Righteous Resolutions

"Righteous Resolutions" by Laura Nelson (CatholicMom.com)

Pixabay (2006), CC0 Public Domain; text added by author


Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe but the frenetic whirl of celebration that is the Christmas holidays is now OVER. It’s time to take a breath and get back to normal life. But, this is also the time of year when we turn over new leaves and try to make our “normal life” better than normal. So we make resolutions. Lots. Of. Resolutions.

I’ve made my fair share of resolutions in past years. Some of mine focused on physical health like losing weight or exercising more. Other years I focused on clearing out clutter and reorganizing. One year I resolved to be less serious and have more fun. That’s the year that I learned how to twist balloon animals and hats. I even made my sons a balloon suit of armor once!

But have I ever made a New Year’s resolution to be holier? Not so much. What about you? Do you spend as much time on your eternal life improvement plan as you do your physical life? I’ll confess and say no. I spend a much larger percentage of my self-improvement on this life and not the next. Given the fact that our eternal lives are, well, eternal and our physical lives are a minute percentage of eternity, you’d think we’d all be more concerned with resolutions of a spiritual variety. Righteous resolutions, if you will.

Some might protest and say, “What’s wrong with losing weight and exercising? Doesn’t God want me to be healthy?” The answer is yes. God does want you to be healthy and there’s nothing wrong with taking care of your physical health. In fact, the Catechism tells us that “life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.” (CCC 2288) I’m all in favor of healthy habits and taking care of your physical health. But, when we leave our resolutions in the physical world and don’t translate that ambition into the spiritual world, we’re neglecting a part of ourselves that will outlast our bodies.  

So, this year I’m going to invest in my whole self: body, mind, and spirit. I’m going to nurture myself the way I nurture my family; by looking for areas that are out of balance and trying to balance them. Will I eat better? Yes. Will I exercise more? Yes. Will I get more sleep? I hope so. But I will also resolve to remember that I am more than my physical self. And, that my spiritual self needs as much attention as (or maybe more than) my physical self.

Here are some things I will do this year to nurture my soul:

  • Go to Eucharistic Adoration regularly. (It may only be quarterly at first but consistency is key.)
  • Seek out Spiritual Direction to help me to know my soul better.
  • Increase my reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

What about you? How will you work on your spiritual health in 2018?

Copyright 2018 Laura B Nelson


About Author

Laura B. Nelson is a Catholic wife and mother of three children. She is also a Catholic blogger, author, speaker, teacher and life-long student of the Catholic faith. Laura likes to be busy but she most enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their home in Grapevine, TX. Visit her blogs at Green for God and Suburban Sainthood.


  1. Laura,
    I love this topic – such a good reminder. With the question you posed as to whether we have ever made resolutions to be holier, each year I choose one little word to guide my year. In 2015 I chose the word core. In my mind it was going to be about having healthier career/family balance because I had just set some solid boundaries at work. Nonetheless, right from January I realized that it was really more about needing to first delve deeper into my Catholic faith. That year definitely feels like a turning point and the word I chose to guide the year led me there, but I had not realized the impact it would have when I chose the word. Adoration and Reconciliation were two aspects that really made a difference, so I am excited for you that you have them, along with spiritual direction, as part of your intentions this year. Thank you for sharing about your journey and reminding us all to keep things in perspective – first things first!

    • Amanda, how fitting that the word “core” helped you focus on your faith which is the core of your very being! I’m glad you liked the topic. I find that I have to focus on growing spiritually or I will crumble from within more quickly than I care to admit. As my mother used to say, “Forward ever, backward never!” In this case, forward is also upward. 🙂

  2. I find it helpful to pick a saint (or have a saint pick me) for the year. Have been doing that since 2006, but it’s much easier since the Saint’s Name Generator that Jen Fulwiler coded (saintsnamegenerator.com).

    After years of shooting too high, I think I’ve slumped into a habit of not shooting at all. Thanks for the inspiration to really think it through and look at my priorities, especially my spiritual priorities. 🙂

    • Sarah, so glad you liked the article. I also swing from shooting too high to not shooting at all more often than not. *sigh* If only I could count “consistency” among my virtues…

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