I love a new year. There’s something so exhilarating about a fresh start, whether it be a Monday morning, the first day of a month, or that hopeful beginning to a brand new year. I want to grow and change, and I am looking for opportunities to be a better version of myself.
There have been times in my life when the forward progress I desired felt like the cha-cha - a step forward followed by a few right where I started, and sometimes, a little step back. That’s okay. I don’t mind the dance and I have learned to keep going, keep laughing, and enjoy the journey. And so, with great enthusiasm, I go into this new year of 2018 with a heart full of hope to become more of what Jesus had in mind when He made me.
How about you? Have you made any new year’s resolutions? I wanted to encourage you even though we’re a few weeks into the new year, that it’s not too late to have a plan to accomplish some personal goals for the new year. In fact, it’s never too late! Here’s something that has helped me. Since 2011, I have been picking one word for my new year instead of a new year’s resolution or list of goals for myself. One word. That’s it. My friend Jimmy Page has co-authored a great book, “One Word That Will Change Your Life” and it truly has!
Here’s how it works. Instead of making those resolutions, you pick one word as a focus, a theme, the driving force for your new year. It could be about a character quality that you want to develop, or an area of focus that you want to learn more about, or something you desire in your life. The best part is that you don’t have to pick the word alone. There’s a simple and fun process that they outline in the book, where you reflect, pray, and discover your word. My relationship with the Lord is a big part of finding my word and so I invite Him into the process. Usually there is a verse that accompanies my word and helps me remember and make choices that reflect my desire to grow in that area.
Back in 2012, my word was “NEW,” and my verse was 1 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come.” I was stuck in a rut during that season leading up to the new year and I wanted to pursue new ways of doing, thinking, and believing, so I set out to do 365 days of new. Every day, I made myself do something I had not done before - little things like new foods or a different way around town and then some big things like jumping out of a plane! It was a year where God did something new in me and helped me to enjoy my life again.
My word for this new year is MOMENTUM, which means the strength behind something that is moving. It’s a force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes. In Isaiah 43:18-19 the Lord says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." The word “springs” in Hebrew means to burst forth. What’s behind that is power... it’s momentum that comes from God.
And here's something new I'm learning about it. It's not just about personal progress. The Lord led me right to this verse that Paul wrote while in prison:
"Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel." - Paul, Philippians 1:12
Yep. Momentum isn't just what is obvious personal progress. Sometimes it looks more like personal challenges that are building momentum for eternal things. The bigger picture. The greater good. The better story. Paul could see his imprisonment as momentum for sharing the Gospel. So I am asking myself a new question: What is the momentum I am building right now for things I will take into eternity?
You can discover your word any time, so don’t let the calendar date discourage you. Check out the book here and have fun discovering what your one word is for 2018. We were made to grow and thrive and whatever your track record has been for new year’s resolutions, this is a new way to set yourself for discovery and success!
Happy New Year! I’d love to hear from you if you give this a try. Email me your thoughts at email@example.com.