The coming of a new year is frequently filled with personal reflection. We ponder moments from the past year, its joys and tribulations. In addition, many set goals and resolutions for the future. All around us, we hear people and advertisements making proclamations, such as “This is going to be your year!” These phrases often lead us to daydream about the fulfillment of hopes and dreams. “This year, I will finally (fill in the blank) and be happy!”
However, we must guard against focusing solely on materialistic or worldly gains. A great place to start is in developing a rule of life! You may be familiar with various rules of life utilized by religious communities. However, the laity can and should use this framework as well!
When Blake and I were first married, we struggled to clearly identify and communicate our needs/desires for our relationship, time with family, prayer, etc. We worked together to create a list of what we each needed to feel as if we were thriving. This in turn became our rule of life.
When creating a rule of life, I encourage you to utilize Soul Desire’s 5 dimensions of life: personal, family, career, recreation, and community. As you think of each dimension, consider what you desire daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to feel as if you are thriving. Personally, creating a chart works best for me. Here is a sample template. I even write down the mundane chores like washing the dishes. If I write it, I find it easier to live it!
A few additional tips:
- Get into the habit of personal reflection. Try to revisit your rule of life quarterly, whenever there are big life changes, or when something just isn’t working!
- Create small goals for each liturgical season.
- Keep it visible; print a copy for your fridge or have a digital copy on your phone.
- Seek accountability; we were not meant to live alone!
Most importantly, when thinking of the new year ahead, keep the spiritual first. Ask yourself: “How can my relationship with the Lord be strengthened?”, “How can I live out my faith?”, and “How can I share faith with others?” - in all aspects of life!
Let our new resolutions be to glorify God each moment, to have grateful hearts, and to rest in His peace.
Let us no longer fall victim to the messages of the world. For us to live joyfully, we must first live for the Lord. Want this to “be your year?” Begin praying, “Lord make this year Yours”
May God bless you in 2022, friends!