It’s January, and the internet is swimming in articles and blog posts about resolutions, goals, and change. These resolutions are often pretty standard: get in shape, save money, find a new job, try something new. Those goals aren’t bad, and if you’re committed to them, can actually be really good for you, but they aren’t the only ones you should consider as you dive into the new year. When you sit down to make goals for the new year, think about what you want to be and not just about what you want to do. Here are some ideas for resolutions you can make that will bring you closer to the Savior.
1. Seek out someone in need
Seeking out those in need can mean assisting the homeless, or stopping for that friend who needs someone to talk to. Resolve to be more aware of those around you and more attuned to the ways you can serve. Throughout Christ’s ministry, He was constantly aware of those who needed help, and He always served where He was needed. This year, let’s make a goal of being where we need to be and acting on those generous thoughts that cross our minds. Let’s serve in that wonderful way that the Savior did.
2. Volunteer to serve on a committee
Spend some time getting involved in your community. Now, not all committees are created equal, so find an organization whose mission fits your values and become involved. Jesus Christ cared about the communities He visited. Think of how much good we could do by volunteering for projects that build goodwill and morale in our own hometowns. Living a Christ-like life means getting involved, and volunteering to serve on a committee is a great way to serve.
3. Control your temper
This one may already be on your resolution list. Managing your temper can be a life-long struggle for some. If lashing out is one of your demons, try thinking about it differently. Think about overcoming it through the help of Jesus Christ. We have so many hurdles in this life that would be impossible to overcome were it not for the grace of the Redeemer. Cultivate your relationship with Him, and work to be more like Him. As you focus your self-improvement efforts on Christ, controlling your temper will not only be desirable, but also completely possible.
4. Spend more time playing with your children
At the end of the day, your family is one of the things that matter most. I’ll be the first to admit that playing with kids can sometimes be boring for adults. Our to-do lists are often miles long, and it’s easy to tell ourselves that we don’t have time to participate in our children’s games and make-believe. But, remember the resolution to serve where we’re needed? Just as Christ moved about His days serving others, we need to be an active part of our children’s lives. And sometimes that means forgetting the laundry and playing a board game or running to play tag outside. One of the reasons Christ suffered, died, and rose again for us was so that we can be with our families forever. Our relationships with our family members need to be a top priority.
5. Make prayer a part of your day
One of the best ways to come unto Christ is to communicate in prayer. If prayer isn’t currently part of your routine, strive to make it a daily part of your life. If you can, make it a habit to pray morning and night, and express your gratitude, penitence, and needs before God. He always wants to hear from us, and He wants to help us through our life’s journey here on earth. If prayer is already a part of your life, seek to make your prayers more meaningful. Take time to ponder your prayers and listen for answers. God will always answer our prayers, no matter how desperate or confident we are. He wants to bless us and will manifest His love for us at every opportunity.
6. Study His word
Similar to prayer, studying scripture will inevitably lead us to a more Christ-like life. When we study scripture, we learn more about how God speaks and we’re sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father has given us several books of scripture; in addition to the Old and New Testaments, we have the Book of Mormon (a book of ancient scripture that was translated through revelation through Joseph Smith in the 1820s), and the Doctrine and Covenants (a book of modern revelations given during the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ in the 1800s). We also have living prophets and apostles who speak to us regularly about issues that affect us right here and right now. The more we are familiar with the words of God, the more we are able to discern His will for our lives and the stronger we will become in His gospel.
7. Participate in a church community
If you don’t already have a church community, I encourage you to find one. Church congregations provide not only spiritual support and connection, but also serve as a solid foundation for friends who share your belief system and who can support you in your own spiritual life. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church) has congregations all throughout the world, and no matter where you worship, the doctrine taught is the same. Those who serve in the congregation (also known as a ward), including those in leadership positions, are unpaid, and all are there to support and lift each other. If you are looking for a greater sense of connection and community, participating in church will be a great strength and support to you. To get in touch with missionaries who can attend church with you, go here. To find your local Mormon congregation, go here.
The more we try to become like Jesus Christ, the happier we’ll be. His mission was all about teaching God’s children how to change and repent and be happy. Including some Christ-like resolutions into your own year will surely strengthen you and your relationship with the Savior.
Charlotte graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in English, with an emphasis in editing. During her education she interned with the Neal A.Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, BYU Publications, and the New Era magazine. Charlotte currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and son. She's a stay-at-home-mom and has been able to keep up her writing through maintaining a personal blog (smallandtrivial.blogspot.com).