When the new year rolls around, people start making New Years resolutions. They set goals to lose weight, manage their time, go to the gym or get up earlier. Some people make long lists, others vow to accomplish two or three things. And as we all know (and have experienced), the vast majority forget those resolutions by mid-January.
Four years ago I was introduced to the idea of choosing One Word for the year. Instead of making resolutions for different areas of life, one word can be an overarching theme for the year that affects all of those areas. Here are the words I’ve chosen in the past:
2013 – Purple (This word symbolized royalty for me, to realize my identity as a daughter of the King)
2014 – Fearless (Not so much boldly going where no man has gone before, it was more fear-less–as in absence of fear–since anxiety and stress are shades of fear)
2015 – Believe (To believe big for what God could do in my life, and to believe in myself)
And this year’s word: New
It’s funny, but this word didn’t even make the top ten list. In the final weeks of the year I started making a list in the notes on my phone of possible words. I looked up Scriptures that included the words. Nothing jumped out at me and it was a bit frustrating. Then one morning I prayed yet again for guidance on the right word and there it was.
The verses about being constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind and putting on a new nature, and having a new heart and new spirit within spoke to me. I knew that I knew that this was the word. We moved to a new city three months ago so with all of the adjustments and new experiences it seems appropriate. But more than anything else it carries a sense of a new way of thinking and speaking, and a housecleaning of old attitudes and beliefs about myself.
Last year my husband found decorative signs with the word Believe and I put up several in my office corner. I’ll keep them because Believe is still “my” word. Those words of the year become old friends after spending a year with them. I haven’t seen anything at Hobby Lobby with the word “New” so we might have to get creative.
The #1 way I keep my word before me is to have it on my iPhone screen wallpaper. I use a photo editing app to add the word to the current wallpaper. This is the one place I’m sure to glance at all day, every day. It reminds me to focus on what God wants to speak to me through that theme. I can honestly say I’ve focused on my word for a whole year at a time this way.
My one word is already shaping my life. When my thoughts want to stray down old familiar paths, I think of “New” and redirect them back to new healing, life-giving paths. It’s going to be a good year.
Do you choose One Word for the year? What’s your word?