There’s nothing that says you have to pick a word out at the beginning of the year, just like there’s nothing spiritual about New Year’s Resolutions. But the most meaningful goals I have had in my life have been the ones I’ve formed over the last couple of years in conjunction with these New Year’s Words.
The first year I did this was in 2012, when Littlest was still bulging inside of me. I chose the word joy. I knew that, while welcoming a little one is very joyful, it can easily steal the joy from a household over the long months as everyone transitions. The verse I meditated on that year was one in Deuteronomy 28:47-48, when God warned the Israelites that if they did not serve God with joy, they would inevitably serve their enemies. My enemies would not be warrior-nations, but I would definitely be taken captive my doubt, anger, frustration, and my flesh if I did not serve God with joy. Year 2 of my journey was last year, with the word intentional, meditating on “redeeming the time.”
This hasn’t been about just making goals. It’s been about meditating and studying themes and passages of Scripture and actually taking steps to make those passages a part of my life.
So how do I choose a word? I don’t have a step-by-step process. Most of the time, it comes from areas in my life I know I need help with, or from passages of Scripture I’ve been studying.
What’s God been teaching you? What is an area (or areas) that seem out of control, or at least not what you’d like them to be? Is there a spiritual reason behind that problem? Is there a verse that really has meant a lot to you? Pull a word from any of these situations. Then, think through how that word relates to your life now and your life as you envision it next year at this time.
Need something a little more concrete? I really enjoyed this little workbook put together by Christine Kane. It’s a free pdf that asks some great questions to help you think through how your word can affect your year. It’s not spiritual or “Christian,” but I had no problem using the questions to that end.
Over the upcoming weeks, I hope to be able to share with you passages of Scripture that I’m reflecting on, as well as some of those areas I hope to target as I strive to make 2014 a satisfying year.