Why Might It Be Difficult to Keep New Year’s Resolutions?

It is a tradition that with the end of the year, we make resolutions. It is common not to keep these resolutions. We might be serious at first but soon […]

It is a tradition that with the end of the year, we make resolutions. It is common not to keep these resolutions. We might be serious at first but soon our commitment wanes and we go back to our old ways. Why might that be?

It seems that completing another calendar year is quite an accomplishment in itself. We are surrounded by acts of violence, wars and insurrections, global warming and many other societal ills that limit our desire to move forward in a positive manner. Still, there is in us, the desire to start anew with resolutions that might make us better people. In information from NPR I was informed that people like to make resolutions about their careers, exercise, health, relationships, finance, parenting and goal setting. As I read through the list, the area of mental health mentioned spiritual life. I had the thought that spiritual life is where it all begins when making resolutions. Perhaps we fail to keep resolutions because we do not include the spiritual when we think about them.

We are still celebrating the Incarnation. In this celebration which continues in the liturgical year until the Baptism of the Lord On January 9th, we try to understand the Incarnation and what it means to us. Author Madeleine L’Engle says this about Incarnation: “Don’t try to explain the Incarnation to me! It is further from being explainable than the furthest start in the furthest galaxy. It is love, God’s limitless love enfleshing that love into the form of a human being, Jesus, the Christ, fully human and fully divine.” Benedictine Father Godfrey Diekmann wrote the following, “the only begotten Son of God became human that we might become divine.” These thoughts might shed light on why it is difficult to keep resolutions. If we do not start with the mystery of Incarnation, we have only ourselves to keep our resolutions. If we believe that we are part of the divine, we might have a better chance to keep our resolutions. We can draw on the Holy Spirit of God in all aspects of our lives. We can commit to deepening our relationship with God through Jesus Christ who came into this world to help us understand that all things are possible, even the keeping of resolutions.

-Helen Ackermann

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