Merry Christmas everyone! I spent the holiday visiting with my family. I’m so blessed that we were able to spend Christmas together! To worship, to relax and reconnect and make some new memories.
Now it’s coming up to New Year’s Day. Do you make New Year resolutions? Many people do. There’s a little bit of a joke at the gym I use that you can’t find parking in January but by February everything is back to normal.
That’s sad, but true. Every year we start out with the best of intentions. We’re going to eat right, lose weight, exercise. We’re going to read more and watch TV less. We’re going to stand up for ourselves and stop being such a pushover.
What areas of your life could stand a makeover? Now is a great time to take a little inventory and see where your life isn’t exactly where you would like it to be.
Like most people, I spend a little time pondering where I would like my New Year to be different from year just ending. I’ve come up with 4 categories of New Year resolutions to try to “steer” my life in a direction that is more purposeful and less of an “accidental” life.
I’m a doctor. I spend a lot of time focusing on my and other people’s physical wellbeing. How do you feel physcially? Are you healthy? Do you need to lose weight?
Do you suffer from chronic illness? If so, I guarantee that behavior change is the key to feeling your best. 90% of illness is related directly to lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and obesity.
When making New Year resolutions, I recommend that people focus on positive steps rather than negative. Things you’re going to START doing, rather than things you’re going to STOP doing. (Except for quitting smoking, which is just something you need to stop. Period.)
Did Santa bring you an activity monitor device? I love my FitBit (not an endorsement, I just like using mine) and find it satisfying to meet my step count goal for the day. You can’t improve what you don’t measure, right? Logging and gradually increasing your step count is a great way to shoehorn more exercise into the day.
Will you learn to play a new sport like tennis or soccer? Will you study a martial art? Will you try a new fitness class like Zumba or spinning?
Will you watch your diet? MyFitnessPal is a great, easy-to-use app for the iPhone and Android devices that has an enormous food database. You can see if you’re getting enough protein and fiber, if you’re getting too much fat and sugar, and even your micronutrients like calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.
Will you FINALLY get your physical, bloodwork, Pap test, mammogram or colonoscopy? Routine screening tests are important for everybody and get more critical as we get older.
If you’re ready to tackle your weight, please let me know, I’d love to help! Contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!
How will you help yourself be healthier emotionally in 2016? Will you see a counselor and tackle a deeply buried emotional trauma? It takes a lot of courage and honesty to let a stranger see us naked (believe me, I respect that courage very much!) but in many ways it’s more difficult to let a stranger see our emotional wounds.
Will you guard yourself from those who hurt you again and again? Will you stand up for yourself and refuse to be a victim? Will you simply look someone in the eye and tell them “It hurts me when you say that.”
Will you seek out new friends that are proud of you, are supportive of you, and with whom you are happy to be the awesome and amazing YOU?
How will you grow intellectually this year? Will you enroll in a class studying something that interests you? Will you spend more time reading and less time watching TV? Will you join a book club, get a subscription to a magazine or other publication that will challenge you?
Will you learn a new craft you’ve always wanted to do? Pottery, knitting, cooking, painting?
Will you travel and visit places you’ve never seen? See priceless works of art you’ve only seen in books or on the computer? Learn to play a musical instrument?
Do you have faith? Will you seek a closer relationship with God? Do you have a goal to practice your faith more regularly? Will you pray more often and more authentically?
Will you spend more time in Nature and appreciate the glory of Creation?
Will you learn more about a spiritual tradition that is unfamiliar to you? There are many pathways to Truth.
How will 2016 be different from 2015? If we could peek ahead to the end of December 2016, how would the YOU we see be different from the YOU that you are now? It won’t happen by accident!
Think carefully about your goals, envision your perfect life, make a plan, and GO FOR IT! I believe in you!
QUESTION: Will you share your New Year resolutions with me?