A couple of years ago, I started hearing the suggestions to pick “one word” for the coming year. The idea of New Year’s Resolutions was out of style and embracing one word that would represent our future choices and actions became all the rage.

As with most trendy ideas, I tend to roll my eyes a little, figuring the novelty will wear off and I’ll be glad I didn’t invest time and energy into something so fleeting (like shoulder pads, which my mom deeply regrets wearing in the 80s–ha!).

But something about this idea of choosing one word gave me pause.

I’m all about time-management and streamlining right now and so maybe this concept would fit with my desire for a simpler life. If the choices we make going forward flow out of just one word or phrase, that can provide clarity and focus. Instead of writing long lists of “resolutions” with no real plan for follow-through, we can embrace simple ideas and discover achievable steps toward our deepest hopes and desires for 2018.

Could it really work?

This past year has been extremely difficult for us in a variety of ways. At the top of the list of hard times has been my mom’s diagnosis with a blood cancer which affects the bone marrow that is considered treatable but incurable. Thankfully my mom responded very well to her treatment but the cancer itself has left her very weak physically (due to weakening of the bones) and a long recovery from what is called a stem cell transplant, which is designed to promote a long-term “remissive” state of the cancer.

We’re so glad the prognosis is good, and we expect her to be with us for a long time, although she’ll need to be treated off and on for the rest of her life. But it’s been SO hard not having my mom’s help like I had grown used to and it’s been a struggle to see her go through so much. It required me to rely on God is a major way, although I was not very good at it!

Out of the difficulty can come good (Romans 8:28) and so I wanted to choose a word for this coming year that reflected that.

I’m grabbing onto this “one word” idea and using it as a springboard for any goals I have in 2018. I’ve chosen COURAGEOUS, because I have spent the past 12 months living in fear and I deeply desire to come out from under that smothering burden.

My desire is to be courageous in my family life, my faith life and my business (this blog!). To trust and step out in faith, even if I don’t know the end result. To face every decision with courage and strength, relying on the Giver of courage through it all. To realize that there will be good times and that joy isn’t a result of my circumstances.

And why not pick a Scripture to go along with that? “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

As we move into the new year, what one word will you embrace? What word (or phrase) describes your viewpoint, longings and hopes for the future? God is able to redeem the hard things, and so I’d encourage you to move forward with that in mind, whatever you’re going through. Use your one word to be the backbone behind your goals and keep it simple.

Free “This Year I Will” Printable New Year’s Writing Prompts

If you’ve chosen one word for 2018 (or even just want to set some simple goals), I’ve created a fun printable for you to jumpstart your thoughts and purpose for the New Year.

Click here to download the “This Year I Will” printable, fill in the prompts, and hang it as a reminder of your goals and desires. Don’t forget to pray over them too and commit your way to the Lord. I know I always need a reminder to do that! :)


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