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No Resolutions; Just One Word

Jodee Schrlau

One Word for 2019New Years- it’s a time for reflection, evaluation, setting goals and resolutions. I used to do this.   I'd start off the New years full of excitement and determination. I would read all the advice on setting goals, fill out the worksheets and convince myself that this will be the year that I do it! But the hard work, setbacks, and disappointments that follow would steal my determination along with my excitement and belief that this year will be different.  Then more disappointment sets in, this time about myself and my lack of discipline.  It was two steps forward, one step back kinda thing for me.  Eventually, I stopped making any kind of resolutions, plans or goal for the upcoming year; the disappointment was just not worth the benefits I was getting from it.

lantern and bible

A couple of years ago, I read about choosing One Word,  rather than a whole list of resolutions and goals. One word that helps focus your thinking, unify your goals and keep them in front of you.  A theme for the year, a word that you go back to for every decision, and every situation.  One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live in the upcoming year.  So I thought I'd give it a try.  I prayed about it and ask the Lord for my word.  To my surprise, not only did I get a word, but He also gave me a guiding verse and story.  I read this and mediated on this almost every day.  It has become an anchor for my faith all year, a guiding light to what He is doing in my life for the year.   As 2019 rolls around, it's time for a new word.   I'm not leaving the last words behind, each year He builds on the previous word.

2017 my word was DELIGHT, the verse was Psalms 35:27, the story was Ruth 2.

2018 my word was TRUST, the verse was Proverbs 3:5-6, the story was Geneses 18

2019 my word is THRIVE, the verse is Psalms 92: 10, 12/15, the story in Judges 6-8


There are many ways to choose your word, but the best way I've found to get my word is to ask the Lord for it. It is a word He chooses just for me. It gives me a glimpse of what He is wanting to do in my life next year and a direction He wants me to focus on.

Have you asked the Lord for your word for 2019 yet?  If not, I encourage you to set aside some time to ask for it.   If your word doesn't come to you immediately, don't fret. If you don't hear one clearly just choose a word you think fits and God will work with it.  This is not another set up for disappointment and you can always re-choose later if you have something more clear.

One Word list

 Here are some tips on choosing your word.

  • Ask for it.
  • Take some time to reflect on where you have been and where you want to go.
  • Make a list of words that come to mind.
  • Pray, then sit still and quiet your mind. Expect to receive a guiding word and scripture to confirm it. Your word will bubble up from your spirit,  perhaps a random thought from out of nowhere.  It will just hang on like a song you can't get out of your head.

What to do with your word.

  • Study it. I recommend you look it up in the dictionary and a concordance. There are several online options.  I use this one .
  • Create a vision board for your word and how it relates to your life.
  • Put it on the fridge or bathroom mirror
  • Make it your wallpaper on your phone or computer
  • Watch for confirmation, scripture, stories, signs, and wonders around your word all through the coming year.

2019 start

I'm sure you will hear more about my word later.  Most of what He is working out in my life makes it way into my blog eventually. I am excited about my word this year, it sounds like it will be fun!  Last years word of trusting and lean not on your own understanding, not so much fun.  It actually took a lot of effort (and still does) some days. 

 Do you have your word for 2019?  What is it and why?  I'd love to hear about it.   Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Have a Delightful New Year! Jodee

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  • Debra Jean on

    Great post! I really enjoyed your thoughts on a word rather than a resolution. I struggle with concrete goals too, God always changes things on me. I try habits and this year I do have a word, it’s "courage " Many Thanks!

  • Debra Jean on

    Great post! I really enjoyed your thoughts on a word rather than a resolution. I struggle with concrete goals too, God always changes things on me. I try habits and this year I do have a word, it’s "courage " Many Thanks!

  • Robert on

    Thanks for writing this! This is such a great idea. It’s true that our resolutions often fall by the wayside after barely even a few weeks or days into the New Year. The word “thrive” is very encouraging and can point to different things. I liked your word for 2017, “delight”. I will have to pray about a word and ask God to give me one for this year so that I can reflect on it over the coming months.

  • Sindy on

    Thank you for this, Jodie. I love that word – Thrive. I’m looking forward to hearing how the Lord works this in and through your life.😊 I’m still praying, but I believe my word is – Endurance. Blessings!

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