If you’ve read my previous blog post talking about my New Years Goals/Resolutions for 2018 or if you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that this year I am committing to using a Day Designer to help me organize my thoughts, my to do lists, and just my days & months in general. I am prone to anxiety and I’ve learned over the years that my real “tipping point” in terms of when I can kind of succumb to the anxiety is when I’ve got too much on my plate, or I’m trying to keep it all in my head rather than writing it down. There are other things that can set it off, of course, that I can’t control. But I can work on controlling at least that. So this year I will be writing out all of those to-do’s and things to remember, etc. in my Day Designer.
The Day Designer has all of these other wonderful features beyond just being a planner. One thing in particular that really stood out to me was that on the first page, it has a little box at the bottom that says “my word for the year is: ______.
I thought that this was so cool and different and it really stood out to me and got me thinking about choosing one word to define my year. Since then I’ve done a little bit of research about choosing a “Word of the Year” (it’s a thing!) and it’s not so much about things you want to happen or make happen, but how you want to live your life. I thought about it all weekend and prayed over it because I did want to choose something that I felt really matched my heart and my expectations for myself in 2018.
Honestly, a word almost immediately came to mind, but I felt like it wasn’t “special” enough, so I kept thinking. That same word kept popping back into my head and resonating with me. Here’s a tip when choosing your word: It doesn’t have to break the vocabulary banks or set a record for the most original word. Just choose something that is meaningful to you and aligns with you.
So with that said, I decided my word of the year for 2018 is “grace”. And I’m going to tell you a little bit about why that word continued to call to me and why I’m excited for it to lead me this year.
As I thought about the word grace the more I began to really connect with it. To me it has more than one meaning. In Christian studies “Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. We read in the Letter to the Ephesians: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast’ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
We all experience days that are trying, stressful, and sometimes even just downright bad. Things happen that discourage you, deflate your confidence, test your patience, etc. You know those days. It’s easy for me to sit here and say simply a change of attitude would make all of those scenarios a little more tolerable and not so devastating, but some days that is easier said than done. So by keeping both the word and practice of “grace” close to my heart & mind, I am going to hopefully approach those days and those situations with more forgiveness, allowing me to learn from mistakes, but not to let those bad days or moments bring out the worst in me.
Grace is also the same mercy, love, or leniency that we show other people or situations. I can admit to not always showing grace to others or to myself even in situations where I should have. So I look forward to the practice of this in 2018 and hopefully becoming closer to Christ in the process, working to more embody the word He calls for us to share. That was really the final reason I decided upon grace as my word. Because if you read that same post about New Years Goals that mentioned my Day Designer, you also noticed that one of my goals was to spend more time with the Bible and strengthening my relationship with God. (It can always be improved!!) And then unbeknownst to me when I wrote that post, the Day Designer would unintentionally end up calling me right back to my other goal of becoming a better Christian. I like to believe in signs, y’all. And I think that was one 🙂
So how do you choose your own Word of the year? Here are some tips:
- Ask yourself how you would like to live this year. What words come to mind?
- What improvements or changes do you want to make in your life?
- What kind of person do you want to be?
- Keep it simple!! See what words sort of come to mind first and feel those out.
- There’s no wrong answer here, so don’t feel pressured 🙂
What are your thoughts on the concept of a “word of the year”? I would love to know if you’ll be picking a word of the year, and if so, what it might be!