Most busy women who are scrambling to fulfill all the roles in their lives aren’t looking for more pressure. They don’t want anyone telling them to run faster and jump higher. And they sure don’t need one more thing to make them feel like they’re not enough. “New Years Resolutions” can feel like another expectation heaped on their plate, and they’re saying “no thank you.” But there is a way to start the new year with a theme and focus that isn’t demanding or guilt-producing: choosing your “one word” for 2019.
This is the 7th year I’ve chosen a word of the year. The amazing thing is that the word has stuck with me for the entire year, each year. By stuck with me, I mean it has impacted my life, it has truly been a life theme and it has taught me throughout the year. It didn’t fade away in a few weeks like a resolution.
I first learned about the concept from the book My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen (available on Amazon as a print book or Kindle).
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)
2016 – New (To renew my mind, see what new things God is doing in my life)
2017 – Identity (as in “Live Your True Identity in Christ)
2018 – Brave (same idea as courage but I so love the song “You Make Me Brave” it became my theme)
And for 2019 the word is Grace. What a beautiful word. There are many Scriptures with the word grace, but “My grace is sufficient for you” and “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” speak to me. My daily spirit needs grace overflowing, to pour out on others.
The funny thing about choosing a Word is that it doesn’t always turn out to mean what you thought it would mean. In 2016 I thought that “New” would be rather exciting, like new places and new ways of thinking. Instead the year held many difficult challenges and changes which required a new season and new trust.
Past yearly words never leave me, they remain meaningful and they still belong to me. They’re like a stack of favorite books with worn covers and underlined passages. Those words help me remember the years and the events and lessons.
Because the One Word stays where I see it often, my 2019 word has already impacted my life. The word is reviewed daily because it’s the wallpaper of my phone (this is my #1 tip for sticking with your word!):
I look for jewelry and small home decor pieces with my word of the year–and so does my husband, to surprise me! I’m looking forward to finding special mementoes of Grace in the coming year.
With this new year’s word, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to check whether I’m living grace and giving grace: to others and to myself especially. As in, all day, every day. It’s a means of taking thoughts captive and renewing my mind. I have a feeling it will be life-changing.
Choosing a word doesn’t have to be a huge process. Don’t overthink it, you can’t get it wrong. You can change it quarterly….or monthly. I usually make a list of several words, sit with them, look up Scriptures, pray about it, and narrow it down. This year it was more like paying attention to what stood out after praying for insight. The word “grace” showed up in unusual ways so I knew in my heart that was it.
A friend joked that this year my middle name is Grace: Charlotte Grace Siems. Not bad, I like it! (One of my daughters has the middle name of Grace. Guess she was named after me). 🙂
Why choose a word? It tends to impact every area of life throughout the year, unlike a list of a few resolutions that are forgotten in a drawer in two weeks. For instance, “Grace” affects my relationships, my thoughts, my prayers, my health, my words….you get the picture. It’s an over-arching theme and it’s sort of fun to see how it plays out and what God is up to! It’s simple and it’s One Thing, which lends itself to focus.
I’d love to hear what your word is, and maybe a brief explanation of what it means to you. Maybe you’ve already chosen one. If not, maybe now you’ll give it a try. Please share YOUR One Word for 2019!