Happy New Year!

Post date: Jan 11, 2016 8:28:46 PM

Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Holy Communion:

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when we have the opportunity for a fresh start. I’m working on my New Year’s resolutions. I hope you are, too.

I just read an article in “O” magazine, entitled “The Science of Success”. It reviewed a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology that concluded, “Those who set resolutions are more than ten times likelier to sustain a change in behavior than those who do not set yearly objectives”. Even if you slip up a bit, you may end up further along than if you didn’t try.

Creative Positive Plans

By developing “if-then” plans, you are more likely to succeed in sticking to your resolutions. Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that how you craft the second part of your statement can “keep you on course or knock you off”. Instead of focusing on what’s “off-limits”, enjoy the things that you can have. Example: If Bobbi brings her scrumptious cupcakes to church coffee, then I will choose the fruit salad that Chuck made. It’s a satisfying solution.

“Healthify” a Guilty Pleasure

The constant push-pull between what you should do and what you want to do can be exhausting. Example: You should exercise and eat right, but you just want to be a couch potato, watch TV and eat chocolate ice cream. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard say, “Combine your ‘shoulds’ with your ‘wants’ to lessen regret and increase follow-through”. Participants in their study who wanted to regularly exercise were 51% more likely to do so if they had a “gripping novel” to listen to only while exercising. I should walk almost every day, but sometimes I just want to stay in my cozy bed. I’m more likely to walk in the morning if I know my friends are going to be there too.

Redefine Success

“Before you embark on any life changes outline a range of positive outcomes that could result, and don’t aim for perfection”. This is the sage advice of Ben Michaelis, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York City. He distinguishes between the pursuit of excellence and the pursuit of perfectionism. He recommends asking yourself, “What do I want to learn?” You can learn from any experience and nothing needs to be seen as a total failure. So let’s be adventuresome. I resolve to try something challenging that will enhance my health. How about you?

With love and care,

Judy Gardner, Parish Nurse