A New Year’s Resolution that Might Actually Work


I have never liked New Year’s resolutions. Many things about them rub me wrong, but the thing that turns me off the most is that it seems no one ever reaches the goals they set for themselves. It seems like we all start the year off excited and energized, ready to improve! Then life happens. We switch from thrive mode to survive mode and we don’t visit the gym again, our devotion time grows slack, and we still haven’t kicked that nasty habit.

No, my typical New Year’s resolution is to have no New Year’s resolution.

But I think this year might be different.

As some of you may know, last month I started blogging for Compassion. I do this to promote awareness for children in need and to encourage others to contribute to a great charity and a cause I believe in (click the link on the right of the page to learn more). Every month, we compassion bloggers are tasked with a different topic.

This month is New Years Resolutions… yay.

But Compassion is suggesting something I’ve never come across before.

The task I’ve been given is to choose one single word for 2014. Not a phrase, verse, or sentence. A word.

The basic idea is to think about all that I want to accomplish and see happen in my life over the next year and boil it down to a single word.

The word can be anything, but it must be chosen carefully. This word is meant to guide my spiritual and personal growth through the next year.

It’s sort of a guiding star, if you will. For example, I could choose the word love and focus my next year on loving God, others, and myself more. I could choose the word generous and determine to, with God’s help, give more. I could choose the word trust and spend the next year surrendering more to the Lord.

I’m intrigued by the concept because repetition is one way God really speaks to me. I’ll hear something in a sermon or read it in a book and it will hit me right between the eyes. Then, a few days later, I’ll receive an email or read a blog with a similar message. God will usually bring a point up three or four times before it starts to penetrate with me, so this sounds right up my alley.

At this moment, I do not yet have my word. I plan to pray about it, search the Scriptures, and ask God what word He desires to use in my life.

I think this is a very intriguing idea and I’m excited to see what God does with it.

If you’d like more info, you can read about some other people’s experiences here.

If you decide you join me, I’d love to know what word you choose, why, and how God is using it in your life =)


About Leah Ness

I am a self-professed story addict. Ever since I was little, I've had an overactive imagination and a passion for a well-spun yarn. When I grew up, I was blessed with a passion for God as well. It was then that I noticed a relative shortage of unique Christian fiction, the kind that can both captivate you and glorify God. So, despite the hurdles of things like commas and homonyms, I am endeavoring to write some of my own. Check out my Books page for updates on current and future books. View all posts by Leah Ness

11 responses to “A New Year’s Resolution that Might Actually Work

  • Michael S. Osborn

    I agree with Calvin’s sentiments above. I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions either. I make resolutions all the time to be a better person. Some of them I keep and some I don’t. The New Year will probably be pretty much what the old has been. I’ll continue to seek the Lord’s will though and do the best that I can to fulfill His plans for my life. 🙂

    • Leah Ness

      Another thing I don’t like about New Year’s Resolutions is the implication that the new year is the only time you can make a commitment to change. When in reality, change can happen any day, whenever you choose. The one word idea resonates with me because, as I said, God uses repetition to get to me. But seeking the Lord’s will for our lives requires a daily commitment, and doesn’t have to be an annual resolution at all. In Hobbes’ words, stay the course my friend! God bless and thanks for reading =)

      • Michael S. Osborn

        You are so right, Leah, about resolutions being an ongoing event and a commitment. See my posts for today. God bless you also and thanks for reading and commenting on my blogs. 🙂

  • Funmi Akinmade

    A wonderful idea! If I had to choose a word, it would be ‘purpose`. It has been a long time coming but I finally have direction in my life. Struggling with life, whether it’s health issues or wealth issues are the devil’s perfect distractions from purpose. I plan my day carefully and make sure that most of my daily activities contribute to my purpose. In this way, I am more focused and do not get easily swayed by life’s issues. This will be my ‘resolution’ for 2014! Stay blessed!

  • Neill Morgan

    Thanks for another thought-provoking piece. The depths of winter has never been a good time for me to make resolutions. I have had better experience taking on something for Lent on Ash Wednesday and then waking up Easter morning and deciding whether it’s worth hanging on to. I went from fat to fairly fit and from kind of careless to hardly ever sharing gossip anymore. Really. Hardly ever. I think Easter is a good time to decide whether I want a change to cling to me or release me. Word of the year for me: forgiveness.

    • Leah Ness

      Spring time does sound like a friendlier time of year to make resolutions. I myself tend to switch into hibernation mode when there’s snow on the ground. If it weren’t for New Year being right around the corner, I would start my one word as soon as I decide what it is.
      ‘Forgiveness’ is definitely a good one. I’ve been noticing in my own life that the more willing I am to accept forgiveness (especially from God), the easier it is for me to give it. It’s an extremely important word to meditate one. I hope it blesses your 2014 richly!
      Thanks for reading and sharing =)

  • toni bowdoin

    Leah, I too am intrigued by repetition. I recognize that I am His daughter, and yet, each time God makes a repeated attempt to draw my attention in certain direction-I am totally humbled and amazed. “Me? Really? You’re waving at me? Not the gal behind me? huh…?” As an example of this repetition, 1. I have been consumed by one word for a couple of months. 2. I just joined a small group last week doing this “one word project” and 3. Well, your post makes 3. Praying that your word draws you closer to the Father in ways you couldn’t have imagined.

    • Leah Ness

      That’s so cool that this post is #3 on your list! I love it when God does stuff like that =) Thanks so much for reading and letting me know about the repetition. I pray God uses your word mightily in your life as well!

  • 2014 Aspirations: Defining the best ME | my chronic life journey

    […] A New Year’s Resolution that Might Actually Work (leahnessransomed.wordpress.com) […]


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