New Year resolutions! They’re what you promise yourself to do during the year to improve your life. And while we all want to do that, such resolutions also have a bonus - they’re good for your health.
Having said that, let’s be honest, healthy or not, how likely are we to keep those good intentions going right through 2014? Could it be that our glowing resolve to live a happy, healthy life fades because we think it requires an “all or nothing” approach?
If so, take heart.
Leslie Spry M.D. believes there’s another way for sticking to our plans for self-improvement and achieving better health. According to Dr Spry, “When it comes to establishing a healthy lifestyle, small changes can make a big difference.”
Dr Spry could just be right. Making small changes to the way we think, could prevent our New Year resolutions from being washed away by the incoming tide of life.
That’s why resolutions based on the idea of “more” and “less”, could add up to rock-solid success.
Resolution: I will have more gratitude, less grumbling
The problem with complaining about one’s affairs is that it often obscures the good that’s close at hand.
This echoes the now familiar proverb “Can’t see the forest for the trees”, included in John Heywood's collection back in 1546. A common expression, it describes someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole.
During a phone conversation, a friend of mine broke into tears. “I just feel so poor”, she lamented. In helping to lift her spirits, I asked if she and her kids currently had a roof over their heads, beds to sleep in, clothes to put on, some food for dinner, and at least one coin left in her shopping purse? When she answered yes to each question, I gently said, “Then you’re actually more rich, and less poor.”
I heard in her voice a small change of thought when she responded with, “Then I need more gratitude for the good I have, and to do less complaining.”
- Be more prepared to make a small change in thought.
- Complain less. Look at your whole life, not just an unhappy bit of it.
- Be more grateful for the good already received. Such gratitude is good for your health.
- Take advantage of the blessings you have at hand, and “thus be fitted to receive more.” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health p. 3)
Resolution: I will be more positive, less negative
It’s easy to slip into a state of thinking that constantly sees the “glass half empty” as the saying goes.
You know the kind of thing: “I won’t be able to buy what I need. I’m worried I won’t be able to make ends meet”. With a small change in attitude, it’s possible to have less negative expectations and more beneficial, happiness-bringing ones.
When my mother needed an item for the house, herself or the family, instead of being sick with worry about her limited resources, she’d leave home with the positive expectation that her shopping needs would be met. Many times, although she had little money in her purse, no credit card at her disposal, and no internet to help her locate the best deals, she’d find the exact right thing at the price she could afford.
- Be more optimistic, confident that your needs will be met.
- Be heartened by this ancient wisdom: “Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life”.
- Encourage yourself to have more peace of mind, less worry.
New Year resolutions for happier, healthier living can be made - and kept. With small changes in the way we think, every excellent intention and aspiration to live a better, health-filled life can be achieved.