Live in the moment ~ appreciate the here & now ~ the beauty around you.. Photos by Jacqueline Bennett

 

By Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

 

There is something about the start of a new year that feels as if it comes with a new lease on life  ~ the perfect time to resolve to change bad habits, accomplish goals and generally make life improvements. The fact that New Year’s resolutions are talked and written about extensively is an indicator that change/self-improvement is important to many people.

 

Yet it is no secret that it is common to fall short of that resolve. Experts say the best way to stay on track is to keep it simple.

 

Here are a few tips from the American Psychological Association to help meet success with resolutions:

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  •  Start small ~ make resolutions that you can keep. For example – rather than overhauling your entire menu, strive to eat more vegetables and fewer sweets.

    Eat more vegetables 

  • Be more active

    Change one behavior at a time. It is amazing what a difference one small change can make ~ not necessarily aiming to run a marathon but instead resolve to walk at least 10 minutes every day or simply to be more active, move about more in your space. One small change can have a rippling effect on a journey to bigger changes.

  • Don’t beat yourself up over a misstep. Perfection is unattainable notes the APA. Do not give up if you go off track ~ keep going.
  • Talk about your resolutions and ask for support – these ideas are both recommended by the APA, such as support groups. I believe that needs to be a personal decision. Some people do better with quiet resolve. If you finally sign up for that yoga class, you have the option of discussing your self-improvement objective, or keeping it to yourself.

“It is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important.” ~ APA. The APA adds if you feel professional advise might help – seek it.

 

Remember, change does not always come easily. It can be hard work to choose an apple for a snack not a cookie or to hold your tongue in a situation where previously you would have verbalized a zinger.

 

May I suggest a resolution ~ live more in the moment. Appreciate the here and now, the happiness that comes from living each day and appreciation of the people in your life.

 

Resolutions, I believe, are more palatable to the soul when they include doing something for others, as well as yourself. Along with whatever else you have in mind to improve your life in the new year, how about adding a resolution to “toss kindness like confetti” ? Just one act of kindness from each of us, each day, has the power to improve the world around us, and thus improve our own lives.