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20 New Year’s resolutions… that aren’t losing weight

By Courtney Kiolbassa, from the Life Teen website.

Here’s a list of resolutions that can help you love the person God created you to be.

 “…and with all your soul…”

  1. Read the four Gospels. Just one section a day can give you great insight into the person of Jesus Christ.
  2. Begin a prayer journal. Journaling is a great tool for prayer!
  3. Go to Confession once a month. Confession is nothing to be afraid of, and regular Confession makes it even less daunting.
  4. Sign up for a weekly adoration hour. Bonus points if you convince your family or a friend to come with you.
  5. Take up spiritual reading. Saints and spiritual writers are an absolute treasure. Learn from them.

 “…and with all your strength…”

  1. Sleeping. You really do need those eight to ten hours of shut-eye. Seriously.
  2. Invite your family to take a family walk once a week. It’s great exercise and a great time for conversation.
  3. Add one serving of fruit and vegetables each to your day. Let’s face it: very few of us eat enough fruits and veggies. Replace less-healthy snacks and meals with some produce.
  4. Wear sunscreen. Become your mother and lather that stuff on before spending time outside.
  5. Find a soda alternative. I’m currently obsessed with flavored sparkling water. La Croix, anyone?

“…and with all your mind…”

  1. Put your phone away before bed. Replace late-night scrolling with pre-sleep reading (see next point).
  2. Make a book list and read books from it (even if it’s your school book list). Reading increases your concentration and enriches your understanding of the world. No, Sparknotes don’t count. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the books in the Life Teen store!
  3. Ask for help if you need it. Your mental health matters. Make this year the year that you talk to a counselor about depression, anxiety, or any other conditions affecting you.
  4. Replace music with interesting podcasts once a week. They’re the easiest way to learn something new!
  5. Pick up a new hobby and dedicate a specific amount of time to it each week. Some ideas: guitar, hand-lettering, woodworking, baking, etc.

 “…and love your neighbor as yourself.”

  1. Volunteer. Find an activity that aligns with your skills and serves your local community.
  2. Cook for your parents. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll learn something new. Two birds, one stone.
  3. Write letters for friends’ birthdays. Instagram shout-outs are good, but taking the time to hand-write your sentiments is irreplaceable.
  4. Call your extended family to say hello. Keep up with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It’ll make family gatherings so much more enjoyable!
  5. Forgive someone. Whether that’s through conversation, prayer, or simply changing your mindset, show mercy to the person it’s hardest to show mercy to.

BONUS! Find a Bible verse that reflects your overall intention for the year. Luke 10:27 will be my “theme verse,” reminding me that any improvements in my spiritual life, bodily health, mental health, or relationships should be actions fueled by love of God.