Diana Karls

Diana Karls is the CREW program director.

Opportunities are born from clarity in purpose and goals. And what a great community we live in to foster these opportunities. It is through those opportunities that we better ourselves as individuals. We become able to give back in the form of kindness, compassion and patience. If we feel good about who we are as individuals, we become more productive neighbors, friends, family members and citizens. However, it cannot be done without commitment. I’ve spent most of my life living in the Lodi community, and although there is a quaint downtown with a celebrated duck and a winding creek, the people are who make Lodi so special.

As individuals, it seems as though the quintessential question is how to find a life with purpose. Finding purpose can stem from those philosophical discussions which can become way too deep, often leaving us with more questions than answers or simply feeling overwhelmed. “He who has a why to live for can bear any how.” I like this quote, but it sure leaves me with a ton of questions about how exactly it fits my life. To simplify purpose, I just ask these questions: Am I useful? Am I honorable? Am I compassionate? Asking these three simple questions daily and keeping a subconscious checklist throughout the day can guide us to a life that becomes full of purpose (with just enough room for a good cup of coffee as well).

While on this daily journey of searching for purpose, a seemingly abstract, evolving concept, there is a more tangible, concrete way to move forward. That is through goals. Goals push us to obtain something. Hopefully, that something leads us to fulfillment and happiness. Adding structure helps us to become disciplined, guiding us like a road map towards our goals. Structured routines tend to become habits, and those positive habits help to support balance and purpose within our lives, making the once abstract idea of life’s purpose become a living, breathing reality. Prioritize your schedule so that YOU are the most important component of it in order to feel secure, confident and empowered. Most folks tend to put others first and put themselves last which can lead to mental and physical exhaustion. As each day comes to a close, we simply do not have enough energy left for ourselves.

I’ll share one example. A mother of three children wakes up and begins the rush of getting her kids fed, dressed and off to school. She speeds off to her job. At the end of the work day, she helps with math homework, drives her oldest across town for practice, picks up carry-out on the way home, and sees that they make it to bed on-time, only to drag herself into bed soon after. The cycle repeats and repeats until one day she makes a small change to her routine, a change for herself and ultimately for her family. She sets a goal to walk one mile every day for one year. She sets the goal, makes the commitment, puts a structure in place to make it happen one day at a time, and does not look back. The walks turn to slow jogs which grow into runs, and at the end of the year, although the 365 miles are tallied, her reward is much greater. She is mentally and physically healthier. Much like a pebble being dropped in the middle of a lake, the effects of this change radiate into her family, friendships and community.

Your goals do not have to involve lacing up tennis shoes, but they do have to be about YOU. Working through Community, Resources, Enrichment and Wellness has given me the opportunity to provide programs promoting structure, goal-setting and opportunities for community members looking to find purpose. We have been blessed with a passionate staff of individuals who work tirelessly for all ages and abilities seeking self-improvement, volunteering, and learning opportunities. C.R.E.W. offers everything from learning state-of-the-art S.T.E.A.M. technologies, encompassing everything from 3D printing to Makerspaces, to canvas painting and our “Little Explorers” group. Folks of all ages come to our pool to learn to swim, to become a lifeguard, or just to enjoy having fun in the water. We help people develop positive habits by offering a wide range of fitness classes and activities at different times during the day to be mindful of the busy schedules we all juggle, trying to fit the need of those interested in anything from yoga to Zumba and light fitness classes to boot camp. What we do best, however, is listen. Whether it be over a cup of coffee in our lobby after a class, over the phone, or through email, our staff’s number one commitment is to you, our community, a community full of good people and Lodi pride. C.R.E.W. and the indoor pool exist because of your support, needs, and wants. We exist because our passionate community members seek to find balance and purpose in their lives. Thank you, Lodi, for allowing us the opportunity to be part of your commitment to a better you, making this a truly wonderful place to live.

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