New Year Resolutions! They’re good for your health.

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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 Spry, “When it comes to establishing a healthy lifestyle, small changes can make a big difference.”

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.”

TIP:

● 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.

TIP:

● 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.

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I'm a Melbourne based health writer who provides a perspective on the connection between spirituality, thought and health. As a keen blogger, my aim is to provide the public with a diversity of health content including research into the mind-body connection and how thought affects health.

Comments

  1. Josh says

    Thanks Beverly. As I go along I think I am learning the humbling effect of simple little shifts in attitude as opposed to grandiose idealising is the way to deeper joy and peace.

    • says

      Thank you Josh for your comment. Yes, I agree with you. Often all it takes to attain greater health and harmony is a small change of thought. This can then be practiced and maintained all year round. Have a great New Year in 2014.

    • says

      Thanks Jane for your comment. That is a great resolution for 2014. Well done. I know that I’ll be looking more at the good I already have and giving thanks more often. It’s a small change of thought, but such a healthy one. Have an abundant New Year.

  2. Wendy says

    I love Mary Baker Eddy’s quote from Science and Health regarding ‘gratitude’. It is amazing just what we can find to be very grateful for, if we purposely stop and think about it! She also says ‘that we must avail ourselves of the blessings we have and thus to be fitted to receive more.’ That mental exercise of thinking back over the days and weeks reminds us of a wealth of goodness both received and given. And giving is a really important part of gratitude. Beverly thank you so much for the reminder that we really have more than we need. Wendy.

    • says

      Thank you Wendy for your comment. I agree wholeheartedly with you that many of us have enough to meet our daily needs – and that’s cause for gratitude. What a blessing in 2014 to make sure that we look at the glass “half full” and be glad. This may be a simple change of thought, but it has benefits such as better health. Have a rich and rewarding New Year.

  3. Yvonne says

    Thank you Beverly. What a wonderful approach to New Year resolutions. I have already made small changes in my thinking by applying some of your tips by expressing more gratitude for what I have already. As part of hymn 330 “I nothing lack, for I am His”. I really appreciate your blogs. Blessings and love to you.

    • says

      Well done Yvonne for acting on Tip 1: I will have more gratitude and less grumbling. I’m too am enjoying acting on this resolution for 2014 and making sure I express more gratitude. It’s uplifting! Happy new Year to you,

  4. Marion says

    Thank you for your good advice Beverly. Turning our thinking around and remembering all the good things we have accomplished makes one feel so muh better than worrying about what we have not done. That is a start to gratitude. I will try to make some smaller resolutions this year and build on those one by one!

    • says

      Thank you for your excellent comment Marion. That’s a great idea to think more about the good things one has accomplished and to be glad about them. Yes making small changes and building on them can make a big difference to one’s life. For a start, it can make it more healthy. Have a really excellent New Year!

  5. Anne says

    Happy New Year Beverly and to all fellow bloggers!
    I looked up “resolution” and was thrilled to discover that it is “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict or problem” also “an answer or solution to something” and “the ability of a device to show an image clearly”.
    Wow, these definitions revealed to me just how important our New Years resolutions are!
    When applied, as in Christ’s teaching, followed by John’s admonishing us to “love”, we find the answer/solution…the perfect “device” to reveal His image clearly.
    How blessed we are to have the Bible and Science and Health with key to the scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, where answers and solutions abound.