A new year is always exciting because it feels like a fresh start—a chance to form new habits, accomplish the things we’ve been meaning to, and better ourselves. Too many goals or too vague, however, and we give up before we’ve even begun. As I worked on my resolutions for 2016, I wanted to focus on the things that will be most beneficial for my character and habits. What better way to do that than by focusing on living the Scout Oath and Law?

The Scout Oath is already a promise to ourselves and others:

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Oath is full of ideas for goals setting. Below are some examples of resolutions based on the Scout Oath (you’ll want to be more specific based on your individual circumstances and objectives). Trying to do them all at once will be overwhelming, but choose 2-3 aspects of the Scout Oath to work on and you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

In 2016, I will strive to:

Do my duty to God

  • Be more diligent in my religious studies by reading the scripture X minutes per day or week
  • Attend religious meetings
  • Pray daily
  • Work to remember religious principles and apply them more fully in my life

Do my duty to my country

  • Educate myself about current issues and be an active voice in the political process
  • Find service projects to improve my community
  • Be more aware of and responsive to the needs of others (set specific goals to do so)

Obey the Scout Law

  • Use each month this year to focus on one element of the Scout Law and work on developing that trait all month.
  • Print out the Scout Law and keep it somewhere I will see it daily, as a reminder to develop those traits. Help my family do the same.

Help other people at all times

  • Start at home: What can I do to better help my family/roommate/self keep the house in order?
  • Actively seek out one person per month who needs special service or help and provide service for them.
  • Be more aware of the needs around me and respond

Keep myself physically strong

  • Set goals to be more physically active than I currently am (find whatever fits with your skill level and ability)
  • Set a goal for a physically taxing activity I want to complete this year (marathon, triathlon, hiking trip, etc.). Plan a schedule of activity to reach the physical level I need to accomplish the activity.
  • Prioritize physical health through healthy eating and good habits.

Keep myself mentally awake

  • Learn a new skill or a new subject
  • Practice a musical instrument, work on math skills, learn/practice a foreign language, etc.
  • Read more often
  • Practice good study habits

Keep myself morally straight

  • Practice self-reflection to correct character flaws
  • Actively seek to treat others as I would like to be treated
  • Do my duty to God
  • Evaluate commonly accepted practices and reject those that don’t fit in to my moral code

What are your resolutions this year? How are you going to embrace and implement the Scout Oath and Law in your life?

SOURCEUtah National Parks Council
Maria Milligan
Has spent several years as a merit badge counselor, several summers as a waterfront director, and her whole life wishing she could do the Pinewood Derby with her 6 brothers. She joined the Utah National Parks Council as a Grant Writer to get her chance.


  1. I just wants to say all these what you have described in your article we practice in daily life since all these are the teaching of Holy Qur’an which completely our daily code of life.
    If you allow me I will send you some of Qur’anic quotation regarding our Scouts Law and Promice.

  2. Darryl Alder
    Darryl Alder ( User Karma: 9 ) says:

    Great ideas. You can also use the Oath and Law to write a den code of conduct (see my post next Tuesday at the Boy Scout [blog.utahscouts.org])

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