Musings defined: ponderings, reflections, meditations, contemplations.
I aim to share experiences, past and present, with the goal of learning and appreciating what life presents.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's fireworks are a little late, but it is never too late for New Year's resolutions.  Some of us ponder a little longer than others on what we want to accomplish for the coming year.  Perhaps as I share my thoughts, you can think further on your goals for 2012. 

What is priority?  Relationships: relationships with God, wife, family, friends, and self.  One of the books that shaped my thinking early in my marriage, was a small book by Paul H. Dunn and Richard Eyre called, "Relationships...Self...Family... God", 1974.  I recently re-acquired it in the paperback printing of 1990.   Course I love how the book starts with the relationship building between father and daughter and then an evening walk that discusses daughter's question, "Daddy....what is the most important thing of all?"

I want my goals to help me enrich my relationships.  That involves learning, as I read about David A. Bednar's new book called, "Increase in LEARNING, Spiritual patterns for obtaining your own answers".  It's an appropriate topic for the past president of BYU Ricks.  It includes a DVD and embedded video content featured on the Free Deseret Bookshelf app.  I discovered I can also access his answers to learning at:
This particular 1 1/2 minute video answers the question: "How can we measure our progress in becoming effective learners?"  He suggests that the best time to evaluate our learning is when we worthily partake of the sacrament.  The measurement is: one, worthiness, and two, seeing how the Holy Ghost fuels our intensity and desire for learning.  He asks, "Are we inviting the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost?"  So my goals for 2012 need to include learning.

At Meridian Magazine I enjoy reading the column by Wallace Goddard.  See his article on New Year's Resolutions at:
He also suggested we reference information at the U. of Arkansas (I think that is where he teaches).  I subscribed, and like this info that came to my in-box:
"January 11, 2012
Personal Well-Being
Grow strong by challenging yourself

"Here's a great idea ...
In their book, What Happy People Know, Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth say, "The human mind, body, and spirit thrive on struggle and challenge, just as a muscle thrives on exercise. Satisfaction without effort doesn't create happiness. It creates only dissipation, alienation, boredom, weakness, and a sense of worthlessness." (p. 164)

"In other words ...
Few things give us a greater sense of accomplishment than when we work hard to complete a task. We just don't get the same feeling of pleasure when we finish a project that doesn't require much effort. The more we can pour ourselves into the things we do the more contentment and satisfaction we can find in our lives.
Here's how you can use this idea to have a better life ...
Find something you can do that you enjoy, but will challenge you. It can be exercising, reading a book, or working on a new project. When you've finished, take some time to appreciate the effort it took and the feeling of accomplishment."

I expect that all of us have plenty of challenges, but perhaps you can round out your life more with a different challenge; perhaps in a spiritual direction.  (Yes one of my challenges is learning to navigate more quickly through things to do with computers and the Internet.  Today I am showing I have learned to save and paste addresses.)  In retirement it is easier to accomplish nothing, as often there is nothing I have to do.  I have discovered that it is just as important today as in my youth, to know I have made an effort and worked on something worthwhile.

You may or may not be having fun yet, so I am adding, have fun through wholesome recreation.  And to that I am adding service.  One of the things that makes my community great is the large number of people who help one another, both by happenstance and through organisations.

Remember that writing down your goals increases the likelihood of you achieving them.  Reporting your achievements to a trusted person increases that likelihood even more.  See recent research that came to this conclusion:

Happy New Year, and success in your New Year's resolutions

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