When I first became aware of the concept of picking one word for the year, instead of a passel of New Year’s Resolutions, I was immediately intrigued. I’ve never been much of a resolution keeper, anyway, but this sounded do-able. For a couple of weeks, I had struggled with what word to pick. I love words, and, well, picking just ONE of them seemed an unlikely prospect. Nevertheless, I struggled on,
As you can see from my posts here, and here, and here, I did succeed. I would never, ever, ever have guessed that the word “unashamed” would be not only interesting, but of real value to me, as I was reminded of it time and again. It carried me through a nearly soul-crushing depression, relationship traumas, an interstate move, and career upheavals.
Now the year is drawing to a close, and I’ve already been thinking, at some length, about next year’s word. I’ve narrowed it down to a few, but a couple people have asked me what process I used to determine the word. I think I can safely say that it’s not so much a series of easy steps as it is a time of reflection.
- The word has to be deep. I can’t really speak for others, but I seriously doubt the word “groceries” would be of value to me.
- The word has to be applicable. “Read” isn’t useful for me, because I already do it everyday. Probably to excess. It’s hardly something I need to grow in. Which is a good reminder:
- The word has to promote growth. I already “think” too much, so I need a word that stretches me in a different direction.
- The word should be challenging. Again, I have a tendency to “linger,” so that’s not where I’m headed.
- The word shouldn’t be too narrow. I’ve read about a system where the idea behind choosing the word is how I want God to be working in my life. That’s really cool, but again, that’s something I probably spend a lot of time pondering anyway, so it’s not where I’m headed. Not this year.
- The word should be able to be interpreted in a variety of ways. Again, not too narrow. But not too broad. In my internet meanderings, I ran across a couple of people who chose the word “do.” Whoa, Nelly, That’s just too much.
- The word has to resonate. That’s really it, in a nutshell. Whatever the word is, it has to “ring” for me. It has to hit me, just right.
I’m down to about five words. I’m getting closer. One thing I’m excited about this year is working with Ali Edwards and her ideas here. I’m still thinking. You think, too. In no way should this be a constraining idea, where if you don’t get it by New Year’s, you’re out of the loop. Nonsense.