As we get enter 2022 with ambitions in mind and optimistic outlooks, it pays to evaluate our expectations for the year so that we can accomplish all that we are capable of. Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? If so, how many years have you succeeded in your endeavor to form good habits? While you may be one of the strong who has remained faithful to your new covenant, many others fail before February even begins, barely keeping their resolution at all. So how do we modify our resolutions and goals for the year so that we can make them doable, yet challenging enough to help us grow in virtue?
Recently on Morning Air, Monsignor Steve Rossetti joined the show to talk about setting manageable goals for the new year and how to fit spiritual improvements in with the physical improvements that we seek.
Glen Lewerenz hosting for John Morales began by talking a bit about his own past resolutions. Growing up as a Protestant, Glen was very familiar with reading scripture and many Protestant programs were started for the express purpose of finishing the Bible by year’s end. He became very familiar with scripture, both the Old and New Testaments, and he said that one of the keys to completing an endeavor like this is to make it bite-sized. These programs that he participated in would break up the sections into manageable portions so that you weren’t reading large chunks at a time.
One of the issues with completing long-term projects is dealing with burn-out. Getting burnt out can happen when you tackle an ambitious, complex task or project without any sense of planning or pacing. Often, people who burn out are those who push themselves past their limit too quickly and have no gas left in the tank to cross the finish line. Those who want to start working out every day might start day one by pushing themselves past the point of fatigue. The will to stick with the regimen will quickly dry up if constant pain and fatigue are the only immediate effects of working out. The best way to start exercising is by starting slow.
Glen said that a good way to begin your spiritual resolution is by starting with the daily mass readings every day. It’s easy, accessible, and broken up into bite-sized pieces for you. “Yes, something, again, achievable, doable, and measurable that’s uplifting, like as you say, reading the scriptures. I also find it helpful to do it with someone else,” said Monsignor Rossetti. Going back to the workout analogy, you’re much less likely to continue the journey to getting in shape by yourself. But if your friend stops by and tells you that it’s time to exercise, they are holding you accountable for your promises.
Working in tandem with finding a partner for your resolution is the ability of our memory to keep us moving towards our goals. Our friends and family can be reminders of all the ways God has blessed us and showered us with graces throughout our lives. Those memories will give us the fuel to keep working at our spiritual resolutions, even when we don’t want to. “The interesting thing about the Christian Faith is that when we remember, it’s not just an empty thought of the past. There’s a sacramental notion to that. When we remember, that grace is somehow present to us again. So, when we read the scriptures, for example, we remember what the Lord has done, but that grace of the word is present to us.” Of course, the most powerful example of this recurring presence is in the sacraments.
Regardless of what route we decide to go in our resolutions this year, the most important part is to pursue it with the guidance of Our Lord. It is the curse of man to always try things his own way, but if we consistently turned to God, asking Him to touch our lives, we would find peace in our endeavors much more often. “What do I want to do? I want to open my heart to the Lord each morning and say, ‘Lord, Lord guide me.’ That’d be a wonderful New Year’s Resolution. Just every morning, wake up and say, ‘Lord, I open myself to You. Let Your spirit guide me this day.’”
Listen to the whole conversation below:
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