A New New Year for Self-Improvement

Every 365 days or so, we have a chance to look over our lives and decide what needs fixing. New Year’s Day makes us think of dieting, giving up a bad habit like procrastinating or complaining, or weeding out our clothes closet. We may or may not make resolutions for the new year. And we may or may not break them in a few days . . .  or hours! This New Year’s Day is special and different because a full moon will appear, a rarity on this day. We can resolve to make this new year different too by making and keeping resolutions differently. So c’mon. Let’s shoot for the moon. Some ideas:

Make just one. That way we have a better chance of keeping it.

Ask a trusted and honest friend to suggest a resolution for you.

Write the resolution and place it where you will remember it.

Associate a daily activity with your resolution as a reminder, for example brushing your teeth.

Choose a day each month to review how well you are attaining your goal, maybe the first of each month . . . or the day of a full moon.

No doubt even atheists make New Year’s resolutions. However, they are a very Christian practice. Someone defined a Christian as a person who always has the chance to make a 180° turnaround. Jesus calls everyone with flaws, minor or major, to a metanoia, a change of heart. Changing isn’t easy. We Catholics have the Sacrament of Penance to prompt us to resolve to improve time and again. And it offers the grace, superhuman power, to change.

Breaking new year’s resolutions is depressing and discouraging. Keeping them boosts our self-esteem and puts us over the moon!

“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.” —G.K. Chesterton

Any other suggestions for making and keeping resolutions?


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