pick a word

How and Why to Pick a Word for the Year

{originally published December 2020 but the tips apply any year!}

On December 29 in my book “Turn Your Holidays Into Holy-Days,” you’ll read how to pick a word and verse for the year. 

It’s become a common practice to pick a word for the year. People choose a word or phrase that sets their intention and gives them focus for the year.  

I’ve been doing this now for a few years.  

Why pick a word for the year rather than make a bunch of goals or resolutions?  

Goals and resolutions are easily forgotten and/or dismissed.

And if we’ve learned anything from 2020, we’ve learned that things don’t always go as planned. 

If you had a goal to participate in a certain race, the likelihood of that having been canceled is pretty high. But if your word for the year was commit, you may have still followed your training plan even without the race looming on the horizon. 

But don’t just randomly pick a word.  

Take some time with it. 

This is the process I follow and one that might be helpful to you too.

Start by taking inventory of the previous year and then consider what you’re anticipating for the coming year. Then…

  1. Grab your Bible and a notebook and go somewhere to be alone.
  2. Pray.  Ask God to clear your mind and to help you listen.
  3. Jot down words and phrases that start coming to you.  Think about the words coming to you during this quiet time as well as words that seem to start jumping out at you throughout the day, when you’re reading something, etc. 
  4. Search for scripture that goes along with the words.
  5. Pray over your list.  
How and why pick a word for the year instead of making a bunch of goals and resolutions. #newyear #yourword Share on X

Some years I have had multiple words and verses, and it’s taken me a few days or even a week or two to settle on what my focus needs to be.  Other times the word and verse came quickly and easily, and I knew right away.

There is no right or wrong way to do this process.  The key is to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and to be obedient.  

“For the word of God is alive and active.”  Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

We never know what the year has in store for us…I’m looking at you, 2020!  Circumstances can greatly impact specific goals; however, a word and a verse can easily adapt to any circumstance. 

Give it a try.  

Once you pick a word, and perhaps a verse for the year, what do you do with it?

  • Post it!  
  • Put it on a notecard. 
  • Make it your screensaver. 
  • Get a Momentum Jewelry bracelet with your word or verse on it so you can wear it and be reminded of it all the time.
  • Frame it.  
  • Set reminders on your phone.

This word will become your lifeline.  You’ll be amazed at the purpose it adds to your life and every decision you make.

How will you remind yourself of your focus for 2021?

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