Thursday, January 19, 2017

Choosing A Word

About four years ago a good friend introduced me to My One Word. The idea is that instead of making a list of resolutions that poorly attempt to change behaviour focus on a single word to help focus character transformation.

This year a I've been going through the process with a small group. Last night we were working on the task of choosing our word. Sadly the weather kept many home so this post is going to be an outline of what we discussed and went through. My guide was chapter three of My One Word. Their website also has help on how to pick your word.

1) The Big List of Possible Words
The first step is to make to brainstorm a list of possible words. You can do this by asking yourself questions:
  • Who do I want to emulate?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • What qualities or characteristics do I want in my life?
  • What has God been doing in my life?
  • What has God created me to do?
From your answers make a list of words. There are no wrong words on this list. Write every idea, phrase, and word down that connects.

2) A List of Ten (Or Less)
Next narrow the big list down to ten words or less. For me I pick these ten two ways. First, as I look over my big list I often find patterns or repeated words. That is a sign to me that is an area I want to work on so I add them to the list. I also choose words that resonate with me or words that I just like.

One I have my smaller list of ten I begin to look at those words deeper. I look up their meanings in a dictionary and similar words in a thesaurus. And I look up each word on biblegateway.com. My first time choosing a word it was while looking up in the Bible a word on my list and discovered a synonym for the word "remain" that really stuck with me. So I added "abide" to my list and it ended up being my word. So if in the midst of your research and thinking a new word comes to you add it to your list.

3) Choose Your Word
After the process of researching and pondering it is time to select a word. There is no real "secret" it is a word that stands out to you. For me one just seems to click better than the rest. I have always had a word in mind when I start and it is never the final word I choose. The advice from the website says,

Once you have a list of the characteristics, simply pick a word. There might be fifteen things that you want to change, but you must resist the temptation to promise you will do them all. Instead, simply commit to ONE WORD. This will provide you with a lens to see the changes you need to make as well as a way to determine whether or not change is actually happening. Understand that this process is hard, but staying focused on your word will help you to struggle in the right direction so that you can actually see God working in your life.
A Final Thought
Choosing a word can be useful for anyone to give focus for the upcoming year and not limited to just those of faith. However, my faith in Jesus is a big part of how and why I choose my word. I start and end each step with prayer. I ask for guidance and clarity as I think about possible words, I pray for wisdom as I look up Scripture, and ultimately I trusting that by asking God to give me a word He will.

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