Goodbye 2020! It has been rough. The year actually incentivized making a good New Year’s resolution. And by good, I mean holy. The world has always let us down — more so in 2020 — but we know that God has something better for us.
Set goals for self-improvement in this world — such as exercise or quitting smoking — but then, go deeper, down to your soul, and consider ways to grow stronger and closer to God in 2021. Creating holy habits is what inspired me to write Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith and Get to Heaven to expand our capacity for holiness while going about the day. Through this approach, our resolutions can pick up speed throughout 2021 as new behaviors easily become habits. Here are some ideas.
1. Give a return on your gifts.When using a gift, say a prayer for the giver. For instance, I say a Hail Mary for the person who gave me a geranium every time I water it. When using clothing or jewelry someone gave to you, say a pray for the giver.
2. Commit random acts of prayer. Pick someone to pray for throughout your day. It could a politician you hear promoting abortion, or someone in a passing car, or a shopper in the grocery line. If someone cuts you off in traffic, pray for them, and your anger will subside — and you will both be blessed.
3. See Jesus more often. Make a weekly appointment to visit Jesus in the tabernacle. The more time you spend with Jesus, the more he can give to you.
4. Bounce-back.As kids we used to say: “I’m rubber, and you’re glue; whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” Think of God telling us: “I’m God, and I made you; whatever you do for others comes back to you.” Jesus told us: “The measure with which you measure will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:10).
5. Become invisible. Look for invisible ways to do good. Skip over a parking spot near the door and pray for the one who will park there instead of you. Put away a shopping cart and pray for the one who left it and the next shopper to use it. “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
6. Read the Word.Put a Bible somewhere convenient, and open it up once a day.
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