Come Let Us Anew
By Carolyn Allen

Happy New Year! Out with the old, in with the new! Reach for the divine in 2009! 2008 was a roller coaster year for most of us as world affairs took their toll on everything from gas prices to personal finances. For those of us who read this column, food is our worn-out, quick-fix distraction for everything from misplacing our keys to the realization that our childrens’ college saving funds have been unwittingly drained. Alas, and alack, there’s yet a problem in this world that food solves, other than that of being hungry. Add to those eating mis-behaviors the “it’s-the holidays-so-calories-don’t-count” mentality and it’s more than time to literally ring out the old and ring in the new.

Happy New Year

Whether or not you were fortunate enough to have sung “Ring Out Wild Bells” (Hymn 215) in Sacrament meeting, it’s message is there for us now: Ring out wild bells! Ring out bad habits ring out the false, ring in the true! This somewhat strange melody is in a minor key, emphasizing the sadness of much of what may have happened, while reminding us that the welcome future where anything is possible is at our door. The melancholy tone of the minor key is resolved a the end of each verse with the major, triumphant chord at the end that gives hope and cheer.

Hope and cheer, how crying is the need for both! January brings an onslaught of hopeful health information, which we are grateful for. Yet, realistically … who hasn’t heard it all before? Perhaps that’s why Oprah’s January magazine cover, with a picture of her at 200 pounds, juxtaposed on a picture of her from several years ago at a healthy weight, is almost more refreshing than most of us care to admit. Oh, don’t we know …. Don’t we know! Her philosophy is one for us all to embrace; “If I’ve done it before, I can do it again, there is no other way. There is no quick fix, but I will accept what I must do.”

It is that singular hope that we CAN change, that 2009 will bring us closer to the divine nature that is within all of us is the message of the gospel, and that the purpose of the atonement is not just for resurrection morning, but to help us with improving our daily lives that I offer today’s article.

While there may be no quick, new fix, there may be a quick way to take on the message of Hymn 217, “Come Let Us Anew” and renew with some proven methods of completing goals. As we watch the missionaries implement effective tools for goal completion and succeed through daunting odds, I am amazed with how methodical, how calculated and how productive their daily activities are. Goals, dates, plans, check-ups, check offs. And by golly, things happen! The Spirit is invited and lingers to resolve doubts and to encourage. What victory there is in overcoming procrastination and a vague well …. I know I should ….” Or ” hmmm … I’d like to …..”

They have a notebook, a plan, dates, calendars, key indicators, and someone to report to! Could we do the same with our healthy living? Why not! And to make it easier, I’ve even prepared a plan for you to print out and adapt for yourself.

I’m calling it My Blueprint for Success” and have prepared it as a PDF for you to print out. Go ahead and get a binder, print out the pages and get started! With my next Meridian article, you’ll receive the link to print out My Weight Loss Journey” a photo scrapbook similar to a baby’s first year photo album:

It’s going to be a wonderful year, filled with health, happiness and peace!

Blueprint For Success Documents

Read through the pages here and print-out or simply use filler paper and a binder using the captions as noted, or CLICK HERE to download as a PDF.

Place in a three ring binder, separated by binder dividers. Add additional pocket dividers for your eating plan, recipes and helpful articles. Keep a three-ring punch handy for collecting additional printed resources that inspire you. Use page protectors or manila envelopes like big pockets to collect your weekly food journals. As you see them add up, you will also see your success!

You may also want to add a section for photos or a weigh-in chart. (My next Meridian article will include a print-out for “My Weight loss Journey,” a set of starter pages for a weight loss photo scrapbook similar to a baby’s first year photo album.)

1. Values List (Print 1-2 copies):
List the things you value most as they relate to your health, for example, showing respect for your body as a gift from God, energy, walking without getting tired, keeping up with your children, feeling comfortable in clothing, etc. Important cultural or lifestyle items may be listed 2.

2. Goals : (Print 1-2 copies)
Based upon the items listed in your values list, prayerfully ask what things you should do to be living those values. As the Spirit whispers to you, you will know that these are your personal goals, inspired instructions from Heavenly Father to bring blessings of health and peace to your life and body.

State each goal statement with a single, concise sentence beginning with action verbs: such as DO, IDENTIFY, REDUCE, LOCATE, APPLY, BECOME, etc.

While many will be on-going as part of your health lifestyle, many of them will have dates that you can target for completion.

3. Action Plans (Print 1 for each goal)
Copy a single goal on each form, using the one sentence statement from your goals list, then list how you are going to achieve that goal, in steps. Once again, use action verbs such as learn, determine, find out, talk to, locate.

4. Daily Activity List (use one per day, two-page. This will provide you with one half-sheet for each day of the month.
On this sheet you will write down your 3-5 most important activities for your action plan, and check them off as they are completed

Now, turn to Hymn No. 217 get that tune going in your head and heart. Then go find a clean, fresh binder, some paper and a special pen or too. You might want to treat yourself to some fun stickers to add to the fun. Just you wait and see! Our health improvements will be Divine in 2009!

Come Let Us Anew

Come let us anew, or journey pursue,
Roll round with the year
And never stand still til the Master appear.
His adorable will, let us gladly fulfill,
And our talents (and health?!) improve
By the patience of hope and the labor of love
By the patience of hope and the labor of love.