New Year Resolutions.

The New Year comes, and we are full of good intentions and resolutions.  Some resolutions only last a week, some a month and luckily those which last, becomes our friend.  What is the secret?

We must pick the right resolution that will give us the best shot at success, provided the goal is doable and meaningful also.

Two centuries ago, the novelist Henry James said these words: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”  To “Be kind” is one of the most important New Year’s resolution that any of us can make. In almost every interaction that we have, we either diminish or enhance another person. The practice of kindness includes being kind and compassionate to yourself, as well.  Everything that can be said can be said with kindness. Every tough position we must take can be taken with kindness. No exceptions.

There are a lot of management tools available to help us on this life-changing journey.  To achieve them our goals should be: SMART. They should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Specific. Your resolution should be absolutely clear and specific: I want to lose X number of pounds in the next two months …..! •         

Measurable. Progress can be documented into a journal or by taking notes to check your progress. 

Achievable. One must resolve to hit a target that is achievable.

Relevant. Is this a goal that really matters to you, and are you making it for the right reasons? Will it have a life-changing effect on you?

Time-bound. “Focus on small wins so you can make gradual progress,” Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit” and a former New York Times writer, said. “If you’re building a habit, you’re planning for the next decade, not the next couple of months.”

Pope Francis’ New Year priorities: Refugees, youths, trips etc.

Pope Francis has set his goals and mission in focus.  His focus is on the rights and needs of migrants and refugees and a Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people all are on the 2018 calendar for Pope Francis.  His activities and the passions that drive them are familiar to us by now. In fact, March 13 will mark the fifth anniversary of his election as pope. Pope Francis who has just turned 81 years of age will begin 2018 with a focus on Mary and on migrants and refugees.

But Pope Francis is the first to dedicate a celebration of World Peace Day specifically to the theme of migrants and refugees. The day also is the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and while Pope Francis sent a message to heads of state in November reflecting on the peace day theme, his homily at the Mass is likely to focus on Mary. The Pope’s focus on migrants and refugees will come to the fore again Jan. 14 when he adds to the normal papal liturgical calendar a special Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

On January 15th he will take off for a six day visit to Chile and Peru where he will meet government authorities but also visit a women’s prison and a home for children at risk.  One month of the pope’s calendar already is booked solid. The Synod of Bishops focusing on young people and their vocations will be held at the Vatican Oct. 3-28. In preparation for the bishops’ gathering, the Vatican has asked bishops’ conferences around the world to nominate young people to attend a pre-synod gathering March 19-24 in Rome.

Although not confirmed it is thought that Pope Francis may travel to Dublin in late August for the World Meeting of Families; on the same trip, he is likely to be the first pope to visit Northern Ireland.

Vatican officials also have confirmed that a September trip to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is under consideration.

There is a man with a mission!




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