Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy New You! by Suzanne Hancock

The year was winding down, only seconds until the ball dropped in Times Square. Dick Clark smiled through the television screen and led the countdown, as we joined in chorus at my mom's house. 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1... When the clock struck midnight, hugs and kisses and the usual greeting filled the room, punctuated by Tyli, my then two-year-old niece, exclaiming with great vigor, "Happy New You!" We all laughed in delight at her misunderstanding of the name of the holiday. It was only later that I recognized the wisdom in her innocent error.

Each January, we set out to change something about ourselves, something to enhance our lives. Among the top resolutions are those of losing weight, exercising more, and eating better, which are all related in their end goal to be more physically fit. Although these are admirable goals that will lead to healthier bodies, I believe they can be extended to improve our lives even more.

LOSING WEIGHT: Many of us are carrying excess pounds of regret, grudges, hatred, and heartache. Whether this is as a result of our own actions or the actions of others, it matters not. What matters is we have a Savior. Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, our weaknesses, our pains. When we decide to get down on our knees and sincerely ask for forgiveness, or strength, or healing, the numbers won't show on the scales in our bathrooms, but the weight on our heart will be lessened.
Elder David A. Bednar said,
"We are not and never need be alone. 
We can press forward in our daily lives with heavenly help.
Through the Savior’s Atonement we can receive
capacity and “strength beyond [our] own."

EXERCISING MORE: While I can attest to the physical and emotional benefits of exercise, no amount of Beachbody workouts is going to help me as much as an exercise of faith.
In Hebrews, Chapter 11, verse 1, the Apostle Paul taught that
faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen."
I have faith that my Savior lives, that his Atonement is for me. Faith that there is a God above who hears my prayers and answers them for my good. Faith that families are forever and because of that I will see my beautiful mom again. I exercise my faith more every day when I choose to believe that the best things I can imagine exist, not only in the scope of religious beliefs, but also in the people in our community.

EATING BETTER: I really need to improve in this area. I don't eat enough vegetables, and some days I just eat too many cookies. However, when I do as Nephi taught and "feast upon the words of Christ" by reading and studying the scriptures, I am filled with spiritual nutrition. There is a power in the Bible and the Book of Mormon that is unsurpassed by any health food out there. No energy drink can give you the jump start to your day that the word of God can. Plus, the scriptures are calorie, fat, and even gluten free!
With February 2015 already upon us, many of us, myself included, have given up on our New Year's resolutions. We have failed again in our minds, with thoughts of maybe next year scrolling through our brains like a news ticker. It's a good thing that our Heavenly Father does not care about what month it is. He offers us blessings without regard to the date or the time. We can begin today to forgive and be forgiven; we can begin today to have faith in God and Christ and believe in the goodness found in those around us; we can begin today to read the joyful words written for our benefit. If we do these things, our before and after pictures will show healthier spirits and comforted hearts.

Although many years have passed since Tyli misspoke on that holiday night, I still repeat her words each New Year's Eve, and I also repeat them whenever I need to be reminded that there is always an opportunity to become a happy. new. me.


  1. Those are great words of encouragement. It sure easy to get bogged down with personal weaknesses, like judging others or etc. this is a good reminder to keep trying. Thx