maybe you might find some inspiration that will change your life!

2006, Hello!

Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.”

— Mark Twain

~*~ Topic of the Week ~*~

This week I’ll be taking a much-needed vacation with the intention of
starting the year in a peaceful setting with a good dose of introspection.
As I’ve written about many times over the years, I’ll be setting a few
new goals and creating a treasure map that reflects the things I’d most
like to attract into my life — a fun project to do with friends as a New
Year’s gathering.

As I think about the New Year and making resolutions, I wanted to offer
you a few suggestions based on my work with clients and the thousands of
conversations I’ve had with people over the years. This year, you might
resolve to:

1. Care more about what your soul longs for than what other people think.

2. Make your health a priority, not just because you want to look good,
but because it stops the self-defeating “inner critic crawl” that runs
like a ticker-tape in your head telling you how awful you are.

3. Spend more quality time with loved ones. A quick chat over dinner
doesn’t build soul-nurturing relationships like a good, long evening spent
talking about the deeper issues of life, or better yet, a weekend. Invest
your time and energy in the people who matter.

4. Embrace a desire that keeps pulling at you and do something about it.
For example, stop living in cold weather when your heart keeps screaming
for warmth. Get someone to help you create a plan to finally make a move.
Or, don’t try to cram yourself into one more year of the 9 to 5 corporate
mold, when your soul craves self-employment or project-oriented work.
Resolve to get out of the corporate world by enlisting the support of a
career counselor or an experienced coach who helps clients make the leap.

5. Dream big! Rather than keep your most important dreams secret, have
the courage to step out and give something big a try. We have one
community member who wrote to me last week in response to my “live
outrageously in the New Year” newsletter, with an inspiring story of what
can happen when you dream big. Here’s a snapshot . . .

“I have always had an interest in both writing and music for as along as I
can remember (and I’m 54 now). As a child, I recall writing little stories
and pieces of songs. Unfortunately, most of these were discarded as I felt
they weren’t ‘good enough’ to go anywhere. The last couple of years I’ve
been writing poems and a lot of songs. Some songs I have sent to a music
publishing company in Nashville hoping (dreaming) that someday somebody
would be interested in recording one of them. I’ve met with resistance and
skepticism from both family and friends who have said, ‘that’s nice . . .’
but have not been all that encouraging.

Well, at the end of November, instead of the familiar ‘no thank you, we’re
not interested’ type of letter, I received a letter of ‘warmest
congratulations!’, telling me that my last song was going to be made into
a demo and pitched to artists, with the possibility of being bought and
recorded by someone. Can you imagine the excitement after all this time?
It’s really not that outrageous a story, but it’s proof that we must
continue to dream because without dreams, life would be very depressing.
And in my case, there is a good chance that my dream could become a

Thanks Leona! Her story is a good example of what can happen when we stay
strong and continue to pursue our dreams in spite of the discouragement we
may receive from others. Always remember the following when seeking
support for a dream: Don’t go to the hardware store for milk :).

This year, make your resolution simple and easy. Rather than create
another long list of things to do, pick one resolution — one change that
you know would really make a difference to your quality of life and
resolve to focus your *whole year* on just that one change. Then, enjoy
the “cascade effect.” Making one important change will always overflow
into every area of your life. How’s that for a little motivation?

Happy New Beginnings!


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