Day 1. Your Word for the Year

Scripture Reflection

“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Exodus 9:16



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There's so much vying for our time and attention every day: work responsibilities, family, church, and self-care. If we're not intentional, we can easily get caught up in the daily routines of life. Before we know it, another year has passed, and we find ourselves living in the pain of regret instead of the pleasure of living a life of purpose and passion as we pursue God.

Like Moses proclaimed to Pharoah in Exodus 9:16, God wants to show His power in us so that His name can be glorified. Isn't that what you want...God power in you? However, for God's power to be made manifest, it will take focus and discipline on our part. It will require that we intentionally choose what we will give our time, energy, and attention to.

Unfortunately, if your history is any indication, focusing your time and attention is easier said than done. The thoughts racing through our minds at a mile a minute keep us jumping from task to task and thing to thing, never finishing anything we start. That's why today's first strategy will help dramatically help you to focus your entire year by SELECTING A WORD FOR THE YEAR.

Several years ago, my church started choosing a word for the year. It was a theme that would become our anchor, and it would unite our prayers and our focus. Each year I was amazed at how this word would manifest in the lives of many congregants throughout the year, so I decided to give it a try for my personal life.

I'm now entering my 5th year of selecting a word for the year, and it's been amazing what God has done based on the words I've chosen with his guidance.

2017 Capacity. I thought I was praying for God to increase my capacity, but He had something else in mind. In 2017, He sent amazing supports in my life to not have to do everything on my own.

2018 Simplicity. This was a year of purging everything from my closets to systems in business. God showed me and continues to show me how to simplify my life.

2019 Light. This year took me out of my comfort zone. I began to see myself as 'somebody' instead of always trying to hide. I used to refer to myself as the best-kept secret because I was too afraid to let my light shine.

2020 Proclaim. In 2020 I began to find my voice. I declared and confessed God's word or situations and circumstances. I proclaimed God's truth to others, where I was otherwise afraid to speak.

As I write this, I believe my word for 2021 will be FOCUS.

Needless to say, selecting a word each year has been an incredible experience. Each one has:

  • Given me focus and clarity instead of jumping from thing to thing.
  • Given me something to anchor my health goals to.
  • Kept me from disappointment, as I no longer create New Year's Resolutions I can never keep.
  • Simplified my life by giving me focus and made goal-setting easier; motivated me to seek a manifestation of my word.
  • Strengthened my prayer life as I wait to see how God allows this word to manifest in my life.
  • Stretched me to get out of my comfort zone and live out my word.

Now it's your turn.

This year, you will be intentional about improving your health and strengthening your faith by selecting one word to ground your faith in. It's critical because it's easy to jump from one idea, one problem, one principle, one goal, one philosophy to another without focusing your year.

Your word (theme) for the year will help you to focus when you start wandering off in different directions. Each month, week, and day you're going to be mindful and intentional about how you're living out your word. Your word will also be connected to your health and wellness goals, so it will also keep you inspired and motivated to pursue them consistently.


Pointers on Selecting Your Word

1.  Pray first. You can either seek out your word through scripture first or select your word and then go to scripture to help you refine it. Either way, use The WORD to help you find your word.

2.  Reflect on what the Holy Spirit has been saying to you last year and maybe even years prior.

3.  Brainstorm a list of possible words and then begin to pare them down and refine them until one resonates.

4.  Choose a few close friends and get their feedback.

5.  Choose something that will have an impact on your entire life.

6.  Choose positive words only. Don't select your word based on something you wish you were better at or wish you had. For example, don't choose discipline if you lack discipline. Consider choosing the opposite word like 'inspired' or 'motivated.'

Have fun! It should not feel like a burden. And it definitely should not feel like another thing you're going to fail at.


Action Steps

Reflect on the past year by reviewing your Year-End Assessment. Based on where the Lord brought you last year, spend some time in prayer, and ask Him what you are to focus on this year.

Use the following questions as a guide. You do not need to answer them all; use them as a guideline to develop your word:

  • What aspect of your purpose does God want to develop in your life this year?
  • What’s a goal of mine?
  • What am I ready to let go of?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What energizes me?
  • Who am I in Christ?
  • How will this word inspire my health and wellness goals?
  • What's holding me back from truly living? Select the opposite of that word.

Worksheet for this lesson: Word & Scripture for the Year



1.  How do you feel right now as you think about your word?

2.  Why have you selected this word?

3.  Write out the dictionary definition of your word if possible.

4.  At the end of 2021, how do you think this word will be manifested in your life? In other words, how will your life look different as a result of living out this word?


Worship and Prayer

Not In A Hurry - United Pursuit

"Lord, I thank you for the new year. I look forward to what you have in store for me this year. Thank you for giving me the desires and purpose that I will live out by your grace and strength. Please help me choose a word that will ignite me and motivate me to live my best for me each day. As I undergo this process of choosing a word, guide me, and lead me to a word that I will draw closer to you each day. I will keep my mind fixed on you, and you alone, as I live out each day with intention and purpose. I wake up every day with excitement and expectation, and I go to sleep each night hearing you say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' In Jesus' name. Amen."


Share Below

What's your word for the year?


Additional Scriptures

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

"But he answered, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4


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Lesley Ruth C
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7 months ago

So, my word for the year is perseverance. Patient Persistent Perseverance and Endurance. This has been a really difficult and pressured season for me so I am not surprised! I have been studying the word and related scriptures all month! I have been asking the Lord so many times to help me to persevere through tough times. He always comes through for me!

Danielle E
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8 months ago

My word for the year is LOVE. I feel as though God is calling me to LOVE the way the Bible explains love and to show love in everything I do. The scripture I will be referencing a lot is 1 Corinthians 13, amongst several others.

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8 months ago

Healed is my word as I heard God speak this over me.
Prayer from His Word for the Year:
Jeremiah 17:14; Isaiah 57:8-19 
“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” I know you have seen my ways, but You say ‘I will heal You still, restore, and comfort where you have been mourning.” 

Gods Reply: I will create praise on your lips. Speaking ‘peace, and peace’ to those far and near.’ I WILL HEAL you, Loreal Angelique. 

Scripture for the Year:

Mark 5:34 “He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from suffering.'”

Reply Scripture (Psalm 30:2): “LORD MY God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”

Beth Stevenson
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8 months ago

My word for the year is submission. I know that a good part of weight release involves submission and this past year I realized just how resistant I am. I am a living sacrifice that keeps crawling off the altar. My theme verse for the year is Rom. 12:1-2. It is already having an impact on my life.

Annie J
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8 months ago

My word is Trust based on Prov. 3:5 to trust in the Lord with all my heart and do not lean on my own understanding. I will trust God on this journey.

Estella M. Baker
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8 months ago

My word for this year is Intentional. My scripture is Romans 12:2 – Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect . ( NLT )

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