Diocesan News

5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

Joe Hopkins shares some top tips and ideas for New Year's resolutions!

Friday, December 16, 2022

I think I have only managed once to get beyond January with my New Year’s resolutions still intact and that one was to start baking my own bread. All the others seem to fade long before Ash Wednesday. If you’re anything like me, I need a real goal that means something if I am to be convinced that the effort of a resolution is worth it. New Year’s are always a great opportunity for a new beginning. This idea of fresh starts is also central to our faith, with a goal of living a life of holiness that ultimately leads us to heaven. Is there any greater motivation than a life lived with the Lord and filled with his joy, peace and love? This is exactly what we have been created for! So, with that in mind, here are five New Year’s Resolutions to help us grow in faith and holiness in 2023.


It seems obvious, but it is by far the most important thing, regular prayer helps us know the heart of God more. Commit to a time of prayer each day, in whatever way that works for you. It could be the rosary, going to an extra Mass in the week, using the Pray-As-You-Go resource, going to adoration, arriving earlier or staying later after Mass. Praying with and for others is a wonderful way to develop your prayer life. It could be as simple as texting a friend to see how you can pray for them or partnering with someone in your parish to meet regularly to pray together.


Our parishes wouldn’t function without the amazing volunteers who do so much, often we have a few people who do multiple roles too. How could you help your parish? We will beginning a new catechist training programme beginning in January which could equip you do this Caritas in our diocese have a number of ways that you can serve the church and local community.


There are endless ways to discover and explore the beauty of our Catholic faith. We have a number of resources on the diocesan website to help you grow in faith. Ascension Presents has two fantastic podcasts to help you cover the Catechism or Bible in a year in manageable daily chunks. CaFE, Sycamore Formed and the Dominican Sisters in the New Forest10 all offer lots of excellent programmes and courses you can explore on your own or with a group.


It is important to take time out of our busy lives to reconnect with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Retreats or pilgrimages are great ways to open our hearts to the Lord and renew our relationship with Him. We are hosting young adults’, men’s’ and women’s’ retreats in the Spring. There are lots of diocesan pilgrimages you can get involved in at home and abroad: Beauvale, Rodsley, Melwood, Walsingham and Lourdes. We will be hosting a diocesan gathering of families in June at Sacred Heart Parish, Leicester. There’s our monthly young adult meet ups in Derby and Nottingham. Not to mention the many opportunities to connect with others in your parish. (For more details on all of the above, check out the diocesan website).  


The idea of reconciliation might seem more Lenten than festive, but at the heart of repentance is restoration, a restoration of peace, joy and love- the very gifts Christ gives us at Christmas. Regular confession is balm for the soul, it removes all barriers between our heart and God’s, it gives us a fresh start regardless of our ability to keep our New Year’s resolutions or not.

Whatever you choose to do in 2023, make a small commitment to opening your heart a little more to God’s love and His will for your life. He wants to speak to you in prayer, he wants to give you the courage and energy to serve, he wants you to know and understand your faith more and he wants to pour out his love for you in the Sacraments. Be gentle with yourself, keep your focus on the Lord and if you falter, then begin again. God loves a trier!  

Joe Hopkins

Director of Adult Formation for Mission

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