These are phrases I always hear in the first weeks of January. New notebooks, new pens are bought; that taste (and smell) of “everything new again” and, with the taste, they also have the purpose of the new year that we do, wishing to improve what was bad and fix what was bad!
We wish for a better life, it is true. We all have a desire to be happy, to have peace, health and money in our pockets. These are the most heard wishes after “God bless you”!
Some of the projects you already get were these: Getting closer to God, growing in your prayer life, studying more, learning a language, starting the gym, hiking, losing 10 pounds, taking specialization courses to improve my position at work, having more time with my family, serving in the Church, donating my hair to the Cancer Institute, among others…
And what happens that after a few months, several of our projects are frustrated? Why do we give up so easily? Why, after a short time, do we relativize our projects and say “Hey, this really is very difficult, maybe next year”?
Now, let’s talk a little about some reasons that lead us to failure:
1. We think too high – We set unattainable goals in our projects.
Whether due to lack of time, the complexity of the goal or the real impossibility of doing so many things, in the midst of everyday tasks. Do you know the consequence of this? It is obvious that we will not be able to accomplish the impossible. The path is already trodden: frustration and failure.
2. We do not have a determined determination – Weak will.
We look for general purposes or look for the purposes of our friends or any website out there (with the exception of comshalom.org 🙂 ), admire and make them our projects. However, the revision of life and the life of prayer did not come from within us, but from outside, where the neighbor’s grass is always greener! This is the path already foreseen: frustration and failure.
3. We do projects that are not God’s will – our own will alone.
When we say that what does not stop with God falls to the ground, in fact, it does! When choosing projects that are not God’s will, we focus on ourselves and fail to see others or God’s dreams for our lives. We become short-sighted and try in vain to achieve what will not fill us. And what is the way? Frustration and failure.
How can we get out of this trap? How can we make this year a different year, in which we will actually see how much we have grown and achieved our goals?
1. Divide those unattainable goals into several smaller pieces.
There is no point in making a purpose like this: “This year, I will make an effort to go to mass every day, or I’m not called… Bonitão das Tapiocas!” How about, instead, “In the month of January, I will schedule to go to Mass every day and at the end of each week, I will write down the reasons I was unable to go to improve in February”? The path here is reversed. Instead of being frustrated, I will reap the fruits of small efforts, I will feel fulfilled and motivated to launch even more into the future. Achievement and motivation!
2. Honesty in choosing purposes that come from within us.
It has to be inside out! If it doesn’t come from within us, it will be too artificial. Within us we find the strength, the sense, the violence of the heart to keep us firm in the stipulated goal. Achievement and motivation!
3. Put everything before God and, in prayer, contemplate His plans for us.
Thus, it is irresistible not to fight for our purposes. God wants my plans to happen! He’s the first one who wants to see us grow! He loves our plans, which are also His. Achievement and motivation!
4. To renounce plans that will certainly lead us away from God, or that, however beautiful, are not his will.
What is the use of winning the whole world and losing your own life? (Mc 8, 36). There is no point in choosing what will not bring us together with God. This requires a life of authentic faith and the search for people of trust, more mature in the faith, who help us to discern where to learn our plans. Achievement and motivation!
Still, to have a life project, we need a model. And what will be our model? Those who, although successful, only think of themselves? The actors, actresses of the great old media who, despite their beautiful bodies, support mentalities against the gospel? On the contrary, Jesus and Mary must be our first models, right after them, the saints, provide lives so close to our reality, teach us to follow Christ and, of course, those brothers who are witnessing us are also models for us. the gospel and live heroic virtues in everyday life.
We also need to remember that life is not rigid, but dynamic. Our life projects are not absolute truth and can be adapted according to the reality presented to us. Let us be open, then, to changes and adaptations. In all of this, we must stipulate evaluation periods for each project, reviewing them personally and also with a more experienced person, always looking for ways to start over and continue walking.
That way, finally, we will contemplate a really new year, where old things will have passed and we will have been born again in Christ. Happy New Year!