Tips for Making and Keeping a New Years Resolution

In his presentation on making New Year's resolutions, Father Mark-Mary of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal shares a technique for setting and keeping resolutions. He emphasizes the importance of having resolutions that are concrete, clear, convenient, and accountable. Instead of vague goals like being more patient or improving prayer life, he suggests specific, measurable actions, such as praying an extra 10 minutes a day or exercising patience at least once daily. He highlights the convenience of tracking progress in a simple, sustainable way, like using a Google Doc for daily check-ins on specific goals, including sleep times, meals, exercise, and prayer. Father Mark-Mary also stresses the importance of accountability, suggesting sharing goals and progress with someone else for regular review. He concludes by reminding viewers that good intentions combined with a solid strategy can lead to transformative growth in virtue, prayer, and overall holistic health.

Questions for further discussion and reflection
  1. How can the principle of setting concrete, clear, convenient, and accountable resolutions be applied to specific areas of your life, such as personal development, spiritual growth, or professional goals? Can you identify an area where this approach would be particularly beneficial?
  2. Reflecting on past experiences with New Year's resolutions or similar commitments, what challenges have you faced in maintaining consistency and accountability? How might the technique shared by Father Mark-Mary address these challenges?
  3. In what ways can sharing your goals and progress with someone else (like a mentor, friend, or family member) enhance your journey towards achieving your resolutions? How important do you think the role of community or support systems is in the process of personal and spiritual growth?
A Prayer for Guidance and Perseverance in New Year's Resolutions

Dear Lord, Giver of Time and Source of Renewal,

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, we turn to You with our hopes and aspirations. We thank You for the gift of life and the opportunity to grow and improve ourselves in all aspects of our being.

Grant us, O Lord, the wisdom to set meaningful resolutions that align with Your will and our true purpose. Help us to be specific in our goals, clear in our intentions, and practical in our plans. May our resolutions not just be wishes, but actionable steps towards becoming better versions of ourselves.

Provide us with the strength to be consistent in our efforts, even when challenges arise or our motivation wanes. Help us to remember that each day is a new chance to progress and that setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow.

Bless us with the gift of accountability, allowing us to share our journey with others who can offer support, guidance, and encouragement. In the sharing of our goals, may we find a community that uplifts and inspires us to persevere.

As we embark on this journey of personal and spiritual growth, keep us mindful that our ultimate goal is to draw closer to You and to reflect Your love and grace in our daily lives.

Lord, we trust in Your unfailing guidance and pray for the grace to grow in virtue, prayer, and holistic health this year. May our efforts bring us closer to You and make us instruments of Your peace in the world.

In Your loving name we pray, Amen.

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31 December 2023

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