Campus & Culture

5 New Year’s Resolutions, Inspired by Saint Joseph’s

by Mary Kate Celini

sparkler with blurred city light background

The start of a new year marks the start of a new chapter in your life, calling for reflection on your goals, your passions and your purpose. But finding the right resolution doesn’t have to be difficult. Take inspiration from Saint Joseph’s University when setting your New Year’s resolutions for 2021.

1. Reconnect Your Mind, Body and Spirit

Finding and maintaining a commitment to your faith during uncertain times can help you better weather the storm and remain gracious and open to new lessons. Your resolution might be to restart weekly mass attendance, like Saint Joseph’s virtual Sunday mass, or recommitting yourself to daily prayer and reflection through an Ignatian Examen.

Keep your mind sharp and your spirit bright by engaging your body with an exercise routine. Start off by finding 30 minutes every other day to take a long walk, or get involved in a virtual fitness class like yoga. In the new year, be on the lookout for weekly morning meditations offered by Saint Joseph’s Counseling and Psychological Services. Keeping your mind, body and spirit engaged and balanced can also help lower your stress and anxiety.

2. Engage in Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Hawks are on a lifelong pursuit of learning to become the greatest versions of themselves. Enrolling in a non-credit training or a certificate or graduate program not only fulfills your dedication to growing as a professional and individual, but it can also help give you a leg up on your career in uncertain times, as discussed in this recent Philadelphia magazine article.

In our virtual world, there are plenty of opportunities to explore new ideas and topics through webinar series, podcasts and other formats. Connect with others in your community through alumni events, catch up on our Unlimited Learning Series,watch one of our 100-Second Lectures or participate in our upcoming Day of Dialogue. The mark of a new year is an opportunity for a fresh start in uncertain times, so tap into your inner adventurer.

3. Give Back to Your Community

Our Jesuit tradition values giving back to the community and being of service to those who need it most. In such difficult and uncertain times, this idea becomes even more important. Take inspiration from Hawks like Nathan Vrabel ’20, who encourages reflection and growth through his Instagram account; Caroline Duffy ’20, who created a mental health peer support group for student-athletes; Scott Avellino '97 and Don Avellino ‘83 ‘92 (MBA), who are using their distillery in the fight against COVID-19; or the Greek Council and Sharing Excess SJU, who donated over 1,600 cans of food to Hawk Hub, an organization that fights food insecurity on Hawk Hill.

If you are able to, find volunteer opportunities in your community or connect with your fellow Hawks to help lift each other up. You could even commit yourself to one selfless act every week, which could be as simple as bringing a meal to a family member or neighbor (while practicing physical distancing, of course).

4. Explore Your City

Go exploring in your own city. Make a bucket list of things you’ve always wanted to try or places where you’ve wanted to eat in Philadelphia or the suburbs (cheesesteak to go, anyone?). Don’t negate opportunities to explore nature or visit the Barnes Arboretum in the spring. You can also bring that same curiosity home by exploring your own backyard or block.

5. Look for the Silver Linings

In an unpredictable year, it’s important to be flexible, have faith and remember that sometimes things happen for a reason. Whether that means starting your own consulting service when an internship doesn’t pan out, turning rejection into an opportunity or creating new holiday traditions as a result of the pandemic, there’s hope and possibility in every setback.