New Year’s resolutions are much maligned nowadays. Some people feel that they’re a waste of time. I think it’s admirable that people want to accomplish something positive, turn over a new leaf, and become a better version of themselves. So why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail?
I can only speak for myself. My resolutions often fail for two reasons: I think I can do it on my own and I think it can be “once and done” instead of ongoing. As for thinking that I can accomplish my resolutions on my own, I tend to forget one tiny little detail: I can do nothing without God! In her book, Simple Acts of Moving Forward: A Little Book About Getting Unstuck, Vinita Hampton Wright reminds us that “Sooner or later God figures in.” Personally, I prefer sooner rather than later. Ultimately, that’s why I go to Mass on Sunday and receive the Eucharist – it’s my way of admitting repeatedly that, at my deepest level, I am incapable of sustaining myself: “but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” People in twelve-step programs know this well: change can only come with reliance on a higher power.
As for thinking that this can be “once and done,” I too often forget that Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Not “take up his cross once” or “take up his cross for a little while” but “take up his cross daily.” At first that may sound like a downer, but when we realize that following Jesus doesn’t end with the cross but with Resurrection and new life, we can find the patience, endurance, and determination to remain committed to our goals even in the face of hardship.
And so, have a happy new year. And with the help of God’s grace, may we resolve each day of the new year to become the people God knows we can be.
Books by Joe Paprocki, D.Min.
The Catechist's Backpack
Spiritual Essentials for the Journey
Written by two nationally known, expert lay catechists, The Catechist’s Backpack gives catechists the resources that speak to the spiritual dimension of their call to share the Catholic faith.
Beyond the Catechist's Toolbox
Catechesis That Not Only Informs but Also Transforms
Joe Paprocki, best-selling author of The Catechist’s Toolbox series, has written the first, step-by-step book that demonstrates how to teach a 75-minute catechetical session with practical techniques that expand upon the textbook to create a more prayerful climate in the classroom.
7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness
Enriching Your Faith by Strengthening the Health of Your Soul
In 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness, best-selling author Joe Paprocki provides a prescription for spiritual health based on the rich wisdom of Catholic Tradition.
Practice Makes Catholic
Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith
Why do Catholics do what they do? Practice Makes Catholic from Loyola Press gets to the heart of the question-and to the heart of what it really means to be Catholic.
Living the Mass
How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life
In Living the Mass, Joe Paprocki, DMin, and Fr. Dominic Grassi convincingly show how the one hour spent at Mass on Sunday can truly transform the other 167 hours of the week.
Una Fe Bien Construida
Guia catolica para conocer y compartir lo que creemos
Una fe bien construida,—desarrollado con enorme creatividad usando metafóricamente el tema de la construcción— facilita enormemente a los católicos el conocimiento de su fe y les da seguridad al momento de compartirla.
Los planos de Biblia
Una guía católica para entender y acoger la Palabra de Dios
En Los planos de Biblia, el exitoso autor Joe Paprocki ayuda al católico de la calle a entender fácilmente la Biblia, y lo hace con humor.
The Bible Blueprint
A Catholic's Guide to Understanding and Embracing God's Word
In The Bible Blueprint, best-selling author Joe Paprocki makes understanding the Bible not only easy for the person in the pew, but downright fun!
A Well-Built Faith
A Catholic's Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe
In A Well-Built Faith, Joe Paprocki makes it easy for Catholics to feel confident in teaching the Catholic faith. He makes complex teachings of the Catholic faith accessible to average Catholics without compromising Catholic teaching and tradition.
The Catechist's Toolbox
How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher
The Catechist’s Toolbox offers catechists tips, advice, and a methodical approach that will help them succeed as educators of the faith.
Under the Influence of Jesus
The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ
In Under the Influence of Jesus, Joe Paprocki explains that by opening ourselves to encountering Christ, we can learn how to live the Gospel and be models of faith.
Más allá de la caja de herramientas del catequista
Catequesis que no solo informa, sino que también transforma
Más allá de la caja de herramientas del catequista le permite a los jóvenes encontrar a Jesús en la oración de manera que puedan convertirse en discípulos de Cristo para toda la vida.
A Church on the Move
52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion
52 specific, practical, and achievable strategies to help Catholic parishes embody the broad themes of Pope Francis’ papacy—mission, mercy, and evangelization.
La mochila del catequista
Lo indispensable para el camino espiritual
La mochila del catequista brinda a los catequistas recursos que atienden a la dimensión espiritual de su llamado a compartir la fe católica.
Vivir la misa
Cómo una hora a la semana puede cambiar tu vida
Explica detallademente cómo cada parte de la misa se relaciona con la llamada que recibimos en el bautismo, poniendo en estrecha relación la misa dominical y el resto de nuestra semana.