Three Simple Principles for the New Year

I brainstormed my goals for 2013 in Evernote.

The total? 66 projects and goals.

That is an overwhelming number. And chances are, I won’t get to all of them. That’s sometimes an excuse not to chip away at any of them.

Something that is becoming more helpful: Filtering the goals through guiding principles.

Three Simple Guiding Principles

I think in threes. It comes from my seminary training.

While it might be more helpful to have only one guiding principle, I’ll start 2013 with three. Select the number of principles that work for you.

Here are my three:

  1. Out of Debt
  2. In Shape
  3. Submit

If I filter work, play, and spending decisions through ‘Out of Debt’, I’ll go a long way toward accomplishing work, financial, and even relational goals.

If I filter food, daily discipline, and exercise choices through ‘In Shape’, I’ll go a long way toward accomplishing my health and fitness goals.

If I filter relationship, work, and faith decisions through ‘Submit’, I’ll go a long way toward a better marriage, family, and faith life.

It’s a lot easier to remember three principles than a list of 66 goals and projects.  And if I stick to the three, I will make headway on the most important of the 66.

The fun thing is that these goals work whether you’re in shape already or not or whether you’ve licked the debt issue or not. Selecting and filtering through guiding principles will clarify the important but not always urgent things in your life.

Best to you as you pursue your goals, resolutions, dreams, and passions for 2013.


  1. What is your most pressing goal for 2013?
  2. What would be 1-3 guiding principles for you for the upcoming year?

(Leave a response or two in the comments).

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