This reflection is one of the best this holiday season. The emphasis in red below is mine. Taken from:
St. Anthony Messenger Press
Monday Of The Fourth Week Of Advent
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a; Luke 1:5-25
Your Life Will Change When Your Habits Change
The angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, "Although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines." Judges 13:3-5
What are your habits? What are the things you do every day, every week, every month? Are your habits helping you become a-better-version-of-yourself or are they self-diminishing?
If you can tell me what your habits are, I can tell you what sort of person you are. Socrates, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Ignatius of Loyola established that habits create character. Good habits create good character, and bad habits create poor character. From a person's habits it is easy to deduce what his or her future will be like, because habits create character, and your character is your destiny. The good character created by good habits in turn creates a prosperous future, relationships, and in eternity.
Most people live in the misguided fantasy that one day they will wake up and suddenly their lives will be magically different. It doesn't happen. These people grow old and die waiting. Others live in the illusion that if they make more money, get a new car, buy a bigger house, get a promotion, or vacation in the Bahamas, then their lives will change. This doesn't work either.
Our lives change when our habits change. How would you like your life to be different this year than it was last year? How will this change come about?
Which of my habits are helping me to become the-best-version-of-myself? Which habits are moving away from becoming the person God created me to be?
God of love, as I come to the end of this Advent season, my heart is ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I join with Mary in saying, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Nothing is impossible with you, O God.
Books by Matthew Kelly:
I Know Jesus
The Long View
Decision Point: The Workbook
Decision Point: The Leader Guide
The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
The One Thing
Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction
Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion
Why Am I Here?
Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness
Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children
The Dream Manager
The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved
The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose
Building Better Families - 5 Practical Ways to Build Family Spirituality
The Book of Courage
The Shepherd: A Modern Parable about Our Search for Happiness
Mustard Is Persecution, Matthew Kelly Foundation
A Call to Joy - Living in the Presence of God
The Rhythm of Life: An Antidote For Our Busy Age
Words from God
The Narrow Path
Audio by Matthew Kelly from Lighthouse Media:
Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself
The Best Way To Live
Don't Just Try, Train
Faith At Work & The Holy Moment
The Four Signs Of A Dynamic Catholic - Excerpt
The Jesus Question
My Spiritual Journey
Our Lives Change When Our Habits Change
Raising Amazing Children
The Seven Levels Of Intimacy
The Seven Pillars Of Catholic Spirituality