Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and declare His works with rejoicing.
Psalm 107:22

I haven’t made a new years resolution for more than 20 years. Personally, I don’t believe in them. In the past I could never stick with them. Maybe I could now. But, I’m not interested. Instead, for the past five years I’ve used one word to guide my goals and help define my intentions for the year.

In 2011 my word was JOY
In 2012 my word was SURRENDER
In 2013 my word was EMBRACE
In 2014 my word was HARD
In 2015 my word was PASSION

And for this new year my word is SACRIFICE.

I’m equally eager and trepidatious about this word. We don’t own much and we live fairly simply. What else could I possibly have to let go of?

And then it hits me as I was praying on New Year’s Eve. A list evolved as I listened to God softly clarifying all that He wants me to work on. All that I need to let go of. All of the things that make up my SACRIFICE.

my wants
my plans
my will
my misguided beliefs
my words
my praise
my thanksgiving
my ministry
my family
my time
my flesh
my ego
my impure motives…

I don’t think God has shown me everything yet. I believe He has many lessons for me to learn throughout this new year of life. He must think I’m ready. After all, He’s the One Who gave me this word.

Have you ever used one word to guide your year? I think the one word principle guides me to that “one thing” that Jesus told Martha about in Luke 10:42. Martha needed to focus her energy, efforts, and thoughts onto Him instead of continuing on with her practice of worrying about so many different things.

If you’re ready to give up making resolutions and try something different then this practice might work for you.

Begin by praying for God to place an anointed, specific word into your soul. This is important because you need a God-word not just a good word. Once you receive your word from Him then you need to make it known. You need to live it out on a daily basis. Keep it at the forefront of your thoughts so that it may impact every aspect of your life; emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, intellectually.

Your word and how you choose to live it out will reveal what aspect of His kingdom you need to focus on. God can use your word as a light to illuminate your path, as a mirror reflecting things that you need to change, and as sandpaper to refine & polish you in order to reflect His image.


If you need help with evaluating 2015 before moving on to focusing on your word for this 2016 you can ask yourself these three questions found in this video:

May this new year of your life be filled with blessings, lessons, and lots of laughter!

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