Are you ready to make some changes this year? Think about it.

We do this every year — resolve to do better and change a lot of things about ourselves.

But that lasts only a few days and we are right back where we started. Try this method for a year and see if it works out better.

First of all, stop complaining and appreciate how lucky you are every day. We don’t have to look very far to see just how fortunate we all are to have a roof over our heads and food to eat and clothes on our backs. We don’t have to have everything we see. We think we need many things, but people survived without television and computers and fancy cars and every convenience known to man. We could all do with a lot less and still be happy, maybe even happier.

Embrace who you are. Some people are so lonely, especially if they have lost a loved one lately. That is to be expected. Time takes care of a lot of loneliness. But others are lonely just staying by themselves. The cure for being lonely is to make yourself get around people. Find a church that is welcoming. Find a volunteer job. Work at Our Daily Bread. All hospitals welcome people to volunteer and cheer patients. One cannot be lonely if they are around people who need them. They can’t help but smile. That makes for a lovely day and year.

Even people who are not lonely need to re-invent themselves and find something useful to do to pass the time of day. There is not much future in sitting in front of a television all day watching stuff. Or being on our cellphones 24/7. There must be more to life than that. Find something worthwhile to do and do it with all your might. Part of embracing who you are is accepting your lot in life, whether it be a stay-at-home mother with six kids or living alone. Accept where you are and make the most of it. You will find yourself satisfied and happy.

We all say we will go to the gym and get in shape and we will eat healthy and we will simplify and make the bed every morning, etc. But we might as well be like some people and make a resolution not to make a resolution. That being said, maybe we would be better off to pick one skill we want to cultivate and put all our efforts into developing it. It could be learning a musical instrument or learning to knit or re-decorating a room in our home, or organizing a closet like those we see in the movies and on television.

Start today thinking about what would bring you pleasure and make your plans. It has to be something that you won’t be sick of in a few days or weeks. But something you have always wanted to learn or do. With that in mind, you won’t fail and at the end of the year you will be so proud of yourself.

Commit to a goal and never look back. All my life I have wrestled with weight. Why?

Simply because I have never made up my mind to do something about it. Maybe now is the time. I would be so happy to lose just 10 pounds, but I find every excuse in the world to eat. I love to cook. I enjoy trying old and new restaurants. I love to be invited out to enjoy new recipes. I even enjoy drive-through carry-out. You can see where this is going ... probably another year chubby!

A person told me one day that to lift your mood and feel wonderful to sweat every day. Whether it is in a gym or working in the yard or just being active, to sweat every day in some way.

Of course, girls don’t sweat, they glow or perspire ... but she said to do more than glow: to sweat.

I have tried it and it does make one feel a lot better.

Fail forward. Learn from every mistake made. We are not failures if we keep trying to learn something new. Was the first pie or cake you ever made a beautiful success? Possibly not, but you didn’t quit. You kept doing it over and over until you were perfect and your family was proud of you. Maybe you even took a pie to the county fair. Practice makes perfect. Keep on keeping on.

One last word about a new year, new you: Say goodbye to any people or acquaintances that don’t bring positive energy into your life. Only you know who they are and what you should do about your situation. Negative, pushy, critical, pressuring people have no place in your new life of energy and positive behavior. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

My life has been blessed. I have many wonderful friends and family who care for me and think of my best interests. I have a church that I love and feel God’s presence wrapped around me every time I go there. I love to sing in the choir and make a joyful noise. I have a home and yard that I enjoy, and wonderful neighbors.

I have a friend who comes nearly every morning for a little bowl of cereal and then we go work out at the gym, which incidentally is full of congenial people who are health-minded and a joy to be with. After gym, we enjoy a brunch (usually leftovers from the night before, but he doesn’t seem to mind one bit), and then he goes home to nap or study or work in his yard. I do my own thing. Then in the evening we go out to eat or I cook up a mess of something. My life is full and his is too, and we like it that way.

I look back over 2021 and even with COVD scares, it has been a very good year. I cannot do better in 2022 than what I have already experienced. I am too blessed to be stressed and have no complaints. I am happy. I am fulfilled. I have everything I need or want and all is well. I wish for all my readers the same, a very Happy 2022, with good health and prosperity ... and people who love you.

Today I share a delicious holiday salad that can be made ahead of time.

Linda’s Holiday Salad

Double box of Cherry Jell-O

1 can cranberry sauce (whole or jelled)

1 can cherry pie filling

1 regular can pineapple tidbits

Chopped pecans (optional)

Cool Whip for topping

Drain pineapple and add water to juice to make 2 cups. Bring to a boil and stir in Jell-O until completely dissolved. Add cranberry sauce and stir until completely mixed. Chill just until beginning to set. Beat with electric beater until frothy. Stir in pineapple, cherry pie filling, and nuts. Pour into a crystal bowl to completely set. Top with Cool Whip just before serving. Enjoy.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food for Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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