Tag Archives: One Word

One Word 2020

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the one word resolution. It’s a trend that’s been around for a while now, and something I’ve even blogged about before. The basic idea is that instead of making a list of resolutions you’ll abandon, you just pick one word and make it your focus for the year. I’ve been doing this for a few years now – some more successfully than others. I start thinking about it in November or December. I pray for God to lead me to the right word. I’m still waiting for something nice like peace or joy, but God knows this Enneagram one too well. Past words I’ve focused on include honor, warrior, and in 2019, yes.

This year I find myself inspired by the word challenge. I might have preferred something like rest or relax, but I doubt those words would have inspired the kind of changes I need in my life. Don’t get me wrong, some of us need to learn to rest or to relax, but that’s just not where I’m at right now, and the God who directs my path knows that.

I’m getting a head start on this year’s word. I’ve started a Pinterest board on the topic, and I’m collecting challenges that other people have put out there. I have exercise/fitness challenges, eating challenges, reading challenges, housekeeping challenges, and much more. They range from week-long to month-long challenges. Some look like they’ll be fun, while others look like they’ll be more, well, challenging. I’ll link it to the Food Shelf Friday Pinterest board so you can see what is inspiring my year, and maybe find a challenge or two that motivates you.

The first challenge I’m taking on in 2020 is my month-long January challenge. I’m calling it “A Thousand Things,” and I’ll tell you more about that next week. Most of my challenges you’ll never hear about, but when I hit something like A Thousand Things which connect to Food Shelf Friday’s mission, I’ll share them here on the blog or the FSF Facebook page. Others I’ll just keep to myself or share with my accountability groups. I doubt you care how long I can hold a plank or if I’ve managed to hula hoop successfully (a skill I have never managed to master, no matter how hard I try!).

Whatever your resolutions, be they one-word, a whole list, or none at all, I hope you learn and grow in 2020. I pray that your families are blessed and healthy, and that this year is a good one for you. Thank you also for coming along on this journey with me. I love researching and writing, and I hope that I manage to say something that is meaningful and helpful to you this year.

Happy New Year!

One Word – A New Year’s Revolution

I’ve posted before about how I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I used to work at a gym, so I have seen first hand how useless they are. You start off so gung ho that you annoy everyone around you, and then you just fade back to your old habits. Changing your life is hard, even when it’s necessary.

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. A few years ago I began to hear about the idea of having a one-word focus for the year instead of resolutions. Basically, you pray and ask God to reveal one word to you that you can focus on for the year, then you just pick one. Some people say that they have a strong sense of what word God has for their year, while others experience less direction and make a more self-guided choice. Then, for the entire year, you think about that word and how you can put it into practice. I don’t know if you get better results, but I do know you feel less discouraged, because it’s never too late to get back on track with your word.

My first experience with this came at a retreat I attended. On the first day, the leaders of the event invited us to pray and ask God to give us a word for the weekend. I closed my eyes, and said, “Lord, I don’t want to put words in your mouth. This has to be obvious if it’s from you.” Instantly I thought of the word empty. Seeing as how I was hoping for something like peace, calm, or relaxation, I knew that empty was not my idea. In my self-centered mind I decided that work, grad school, and other obligations had left me empty, and that God was going to refresh my spirit and I would leave the retreat feeling full. I was wrong again. By the end of the long weekend I understood that I had arrived full: full of self, full of fear, full of responsibilities and concerns that were not mine to shoulder. As I spent that beautiful fall weekend with my friends, I felt myself letting go, and I vowed to make some changes in my life, to empty myself of me and take on more of Jesus.

Last year I prayed again and asked for a word for 2016. Again, I wanted something pretty, but what I got was open. Ugh. I’m a good, stoic, Midwestern Scandinavian woman. We’re hard workers and good cooks (in general), but we’re not real touchy-feely (OK, some are. My one sister is a sweet, empathetic crier, but I’m more of the emotionally wary Scandinavian stereotype). It was hard. And while I didn’t undergo any dramatic personality changes, I did open up and talk about things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

This year my word is honor. Again, it wasn’t what I was looking for per se, but it fits. It actually came to me in a strange way. I was watching a video of a pop up sale that Made New Co. was having, and I saw some cute key necklaces on turquoise ribbons. I asked what they said, and was slightly disappointed that they said “honor.” I associate honor with the commandment to honor your father and mother, or with military service. But the necklaces were cute and a great price, so I ordered them anyway. By the time they came in the mail, I knew that honor was going to be my word in 2017. It was just stuck in my head like a catchy tune.

So that’s my one word revolution for 2017 – honor. I am focused on being mindful about acknowledging birthdays, speaking the compliments I usually just think to myself, writing thank you notes, and being an all-around encourager. In 2017 I will work on putting others first, making my husband and son feel loved, and lifting up prayer needs. After all, Matthew 22:34-40 tells us:
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”

Do you have a word for 2017? Share it in the comments!