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Church Bells for New Year's?
Making any kind of promise to yourself involves self-discipline, even if it’s your doctor recommending a low-fat diet or your financial planner outlining a savings initiative for you. When it comes down to it, it’s up to you to make the change! But more often than not, we are aware of the “right” behaviors, and yet, we end up falling short of our goals anyway. How come?
That’s a loaded question, but a recent article in Psychological Bulletin finds that religious beliefs may further your self-control pursuits. For someone who was raised in the Catholic school system, this of course sounds dead on! But then again, with the threat of hell looming and the daily ritual of going to Mass, it wasn’t always difficult to find the motivation to have self-discipline! What if you don’t have that constant reminder in a group setting?
However you pray, meditate or get in touch with your spiritual side, you are demonstrating self-control by being focused. Those who do this in a spiritual setting—a mosque, church, synagogue, temple—may have more luck with keeping this focus. But what if you want to live more spiritually, but not necessarily adhere to the guidelines of a specific religion? That’s a-OK! Try recreating parts of these settings in your own home, by allocating time for spirituality and finding a supportive community of people that is looking for the same.
When it comes to resolutions and promises, like being a better person, volunteering or aiming for a healthier lifestyle, maybe you are making them to yourself and not necessarily God, but they are important nonetheless. Do you align your resolutions with your spiritual goals? [The New York Times]