Friday, January 02, 2009

A practical spiritual goal for 2009

Happy new year to you! I hope it will bring abundant graces and blessings!

Rather than new year's resolutions, I like to think more in terms of new year's goals. My reason is that the word "resolution" makes me think of something already accomplished. For example, if I make a resolution to avoid eating sweets, I feel like it's something I have to do from the moment I make the resolution. Then when I eat that piece of chocolate cake, I've already broken the resolution! Making resolutions is like going on the fast track to a guilt trip.

I see goals, instead, as something more positive. For example, I could set a goal to take better care of my health. That could include healthier eating, which is a goal to work toward. It doesn't mean that all of a sudden I eat a perfectly healthy diet. It will take some time to develop some kind of healthy eating plan and follow it.

New Year's is a good time to look at how our spiritual life has been going, and then setting a goal to either keep it on track or get it on track. Take prayer, for example. A goal like "I will have a deep prayer life" is OK but it needs to be specified a little more concretely. That could be the general goal, but then it can be broken down into smaller, more specific goals. Depending on my life situation and family responsibilities, the goal might involve going to daily Mass, making a holy hour once a week, taking 20 minutes each morning for meditation on Scripture, etc.

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