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Quality of Life

What does it mean to you?

What is it that you really want?

So many of us have been guided through life by the wishes and expectations of others — parents, spouses, community, children — and haven’t come to terms with our own heart’s desire.

As Jan. 13 is officially (unofficially) National Make Your Dreams Come True Day, we were inspired to dedicate this chapter to quality of life and what that means to each of us.

Floridians weighed in on the subject of what they truly want, even though it might amount to getting “what you need,” as the Rolling Stones sang.

New Year’s resolutions are made to improve the quality of our lives. And, as challenging as they can be, Kimberley Blaker lends insight on best practices for navigating the rough spots that can lead us to ultimate success.

We take a look at the Naples Children & Educational Foundation’s upcoming Naples Winter Wine Festival and the decades of support its proceeds have provided to the quality of life of our children.

As 1912 Nobel Prize-winning surgeon Alexis Carrel professed, “The quality of life is more important than life itself.”

We hope that what it is you truly desire will inspire the quality of life you deserve.

Achieving What You Want in Life


New Year Resolutions
Transforming the Community One Issue at a Time


Achieving What You Want in Life

National ‘Make Your Dreams Come True Day’ is Jan. 13

by Kathy Grey

What do you really want in life?

We were compelled to ask this question as we approach “National Make Your Dreams Come True Day,” an unofficial, inspirational holiday.

Proponents of this special day declare, “If you have been procrastinating on fulfilling your dream, this is your chance to get things right. Get started on making your dreams come true. This unofficial holiday with unknown origins encourages people to be proactive about achieving what they want in life.”

And, as French poet and philosopher Ambroise Paul Toussaint Jules Valéry famously said, “The best way to make dreams come true is to wake up.”

Think about it: How many of us have followed paths based on someone else’s dreams and expectations of us?

So, what is it that you really want? Here are some answers and advice from Floridians among us.

“I tried the whole ‘do what I'm supposed to do’ for a year. It was awful. I will always follow my dreams … no matter how many people tell me I am crazy or will fail. It’s the only way I will ever be content with myself, [knowing] I’m doing my best to reach my fullest potential. And if I fail? I get right back up and try again. And again. And again. Because with enough passion and determination, I will make it.” ~ Elizabeth Maille


“Throughout this past year, my friends have held me up with their love. While being so very grateful that God saw fit to keep me around for a while, I’d love to be healthy and mobile again.” ~ Patricia Clopton


“As a kid, my dream was playing centerfield for the New York Yankees. My favorite boyhood baseball player was Mickey Mantle. I was not blessed with his sublime and rare combination of speed, coordination and power, but I found another path, one that didn’t require those physical skills. I honed those skills at newspapers. I worked at writing. I read voraciously because I’m convinced writers must be readers. Make every day this year ‘Making Your Dreams Come True Day.’ Every day. Every dream.” ~ Glenn Miller


“Being American again. Being the country that we fought so hard to enter for its love of freedom and democracy with no need to demonize The Other.” ~ Sunny Lubner


“Good health and happiness are my daily goals. Small increments of progress in any special direction are [building blocks] for the year ahead.” ~ Michele Anderson


We hope this special day will inspire you to consider what it is you truly want so you can focus on making your dreams come true, no matter where you are along life’s path.

Financial Wisdom Luncheon Series Naples
Quality of Life: Mindful Musing



Quality of Life: Mindful Musing



“It is time to stop looking outside yourself for the answers to why you haven’t created the life and results you want … It is you who creates the quality of life you lead and the results you produce … no one else.

“To achieve major success in life — to achieve those things that are most important to you — you must assume 100% responsibility for your life.

“Nothing less will do.”

~ Jack Canfield, co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series


New Year Resolutions

Seven ways to keep them and stay on track

by Kimberly Blaker


The New Year is a great time to take inventory, set goals and take charge of your life. But making resolutions is much easier than keeping them.

Rather than focusing on the idea of a new beginning, keep in mind that self-improvement is an ongoing endeavor. Setbacks are not failures. They bring wisdom and insight for future success.


Make a List

Before making a split decision on this year’s resolutions, make a list of goals and changes you’d like to make. Then review your list and cross off any you aren’t genuinely devoted to.

Maybe you want to resolve to spend more time with your family, quit smoking or lose weight. You’re more likely to succeed if you feel a strong personal commitment rather than “I should.”


Do it for You

One reason people don’t keep resolutions is that resolutions are often made to silence the pestering of a loved one. If you decide to quit smoking to get your husband off your back, you’re less likely to succeed. If you choose to quit smoking to feel healthier and be able to enjoy physical activity without being winded, you’re more likely to experience success.

Choose one or two of the goals on your list that you feel most committed to. Then choose one or two you feel confident you can do with ease. These last couple can be used as positive reinforcement for the more challenging first choices.


Make a Plan – In Ink

Make a clear plan for adhering to your resolutions. Put each resolution in writing and write down the steps to achieve them. Let’s say your resolution requires a routine or schedule such as an exercise routine, a new diet or steps toward completing your education. Create a goal chart, a detailed plan and a checklist to track your progress.

Also, post notes in strategic places such as your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or car visor as reminders of your resolutions with tips on how to overcome temptation.

Setbacks are not failures. They bring wisdom and insight for future success.

Request Support

Make sure your family understands the importance of your resolutions. Family support and their positive reinforcement can be most helpful.

If your resolution is something your family has been nagging you about, ask for their encouragement, explaining that pressure and pestering, particularly during setbacks, could undermine your resolve. Determine how each family member can help you achieve your goal, perhaps by taking on additional chores or affirming  your successes.

Adjust your environment. If eating healthier is your goal, don’t fill the cupboards with junk food for other family members. Find healthy snacks they’re willing to substitute. If you’re trying to quit smoking, avoid people, places and things that remind or tempt you, at least until you have it well under control.


Find a Buddy

If you have a friend with a similar resolution, make a pact. Work together to create a plan and then make a point to check in with each other regularly for encouragement, praise and support. If you resolve to get more exercise, do it together. Having a commitment and someone to accompany you will go a long way toward success.


Reward Yourself

Small, periodic rewards can be motivation enough to keep you strong when you’re ready to throw in the towel. Rewards aren’t just for when you’ve reached your goal.


Keep Working It

Remember, whatever New Year’s resolutions you choose, success awaits if you resolve never to give up trying.

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Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer. She also owns an online store, Sage Rare & Collectible Books, specializing in out-of-print, scarce, signed and first editions and fine bindings at



Financial Wisdom Luncheon Series Naples

J.P. Morgan Private Bank to host Women & Wealth lunch series

by Mia Hyatt, Vice President, J.P. Morgan Private Bank Naples

Passionate about the advancement and education of women, J.P. Morgan Private Bank is committed to its clients and employees, remaining focused on ensuring that women in our community are empowered and prepared to successfully manage their own finances.

Women tend to live longer than men and should expect to be their families’ financial decision-makers at some points in their lives. Because of this, it is imperative that women are included in their families’ financial decisions.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank is ready to walk alongside women today to ensure readiness and empowerment in managing their finances now and in the future.

As part of its dedication to empowering women, J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Naples will host its Women & Wealth lunch series, covering important topics that provide women with an environment where they can freely discuss the many aspects of their financial lives. The first conversation will take place this month. (See the box below for the upcoming schedule.)

J.P. Morgan is also dedicated to increasing the number of female advisors in private banking, with the goal of having an equal number of female and male advisors nationally. The Naples office, led by a female advisor, has already exceeded in that goal, with 60% of its advisors being women.

We invite you to join us for this season’s Women & Wealth lunch series.

About J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Committed to making a local impact, J.P. Morgan Private Bank Naples provides customized financial advice to help wealthy clients and their families achieve their goals through an elevated experience. Dedicated teams of specialists work with clients to bring their investments and financial assets together into one comprehensive strategy, leveraging the global resources of J.P. Morgan across planning, investing, lending, banking, philanthropy, family office management, fiduciary services, special advisory services, and more. Investment products: not FDIC insured, no bank guarantee, may lose value. © 2022 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved


These J.P. Morgan bankers are focused on ensuring that women in the community are empowered and prepared to successfully manage their own finances.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank Women & Wealth Series

Jan. 24, 2023: “Unpacking Your Trust and Estate Plan: What you need to know”

Angela Carillo, Florida Trust Officer, will discuss essential trust and estate-planning concepts.


Feb. 15, 2023: “Demystifying Investments and the Financial Markets”

Sarah Berg, Senior Philanthropy Advisor, will oversee a conversation on charitable giving and leaving your long-term impact.


March 7: “High-Impact Philanthropy: Making the most out of your giving”

Investment Specialist Anjali Paranjpe will lead an update on the financial markets and share what it could mean for your portfolio.


To learn more about the J.P. Morgan Women & Wealth series, click here.


Transforming the Community One Issue at a Time

NCEF’s Naples Winter Wine Festival funds crucial needs of Collier children

Special to èBella èXtra

Imagine growing up in Collier County without the essential support needed to succeed in life.

That’s why the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) has worked for decades to improve the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and initiatives, Naples Children & Education Foundation has impacted the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing more than 300,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel.

NCEF collaborates among organizations, bridging public and private resources, and has become a blueprint for transforming a community — one issue at a time.

Naples Winter Wine Festival

NCEF is the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions. Since its inception in 2001, the wine festival has raised nearly $244 million, making a profound difference in the lives of Collier County children.

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Comprehensive dental exams are essential to children’s health.

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NCEF is placing a special emphasis on mental health in 2023.

NCEF’s annual Fund a Need at the 2023 Naples Winter Wine Festival will support its health care initiatives, with every dollar raised for its “Healthy Mind, Body & Soul” call-to-action auction lot supporting access to health care, mental health, oral health and vision needs.


“Access to high-quality and comprehensive health services strongly correlates with overall physical and mental well-being in any community,” says Harry Rose, NCEF trustee and 2022 grant committee chair. “Donated funds will allow NCEF to provide children and families with the necessary access to primary care, allowing early detection and treatment of health care-related issues that can lead to more serious and irreversible health conditions.”

This year, NCEF is placing an emphasis on mental health, as one in five children in Collier County under the age of 18 has a diagnosable mental health disorder. The stresses the pandemic had on children is evident in school, sports and after-school programs. Hurricane Ian has added to the level of stress and trauma, with 27,000 families in the community having lost or been displaced from their homes. Research shows that children’s experiences in their school-age years can have a dramatic impact on their outcomes as adults.

About the 2023 Naples Winter Wine Festival

Since its inception in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised nearly $244 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Collier County.

The festival features a weekend experience in which guests enjoy world-class food and wine during private dinners and are invited to bid on exotic travel and wine experiences in its live auction on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.

Supporters who are unable to attend the festival can participate in an online auction starting Friday, Jan. 27.

Every dollar raised from Naples Winter Wine Festival events will support NCEF’s health care initiatives to focus on the future of local children.

To learn more, visit

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