Choosing a Word of the Year: Is it Helpful?

Choosing a word of the year: Is it helpful?

Perhaps you’ve noticed the growing trend to choose a word of the year in January.

Why choose a word of the year?

The traditional litany of New Year’s resolutions can get old. Not only that, but statistics show that 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail.

And let’s face it, by mid-January or early February, many of us have given up our New Year’s resolutions. Sigh.

Or we decided years ago to give up making resolutions altogether to avoid the feeling of defeat.

Choosing a word of the year offers something different.

My dear friend, Sue Robson is a Professional Certified Life Coach. Sue believes strongly in the power of choosing one word. In fact, Sue along with her business partner and artist, Lynn Richards teach a workshop in Redlands, CA centered around the word of the year called heART Coaching.

“We take coaching and art then combine them to create a space to explore the deeper things,” said Sue. “Out of the heart flow the issues of life. This means that real and lasting transformation is a result of heart work.”

This makes sense to me. In my recent article “The one thing we all need to do in 2018,” I state that we must seek God when setting our goals.

God pushes past the goals and gets down to the deeper issues: our heart, our motives, who we are, and, who He is.

I believe the same thing can be said for choosing a word of the year, but we must include God for that to happen.

My daughter, Charity and I will be attending a heART Coaching workshop at the end of the month. I’m not that artistic, but Sue assures me, “That’s okay.”

Click HERE to find out more about heART Coaching.

Benefits of Choosing a Word of the Year

The focus is on character first

Our to-do lists and many of our goals focus on things like “go to the gym three times a week,” or “read the Bible daily,” and “get out of debt.”

Choosing a word helps us to reflect on character traits we want to embody that can help propel our goals.


The word of the year does not necessarily replace goal setting—it helps simplify the process. Setting a list of goals can be overwhelming and can set us up for failure.

Sue says,  “The word of the year is like a compass or GPS. It serves by helping you self-correct if you get off course.”

Bigger and better

A word is a much broader topic than a few goals and hence engulfs your whole life. For example not just the fitness part or money part. So you start shifting little things, but in more than one area in your life.

How to Choose a Word for the Year


We must ask God for wisdom when choosing our goals which include a word of the year. Ask Him to bring to mind character traits He wants to strengthen and draw out of you.

Determine the kind of person you want to become

This goes beyond goes beyond being healthier or wealthier. We must look into our souls. We are talking about character here. What is the condition of your heart? Who is God calling you to be?


Here are some examples: grateful, peace, intentional, grace, courage, release, hope, love, joy, dance, worship, abide, faith, listen, believe, bold, confidence.

We all know the power words possess. Choosing one word to help you navigate and self-correct if you get off course, can serve as a tool to push past doubts and fears and propel you forward to meet your goals.

Pick a word

Once you have your list of characteristics, pick a word. You might have twenty things you want to change, but you must resist this temptation. Just choose ONE WORD to be your compass for 2018.

We all know the power words possess. Choosing one word to help you navigate and self-correct if you get off course, can serve as a tool to push past doubts and fears and propel you toward your goals.

I think I like this word of the year thing.

How about you? Please share in the comments below.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

AND sign up for a monthly newsletter with fun tips and information on my upcoming book. Just click HERE.

15 thoughts on “Choosing a Word of the Year: Is it Helpful?”

  1. Beckie — very original and thoughtful post — my word is (patience) — I need to demonstrate it more this year.
    I also want to be a (resource) to others and lend a hand.
    If I demonstrate all these words, then God can use me better!!
    Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Del, I love both of the words you selected. God gave me the word “wait” a few years ago. That coincides with patience. Lord knows, I still need HIM for that fruit of the Spirit. I most definitely see you as a resource already.
    My word for 2018 is “warrior” (as in prayer and spiritual warfare).
    Blessings to you as you walk out patience and resource in 2018.


  3. I’m a big believer in having a word for the year, Beckie. As you know, mine is “breathe.” It is not only a constant reminder to breathe correctly, from my diaphragm, but also speaks of God’s breath bringing life to all of us.
    Blessings, and hope that workshop is a fun time of discovery for you and your daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great job, Beckie– Whether people settle on a word for the whole year or not, your readers will at least have a moment to consider the deeper questions of who they are (or want to be) and where they want their lives to be headed as the year unfolds. I’ve done the word-for-the-year thing in the past and I’m not sure whether the impact of it made it through February or not, but it was a good exercise anyway. At my stage of life, there aren’t nearly enough years to get around to all the words I want to shoot for as personality/character targets. so I’m more at the word for the month, week, or day. In any case, the challenge is to do what Jesus did–to make the “word” come to life. God bless you for the hope you leave in your wake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ron, you make me smile 🙂 Having a word for the month or even the day isn’t a bad idea. We have so much going on in our brains at one time. Choosing to focus on a God-centered word-of-the-day could be helpful.
      Thanks and God bless you!


  5. I’ve been pursuing a word of the year for three years. And you nailed it. For me, it brings focus. My word for 2018- LISTEN. Every goal I set – Every task I complete – Every prayer I pray revolves around “Am I listening?” “Should I be still and listen?” or “How can I listen better?” This is my mountaintop year and I’m seeking the quiet whisper of my Father. Great article Beckie!


    1. Eve, I saw that you chose the word “Listen.” What a powerful tool this will be. I love hearing how God is speaking to His children.
      Thanks for taking the time to share. I think these comments can help readers who are new to the word of the year.
      Blessings to you and your ministry!


  6. I have chosen One Word for the past several years, and I feel they are just what God chose for me. Two years ago my word was WAIT. And in February my single daughter began the process to adopt from China. What a year of waiting on God that was!! It was the perfect word for me.
    This year my word is CONFIDENT. I chose this because I want to be more confident of God’s love for me, confident in my ministry and work, and confident in who God has created me to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeanne, I had the word “wait” a few years ago too. I learned some valuable things that year. One of them was that waiting can be a beautiful lingering in each moment with the Lord. It sounds like God did some tremendous things during your waiting period too. Congrats to your daughter!
      I love your word for this year. May the Lord bless you in 2018.
      Thanks for taking the time to share.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m still arguing with God about my OneWord for 2018. I think I know how He’s calling me, but I don’t like it. Change is hard!
    Anyway, one thing I want to do differently this year is to use my word in blogging: exploring the word in the Bible and what it means in my life throughout the year. That will help me keep it front-and-center in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carole, how funny. I sort of did a push back when God revealed my word: Warrior.
      He even gave confirmation when my husband said to me, “a word for you is ‘warrior’.” He did not know what the Lord was impressing upon my spirit. I guess I need to embrace this and start learning!
      The word of the year workshop I mentioned in the post above is this Sunday. I’m excited to have a memento to help me stay focused and grow in the word. I will most likely share on my blog about the workshop.
      Thanks for sharing. I’m praying for you. What’s your word?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh…It’s “generosity,” which doesn’t sound very intimidating, but I think it’s going to impact every aspect of my life. I’ll start sharing about it on my blog in a couple of weeks.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s