It is the start of the New Year and many people make resolutions. I used to but not anymore. I was one of those people who would make resolutions then quickly break them and forget about them. Then for a while, I didn’t even make them because I thought it was hopeless. I just didn’t have the willpower to stick with them so why even try.

Then I found a concept that helped me understand why I was failing. I was going about it all wrong. Before I had created a list of things that were wrong or lacking in my life and I wanted to fix them. Everything was so negative and then I would fail and it was even worse. The concept of One-Word gave me hope. I was going to choose one word to focus on for the entire year. It showed me that change is possible.

When I decided to use the One-Word concept, I was moving towards what I wanted to see in my life in the next year. I was not trying to get rid of the “bad” things of the past. I was building a future and it was positive. It gave me hope for change and improvement in my life. In fact, the first word that I choose was HOPE.

The first year I did this, I lacked hope. I was in a bad job situation and felt trapped. I didn’t understand about hope but knew I needed it. I started learning and studying about hope. I was sure that God was going to get me out of the job I hated. That was not to be. I learned that true hope comes only from a relationship with Jesus.

This is my 8th year picking a word for the year. I usually start watching for my new word in the fall of the previous year. I start noticing what words I keep getting my attention. A word will start appearing regularly in books, blogs, and websites I read. I will hear people talk about it, it is on the radio and in sermons.

This year “the word” took me by surprise because it is not a common word.  It kept appearing everywhere. I am a writer, I like words and I had no idea the meaning of this word. I had to look up the word EBENEZER. All I knew was Ebenezer Scrooge from Christmas Carol. He is not a good guy to focus my life on for a year. I found that it has a Biblical reference. I found it in 2 Samuel 7:12, “…thus far the Lord has helped me.” That was something I could hang onto. My word is Ebenezer.

If you are curious, these have been my past words.
•    2016- Real and Write (Yes, I did two words.)
•    2015- Abundance
•    2014- Prosper
•    2013- New
•    2012- Health
•    2011- Health
•    2010- Hope
Here are 5 ideas that might help:

  1. You can start this at any time of the year! The first year my husband did this he didn’t decide on his word until the fall of the year.
  2. It is okay if your word makes you uncomfortable. It fact it is a good thing. Your word your focus for growth for the year. For me, if I am not upset with God about my new word, it is not the right word.
  3. Find ways remember your word throughout the day. You could put it on the wallpaper of your computer or phone. You could put post-it notes in your home or office. Find a way that works for you to help you remember.
  4. Share it. Tell others your word. You will be amazed at the people who will remember your word. God will use others at just the right moment to encourage you on your One-word journey.
  5. Some words work better with Scripture verses than others. If yours does, find a verse. At the end of the year, you will have memorized that verse without trying. If you connect to your word, you will see it and repeat it a lot.

Would you like to join me this year? Get rid of your resolutions and pick one word.  Let me know in the comment section.

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4 thoughts on “One-Word

  1. Trese

    I like this approach, Mary. I will be reflecting on what word is right. Thanks for this perspective. It’s encouraging!

    1. Post author

      I love it. My church does it too. This is our third year doing it as a congregation. So we end up having a personal word and a corporate word. It helps drive the direction of the church for the entire year. Cool concept.

  2. Prateek agarwal

    Great idea, Mary. Choosing one word and living an entire year being that person. That’s incredibly powerful. A refreshing idea I’ve never knew or thought about. Shall definitely do this. Will determine my one word and report you back. Thanks for the post. It’s been of a great help and insight.

    1. Post author

      I am so glad you found it helpful! It has brought so much freedom in my life. Yes, I would love to hear the word you decide upon.


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