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I’ve Picked One Word for One Year, Now What?

I've Picked One Word for One Year, Now What?

A lot of you chose to ditch the traditional new year resolutions in favor of selecting one word for one year for a transformed forever.

You’ve bought a cheap journal; you’ve picked on one word for this year… now what?

If this describes you, don’t worry.  You are not alone!  A lot of friends have asked, “What’s next?”

Here are a few suggestions to go forward after you picked on one word for one year :

1. Talk to God.  Spend time with Him and literally ask Him what it is He wants to teach you.  And remember this:

God doesn’t help those who help themselves.  God helps those who abide with him, those who walk with him in faith.

2. Depend on God.  While you’re spending time with God, be mindful that this one word exercise isn’t a magic tool to make you patient or thinner or happier. No, no, no!

The goal this year is not for you to swear you’ll do better at this or for you to promise you’ll never again do that.  Sweeping promises inevitably breed feelings of failure.  The aim is for you to use your one word to get into a focused posture and remain there while you depend on Christ.

3. Wait actively on God. I know, I know… how can we “wait” AND “be active” at the same time?  One way is this… pray (active) that God would show you His teaching through your word; read books, quotes, the Bible and listen to friends, sermons, your spouse (all active); jot down “take-away” ideas in your journal (active)… and then wait for God to connect the dots for you. Because He WILL.

God is honored not by your chosen word but by your faith in him to effect change through this process.

4. See life through your word. As I’ve looked at my habits “through” my word (“discipline”), I’ve noticed that when working on my computer I use two different browsers with a total of 10-15 unrelated windows. I am sensing that to have better productivity, I need to improve focus when I work. I also see that time with my girls is more meaningful NOT when I’m trying to multitask, but instead when I am disciplined enough to give them my full attention.  These are just two areas where I see God speaking to me through my word, nudging me to be more disciplined. In essence:

I want to train my eyes to look at my world — all of it — through the lens of my one word.  I need to learn to see differently, if I am going to live differently.

When you begin seeing your world through the lens of your one word, opportunities for action and growth abound.

5. Write down the “a-ha” insights. They might be so profound that you know you’ll remember them, but you won’t.  So… write. them. down.  Writing helps you articulate, pay attention to and SEE the God-work:

I am convinced that our struggle to see God at work in our lives is not a result of his lack of work, but rather of our lack of attention to it.  Our failure to take the time to articulate it when it happens.

I don’t think of myself as a writer but as someone who is willing to take the time to articulate how I have tasted and seen that God is good.  This is an act of worship.

6. Ignore the calendar.  So what that it’s the end of January and you haven’t written a thing in your journal.  Have you selected a word?  Have you started spending more time with God?

We become so consumed with getting where we believe God wants us to be that we forget to be with God.

There’s nothing particular about day number 365.  There is also nothing magical about January; you can begin in any month you like or in any month you find yourself.

7. Stick with it. Days and even weeks may go by where nothing seems worthy enough to be captured in your journal, and God seems silent.  Trust that He has not forgotten.

… the single most difficult part of this One Word journey is continuing to focus on our word for a full year.  To get the most out of this project, it’s imperative that we find ways to regularly pay attention to it.

8. Enter this giveaway, and if you don’t win, buy this book. Do you see all of those perceptive and discerning quotes beneath my numbered suggestions above?  Every single wise tidbit came from this book:

My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word

My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word

Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen have been doing the one word challenge for years, and they wrote down all their wisdom in this incredibly helpful book that is SURE to give you clarity as well as practical applications for your pilgrimage.

AND GUESS WHAT??  They gave us two copies of the book AS WELL AS two copies of the accompanying DVD study!!  So you can read this book with friends, watch the DVD teaching, and learn together how to ensure that your one word for one year can transform your forever!!

Enter to win a copy of My One Word and the accompanying DVD study below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I’ve actually picked 3 words this year & they all fit so well together…pray, lean & trust

    1. Oooooo… that’s interesting. I haven’t seen anyone try three at a time. BUT it looks like it will work beautifully since they are so interconnected!

  2. I don’t have a word yet. Thanks for the post. I was wondering what people were talking about and then I saw this on FB.

  3. I have a word, but I’m definitely struggling with it….in fact, completely forgot that I was supposed to have a journal for it….ha!

    1. Haha, Rachel! The beauty of that is you DO NOT have to be tied to a calendar or anything. So you’re still good! 🙂

  4. My word for this year is peace. In one month It has changed the atmosphere in our home already. God is blessing us through this in so many ways!

    1. AWESOME! Isn’t it AMAZING how God works through one. teensy. tiny. WORD? Love this! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hmmm… I really like that… I’m wondering how it would look if you focused on the positive alternative to that. So instead of focusing on NO FEAR, I wonder what would happen if you focused on, say, COURAGE? Praying that God speaks clearly to you through your word and sooo confident that He will!

  5. If I had to choose one word for the year I would choose patience. I would love to read this book, it is a very interesting twist on having a New Years resolution!

  6. I have so many issues that need addressing- I don’t know what to address first. So I suppose my word should be discernment!

  7. This email was very much needed! Thank you for the encouragement. 🙂 My whole
    family is doing this together and this has helped us know more about what to do to make this part of our life.

  8. just ordered book and dvd study…. a little late but I can’t wait to begin…. wow… may use the word GROW still praying for the one word.

  9. My word for 2014 is RELAX! I’m a perfectionist and try to do everything. I actually started this as my goal during Christmas holiday events. Best. Christmas. Ever. I even took a nap on Christmas Day before loading up the family to go to relatives’ homes. It was wonderful! 🙂

  10. My one word is enjoy. I don’t seem to enjoy life and I need to change that. I want to enjoy who I am in Christ, enjoy all the small things around me, even people, places and food even. I just want to take the moments that go by so quickly, slow down to enjoy and savor them.

    1. So true for so many of us, that we don’t slow down to enjoy the moments God gives us. What an awesome journey you’re going to be on this year!

  11. My one word is WAIT. Waiting on The Lord to lead and guide and direct my steps before taking them. Waiting for His will to be done in my life not on my time frame but His. He has big plans in the works right now and I just need to wait.

  12. I love the idea of one word. My family and I have been doing this for years; although, we didn’t call it one word. We choose a personal concept or even a strength/weakness that each of us wants to work on throughout the year and we choose one as a family. I didn’t realize there was a whole movement centered around this idea; nor, did I realize that there was an entire book about it. Thank you for sharing your encouragement and thoughts with us.

      1. Well, “sort of” doing it all along. Ours is a “concept” or strength or weakness that we want to work on through out the year. I hope I win the One Word book and set. Will be so cool to read how “it’s really done”!

  13. My one word is eucharisteo and I am loving what God is doing in my life through it. 🙂

  14. My word for this year is Thrive. My husband is being sent out on his third deployment to the Middle East this year; I don’t want to just survive yet another deployment, but to Thrive and grow through the challenging year ahead. 🙂

    1. Wow. What a great testimony you’re going to have. And what a good message for anyone going through something difficult!

  15. Our family word for 2014 is “Believe”. My individual word for 2014 is “Faith”

  16. My word is “Create.” Lately, I’ve felt too tired to create much, so this blog post was timely as I don’t want to lose sight of my goal. Thank you!

  17. I just read this, then found the introductory post from December. I am praying about my “word” and that I win the book and DVD. I love your site and insight! Thanks for sharing!

  18. The word *Family* keeps popping into my head, so I think I will be using that one! Plan to get the family to choose their own words as well 🙂

    1. Ooooo… haven’t heard that word yet. And I do love to hear families doing this challenge together!

  19. My word is kindness…..for myself and to teach my girls, often I realized, before Christmas, that I was not living out the fruit of the Spirit and God burdened my heart to learn along with my 4yr old what kindness is and what it looks and sounds like

    1. So sweet… and to have the purpose of specifically passing along what you learn to your girls. Love it!

  20. I had a word in 2013 – remember – but this year, I haven’t really found my word. There’s so much going on in my life right now, I’m not sure which way to turn! =)

    1. Hmmmm… maybe “peace” or “quiet” or “still”… Keep praying. God will show you the focus He has for you!

  21. This is my first year picking one word and it’s INTENTIONAL. I’ve seen some fruit of this so far so I’m excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for me!

  22. My one word is Bless. I was sure of this word before the new year began. Excited to see what happens.

  23. My word: TRUST
    My verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    And lean not on your own understanding; Prov. 3:5

  24. My one word: humility. In God’s word it says that to the humble He’ll impart grace (James 4:6), wisdom (Prov. 11:2), He’ll lead and teach us (Psalm 25:9), and He’ll hear our cries/prayers (lots of verses!). I definitely am in need of all of those things, so I want to humble myself so I can be taught and led by the Lord!

    1. My word was humility last year and WHOA did God speak to me through that word! I LOVE these verses you’ve listed here, and I plan to add them to my journal on humility even though it was “last year’s” word! Thanks!

  25. great timing for me to stumble across this post. i’ve been feeling Him laying it on my heart to choose a word for this year. i don’t know what it is yet, but i’m getting there. thanks for sharing.

    1. Mine is “discipline,” but a lot of what God has been showing me has had to do with “focus.” 🙂

  26. My one word is Intentional. I’m a stay at home mom, and I often feel like I’m so distracted by other things than to focus on my main thing, which is spending time with my kids. I’m looking forward to growing in this area! Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. YES! Ahhhhh! That is a trap we all fall into if we aren’t… well… intentional! Good luck in the giveaway!

  27. I have just been introduced to this idea, so I haven’t chosen a word yet. I’m thinking patience is my most needed focus right now, but want to pray about it before deciding.

    1. I’m praying for you right now, that God would lead you to the word He’d have for you this year!

  28. Thank you for this! My word for 2014 is Undaunted! It is inspired by Christine Caine’s book by the same title. After two years where I lost, then mourned three parents while adding a cross country move into the mix I needed to refocus my heart and felt God’s prompting that despite my surroundings I could fight for the life of victory and joy He promised. Blessings for your wonderful blog! I loved today’s post on sibling rivalry too!

  29. Great blog Rhonda! I had Mike and Rachel back on in December. Such a powerful principle and so glad to see you embracing AND sharing!

    My word is TRUST this year and it’s already knocking my socks off!

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