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The New Year and ‘Resolutions’


It’s that time again – The New Year.   Are you feeling the hope of a new start, or wishing you did?   New Year’s Resolutions feel so good, but of course following them is not easy. One reason for the lack of follow-through is that resolutions are often too big, too general, or just unrealistic.   Better to make some small changes that are more do-able than to reach for something that you can’t sustain.  Here are a few small but important ways to actually make your life feel better even if the “big things” can’t change right now.

  • Appreciate what you have.  We tend to take the things we have for granted, and focus on what is lacking. Be grateful for what your everyday life includes — Do you have food to eat, a place to live, a job, friends, family? Are you healthy? These are all crucial aspects of life, and are not available to everyone. Appreciating what you do have feels good.
  • Acknowledge your positive qualities and accomplishments.  Are you smart?  Caring?  Determined? Hard-working?  Everything good about you deserves praise.  Self-criticism erodes confidence and mood; validation builds it.
  • Have empathy for someone else.  Look around, watch the news; get out of your own head. Having empathy for someone you know, see, or hear about is a way to help you feel your place in the world, and to feel connected to humanity. Doing “a random act of kindness” is even better.