It’s that time of year when we all start making our list of New Year’s resolutions. We feel super optimistic that THIS is the year we are going to change our lives! Making it to the gym past Feb. 1, paying off student loans, and catching up with old friends are common occurrences on my list.
This year I started thinking about my resolutions, and they started to look quite similar to past years. So instead of just repeating last year’s list, I decided to talk to some people I look up to in my Catholic faith and ask for some help. I asked each of these people what advice they would give a young person in college, or in their 20s or 30s, so that we can live our lives more fully and make this year’s resolutions more meaningful than the usual vague goals we have set in the past. I never expected to be touched as much as I was by their advice!
Here is some of the wisdom that was shared with me:
“Take your faith seriously and have a personal relationship with Jesus.”
“Value your relationships and health; don’t take it for granted.”
— Linda, 70
“The best gift you can give is your presence.”
“Write down your dreams and the things that mean something to you. Use those things to remind you of who you want to be.”
“Giving is like receiving twice; it’s the best gift you can give yourself.”
“Read good things, even a little quote frequently; feed yourself like you do lunch and supper. Feed your soul and it will change how you think.”
“Stop criticizing, condemning and complaining; find something good in every negative experience you encounter, and you will never be upset again.”
“My dad’s uncle told me as I was going into the service in 1955 just three words: ‘Pick your company,’ and I have lived by that rule my whole life.”
“Do as your parents ask because after they die it’s too late.”
“Learn the hard way to forgive and forget.”
“Learn what you can before it’s too late.”
— Gene, 83
“Make sure you find your servant’s heart because every day there is someone that needs a random act of kindness.”
— Karen, 62
“Enjoy life and follow the Ten Commandments. Keep your faith strong; stay active in your faith.”
— Father Greg, 80
I think the greatest thing as I reflect on these pieces of advice is that these people actually live this out, which touches my heart in more ways than I can put into words. I truly hope I can be like all of them one day — giving advice that I actually live out. These holy people inspire me to make real progress this year and I hope they inspire you as well! I encourage you to pick one of these and make a specific concrete goal for this upcoming year. Happy New Year!