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As we prepare for a new year. We can approach this feast as an opportunity to reflect on the past – the good and the bad – and use those insights to help us shape the future. In other words, we can use our New Year’s Resolutions to help us grow closer to God. What are our weaknesses, and what can we do to make our lives better reflect God’s vision for us?
Try these tips to make your spiritual goals “stick” this year:
Be Specific: Nebulous goals, like “grow closer to God” or “read more scripture,” are next to impossible to fulfill. Break them down into specific pieces; specific goals are, by definition, measurable.
Make Them Measurable: Being able to gauge your progress helps you to stay motivated. Examples of measurable goals: Attend daily Mass once a week. Read one chapter of the Bible three times a week.
Be Realistic: If you overreach, you’re likely to burn out. If you want to spend half an hour a day in contemplative prayer, start with five minutes. Once you (and your schedule) have adjusted, make it ten.
Call For Help: Spouses, parents, children, siblings, friends…all can be cheerleaders for each other, offering encouragement and discipline when the going gets tough. Perhaps you and your loved ones can set common goals.
Think Beyond The Obvious: Every human endeavor, whether overtly religious or not, has a spiritual dimension. Any goal that improves your relationship with family, friends, or yourself also puts you into healthier relationship with God. Approach whatever goals you set with prayer and a desire to do God’s will, and see what can happen!
St. Charles Borromeo, Leisel Rodas