Baylor Experts Provide New Approaches to New Year’s Resolutions

NY resolutions
As 2017 approaches, many Americans are considering ways to improve themselves via New Year's resolutions. (iStock)
Dec. 12, 2016

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Media contact: Eric M. Eckert, (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (Dec. 12, 2016) — As 2017 approaches, many Americans are considering ways to improve themselves via New Year’s resolutions.

Whether it be losing weight, clearing clutter, improving spiritually or spending more time with family, the options are wide-ranging. Baylor experts encourage those plotting New Year’s resolutions to think outside the box.

A New Approach to Dieting

Meredith David, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at Baylor, researched successful dieters and how they were different from others. “Our research shows that instead of creating rules to avoid one’s favorite treats, dieters should focus on eating healthy foods that they enjoy,” David said. “Dieters who restrict themselves from consuming the foods they love most may be setting themselves up for failure. Instead, they may be better off by allowing occasional ‘treats’ and focusing attention on healthy foods that they enjoy and making it a point to include those tasty but healthy foods in their diet.”

Read the full article on dieting.

Focus on Your Family – Spend Time at Home

Karen K. Melton, Ph.D., assistant professor of child and family studies in Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, produced research on family time and what pastimes are a more effective route to happiness. While research results suggest that all quality time together contributes to satisfaction with family life, “all family leisure is not equal,” she said. “The best predictor of happiness for families may be spending quality time together in familiar activities inside the home. And that’s great news for families who have little time or few resources.”

Read the full article on family leisure.

Clearing Out Clutter

Baylor design historian Elise King, assistant professor in the department of family and consumer sciences, who is herself streamlined when it comes to knickknacks and the clothes closet, says there is “an ebb and flow over time” of non-essential vs. busy when it comes to architectural styles and interior design — including “stuff.”

These days, what is increasingly emerging is not only digital clutter, but “digital debris” that spills over into the physical, she says. This can include Amazon’s ‘dash buttons,’ tangled cords and printer paper, digital art, DVRs, etc.

Read the full article on clearing out clutter.

Understanding Generosity

Andy Hogue, Ph.D. Ph.D., lecturer in political science and director of the Civic Education and Community Service Program at Baylor, advises Americans to resolve to be more generous in the New Year. “One of the things we’ve talked about a lot in the course with 21- and 22-year-olds, who have very limited incomes themselves, is what does generosity mean? What does it mean to be a generous person?” Hogue said. “Whatever our station, however much money or resources we have, we all have something to share and something to give. I like the idea of thinking in terms of a New Year’s resolution, sort of resolving to be more generous and helping people to think in those ways.”

Read the full article on generosity.

Reignite Your Prayer Life

Angela Reed, Ph.D., associate professor of practical theology and director of spiritual formation at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, offers four tips to grow in the habit of prayer. “It isn’t easy to grow in prayer while living in a world full of noise and nearly constant activity. Few of us will ever live the kind of quiet lifestyle common to monastic communities. Instead, we must look for ways to open up to God in the midst of our everyday circumstances so that we can pray in the Spirit on all occasions.”

The tips include:

1. Read Scripture prayerfully by focusing on “formation” rather than “information.”

2. Reflect on the events of the day by asking how God seems to be most present and active to you.

3. Try out a simple form of prayer that allows for deepening reflection through repetition.

4. Explore the possibility of shaping the activities of the day around prayer, rather than the other way around.

Read the full article, “Four Tips to Reignite Your Prayer Life."

by Kelsey Dehnel, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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