Star columnist: Dr Mary Wren - Resolutions that work

Dr Mary Wren.''Dr Mary Wren has worked in Sheffield for 20 years. She offers advice on health issues every Saturday.
Dr Mary Wren.''Dr Mary Wren has worked in Sheffield for 20 years. She offers advice on health issues every Saturday.
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I have been thinking about 2015 and what I hope for in it. So often New Year resolutions are all about losing weight, eating healthily, exercising more, kicking habits and addictions etc. Now those things are good and have benefits, but I know for me that the resolve lasts a few days and then it’s back to the old habits again. Why is that?

Maybe it’s because focusing on the outside things is more obvious and less painful. Our culture and media in the West don’t always help either, with adverts suggesting that if we are slimmer, look younger, have bigger muscles or smaller bottoms that somehow the benefits will soak inside us and make us feel more attractive as people. I read an interesting report about weight loss in very obese women from America, suggesting that if a woman learned to really love herself she was much more likely to lose weight. TV programmes such as Biggest Loser would back this up. As people learn to value and care for and love themselves as people, they don’t need to eat us much and they want to have healthy lifestyles.

So maybe we look at the wrong things. Maybe if we think about what our character is like, we will do better. I only really have the right and ability to control myself and my reactions to others. I can’t actually change anyone else.

I have decided that this year I am going to love and be kind to myself. I am going to choose to let go of bitterness and anger and choose freedom for myself by forgiving others.

I am going to choose to be thankful for what I have rather than be angry about what I don’t. I am going to try and look at people and situations from a higher perspective and choose to see the good.

Now this isn’t easy. I know that from experience. However, I do know that when I choose to work on who I am inside, then things on the outside improve too.

I have had real benefit from seeing a counsellor, talking openly with friends, reading books and being part of a family in a Church.

Many of my own physical problems have improved as I tackled the things within.

So maybe it’s good to redo our New Year resolution lists and try a different tack.

Real health comes from the inside.