Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I don’t want to seem trite, but it is end of year and the time when I
traditionally take an inventory of my life. Here goes: I am at the tail
end of my career but still plan to work for two-three years (my choice
– no danger of being fired because I am the boss, ha ha). I have
various health issues (osteo, weight, insomnia). I feel less inspired
than I remember feeling when I was young. I’m single and a little
lonely and bored, but do not want to compromise again just for
companionship. I make resolutions but feel silly weeks later when I’m
no longer going to the gym, eating fewer sweets, etc. Can you give me
a way of improving my life that will last past January 31?


Dear Sprinter:

In games like golf and table tennis, we’re told “keep your eye on the
ball.” That’s my advice to you. Figure out how to stay focused by
making all your resolutions and behavioral changes actions that give
you joy, make you laugh, and make you feel lighter.


Career: If you are really measuring in a handful of years, and are the
boss, vision your working life as a legacy investment. Think about
what contributions you can make while you are there. I’m talking
mentorship of deserving and aspiring staff in the generations one and
two younger than you. Go out to lunch with people you think have a
special spark and get to know them. Ask if they want to be mentored
and tell them No is an okay answer, and Yes means you will work
together to help them reach their goals. Write a vision statement for
yourself for your last few years: what you can contribute and what you
can accomplish. Meet with your financial advisor to be clear when you
can afford to stop working. Set a tentative retirement date and make a
countdown clock that ticks off on the first of each month.


Relationships/Social Life: Choose to be happy. Be nice; be kind; be
mellow; be generous. Tell people you love that you do, sincerely and
often, with words, flowers, phone calls, soup, or special events and
treats. If you see someone in trouble or pain, interrupt your life to try
and help. Think “pay it forward,” “do unto others,” and other platitudes
that turn out to improve life on the planet for us all. Pick a non-profit
that works in an area of change that you care about. Volunteer several
times a month. Hang with those who make you laugh and feel good.
Tell them you are ready to date and ask them to think about you when
they encounter other single people. Smile at strangers when you do
your errands. Listen with sincere attention. Open your heart and see
what moves it.


Health: I can’t say it better than my mother or your doctor, though
you should probably meet with him/her to set goals and review your
medical stats. My guess is that message will be: Eat less; move more.
Find exercise you‘re passionate about, something you look forward to
rather than dread. I recommend table-tennis for aerobics, bending,
and feeling like a kid again. Look for a team sport; get a wii; whatever
exercise that your body can tolerate without risk of injury. Focus on
play, not counting reps; you’ll do more of it and look forward to it. Find
a food program you genuinely enjoy, or change it monthly. Understand
what your body needs: smaller quantities with healthy nutrients and
treats that don’t disrupt good choosing the rest of the time. You don’t
have to forsake all things sweet and caloric. Balance them with savory
and fresh fruit. Retrain your taste buds and your gut. Find a favorite
outfit that’s too a half-size too small; try it on weekly; repeat until it


Spiritual/Emotional life: At least once a day, do something
spontaneous that gives you joy. Go for a walk in a completely different
part of town; have a drink in a new café or bar; read poetry or a great
book; let yourself fart around online without judgment. Make time to
look or howl at the moon; watch grass grow. Taking good care of your
heart and soul will boost your emotional resilience and your immune
system. The glow will show and people will be more drawn to you. The
more often you choose to be happy, the more likely you will be. Make
yourself a priority this year by lightening up. Sing in the shower or the
car. Let yourself indulge in people and experiences. Learn something
new or practice something old. Whatever makes you feel good, wise,
or holy, give yourself a little more of it each week. Remind yourself
regularly: You are a good person and you deserve to be happy.