Did you know this Friday, January 13th, is Quitter’s Day? What does that say about us as people when a day for quitting has been established? It’s been determined by a research company that after the second full week of making New Year’s resolutions, people are done. No more motivation. They suppose the reason is because people tend to be over-ambitious with their resolutions, especially when it comes to exercise, eating heathy, and weight loss.
Let me say it again, it’s my opinion that making New Year’s Resolutions are probably not what you should do if you want to make changes in your life. Because of the way your brain is wired, It’s a recipe for self-sabotage. Go listen to episode 65 for more on that.
So, last week I told you about a book called One Word That Will Change Your Life by authors Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. At the time of recording that episode I had not read the book. I have now. And, y’all, now I understand the benefits of choosing your personal Word-of-the-Year. It’s so much more than just choosing a word…especially just because everyone else is doing it. For me, I really need to understand ‘why’ before I jump in. I think this is why my high school science teacher got so frustrated with me. I constantly asked, “why?” instead of taking his teachings at face value. I guess it runs deep with me. I’m pretty sure he would’ve been all in for quitter’s day.
But I don’t want you to quit anything that’s important to you and/or anything you really want to create or achieve. So, I want to give you step by step instructions on how to choose one word for these next 365 days…or actually 354 at the time of this episode release. But hey, it’s never, never, too late to start. So even if you choose your word later in the year, it’s okay. Do it! There are no rules about this word choosing. The only rule we know is that if you don’t start you certainly never will achieve it.
And now I understand ‘why’ and I want to share it with you. Because I believe it’s life changing. I eluded to it last week. That, instead of having all these big resolutions of how you’re going to behave differently this year, you have one word of focus that would be the driving force for your day to help you make every day count.
First, though, let me remind you that words are power! According to the Bible, life and death are in the power of the tongue - Proverbs 18:21; Words bring healing, Proverbs 16:24 and 12:18; Words encourage, Ephesians 4:29; they inspire us and have creative power. Paying attention to the words you speak and focus on can make a lasting impact on your life. In every area of your life. And one word can transform your life.
And, I’m excited to share with you my word, how I determined it, and how I’m going to use it to impact every single part of my life every day.
Now, I want to be clear, these specific concepts I’m going to share with you are directly from the book One Word That Will Change Your Life. With a little bit of my own commentary thrown in. And the guide that I’ve created is directly from their website getoneword.com. I may add some clarifying questions, but for the most part it’s a worksheet they have created. Obviously, you’re welcome to read the book yourself, and I highly recommend it. But hopefully this will give you the ‘Cliff Notes’ version that will allow you to do this today. Don’t delay. Do this today! It’s going to change your life!
Okay, so according to the book, there is a simple, 3-step process that provides an easy framework for finding your “One Word.” Or as the authors say, “to allow your word to find you.”
Step one: Look In. Prepare your heart by looking inward. This is the step that makes having “One Word” as a driving force behind your days so rewarding. And that’s because if it’s actually a word that’s picked you, and not you just picking a word because your best friend did it, then it really has meaning. When you put a little effort into it, and I’ll show you the “how” also, that word will become very personal. And fertile ground for life-change.
But this takes time and intentionality. You’ll need to quiet yourself. Which we are not really good at. Believe me. I have clients that have the hardest time when I ask them to be still and quiet with Jesus for just 10 minutes. My suggestion is to sit on the patio or in the living room chair. And they usually ask me, “Can I bring my Bible? Listen to music?” No and no. Still and quiet. Just you and your mind. Which is why most of us don’t want to do it. Because of what we’ll hear mind saying to ourselves. It’ll also be an exercise to push past the messages of your “To Do” list, your schedule, and all the concerns of the day with intentionality. But this is the place where radical transformation begins. So, this step is so important. Be still and prepare your heart to receive your word.
Then ask your heart these questions:
Number one: What do I need? This is what we truly need; the areas in our life that need the most change and why. This can jumpstart the list of possible words. Yes, you’re going to get a chance to “try on” words to see which one is most weighty. When I did this, it was confirming.
Number two: What’s in my way? Here you are looking for obstacles that are preventing personal growth. We might find that the only barriers to having what we need are in our mind.
Number three: What needs to go? Sometimes we’re held hostage by past mistakes or pain. Bitterness and lack of forgiveness hold us back. And words like “should have” or “could have” prevent us from moving forward. So, we need to identify those things that are keeping us from making progress.
Answering these three questions gives you the “why” behind the word. This is why your word becomes so personal and so powerful. The authors say, “Discovering the why happens when we look at our past, our present, and our future. What are the past circumstances you need to learn from? What is your current reality? Where do want to go from here?”
All of these play into discovering your why. So, take time to do this intentionally.
Now, step two is Look Up to your Creator: God is always trying to move us forward. He’s trying to move you forward, into a new direction. Always. So, having a focus word and allowing that word to drive you daily is a natural progression in your personal and spiritual growth.
Ask the Lord to show you your word. Ask Him to take control. The authors stress that God has a word that’s specifically for you. It’s purposeful. They say that you’re looking for a “God word, not just a good word.” A God word is more personal to what God wants to do in and through you. Boldly, with confidence and expectation, ask God to reveal your specific word that’s just for you.
Now, tell Him you’re paying attention and are looking for that word. And really pay attention to His still, small voice. Listen closely. Keep your eyes open. He’s always speaking. We just need to learn how to listen better.
Step three: Look Out. This is living out your word. This is the step that truly confirmed for me my word. It’s the part that gave me the “how.”
So, I’m going to briefly show you my process. How I “tried on” my word. First, let me tell you, there were a couple of words that I homed in on. And after going through this process, which by the way I did for each word I was considering, the word I chose (or according to the authors, the word that chose me) was “Life.”
I considered my past, present, and future.
My past: My husband had lost his life to suicide and I was given the opportunity to decide how I wanted to live my life going forward. I rejected a victim mentality and chose to live another beautiful life.
My present: I am a life coach to Christian women. It’s my privilege to walk with them through their circumstances, speaking life into their lives and watching their lives radically transform. And, as I’m recording this, I am celebrating Lily Noel, my very first grandchild, my granddaughter. And she is three days old today. So, I speak “life” over her every day. I celebrate life and appreciate life! Hers, her mom and dads, my other two adult children, and their significant other and spouse. I’m also presently in throes of learning to enjoy life; having a balanced life. And all of this leads to fullness of life. True aliveness. The John 10:10 “Zoe Life” is life real and genuine, active and vigorous, devoted to God. That’s the kind of “life” that I want driving my days.
And lastly, my future: I know that my future is secure in eternal life with Christ. And I celebrate that my husband, my parents, and in-laws are enjoying eternal life. I also know that the life that I live on this earth is more blessed and richer when I’m seeking a godly life - Matthew 6:33. Because His love is better than life - Psalm 63:3. And with the chance to live Another Beautiful Life, you never know what other amazing things are going to happen. I just know that they are going to be full of abundant life!
I was so excited about the confirmation of my word that I went a little further. Not in the book, but I knew it would make the word really come alive for me. After I was sure about my word, I wrote down ways that any given day could be counted as successful. I’ve already named a few, but it could also include:
Honoring life with kindness and deference to others. Philippians 2:3 says, “Consider others more important than you.”
Or Affirm life with intention to validate others by making eye contact, offering a smile, saying hello, and being present.
And Respect life. This one’s easy for me because I can’t even kill that tiny little spider that’s trying to build a home under my kitchen cabinet.
Then finally, the one thing I’m doing to solidify this word in my life, and thus making sure I was making every day count, is to write what I did at the end of the day. It’s not a long journal entry either. I’m just jotting it down on my calendar. Scribbling, actually. Like, yesterday I wrote down, “Enjoy life: took a dancing lesson.” The day before it was "Speak Life: reached out to a friend who is feeling really down. Again, this is not in the book, but something I know helps keep me accountable. Maybe it’ll help you, too.
So, that’s it, friends. The way to avoid being one of the millions of quitters on Quitter’s Day. Be sure to download the guide that will help you take this step-by-step in finding your word. The link is in the show notes. You can also email me for a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We know that the Bible is full of admonitions regarding our words and how we use them. I truly pray you feel the impact of your “One Word” as it transforms every single part of your life. Have an extraordinary 2023!
Friend, if you need help to dig a little deeper to live out your powerful “One Word,” I’d love to be your Life Coach and help transform your life.
If you’re interested, I’ve put a link in the show notes for a free 30-minute call just so we can see if we’re a good fit to work together and show you how Life Coaching would work for you.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.