Well, hello there, 2012

Here we are. Two days into 2012. The beginning of a new year. That time when everybody’s making decisions, choices, and resolutions that may last 365 days … or not. I’ve never been one for resolutions. They always seem so nebulous to me–but maybe that’s just the kind I’ve made.

I met someone yesterday who said she has “intentions” rather than resolutions. I like that. But I think I like better JR’s idea of setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals, and particularly of introducing the idea of accountability into the mix. If you actually want to see things happen, the best way is to submit yourself to the checking of community. If you try something on your own, you’re likely to give up at the first sign of trouble; if you have friends walking with you (and either holding you accountable or, even better, seeking similar goals), your chances of success are much higher. What’s the proverb? “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

I haven’t come up with my goals for the year yet. But I have been planning my life.

Recently I committed full-time to the church, which essentially means that all of my time is now mine to schedule–one of the joys of working at a toddler-aged church plant. I haven’t had that sort of time or that sort of freedom (and the accompanying sense of responsibility) in … well, ever, actually. Which makes this year the start of something new, something exciting. The possibilities are endless.

I’ve spent time figuring out what I want and need to build into my life–from sabbath rhythms (I preached about this on New Year’s Day, and will post more on it later this week) to the admin aspects of my job to the time I want to set aside to be creative (writing, writing music, etc.) to trips that I want to schedule. Life is a blank slate, a luxury I realize I’m fortunate to have, and I fully intend to make the most of it.

One idea I’ve had–I suppose you could call it a goal–is to blog at least three times a week. I want and need to get back into the habit of writing, and to think that it’s just going to happen without structuring it into my life is pure folly (I can tell you that from experience).

Sometimes it’ll be a random assortment of links, or other people’s words. I’m hoping at least some of them will be original thoughts, articulately constructed and perspicacious. But let’s set the bar low, shall we?

P.S. This year I’ll turn 30. I think that’s pretty cool. Roll on, 2012.

P.P.S. I love this final thought from JR’s post:

Oh, one final thought. I heard great piece of practical wisdom a while ago, poignant especially for this first week of January when resolutions, goals, dreams, to-do lists, tasks and expectations have a tendency to be sky high:

Don’t try to boil the ocean. Just get a few things done by Thursday. 


  1. Sounds like a good outline for your year, Justin. I look forward to learning more about your first year as a pastor. Is your church connected to a denomination? I loved worshipping there last January.

  2. Hey Howard,

    Nope; we’re connected with various networks and other churches, but non-denominational.

  3. Hey buddy,
    Glad you’re doing well, and looking forward to 2012. I am too. Hope I get to see your church one day.
    I loved your first “P.S.” My fiancee had a great realization last year just before her birthday, when our good friend lost her young daughter: it’s so silly to be upset about getting older on your birthday. You ought to be grateful to God for life and its many blessings. So I’m glad you’re looking forward to being 30. May you love your next 30 even more than your first.

  4. Thanks, man; good to hear from you. Hope 2012 is full of life for you, too!

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