My New Year’s resolutions

December 31, 2008 | 15 comments

This is Part II to this post from last week where I wrote about the things I felt called to reflect on as I write my yearly list of resolutions.

I walked into Adoration about a week ago with a typically detailed list of what I wanted to accomplish in the New Year. As I said in my previous post, I walked out of the Adoration chapel with a completely different list. I felt a strong call to set aside a lot of the things I wanted to include, and commit to three resolutions alone. Here’s the list:

1. Every night before I go to bed, I will ask myself three questions about the next day (and give detailed, specific answers):

  • “When will I pray?”
  • “What will I eat?”
  • “What are the essential things I need to accomplish tomorrow?”

It should only take about 30 seconds…yet I’ve been trying to do it over the past few days and have found it to be surprisingly hard to force myself to focus long enough to provide thorough answers to each question. Trying to implement this simple resolution makes me realize just how much I have a tendency to drift aimlessly through my days (as I mentioned in my previous post).

2. Through research and prayer I will come up with a plan to help me eat only foods that nourish me both physically and spiritually, and I’ll be obedient to that plan. There’s way too much to say about this resolution to cover in this post; I’ll go into it much more in the weeks to come. It has to do with what I’ve already written about focusing on the way food is impacting me both spiritually and physically, and detaching myself from foods that are not only unhealthy but come between my relationship with God and others.

3. I will plan to do “mini New Year” resolutions throughout the year. Once a year isn’t enough for me to take a big step back and look at where I am compared to where I need to be. I need to schedule a couple days throughout the year that I will treat like I treat New Year’s: days of reflection and renewal where I resolve to make changes I need to make. I’ve chosen the feast days of Easter (April 12 this year) and the Assumption (August 15) as my “mini New Year” days. I chose feast days as opposed to arbitrary calendar dates since they’re times of prayer, inspiration and celebration throughout the Church anyway.

So that’s my list! It’s helpful to share it with others so I’m not tempted to backtrack on what I’ve committed to. 🙂 If anyone else would like to share their list, I’d love to hear it!



  1. breagha

    I don’t have a list of resolutions or anything, though I do have some ideas of things that I would like to work on. One of them is definitely being more prayerful, as well as adding some time for adoration. You know, I’ve never been! Currently, there is 1 hour at my parish on Fridays, and it’s during the work day. I can’t afford to take time off of work, but I know there are other parishes that do offer evening times. I look forward to my first adoration session in the coming weeks! Happy new year!

  2. Hairline Fracture

    I love the idea of the “mini New Years'” for reflection and renewal. Thanks for the suggestion (or I suppose I might thank God for giving you the idea :-))

  3. wulfine

    Your post set me on a thought tangent.

    my resolution post

  4. Debbie

    I don’t usually have a list of New Years Resolutions, just an ongoing and ever changing list of goals. However, I love the idea of your three questions and your food resolutions. Something to think about most definitely.

  5. e2

    Oh, I love it! I think I’ll adopt the first and third ones as well. They’re so concrete and do-able.

    Have a blessed first day of the new year!

  6. Heather

    I only made 1 resolution this year – to have daily devotions, with a plan on studying what the Bible has to say regarding self-discipline. I plan on putting into practice what I learn, which will take care of any areas I could have a resolution about. This year, I am trying to focus more on “what God can enable me to do,” instead of “what I can do through sheer will-power.” I hope to blog about what I learn and do throughout the year.

    • a


  7. bearing

    Jen, I love your first resolution. I may copy it. And the third one is great too.

    I’ll continue to follow your posts on diet and eating, and trying to figure it all out.

    I’m trying to tease out how gluttony and biochemistry are interrelated in myself. Just as you started to notice how what you eat affects how charitable you are, which doesn’t let you off the hook because all it means is that charity requires you to pay attention to what you eat; it’s beginning to occur to me that what I eat affects how gluttonous I am, which is an even more insidious feedback loop for obvious reasons.

    I posted on this today and so it’s on my mind, but the conclusion I’m coming to and am thinking through in this comment is that the more successful my efforts to resist gluttony, the less gluttonous I became, for pedestrian chemical reasons, which fits better with my experience that my weight loss didn’t coincide with harder work or better virtue. Some people might think this sort of thing proves that it’s all chemistry, but if you ask me it just goes to show that this whole development-of-virtue thing is not just spiritual, but pervades our whole being, body and spirit too. As it should, because that’s what being a human person means.

  8. Anonymous

    Happy New Year! I have been thinking about you and your eating. I am pregnant (due Easter Sunday) with my 6th. I have a 10, 8, 6, 3 and 1 1/2 year old. I think that I have some of the same eating things as you, especially with this pregnancy. This is something that has been helpful to me in the past, and I am considering doing it again (now that I’m suggesting it to you:) On the weekend, with my husband around to share the work with the kids, I make an egg bake for breakfast and a crock pot meal for lunch. The egg bake can be low-carb (I like a mix of sausage, eggs and cottage cheese, cauliflower, onions and garlic and parmesan) and the lunch can be something low-carb like turkey chili or (and I know this sounds gross, but it’s delicious) meatballs, brussels sprouts and pasta sauce. Anyway, you can eat those all week and never have to think about what you’re going to do for breakfast or lunch. That way you can focus on getting food ready for your kids (after you’ve eaten and are full) and you won’t be tempted to pick your way through their lunch.

    Thanks for all that you share with us; I always love reading your blog.

  9. Rachel Gray

    I LOVE your three questions for before going to bed. I may adopt them myself. Great post!

  10. Skyraven

    Jennifer, sounds like a great plan you have going for yourself with your resolutions. You already know where you have to tweak certain things and know what works for you as well as what doesn’t. A planner was my best friend last year and helped me be accountable to myself. I put work and personal goals in there on a daily basis and for the most part I was able to get it done. But, I need to plan for the back-sliding to help me get back on track. So, I’ve enlisted the help of a former classmate and colleague to help keep me on my toes. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share. Heiddi

  11. graceunbound

    I love your resolutions, particularly the first. I too have a tendency to drift aimlessly through my days, especially if I don’t have something concrete to anchor it around. I want to set aside time to pray, I thought I had established that habit firmly but it so quickly drifts away. “When will I pray?” That’s a question I’m going to start asking myself. And then I’m going to DO it.

  12. funtohavefun

    Great post, Jennifer! I’m actually starting something on my blog in a similar vein, and I’m calling it “Project Sainthood.” It’s my New Year’s Eve Resolution of sorts. My goal is to blog with as much honest humility about my own discernment and work in cooperating more fully with God’s grace in the hopes that I can help other people even just a little bit in their walk with Christ.

    I don’t know if you’d be interested in doing this with me, but my plan is to write at least once a week about where I am and where I need to be going as a way to keep accountable. If you would like to share this blogging “initiative” with others, I’d be honored.

    My first post is here, if you’re interested:

    Thank you so much for all that you do in the Catholic blogosphere. I will be praying for your success with your resolutions!

    Johanna Holmes

  13. Aliocha

    If your “mini new Year” resolutions are done in a regular basis, I think the traditional name for it is “examination of conscience”. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.

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