Build a Better You

Welcome to a brand new year! Today we have a chance for a new beginning. Today we can give ourselves the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start anew. Today it's important to think about creating a better tomorrow. To help get you on the right path, it's a good idea to determine where you are now. Take a moment and write down some of the things you didn't enjoy about 2013. Start with a blank page and draw a line down the center. Title the left hand column "Where I Am Now," and write down some observations about all the different areas of your life. How were your relationships with family members and friends? How satisfied were you with your career and work life? How involved did you get with your community? How do you currently feel about your physical self?

Now title the right hand column "What I Have Done," and write down some of your personal behaviors that might have contributed to those results. Were some of them less than savory? Now, take a deep breath. While you might not like your past behavior, this exercise is not designed beat you up. It is designed to help you evaluate, learn, and move on. Today is a day of renewal!

Today we can discard all of those destructive, negative habits and replace them with healthy, positive ones. With attitude and habit replacement in mind, here's an excerpt from a healthy habit list once adapted by Dear Abbey, Pauline Phillips, from the original creator of Al-Anon:

* Just for today, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow.

* Just for today, I will be happy. If I fill my mind with clouds, I will chase them away with sunshine.

* Just for today, I will accept what is. I will correct those things I can correct and accept those I cannot.

* Just for today, I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort. I will not be a mental loafer.

* Just for today, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind to those who cross my path.

* Just for today, I will do something positive to improve my health.

* Just for today, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

Take a minute and re-read that list. Now, turn the page over and again draw two columns. In the left hand column note a few of the things you'd like to experience in 2014. What's your ideal year going to bring you? What do you want to be writing in the "Where I Am Now" column in January of 2015?

Just for today, work to build a better you. A better you will build a better year.

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