Why You Should Choose a Word of the Year - 2022
Words have power. In fact, one word can change your whole life...
At the start of each new year, many people make resolutions. Of course they have every intention of keeping these resolutions but honestly, how many people are actually successful at keeping them?
A couple of years ago I realized that making resolutions was more of a set up for failure than a way to improve. It was then that I decided that I would throw resolutions out the window. Why set myself up for failure???
So now I choose one word to focus on each year and in this post, I want to share why and how I choose a word and the results of making this decision.
Why Choose a Word of the Year --- My Story
I have always been one to set goals, make to-do lists, and maintain organization.
Prior to the start of each new year, I write down my goals for the upcoming year - both personal and professional goals. I choose three to four items and track my progress throughout the year.
To me, goals are not resolutions, they are goals. Sometimes you meet your goals, sometimes you exceed your goals, and sometimes you have to rework your goals because things change. Goals help to keep me on track throughout the year and motivate me to keep going.
Resolutions, on the other hand, are typically things that you want to start or stop doing. I used to make resolutions like everyone else: go to the gym, eat healthier, save money, etc, etc. Unfortunately, this list of things didn't give me a focus, they were just a list. Not only that, resolutions put the primary focus on ourselves and not on God.
I knew I needed my attention to center on the main priority in my life - the ONE who loves me and knows me better than I know myself - Almighty God. So, I began to pray about what my focus should be for the new year. I read the Word and waited for God to reveal to me where I needed to hone in. In December of 2020 when I was preparing my list of goals and looking at what I wanted to accomplish, I felt the Lord lead me to the word "overcome."
At that time, there was so much happening in my life and sometimes I felt defeated. The word "overcome" was actually perfect for me. (This is proof that God knows exactly what we need!)
BUT....not only was I inspired by the Holy Spirit to focus on "overcoming," He actually led me to the verse 1 John 5:4 which says:
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith."
This was the perfect verse to focus on each day and to serve as a reminder that faith leads us to overcome the issues and obstacles that we face.
We certainly serve an awesome God!!
How to Choose a Word of the Year
Choosing a word of the year is more than just looking at a word and saying "well, that sounds good." While that is part of it, it's a little more than that. You want your word to be inspired by the Holy Spirit.
First of all, sit down and take some time to talk with the Lord. Tell Him that you want the Holy Spirit's guidance throughout the new year and ask Him to reveal to you what HIS priorities are for you. Also, ask Him what you should be focusing on and what you need to improve in order to glorify Him.
As you wait for the Lord to lead you to your word of the year, begin to look at different words and their definitions. (See picture below for several words. You can right-click and save the image if you need to!)
Often times certain words will jump out at you - write them down and take them to the Lord in prayer. You will know which word is your word - the Holy Spirit will place it on your heart!!
Next, you will want to look up the definition of your word and write it down. Many words have several definitions so it's important to choose the definition that fits your focus.
Last, you will want a scripture to go along with your word of the year. Ask the Lord to reveal what scripture He wants your focus on. You can look up scriptures that go with your word or that contain your word and list them out. Bring them to God in prayer and ask Him to place on your heart which scripture is yours for the year. The Holy Spirit will let you know!!
So, What Do I Do Now That I Have My Word of the Year?
You have your word of the year, the definition, and the scripture that goes with it....Awesome!
Remember, this word is inspired by the Holy Spirit, it needs to be your focus for the year. This word will help you to see things the way the Lord wants you to see them and to do things the way He wants you to do them. So, write it down and keep it close to you.
What I do with my word is create a little poster and hang it next to my desk so that I see it every time I sit down to work.
This was my poster for 2021:
As you can see, I have the word, the definition, and the scripture all in one place. I also make copies of the poster and put it in my bullet journal and my purse to keep it handy at all times. This year I made a poster and I also made little keychains for myself and a friend of mine with our words of the year on them. I will clip mine to my journal.
Pray the scripture back to the Lord and ask Him to help you to "overcome," to "trust," to "seek" Him, to find "joy" in all things (fill in the blank with whatever your word is). I promise, you will be in awe of how this one word can shape all of your thoughts and actions. Make sure that your word is part of your daily prayers.
Results of Having A Word of the Year
As I mentioned previously, my word of the year last year was "overcome." Now that I look back, it was definitely the word that I truly needed.
Many of the obstacles that I was facing have either diminished or disappeared or become very small to me in the grand scheme of things. This is all because I knew that as my faith increased and as I walked with the Lord, I would be able to overcome anything - and I did.
I grew closer to the Lord, was able to overcome fears and doubts, and found the ability to encourage others... all through honing in on ONE SMALL WORD.
This year I brought a few words to the Lord and "trust" was what He placed on my heart! So, I will be focusing on trusting the Lord through everything. When I don't have answers or don't understand what He's doing, I have to remember to trust Him - and trust Him through it all.
If you have never asked the Lord to give you a word of the year, I encourage you to do so. You can start at any time. Don't wait until next year - start today!
Here's to a wonderful year!!