lighter in new year

With the sound of New Year’s noise makers fading, it’s a natural time of year to make changes that can lead to a healthier, happier life.

Many of us resolve to improve our physical health by eating right and exercising. However, we often forget that the worldly concerns and trials also weigh us down and drain us of energy.  So while committing to changes that impact our physical well-being, let’s look at what can have a similar impact on our spiritual lives.

Here are seven ways you can live lighter in the New Year:

1. Develop a thankful heart.
Finish each day by remembering at least one thing that you are thankful for.  Gratitude nourishes the soul with an important reminder of our blessings.

2. Keep a prayer journal.
Track your prayer requests regularly.  Over time, it can be a blessing to read over previous needs that have become answered prayers.

3. Admit your problems and troubles to God and your trusted friends.
Denying that a problem exists negates the need for a solution to that problem. Be courageous to identify what is distressing you so that it can be addressed and resolved.

4. Forgive those who have wronged you.
Forgiveness releases the grip of anger and bitterness, yielding peace while enabling you to focus on the positive in life.

5. Stay connected to others.
Problems can seem bigger in isolation.  Close relationships with friends and family fosters greater resilience and can draw us closer to God.  “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

6. Rely on God’s word and trust His promises.
The Bible’s abundant accounts of God’s faithfulness provide us a valuable source of strength. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:29.

7. Help someone, no matter how big or small the effort.
When we allow ourselves to be God’s hands or feet, we are changed.  A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9
This year resolve to look above and beyond life’s challenges. Focus on God rather than on your troubles.  As a result, your spirit will be lighter, making it a truly Happy New Year!