December 31, 2021|In Word of The Year|By Shovorne Adams

It’s the last day of 2021! Well, that crept upon us! While many will be choosing a New Years Resolution. On the other hand, I will be leaning in for a word of the year.

What's the difference between a New Years Resolution and a word of the year?

A New Years Resolution

A New Years resolution is a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something on the first day of the year:

For example, “Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?” “Yes, I’m going to lose 16lbs and give up smoking by x date.” A New Years Resolutions are harsh and rigid. Recently I looked up the history of the News Years resolution, and I noted that’s it’s steep in old Babylonian traditions.

A word or phrase of the year

A word of the year is about leaning and aligning yourself with what God is doing in your life. It’s bringing intentionality to the season you are in. It actually doesn’t have to be at New Year at all, but often, that’s when individuals reflect on the past and consider the future.

It’s often either a scripture or faith based-theme that flows through and influences your behaviour. It guides where and how you invest your time. Helps you to consider your priorities. Do they follow where God is leading you? It’s a word or value that speaks to the physical, the heart, mind and soul, inspiring personal growth.

How to choose your Word of the Year

This might change year on year. There is more than one way you can choose your word of the year.  I’ve listed a few of them below 🙂

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1. Goal or Purpose Oriented Word of the Year

You may have a mission on your heart for 2022 – maybe God’s calling you to step out in faith and do something new or expand a project. Depending on what it is, you might want to choose your word of the year to help you focus on that.

For example:

  • Faith
  • Purpose
  • Embrace
  • Bold
  • Unlimited
  • Thrive
  • Able

2. What did you learn about yourself this year. Is there something you need less of or maybe more?

When reflecting on the last year, is there a topic that has repeatedly cropped up? A lesson that you feel was underlying in many areas of your life. For example, you may feel like you kept getting close to burnout. You were always super busy and overstretched despite God saying ‘rest’.

Your word might be:

  • Rest
  • Grace
  • Self-care
  • Whole
  • Simplified
  • Intentional
  • Slow

3. Choose a scripture

To choose a scripture of the year, pray and consider topics you want to focus on in the coming year (you may have done that in the step above). That can be your scripture of the year. For example, if you Identified you need more rest and need to slow down, one of the following might be your scripture of the year:

“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake” – Psalm 23:2-3

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” – Matthew 11:29

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me” – Psalms 3:5

4. You can combine steps 2 and 3 to create a phrase of the year

  • Quietly Restored
  • Rhythms of Grace
  • Rest for my soul
  • Self-care & gentleness
  • God Restores
  • God Leads Me
  • In His Presence
  • Soulful-Rest
  • Intentionally Still
  • Be Still & Know

5. Read the Holy Bible

When reading your Bible, is there a recurring theme or a thought that keeps touching your heart? Maybe you haven’t paid attention, but look back and consider topics or stories that got your attention during your Bible reading time. What Bible story or verse resonated with you the most?

If you are doing Bible journaling, look through the notes on your pages, and your theme might become more apparent.

6. Through Prayer

During prayer, God often speaks to us. Pray and ask God if there is something specific for your life in the next season that He’d like you to focus or lean into. Align your word of the year to match that.

7. By Developing a Spiritual Habit

Is there a spiritual discipline you’d like to pay more attention to? Maybe you’d like to restart attending fellowship because you haven’t been to church for a long while. Perhaps prayer is something you’d like to start? It could be reading your Bible. Whatever it is, you may want to choose a word of the year that’ll help you encompass the change you want to make and the habit you want to develop to spend more time in God’s presence.

Look at words like:

  • Submit
  • Devotion
  • Well-Watered
  • Dig Deeper
  • Jesus First
  • Connected
  • Fellowship
  • Living Water
  • Surrender
  • Daily Bread

Here are some key things to remember:

  • A word of the year or phrase of the year is personal to you.
  • It’s between you can God, and you don’t have to share it with others.
  • You don’t have to choose one on Jan 1st! While New Year is often a reflection of the last year and plans to move forward, it’s not tied down to a date.
  • Have fun and have faith. It’s to motivate and encourage you to focus on what is essential in this season of your life.
  • You can change it at any time! My word of the year for 2019 took on new meaning as we approached the end of the year. As God spoke to me, things evolved, which is also ok.

Our God is always on the throne, whatever you decide to choose (or not choose). May He also remain seated on the throne of our hearts. We pray that 2022 is all that you have prayed for and more.

Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— Ephesians 3:20

With Heart & Hope,
& Team Hope

Here's a list of over 100 words to help get you started

These words are a launchpad to get you praying and thinking. Feel free to share these with anyone who you think would be encouraged.

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