We have completed the first month of the new year and I would wager that many of us are already having difficulty keeping our new year resolutions or have abandoned them altogether. Let me suggest five resolutions which should be relatively easy to keep and that will give us that much needed sense of accomplishment to spur us on to make the resolutions permanent, positive changes in our lives.
The first attainable resolution is to eat more deliberately. This does not entail any major changes in diet or eating habits, but simply slowing down and relishing the foods we eat; being especially mindful not to waste when so many in our world experience hunger daily. The nutritionists say eating slower will help fill us up more quickly, improve our digestion, and ultimately help us lose a few pounds.
The second attainable resolution is move more deliberately. We need not commit to walking miles each day or starting a strenuous exercise program. Rather, we can walk when feasible instead of driving or we can take stretch breaks at our desks or while watching our favorite television programs. Throughout each day, there are a number of opportunities to move and be less sedentary.
The third attainable resolution is to drink more water each day. It’s not very difficult for us to replace a cup of coffee or tea, or our favorite soft drink with a glass or bottle of nature’s finest drink. While it might seem to some that plastic water bottles are a ubiquitous part of our daily lives — filling up our landfills at an alarming rate — the reality is our health professionals say most of us still do not drink enough water each day. Water literally holds the essence of life and, for us believers, can serve as a reminder each day we take it into our bodies of the water of baptism which gives us the promise of eternal life.
The fourth attainable resolution is hand write a note or letter to some dear one. We live in such a digital age, the art of letter writing and penmanship are becoming archaic and perhaps even lost. As efficient as email is, there is nothing like being able to read a letter or note of thanks, of cheer, or condolence over and over again — as a tangible reminder of someone’s care or concern.
The final attainable goal is to pray more each day. Whether one chooses a traditional prayer like the rosary or the Our Father, or one simply pauses at any intervals of the day or evening to consciously remind oneself that we are always in the presence of a loving Creator, it is prayer. This, perhaps, is what St. Paul meant when he admonished us to pray without ceasing. Blessing our food, our work, our recreation, our loved ones, our going and our coming surely will make us more grateful people and be pleasing to our God.
Let’s reboot our resolutions and resolve to start anew today!