New Year's Resolutions: Taking Care of Our Body, Mind, and Soul

By Silvio Cuéllar

(OSV News) - January 1 has arrived, and we are all thinking about resolutions and goals for the new year. I would like to share some practical suggestions for taking care of our body, mind, and above all, our soul, as this life is temporary, and we want to one day enjoy eternal life.

1) Take better care of our body.

We all want to one day enjoy the Chorus of Angels in Heaven, but I am sure most of us are not in a hurry.

I remember that three years ago, my youngest son Daniel began to weaken, and after several tests, he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, which attacks the digestive system. He had to start receiving infusions every six weeks and had to follow a strict diet. It was a tough adjustment, but thanks to God, he has been very disciplined with his diet, and nowadays, leads a practically normal life, engaging in activities like rock climbing, composing, and arranging music.

The special diet he follows, such as eliminating sugar, sodas, processed foods, reducing the amount of rice and flour derivatives like bread and pasta, eating more vegetables and fish, is something that can benefit us all, helping us lead a healthier life and prevent future diseases.

If we add a bit of physical activity to this, we can improve our health and perhaps have more time to prepare for this life before the Lord calls us.

2) Take care of our mind.

What is feeding our mind? We could make a New Year's resolution to feed our mind with positive information, news, and entertainment, instead of filling it with mediocrity.

Taking care of our mind also involves having discipline in the use of our cellphone and social media, which are becoming a destructive addiction for many nowadays. Let's try to develop a habit of completely turning off our cellphone when we are spending time with someone, during mealtimes, and let's establish family moments without cellphones or other means of communication.

Let's also aim to have a reasonable hour to turn off technology and to disconnect.

This is easier said than done, but if we find that we can't go without checking our cellphone every 10 or 15 minutes, we probably already have a media addiction problem and need to take this behavior seriously.

We can also set reminders and limits on the social media apps that we use the most and reminders to turn off our cellphone and notifications at a certain hour, like 9 or 10 p.m.

3) Finally, take care of our soul and our faith.

We can start by setting spiritual goals such as: praying more, reading the Bible daily, serving in our Parish, donating your time, talent, and treasure to help the needy, and receiving the Sacraments frequently. I offer specific suggestions:

  • Schedule prayer moments in your daily agenda: you can pray a decade of the Rosary, use a mobile app like the 3-Minute Retreat, iBreviary, or Hallow, or play an audio of the Rosary if you have to drive long distances.
  • Read the Bible daily: subscribe and listen to audio reflections on the daily Gospel, read the daily readings, or read the Gospels and the Books of Wisdom and Sirach, which have excellent advice. I often travel for choir retreats. Normally my routine is to play the audio of the Holy Rosary (20 minutes), praise music (1 hour or more), and then an inspirational or personal development book, in that order. Also, many Church documents are on YouTube in audio, and you can listen to them while driving.
  • Participate in your Parish: Get involved in Parish activities or ministries and contribute by serving your community.
  • Thank God for the blessings received and seek joy in the small things.
  • Practice Charity: Commit to helping the poor and needy, reflecting the love and compassion of Christ, generously donate to your Parish, Catholic Charities (local aid), Catholic Relief Services (international aid), and any other charity of your preference.
  • Receive the Sacraments frequently: Schedule regular Confession and receive the Eucharist frequently to renew your spirit and live in a state of grace.
  • Finally, participate in spiritual retreats: there is a saying that stagnant water begins to smell bad. We must be in constant motion and not stagnate. To achieve this, look for retreats and training opportunities that allow you to disconnect and deepen your faith and relationship with God.

Happy New Year!

Silvio Cuéllar is a writer, composer of liturgical music, and journalist. He was the coordinator of the Hispanic Ministry Office and editor of the El Católico de Rhode Island newspaper in the Diocese of Providence.

Photo: In an archived photo, pilgrims walk the Camino de Santiago in Villafranca Montes de Oca, near Burgos, Spain. (Photo OSV News / Felix Ordonez, Reuters)


Mass Livestream