Ready or not the new year has begun! 2012 has arrived with all the hope, promise and fanfare that each New Year brings ! For several people 2011 was a great year and they hate to see it go, for others 2011 sucked and they can’t wait to get it behind them and move on. You know, out with the old and in with the new! 2011 with all its good intentions, failed resolutions and unfulfilled hopes and dreams, is behind us now so forget about it!
2012 brings us another 365 days to try and use our time wisely, turn things around and maybe, just maybe get things right. That is of course unless the Mayans are right and the world ends on 12/22/2012, in which case we’ve only got 356 days left to get it right. For many of us the first step in getting it right is making new year’s resolutions, our intentions for the coming year. Someone once said that “resolutions are in one year and out the other,” which is often the case. Funny how some people are very successful at fulfilling their intentions but most of us fail miserably. It’s not that we don’t want to keep our resolutions, we have every intention of keeping them, it’s the follow through we have a problem with. You know what they say,“the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” meaning there is no real value, spiritual or otherwise in simply planning to do good if we don’t actually do it. We have to put our good intentions into action.
This morning at church Father Cronin spoke about resolutions and the good intentions associated with them. He shared a story he’d read in the morning paper about a person ‘s prayer to God concerning resolutions. “Dear Lord, So far this year I’ve done well. I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help. Amen
Amen indeed! Making resolutions isn’t difficult. I believe we are all aware of changes we can make that will make us better people. These changes, whether subtle or substantial are attainable. With God’s help anything is possible. And therein lies the problem, we try to do it on our own without His help. We start the new year committed to keeping our resolutions, full of determination and promise. Ready for a new beginning, a new way of living. Then, within days, weeks or even months we lose our resolve and with our resolutions forgotten, we backslide into our old ways. Why? Because we don’t have the support we need. Sure there are strategies we can use to achieve our goals, including breaking the goals down into small, easy to manage steps and rewarding ourselves for our progress. And they work, sometimes.
The easiest way to be successful is to resolve to do something that inspires us, something that we want to do, something that makes us happy. Most resolutions look like a “to do” list of chores or jobs we really don’t want to do but feel we should do. For example, In 2012 I resolve to losing weight, eat healthier, exercise more, stop smoking, keep my temper in check or make more time for my family. All are admirable resolutions but buying a gym membership, giving up sweets or our favorite foods, and forcing ourselves to give up time in one area to spend more time with family, will eventually cause us to be more short tempered or to smoke more and will lead us to dismissing our resolutions entirely. It happens year after year. To ensure success we need to choose resolutions that will make our life more joyous and meaningful. Our happiness will promote our good health and well being
If we want to be successful we need to practice relying more on the Lord every day of our lives. Here is a little prayer I came across on the internet that might be useful in helping you with your resolutions.
“Dear God, I really want the new year to be different for me this time.” (Insert the changes you’d like to make) “Lord Jesus, I know that I’m going to need a lot of help for this. So right now I place myself in your hands. Help me to receive Your strength. Amen.”
Repeating this prayer will give you a much better chance of being successful this year. By making God a part of your plan and trusting in His help 2012 will be your best year ever.
This new year I have only one resolution, an important one, to strengthen my relationship with my best friend, my wife. Our relationship makes us feel connected, not only to each other, but to everyone around us. If I’m successful in keeping my resolution the results will be felt in every facet of our lives. Of course it will not be an easy task. We are both stubbornly set in our ways. But I resolve to give it my best shot. With God’s help I’m sure we’ll do just fine. Happy New Year!
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,” (Phil 4:13)
Just a Thought,