How to Choose Your “One Word”

In my last post, I introduced the concept of focusing on “One Word” for the year, rather than making a list of “New Year’s Resolutions” which have a very low success rate for real life (or more importantly, heart) change.

So, how do you go about choosing just “One Word” for an entire year?  For those of us who take life very seriously the pressure may seem overwhelming.

  • What if I am too indecisive and can’t choose “One Word”?
  • What if I choose the wrong word?
  • What if God doesn’t speak to me?
  • What if, what if, what if…

Here are step by step guidelines to help you choose your “One Word”

  1. Relax.  There is no wrong way to do this.  It is a process and that process is as individual as each person who is doing it.
  2. Pray.  Humbly ask God to show you what He wants to do in you this year.  Ask Him to give you the mind of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Wait.  Some people instantly know what the word is, others have to wait a while.  In this instant everything society, we have become uncomfortable with waiting.  Yet, often, God’s timeframe is not our timeframe and He allows us to wait.
  4. Brainstorm.  If you have prayed and waited and still don’t have your word, I recommend doing a little brainstorming.  Begin by listing the current themes/circumstances in your life.  Last year one of my friends had a lot of hard things she was working through, self-esteem issues, relational issues, life not turning out the way she would have chosen.  As she was considering what her word should be for the year, the overall theme she sensed the Lord speaking to her in each of these areas was acceptance.  She knew that her “One Word” for the year was “Accept”.
  5. Consider.  If after you have done steps 1-4 and still don’t have your “One Word”, consider using one of words from the list below.

Faith, Rest, Trust, Grace, Hope, Humility, Peace, Abide, Lean, Loving, Pause, Strengthen, Remember, Joy, Self-Control, Abide, Accept, Discipline, Help, Gentleness, Daily, Intentional, Multiply, Train, Teach

 6.  Confirm.  After you have chosen your “One Word”, ask the Lord to confirm it to you by “sleeping” on it.  If after a few days you still have a peace about it, then that’s your word!

After you have your word, then what?  My next blog post will encourage you with the next steps to take to integrate your  “One Word” into your life.

Your Friend in Ministry,







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