With New Year celebrations just around the corner, I think it’s fair to say that many of us have already started planning our ‘New Year resolutions.’
“This year, I’m going to exercise more.”
“This year, I’m going to watch what I eat.”
“This year, I’m going to spend less time on technology and social media.”
“This year, I’m going to go to Church more often.”
“This year, I’m going to read the Bible and recite the Rosary every day.”
If you’re someone who has set resolutions before (and broken them within the first week of January), then this is for you.
Have you ever stopped to think about why we set these resolutions though? Why we constantly feel like there are certain things we have to change or improve?
Is it because we feel unworthy? Is it because we’re constantly trying to fill an empty void in our lives? Or is it simply just because it’s an annual tradition?
Personally, I believe there are many reasons as to why we suddenly choose to set new goals for ourselves before we enter a new year. For some of us, it’s about accomplishing something we weren’t able to in the past. For others, it might be about eliminating some bad habits. For the rest, it could be a chance to discover who we really are and what our purpose really is.
Before we even begin to set goals for 2015 though, I think it is important that we spend time reflecting on this past year. Whether you found 2014 to be the greatest year of your life or if it brought you many hardships and challenges, you made it and that is an achievement within itself.
The next important realisation is the fact that with a new year, comes the chance to start fresh. I’m sure you have all heard the cliché “new year, new me” slogan thrown around before but let me tell you that there is some truth to it. Before you attack, I know that as humans we are blessed enough to be able to start new whenever we wish – we don’t necessarily have to wait until the first of January to change anything – however sometimes, it might just be the perfect excuse for people. So if you are someone (I’ll be the first to raise my hand) who has been putting off any changes – this is the sign you’ve been waiting for.
Whatever your past may be, and despite all of the troubles you might have encountered, this is the perfect opportunity to let them go. Leave behind the burdens that are weighing you down and “cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). It will bring such joy to your soul for you to just let go. Bring into 2015 all of the good memories, people and lessons but leave the stress, burdens and bad habits behind.
At the same time, do not fret about what 2015 has to hold. Welcome the new year with the mentality that everything will be okay and trust in the plan that God has for you. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). You will be surprised by the miracles He has in store for you, once you surrender it all to Him. How beautiful is the thought that we have an Almighty Father watching over us from Heaven, who is pleased to take care of our worries.
So go ahead and plan your New Year resolutions. It is a beautiful thing to do and setting goals is always a good source of motivation. Aim to have Christ at the centre of your ambitions, choose a certain virtue/s you would like to work on (patience, I’m looking at you…) and set yourselves a goal which will bring glory to His name. The fulfilment that this will bring you goes far beyond anything I could express in a blog post.
There it is. Another year over and a new one waiting to happen. The end of the year brings with it a sense of promise. There is a mutual feeling of nostalgia for the passing of the year, but also a sense of hope that this year will be the start of something new and exciting. Hold on to that feeling and let it drive you to become the best version of you.
On behalf of the entire team at The Good Word, I wish all of you a happy and safe New Year and I pray that 2015 brings you love, joy, health, peace and success.
May our good Lord continue to bestow His blessings upon us daily.