One Word for One Year

New Year is one of my favorite times of the year. I’m pretty sure my fondness for it has to do with clean slates and fresh starts.

This season of ushering out the old year and ringing in the new serves to remind me that my God is the God of “beginnings.” And, seriously, who doesn’t like a good do-over?

A Practice for the New Year

Looking forward to new beginnings, I try to set aside some time during the weeks leading up to January 1st each year. This is my time for engaging in some spiritual work – reflecting, reassessing, and reorganizing – in preparation for the New Year.  

It’s also the time for some decision making. (Certainly a topic for another day, but I’ll insert here that my personal preference leans toward decision making and goal setting rather than toward resolutions.)

One Word for One Year

In recent years, one of my decisions for the New Year has been to choose One Word.

The practice of choosing One Word for One Year hit my radar a few years ago. As so often is the case, it seemed to come at me from everywhere, all at once – the radio, a friend at church, blog posts. All at once, it seemed, I was bombarded with people’s chosen words and their process in making the selection.  

In full disclosure, it did take me a couple of years to make the decision to give One Word a try. But once I did, One Word has continued to be a choice each year.

What is One Word for One Year?

One Word for One Year is the practice of selecting a single word on which to concentrate every day for an entire year.  The best word choices are those chosen for the purpose of better knowing God, our Father, and ones that will help lead us closer to Jesus Christ.

It’s a “personal” word God has for you, and it can be a catalyst for life-change.


Involving yourself in the discipline of One Word for One Year helps provide focus for daily living and spiritual growth.  Chosen by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the word you choose to focus on could help speak to an area of spiritual growth or desired heart transformation.

A One Word for One Year Resource

Whether you’ve already made the decision that 2020 is the year you are going to give One Word for One Year a try, are still mulling the idea over, or find it hitting your radar for the first time, I’d like to offer this FREE resource as a help.

One Word for One Year is a downloadable resource complete with the WHAT, WHY, and HOW of the discipline. It is also packed with a list of more than 200 words for inspiration and includes space for recording your words and making notes.

One Word for One Year

Downloadable PDF booklet.

9 comments on “One Word for One Year

  1. Thanks, Deborah! I need to choose a word for 2020. Not sure what that’s going to be yet, but thank you for this reminder!


    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

    • Well, Patsy, there’s still time:-) Hopefully, this list will help you narrow things down. Once you’ve decided on your word, please share!!! Marry Christmas to you and your family!!!!

  2. I love choosing a word of the year, although mine have been more of a short phrase. In 2019 I chose “Recalibrate Life” and in 2020 my word is “Grace-Paced.” I explain about it in my blog today at I am very excited about growing “grace-paced” with the Lord. It always amazes me how the Lord leads us and guides us through the year with our word as we focus on Him. He taught me so much this year. I look forward to all He has for me in 2020.

    • Cheryl, Thank you so much for stopping by today and taking the time to share. I, too, on a couple of occasions have chosen a word for the year that, in truth, is a 2- or 3-word phrase. (I think we can still call them our One Word for One Year!!!) Your “word” for 2020 – ‘Grace-Paced’ is really speaking to me today. I love it!

  3. I did not have a word for 2019, but in the past, whenever I’ve had a word, it has chosen me and caught me unaware. I wonder if that will happen for 2020?

  4. 2019 was the first year I too adopted this practice… my word is “Grace” it’s been amazing to concentrate on His grace in the everyday. Truly humbling.
    Bless you,

  5. My word for 2019 was “balance” and I really enjoyed thinking (and writing) about bringing balance to my life. For 2020 I am going to focus on “humility”. I feel called to think about being humble.

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