Thursday, January 7, 2010

More on New Year's Resolutions

A new year lies ahead, with more opportunities to fulfill one's dreams, to hope and be more optimistic. Do you want to be happier? You could try journaling, or thinking about or writing down what you are grateful for. That makes people happier. Finding more time for peaceful reflection and prayer always makes me feel better. Or you could move to Costa Rica. According to a column in the New York Times titled, "The Happiest People," by Nicholas Kristof, the happiest people in the world live in Costa Rica. Perhaps its the beautiful beaches or the magnificent rain forests that are there.  Being surrounded by spectacular scenery and unspoiled nature does reduce stress. When I visited Hawaii last Spring, which has beautiful scenery, I wondered what it would be like to live in a place like that, all the time. While there, I met people from the East Coast who made drastic lifestyle changes and moved to Hawaii. More and more people can do that in modern times, because of the internet. I could never make such a drastic change, but I'm always impressed by people who do that. For all the craziness in New York City and its suburbs, it's an amazing place to live. I loved visiting Rockefeller Center, with my family during Advent, to see the Christmas tree. We always stop into St. Patrick's Cathedral to pray and experience the awe-inspiring cathedral.  It's truly a treasure in NYC. 
But getting back to New Year's resolutions, according to Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, professor of psychology at Yale University, "Gradual small steps motivate people toward change...write down the steps you want to take in a notebook to make it concrete and reward yourself for making individual changes... For instance, if you want to be more optimistic then you have to imagine what you would be like if you were optimistic. Imagine yourself going through a day at work if you were optimistic and confident, then write that down in great detail." (From"Ten Ways To Get Motivated for Change in 2010.") 
Also interesting..if you want to read the top ten New Year's resolutions go to--
Hoping you can follow through on your resolutions, if you've made any.  I'm trying to be disciplined and stay focused on mine.

The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.  Oliver Wendell Holmes