How appropriate it is that the holiday season is the beginning of our new year. This can be a time to refresh our souls with the basic meaning of life and our commitment to achieve a better way, one which helps us toward perfection. This rejuvenation and commitment is commonly referred to as New Year's Resolutions.
We are advised in the Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 to "be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a greater work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."We do many small things each day that help us be the kind of person we want to be. Significant to our wellbeing is how we feel about our health, fitness and appearance. President Stephen L. Richards taught us that "the human body is sacred – the veritable tabernacle of the Divine Spirit which inhabits it. It is a solemn duty of mankind to develop, protect, and preserve it from pollution, unnecessary wastage and weakness."
As you ponder how to interpret this duty into your individual daily routine, it is important to remember that our Father in Heaven created each of us as originals, and we should design our resolutions for ourselves as unique individuals. As Karl G. Maeser used to say, "Be yourself, but always your best self."
Resolutions regarding health, fitness and appearance should reflect what you can and should do, being the person you are. They should also reflect the law of health as it is taught in the World of Wisdom. Your resolutions might include:
- Eat wisely. "All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine…." (D&C 89:16.) "Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly." (D&C 89:12.) In modern language that means to eat from the basic food groups in moderation with a proper balance of protein, corbohydrates and fats.
- Exercise regularly. To walk and not faint and to run and not be weary, you need to condition your body. Whether you walk the mall, stroll down the street, jog the country mile, ride a bike, swim some laps, or ski a hill, just do it. Your experience can be enhanced by good conversation, companionship, listening to scriptures, meditating, or just appreciating the joy of the effort. Remember, begin slowly and use moderation. Do not forget to include some good exercise for total body strength and flexibility. Use variety as a stimulation and be consistent by exercising at the same time each day.
- Be of good cheer. A happy person radiates a beauty that exceeds efforts to improve external appearance. Meeting daily goals provides success that feeds a good self-image. Join the circle of success. The more you do what is right for you, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more you want to do what is right.
Smile a lot. Do something you enjoy everyday. Change your routine. Give yourself a reward, a compliment. Serve others. Change your wardrobe with a different belt, tie or scarf. Share a joke, a special thought or a scripture. Spend some time meditating. Be grateful, for you are truly blessed.
"And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours." (D&C 78:18.)