1. Avoid False Positivity
Avoid affirmations which you know – deep down – are untrue. Avoid putting out false images on social media. Acknowledge your difficulties but do not dwell on them. Avoid lying to others to make them feel better. Underscore their good sides instead. Affirm the good you are able to be today and act on it by loving and caring for others as much as you have capacity to do so. A simple faith-filled prayer for yourself and for others is often enough.
2. Love Yourself
Aim to love yourself in any resolution you take. Do not set unrealistic goals or goals that would stretch you beyond your limits such that you have no time for rest, leisure, kindness or self care. Ensure your goal is healthy. A diet in which you plan to starve yourself without first consulting your physician may not be good stewardship of your body. Stand at the heroic crossroads of loving yourself today while aiming to improve on yourself.
3. Tell Yourself What God Tells You
Memorize the Word of God that underscores your value such as: “before you were conceived in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” Remind yourself that “with God, all things are possible.” That “You can do all things through Christ.” (Phil 4: 13). That if you “wait upon the Lord, you will renew your strength.” (Isaiah 40:31). Say to yourself that “the Lord is Your Shepherd, Your Light and Salvation.” (Ps 23 & Ps 27). Take any of these or others with you in your heart, daily.
4. Notice and Develop Your Talent
Know what you are good at and never underestimate it. Everything from knitting to woodwork are talents. Notice those things that you seem to know or do better than most people – without making much effort. Find ways to develop these talents to get better at them. You may be lucky that this talent can lead to an income for you. However, in many cases it wont. Enjoy the talent nonetheless and put it at the service of others.
5. Improve Concretely but Gradually
Do not stop learning. See every opportunity as a learning opportunity. Take action to improve in small but concrete ways. Learn a language, read a book, watch a documentary. Improve your knowledge about a historic situation through a documentary or a good book. Learn how to respond to a social issue such as the rise in loneliness and anxiety. Learn to cook, bake, garden and so on. Aim to go on brisk walks for 20 minutes daily while listening to edifying Catholic meditations such as In Your Presence, 10-minutes with Jesus, Come Away By Yourselves etc
6. Accept Your Limits
Know what you are not good at and own it. Notice those who have those skills that you don’t have and thank God for giving it to them. Avoid jealousy or envy. Aim to respectfully or legitimately acquire those skills if they are something you may acquire without disproportionate means. Humbly learn from those who have the skills you desire without setting out to be strictly competitive about it.
7. Count Your Blessings
Dwell on what you have. Your strength, your overall good health, a nice smile, a good work ethic, a nice personality, family, food and so on. Make a small list of what you are grateful for every day. List two or three items on a sticky note and leave it on your desk at work or on your side table. Look at it often, especially when a negative thought tries to take hold of your mind. Recite a Psalm of confidence such as Psalm 91, praying it with total trust in God.
8. Cut Out Toxic People & Situations
Quietly remove toxic people from your life. Signs of toxic friends can be seen here. Minimize contact if they are people that you cannot avoid totally such as a family member. If the toxic person is a parent or spouse, try doing the Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots, to help that person and to help yourself in dealing with them. Pray that you do not add fuel to fire but rather, ask for the grace to become a true representative of Christ with all people.
9. Involve God
Ask for God’s Will in choosing your new year’s resolution. If you do not involve God in your planning, you risk building in vain (Psalm 127: 1-2). Ask for his help and guidance throughout the year for you and your loved ones. Manage your expectations about what you expect to accomplish throughout the year. Be open to the many good ways in which God answers all the prayers of his children. Pray that you always remain a child of God – in words and in deeds.
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