What's the word?
The reality that a new year has begun always hits me sometime in the middle of January.
That, of course, means I never do New Year's resolutions. By the time I get around to thinking about them, the year is already in the territory in which most resolutions go to die.
Statistics show that almost 30 percent of those making resolutions will abandon them two weeks into the year.One month into the year, 64 percent are still keeping their resolutions and by the six-month mark the number drops to 46 percent.
There's been a growing movement over the past few years to drop resolutions in favor of a single word. Rather than making a list of the things you will do in the coming year, you choose a word on which to focus to shape who you will be at the end of the year.
Choosing a word is the tough part.
The writers at OneWord365.com offer a helpful list of things to consider when you chose your word such as focusing on who you want to be, being authentic, and not overthinking the process. You can read more about their process here.
But let me tell you how I came to discover "brave" as my word for 2018.
With the end of the year coming up, I started thinking about my word. I thought about all the ups and downs of 2017. What went well? What didn't go well?
I thought about all the things I wanted to do but didn't do.
I thought about all the ways I trusted myself more than I trusted God.
I thought about all the challenges the new year might bring on a number of different fronts.
I noticed which words stood out as I read Scripture or listened to worship songs. I prayed off and on that the Spirit would make those words stand out.
So, I thought I had settled on "fearless," but I happen to adore online quizzes (who's with me?) and found a quiz from Dayspring to help you find your word for 2018. Now, of course, these are questions with predetermined multiple-choice answers that in some magical means of technology returns a result that is also from a limited set of words.
The funny part is that the quiz chose brave.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that word more appropriately reflected how I wanted to walk with the Lord and shape my life in the coming year.
Fearless doesn't work. There will be fear. Wisdom comes from knowing what to do with it. That's what makes us brave.
Now, I'll be doing what I can to keep the idea of "brave" in front of me all year from making a playlist on Spotify to prayer to making decisions that place my trust fully in the Lord despite my own fears and reservations.
It also helps to choose a Bible verse to carry with you through the year. I looked to the words of Moses to Joshua for inspiration:
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Have you ever chosen a word to guide your year? What word have you chosen for 2018?