As December is upon us, it's time to set goals and discover your Word of the Year for 2022. Yea! Are you excited?
Probably not. Maybe just a little?
When we sit down to find our Word and set goals, we look at our lives and see all the areas we need to improve. We focus on a weakness we want to fix. We start from a place of lack, somewhere we feel inadequate or not good enough. We imagine if we can just change enough, we will feel better about ourselves and more accepted by God and our friends.
And when we fail, which always happens, we feel even worse than when we started. So it is hard to get excited when failure looms in front of us.
A Little Secret with Big Results
So I have a suggestion for you. Instead of looking at your weaknesses, identify your strengths and build on them.
One of the best techniques I learned as a manager for 25 years, was to focus on each employee's strengths. For example, say one clerk was great at customer service and bad at making change. I would put her at the cutting table and not at the cash register.
If I insisted she work at the register until she could do it right that made everyone miserable. It would have affected the very atmosphere of the store and resulted in upset customers. She would not have stayed with me long, and I'd be looking for another employee soon. Focusing on her weakness did not help the overall goal of improved sales or the excellent customer service I wanted to achieve.
But when I focused on improving her customer service skills, a good clerk became a great clerk, and a great one became an outstanding one.
And every time (seriously - every time - without fail), the weak places improved, even though we weren't focusing on them.
What if we applied the same principle to picking our Word for the Year and setting goals? If you have been focusing on your weaknesses, it might be difficult for you to identify your strengths.
The first thing to realize is that God likes you just as you are.
He is not waiting on you to improve and eliminate your weakness before He approves of you. When He looks at you, He sees Jesus in you. Those weaknesses that bother you so much, He doesn't see them. All He sees is the overcoming Jesus working in you.
Second, God sees your strengths because He made you with them.
Let's try this. Grab a piece of paper and something to write with, and make a list of your strengths. Now ask Him to show you the strengths He sees in you and add them to your list. Yes, I said a list, and it should be a long one!
He sees more strengths in you than you will, so your list will be longer than you can imagine. Take some time to meditate on your list. Let Holy Spirit convince you of them, that God really did place them in you, and they are a part of your makeup.
Next, zero in on a few of those strengths in your list. Ask which strength you should focus on.
Be willing to be pushed out of your comfort zone; growth rarely happens when we are comfortable. Let Him lead you on an adventure of a lifetime, building on the strengths He placed in you. Find the ones that are necessary at this time to bring Him Glory. Then focus your time and attention on them.
Finally, let yourself be amazed. You are His masterpiece, poetry in motion, His very best handiwork. See yourself that way and allow praise to bubble up from the inside of you. All of heaven is watching and rejoicing as you go from strength to strength and glory to glory!
Are You Excited Now?
Maybe you are still not excited. Perhaps you're tired of trying, setting goals, and whatnot. That is ok, too. God is a much better manager than I could ever hope to be. He will still be working with your strengths. Stay in peace, and He will direct your steps along the way.
But I am excited! Although I have my Word for the Year already, writing this has given me a new perspective. There was a heaviness that lifted off of me while I was writing this. God is not expecting me to become (my Word for 2022) something I'm not, but to become more of what I already am.
How about you? Are you excited to identify your strengths and see what God will do with them this year? Let us know in the comments so we can be excited and praise God with you.
If you choose One Word for the Year to work with God on your strengths, you may like My One Word Journal. It is designed to keep you focused and active with your Word all through the year.
**Bonus- List of strengths God has placed in each of us to get you started.
***Bonus-Free printable: I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God's masterpiece; Poetry in Motion; His very own Handiwork; designed to bring Him Glory.
Note: Bonuses will be emailed to you upon receipt of purchase, by December 10th, so be sure and leave your email for me.