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The rush of Christmas is over.

Now is the time of year when we hear about New Year's Resolutions.

You'll hear the phrase, New Year, New You! in many places.

But not here.

It's impossible to be a new you. You are the sum of your history, and you can't start all over.

It is possible, however, to be a better you.

 

It takes a little time and devoted thought to think about the different areas of your life that could use at least tweaking. The best time to do that kind of reflection is any time you need to. But January is as good a time as any to look over the past and plan for a better year ahead. So before you allow the routine of work, eat, sleep take over, why not take a slot of time to be reflective?

In Ancient Roman religion and myths, Janus was the God of Two Heads, one looking forward, one looking back. That is where the month of January got its name.

We have broken it down into three areas that you need to consider: your body, your mind, your soul. How are things going in each of those areas when you separate them out?

Body. Maybe you need to lose weight. Perhaps you need to monitor your blood sugars more regularly. Do you stick to your specially required diet? Have you followed your medication schedule? Are you active enough? Is this a good time to add exercise to your weekly routine? Do you see a medical professional as often as you should? How many hours of sleep are you getting? Is your skin in good condition? Do you protect it from UV rays?

Our bodies are not indestructible. We can only push them so far. There are so many ways we can cooperate with our bodies to keep them going long and strong.

A lot of the things that are good for our body are also good for our mind.

Mind. The mind is a serious thing to waste. Make sure to keep yours stimulated. Some do that by reading, crafting, playing sports, gardening, photography, gourmet cooking, painting. Anything that engages you so much that it keeps you from thinking about life's demands is good for you. Having a hobby does just that. You can look on Pinterest for ideas and find instructions there and on YouTube for many, many arts and crafts. Reducing stress reduces illness.

Keep some time for yourself. It is not selfish, it is healthy.

Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Nationally, lack of sleep is a growing problem. It affects your alertness, your mood, your ability to handle stress, the regeneration of cells, your weight.

Perhaps you are unhappy with your job. It takes up quite a bit of your waking hours, so take steps to improve where you are, think about searching for a new place of employment, or get the education necessary to get into a different line of work. It takes some planning, but the results will be worth it.

Let's get physical! Go outside, get some sunlight on your brain. It can ward of depression. Take a walk. If you can't get outside, put on some music and dance in your living room. Park a bit further away at the grocery store. Take stairs instead of an elevator. There are so many little ways to keep your joints flexible and your muscles strong. If you know you won't do it on your own, join an exercise group or gym.

Soul. This is such a very personal journey, and there are so many ways to feed it. Attend a church. Read an inspirational book or watch an inspirational movie.

Resolve to treat those you come in contact with with kindness. Whether at work or at family gatherings, there will always be someone who makes it difficult to be that kind. Be kind anyway.

Resolve to treat yourself with kindness. You can do it by so much of the above: Eating well, exercising, participating in a hobby, learning a new skill.

Resolve not to gossip. It usually does not have a happy ending as it travels around, particularly if it concerns family members.

Stay positive. There is a link between staying positive and getting better results in your life. Once you start with a negative thought, it generates another negative thought, and before you know it, you'll be drowning in negative thoughts. Make it a point to choose and develop healthy thinking patterns.

And finally, remember that the only person or thing you can change is you. You can change your mind, you can change your attitude, you can choose your perspective.

After you've taken the time to think through these areas of your life, it is then time to take the action necessary to improve them. Stay mindful as you consider each one.

* * * * *

Here is a good way to think about things:

Walk into 2018 with a clear heart and conscience.

  • If you owe me, don't worry about it - you're welcome.
  • If you wronged me, it's all good - a great lesson learned.
  • If I've wronged you, I am sorry. I ask for your forgiveness.
  • If you're angry with me, I hope you can find a way to let it go and we can both move on.
  • If you don't speak to me anymore, it's cool. Know that I wish you well and I want you to be happy.
  • If you feel I wronged you, and you have told everyone but me, I hope you can one day tell me and we can both learn from it.

Life is too short for anger, animosity and holding grudges.

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