I’m not really much for New Year’s resolutions. Self-improvement and growth should be continual efforts, and examination of progress should take place more often than annually. It’s why the Church recommends frequent confession, so you can examine your faults and failing as well as your strengths frequently. But if you’re up for resolutions, you could do far worse than follow Blessed John XXIII’s Decalogue for Daily Living:
1. Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
2. Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
3. Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
4. Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
5. Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
6. Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
7. Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and it my feelings are hurt, I will make sure no one notices.
8. Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
9. Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.
10. Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.
Taking resolutions one day at a time is, of course, a wise strategy to follow. Trying to go a year exercising every day, or not smoking, or dieting can be overwhelming, but anyone can do one of those things for a day. String together a bunch of single days and all of a sudden you’ve accomplished something significant. Break down your resolutions into manageable accomplishments, then string a series of those manageable accomplishments together, and you’ll really accomplish something.
Hat Tip: The Anchoress
Of course, this is a worthy resolution as well:
Read more Non Sequitur.