Holidays/My Culture 20 New Year’s Resolutions… That Aren’t Losing Weight by Courtney Kiolbassa “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” You’ve probably heard it before: most New Year’s resolutions are bound to fail. Only about 8% of people will accomplish their resolution. There are a lot of reasons why this happens—not being specific in the goal or how it’ll be achieved, setting goals that are unrealistic, or just getting discouraged—but I think it goes even deeper. Many people set goals because they dislike some part of themselves; they are trying to fix their body image or lifestyle habits from a place of self-loathing. But, as with most things, it is love that endures. Before setting your resolution for the year, examine your heart. Are you trying to fix something because you dislike yourself, or are you trying to improve because you love yourself and want to glorify God in all that you do? Invite the Lord into your intentions! Here’s a list of resolutions that can help you love the person God created you to be. “…and with all your soul…” Read the four Gospels Just one section a day can give you great insight into the person of Jesus Christ. Begin a prayer journal Check out this blog post to learn why journaling is a great tool for prayer! Go to Confession once a month Confession is nothing to be afraid of, and regular Confession makes it even less daunting. Sign up for a weekly adoration hour Bonus points if you convince your family or a friend to come with you. Take up spiritual reading Saints and spiritual writers are an absolute treasure. Learn from them. “…and with all your strength…” Sleeping You really do need those eight to ten hours of shut-eye. Seriously. Invite your family to take a family walk once a week It’s great exercise and a great time for conversation. Add one serving of fruit and vegetables each to your day Let’s face it: very few of us eat enough fruits and veggies. Replace less-healthy snacks and meals with some produce. Wear sunscreen Become your mother and lather that stuff on before spending time outside. Find a soda alternative I’m currently obsessed with flavored sparkling water. La Croix, anyone? “…and with all your mind…” Put your phone away before bed Replace late-night scrolling with pre-sleep reading (see next point). Make a book list and read books from it (even if it’s your school book list). Reading increases your concentration and enriches your understanding of the world. No, Sparknotes don’t count. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the books in the Life Teen store! Ask for help if you need it Your mental health matters. Make this year the year that you talk to a counselor about depression, anxiety, or any other conditions affecting you. Replace music with interesting podcasts once a week They’re the easiest way to learn something new! Pick up a new hobby and dedicate a specific amount of time to it each week Some ideas: guitar, hand-lettering, woodworking, baking, etc. “…and love your neighbor as yourself.” Volunteer Find an activity that aligns with your skills and serves your local community. Cook for your parents They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll learn something new. Two birds, one stone. Write letters for friends’ birthdays Instagram shout-outs are good, but taking the time to hand-write your sentiments is irreplaceable. Call your extended family to say hello Keep up with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It’ll make family gatherings so much more enjoyable! Forgive someone Whether that’s through conversation, prayer, or simply changing your mindset, show mercy to the person it’s hardest to show mercy to. BONUS! Find a Bible verse that reflects your overall intention for the year Luke 10:27 will be my “theme verse,” reminding me that any improvements in my spiritual life, bodily health, mental health, or relationships should be actions fueled by love of God. Let’s live fully alive in 2018!