Here it is—a brand new year filled with amazing new possibilities. It’s a good time to learn and grow from the past and open up to all the potential that this amazing new year has to offer.
January is a great time to plan and strategize both personally and professionally. It never hurts to spend a little bit of time “sharpening the saw,” as author and motivational guru Stephen Covey says.
If you are looking for ways to “sharpen” but don’t have much money to work with, consider joining a local Toastmasters group. This is a great way to work on public speaking skills in a supportive environment and with people who will help to improve communication skills with constructive feedback. I still have fond memories of the wonderful people I met when I was a member of a Toastmasters club a few years back. It’s truly a bonding experience to conquer fears with others. Visit Toastmasters.org to find a local club.
Networking groups are another powerful way to generate business. So much of doing business is about relationships; and it takes an investment of time to meet new people and bring all these new possibilities into the mix. Oftentimes a person you meet might not have any connection to the type of product or service that you offer, but they may be a great lead to a future connection. I have also discovered through personal experience that if you focus first on who you can refer to others, it will eventually come back tenfold.
I’d like to welcome Vivo Wellness Center aboard this month. What a treasure to discover all the services that are available under one roof. When owner Denise Strauss and I met we also discovered that she went to school with the founder of Natural Awakenings, Sharon Bruckman—what a very small world we live in!
One of the many advantages of being a part of a national organization like Natural Awakenings is the access to well-known speakers. We are all excited to be able to share a message from Dr. Andrew Weil this month. [pg ???]. I actually drove to Cleveland to attend one of his lectures a couple years ago and I must say that I found him to be very down to earth and approachable.
My husband David and I had an opportunity to attend an overnight marriage retreat put on by the Marriage Resource Group (MIMarriage.org). It was so nice to take time out just to focus on our relationship without all the usual distractions of life. The cost was only $20 and we even received a gift card at the end. Last month marked our 16th anniversary, so it was doubly nice to confirm that we still enjoy each other’s company, appreciate our differences and can still make each other laugh.
This past month we had to say good bye to our dog of over 14 years, and it was such a sad experience to go through. As the time drew closer, there were good days and bad days, but I found it much easier not to think about the inevitable. When I finally decided it was time, it was a Saturday and our regular vet’s office was closed. We got hold of the Veterinary Emergency Service (veterinaryemergencyservice.net). It was such a very difficult situation for me, but the staff could not have been any kinder. They even sent us a sympathy card afterwards.
Each of us has many opportunities to offer kind words and deeds to those around us throughout our day, but it’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of our lives and miss out on these opportunities. Will you join me in reaching out to others and making our world a kinder and gentler place in the new year? All it takes is a bit of time and care.