Thursday, 29 December 2016

8 Ideas for your New Year's Resolution

1. Communication

By Megan James

I was recently talking to my friend about resolutions for 2017 when she said to me “I am just thinking; what can I do for others? What can I do for God? And what can I do for myself?” This really made me think. In 2017, what change can I make that will improve my relationship with God, with others, and with myself?

The answer I came up with is communication. I know this is the area I can fall down in sometimes, especially when life isn’t going so peachy (which is when communication is key.) I know that I find it so hard to open up about those tough areas of my life, and this can cause a huge block in my prayer life, and also my personal life.

So, in 2017 my aim is to not shut down when life goes slightly array. Instead, I will communicate. I will not push God and my loved ones away, but instead I will seek them. And just as importantly, I will keep checking in with myself. I have learnt, I can only be honest with God and with others if I am firstly honest with myself. So, through taking time for myself, taking time for real contemplation and prayer, and taking time to be with those I love, 2017 will hopefully be a year of openness, honestly, and vulnerability, because as St Paul so beautifully tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ‘For when I am weak, I am strong.’

2. Living Realistically

By Eleanor Hill

I'm going to be honest, I'm seriously rubbish and sticking to New Years resolutions. My diet usually lasts a week, my 'give time for yourself' lasts up until February where life gets busy again and although the intention is there , my 'go to mass,adoration and confession more' kinda fizzles out when I forget why I wanted to do that in the first place.

So this year my resolution is to be more realistic, to be more conscious of my surroundings and to not put pressure on myself. Of course I'm not going to run a marathon, drink 2 litres of water a day, improve my prayer life by an hour and get 8 hours sleep. Instead I'm going to each week make realistic little changes, for example strive to go to adoration just once a week, to go for a walk every so often and to listen to a podcast one morning every so often.

I'm going to strive to make little changes that will have big repercussions, to let God work through my little promises, and most importantly to rest in him more, rather than getting myself stressed running towards Him.

3. Daily Mass

By Gina  Geffers

When I lived in a chaplaincy, it was easy peasy for me to get to daily mass, as my room was right above the chapel. I essentially felt bad if I was around and didn’t go. Since I’ve moved cities and houses, daily mass has been non-existent for me, unfortunately. I’ve decided to make this my New Year’s resolution and recommend it for anyone who is (or even isn’t) struggling with their faith or mass visits. 

After having spent a while coming up with decent New Year’s resolutions that would be feasible, I figured that going to daily mass at least twice a week is something that I could do because…it’s a thing I can do. Physically speaking. While I have periods in which praying seems abstract, rather than trying to go out searching by myself, I can just move myself to church, sit and listen and be overwhelmed by Christ

4. Healthy body : healthy soul

By Sarah Morton

This time last year, I was 5 months away from my wedding, and like so many other brides to be, my New Years resolution was to lose weight. Except, healthy eating wasn't really my thing. So I skipped meals, drank more tea and coffee, and took some gym classes instead. My wedding happened, my dress fit perfectly, and my husband and I started to eat whatever the heck we wanted again. Admittedly, we bought a nutri bullet with all the right intentions, but we got comfortable, and we got lazy. The food we were putting into our body wasn't able to fuel us enough to carry out our jobs, to maintain our home or to socialise with people. Then winter colds and chest infections struck and our bodies haven't been able to heal and repair as they should have been. 

As Catholics, we believe our earthly bodies weren't simply created by God, but they're actually temples of the Holy Spirit where God himself dwells inside us! (1 Cor 16:19-20 and 3:16-17) It's easy to fall into the trap of the latest diet fad or exercise class, but taking care of our bodies is actually something we are called to do by God. That's why this year, I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight, but fueling my body properly will hopefully give me the energy I need to carry out my job happily, spend time with friends and family, and actually devote time to hobbies; activities which in turn help to fuel my soul, which leads me closer to God, which makes me a much happier person in general!

"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health,
as it goes well with your soul." 

3 John 1:2

5. Creating time for Prayer

By Eve Hirst

In 2017 I am aiming to try and give more deliberate time to Jesus in prayer. Often I find life can be so busy rushing here and there that the only time I find to pray is when I’m on the move. And often it’s only when I remember that there is something that really needs praying for! 

But advent has been a good opportunity to try and reflect on the present moment, day by day, and this would be great to try to take through to the New Year. Taking deliberate time out to sit with Jesus and update him on the seemingly mundane things of my day, like I would do with a friend, is time very well invested into my friendship with my wonderful Father in heaven.

6. Getting up!

By Ben Hince

Ok, so here’s my New Year resolution for 2017: Wake up when my alarm goes each day! Maybe it sounds simple, but for me, it often isn’t. I once heard that the holiest thing you can do in each moment is to be right where God wants you, and I’ve often tried to convince myself that that’s having an extra thirty minutes in bed… It isn't.

I’m a student, and so that means God wants me to be productive, and He wants me to be using my time responsibly. Actually, I'm a third year student, and so that means God wants me to be really productive, and really using my time responsibly!

The hope is that not only will this resolution make me more responsible in my work, but it will also help me in my Spiritual life – allowing more time each day for prayer and for journeying with God.

7. Giving Time

By Isaac Withers

On my university I.D., alongside a photo of me that I thought looked great at the time, are the years 2014-2017. I remember looking at them when I got that card through the mail and almost laughing at how far away 2017 felt. So, suffice to say I'm doing some rethinking right now. 

Something I've been doing since September, has been to actively try to be around people as much as I can, people I won't see after this phase of my life. Not waiting for a module to throw us together, or for us to bump into each other in a pub, to seek out the people, not assuming anything. I guess I've been trying to be generous with my time.

I was at a motorway service station Burger King yesterday after a lot of travel, and there was your typical young family at another table and I really got a deeper sense of this. I saw this dad, who'd been like me once, who was a lot like my Dad 20 years ago, and how life as it progresses really pushes us into giving more and more of our time to those around us. And I thought this should be the trajectory of my life, moving from self-satisfaction more and more to the service of others and God, giving my time when I have it. Besides, it's an arts degree, I've got a fair bit of free time to give...

8. Intentionality

By Emily Milne

New Year's calls for honesty! This year I want to be more intentional in my spiritual life. I've spent quite a long time doing things quite haphazardly - daily rosary when I remember, daily mass when I wake up on time, prayer 'when I can fit it in' etc. and while it has mostly worked for me, I've always felt that I wasn't really making my spiritual life the centre of my day - it has been more like an optional add on.

So this year I'm making goals, a plan for the week, and I'm going to try and be realistic about what I can achieve. It's all about creating a good habit (and working on overcoming my bad habits - like pressing snooze too often!). As St Jerome says, 'til your good is better and your better is best'.


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