A New Year’s Resolution Worth Keeping

It’s that time of year again. Time to make New Year’s resolutions.

Actually, that’s the easy part. The hard part as we all know, is sticking to them. So much so that many people decide never to make resolutions again, versus risk failure in keeping them.

But yet, as each year ends, and a new year approaches, we start to believe and hope for the possibility to improve our lives, that change is possible, that quite possibility, we’re not going to be stuck in the same old rut again this year.

While I love the optimism of New Year’s resolutions, unfortunately, the enthusiasm and hope often fades within weeks, and our efforts at self-improvement come to a whimpering end.

Why? Many times we either take on too many resolutions or for the ones we do take on, our hearts are not really in them as much as we had thought.

Perhaps they don’t last because they are more superficial in nature and lack a depth that can effect a real change within one’s soul.

I’m going to lose weight.

I’m going to exercise every day.

I’m going to travel more.

I’m going to get more out of debt.

For example, these resolutions above are not bad resolutions – they are good. My point is, perhaps we can try resolutions this year that are more interior and lasting – more character-based.

Perhaps as a first step, a good (and maybe the only) resolution this year would be to make an important goal – a goal that is much deeper and life changing than learning to swing dance, or travel to Switzerland.

Some examples of goals could be to work on an important defect that for us is noticeable – or even noticeable to others.

– I am going to try to work on better controlling my anger this year.

– I am going to try to be more patient this year – especially with myself and those closest to me.

– I am going to work on my willingness to reach out to others in need past my comfort zone.

– I am going to be more kind to my neighbors, and always give them the benefit of the doubt, instead of judging them, which I so easily fall into.

These are just a few examples of goals that are extremely worthwhile and will bring a peace and happiness to you and those around you.

We should have a willingness to take legitimate joy in those things that God has given to us, and a willingness to sacrifice those things that God is asking of us.

And if we work hard and do our best to be faithful to these New Year’s resolutions, we will develop habits that lead to holiness.

Habits that will lead to a true, sincere love for God.

Habits that will lead to a better and more authentic “me.”

When we live for God and for those around us, we can’t help but become a better person. Because that is what God desires from each of us.

And if you succeed, you’ll look back next year and realize that not only have you done much better in sticking to a New Year’s resolution, you’ll realize that you’re a different person – a better person.

And you won’t get that from sticking with a Paleo diet, or using your elliptical everyday.

So perhaps this year we can focus on creating long-lasting habits – habits of virtue – that will lead to a whole lifetime with God as our center, versus attempting to reach short-term goals that come and go with our changing likes and dislikes.

The person that spends their life honoring and glorifying God each day finds His perfect peace, along with a firm and lasting happiness. Because a relationship with God means so much more than any earthly accomplishment, more than any human praise, more than any worldly satisfaction.

There can be no better resolution in our lives, than to spend it more with Him and according to His desire for us.

Peace and God bless you all for a wonderful New Year ahead.

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Alan Scott is a writer and graphic designer residing in Virginia. A former Agnostic, he converted to the Catholic faith in 2004. In 2014 he started his blog GrowInVirtue.com, and is the author of The Quest for Virtue, both which focus on growing in holiness, by attempting to live a life more simple and virtuous, a life that is lived for God. When he’s not writing or designing, you’ll find him, hands dirty, in his garden. You can find him on Facebook, too.

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