In Others’ Words: One Word

Success Vince Lombardi 11.6.13

I am a one-word woman.

It’s been years since I made a New Year’s resolution — much less kept one. I mean, how can I keep a resolution when I can’t find my nice, new list that I wrote up oh-so-carefully?

2014 will be the ninth year that I focus on one word for twelve months. And yes, I know what my word is. But before I share my word for 2014, let me walk down the one-word memory lane:

  • 2006: gratitude – I kept a gratitude journal and found my “glass-half-empty” attitude revolutionized.
  • 2007: simplify – A severe illness turned this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.
  • 2008: content – as in “be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5) I bought a lot less that year!
  • 2009 & 2010: forgiveness – I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness.
  • 2011: hope  A word I clung to when life hurt or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. There were times I could have asked “Why?” Instead, I asked myself, “Are you going to abandon hope?” My answer: No.
  • 2012: trust – During a year of change, I faced doubting versus trusting — and chose to trust. I also began posting trust quotes on my Facebook page to encourage myself and others.
  • 2013: confidence – I feel so much stronger emotionally after keeping my heart and mind set on “not throwing away my confidence.” (Hebrews 10:35-36) And yes, I continued the tradition of posting confidence quotes on my FB page.

Last year I read the book My One Word for the first time and loved the principles set out in this book.  This quote from the My One Word  blog on November 7th sums up the power of one word:

“Rather than making a list of all our faults, bad habits and regrets, then trying overhaul every aspect of our lives each January, what if we focused on God and just one thing at a time – trusting Him to do the work He’s initiated and promised to complete?”


So what’s my word for 2014? Think. It’s based on Romans 12:2-3 (NAS):

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

I’m still looking for my visual — that’s how it works for me: scripture, word, and then a visual of some sort. I’ll keep you posted.

In Your Words: So what do you think about New Year’s resolutions versus choosing one word? Which one works for you? And if you chose a word for 2013 — or know what your word is for 2014– I’d love for you to share it.

Changing – One Word at a Time Click to Tweet

The Power of One Word + One Year Click to Tweet

What’s Your One Word for 2014? Click to Tweet

I’m ready to celebrate 2014 — but I need your help creating a downloadable calendar of quotes. My newsletter subscribers will receive a PDF version of the calendar  — and 5 subscribers will receive a customized calendar and a copy of one of my books. Go here for more information. 

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  1. November 6, 2013, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth. And how fun to see your one word journey and read a summary of what you’ve learned.

    I’m a one-word sort of gal too. I love it. I journaled the things I’ve been learning about my words each year. This year’s word is PERSPECTIVE. Still praying about next year’s. 🙂

    • November 6, 2013, 10:44 am   /  Reply

      Looking forward to talking about our words, Jeanne. 🙂

  2. November 6, 2013, 8:02 am   /  Reply

    My word for 2013 is humility. Still working on that one. 🙂 Been praying about 2014 and the word Rest keeps coming up. With 2 books coming out, that may be the one God is impressing on me. Love your one word, Beth.

    • November 6, 2013, 10:43 am   /  Reply

      It’s always fun to discover the word for the upcoming year … and then to see what God does in us and through us as we embrace that one word — even more amazing.

  3. November 6, 2013, 8:07 am   /  Reply

    I had never really thought about New Years’ Resolutions. They seemed a bit forced – if one wants to change, why wait for the calendar?

    The ‘one-word’ approach makes more sense, because it has a more systemic than specific potential.

    My planned 2014 word is ‘cowabunga!’. It implies a free-spirited and rather reckless enthusiasm without which life can get stale indeed. I had my seasons of frailty and loss, and I’m sick to death of them. I’m weary of the moto devices I had to use just to keep my head up.

    It’s time to have fun. Think I’ll inaugurate the word early.


    • November 6, 2013, 10:42 am   /  Reply


      LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

  4. November 6, 2013, 8:08 am   /  Reply

    Beth, I love the simplicity and Christ-centered focus behind each of your words over the years. Seeing how you assigned forgiveness two years in a row shows how much you desire to have a heart like His. Beautiful, my Friend. I look forward to seeing your visual!

    • November 6, 2013, 10:42 am   /  Reply

      You are such a blessing to me, Donna.Thank you for your encouragement.:)

  5. November 6, 2013, 8:20 am   /  Reply

    I’m ready for 2014, Beth. I think it was you and Edie Melson who turned me onto choosing one word. Next year’s is contentment based on I Timothy 6:11 (I think). Thanks for the idea – it’s life changing.

    Oh, and I love your word. I’m always a bit envious because I want my word and everyone else’s, but then it wouldn’t be just one word or focused. I can’t wait to see all you post about it – I’ll learn from your word and practice my own.

    • November 6, 2013, 10:41 am   /  Reply

      Lovely state of mind, isn’t it?
      Looking forward to journeying through 2014 with you — and our words.

  6. November 6, 2013, 8:25 am   /  Reply

    Love your word and especially the verse that goes with it!

    I tend to make resolutions all year round. I’m goal-oriented. It works for me. Haha!

    But you totally inspired me the last couple years to come up with a word for the year. In 2013 it’s been “embrace” and has been pretty darn apropos to this year. There’s been, well, a LOT to embrace. 🙂 Pondering next year…

    • November 6, 2013, 10:40 am   /  Reply

      Embrace has always been one of my favorite words, so much so that it showed up in the subtitle of my nonfiction book about late-in-life motherhood.
      Looking forward to hearing about your word for 2014.

  7. November 6, 2013, 8:26 am   /  Reply

    Reading your blog two years ago made a huge impact on me, as I’d never even heard of the one word. My past words have been: strength and joy. This year, I feel the Lord nudging me toward the word victory. I usually spend December praying over it and visualizing it. I’m sure I’ll talk about it in January. Thank you so much for introducing it to me. Hugs!

    • November 6, 2013, 10:39 am   /  Reply

      Intriguing word.
      Can’t wait to hear what your December ponderings and prayers produce.

  8. November 6, 2013, 9:31 am   /  Reply

    My word for 2013 was ‘precipice’. And WOW, did it ever come to fruition!!!
    I truly believe God spoke that word over me. I do. It was just one more way He prepared me for the challenges that change has brought.
    I used to rock climb , waaaay back in the day, and I know the feeling of hanging out over nothing.

    If one is on a precipice, one needs absolutely perfect balance or all is lost.

    I’m still wondering what 2014’s word will be, but I think it may resemble “jump”.

    • November 6, 2013, 10:38 am   /  Reply

      One of the most interesting “one words” I ever heard.
      And no surprise that it would be yours, JZM!

  9. November 6, 2013, 12:20 pm   /  Reply

    Love this, Beth! The passages you shared give such a deeper meaning to the word, too.

    2012 was the first time I tried One Word. Mine was Trust. Boy, did I learn about Trust that year! Yikes!

    2013 is Dream. I’ve always been a dreamer, but the last two years dampened my dreams. I did NOT want this word! I can’t say I’ve been great about Dreaming all year, but I’ve improved. Not sure what 2014’s word will be…

    • November 7, 2013, 7:06 am   /  Reply

      Love both of your words so far … and it’s always fun to be in the middle of the discovery process for next year’s word. Keep me posted.

  10. Teresa R
    November 6, 2013, 10:55 pm   /  Reply

    My word for 2013 is Grace

    • November 7, 2013, 7:08 am   /  Reply

      Grace … an entire year focused on grace. I am sure that’s been life-changing.

  11. November 8, 2013, 10:15 am   /  Reply

    For me, sometimes its more of a concept than just one word. One year was preparing my body for minsitry (taking care of my health). Another was prepare spiritually for ministry(walk with God, hearing God’s voice). This past year was TRUST.

    Sometimes I don’t realize what that one thing is that God is working in me until the end of the year! And sometimes my year of God’s work in me doesn’t start in January. But I do like this approach far better than a list of resolutions – it deals with the heart, not a bunch of rules 🙂

    • November 8, 2013, 6:28 pm   /  Reply

      So well said, Angela: “… it deals with the heart, not a bunch of rules.”

  12. December 2, 2013, 10:25 pm   /  Reply

    […] few years ago, Beth Vogt introduced me to the idea of meditating on one […]

  13. January 5, 2014, 5:30 pm   /  Reply

    […] Read more about focusing on One Word for the Year at this link for an article from author Beth Vogt. […]

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