Make your own purpose in life, not a list of things to change

In 2000, retired Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple lost his 15-year-old son Jeffrey to suicide.

He went through a downward spiral after losing his son, doing everything he could to numb the pain. He said the only thing that prevented him from taking his own life was knowing, firsthand, how that would affect others. He said he finally turned his life around after going to jail for 58 days for driving under the influence.

After that, he set a goal for himself: “I don’t want anybody to suffer through what I went through or what my son went through or what my family went through.” Since then, he began working towards that goal by becoming the Depression Center Outreach Coordinator at the University of Michigan and has spoke at various events about suicide awareness.

Hipple said: “If we have a purpose in life, we’ll keep moving. We’ll have a place we’re headed for. That keeps us on target...We need to have something we believe in and can follow through in."

What better time to do this than with the New Year right around the corner? The New Year is a time to celebrate what we look forward to and also, to close the door on our regrets from 2011. I'm not asking you to come up with a list of New Year resolutions, a list of things you want to change about yourself that most people break by Jan. 2. Instead, come up with one goal, yes just one, that you want to accomplish by 2013 — whether it's helping someone who needs it, going on a cruise, writing a book, mending a broken relationship, taking a class in school, moving, applying for an internship, getting a job or quitting the job you have that you hate.

This is what I challenge you to do. Because if you have one goal, one thing to look forward to, that's one more reason to live. 

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