If you’ve ever done any long term planning, you might have been reminded to “start with the end in mind.” Whether it be retirement planning, goal planning, or even planning for the next 12 months, experts always have this advice. The idea is that you pinpoint what you want your outcome to be and work backwards — name all the steps it will take to get you there. So, what do you want your life to look like this time next year? If you’re like me, you won’t wait until January to get started. Personally, I’d want one rental property added to my portfolio, and Sarah Bohl and I would like to hire another full time employee for Dogwood Social, our digital marketing company.

As I mentioned, I’m a planner, which means I need to be intentional about living in the moment, too. I recently learned a way to do this is to thoroughly speak about what you enjoy about something. For example, instead of saying, “This cookie is so good,” maybe something like, “I really enjoy the salty bite and the softness of this cookie — It reminds me of my grand-ma’s cookies.” Or, instead of saying, “What a nice day,” really play with the way you can describe why it’s a nice day. Taking time to be mindful about what exactly you like about certain things in life, as small as they may be, has been said to help you be more present and improve your overall mental health. This is extra important as the winter months approach. Soak in these slower months and holiday seasons. They will never be exactly how they are now. One day we’ll look back and say, “Remember that Christmas when we had to shop for presents early because there was a shortage of everything and Susie Q’s new bike didn’t come and she was devastated?” Try not to get caught up in the chaos of the approaching season and take time to appreciate the small details in life that make it worthwhile.

There comes a time in every cycle of putting together this publication where we ask, what is this all for? Because let’s be honest — print can be stressful. Not like heart surgeon stressful or Army commander stressful, to be fair, but our deadline for this story is tomorrow and we still need to have five people work on different parts of it, kind of stressful. In those moments, we remind ourselves that we do this because we want to share and immortalize the incredible stories and tribulations of our neighbors, our community’s business owners, and our heroes. Everyone who writes, edits, photographs, designs, advertises, and helps us make this publication possible is so thankful for this community. When you support the advertisers in this magazine, who sustain our bottom line, you are also supporting a fully female-owned and employed local business. As a mighty group of six, we’re proud of what we’ve done in 2021 and we hope you are too, Jefferson City. So as we move into 2022, start with the end in mind — but don’t forget to fully enjoy the beginning and the middle, too.

Here’s to our season being filled with an abundance of holiday cheer.