Creating and setting goals for yourself, whether you achieve them or not, is part of personal growth. As the saying goes, ‘if you aim at nothing, you hit nothing.’ This same truth can be applied to setting New Year’s resolutions and keeping them. If you don’t create any, your chances of keeping them are nonexistent. Setting the goal is the first step to becoming a more disciplined, steadfast individual.
Creating goals requires honesty, humility and a true willingness to change for the better. We should never try to be someone we are not. Rather, we should take the qualities and traits from someone or something we admire and use that as a baseline for our personal growth.
Catholic saints are deeply admired and respected for their calling to make the world a better place. St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and environment, cared for the poor and sick, he preached sermons to animals and honored all creatures as brothers and sisters under God. St. Francis felt compassion for everyone, from the diseased to birds in the sky. He realized that Christ in heaven loves everything He has made, and it only makes sense that we should too. If we have no compassion, it is a sign that we do not truly possess the love of Christ.
This year, challenge yourself to create resolutions for all facets of life, including your spiritual life. Spiritual goals can improve your faith and deepen your relationship with Christ. Here are five New Year’s Resolutions inspired by St. Francis of Assisi:
1. Live Your Full Purpose in Life with Passion
“We should seek not so much to pray, but to become a prayer.”
If we choose to pray and live out our prayers, being mindful of those around us and how we interact, the world around us will be changed. May we not act with judgment or condemnation, but with love, joy and gratitude in all circumstances.
2. Start by Doing What is Necessary
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Gain momentum for yourself by acting. Start at the beginning and manage each step along the way to gain traction. The more forward movement you achieve, the things you once found so difficult start becoming easier and can be found within your reach.
3. Be a Light in the Darkness
“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
In times of darkness, be the hope and encouragement to those in need. Let your kindness and compassion be a light to others. Look for new ways to give of yourself to foster light, beauty, peace and goodness.
4. Always Do your Best
“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people will hear today.”
Doing our best simply means living each moment to the fullest. It’s not about success or failure, it’s just about doing the best we can in every situation. See new opportunities in life as an adventure and realize that you can do anything you put your heart and mind to. Your actions may leave a positive lasting impression on someone today.
5. Love is Always the Answer
“Blessed is the servant who loves his brother as much when he is sick and useless as when he is well and can be of service to him. And blessed is he who loves his brother as well when he is far off as when he is by his side, and who would say nothing behind his back he might not, in love, say before his face.”
While loving one another is not always easy or our first response, let this concept be a challenge for you to focus on being more attuned to others. Recognize the value of people and strive to respond with love even in the face of hurt. Redefine your intent to love one another as showing kindness, compassion, healing and forgiveness. If everyone does their part to love one another, this world will become a better place.
Choose love today.