ONE WORD for the New Year

one word

New Year –

Time to reflect, reassess, reorganize and make decisions for the coming year.

One of my New Year decisions in recent years has been to choose ONE WORD.

I was introduced to ONE WORD a couple of years ago.  As with many other things, it seemed to come at me from everywhere:  the radio, a friend at church, a blog post on the internet.  I’ve learned that when something keeps coming at me, it usually means God is trying to get my attention.  So that year, I chose ONE WORD – Eucharisteo.  (I had just finished reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.)  The next year, I chose – Grace.

Choosing ONE WORD for a year can help you simplify your life by providing you with just ONE WORD to focus on for an entire year.  It can also help you turn your focus to Jesus if you ask God to help you choose your ONE WORD.

Simplicity as a spiritual practice is total surrender and abandonment to God.  It is having a singularity of heart or of purpose.  Discovering ONE WORD that God has for you can be a catalyst for life-change.

I’ve been praying about my ONE WORD for 2016 for a couple of weeks, and yesterday began looking over my collected list of words.  Here is my process for choosing my word each year.

Step 1: Buy a journal. I typically buy an inexpensive composition book or pull a journal I already own off the shelf.  This way I’m not upset if I decide to abandon mid-year, spill something on it, or “mess it up” in some way.

Step 2: Pick a word. I select ONE WORD on which to focus for the entire year. I make this choice prayerfully.  (The possibilities for the word choice are endless.  Consider where you are currently in your walk with Lord, listen to those around you, narrow down your list, pray.)

Write your ONE WORD on the cover of your composition book or journal.

Step 3: Gather your findings. Pray.  Ask God to show you what He has to teach you about your word as it relates to your life.  Collect everything you can find:  quotes, Bible verses, sermon notes, conversation tidbits, graphics, etc. by jotting them down in your journal.  (Stay mindful, listening for God’s whisperings on the topic as you read scripture, talk with friends & family, listen to sermons, scroll the internet, etc.)

That is all there is to it.  The process is easy, uncomplicated, manageable, and simple.  However, it is also meaningful, and life-impacting.

I hope to have my ONE WORD chosen in the next few days.  I’m eager to begin my 2016 journey.  How about you?  Will you join me this year in choosing ONE WORD as one way of intentionally Simplifying — developing a singularity of heart and purpose to God?

To help you, below is a list of words I have compiled to date.  Before you begin reflecting on the list of words, spend some time in prayer asking God what ONE WORD He wants to awaken you to during 2016. Then spend a few moments reflecting over the list. Circle any that you feel compelled to discover more of in your life.  Pray some more.  Then choose ONE WORD from your list of circled words.

Abandon                 Abide                        Abundance             Adoration

Alive                      Ask                        Balance                   Believe

Blessing                 Boldness                 Brave                     Challenge

Change                  Church                   Confidence             Consistent

Content                  Courage                 Deeper                   Devotion

Diligence                Discernment           Disciple                  Discipline

Enough                  Faith                      Faithful                   Family

Father                    Fearless                  Focus                    Follow

Forgive                  Freedom                 Fruitful                   Generosity

Gentleness              Go                          Goodness               Gospel

Grace                     Gratitude                Growth                  Healing

Health                    Holy                       Hope                     Humility

Integrity                 Intention(al)           Jesus                     Joy

Kindness                Kingdom                Lead                      Less

Life                        Listen                     Love                       New

Now                       Obedience               Optimism               Patience

Peace                     Persevere               Power                    Pray

Prayer                    Presence                Present                  Purity

Purpose                  Rebuilding              Redemption            Relationship

Release                   Remember              Renewal                 Rest

Restoration            Restore                  Sabbath                  Sacrifice

Seek                       Self-Control            Serve                     Service

Shalom                   Silence                   Simplicity               Soul

Spirit                     Stillness                 Strength                 Surrender

Time                       Today                    Tongue                  Transform

Trust                      Truth                     Unashamed             Unity

Wait                      Wholeness              Wisdom                  Worship


What word have you chosen?

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