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How a One Word Goal Can Change Your Year

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Have you ever been in that spot, you know, sitting on your plush sofa on New Year’s Eve as the clock strikes midnight, not knowing where to start? Not knowing if the goals you want to make will survive past February 1st… You’ve tried the typical goals before: exercise, start a savings account, spend less, find your passion…but they’ve all fallen short. Maybe you made it to spring, but as the year started to pick up speed, your goals seem to be losing momentum.

I’ve been there. Being a check-list, bullet-point type of girl, I set many goals over the years that I did not achieve. It can put a damper on wanting to set more when that voice in the back of your head is reminding you that you’ve failed before, so why try again? 

It’s not yet time to give up, though. Goals are a piece of what propels us forward, but they are not everything. Some may say it’s the passion or drive that propels them that really matters. This is certainly a piece of it, but you have go even deeper. To the root of where the passion, the burning for something more, pulls at your soul. 

In 2014, I discovered the idea of pursing one word throughout the year. So, rather than making 100 goals that I may or may not achieve, it was time to try something different. The big idea behind OneWord365 is to choose a word that is your theme for the year. The word doesn’t have to be complex… often times it’s one of the first things that comes to mind. For me, I take time to ask God what he is going to do in my life over that year. He often places a word on my heart to pursue. I don’t spend a ton of time searching out a word. Overthinking, or doubting yourself can make the process becoming overwhelming. It’s meant be simple. 

Here are some steps you can take to make your word be intentional as you live each day:

1. What is the dictionary definition of the word? What does the word mean to you?

Go to and look at what your word is about. Look at its synonyms and antonyms – write down what stands out. Then, write out what the word means to you. This may not be a short definition like the dictionary. It may be a couple sentences, or a couple pages. Let the words flow.

2. Search out Bible verses and quotes that pertain to your word.

Search God’s word for what He is telling you. Be open to even song lyrics that catch your attention and relate to the word you’ve chosen to pursue. You can even google quotes from people who have experience in situations related to your word.

3. Write out action steps based on your findings.

How do you want your life to change because of making this word your theme for the year? What specific steps can you take toward those life changes? Look at these action steps through the lens of your “One Word” and the findings you’ve collected. How can you make an impact in other people’s lives by how you take action?

Here is an example, my own OneWord365 for 2017:



  • To take or clasp in the arms
  • to avail oneself of
  • to adopt
  • To take in with the eye or the mind
  • To encircle; surround; enclose.

Embrace implies acceptance of fears, of God’s calling, of who I am created to be. I hang on to fear, on to my to-dos, on to old habits, on to my past, and on to temporary things of this earth. God is saying “Come to Me and make Me your priority”. He is the only one that can fill the void, who can heal my past, and comfort my soul. It can be easy to cloud my vision with distraction to avoid the things I stuffed “under the bed” long ago…but eventually I have to face them again. The longer fears and hurts are pushed behind the scene, the harder it can be to conquer. Part of the conquering process is to embrace and accept those tender moments are part of my story. The process of embracing is also about giving everything to God. This can be challenging, even painful at times, but nothing compares to the freedom that comes from releasing the pain and embracing Christ.


What is your one word theme for 2017? Why did you choose it? How can you let your word change your life this year?

Share you theme in the comments below.

Get Your One Word Year Planner HERE

This Post Has 6 Comments
    1. Meagan, that is great! Thank you for sharing. How do you plan to create that balance in those areas your life?

  1. I always hear about people talking about their “word” but I didn’t really know what it was about, so thanks for the post! I’m going to do some thinking on what my “word” is this year. It sounds so much more simple than a resolution. 🙂

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad it was super helpful. The worksheet can help you create a plan for yourself too. It outlines the method that I’ve used to create my plan for the year. It certainly does make it easier when your basing decisions off of your One Word goal, instead of tons of goals that don’t relate. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions. Wishing you the best on your journey!

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