The name “January” comes from the Roman god Janus, the god with two faces, one looking to the past and the other looking to the future. This is indeed a time to look back at the year that has just ended and to look forward to the New Year ahead of us. How did I spend this one year of my life that has just passed? Did I use it to advance my goals and objectives in life? Did I use it to enhance the purpose of my existence? Could I have done better last year in the way I invested my time between the demands of work, family, friends and society, and the demands of my spiritual life? What things did I achieve last year and what did I fail to achieve? How can I consolidate the achievements of last year while reversing the failures and losses in this New Year? Through soul searching questions like these we find that a review of the past year naturally leads to setting goals and resolutions for the New Year.
There are people who tell you that there is no point making New Year resolutions. Do not believe them. We must set goals and make resolutions as a necessary conclusion to our review of the past year. In addition, we do need to review our lives from year to year because, as Socrates says, the unexamined life is not worth living.
Today’s newspapers and radio call- in programs are full of individual and collective New Year resolutions. Most of those, however, are not resolutions at all but only wishes. What is the difference between a resolution and a wish? A wish identifies a goal one wants to reach; a resolution specifies the steps one will take to reach it.
A wish says this is where I want to be, a resolution gives specification on how to get there or achieve it. The wishful person says “I want to pass my exams this year” and the resolved person says, “I will devote an extra hour to my studies every day in order to pass my exams.” The wishful person says “I will have more peace and love in my family this year” and the resolved person says, “I will spend more time with my family at table instead of rushing off to the TV, so that we get to know and understand ourselves better.” The wishful person says “I will live a life of union with God this year” and the resolved person says, “I will set aside this and that time every day to pray and hear God’s word.” The difference between wishing and resolving is; are we prepared to do what it takes to make our dreams come true, are we prepared to pay the price?
The difference between people who will succeed and those who will fail this year lies in the ability to plan. Let us take time today out of our busy schedules and make practical resolutions for a successful year. May God grant us a wonderful year.
Fr. Dominic Yamoah is a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Konongo- Mampong. He has been a priest for 18years, the above reflections is proceeds from his ministry with St. Clare’s Parish and its associate stations in IOWA, United States of America. ‘A life that lacks planning is doomed to fail’ (Fr. Dominic Yamoah)
Keep Fr. Dominic Yamoah in your daily Prayers.