12/28/2011 11:24 EST | Updated 02/27/2012 05:12 EST

A New Year


As we get set to welcome another year, our minds turn to resolutions. Some people make a couple of big ones. Typically weight loss is one of the big ones, as well as harder work and the will to increase one's yearly earnings. During the season of peace and goodwill towards man, there are those that decide they want their relationships to be more fulfilling.

All these are commendable and generally more beneficial to your life. For many, though, simply making a resolution to lose that weight will end up in failure. It brings back the old adage that action speaks louder than words. Sometimes it's easier to break down these big goals into many smaller ones. I like to write my affirmations. I maintain and change my affirmations throughout the year, not only on Jan. 1. Once I write my affirmations, I then break them down into several goals. They can be achieved in as little as three months or in several years. This is a way that helps me keep the goals and promises I make to myself and I find it easier to follow through with action.

I read my affirmations daily and by doing so I have a mindset that is geared towards accomplishing the accompanying goals necessary to be successful.

The important thing is to be realistic and write your goals knowing yourself and the time you need in order to fulfill them. For example, running and general exercise in order to be happy and have a better quality of life is always one of my affirmations. My goal would generally be to do at least two half marathons and a few smaller five and 10 kilometre races in the course of a year. Although there are some exceptions, these goals are realistic for me and I am generally able to accomplish them.

As far as my weight goes, my affirmation is to be happy at my ideal weight. My goal would then be to prepare and eat healthy food. The running and exercise will enable me to maintain a healthy weight as well.

Sometimes it's really the smallest of things that can make a difference. Kindness towards others can be a simple as a smile or holding the door open for a stranger. What used to be part of our daily etiquette a few decades ago has now graduated to a hustle and bustle of frenzied people rushing around in a hurry to get to their next chore. Why not make an affirmation to complete one random act of kindness a day? If more people did this, the world would be more calm and less hectic. For example, if you pass a complete stranger in a mall and they smile at you, that smile rubs off on you. Suddenly you're less stressed, and feel a little better. When someone passes you with a blank face, staring at the floor, or worse yet a scowl, it isn't the same, right?

So in the last few days that remain in 2011, be gentle on yourself. Make small goals that will enable you to get back in shape or get to your ideal weight... in your time. Resolve to be kind or think good thoughts about others. It makes a world of difference and one random act builds up to many over time. You will be in a happier place.

Most of all, let 2012 be your best year yet. Let it be the year you start running, or perhaps even run your first half marathon. A healthy lifestyle is the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones. And remember to smile... you never know whose day you will make better with that simple act of kindness and happy thought. May the new year bring you all peace, health and happiness.