As New Year’s resolutions abound, it’s important to reflect not only on what resolutions we might make, but also why we are making these resolutions. We just spent several weeks preparing for the coming of Christ. While the joy of Christmas is now upon us, we still live in a period of already/not yet. We still await Christ’s return in glory, so in a way, we are always called to prepare for his advent. Maybe this year, in addition to resolutions to exercise, eat well, be more fiscally responsible, etc., we might consider a resolution to cultivate a spirit of preparation all year long so that our hearts are ready to welcome Christ when he comes again.
There are a lot of reasons why I don’t like the prescription to be “the best version of yourself,” but maybe the strongest one is that it not only ends with “yourself” but actually begins with “yourself.” It is as if there is a preset catalogue of “yourself-s” and the point is to choose the best one. Or, instead, it means something like maximizing your potential, especially spiritually. Either way, that’s the wrong image, and images shape our imaginations.