I have never struggled over choosing a word like I have this year. Each year in the past, the word has just come to me and I knew deep in my heart that that one word was mine for that year. I usually "got" said word long about November.
Not so, this year.
This will be the fourth year I've chosen a word. My past words have been JOY (2011), DELVE (2012), and LOVE (2013).
I've been all over the map with my word choices for this year, and if you've talked to me in the past several weeks chances are you've heard different words depending on when you spoke to me. So writing this post? Committing to one word, in writing, in a public forum? Pressure indeed. I've enjoyed the waffling and flip-flopping and want the freedom to continue to do so. I expect to arrive at one soon. And if I don't... well then I might have three.
Here are some tips for arriving at your one word for this year. Even if I haven't managed to, they just might help you.
1. Look at themes in your life. What is something that seems to keep coming up for you-- in your conversations, your thought life, your journals? Pay attention to this.
2. If you're thinking about a word, go look it up in a Bible concordance and see what verses go with it. See if one in particular speaks to you, then note it. I think it's good to have a focus verse for the year.
3. Tell some close friends what word you're considering. Get their reactions. I had one word I was thinking about and, based on my friends' reactions, could tell that, while they would support whatever I chose, this particular word wasn't the best one for me to choose. I appreciated their candor and it helped me switch gears.
4. Ask those same friends to hold you accountable. Maybe get together once a month with your friends and update each other on how that word is playing out in your life. Pray that word for each other and see how it manifests and grows in each person's life.
5. Start journaling about the word. Write down any confirmations you receive that indicate you picked the right word. Jot down any quotes or verses you run across. Then keep jotting things down throughout the year that you learn about the word, and how it plays into your life.
Want to know more about choosing your word for the year? I can't recommend my friend Rachel Olsen and her pastor Mike Ashcraft's book enough. MY ONE WORD will inspire and inform you. If you're looking to start the year off right, this is a great way to do it.