How I think “one word” could improve the soundtrack of my year

Here’s a concept simple enough I think I might just be able to pull it off.

Have you heard of the One Word 365 “resolution revolution”? Instead of making a list of New Year’s resolutions that you won’t remember by this time next month and surely won’t have kept by this time next year, growing numbers of people are choosing to focus on just one word for the entire year.

The idea, from the One Word website, is that you choose:

“One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.”

And here’s what could happen:

“It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow.”

Those who have done this in years past say that when they are mindful of a single word throughout the year, they start seeing and hearing it everywhere. They experience power in this kind of clarity and insist that when chosen prayerfully, a single word focused on for a whole year can be far more life-changing than a list of “shoulds”.

People have picked such words as “risk”, “enough”, “joy”, “look”, “reveal”, “practice”, “freedom”, and more. The possibilities are endless, of course, and the reasoning behind the choices is always thoughtful.  OneWord2013_Harmony

I’ve chosen HARMONY as the one word I want to focus on in 2013.

I’ve realized I live with a lot of dissonance in my life and it’s exhausting. The tracks that sometimes play in my head can be anything but pleasing. Much of it is because I’ve allowed flawed thinking to steal my joy and create friction in my relationships.

I find myself assuming I have to lower my expectations so I won’t be disappointed. I worry that if I don’t stand my ground, someone will take advantage of me.  I frequently default to defensiveness or suspicion. I get this peculiar notion that the poor choices I’ve made in the past have created a rut so deep I’m unlikely to get out of it and so I resign myself to “my lot”.

Yeah, I’m not proud of these negative thought patterns. What they are is agreements I’ve allowed myself to make over the years that are flat out false. I’m not sure I’m always even aware I’m doing it. What I am sure of is that this way of thinking is not from God and is not a recipe for joy. I would really like to change it.

Instead of letting these patterns dictate my approach to a given situation, what if I were to stop first and ask myself, “Do I know that to be true?” Then follow up with, “Is my response here going to create harmony in this relationship or jeopardize it?” My answers could change my outlook and my attitude. Perhaps I’ve adopted a defensive posture or made an assumption that really needs to be questioned.

Maybe it is true that I’ve made some bad choices or that I’ve been taken advantage of in the past.

Maybe I am justified in feeling defensive or disappointed in this situation.

Still, whatever circumstance I find myself in may not be a “hill I want to die on”, i.e., it doesn’t violate my moral convictions, demean me or someone I love, or endanger public safety. If that’s the case, I have the option of a non-defensive response. A gracious response. I  can reject the relentless drumbeat of dissonance that so often makes me miserable and instead choose harmony with those around me. It’s a much more pleasing melody; I think I’ll give it a whirl…!

Here’s to harmony in 2013!

What word might make a difference in your life if you were to focus on it in 2013?  Please share in the comments below and consider linking up to www.oneword365.com!

(And by the way, that cool custom image of my “OneWord” above, as well as the button in my sidebar on the right? Blogger Melanie Moore made that for me for free and she will make one for you, too, no strings attached. Just click here.)

About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

18 thoughts on “How I think “one word” could improve the soundtrack of my year”

  1. LOVE! that is my one word for the year!

    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39

    1. Yes, that is a really good one (and easy to remember!) How could it NOT stretch you and grow you to focus on love all year? I wish you the best with it and thanks for sharing.

  2. “…reject the relentless drumbeat of dissonance..”. I absolutely feel that some moments more acutely than I’d like. Here’s to hearing beautiful harmony. Choosing to drown out the dissonance! I’m going to be Intentional about that.

    1. So you’ll join me in focusing on harmony? And your word will be INTENTIONAL (I just saw that on your blog). Excellent! We’re going to make some beautiful music this year … 🙂

  3. I am, as always, inspired by you and hope to have my “one” word selected by our lunch tomorrow. Also, when we have the time, I want to share an important moment in my life when “harmony” was suggested to me as a way for me to view life. Diane, you are a real grace to me. Thank you! Marge

    Sent from my iPad

  4. WOW Diane this is excellent. I will ponder this but already I have two words speaking louder than the others and they are: peace and change. I will decide which one it will be by tomorrow. Thank you for this.

    1. Wow, you can’t go wrong with either one. Change is a very courageous concept to focus on and peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Either way you win! I’d love to know what you decide on so I can pray for you in 2013. Thanks for commenting, Vernette.

    1. I can see how “curiosity” would open your eyes to so many rich encounters and experiences in 2013. That’s a really good one! Hope it does as you say and “reframes your year”! Glad you shared it~

  5. With only one word, we can have direct focus and a one word vision to steer us in the right direction! such a good idea. I plan on mulling over a few words myself to direct me this year. 🙂 Thank you!!!

    1. Even the “mulling over” process was clarifying and informative for me. Hope you find it so! Already my word choice has made a difference in my vision for the year. Thanks for weighing in and for the follow! I’d be interested to know what word you choose ~

Your feedback is welcome!