As a mom, I often make resolutions, like "Today I am going to be more patient if my daughter takes forever to go to sleep," or "Today I am going to take great joy in the work God has given me." But at best I am generally only able to conjure up the patience or joy or whatever for about 15 minute spurts, if that long. This is sometimes the case even on days when I've had a really great prayer time.
I wonder if part of the problem is that things like patience or joy simply are not entities to be had. I cannot get more patience without also growing in truthfulness and kindness and hope, because patience in itself does not exist. The Holy Spirit is the entity that exists - the Holy Spirit is the one to be "had" - and these are characteristics of that Spirit. And so instead of hoping and praying for more peace or kindness or self-control or name the prayer, I'm thinking it would be more effective to focus upon praying for and submitting to more and more of God's Spirit.