Hope, Dreams and Plans

In yesterday’s post, I encouraged some reflection back over the previous year as a way to come up with one or two concrete directions for change that we might seek God’s help in effectuating during the coming year. My thought in doing so was to move us from resolutions that will be broken before we finish putting away the holiday decorations to ones that we might really make some progress on.

In the vein, I was stuck by two reflections I saw yesterday from others thinking about the New Year. Both contain some good suggestions for all of us to think about implementing in the new year.

The first was a Huff Post piece by Fr. Jim Martin, S.J., containing his list of “Five Easy Things You (Really) Can Do for a Happier Year.” The five, which he elaborates on in the post are:

1. Be a Little Kinder
2. Relax a Bit More
3. Enjoy Nature More
4. Be a Little More Grateful
5. Pray Just a Tiny Bit More.

As he says at the end of the piece, “you can do all those. And in doing those you’ll be happier.”

The second was by Shane Claiborne, who shared on Facebook his “13 Hopes for 2013.” Since thirteen might seem a bit overwhelming, here are just five of them (with my consecutive renumbering):

1. Do for one person what I wish that I could do for everyone, but can’t.
2. Write letters and notes to people, letting them know I am thankful for them. Write a note asking for forgiveness from someone I need to ask to forgive me.
3. Do something really nice – that no one sees or knows about.
4. Compliment someone I have a hard time complimenting… and mean it.
5. Pause before every potential crisis and ask: “Will this matter in 5 years?”

As with Martin’s suggestions, I’m willing to wager “you can do all those. And in doing those you’ll be happier.”

Happy New Year to everyone.