How’s that New Year’s Resolution Working for You?


    footprintsIt’s late January.

    Which means the Christmas decorations need to come down (yes, we like to extend the Christmas feeling as long as we can in our family).  I need to get Valentine’s Day cards for my daughter to share with her friends.  And it’s time to dust off the New Year’s Day resolutions that I made a few weeks ago.

    At least, that used to be my normal routine.  It went something like this.

    Let’s see.  What did I want to change this year?

    Oh, yes.  Here it is.  

    Exercise more.  Eat healthier.  Go to bed on time.  Keep the living room picked up.  Get up early to pray and read my Bible.

    [Pause]  Well.  Well.  That isn’t working so well.  I guess I overestimated myself.  Maybe I should try again next year. And I would fold up the list, hide it in my dresser, grab a handful of M&Ms, and sit down to read a magazine in my messy living room.

    That is what I used to do.  New Year’s resolutions were an exercise in unfulfilled wishes and frustration with my inability to change my own life.  I always made them and rarely kept them.  A vicious cycle.

    Then several years ago I heard about “My One Word“, a movement to step away from New Year’s resolutions and instead to choose one word you would like to focus on for the next year.  No promises to break, just one word to direct your thoughts and actions.

    I tried it for the first time in 2012.  I chose the word “submit”, wanting very much to submit more fully to what God had in store for my life.  In 2013, I chose “peace” as a counterweight to the chaos that I felt had invaded too much of my life the previous year.

    I liked it.  Neither of those years was perfectly characterized by the word I had chosen, but it gave me a different kind of focus without the guilt of unmet resolutions.  This year, my one word is JOY, something I would like to characterize more of my life.  I’m pinning images about joy to my Pinterest account, searching my Bible for what God has to say about joy, and sharing about what I learn on my blog.  And I am already excited about some of the changes I am seeing in my inner spirit as a result.

    What about you?  It’s not too late to choose a word for 2014.  Try these steps.

    1. Think back to 2013 (or before).  What are some characteristics of your life that you would like to include that were absent, or that you would like to change, or see more of?
    2. Brainstorm, choosing several words that you could consider.  Some popular ones are strength, intentional, joy, hope, community, fearless, vision, inspire, delight…  You get the idea.
    3. Put your list aside for a few days.  Pray, asking God to show you which ONE word to focus on.  Or just think about other things, letting this idea bump around in your unconscious until one word floats to the top, above all the rest.
    4. Choose a word – just one.  This is not rocket science.  You can’t go wrong.  Just pick one and go with it.  You can always change it in a week if you want to, but I would encourage you to stick with it.  Think about the ways you want to see this incorporated in your life this year.  For example, I want to understand what the joy of the Lord is, what it means to experience joy even in a painful season, to understand the difference between joy and happiness, to bring joy to others, and to live in such a way that my husband, children, and others describe me as “joyful”.
    5. Share your word with others, whether through the My One Word website, on a blog, or with your family.  Post reminders of it around your home or office.  Pin images of it to Pinterest.  If you are blogging about it, I will have a link-up every Wednesday on my blog that I would love to have you join.

    Yes, it’s January.  A great time for a second chance to start fresh…again.

    What’s your one word?  Share below!

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    Kristi is a pastor’s wife, mother, writer, and former public school teacher for English for Speakers of Other Languages. She grew up all over the United States as an Air Force brat, but moved to Columbia in the 1990s to attend Columbia International University, and has called the Midlands “home” ever since. Her days are kept full with the antics and activities of her children - homeschooling, church activities, American Heritage Girls, and Trail Life - as well as writing and leading her Columbia-based pregnancy loss ministry, Naomi’s Circle. Kristi is a contributing editor for “Rainbows and Redemption: Encouragement for the Journey of Pregnancy After Loss” ( and a co-author of “Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother“ ( She shares her thoughts about faith, family, and femininity on her blog, This Side of Heaven (


    1. Kristi I loved loved LOVED this! I love finding new ways to discover things within my spirit! I’m making my list although I’m sure my word will be positive since I am learning to stay positive even when life wants to pull me in other directions! Thank you for this…so sweet and simple yet this can help with seeing tremendous growth within ourselves!

    2. Ok, I gave it some thought and think my word for this year will be “grow”. Grow my business, grow as a person, grow as a friend, grow closer as a family. Just please no more growing family.


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