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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to 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.

Sign up for my periodic newsletter to receive updates on my books, freebies, recipes, and other behind the scenes fun! AND receive a copy of my free ebook Sliver, a short prequel to the Beauties from Ashes Series.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest