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Keep those New Year's resolutions

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The golden rule is to treat others as we wish to be treated, but the real paradox is that we should sometimes treat ourselves as we treat others.

The case in point is it is sometimes more difficult to forgive ourselves than to forgive others. And, when it comes to keeping promises to ourselves, those are often the easiest to break.

So how do we keep those New Year’s resolutions? Maybe the best way is not make them about ourselves.

Statistics show that diet and exercise are the most common resolutions, but within a few months, the vast majority of us have failed to keep the resolution or promise to ourselves. For that reason, experts recommend telling others what our resolution is or to have a buddy with whom we can accomplish our mission. It centers on accountability.

But true happiness seems to stem from our relationships with others. After all, you can't wallow in self pity when you are focused on others.

So, in the best interest of happiness for both ourselves and others, try these resolutions:

Diet – think savings and sharing:

  • Fast for one day or even one meal every month and give the savings to world hunger
  • At every visit to the grocery store, buy the store brand of a vegetable or fruit and buy the good brand for a food pantry
  • When eating at a restaurant, save half of the meal for take home to share with someone who will enjoy it
  • Make twice as much food for a meal every month and freeze it to be given to someone lives alone, is a shut-in, or a neighbor in need of a break from cooking

Exercise - Think service to others:

  • Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk
  • Take a child sledding and bring the sled back to the top each time
  • Walk to a nearby store to pick-up a few winter needs that can be shared with others such as ice melt or kitty litter
  • Offer to help others take down holiday decorations
  • Go for a walk and drop bird seed or dry bread for animals searching for food in the snow

If your goal is to simply improve yourself, whether it is to be more patient, more caring, more loving, etc., just focus on the needs of others as often as you can. It doesn’t have to be costly, time consuming or require a great deal of effort. You can even be more financially adept when you seek things that really matter.

Remember, it’s easy to break a resolution or promise to yourself. It’s not so easy if you make yourself accountable for and to others.

Still think you need a little help? Check out the video for some helpful reminders.

Happy 2014!

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