I don’t know about you, but New Year’s Resolutions always used to leave me feeling like a big fat failure. Six weeks into the new year, inevitably I’d barely be able to recall what was on my lofty list of goals... which meant I’d obviously not been doing much to work on them.
I’d beat myself up over it, and try harder. But in an oddly contradictory kind of way, making a list of resolutions paralyzed me from achieving them. It was a mental roadblock I just couldn’t seem to conquer. So I scrapped the idea altogether.
And in my own personal resolution revolution, I started choosing just One Word to focus on all year.
Just One Word, because that’s easy to remember all year long. I place visible reminders of it around my home and workspace, keeping my word ever before me.
It’s become a spiritual discipline of sorts.
Each year, my One Word stands as a touchstone: a reminder not of what I need to do, but of who I want to be.
It becomes the filter through which I make decisions; the home-base to which I return when I’m unsure which way to go. It forces clarity and helps me concentrate my efforts, energy, and time on intentional growth.
It’s a simple concept, but not an easy one. My One Word has always been a challenge more than a comfort. It’s like a pebble in my shoe—an unavoidable nuisance, a constant nudge, a discomfort that causes me to walk differently.
I always have a love/hate relationship with my One Word—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I figure if it doesn’t scare me at least a little, it’s probably not the right word.
Many of the Deeper Story writers have embraced the One Word practice as well, and found it equally life-changing:
Sarah Bessey: "As the year unfolded, I began to realise that my little nudge to choose Fearless was more of a gigantic shove off a cliff by the Holy Spirit, a sort of dinner bell clanging “COME AND GET IT!” for almost every fear and insecurity I’ve petted, hidden, and indulged in my life. I don’t think I’m fearless now. Not by a long shot. I am braver. I am practicing fearlessness, over and over, with the hope it takes deep hold in my life. I want to carry this word with me, for the rest of my life, every day. This has profoundly changed me."
Kelley Nikondeha: "My word for 2012 was Covenant. The word unfolded as commitment, life-long fidelity and tethering to traditions that anchor and nourish me. I found covenant touched my connection to God, to my spouse and even my children—how do I lean into fidelity toward them daily? One Word allows me to focus, the word works on me and in me mysteriously. But, as a cognitive girl, I also allow the definition of the word to flower and unfold over the year so that the meaning is richer now than before."
Elora Ramirez: "Two years ago, my word for the year collided with my heart. As I glanced around at the shattered pieces around me, I wondered how in the world God would bring jubilee to such a place as this :: a broken hope, wounded and wanting. And this past year? He wanted me to abide. For a girl who runs – for a heart that hides – this proved excruciating. I will not lie :: these past two years have been hard. But what’s left is beautiful – a deeper understanding of His love, a freedom to live in His light and a readiness to breathe deep and jump."
Will you join us in our resolution revolution?
Quiet your heart and see what word rises to the surface. Who do you want to be? What character trait do you want to intentionally develop? How do you want to live your life?
Let’s focus this year not on doing more, but on being who we were created to be.
Once you've landed on your word, write a blog post about it, and post it on January 4th to join in our synchroblog. Then add it to the community link-up on the One Word 365 site.