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Many of us resolve to give up various unhealthy practices for the New Year, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol or eating unwisely.

We also often resolve to take up healthy practices, such as exercising, losing excess weight or learning the practice of meditation. Deciding to change unwanted aspects of our lives by doing something different to what we usually do is sensible and seems to come naturally at the start of a New Year.

Albert Einstein, the great physicist, is accredited with saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Similarly, he stated that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Thus, Einstein’s message is one of the need to change what we do and how we think in order to see the changes we wish for in our lives.

How many of us start the New Year with intentions to change which we soon let slip? I expect most of us fail to keep our well-intended resolutions. Maybe this is because we think that we need to put effort into ‘improving’ ourselves and this effort becomes yet another task in an already long list of tasks that we have.

How about using a different tack and taking Einstein’s advice for change? In other words, think about ourselves differently and not do the same thing over and over again (and usually fail to achieve the desired result).

Instead of trying to ‘improve’ ourselves, how about resolving to ‘look after ourselves’? We could decide to give ourselves more time for relaxation and playing, honour our body by feeding it wholesome, natural, nutritional food, ensuring that we start each day with either meditation or an uplifting visualisation, spending more time with friends who make us feel good, etc.

With the emphasis on self-care instead of effort, we might produce the changes we want in our lives simply by thinking in a different way, as Einstein advises.

 

Su Mason PhD

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