New Year's resolutions: Try something different this year

Jan. 1 comes around every year, and each time it feels like a grand opportunity to start anew. A clean slate, a new chapter, the time to do something differently, to make some changes. This is the time when we resolve to eat healthier, to go to the gym at least three times a week, to save more money or spend what we have more wisely.

While these are extremely noble resolutions, I would like to invite you to be creative and look at some possibilities that might not have occurred to you.

How about taking better care of yourself in 2006? How would it be if you resolved to take 15 minutes every day - OK, maybe every other day - when you are alone, just sitting in a chair, relaxing, breathing, resting.

What if you decided that every day, before you fall asleep, you would go over your day, find something that you did well and pat yourself on the back for it?

Another way to take good care of yourself is to be with people who love you and make you feel good about yourself. So why not pick up the phone and start actively working on connecting with these people, even if they are far away? Resolve to call your friends regularly next year.

You may also decide that there are some behaviors you would like to change. Think about what these are and how you would like to behave instead.

For example, do you come through the door after work tense and unapproachable? Starting in January, give yourself a few minutes of conscious transition time. Take a five-minute walk before you officially arrive home, and as you walk, make the transition from work-self to home-self. A small act like this can change how the rest of the evening goes.

I am sure you can see that this act can change how relationships go as well. With something like this you are not only taking better care of yourself but of everyone else around you.

These are just a few examples, but there are many other possibilities. For some people their resolutions must be kept to themselves or they won't keep them; other people are exactly the opposite. They need to share their resolution with someone before it can be real.

So those of you in the second group, feel free to e-mail me your resolutions. I will save them and check back with you sometime in March to see how it is going.

Dr. Anna K. Meyer is a counselor and psychotherapist who practices in the Green Lake neighborhood. She can be reached at needitor@

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