Beth Vogt shares her approach to the popular One Word for a new year focus some of us practice. Read on and be motivated! And just because we are a few days past the new year doesn’t mean you are “too late” to participate. God can give you a word in January, or February, or whenever you seek his direction.
Choose One Word for a Better 2023
By Beth K. Vogt
There’s no sense dragging all the 2022 things we didn’t do into 2023. All our high expectations for last year. Our hopes and dreams. Be honest: Can you even find the crumpled list of New Year’s resolutions you wrote 365 days ago? Of course not. Besides, you’re too busy writing a new list of resolutions, aren’t you?
I have a suggestion for this brand-new year: Stop numbering that piece of paper and focus on 2023 with one simple word.
That’s right: One Word.
I’ve chosen an annual One Word for 18 years. I first read about this practice in a magazine article and then happily tossed my list of resolutions for that year. I chose the word “gratitude,” knowing my glass-half-empty attitude needed an overhaul. For the next 12 months, I wrote the things I was thankful for in a daily journal. Simple things like sunshine and laughter. Big things like answers to prayers I’d almost given up on.
A year later, I knew I was a One Word person for life. Focusing on the word gratitude had changed my perspective. My heart. My actions.
Since then, I start praying about my One Word in September and God never fails to guide me to a specific word for the next year. Some of my One Words have been:
Simplify – a severe illness morphed this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.
Hope – I clung to this word when life twisted and turned in unexpected ways or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. I asked myself, “Are you going to abandon hope?” My answer: no.
Inheritance – Psalm 16:5-6 talks about having a “delightful inheritance.” In a year of ongoing challenges, God showed me this word again and again in small ways, and I was encouraged there’s more to this life than the here and now.
Intrigued about choosing One Word for 2023? Here are some steps that have helped me find my One Word each year:
Take your time. As you pray about and ponder your One Word, go past your first impression. It’s okay to think someone else’s word is a great One Word and then wait for yours. Look for repetitions of the word in your life. In songs. In your book and Bible reading. Let the One Word settle in your heart.
Pray about it. Faith is integral to finding my One Word. I always want God to lead me to what he has waiting for me in the new year. I also look for a key Scripture verse to support my word.
Find a visual. It helps to have some sort of visual reminder of your One Word. I’ve used a quote or graphic. Sometimes I’ve made them or sometimes I’ve found them online or locally. One year, when my One Word was anchor, I wore an anchor necklace and hung another anchor necklace on the rearview mirror in my car.
Read My One Word by authors Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. This is a helpful resource to learn how to choose One Word. I also recommend checking out their website. It’s motivating to see One Words other people have chosen.
If you’re curious, yes, I’ve chosen my One Word for 2023. It’s pray – the verb, not the noun prayer, because praying is active. This also happens to be my One Word for 2022. There have been several times when I’ve repeated my One Word because God’s revealed I had more to learn. This past year I’ve discovered praying equals perseverance. I’m excited to see what this next year has for me as I dive into this One Word even more.
Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” She has two short novels releasing in 2023. She’s authored 14 novels and novellas, both romance and women’s fiction. Beth is a Christy Award winner, an ACFW Carol Award winner, and a RITA® finalist. Her novel Things I Never Told You, book one in her Thatcher Sisters Series by Tyndale House Publishers, won the 2109 AWSA Golden Scroll Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.