Here it is eight days into the new year. Those who know me understand that I don’t make resolutions and they know why. You can set yourself up for failure and 90% of resolutions have already been thrown away in the first three months.
Instead, I have hopes and aspirations and strive to be better than I was the year before in all ways. There are some things I would like to offer encouragement to you in thought for this new year as well as thoughts on other subjects.
Take life seriously, but laugh at yourself. Life is short and we aren’t promised tomorrow and we should be intentional on our journey of life. We should encourage people, but we also should laugh more, especially at ourselves.
I have a friend who does laughter yoga and while I could not get into that whole idea, I do understand the benefit of laughter. It is good for the soul. So try to laugh more this year.
Most everyone always says they want to lose weight in the new year. Well, instead of being focused on the whole losing weight thing, I say focus on being and getting healthier. That is not only exercising, but your diet as well. We depend too much on pharmaceuticals which do not cure anything, just cover up the symptoms and make them bearable. A healthier lifestyle can enable some people to even get off their medications. Take your health seriously. Once it is gone, the road back is long and tedious.
Not everyone can afford an alternative medical doctor, but there are things you can do on your own, especially in the eating department. Eat clean and fresh, not processed. It takes time to read labels and I hear that complaint often, but ask yourself how important is your health. Aren’t you worth taking time to read labels? You take time to check Facebook which has no health value, other than sometimes raising blood pressure over drama. Take time to know what you are eating, because we are what we eat.
It is not easy to not eat sugar, I know, but at least try to cut down on consumption and seek alternatives. You will end up feeling better in the long run. Some health problems are actually caused by the food we eat and sugar is one of them. Pay attention to how your body reacts to certain foods and work on slowly eliminating those which cause problems. Making a lifestyle change is a slow, but steady process if you want to be successful.
Access the time you spend on the computer, especially social media and cut back. Instead of reading Facebook posts, read a book or better yet — the newspaper!!
Get out in your community and say hello to everyone you see. Take a walk, watch the birds, smell the flowers, do a good deed and talk to the Master of the Universe. While out, don’t forget to shop local. That will help cut down on computer time as well, instead of shopping online. If you care about your community, you will make this a priority. You want to keep business vibrant and their doors open. To do this, they need customers. I do understand that lack of customer service in some places can be negative. But turn it into a positive by knowing that you helped a local business, which in turn, helps your community.
I don’t know about you, but I miss several businesses which closed their doors. I frequently shopped there, but not enough other people did. Once they are gone, it is too late.
Get involved in your community where you can and give back. Help those who need help when you can, and do random acts of kindness which actually helps you just as much as the person on the receiving end. And don’t do it for the recognition. Do it because it is the right thing to do.
Homelessness is not a crime. We haven’t walked in these people’s shoes, so we don’t know what led them to be homeless. Some of these are veterans who became homeless after the government they served abandoned them. Homeless people need help of all kinds. Discussions about this can bring about results. Giving a warm coat, socks, blankets and/or food can be a real benefit for a homeless person. If you can’t have compassion for them, then maybe you need a heart check. Ask God to help you discern when and where you should help. And it doesn’t matter what someone does with the money if that is the route you choose. Even if they don’t do the right thing, you did and God knows our hearts.
We need to disconnect more and discover what really is important like spending time with a friend or family member; making memories which you can not get back once those loved ones are no longer with us.
We also need to quit being busy for the sake of being busy. If what you are doing is not productive, then you are being busy just to seem busy. Access where you spend your time and make the necessary changes. Again, remember this is not an easy process and can be trial and error until you get where you want to be, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Try to make a difference in the world we live in and in your own life. Wishing you a blessed year of renewed hope.
VICTORIA SIMMONS is a columnist, motivational speaker/ minister and publisher/gm of The Post/Byron Buzz.