Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's Your One Word?

Last year on January 29th, my sister introduced me to My One Word.

It was just around the time that I realized another year of the same resolutions weren't going to cut it. Twenty nine days and already I had failed. Failed because I failed to look at the BIG PICTURE.

And that big picture can be broken down to just One Word.

The concept of My One Word is to pick one word and allow God to use that word to mold and shape you in 2011.

My One Word in their own words:

"Every New Year we hope this will finally be the year that things will change. We make promises about the new person we're going to become, pledging to get a grip on our finances, get in shape, become a better parent, spouse, even a nicer human being! But there’s one problem: our resolutions seldom work. The busy pace of life gets the better of us, and suddenly, the year is over with little to no personal growth having occurred in our lives."

“My One Word” is an experiment designed to move you beyond the past and look ahead. The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD. This process provides clarity by taking all of your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single thing. One word focuses on your character and creates a vision for your future."

Last year the word that kept bubbling up in my spirit was...

— adj 1. a. having or displaying courage, resolution, or daring; not cowardly or timid

Now as I prepare for 2011 I will take the following steps from My One Word:

The first step is to simply take some time and decide what kind of person you want to be at the end of this year. This goes beyond simply being healthier and wealthier, but it must drive deep into your soul. What about the condition of your heart? What about the person that God Himself has created you to be?

Get a picture of that person and then simply identify their major characteristics. Is that person gentle? Is that person generous? What are the qualities of the person you want to become?

Once you have a list of the characteristics, simply pick a word. There might be fifteen things that you want to change, but you must resist the temptation to promise you will do them all. Instead, simply commit to ONE WORD.

So this year I challenge you to spend some time on the My One Word website and think and pray about where you want to be a year from now...

Consider the word that defines that goal, that vision, THAT YOU...and pick Your One Word.

And now on a completely random note, I totally messed up!

I didn't mention Myra Johnson's blog appearances in the WE Edition.

So let's have some fun with my brain fart.

If you lovely Seeker friends will pop over and say hi, I will pick two winners for a copy of her Abingdon Press release, One Imperfect Christmas. If you have that book we'll talk about what other book you would like.

December 27 & 29, two-part guest blog with Shannon Vannatter
December 30, guest blog with Elizabeth Ludwig.

Winner announced in the WE Edition.

My One Word for next year might just have to be ORGANIZATION!!



  1. Interesting post Tina, will have to think on my one word. I am thinking perseverance may just be the word as I need to finish my studies in Semester one and then find work or even better find work before the semester is over. If I dont find something straight away I need to persevere til I find work. I do not want to go on unemployment its just to much hassle so I need to find work. so I think perseverance is my word for 2011.

    I have the soft drink/soda/pop/fizzy drink or whatever you want to call it for anyone who wants it. Oh and I orders Wranglers in Petticoats today along with a couple other books from the aussie store. We dont have Sharpshooters in yet I think it could be another month or two.

  2. I remember an author (I *think* it was Robin Jones Gunn) talking once about praying for God to provide her with one word for each year. She would pray and meditate on scripture until she felt that a specific word was impressed upon her. It didn't always turn out to be a word that she would have chosen, but it usually turned out to be poignant. I love this God-focused approach to the New Year.

  3. Hi Tina:

    One would have to truly know oneself to reduce one’s existential thrust to just one word. I wish you had given us a few months or a year. :(


  4. Wow! Great post! I love your word. I want to be an 'obstinate, headstrong girl', like Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. I want to stand my ground and not let the bullies of the world tell me I can't... do whatever it is. :) And I want to have wisdom, the real kind, from God. And be gracious and kind. So, I choose... GENTLE. Becuase you can't be gentle without having strength.

  5. This is going to take awhile. I did sign up for the One Word blog posts after reading some of them.

    The word in my head right now is focus. It might mean less time online. Okay, gotta get back to the mss.

    thank you Tina!

  6. Hi Tina, I can't believe you don't have coffee on. That would be my word. COFFEE

    I like your idea of picking a word. I'll try it. I usually focus on a Bible verse. Last year was "Be still and know I am God."

    I should probably pick organization as well. But I'd probably run from it. LOL

    So I have coffee. Chocolate Velvet of course, but my friend gave me a variety of Ghiradelli coffees too such as Chocolate peppermint, chocolate cinnamon almond, etc. yum Help yourself.

  7. What Vince & Debra said!

    (But I love it,Tina! Will do!)

    Will pop over & wave to Myra. You are allowed, BTW. How you organize all that you do is beyond me!

    On another note, my family and I saw "The King's Speech" at the theater, on a recommendation. Really loved it- on several levels. (Note there is some "language" but for my mind, it was not gratuitously used. It reminded us that they CAN write and produce good movies!)

    Ausjenny, will be praying about that job. Keep us posted!

    I brought wassail for breakfast this morning, along with coffee and egg souffle. Help yourselves!

  8. Sandra!

    We must have been posting at the same time! Think I'll have some of the peppermint please!

  9. Tina, I did this one word last year. I chose determination. i was determined to finish manuscripts and get them to the right editor(s)...It worked!

    I haven't chosen a word yet for this year. Hopefully, this post will prompt me to get that done.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  10. What a unique idea! I can see how focusing on one word might just open all kind of possibilities. But arrrgggghhhh, it's picking that one word....right now the only one that leaps to mind is 'sleep' which would make for a very dull year, I think. :-)

  11. Tina, *organization* has always been your word. Even in the midst of chaos, you've got your socks all sorted in the right baskets.

    Since you've given us a couple days before the first to think about this, I'm going to start making lists and try to narrow down my easy feat!

    Virginia, I love *gentle*. Such strength resides in that word.

    *Focus* is what I strive for every year, Deb! I don't think I'll choose that one, I've already flunked.

    Let me think...

    And drink coffee. Thanks for the Chocolate Velvet, Sandra! Smells so good!

  12. Love the word post. I do need the next word---organization! I would like to go through my house room by room and organize them.


  13. Oh my, Tina ... what a challenging task, especially for someone who writes 500+ books, but ... I SO agree with your post today and the "One Word" philosophy!!!

    I have no problem distilling my goals for 2011 down to one word as I have been doing it for years, it seems, other than the diet thing, which always makes the list ...

    My one word would be: FERVOR.

    I have been praying for fervor (or some people might call it "passion") for years now and for some reason, my desire for it is stronger (more fervant??) this year than ever before. I want "fervor" for God more than anything on the planet because I know therein lies my peace and joy in everything else, be it family, career or faith.

    In fact, "fervor" has been my word for so long now that I remember the leader of a Bible Study I attended years ago asking each of us for our prayer requests for the new year. "I want more fervor for God," I said without blinking an eye. She stared at me and then calmly wrote my request down. That night as we headed out the door, the Bible study leader turned to me and said something along the lines of, "Julie, you crack me up, praying for fervor. If God gives you any more, we won't be able to stand you because if you don't have it, we're all in big trouble!"

    But, in my fervent opinion, one can NEVER have too much fervor for God, so bring it on!!

    Here's to fervent blessings galore for each of us in 2011!!


  14. Tina, this is fabulous! I don't make resolutions, but I always start the new year with enthusiasm for the clean slate it offers. The hardest part is silencing that internal "I can't..."

    I thought it would take awhile to come up with a word. I'd make a list of things and then have to slog through to find something that fits me. To my surprise, it was simple.


  15. Okay I overslept. Late for the day job. I NEVER DO THIS. I am sensing a pattern.

    Did someone make coffee. I need it. I will swipe the pot and leave you to make another.

    Wow, look at you guys. Already easily coming up with ONE WORD.

    Gee, way to Go.

  16. Julie.

    I agree with your Bible Study leader.

    The rest of us are doomed.

  17. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraDecember 30, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Interesting post. I really like the idea of choosing one word and letting God take control. I will definitely have to think about doing this for 2011 or later if I can't think of anything.

  18. Thank you for a neat post! I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, but I like the idea of simplifying my focus. It's so easy to get scattered in our busy lives. Thanks for sharing!


  19. Tina -- Great post! I've already picked out my verse for 2011 and am in the process of memorizing it (kind of a long one), but will need to see if I can condense it down to ONE word.

    "O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-A-T-I-ON" needs to be on my radar EVERY year. I think so much more clearly and creatively when I AM organized to some extent. It was always hard before and but now that I have deadlines outside the day job that I'm being paid to meet, it's even harder to keep up with everything.

    I've kept a multi-word reminder by the calendar on my bulletinboard for years where I'll see it every day. All P's except for one . . .


    I've been told I need to add PROSPEROUS TO THE LINE-UP. :)

  20. hi everyone! at work -blech! but at least all the bosses are still on vacation! :-)

    one word huh? faith popped into my mind first thing but geez that usually goes along with a bunch of trials and like I need those right now on top of everything else! Why can't I ever get a good word?!


  21. GREAT post, Tina (and your word for the new year is one that kind of makees me cringe...because I need it)

    The first word that came to mind for me was...(wait it's stuck in my throat - typing it makes me accountable)


  22. This is hard, Tina.

    Add in my no-resolution resolution and I'm kinda stuck.

    The first thing that came to my mind is BATHE.

    But that's not it. Need more time.

    And a shower.

  23. While Mary's showering, I'll dive in.

    I loved this last year. It made me think. Plan. Focus.

    This year my word is FORGE.

    I love it because it has multiple meanings. It helps me to push through problems that might side-step or side-swipe me AND it helps me visualize building my career, forging a base and then adding to the strong bottom.

    The smallest building will fall without a strong base, so I'm forging my base and building toward the future.


    Thank you for the chocolate coffee!!!


    Thank you for the shower!!!!

    LoL in upstate New York!

  24. THanks Tina....what a great thought. I think my one word for this coming year would be BELIEVE! Believe in the gifts God's given, believe, that He will work things out and believe that with God's help my book will be finished in 2011! Thanks for the thoughts...inspiring:)


  25. Great post, Tina! I love the concept of a one word resolution. I'll think more about it but immediately the word productive popped into my head. Maybe God's word for me. Will pray about it.

    Thanks for the coffee, Sandra! I'm sick but feeling better and hoping to get more accomplished today.

    Janet, off to be productive.

  26. My one word today is probably not a good one. I just read my synopsis return and I'm feeling a bit discouraged. I guess I'll have to grab onto that Brave word and push ahead.

  27. Hm... I may have to steal Lorna's word:


    [though that makes me think of Polar Express].

    I don't know what I'm going to use. I need to finish cleaning the house - a friend of my 7yo's is coming over and their rooms are a mess. I will ponder while doing that and then read through the other blog posts later.

    Were we entering for something? The screaming 3yo [he wanted to talk on the phone to the friend coming over /sigh/] distracted me.

    Don't let me forget I need to email my Great Expectations entry today - I paid for it yesterday, would stink to not get it in in time :p.

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  28. Carol you are doing this not for a prize but for your inner and outer focus for 2011.

    Although if you visit Myra on her guest blogs there are goodies involved.

  29. Want the book you're giving away. joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

    I've got a few goals (NOT resolutions - helps me mentally), but I'd say my one word needs to be BALANCE. :)

  30. Thinking on this made me remember, for the second time here just recently, that when I was a maybe...late teenager...I used to pray for wisdom.
    Some Proverbs struck me really profoundly about wisdom being more precious than gold and one of my daily prayers was for wisdom.

    I'm going to pick that word.

    And I'm going to return to my prayers for wisdom.

    Not a moment too soon.

  31. LOL, HI!

    But seriously this was a very good post with a great point. We focus on EVERYTHING we want to change and forget that God has a bigger picture and maybe we should just go with HIS flow.

    I would say that my word for 2011 would probably be TRUST. Trust that He knows what He is doing with my life and TRUSTING that at the right moment everything will fall into place. Until then, to be CONTENT with what I have. Maybe I should make that two words, hmmm??

  32. Thanks for this great post, Tina! Love the idea of having one word for the new year. When I used to make a looong list of resolutions, "Being organized" was on that list EVERY year *sigh*. I'm still working on that one, but really feel the Lord wants me to PERSEVERE this year: With my writing, my decluttering, my daily quiet times, etc. ~ So thanks again for this post, and now I'm going to write PERSEVERE on index cards, etc. and place them where I'll see them daily (ex. with my coffee mugs, LOL). ~ Since I shared Georgia Peach muffins yesterday, today I thought I'd share some Georgia Pecan coffee cake (can you tell I'm *proud* of my state?! *smile*). Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  33. My word for 2011 is Hope. Not just hope for a book contract or a good job for Hubby, but hope in the Lord. When life throws curve balls, I want to continue to cling to my hope in Christ to see us through.

    Happy New Year, Seekers!

  34. Ah, Lisa! Good to see you.

    I love hope.



    And all our fave Seeker "P" words:



    How did THAT one get in there????

    Oh my stars.

    Think: 1000 words/day

    Every day.

    That's a book every two months. A long book every three months.

    Oh My Stars.

    Think small. Act big.

  35. The word that stands out for me is endurance. No burn out. Period. I guess energy is my second word.

  36. I think my word might be STRONG.
    It encompasses a lot. To stay strong mentally and emotionally with whatever happens in my writing in 2011 (I had a few discouraging moments in 2010) and to get my body strong to cope with writing, study, and just to be in good health as the years seem to fly by....

  37. One-thousand. I like that Ruthy.

    Great word.

  38. Would love to win the book! I visited One Word....neat blog.
    Guess my word would be TRUST. Seems every devo I read lately points to that!! Even the word verif. I am going to type in here!

  39. My one word for 2011 will be:


  40. Thanks to those of you who took care of the coffee this week while I took off.

    In case you don't know it, yesterday was Christmas. Just got home a few minutes ago.

    I think my word this year should be PRAYER. (It's another P word, Ruthy.) I need to do more praying, along with being persistent.

    One thing I don't have to worry about is the supportiveness of my family. My husband is totally non-techie, can turn a computer on, and that's about it. BUT...

    He and the kids had their fun yesterday. One of youngest son's gifts to me was a cordless mouse. Then oldest son gave me a router. And daughter gave me a nice black carrying case. Then hubby gave me A LAPTOP!!

    Now my savings can go toward ACFE conference.


  41. I love this idea and it's one less list lost along with all the others I seem to lose track of! Thanks for the post.

  42. Oh, HELEN!!!!



    We might get to meet this year. Hug. Drink diet coke together!!!!

    Or tea.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  43. People ask me why my sign off is PEACE. I always tell them it is because PEACE is the one word I tend to forget in my life. I need the reminder.

    The Peace of Christ brings a lot of the words mentioned into focus: hope, trust, balance. The Peace of Christ helps us forge ahead, persevere,and maybe even drink our coffee at a leisurely pace.

    All that being said, I am going to see if there is a new word for me in the new year. Maybe my word needs to be OPEN.

    Peace, Julie

  44. Vince,

    You're over thinking, dear.

    Just let your brain and your spirit and your heart work on the one word and it will pop up in your subconscious.

  45. After a bit of consideration Faithful looks like a pretty good word.

  46. Great post Tina. And a good reminder. Janet, the first word that popped into my head was also productive. Maybe we can challenge each other. :)

    Jenny, I hope you find a job quickly!

  47. Thanks for the job hunting wishes I wont be seriously looking til around April or may but am looking in the paper each week.

    Oh today we have summer infact a hot day over 100 (41c) the hottest day of the summer by far and about the same as last new years eve. yesterday was about 86 its a big jump today infact it was hotter at 8am than yesterday.
    perfect day to read but I put Doctors in petticoats back on the shelf for a few days you see I ordered Wranglers yesterday from Koorong the aussie store should be here the end of next week. so want to read them together.

  48. I'm late today.

    I'm still vacillating.




  49. Last year my word was BOLD. But it probably should have been BRAZEN. Still trying to come up with this years word.

  50. I read this post late last night/early this morning...whatever. But I didn't comment. I've been pondering it in the back of my mind all day long. I think my One Word for the New Year should be "Finish."

    I'm a great starter, but a sorry finisher. I get all the dishes washed but leave the slimy water in the sink. I get the laundry washed and dried, but leave it in the basket. I start crocheting a scarf, or cross stitching a project and leave them half done, or less. I get three chapters into a novel and then avoid it like the plague for weeks at a time.

    I think Finish is my word, and my verse (I still have to look up the reference) is where it says, "Do all things as unto the Lord" or something very near that.

    I have a picture of myself standing in judgment accounting for moment of my life feeling like a failure because I've never finished anything important that I started for God. I don't know what y'all think, but to me that's a pretty sobering picture.

    I'll "see" you all later. Hubby needs the computer.

  51. Andrea, we love you!@!!

    Vince! You did it.

    Ro, I'm still thinking too.

    Maybe DECISIVE, Walt.

  52. Sandra, "Be still and know that I am God," was my verse last year. I think I will stay with it as I seem to be a slow learner. Tina, thanks for the one word.Organize sounds good to me. Are you all gaining any weight on these breakfasts? I am sticking to bran muffins/cranberry.

  53. Sorry I didn't get over here yesterday! We were gone on a trip all day and I didn't have my computer.

    This past year our pastor's One Word was Transformation. He talked about it all year. That was pretty neat, I thought.

    I think my One Word this year is going to be Strength. That word has jumped out at me the last couple of weeks, so I think it's meant to be my One Word for 2011. I am going to tell myself, Be Strong. Strength. God wants me to be strong this year.

    This past year was really hard. I fell apart a few times. But God has enough strength for both of us. Thank you, Lord.