Last August I was blessed to lead a retreat marking the start of the school year for faculty and staff at St. Theodore Guerin High School in Noblesville, IN. At the start of the program, we were all greeted by Father Joshua Janko, the school's Director for Catholic Mission, who asked everyone to take a little time to answer some questions that would provide them with spiritual goals for the new school year.

As we begin a new calendar year, it struck me that Father Jenko's questions, organized around six markers, could serve as helpful navigation tools to get us all started off on the right foot in 2013. Here they are for your consideration.


How do I want to come to know, love and serve Christ in the coming year? How faithful am I to prayer, worship and/or the sacraments? Where do I want to be spiritually at the end of this year? What are my goals?


What changes do I want to see in my family's spiritual life? What can I do to be a better witness? Which family members do I want to bring closer to Christ?


What people do I associate with, know, respect, love, etc. who do not know Jesus and that I would like to see come to love Jesus?


How can I better witness for Christ with my co-workers, my students and my families? How can I grow this year in leadership, especially as I learn more from Jesus' approach to leadership?


What gifts, talents and skills has God given me? How can I use those gifts to help others? What plans do I have to give those gifts to others?


Who do you trust to hold you accountable to your goals? Who can you be completely honest and open with?

Father Jenko's six markers point to the key roles most of us have in life, and his questions help us set goals around the people and things that should matter most to us if we are committed to being S3Jesus-like Leaders. I hope you won't pass through the first month of the new year without taking a little time to develop your own answers to these questions -- and adopt or revise goals for yourself in 2013.

Meanwhile, let me wish you a healthy, prosperous and God-centered New Year.

Owen Phelps, Ph.D.

Director, Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute