Welcome to the Year of the Dragon!

In Chinese tradition, each year is dedicated to one of twelve specific animals--Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Rat, Boar, Rabbit, Dog, Rooster, Ox, Tiger, Snake, and Ram. Each of these animals is thought to bestow its characteristics specifically on the people born in that year but also on the year in general.

The Year of the Rabbit--that was 2011--was characterized by calm and tranquility, perhaps even to the extremes of sluggishness or idleness. By contrast, the ancients tell us that the Year of the Dragon will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration, and intensity. Better yet, this year ushers in the Water Dragon (also known as the "Black Dragon"), which is characterized by a softening of the typical stubborn Dragon personality and a willingness to listen to other's opinions--a pleasing combination of persistence and humanity.

Known to be stylish, flamboyant, and independent, those born under the Dragon may appear brave, enterprising, self-assured, and at times, over-generous with money. Luckily for all of us, that means the Year of the Dragon might be characterized with an upturn in the economy. (Hooray!)

Do you see a connection between these ancient predictions and your own modern world? What does all this mean for you?

Think about all those plans you've considered but set aside over the past few years. Is it time to revisit them? In your professional life, for example, perhaps 2012 will be a good time to invest in or begin a business, as long as there are provisions for sound accountability for resources and good judgment.

And, if you embrace it, this year may prove even more promising in terms of wellness. I challenge you to channel those Dragon characteristics into your personal life. Perhaps 2012 presents a unique opportunity for you to seize greater overall health. Are there changes you have been considering but putting off? Take control of poor diet. Commit to making time for exercise. Visit a practitioner that can help you address that persistent pain. Tackle detrimental habits such as smoking.

I encourage you to view the character of The Year of the Water Dragon as good news, an impetus to live out those changes that will benefit your physical and mental health, business and career, family dynamic--in short, your entire life. Symbolically, there's no better time to implement real change than now, at the threshold of a promising new Water Dragon year!

May the Dragon drive your 2012 to greater wellness!

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta's goal is not only to relieve patients' illness and discomfort, but to help them set realistic goals for physical and mental preventative care and overall wellness. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers.