Make some New Year’s “rituals”

The beginning of a new calender year is a time for making resolutions to improve our health, finances and career. Of course, it’s much easier to make resolutions than keep them.

Daphne Gray-Grant, a popular writing teacher, offers this advice at on how to stick to our new goals: Consider them new rituals rather than resolutions. The tips she shares were written specifically for writers, but are helpful for acquiring any new and more productive habit. This is an especially good approach, because it focuses on the process required to make the improvements we desire. And, as she points out, redefining “resolution” as “ritual” sounds nicer, highlights the new goal’s positive aspects, and helps us perceive the “automaticity” needed to pursue the goal.

To deepen our religious lives, we should commit to spiritual “rituals” like:

Regular Bible study“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15);

Prayer“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17);

Helping others“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10); and

Assembling for worship“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).