19 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

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New Year's Resolutions sticky notes

1. Use your Money to Make Memories

People often make a rational calculation: I have a limited amount of money, and I can either go there, or I can have this.  If I go there, it’ll be great, but it’ll be done in no time. If I buy this thing, at least I’ll always have it. That is factually true, but not psychologically true. We adapt to our material goods, but the things we DO can make memories that last a lifetime.

Use money wisely
Investing in memories creates cherished moments in time.

2. Be More Grateful

Christ healed ten lepers, but only one returned to express gratitude, while the other nine went their way, rejoicing. Christ knew that only the one leper would be fully healed, for he received another gift by expressing his gratitude.

Artistic depiction of Christ Healing the 10 Lepers
You are never too low or too high to show gratitude

3. Work on Being more Optimistic

Many people in America and around the world are feeling fatalistic — pessimistic about the future. But optimism has many benefits. A positive outlook is healthy and beneficial every minute you feel it. Science says so, but so does religion.

A mountaineer's successful summit of Grand Teton
Believe in yourself, believe in others.

4. Pray with New Meaning

Saying the same prayer morning and night? Feeling like your prayers are not quite getting through? Here are 25 kinds of prayer you might want to try.

Child peeking during prayer
There are many ways to pray. Some may surprise you.

5. Find out if Following the Prophet is Right for You

Some struggle with the fallibility of prophets and leaders and don’t quite understand our individual responsibility, not only to sustain and follow, but to pray about everything we receive from them.

 

smart sheep believe

6. Learn to See the Benefits of Life’s Detours

We all have goals. How nice it would be to reach them on a straight path. But all sorts of things get in our way. Surprisingly, our lives may be all about the detours we are forced to take.

 

detour sign
Detours are part of God’s plan for us, even if they are frustrating at best and devastating at worst.

7. Judge Yourself and Others Less

Why do some of us feel too judged to want to join with the Saints to worship, while others come to church in spite of the consciousness of their own imperfections? Why does Mormon culture sometimes seem hard to live up to? Why is standing out sometimes so difficult?

Mormons at General Conference
Attend church with confidence and welcome others with a new frame of reference. Photo from Deseret News

8. Find your Mormon Identity

Are all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the same?  Anyone who’s spent ten minutes in a sacrament meeting knows that’s not true. But for a faith where we know that God loves us individually, and knows us by name, we must learn to embrace and develop our individual identity.

 

Yellow balloon among blue balloons
Being different actually makes the whole group better.

9. Get Online and Help the Church Grow

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is looking for volunteers to help tag photos in its online media library to help make finding images easier for searchers. According to LDS.org, many photos that have been submitted are in need of additional key words. When a photo is tagged with a  key word, it becomes easier to find in an image search through LDS.org, the Media Library or even Google.

Youth Conference Activity
Images on LDS.org’s media library, like the one posted above, can be tagged to make searching for it easier.

10. Find Joy in Heavenly Father’s Plan

If it’s true that all of us existed as spirits before we were born, it means that we might truly be eternal beings, that there might be an eternal plan for us, that mortality is just a brief time of testing and schooling, and that we as individuals are indeed unique.

 

creation
Each one of us is an eternal being with divine potential. This knowledge is empowering.

11. Perform Random Acts of Kindness

A man who has never been a member of the Mormon Church sings praises for Mormons who have served him.

 

clothing shop
A couple of us had to transfer hundreds of garments to a different fixture. Then the Mormons showed up.

12. Find New Hope for Shaken Faith

Shaken Faith Syndrome is a newly-coined phrase to connote what is ailing people whose faith is shaken by gospel questions that seem to have no satisfactory answers. Lately, for Mormons, most of these questions have to do with the history of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, especially as they relate to the behavior of people, because people tend to be pretty flaky.

mormon prayer
Continually praying while studying the gospel can help clarify answers.

13. Put off the “Natural Man” to Find True Happiness

Though some people might say that the commandments of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are restricting and keep us from being happy, really, the opposite is true. The commandments are a means to protect us from evil, which in turn leads to our happiness. God wants us to be happy; we are taught in the scriptures that “men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) and that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).

Happiness is a Choice
Eternal happiness is the result of a number of good decisions. Some take sacrifice.

14. Seek Heavenly Father’s Will

Have you ever said to God, verbally or silently, “I don’t know where to move, or if I should go to school A, B, or C, or marry this guy or not; can you just tell me?” Have you ever just wanted the answer straight out of the sky with God’s signature on it, without any due diligence? God is a loving Father who wants to help us, but not dictate our lives in advance. He has an amazing template or pattern for discovering and receiving His will.

Karen_I_Believe_Podcast
Karen explains how to get more help from God when you have a decision to make.

15. Build your Testimony with Preach My Gospel

This is the 10th anniversary of the release of Preach My Gospel to missionaries. Since that time all members have been encouraged to read and study the missionary manual. Here are activities that will help your testimony to grow, using Preach My Gospel.

Young adult woman holding well used Preach My Gospel Missionary manuals
Preach My Gospel holds treasures for us if we use it creatively.

16. Laugh More

Looking for a break from stress and work? Check out this list of 23 hilarious Mormon Memes to make you laugh! Mormon Memes are becoming more and more popular, and therefore, are becoming more and more clever! 

17. Hasten the Work Online

At the 2014 Education Week Devotional at Brigham Young University, David Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, challenged Latter-day Saints to “sweep the Earth with messages” about the gospel of Jesus Christ through social media. So now that you’re primed and ready to share, you might be asking “What next? How can I share the best, most effective, social media messages?” LDS.net is here to help! Let’s look at the different ways we can participate in social media and how to make the best use of them.

 

Social Media platforms
Image via e-marketingassociates.com

18. Protect Yourself from the World

The internet is a wonderful resource for discovering knowledge, keeping in touch with family and friends, and sharing the gospel. However, the internet can also be a dangerous place where online predators, cyber bullies, and pornography are rife. In our digital age, how do we protect ourselves, and more importantly our children, from the dangers that pervade the world wide web? Learn how to block these dangers out from the computer with these internet safety tips.

 

mobile devices technology
How to enjoy communications technology safely.

19. Learn to Cut and Style Hair

To finish the list, here is a practical skill to share with your family. April Orgill, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and mother of four, recognized a need for hair tutorials online and in early 2013 decided she was the one for the job. She teamed up with her husband Davey, a professional videographer, to make this idea turn into something concrete. The duo has now published more than 100 videos with instructions on how to cut, style, and color hair to get a variety of dos.

 

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Think of all the money you’ll save learning to do hair yourself.

Gale Boyd is the managing editor for ThirdHour.org. She is a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived all over the world. She has raised 6 Third Culture Kids and is always homesick for somewhere.