Making 2013, No, The Rest Of Your Life, Count (Guest Post by Jack Fussell)

The New Year is upon us and many of us find ourselves wanting to see some things happen differently in 2013.  Diets are started, churches attended, gyms joined, addictions abandoned as part of our resolutions and then within a few weeks we slowly revert to our old habits and behaviors.  I must admit that I’ve made my fair share of resolutions over the years…and I’ve broken many of them too.  For many, resolutions are nothing more than momentary reactions to exterior behaviors. They’re made quickly and usually broken with just as much speed.

Last year I became hungry for something more and started looking into a different way of processing the year.  I started feeling like my life was leading me instead of me leading my life.  I worked on writing a life plan for a few days and then…well, life got busy and I walked away.  As I started this year I made the decision to take some time for reflection and processing and come up with a long term plan for the person I think God wants me to be.  The two methods that I’m choosing to use are Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan process and Donald Miller’s Storyline.

The older I get the greater sense of urgency I have to make this life count.  I don’t want to simply be remembered as a collection of behaviors or activities, I want to be remembered for who I am, for the character I play in God’s big story.  When we fail to think through who we are, we become extras in God’s story.  We live lives that aren’t vital to the overall story line.  I want to live a life that is extraordinary, one that has courage, failure, risk, pain and beauty.  I don’t think these types of lives usually happen by accident because without a plan, life, deadlines, assignments, and so much more steps in, fills up our lives and defines who we are.  In this type of life we’re constantly being swept away by a current of average, and expected.  God has given me a limited amount of days and I think those days are worthy of an above-average and unexpected story.  

So this year I am trying something new.  Before I look at annual goals, before I look at ministry, photography projects, and organizational strategies, I look at my life. Who do I want to be?  What roles do I want to play?  What is my desired outcome?
What do I want the final episode of my life to look like?

My goals, projects and strategies are formed from the context of this life story.  What I do each quarter, month and moment are determined by the character and roles that I’m aiming towards.


Question: What’s the story you want to tell in 2013?  In a sentence, describe your goals for the year ahead. What will you do to move towards that goal?


 Jack Fussell has served as humanitarian worker outside of the US for the last 8 years.  He’s currently working as a social entrepreneur partnering with other creatives to love the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. Jack and his wife are also freelance photographers and are joined on their journey by their three tribesmen.  You can follow Jack on on twitter at @travelingtribe or visit his photography portfolio at

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A Life Overseas is a collective blog centered around the realities, ethics, spiritual struggles, and strategies of living overseas. Elizabeth Trotter is the editor-in-chief.