It’s Resolutions Time!
Making New Year’s Resolutions is not always easy, but I’m here for you. My suggestions for your list will not be, shall we say, standard fare. But we’ll start with one that is — the perennial Number 1: Lose weight/exercise more.
That is a resolution many Americans could use. In fact Healthline noted way back in June, 2020, that 36.5% of the people in the United States were obese, and another 32.5% were overweight.
Since then we’ve had Thanksgiving and Christmas, one of the easiest times of the year to gain weight. (Ask me how I know.)
Exercise is really good for you. Do it and you will gain energy, sleep better (also good for you), drink more water (ditto), and feel better about yourself.
The very best exercise for losing weight is called the push-away, and it can be done two different ways. You can push the plate away, or you can push your chair away from the table. Both work.
Lose weight/exercise more is a great resolution, and for 69% of us it deserves to be at the top of the list. It is also a terrific way to do good. So write it down and get after it. I’m with you!
Now for the rest of your list
As for the rest of your list, allow me to suggest a few resolutions that are a little out of the norm.
Whether you use these or not, make sure at least part of the focus — if not the major focus — of each resolution is on other people. Besides, it seems wrong to go from one of the most giving and caring times in the year to one of the most self-centered, all in a matter of days.
In fact your second resolution might be: Think more about others. If you really do that, your thoughts will turn into words and your words will turn into actions. The bottom line is that if you think more about others you will eventually do more for others.
Here’s a cool thing about this resolution. The worse your life is, the more helpful it is to you to think about others.
I can hear some of you saying, “Whaaaat?” But it’s true. Doctors, psychologists, and my own experiences verify that thinking of others is good for your physical and mental health.
And if your life is great, then definitely stop bragging to yourself about yourself and think of others. Use some of those blessings to do good, and your life will be even better.
My next suggestion for 2021: Use my gifts for the benefit of others.
What does that mean? If you can sing, join the church choir so people can hear your voice. Or go to a karaoke bar, but let people enjoy your gift. If you are great at business, find a startup or a struggling business and help them. For free. Maybe you’ve been given a great smile. Use it when you check out at a store. (Note: this works even if you are wearing a mask due to COVID. Your eyes smile too.)
How does smiling help you? First of all, people will smile back, and that’s fun. Or they may be totally startled, and the look on their face will still be fun. Second, your outward smile will creep into your own body and make you feel good, too. Third, smiles spread even faster than a virus. Be a superspreader!
In fact using any gift in a good way will guarantee you two things. First, you’ll get better at whatever your gift is. Second, the Giver of those gifts will be pleased and will give you more gifts.
There may be a little bit of bias in this one, but I still like it. Read more books and watch less TV.
Here’s the thing: reading a book is much more active than watching a show. There are many excellent movies, and even quite a few TV shows, but most of the best ones started life as a book. And the book is always better.
Do you love The Lord of the Rings? You should read the books, starting with The Hobbit. Are you a fan of Jordan Peterson on YouTube? Read his book, 12 Rules for Life. Do you like movies that have a good moral lesson? Read the Bible. The Greatest Game Ever Played is an excellent golf movie. The book is richer by far.
Of course you can watch a movie in less time than it takes to read a book, but the book will stay in you longer. I love the experience of a great movie in a great theater, and still remember some of those from years ago. I’m not knocking movies and TV, but I am saying that books are better for you, and that makes you better for others.
Maybe this should really be number one, but I’m going to believe that we will keep all our resolutions with equal integrity. At least that’s our intent, right?
Anyway, here’s one you won’t find on many lists. It’s an old church hymn (1896) that has lasted, and when people start talking about resolutions this always comes to my mind. I don’t know how many times I sang this in church, but it wasn’t the repetition that made it stick, it was the message. It starts with lines that are applicable to everyone.
I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.
Resolve to not be charmed (and led) by the world’s delight. Look for things that are higher, things that are nobler, and focus on those.
If you are a minimalist, or just very efficient, here’s your resolution: I resolve to do good all year long. Good for you.
Happy New Year from all of us at Do Good U!