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Acupuncture Today – January, 2007, Vol. 08, Issue 01

How Will You Define Success This Year?

By Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large

Once again the holidays have passed and we are beginning a new year. The coming year is that of the pig - and a prosperous pig, to be sure. When I think of a pig and prosperity, what comes to mind first is a piggy bank and this usually means money.

And yet, when one looks in the dictionary, prosperous is synonymous with success.

How do you define success? Is it finding time to do what you want? Is it pursuing your dream? A characteristic of success is being able to adapt to a changing environment. Another characteristic of success is being able to pursue and envision it. Do you have the persistence to weather the storms and carry the project to completion? Abraham Lincoln is a great example: He went bankrupt, failed in business, ran for office and lost, and finally won the biggest prize of all, becoming the 16th president of the United States. He turned out to be one of the most influential presidents in our nation's history.

As this New Year begins to unfold, it's up to each one of us to embrace it, use it and fill it to the fullest. When I think about life to the fullest, the first thought is that of good health. Make 2007 the year for your health to go to a new level. Feeling better, eating better and getting regular acupuncture treatments will help each of us.

Next, think about what we want to accomplish in the coming year. In California, we have to consider that there are now 50 hours required for continuing education every two years. On a national level, we must consider that there still are several states that have no regulations for acupuncture. We also are seeing more and more patients who have never been treated with acupuncture and Asian medicine; we must continue to spread the message that virtually everyone could benefit from energizing acupuncture treatments.

Every January, I talk about writing goals and why they are important. Besides your goals, try writing a mission statement for yourself. The following are tips for what your mission statement should include:

  • The statement should be an expression of your purpose in a manner and language that inspires support and ongoing commitment to its idea.
  • The statement should motivate you.
  • The statement should be written and articulated in a way that is convincing and easy to understand and use.
  • The statement should use proactive verbs or action words to describe what you want to accomplish.
  • The statement should be short enough so you can easily repeat it.

Your mission statement is representative of a journey and that journey is your life. It should be bold, enthusiastic, and represent quality and integrity. It should be socially meaningful and measurable. This should encompass all phases and aspects of your life. After writing your mission statement, create your goals. Write them down; in doing so, you help to achieve them. Many times when I talk about goals with students of Oriental medicine, they ask why they should write them down. It's like a blueprint. A house cannot be built without a set of blueprints first.

Goals are dreams with a deadline. Goals are short, measurable, realistic, attainable and timely. The first step is to think of your goals; the next step is to write them down. Goals can relate to family, social, health, spiritual, business, financial and education. Try writing a goal for each. Then select the three goals you consider most important and write them on a business card. Wrap that business card in a new $100 bill and carry it in your wallet. Be sure to read your goals at least two times every day; you will be surprised how fast you can create what you want.

Remember, this year we also must think about this profession and direction in which it's moving. Think about the millions of potential patients and how we can serve them. Humanity and the environment are suffering and we have the ability to help both. Network with others, share your vision and help in your community. This is the year to share.

The sign of the pig is a sign of honesty, simplicity and great fortitude. Those born under the sign of the pig have the purest hearts. They come with innocence and faith. They walk in love's protective light. They give to others freely and are richer and twice blessed. Pig people are bonded to all humankind by common fellowship. Their goodwill is universal and knows no boundaries.

We ought to model after these people to create a better and richer universe for all of us. Have a safe and prosperous New Year.

Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.

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