There is something about welcoming a new year that makes people want to set goals. Perhaps it is the feeling of starting fresh and embarking on a journey with renewed commitment to improve ourselves and our lives. As we contemplate the goals that we want to accomplish this year, we may want to consider adding the following.
Make an appointment with God every day. With many responsibilities at home, work, church, community, and other areas of our lives, we may sometimes feel as though we do not have enough time to fulfill them all. In fact this is true. If we listed down all the things that we need and want to do every day, 24 hours would never be enough. But there is one secret to making the best of the time that is given to us daily—make an appointment with God every day and make it the highest priority.
This appointment can include daily prayer, scripture study, recording spiritual impressions, performing an act of service, rereading General Conference talks, and other worthwhile activities where we could commune with God. When we commit to this daily appointment with God, we will find that we might still not have enough time to do everything we need and want to do, but we will be able to choose and prioritize the responsibilities that are the most important.
Read the Book of Mormon every day. Prophets have implored us to get to know Jesus Christ more. One of the best ways to know the Savior is to follow His perfect example and teachings, and the most correct book where we can read these is the Book of Mormon. It contains the fullness of His gospel and answers to life’s most compelling questions such as, ‘why are we here?’ and ‘where did we come from?’
Prophets have promised that as we read the Book of Mormon every day, we will be blessed beyond measure. The late prophet Thomas S. Monson promised that “we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives” as we prayerfully study and ponder the words in the book.
Another promise was pronounced by President Russel M. Nelson saying, “I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions.”
Attend the temple regularly. One of the goals of the Church is to make temples accessible to all members so that we have the opportunity to perform the sacred saving ordinances of the gospel. To date, there are 150 operating temples around the world, with others being renovated, under construction, and announced for construction in the near future. These temples are a marvelous blessing to all of us, since they provide, not only a sacred place to perform ordinances for ourselves and our dead, but also a place of refuge and peace. With all the cares of the world that we carry on our shoulders, the temple is a place where we can find solace.
The late prophet Thomas S. Monson promised, “as we attend the temple, there can come to us a dimension of spirituality and a feeling of peace which will transcend any other feeling which could come into the human heart.”
Each of these goals, when paired with a commitment to fulfill them, will open the windows of heaven and bring gifts that will not only help us have a fruitful year but will also draw us nearer to God. May this year be a year of fulfilling goals with outcomes that will stretch through eternity.