Prone to grow: My word for the year

Eat healthy food. Get a better education. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Sound familiar?

Each year, my pastor encourages us to find a word for the year. Rather than a resolution that we’re likely to break, a word for the year is meant to be something that God puts on your heart. Something meant more as a broad, guiding principle that you reflect on and act on throughout the year, instead of a short-term goal that only leads to frustration.

My word for the year is purpose.

I’m not entirely sure why I settled on that as my word, and that’s part of the fun. I’m curious about what it will be like to look back at the end of the year and see how God used this word in various ways.

But here’s how I’ve seen it so far. First, I want to be a man of purpose. I want to know my convictions and principles and stick to them. By the end of the year, I’d like to look back and know with a bit more clarity what my purpose here really is. Perhaps that sounds fatalistic, but it isn’t meant to be. Aren’t we all looking for a greater sense of purpose and direction?

Beyond that, I want to make decisions and act with a sense of purpose. I often do things for lots of various and somewhat valid reasons, like fulfilling the expectations of others, or a sense of duty and responsibility. Those are reasons often based on other people, and that’s not always inappropriate. But I don’t want that to be my primary modus operandi. I want to do things with purpose.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

What about you? What are your traditions around the new year? How well are you keeping up with your resolutions? Do you choose a word for the year? How it going now that we’re nearly a quarter of the way through 2013?

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