I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and are looking forward to making 2013 a year of True Greatness. As this New Year quickly approaches, I wanted to send a message of both encouragement and challenge in the wake of what has proved to be a turbulent year for our Nation. Although as humans we are innately capable of bad decisions, epic failures, and sheer evil, we are also capable of insightful forethought, eternal victories, and extravagant good.

It’s the latter capacities that I personally choose to look for in others; it’s the intricacies of these qualities that I see when I look at those I know. As this new year approaches, I want to encourage you to keep learning about the depths of goodness that lie within you, and the true beauty, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and peace that lie within the love of God.

While at Notre Dame, we began a tradition at Notre Dame Christian Athletes (NDCA), and this year I would like to extend a personal invitation to join me in this endeavor for 2013. Each new year, instead of setting new year resolutions, we would select a “Word” upon which to focus for the entire year: that’s it, just one Word. It could be an area in which you think you need to grow, a struggle you’ve been facing that you want to conquer, something you want to learn more about, or merely something that fires you up each morning to attack the day with vigor and excellence.

We found that as the year went on our “Word” began to take deeper root in our hearts and minds, and truly transform a part of us. After years of doing this, I have found that each year becomes a more transformational and inspirational experience.

After leaving a solid job in manufacturing, moving to Denver as the twelfth city in which I’ve lived, beginning a graduate degree in Sport and Performance Psychology, launching the Lattner Performance Group, and following our Fighting Irish football team to Miami through an undefeated regular season, 2012 has been quite an “aggressive” year to say the least. In fact, my last two years have been nothing short of fast and furious, with the good highlights all making Facebook and the more challenging, inner struggles being tucked away in the pages of my journal.

In light of all the craziness, I chose “Steadfast” as my word for 2012 because I knew that with everything going on in my life it was critical that I reclaim the sense of security, stability, and focus that had been instrumental to my ability to serve others in years prior. That word served me well this past year, and I’m grateful for the foundational enhancements it brought to my life. But as the dust from this year settles – both the good and the bad – I’m looking to 2013 through a different lens.

My “Word” for this year will be “Sweetness.” I read this word in an incredible letter from a friend and mentor from Notre Dame and it just felt so right…Not merely because it was my favorite slogan as a “cool” 7th grader, but also because it seemed to encompass the notions of goodness, peace, hope, humility, tenderness, and love that I would like to add at a deeper level to my being. Even in His fury, there was a Sweetness in Jesus that I would like to learn to emulate one day, and I think 2013 is a good time to begin that journey.

So there it is! Encouragement and challenge. I’d love to hear from you if you choose to select your own “Word” for 2013. Regardless of when you read this post, I’d love to have you join me on this journey, and it would be an honor if you would share your chosen “Word” with me via our Contact page. You can also share why you’ve chosen that word if you feel comfortable in so doing.

Have an incredibly blessed remainder of 2012, and I’m looking forward to making 2013 a year of True Greatness!

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