Dream Into 2013Happy New Year!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. A time of fresh starts and invigorating new beginnings.  A time to look back, reflect and celebrate all the accomplishments. A time to look forward and create new goals to design a more fulfilling life.  A time to determine what’s truly important and commit to take action.

Tonight, as I walked Zorro and Trouble Cat down to the Napa River in the crisp 35° evening under a star-filled sky, I met a man fishing in the dark, guided by his head lamp. I asked if he was enjoying some quiet time fishing, since he had the river to himself.   He explained that now he has a child and is busy at work, so he takes the moments he can to get away and enjoy  his love – fishing.  There he sat, bundled up to keep warm, guided by the light of the headlamp and savoring his time doing what he loves.  If you want to know what a person is committed to, look at how he lives his life.  This man loved fishing and he found a way to fit it in his busy schedule, even if it meant huddling in the cold and dark, entertained by a chorus of bull frogs, an occasional squawk of a bird in the marsh and on this night, the faint scent of a visiting skunk.

I wished him an enjoyable evening and a Happy New Year.  As we walked back home, I thought about his commitment to fishing.  I reflected on the last year and what I’d been committed to. At the start of 2012, I wanted to learn how to be an artist and a writer.  I wanted to find balance with operating my law firm and exploring other endeavors.  I wanted to find a new home that I loved and that inspired me to create, with a backyard for my furry kids.  I wanted to remain committed to my fitness while expanding my culinary skills. I wanted to volunteer with animals and help our military vets and soldiers.

Over the course of the year, I took pastel classes, a mixed medium class and a writing class.

Pastels in My Backyard

I traveled to Bali and enjoyed a writing, art and yoga retreat where I focused on learning to draw the human form with charcoals while also working on my writing and enjoying daily yoga or running.


I bought my first professional artist easel that stands in the corner of my dining room with a large pad of paper, ready for regular creation.

I ran my first half marathon on the trails of Bothe National Park in the rain.

I found the home of my dreams and moved into it on June 1st.  I filled my back patio with large pots overflowing with herbs and I cooked, baked and created all year long.

I had one of my pastel paintings framed and it was on display at the Napa Valley College.

I used my art on my Christmas card and sent it to friends, family, clients and our soldiers serving overseas.

I created collages that I’ve designed as gifts and others that I love to display in my home.

I used my art on new businesses cards I designed to represent my artistic side.

I volunteered with an organization to prepare packages to send to our troops overseas.

I also volunteered with a horse rescue organization.  And on New Year’s Eve, I finished a rough draft of my first book.

As I look back at my year, I’m genuinely happy.  I was committed to my goals and rewarded with results that exceeded my expectation. I enjoyed the creation process and found balance in life by committing to what was most important and letting go of the rest. I worked less in the office, but my sales were up 25% over last year.  I have no doubt this was the result of my commitment to use my office time wisely so I could accomplish more in less time, which left me with more time to learn my artistic skills, which brought me great joy in the process.

Now, it’s time to set the goals for next year. I’m enjoying the process and will take my time this week to make it meaningful and ensure my willingness to commit to these goals to turn them into realities. I can tell you three of my goals: get my book published, write daily, create art daily.

What are you committed to? If you’re not sure, take an objective look at your life and you will see exactly what you’re committed to.  If it doesn’t reflect your desired goals, take an honest assessment of what you are willing to commit to and what action steps you’ll take to make it happen.  Will you bundle up and wear a head lamp and brave the cold, late evening to ensure you can participate in your favorite hobby?  Trust me, the quality of your life will reflect your efforts. And it’s well worth the ride.