Friday, January 2

Three (or Four) Words

There are two kinds of people: Those who make New Year's Resolutions and those who don't. I have always been a "goal-setter", so I naturally fall into the camp of those who make resolutions. Of course, I also fall into that camp's large subset of those who make New Year's Resolutions but don't succeed in keeping them!

Over the past couple of days, however, I have seen several people mention this blog post by Chris Brogan. He writes about a different way of setting direction for the new year - thinking in terms of three "words" that set the direction for the year rather than specific resolutions about what you are or are not going to do. When I read the post, I found that his ideas resonated with me. Over the past couple of years, I have been thinking more in term of a compass than a clock. A compass makes sure you are heading in the right direction (or at least in the direction you want to go). A clock measures where you are right now, without regard to the direction you are heading. The older I get, the more value I see in the compass than the clock. (In fact, I have even started collecting compasses - though the collection isn't very big yet.) In my mind, the "three words" idea is like a compass - setting the direction for the year.

So I have been thinking of my three words for 2009. But I couldn't settle on three, so I have four. My words for 2009 are:

Discipline - In all areas of my life, making sure I'm doing the things that will get me where I want to be and eliminating the things that hinder: spiritually, physically, financially, and more.

Focus - I often let my life get too scattered by saying "yes" to often and "no" too infrequently. So I want to narrow the focus of my life and ministry so that I can be most effective in the places that are more important.

Reflect - I need to do a better job of slowing down and spending time in spiritual and professional reflection. That means setting aside specific times on a regular basis for reflection, as well as just slowing down in my daily life to really see what is going on around me and recognize the doors for ministry that God opens.

Lead - I believe that organizations - including a campus ministry and the Church - rise or fall on leadership. God continually gives me opportunities to lead in a variety of areas, but I feel a need to be more proactive in those opportunities.

Those are my words for 2009. What are yours?

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