Are you tired of the same old New Year’s goals? Studies have shown that most people choose “eat healthier”, “do more exercise/lose weight” and “save money” as their top 3 New Year resolutions. While there’s nothing wrong with these, here are some alternative goals that Catholics can aim for in 2021.
Begin every day with prayer
From a simple one-line prayer thanking God for the new day, to the more traditional morning offering, beginning each morning with prayer is sure to get you into a great frame of mind for the rest of the day.
A priest said in a recent homily that “the key to true joy is through gratitude”. Take some time each day to make a list of all the things you are grateful for. You might find some things that surprise you!
Buy Less Stuff
Pope Francis once said on Twitter, “If money and material things become the centre of our lives, they seize us and make us slaves.” Before you buy something this year, ask yourself: do I really need this? If the answer is yes, try looking for it second hand.
There are many ways we can practice humility in our everyday lives. Let others go first in the checkout line. Don’t be quick to correct others if it’s not important. Admit to your mistakes, and say “I’m sorry.” Talk less, listen more.
“Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
Dedicate one day each week (or month, if you think every week is too hard!) as a no-complaint day. That includes complaining about the weather!
Fast throughout the year
Fasting isn’t just for Lent! Pick a day each month to go without coffee, to walk or bike to school/work, to bring lunch from home instead of buying it. Or you might want to observe meat-free Fridays every week.
Is there someone you’ve been holding a grudge against? Make 2021 the year to let go of past grievances and practice forgiveness.
Turn ordinary moments into moments of prayer
Get into the habit of saying a prayer whilst waiting for the microwave to beep, in line at the drive-thru, or on hold with the insurance company.
Pray to St Joseph
Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph. In light of this, take time this year to pray to Saint Joseph, and reflect on how to better emulate him.
End each day with an examen
What can you give thanks for today? What do you need to ask forgiveness for? How can you do better tomorrow? Use this easy guide from Loyola Press to help focus your prayer.