Empathy Can Help Us Keep Our New Years Resolutions

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New-Year-2013At the start of most years we sit down and create a list of goals, changes, and things that we want to make or do. Many of them are soon forgotten or at the very least overwhelmed by day to day living. How can we make this year different?  What is a goal that we have that if we changed one little thing that we may stick to and not forget soon after the start of the year?

Here are the top 10 resolutions made this time of the year:

  1. Lose weight
  2. More physical exercise
  3. Quit smoking
  4. Spend less on credit cards
  5. Stick to a budget
  6. Spend more time with family
  7. Try something new without fear
  8. Find a better job or improve personal skills
  9. Volunteer more
  10. Take time to enjoy life and have fun

Let just take the first one to examine. Many individuals will start the year off with the goal of losing weight. It is like the most common New Years Resolution. Reaching our goal can be done more easily if we have a compelling reason for setting them in the first place. We can ask ourselves, “Why do I want to lose weight?” If the reason is compelling, if we can see the amount of pain we will have if we do not lose weight, then we are far more likely to stick to our commitment to eat healthy, exercise and get proper amount of rest.

We may all have our reasons, but I would like to consider one that looks at it from a different point of view that is very compelling for most of us. In fact this reason would work on everyone of these top 10 resolutions. Do it for the sake of your children, your spouse and then for yourself. I know that so many experts will say you have to do it for yourself first, but I would like you to consider how your children and spouse would feel and what the affects on them would be if because of not taking care of your health you suddenly had a heart attack, developed diabetes, or lost your life. Happy familyHow would your children like to live their life without you there to see them progress through school and make their way through life.

Putting ourselves in the shoes of others, thinking about how they would feel and the emotional effect it would have on them may be the push you need keep your resolution this year to live a more healthy life. Or do you have another resolution that you can apply this idea to, ‘How is this going to affect or make others feel if I do not keep this resolution?’

This month we are working on empathy with all of our students.  Please join us at Balanced Life Skills for physical health, which is self defense.

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