With the dawning of each January 1, the majority of us wake up with a hangover. But that’s another story. We also wake up with the determination and resolve to be better than we were last year. With the frenzy of the holidays behind us, we believe we can start with a clean slate and accomplish everything we put our minds to.

Of course, sometime around about March, the majority of us will come to the sad realization that this year is the same as the last, and no matter how hard we try, we are reverting back to our habits of old and looking forward to how we’ll do things differently — next year.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you keep your goals simple and broad, you’ll be amazed at how successful you can be. And all of us at American Way can help you to not only identify your goals, but achieve them. Better yet, we come out often enough (every two weeks, you know) to always be at the ready with ideas and inspiration.

So your first goal of 2004 should be to travel more. This is not a blatant attempt to sell more tickets for the airline (although, that’s not a bad idea). This is a suggestion that will give you perspective. There is nothing better than travel, whether it’s near or far, to open your eyes to other cultures, other scenes, other ideas. Sometimes it makes you appreciate what you have, other times it makes you realize something you want. Either way, you learn something, and hopefully have a fun and relaxing time to boot. In this issue, we give you some excellent recommendations on places you should visit the next time you’re in Dallas and Fort Worth, we take you on a trip to Oaxaca to discover the amazing and beautiful works of the local artists, and we highlight the latest ski destinations and an eco-resort in a Costa Rican rain forest.

Goal two is to work smart. It’s hard to keep up with everything going on in your industry, much less everything going on in the rest of the business world. So we bring you lots of great stories on topics that are relevant to your 9 to 5 (okay, 8 to 6) lives. For instance, in this issue, we’ve dedicated our business coverage to everything you need to know to make the most out of those dreaded, but essential, conventions and trade shows. You won’t want to register for your name badge until you’ve read this report. And if you read our business stories every two weeks, you’ll be so on top of your game, you won’t know what to do with all of your extra time.

Which leads me to goal three: Get a life. Yes, careers and money are important, but they are also the leading cause of stress and headaches and anxiety and a host of other less-than-attractive ailments. In order to succeed without succumbing, you must balance your life with fun, relaxing, and rewarding activities: things like golf, shopping, music, cooking, entertaining, and sports. In this issue we cover poker, golf, movies, and books, all of which are excellent ways to spend your free time.

So there you have it. Three simple goals and more than 100 pages of fresh ideas to help you achieve them. This is no doubt your bust-out year. Good luck.