Each year at this time I write about the new year and recommend changes you can make in your life that will result in a healthier and happier year. I thought it would be of interest to review what I said in years past to determine if those recommendations still apply as we make the transition from 2010 to 2011.

Each year at this time I write about the new year and recommend changes you can make in your life that will result in a healthier and happier year.


I thought it would be of interest to review what I said in years past to determine if those recommendations still apply as we make the transition from 2010 to 2011.


Two years ago I wrote that many people were filled with trepidation and anxiety about the difficult economy we were facing and how it might affect their health. For many, the economic downturn was associated with emotional problems such as anxiety, depression and a sense of insecurity.


I ended by saying that our country has faced and overcome similar economic difficulties, and, although it would not be easy, we would do it again.


Unfortunately, these same economic concerns remain as we enter 2011. But there now appears to be some light at the end of the economic tunnel.


As we entered 2006 I advised you to view life from a different perspective. Look at the bigger picture of life and don't let the little everyday annoyances wear you down. Make the effort to enjoy the things that bring you happiness. Learn to celebrate the good times and don't dwell on the bad times. And, appreciate your good health because you may not realize what a great gift it is until you no longer have it.


This advice is just as important today, if not more so, as it was six years ago.


Five years ago I recommended you should be nicer to people and become a more caring, giving, tolerant and thoughtful person. It not only makes others feel better, but you will be the one who benefits the most.


At the same time I commented on the importance of spending more time with family and friends. They are the most important people in your life and if you wait too long you may lose the opportunity.


As I look back at these suggestions, none are earth-shaking or erudite. They were reminders of things you already know.


But what is important is, after reading these suggestions, did you heed the advice? Did you do anything to change your life in a more positive way?


If the answer is no, then the year 2011 is the time to do it.


Massachusetts-based Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.


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