New Year’s Resolution

As the end of the year rapidly approaches, many of us are beginning to brainstorm new year’s resolutions – goals with the intent of bettering ourselves based on the wisdom we have acquired from the past year. Following the same mindset, it is in our best interest to develop a plan to grow in our faith. With the Church’s focus of 2018 being young people, we should answer this call by setting an example of obedience and trust in the Lord so as to evangelize other youth.

Need a suggestion to add to your list of New Year’s Resolutions? Here are some practical ways to integrate Christ into the new year:

  1. Learn the Truth. One of the greatest battles of today’s youth is sorting through the lies of society. Which are facts? Which are simply opinions backed by over exaggerated truths? Once we are able to recognize that Christ is the Truth, and all that comes from Him is good and true, we will gain a greater clarity towards life, a clarity that will help us distinguish whether our own plans for the future are of God or not.
  2. Desire Christ. In order to have a better relationship with God, you have to have the desire to do so first. This desire can be as great as an inferno, or as mild as a tea light candle. A way that you can increase this desire is by learning more about Him. Think of it this way, imagine your best friend, the one you know best, and the one who knows you best. Think about how the two of you got close. Very likely, the more you came to know about them, the more your desire to spend time with them and to grow in your friendship increased as well. The same goes with God, the more you learn, the more you’ll love and desire Christ.
  3. Set up “dates” with Jesus. In order to improve any relationship, you must improve your communication first! The same goes with our relationship with God. A practical way to increase communication between you and God is by setting up “dates” with Jesus. It does not have to be anything fancy, just set up a time and a place to speak with the Lord. Just like you would not do with a friend, it is important not to stand Jesus up! For myself, I enjoy having conversations with God while commuting to school, or going on walks. It may feel or seem silly at first, but actually talking out loud to God can improve your bond with God for you are treating Him as a physical person, as a friend.
  4. Focus on one aspect of your life. It is difficult to improve your life when you’re focused on various things at one time. Because you aren’t putting your full attention on one area, it will not change as quickly as you may expect. As a result, it is easy to grow frustrated and give up. Instead, make a shortlist of areas in your life you hope to grow in, and focus on your top priority. Once you feel satisfied with that area, move on to the next. You may even find that in improving that one area, consequently you improved other areas as well!
  5. Walk side by side. The best way to grow in intimacy with Christ is to invite Him into your life. In order to do so, it is important to see God as a friend, rather than a mystical, unreachable power. See Him as a friend, one you can walk experience life with. It could be as simple as starting and ending the day in prayer so as to offer each day up to Him. Or, you could seek for Christ in your daily life, in both the highs and the lows. For myself, what I like to do is start each day with a simple question: “Lord, how would You like to use me today?”. Another way I try to walk side by side with God is by literally imagining Him walking beside me throughout the day.  I keep the thought in my head: “If God was right beside me right now, would I be doing what I am doing?” If the answer is no, then I know that what I am doing is wrong. Of course, it is easier said than done but it only takes a little more effort to think about your actions!
  6. Have daily resolutions.  Finally, New Year’s is not the only time you can make and start new resolutions. Growth is progressive, and requires consistent effort and self evaluation. Try setting simply goals for yourself when you wake up, or write these challenges on slips of paper and  place them in a jar pick a new one every morning. These tasks can include challenging yourself to be more empathic, or to complete three random acts of kindness. Even if they are small, individual acts, over time they will amount to a greater, more subtle maturation of self.

It is important to understand that growth in relationships and of oneself can only occur if one is willing to take the time and effort to enforce these changes. So, I encourage you to find a friend to join you in your journey towards Christ, one who will keep your accountable and motivate you to persevere in times where your goals way not go as planned. We are the new generation of the Church, and it is up to us to keep the fire alive. As we aspire to better ourselves and seek Christ, we will inspire others to do the same.

 


Eleanor Wong – YCOM Press Head | CFC-Youth Pacific Region