This is the traditional “how to achieve New Year’s Resolutions” column. Please don’t click delete just yet. Please read on, not only for yourself, but someone you care about. In Genesis 2:18, after God made man, it states “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” As a counselor, it is one of my favorite verses because it contains so much wisdom. Alone, we don’t do so well. With others, we can rock the world, or at least we can drop some pounds.

When man (or women) behaves badly, we often do it as a result of our own thinking. As a country, we are grieving, the work of another “lone gunman.” I am not going to dwell on that, but what we can accomplish in fellowship with others. I will share a list, but they are not in order of importance.

As much as we love the holidays, many of you know the pain of substance abuse during these last few weeks of the year. Many people recover from alcohol and drugs, using 12-Step programs. Together miracles happen. In 2 Timothy 4:2 we are called to “correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.” Now that is wisdom to help people live a Godly life, but it applies to recovering from drugs and alcohol. Family, often has run out of patience, and the great folks in 12-Stepmeetings, understand and have great patience with newcomers. The 12-Steps are also Biblically based in case you didn’t know.

Another issue that weighs heavy on the minds of New Year’s welcomers is the weight above and below the belt. How do people drop the pounds? It is by not being alone. Weight-watchers, Over-Eaters Anonymous (OA), and TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) are just a few that help many lose the excess. To change behavior, we need the wisdom of others and their encouragement. In James 1:5, Jesus’s half-brother states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God gives us wisdom through the mouths of others. I thank my wife for much wisdom over the years.

One of the reason counseling works is because we have to show up, once a week, and the person says, “Well, did you do what we talked about doing?” I am a prideful person, and I don’t like to admit failure, so often I will do something positive, because someone is holding me accountable. When the disciples were sent out by Jesus, he sent them in pairs (Mark6:7; Luke 10:1). He knew they were going to face stressful, negative situations. If 2013 might be stressful, get a partner to come along side you. My Promise-Keeper brothers and I have been having coffee, Wednesdays at 6:00 am, every week for over 10 years. We have grown together and helped each other change and go through the storms of life.

Grief can be a lonely journey. A grief group is beginning at the Son-Shine Counseling Center (353-5059), at 4:00 pm, Friday, January 18th, if you have experienced a profound loss and you need help. It’s free and a donation welcomed for a free Love Language book fund. If you want a Happy New Year, you don’t have to do it alone. If you choose to not go it alone, your year will not only be happier, but more successful in those changes you desire. Reach out and whatever the need, a helping hand is available. God bless you and that person who is your suitable helper!