As we approach a new year, many of us are thinking about starting fresh and making changes. We often laugh and chuckle at new year’s resolutions, but setting goals can be a powerful tool for coming closer to Jesus Christ. We often do not succeed in goals because they are not well thought out and not made with the spirit.
Health is at the top of the list when it comes to new year resolutions and striving to maintain good health is an important part of the gospel. We took a closer look at the scriptures and recent inspiration from living day prophets to create three health goals Latter-day Saints can try in order to improve their physical and spiritual health simultaneously.
Cut Down on Screen Time
In the last two years, we’ve heard a lot about using media more wisely from our Church leaders. President Russell M. Nelson gave separate invitations in 2018 to both youth and the Relief Society to go on social media fasts. In 2017, Elder Gary E. Stevenson focused on social media in his General Conference address, stating:
Hopefully, we can learn to be more real, find more humor, and experience less discouragement when confronted with images that may portray idealized reality and that too often lead to debilitating comparisons.
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson also spoke in General Conference that day about social media. She said:
We are often more concerned with how many followers and likes we have than with putting an arm around a friend and showing love, concern, and tangible interest. As amazing as modern technology can be for spreading the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and helping us stay connected to family and friends, if we are not vigilant in how we use our personal devices, we too can begin to turn inward and forget that the essence of living the gospel is service.
Set a goal to cut down on your screen time! Reducing the time spent on computers and phones has been shown to improve overall health, sleep, and your mental state of being. Here are a few ideas on how to make it happen:
- Hide or delete apps on your phone so they are not readily accessible.
- Carry your phone with you, but turn it off when you don’t need it.
- Turn off app notifications.
- Have a plug-in station at your home for your family’s devices.
Ministering is the inspired new effort to serve those around us in a more coordinated, personalized way. Consider going on a ministering walk with those you minister to. A walk is a great way to get in some physical activity while providing ample time to truly talk and get to know each other. Circumstances may vary based on the health of those you minister to, but prayerfully ponder ways you can get moving with your ministering friends. Here are some ideas:
- Go on a walk around the block. If the weather is bad, consider going to an indoor mall for a treat and walk around.
- See if you have a common exercise or physical activity you can do together. This includes yoga, dance, swimming, boxing, karate, and so much more.
- Make sure to be an active listener if you can. It’s not just about physical activity. It’s about learning and meeting the needs of those around you.
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
Doctrine & Covenants 88:124 states:
Cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
Many of us struggle to get enough sleep and thus have a really hard time waking up in the morning. This is also brought about by a shifting culture and access to more technology and late-night activities than ever before. Do your best to wake up at a good time, create a consistent sleep schedule, and create an invigorating morning schedule. You can do this by:
- Cutting down on technology before bed for deeper sleep.
- Getting to bed earlier.
- Placing your alarm across the room.
- Rewarding yourself with something by actually getting out of bed.
- Avoiding checking your phone in the morning.
- Setting aside time to pray.
What Inspired Health Goals Have You Set?
We hope these three goals help you start your new year off right. If you’ve set inspired health goals or have any tips, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.