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5 Steps to Your One Word & The Journey to Mine

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

New Year's resolutions seem to be a thing of the past. According to Jon Gordon, "9 out of 10 people fail with their resolutions, but One Word sticks. No goals. No resolutions. Just One Word that helps you write and create a yearly chapter in your life story. It's powerful."

I've never subscribed to resolutions.(Being a fitness instructor, in the past, informed me that gyms are full in January and vacant by March. Resolutions recede.) I set goals. Last year was the first year I jumped on the #OneWord train.

A year of pandemic adversity led many to think of words like hope, clarity, peace, and revision for 2021. Understandably, you want consistency, clarity, and renewal. (Me too.)

Even though I just learned of the One Word focus last year, it's been around for over 20 years. Dan Britton and Jimmy Page invented the One Word practice and have been doing it with their families for over twenty years. Over the years, their words have been: PURPOSE, SURRENDER, SERVE, PRAY, RISE, FORGIVE, and STILL. Each word molded and shaped them to become better people, fathers, husbands, writers, and communicators. Jon Gordon authored the book One Word and created a movement with Dan and Jimmy. (One Word information and template.)

The Journey to My One Word

I've been praying about my one word for 2021. The other day while basking in the winter solstice sun, my One Word came to me.

Last year my word was light. (You can read about it here.) I started the year strong and shined the light of Christ, and brought out the light in others. I strived to put others in the spotlight. Somewhere between a global pandemic and a summer hospital stay, my light dimmed. Some days it got snuffed out. But I got up again--to shine. When I left the hospital, nurses said they'd miss me. They smiled and stated that I was their best patient. Thank you, One Word, for helping me stay focused on light and shining in the midst of adversity.

While soaking up the sun on the front porch, last year's word came back to me: "Shine the Light of Christ and help others shine their light." Those thoughts flooded my mind as I gazed at a Geranium blooming and stretching toward light.

I planted it in April. After multiple touches of frost, it's bright, red bloom brought glory. All things grow in the light. After a season of darkness, the challenges of 2020, the word light seemed appropriate, but I didn't want to repeat last year's word. Then, it came to me: GLORY.

The geranium reaching for light was a beautiful bloom displaying God's glory.

Glory is a word I can measure my motives.

  • Does this bring God glory?

  • Is this for God's glory?

  • Am I sharing God's glory?

  • Am I praising God in good times and challenging times? Glory, glory, hallelujah!

The word glory was on my radar because a friend gave me a painting for Christmas. She titled it: Glory Bursts, based off of Psalm 77:15 (The Passion Translation) "By your glory-bursts you've rescued us over and over." When I read the verse in context, I knew glory was my word. Additionally, my friend informed me that her painting represented a time she burst out of a season of darkness.

How perfect for 2021! So GLORY is my word. I urge you to look for God's glory in your life and ways to give glory away. Reflect on the miracles in your life. (They may seem few, but even a new leaf unfolding is a miracle.) They're glorious and all for God's glory.

My greatest desire is to bring glory to God in all I do.

5 Steps to Your One Word

1. Notebook

Carry around a notebook. Write down words that spark feelings and resonate with you.

2. Patience & Grace

Be patient. Meditate. Give yourself grace if you don't have your word on day one of the new year. A word for the whole year can't be rushed or compared with others. When you force it, it's not authentic for you.

3. Be Mindful of Your Feelings

The more you tune into your inner self, the more you identify what words spark meaning for you. Be still and silent. Be mindful and listen.

4. Anchor to Your Inner Desire

What do you desire most this upcoming year? Let your mind wander. Let it feel. Breathe. Accept what comes to mind even if it isn't what you perceive to be the ideal word. Jot it down anyway. Trust your intuition. (I shared mine in my journey above.)

5. How Will You Measure It

How will you know you are living by your one word? What action steps match your word? (I shared mine in my journey above.)(By the way, you can change your word throughout the year if it isn't serving you.)

If you are still stuck, here are some ideas from Inspirivity.

I wish you a STRONG and fulfilling new year. Remember to write down your One Word at the top of each task list for the day to intentionally live your One Word and make your dreams come true.

I believe in you.

You make a difference!


Join the fun

Share your One Word on Twitter and tag me: @pamhall2inspire with #OneWord2021

Get inspiration and posts just like this delivered to your inbox. (Never spam. Always written for you.) (Scroll down to "Inspire Me".) Can't wait to have you in our community.


Steps 1-4 to your One Word are from Lindsay Titus' One Word Party.


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