Make firm resolution to ‘take five’ to realize New Year's ‘evolutions’
COLCHESTER, Vt. (Catholic Online) – The New Year’s resolution list from 2006 may be a cause for celebration or disappointment. Chances are it was impossible to finish everything on the list and once again some of the same items on the resolution list are added to this year’s 2007 list.
POPE BLESSES YOUTHS AT WORLD PEACE DAY MASS – Pope Benedict XVI blesses young pilgrims at the end of Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Jan. 1, New Year's Day. Author Mary Carty writes that, while the New Year’s resolution list from 2006 may be a cause for disappointment, 2007 New Year 'evolutions' can be realized by 'taking five.' (CNS/Long Island Catholic)
Busy schedules, lack of free time and short vacations can all be excuses for not getting things done.
Rather that feeling a sense of failure to resolve or complete everything on the list, make this year’s list an “evolution” list. By making an evolution rather than resolution list, perspective shifts from completing items on the list to taking small steps to create change, to evolve.
Then, the end of the year can truly be a celebration of accomplishments and changes big and small.
For every accomplishment, there are usually a series of small steps, and some of them can be fit into the short space of five minutes.
Thinking and obsessing about a project takes up time, so why not just invest that time into action? Such a use of time will cause a change in the environment and help the project or goal evolve.
Yes, it is impossible to fit most activities into a five-minute slot.
But five minutes here and five minutes there can actually begin to make some changes in all areas of life, from improving health to improving spiritual life.
Taking small steps over the year will cause evolutions to take place. There will be growth and a sense of accomplishment through spending energy through taking actions.
All it takes is recognizing that to accomplish a task, goal or dream action is needed, and, then, choosing to take five minutes to begin.
Begin the journey toward physical fitness and better health.
1. Desire to get more exercise. “Take five” to take a short walk around the block or around the neighborhood.
2. Walk up and down a set of stairs a few times.
3. Open up a cookbook, look for a healthy recipe and write down the ingredients on the shopping list.
4. Put on some music and dance.
5. Drink a large glass of water.
1. Write out a “thinking about you card” to sent to a faraway relative or friend.
2. Pick up the phone and invite someone over for dinner.
3. Make a quick call to tell a loved one you care about them.
4. Make a long overdue apology.
5. Share a song or dance.
Try to lead a more spiritual life.
1. When in a quandary and in need of help, say the “Serenity Prayer” (“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”).
2. Avoid being judgmental or resentful: When negative, hurtful thoughts occur, say the “Prayer of St. Francis.”
3. Read a meditation or two, read scripture or other religious literature in the morning or when there are five extra minutes.
4. Remember the importance of gratitude by jotting down three things for which you feel grateful.
5. Show kindness by offering help to others, such carrying groceries or opening a door.
Work on some dreams and goals. These are big projects, but when broken down into small steps they become manageable.
1. Go back to school. ‘Take five‘ and call for an appointment to talk with an admissions counselor.
2. Begin a remodeling project, like building a deck, starting a new room or putting up a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper. Go online and find some blueprints and/or instructions to begin the process.
3. Write a poem or a book: Get a pen and paper and sit in a comfortable spot and begin to make some notes.
4. Do volunteer work for an organization like “Habitat for Humanity” or even your parish. Look in the phone book or online, get the number and ask how to get involved.
5. Learn to speak another language: Get an instructional book and memorize one word or phrase per day.
Be more responsible about household chores. Try to be more aware of open five-minute intervals of time and take care of a small chore.
1. Put a load of laundry in when you’re between things.
2. Water the plants or pull a few weeds in the garden.
3. Change a light bulb that has been out for days, weeks, months.
4. Sort though the “catch-all drawer” so everyone can more easily find things when needed.
5. Call the plumber to fix the leaky faucet.
Take better care of self.
1. Just relax and take some deep breaths.
2. Call and make the overdue doctor’s appointment.
3. Look around at nature and say a quick prayer of thanksgiving for all that God has bestowed.
4. If tired, sit, rest and meditate or pray.
5. “Take five” to stop and reflect on what the next positive action can be.
Mary Carty is the Home and Family editor of Catholic Online (www.catholic.org).
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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