Choosing your word for the year

What's your word for 2018?  While you may know exactly what I mean, several years ago I would have looked at you a little funny.  I was all old school at that time. Setting resolutions. Breaking them by February. This is the way life is, isn't it? 

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If you're a long-time reader here at One Foot, you probably know the story that I tell every year at this time of year. I was issued a challenge. Will you teach our Sunday school about a new way of looking at resolutions? That's what they asked. As usual, I said yes without thinking a few things through. 

Is there really a new way to look at resolutions?
— Danielle Allen

Yep!  That was me!  I had no idea if there was a new way to look at goal setting and trying to lose those pesky pounds. Lucky for me, someone had thought of this idea and written a book.  My One Word

I bought the ebook and began to devour it on my Christmas visit to Chicago so I would have material for the upcoming class. Little did I know, the book would be life changing and transform the way I looked at goal setting and resolutions. 

The One Word Concept

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If you're not familiar, the concept is simple. Down with resolutions that you end up breaking after 30 days. Up with a theme word that you can work on all year long. Sounds simple, or does it? 

The first year was the most challenging. Because of my personality, I needed to find the PERFECT word. I searched the Bible, highlighted verses, read the concordance in the back, and scoured the internet. When it came down to it, none of those ideas really worked to help me find the perfect word. 

What did help? Being still and noticing what God had been doing in my life. What did I hope God would do in the next year? Where did I want to be this time next year? And what character trait or concept would help me get there? 

Tracing God's Footsteps in Your Life

There's a couple of different exercises you can do to get there.  For starters, you can take an inventory review of 2017.  Answering three simple questions will get you there: 

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  1. What did you love about your life in 2017? 
  2. What would you like to change about your life going forward? 
  3. What would you like more of in 2018? 

From there, identify if there are any themes and choose your word from there. 

Still need more?  You may or may not like this one depending on your thoughts on drawing and coloring.  Envision the life you want in 2018 and draw a picture.  What will you be doing? How will you have grown? What impact will it have on your relationships? Goals you want to accomplish? 

Once you've finished your (ahem) masterpiece - stick people and all - it's time to evaluate.  What will it take to live the life you pictured?  Think thoughts, feelings, habits, support and goals here. From there, look for themes that will get you there. 

I've picked my word, now what? 

Many of us have already hopped on the My One Word band wagon. I know for me - after my first word, I didn't look back. But what do we do now?  True confession time?  Some years have been better than others when it comes to focusing on my word. That first year, I was all in. But year two was kind of a bust and I could probably redo that word. 

So what's a girl to do?  First, make a plan. The best place to start is a simple coaching tool. Evaluate where you are when it comes to that word today. Define what success would look like concerning your word by the end of 2018. Then, identify the steps you need to take to get there like a monthly check in on your word or a verse for each month that will remind you to incorporate your word. 

Choosing your word can be just like those resolutions if we let them.  We can choose them and forget them. But creating a plan you can stick with can help go a long way into a life changing experience in 2018. 

I've forgotten the best part.  My word for this year?

Openhearted...
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My analytical mind that likes to ask questions like "How is that going to work?" is choosing to say yes, be curious and show up with an open heart.  

If you know me at all, I've become a raving fan of this one word idea. Regardless of the results, I've loved the experience each year of focusing on a word and incorporating that idea into my everyday life. So whether you're a one word veteran, or you've never picked a word before - let's try it together.  

Need some help choosing your word or creating your plan? 

Not to worry. I've got you covered with my free Choosing Your Word coaching guide which includes a few tools on choosing your word and a few tools on executing on your word for the year.  I know you'll love it. 

Hey Friend!  When it comes to setting goals and living out our One Word, we all need a little support. Let's do this together.  Share you word here and let's support each other in 2018! 

Danielle AllenComment