Resolving to be a better me, and you, one step at a time

Helen Wale Turner Publisher & Managing Editor

Helen Wale Turner
Publisher & Managing Editor

Every year about this time a lot people have been thinking about things they want to accomplish and perhaps have made New Year’s resolutions about – often about losing weight, getting out of debt, decluttering, finding a better job, or completing projects around the house – which they may have not kept. Some of us do pretty well for a while, but many few of us – myself included – somehow don’t manage to stick with our resolutions once February arrives.
I’ve been thinking about reasons resolutions fail and came up with some strategies that I hope will help my procrastinating self stay on track, and maybe others, too. So, if your resolve starts to fizzle out . . .
First, acknowledge that we may have made resolutions that require long-term commitments or may be unrealistic and are therefore difficult to keep. I know it’s just semantics, but I’m of the opinion that it might be easier if we stop calling them resolutions and just call them goals. Once we identify/revisit our goals, write them down and define the goals clearly and break them down into steps that are more attainable. Then, each day, review our outline of steps to help us stay on course. Taking small steps within a big goal should help to keep our enthusiasm up and let us see we are making progress.
Suggestion for a goal: try to quit one bad habit, whether it’s smoking, overindulging in drinking, eating too much, not exercising, impulse spending, keeping clutter, being cranky, or whatever.
Recognize that we all make mistakes and decide that we won’t beat ourselves up over missteps and setbacks. We can resolve to look at them as learning experiences to help focus better on what we want to achieve, not on our obstacles or limitations.
When it comes to fitness, I have no advice on choosing a diet except that it should be a lifestyle change, not temporary (but that doens’t mean we can’t indulge in a favorite food occasionally. I myself am going to go the no sugar/no flour route which is relatively simple and has worked for me before but it does require a commitment of at least several weeks before you indulge.
But no matter which plan you choose, there are a few basic bits of advice that help people become more fit: walk more; drink more water (unless your body retains water which could aggravate some health problems); don’t skip any meals; cut way back on anything containing flour or, particularly, sugar (especially in colas); eat more fresh green vegetables and less processed and fast food; keep a food journal so you are aware of exactly what and how much you eat every day; tell close family or friends what you are doing and enlist a buddy to join you if you can – it will gain you some support and help make you accountable and perhaps less likely to cheat; if you do cheat, just start over and resolve to do better.
Remember, every journey starts with one step. So . . . step.

Did you notice anything different this month?
Take a look at our cover – both of them! The Journal has gone topsy/turvy for a reason
You may have noticed something different about this Journal when you picked it up. My business partner and co-publisher Margot May and I are taking our own advice given in this issue and trying something new for the new year.
We are introducing double front covers – which means there are two “front” covers so that no matter which way you pick up or turn the magazine, you see one of the “front” covers. Further, when you are reading and get to the middle of the magazine, the articles in the second half of the magazine are flipped.
The reason for this shake-up is the August 2016 flood. Before the flood, we published two separate magazines, The Livingston Business Journal which circulates throughout Livingston Parish, and [simply] The Journal for the areas of Zachary/Central/Baker/Felicianas and Pointe Coupee.
The largest majority of our advertisers far and away have always been local businesses. When the flood damaged and shut down about 90 percent of our advertisers, it effectively shut us down temporarily, too. After a few months we were able to start publishing again but with fewer advertisers and, therefore, fewer pages. Rather than put out two small separate magazines, we decided to combine them into one magazine that would still be a respectable size.
Our advertisers liked it because our distribution areas were also combined so it gave them a much wider audience – almost double – and our readers enjoy seeing what is happening in neighboring communities.
We have been operating like that for over a year now and have decided to continue with only one magazine – with one literal flip. It might seem like a bit of a gimmick, but we are doing this for a legitimate reason: we decided that since we are going to continue the merged product, we would like to offer the opportunity for a cover story to more businesses via a second cover. Since we are a monthly magazine, publishing 12 issues previously meant there were 12 covers available per year. But now, with two covers per issue, we can feature 24 businesses annually.
Incidentally, while both “front” covers of future Journals may sometimes spotlight businesses from the same community, it is our intention to diversify more, and have the two covers be from different areas as often as is feasible.
It will be interesting to see what you, our readers and advertisers, think of this new format.
And speaking of something different . . .
If any of you are interested in shaking things up by becoming an entrepreneur, we have a few words for you – about 15 pages of them, in fact. Be sure to flip the magazine to see this special section for information about starting your own business. We covers things like creating a business plan, choosing a business name, the different types of businesses, business resources and more.

Important footnote: I owe all of our readers a huge apology. In our last issue, we inadvertently printed the rough draft of my column with several errors – which was my fault. When I saw it in print, I cringed and was mortified to think that perhaps a first-time reader saw it and got a horrendously terrible first impression of me and the magazine. Errors do get overlooked sometimes in our proofreading, but I am always striving to do better, so this major gaffe was a big disappointment. I shall strive to do better, and I thank you for your patience in my endeavor.

I invite you to email your questions, comments, suggestions for stories, constructive criticism, etc. to me, Helen Turner, at helen@inspiredmedia-la.com. I’d love to hear from you.