Why I Chose One Word for One Year in 2017

I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. I love setting goals and making plans to achieve them. I hate when real life happens and they disappear into nothing. I think I’m more in love with the allure of fresh beginnings and the IDEA of what change could bring than I am anything else.

It only takes weeks (sometimes days!) into the New Year before whatever seemed so alluring suddenly feels restrictive and weighty. Guilt and condemnation heap themselves on. And who can bear the weight of that?

2017 was the first year I decided to do something different. I’m not sure where I got the idea. But as soon as it entered my mind, I knew it was what my soul needed. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I chose a word to focus on during the year. One word for one year.

It was freeing. And yet challenging. It shaped my heart, my life, my home. It served as an underlying rhythm to my year. I didn’t think about it every day. Yet it was a constant companion, a lense through which I viewed life and made choices (even at times unconsciously).

Benefits of One Word for One Year

I had no idea the journey that God would take me on during this year using only one word. Had I tried to set goals for myself at the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t have touched on what He actually accomplished in me.

And that, for me, is one of the greatest benefits to choosing one word for one year. It allowed God to work on the areas in me that He saw needed to change. It somehow shifted the focus from things I’m trying to achieve and asking for God’s help with, to me relinquishing control and asking God to change what needed to be changed deep within me.

There was no pressure to do a certain thing or grow in a certain area. There was freedom to read and study and meditate as God led and listen to what He was saying to me. There was one focus of attention without a step by step plan or overarching agenda. And my life was profoundly changed.

So, I’ve signed up again for One Word for One Year for 2018, so to speak. I won’t be making New Year’s resolutions again this year, but there will be a new word. And I already know what it is. I’ll share it with you at the end of December!


What do you think? Do you want to give One Word for One Year a try in 2018?

Start asking God now for the word He has for you. Remember, He knows your heart and your needs better than you do. It might be a word that makes perfect sense to you when you hear Him whisper it. Or it might puzzle you. Either way, wait for His confirmation and trust Him as you enter into whatever He has for you.

Watch for a post the last week of December where I’ll share my word for 2018 and give you some more tips and ideas for trying One Word for One Year.

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