5 Ways ONE Word Can Direct and Impact Your Year

Happy New Years.

It’s hard to believe we are already three days into 2017.  I enjoy new beginnings,  the turn of the calendar from December to January offers a fresh start a newness of possibilities.  It’s the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over.  I find myself reflecting on the previous year while considering ways I’ve  grown or areas that need attention.  I believe that we all have the desire to live a life that significantly matters. We want our lives to have a greater purpose and to impact others. Personally, I’m wired to grow by being a better wife, mother, and friend.

Every year I’d make New Year’s resolutions, only to forget about them by the end of February. Or maybe I got past the first couple of months but then, ugh! Life happens. The Unexpected.

I’ve done my fair share of goal-setting at the start of each New Year. My long list of resolutions rarely become a reality.  I always had good intentions with my resolutions. While they sound like a good idea at the time, they frustrated me.   Several years ago I was introduced to the idea of choosing only one word that would help navigate my days.  It’s a one-word vision for the year that inspires me to live my best life and make the greatest impact.

So long to a long list of unattainable goals that often fell to the wayside by February.

Hello to intentionally living. My one word that would help me focus daily, all year long… One word that could sum up who I wanted to be and how I want to live for 2017. My one word that seems to appear everywhere from magazine covers to book titles.

My past words have included

  • Kindness
  • Love
  • Change
  • My word for 2017 is SIMPLIFY

These words shape not only my year but also my life.  Each word became the compass that directed decisions and guided my steps.

Here are five easy steps to begin your journey with allowing ONE WORD to be your guide for 2017

  1. Evaluate your previous year. Spend quiet time alone considering areas where you would like to grow and what to take hold of.  There is no need to rush as you can begin anytime. As 2016 was coming to an end, I seemed to be continually sensing the need to simplify my life especially after lots of volunteering along with family health issues and the holidays.  I’m a people pleaser and perfectionist which translates into saying yes at the cost of not caring for myself and family.   I found myself wanting life to be simpler but how?
  2. Choose just one word or better yet allow God to reveal your word for the year.  There is no right or wrong word.  You can’t mess this up.  It’s a journey of discovering how to allow your chosen word to impact your life.
  3. Consider and apply chosen word as it relates to the six major areas of your life to maintain balance.
    1. Spiritual
    2. Physical
    3. Mental
    4. Social/Relationally
    5. Emotionally
    6. Finacial
  4. Find accountability by sharing your word with others especially family members.  Keep your one-word front and center.  As a family, we have each chosen a word (dedication and focus) and talked about it. Prominently display your selected word.  I have purchased my previous words on artwork that I display in my to see it often.  The word “love” is a light marque that hangs above our fireplace.  I’ve considered tattooing love on my arm as I learn so much more about what love is and is not.
  5. Be open to allowing the one word to transform your life.  Once I chose the word SIMPLIFY back in December I started seeing it everywhere. Last week while sitting at the doctor’s office with my hubby I picked up the magazine RealSimple for January 2017.  The above photo was on the cover so I took a picture and added the word simplify.  Ironically this morning as I was doing my bible study the questions I was to answer were, “why is it so hard to simplify life” and “why do you think we try to impress people with more rather than less”?  My word SIMPLIFY keeps appearing.  It’s with anticipation and excitement that I allow the word SIMPLIFY to direct my thinking and days.
I’d love to hear what word you choose so; please leave a comment and share your word.  Have a great 2017

2016 Courage Needed for Change

Be courageous

Be courageous

A new year, another list of resolutions and goals.  It seems that at the beginning of every year we view January as the month for a fresh start or a clean slate. So begins the process of evaluating our previous year.  Once the assessment has been completed we decide on a direction for the new year. Thereby we have new years resolutions.

Curious to know how may people actually make and keep their New Years Resolutions? Head on over to statistic brain to find out.

How can you beat these despairing odds?

  • Figure out what motivates you.  Motivation is that driving force which allows you to achieve your goals and go after what you want in life.  When properly motivated change is easier.
  • Share your goals with a friend, accountability partner, and/or those closest to you.
  • Write down your goal and place it somewhere that you will see it at least 1-2 times a day. By writing down my goals they become real and tangible.  I’m able to pull them out monthly, quarterly, or whenever to evaluate how I am doing.
  • Have SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
    • Specific Goals – Be sure your goals are clear and well defined rather than vague.  These are goals that answer what, why, and how and be stated as “I WILL,” statements.  I will write two days weekly on my blog vs. I want to write more often.  I will lose weight by exercising
    • Measurable Goals –  In my above example I will write on my blog two days weekly allows me a way to measure my success.
    • Achievable Goals – Like most people I know, my life is super busy.  It would not be attainable for me to write more than two days a week.  In the past I would set myself up for failure by setting unrealistic and unachievable goals.  I would feel demoralized and discouraged which would lead me to giving up.
    • Relevant Goals –  Are those goals that are closely connected or appropriate to what you are trying to achieve. Why is the goal important to you? What are the benefits of accomplishing the give goal?
    • Time Bound Goals – Your goals should have a deadline.  In my writing example I would write twice a week so my deadline would be for the year 2016.

Over the past few years I have chosen one word to help guide me through the year. As I scroll my Facebook feed this week I see more and more people choosing one word.  If this is new and unfamiliar to you check out these post.    My One Word

My word for 2015 was JOY and in 2014/2013 it was LOVE.

My word for 2016 is COURAGE/COURAGEOUS – Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent part of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering. Deuteronomy 31:6 and Joshua 1:9 I’d also say CHANGE but I need the courage to CHANGE.


To help me facilitate positive change I am excited to begin using the above beautiful weekly tool  the 52 List project. Being a list person makes this journal attractive to me.

Another tool I am super excited to continue using is The Passion Planner which I found on kickstarter last year and began using in August.  I use my passion planner to keep my goals and activities on track by writing them down and evaluating them monthly.

What are your favorite tools for staying goal oriented and on task?  How do you plan to finish 2016 strong without being a statistic?