Eugene Cho

what are your goals for 2009?

It’s crazy.  I can’t believe it’s December already.  The older I get, the faster time seems to fly.  As the new year is soon upon us, I’m sharing 7 personal goals for the upcoming year.  Why seven?  Just sounds more spiritual…

What are some of your goals/resolutions?

Last week, we managed to get some of the lurkers and quiet blog readers off the stands and onto the field.  So, let’s do it again!

In addition to “regulars” sharing their answers, I am especially inviting the lurkers and quiet blog readers to chime in.  This is your chance to join in and become one of the cool people. 

Here are my 7 personal goals for the upcoming year – all in hopes of honoring Christ through my life, family, and gifts:


1.  Minhee.  Weekly date night with my wife, Minhee. I don’t care how busy I get with church, cafe, and NGO and I don’t care how busy she gets with her studies, we go on a weekly date night.  Rico suave.  Evening walks count and for those on tight budgets like us: 70% off at Restaurant.Com.

2.  Kids. More time with my children.  The kids are 10, 8, and 5.5 and they’re not slowing down.  My oldest will be in middle school next Fall.  Holy Moly.  I want to enjoy them, love them, raise them, nurture them, and enjoy them.  Enjoy them.  Enjoy them.

3.  Books.  I’m going to read 24 books this upcoming year.  Two books each month. 

4.  Weight. I’m losing 14 pounds.  I’m at 159 now and I’m going to get down to 145.  10 years ago, I got this gym membership at some small gym that got bought out by 24 Hour Fitness.  By some legal merger rules, 24 Hour Fitness had to honor my terms and conditions.  I have full access to everything 24 – everywhere – for only $8andchange and I need to use it.  145. 145.  145.  And lots of basketball this year.  I’m coming out of retirement.

5.  Book Proposal.  I feel humbled that publishers have expressed interest in my thoughts and words.  I feel pregnant.  I think I can give birth to something substantive.

6.  Poverty Org.  This is my “biggest goal” for the upcoming year.  It’ll take the most work, energy, and perseverance but fly or fail, something will happen.  Hoping that we’ll compel at least 5,000 people join our organization and a minimum of $1 million dollars raised and much of it distributed by the end of  2o09.

7.  Hobby.  I’m going to pick up a hobby this year and start learning photography.  Leo Chen [an amazing professional photographer] has been gracious enough to let me borrow his incredible Canon G9 [the best point and shoot camera], and I’m going to pump out some great pics.  [The one above is one I took of our family at Sculpture Park, Seattle].

This time…next year, I’ll have to check in with this entry to see how we did with our goals.

Filed under: family, marriage, seattle, , , ,

26 Responses

  1. Daniel says:

    Nice list. A good combination of personal, practical, and ideal. Good luck to you. I have three big goals this year: 1) pray daily, 2) actively serve in my local church, and 3) travel to at least 2 other countries and 5 different states.

  2. Matt Busby says:

    I prefer to think of myself as one of the “quiet” ones, hopefully not one of the “lurkers”. I haven’t really sat down long enough to think of my list yet, but I know it will go something like this:
    1) Read 12 books next year
    2) Actively help my wife achieve some of her goals
    3) Write a business plan for a non-profit coffee shop
    4) Be more disciplined in my spiritual disciplines

  3. jason says:

    I have the same simple goal every year, because I believe that by striving for this simple goal every year everything else will fall in line. That simple goal is to strive to become a better follower of Christ.

  4. Donna says:

    Hello, Eugene,

    Great goals for yourself in the new year.

    Mine? To grow spiritually. To continue to nurture & enjoy my dear daughter. To buy a house – this renting thing is really OLD! To work on completing one of the several books I have started. To lose more weight AND exercise regularly.

  5. janowen says:

    1) Get my youngest out of high school and into college succesfully, and have my oldest two graduate from college and then begin their “real” jobs. Whew!

    2) Write a book proposal and send it into publishers and finish the book by the end of the year, with or without publication. I feel that God desires me to write so I’m going to. 62 pages so far!

    3) Record an EP to go along with the themes of the book. I am not really a songwriter, what I do could more accurately be called musical journaling!

    4) Time with my family must be a priority – so we have tons of fun stuff planned for 2009.

    5) Pursue God’s calling to “go” and train indigenous worship leaders in under resourced countries. We’ll be in Guatemala in June! Praying God will open doors.

  6. Tyler says:

    wow, a book. that is awesome eugene. congrats.

    this will take some thinking…i’ll have to answer another time.

  7. Sue says:

    I want to get healthy in 2009. Like Oprah, I ballooned up a little bit this past year and my cholesterol level is unhealthy.

  8. Donte says:

    1. Make a few new friends. Don’t get me wrong…I like the friends that I have now, but I also know that I can create space and invite a few more people into my life.

    2. Take a few classes. I’ve flirted with a few PhD. programs the past couple of years, so maybe now is the time to get going on it.

    3. Date nights with the wife would be great. I think biweekly is more realistic for us.

    4. Give more. Time and money. Not sure how the finances will shape out for 09, but I want to remain committed to giving.

    5. Start a blog. I don’t know if the world needs another blogger. The blogosphere is saturated right now with many talented people, but oh well.

    @Eugene—How about checking in on us quarterly rather than a year from now? Perhaps a little accountability would be good.
    And—nice backyard hoops video! Have you sent that in to ESPN? You should come down to SPU for some noon ball.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Eugene – I’d love to hear what books your reading. Maybe a monthly blog post about them? 🙂 It’s so hard to beleive your kids are getting so big…are they bugging you for cell phones yet? Mine has 2nd grade peers who are starting to get phones, and is crying out that he needs one too.

    I have 2 ideas about next year…1) I want to try things that really stetch me in school, and in the internship I’ll be required to do next year, and 2) I want to process both of those as honestly as I can…its easy for me to buckle down and get things done, its harder to really feel what I’m feeling and allow the processing to go where it will.

  10. matt says:

    wow, sounds like an intense and awesome year for you! all those goals ON TOP OF church/cafe/ngo. DANG!
    and careful… hobbies get expensive =P

    1) run a marathon. i would never thought i would’ve done it. but, my gf keeps on prodding me along. (and it’ll help me get down to your current weight Eugene…that’s my goal =P)
    2) eat out less. I need to be a better steward of money.
    3) stop buying stupid toys (like the 10 buck flying alarm clock that I just got). again, being a better steward of my money.
    4) learn how to be a morning person. Just realizing that the later I stay up, the more time I’m wasting. I’m just more productive in the morning… cuz…dangit, I must’ve gotten myself outta bed for a reason!
    5) devote more time to volunteering at the recovery center that I’ve been ‘volunteering’ at. too much is not enough.
    6) read 18 books. I graduated seminary this past year, and i’ve realized I’ve read 1/2 a book since then. I like to think of it as me just kinda recovering from way too many books over the past 3 years.
    7) and here’s something that I’ve always said I’d do but still haven’t done. read through the bible in a year. I’ve done it a couple times throughout an extended period of my life (though I did do a lot of skimming through laws and prophets)… I haven’t done it within a strict confine of one year. I don’t want it to become legalistic, but still, I want to do it as I know the words are life changing.

    ok. I’m keeping it holy with 7. there’s my list Eugene. I do do a lot of lurking, simply cuz I only have enough time to read your posts at work, and not necessarily respond. but here you go. you got me outta my shell.

  11. 1) Serve more/love more. I hope this makes my list every year. Practice a daring faith not just a nice one. Only with God’s help.
    2) Get more involved at Quest.
    3) Rediscover my creativity (not sure how, but I know it’s in there somewhere). Something having to do with going back to film, I think.
    4) Make some new friends.
    5) Play more.

    I’m hungry for, praying for and looking forward to all these things…

  12. Hilary says:

    At this point in time, I’m honestly in the mood to simply just BE. I have been working from lists my whole life- resolution lists, weekly planning lists, goals, calendars, and daily to-dos; and I’m starting to realize that checklists don’t always draw me closer into a love relationship with God, but further away to independence and anxiety, thinking I can accomplish everything on my own.

    I’m not trying to sound super spiritual- I do have things I would like to accomplish and achieve. But at this point in my life and my walk, I am feeling like the last thing I need is another list. My one goal next year is this- to walk in deeper intimacy and love with my Savior, and to trust Him at all times, and in all things. That’s it.

  13. rexhamilton says:

    1. Truly understand and engage in solitude each week.

    2. Continue to place family first while I transition into new role of lead pastor at my church.

    3. Pursue the right donors for Hopeworks…our non-profit seeking to help the people of Swaziland with their education, housing, and agriculture.

    4. Develop deeper relationships with my neighbors.

    5. Save the cash needed to re-model kitchen

  14. eugenecho says:

    @tyler: no no no. not a book. i only have offers to submit a book proposal. big differences. it’s been on the table for a while but i’m going to again assess if i can do it next year.

    @jennifer: don’t add more work to my list. i’ll likely share my list of books – new and old to read or re-read.

    @ian: play more. i like that.

  15. Dan says:

    To school PE in basketball.

    Jess can rap, I can ball, bring it.

  16. I want to be spiritual too… so here’s my 7:

    1. I am definitely with you on the weekly date night! (It has been a tough year for us to have consistent quality time as we have begun a new non-profit org… all while having twin 16 yr old boys and a 3 yr old daughter)
    2. Have monthly one-on-one breakfast with each of my boys. A year and a half from now they will be off to college. Crazy!
    3. Weekly “date” with my daughter… not only to enjoy some time with her but to give my wife some quality alone time.
    4. Slowly (and with a lot of reflection time) read through the OT Prophets
    5. Get out doors more. Hike. Bike. Regularly!
    6. Blog about more substantial issues.
    7. Get the community development aspect of our non-profit work in Guatemala City off the ground.

  17. My 2009 Goals:

    1. Date night once a week with Katryna.
    2. Gym 3x/week
    3. Lose weight if the chronic illness in my body cooperates.
    4. See more films.
    5. Work on my memoir draft.
    6. Blog more consistently.
    7. Lobby on behalf of Chronic Lyme Disease (This is what i am afflicted with)
    8. Get certified to scuba dive.
    9. Love my enemies more.

    Many of these are really contingent upon day-in and day-out living with my illness. There are days where i am simply bed-ridden and cannot do much. But, i hope i can accomplish some of them.

  18. chad m says:

    date night sounds like a good thing
    manage time better [i.e. say “no” more often]
    speak out…grow some _______ and actually speak my mind
    find student to mentor/disciple intentionally
    read the Bible all the way through twice
    read, read, read….that means less tv

  19. Daniel says:

    1. I would like to read a few books (the more the better, but my reading is sporadic).
    2. I would like to get my daughter a US passport and get her added to our missionary visa (it seems weird that she’s a tourist while we are missionaries…shouldn’t see have to do some work too…I mean, she’s almost 2.)
    3. I would like to give 2000 (+ or – 5%) poor people their own business.
    4. I would like to help establish a network of mentoring groups amongst local pastors.
    5. I would like to have a weekly date night with my wife.
    6. I would like to take up a new hobby to share with my wife (so far we’ve come up with PS2 and doing large puzzles….any other ideas?)
    7. I would like to adopt a baby around August time.

    I could probably keep going. I have no problem thinking of ideas of great things to do. I just lack the follow through. So i’m sticking with the above 7.

  20. Lori says:

    Good goals Eugene. I look forward to any book that you write.
    My goals are as follows:
    1. Join the YMCA and workout regularly for physical and mental health.
    2. This one is rather personal, but…Turn to God, no matter what, during times of trial (although I am hoping I won’t have too many), and not struggle to get through it on my own.
    3. Loving God through obedience to Him.
    4. take up an inexpensive hobbie.
    5. Make a concerted effort to try to publish some articles I am working on. I want to put more consistent effort into writing.
    6. I want to get involved in some way, I don’t know how, to help the persecuted, abused and down and out. This will require much prayer for God’s leading. So add diligent prayer to that.
    7. Get healthy in my whole person, body, soul and spirit.

  21. Gillian says:

    Ok, I’m usually a lurker. But in the spirit of trying to step out of my comfort zone a bit more, here is my goal list for 2009.

    1. Seriously explore the possibility of changing jobs – to something I enjoy. Not just some place I have to endure.

    2. Find the nerve to attend a church again. It’s been years and years and I’m a little intimidated by my lack of Biblical knowledge.

    3. To really try to see the good in people. Not everyone is out for themselves.

    4. To appreciate family more. Just as they are. Try to keep those expectations realistic.

    I’m sure there is more to strive for but this is enough for now.

  22. blake says:


    how tall are you eugene? i looked at the scale this morning and it was !&%! yowza.

    i play ball constantly and would love to be at 159. i thought i might have lost a step, but i now realized i’ve been playing with a lead vest on.

    time to drop 20 pounds of fat and add some lean muscle.

  23. Alissa says:

    Well, I’m gonna start with the superficial stuff:
    I’d like to lose around a pound a week for at least the first 6 or 7 months of 2009. That puts me at about 30 pounds lighter right at summer time. And I’m just fine with that. True, I don’t really have to lose that much, but it’d still put me in a healthy weight range.

    Moving right along… I really want to focus more on school and work and less on sleep and just chillin. Not to say I’m going to become anti-social, but I’m just so unmotivated to get out of bed or off the couch sometimes. Even when I’m with friends, we’re just hanging out at home. So I need to get more motivated to do better in school and stay focused on my long-term goals.
    And I also want to get back on track with a little pet project of mine. I’m working on a short musical (for filming, basically a youtube kind of deal) and I’ve been slacking a little bit lately. So I want the story finalized in 2009, with work on the music started.

  24. Staci G says:

    Beat my dad at chess.
    Be bold in my dislike of truffle oil.
    Get seats in the first five rows for the summer NKOTB tour, which WILL HAPPEN.
    Make tamales from scratch.
    Become The Friend who always has her camera and always uses it.
    Dine at Le Pichet once per month.
    Convince the haters that a large scale Bunko night is a rockin’ good time.

  25. Greg Ellison says:

    Good Luck on your 2009 goals. I have made my goals for 2009. If you want to read it then Click Here. Thanks Greg Ellison

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Whoa. Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Also reminded that while buildings are nice and have their place, the building isn't the church Let's fully welcome refugees. Remember, refugees aren't terrorists...they're the ones fleeing away from violence, war, and terrorism. 
Afraid? Me too. It's ok to acknowledge we're afraid since it confirms we're all...just...human. We're all afraid on some level especially when our culture seems to run on the currency of fear but as we live out our faith in Christ and more deeply embody compassion and love, fear begins to dissipate. It's also incredibly critical to know that agencies are implementing some of the most rigorous and thorough vetting ever. 
My family hosted a Somalian Muslim family from a refugee camp years ago through @WorldRelief. It was eye opening, challenging (especially with language realities), and yet, encouraging...and we hope to host families again in the future as they resettle in a completely new and foreign city and country. It's a terrifying experience. And while not a refugee, I remember the first few months as an immigrant when I was six years old. To this day, I remember the kindness of folks that helped us through that transition. Lift a prayer for me as I'm privileged to collaborate in ministry here in Melbourne, Australia. Meeting with local pastors, teaching at the Justice Conference (10/21-22). Then, preaching at the Bridge Church on Sunday  Pray that in preaching the whole Gospel from the Scriptures, I may honor God, point people to Jesus, and be sensitive to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Interesting. The holy bench. Wow. And in a blink of an eye, this happened. The nights might be long but the years go by fast. #ParentProverbs #WhatHappenedToMy13YearOldSon This past week, @seattlequest celebrated its 15th Anniversary. In many ways, it feels like forever and in other ways, it just seemed like we just started yesterday.

Around May 2000, Minhee and I found out we were expecting a 2nd child. Then, we got another surprise. We felt a calling and stirring to plant a church. We told God, "This is horrible timing!" We left a thriving ministry that we started in the Seattle surburbs and felt compelled to move into the city to plant a new multiethnic church called Quest. To be honest, we were so scared. Minhee was pregnant. Our insurance was about to run out. But we ventured forth. Once I resigned from this church, I had plans, goals, strategies...and none of them materialized. Only bills and payments. I quickly found out that a Masters of Divinity degree - as cool as it may sound - is actually useless in society. No one wanted to hire me. I was unemployed for months. We were eventually on food stamps and DSHS insurance.

In December 2000, we welcomed our 2nd child to the world. When "T" was born, we cried more than the baby. Couple days later, I finally landed a job as the janitor at a Barnes & Noble store. It wasn't quite what I was envisioning but God really worked through this "valley season." And we finally felt peace about starting Quest. Seven people gathered in our living room and several months later on October 2001, Quest Church was officially launched. 
It has not been easy. We've been hurt and worse, we learned we hurt people. More accurately, I hurt people. We've heard our share of criticisms and sometimes, even worse. I've been called my share of names. Too many to list. I've been too liberal, too conservative, too edgy, too rigid, too blunt, too passive. We spent many nights crying out to the Lord...for direction, for peace, for answers. We usually never got the answers we were wanting...but we always felt His presence - even during our valleys. To be honest, we still have many restless nights. In fact, I think we have had more restless nights these past two years than we did in the first two years. 
But through it all. God has been so faithful and gracious. Thank you, Lord.

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