Out With the Old… (A OneWord post)

I’ve been doing this One Word thing for the past few years, in which you choose a word (or God chooses one for you) that becomes your focus in the coming year. It’s like New Year’s resolutions but not. In the past I’ve had words like Less (the year I purged a bunch of stuff from my house), Move (the year we moved to Virginia), and last year’s word was Focus.


I try not to compare but I felt a little bad about Focus, when all around me people were choosing words like Thrive, Rejoice, Wonder, Worship, etc. Those words are so happy and fun and promising! Focus sounded so serious and pointed and kind of like hard work, especially to someone whose entire life seems to be be one giant tornado of chaos. But I knew I could use some improvement in that area and it felt right so I went with it.


I won’t lie to you and say that I made some huge changes in my life and now I have laser focus and will forevermore be able to keep my eyes on the prize at all times. Not so much. But I can say that I saw some improvement in my ability to focus. I learned to turn off the TV and get into a quiet place when I read my Bible and devotionals instead of trying to absorb God’s word through the noise. I found that I could read scripture two or three times, truly focusing on it, and commit it to memory, whereas my slapdash approach in the past had me reading and re-reading the same verses with little to no comprehension.

I tried to put Focus into practice in my relationships too. I made an effort to pay attention when my kids or my husband were talking to me, and I gave up trying to multitask. I attempted to look people in the eye when we were having a conversation and that’s not easy for an introvert. I try to put my phone at least face down when I’m at lunch with a friend or at the table with my family. Yes, it’s hard. The world tells me that I should have the phone surgically attached to my hand so that I’m never out of touch with the online world, but as a Believer I’m called to be different than the world anyway. This is just one more way to show love to others and be a nonconformist, right?

I also found tasks get done much more efficiently because I only have to do them ONCE if I focus and pay attention to what I’m doing. When I multitask, sometimes I make mistakes that cost me time in redoing things.

So Focus, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better this year. I’d like to say I will miss you but I see that you’ve sent your cousin to hang out with me for the next year. Apparently I still need some work in this area. I’ll post an introduction of my new word in a couple of days.

What about you? Do you choose a word? What was your word last year and how did it work out for you?


8 thoughts on “Out With the Old… (A OneWord post)

  1. Focus is a good word, Kim. Paul said something similar, many times…”…I press toward the mark”.

    My word for 2015 was hirihokenten, which is a Japanese transliteration of a Chinese phrase that can be transliterated as “death is nothing, but honour is everything”.

    Being terminally ill – and mildly surprised (so are my doctors) that I’m still here, I’ve found that it means, in this context, that I can still extend a hand of encouragement to others. My success or even survival mean nothing; supporting those around me is everything.

    For 2016, I’ve chosen SnOoPyDaNce!!

    Sure, it hurts too much to move sometimes…but it never hurts too much to celebrate the blessings I have, in family, friends, and community. (The use of Depends, however, is NOT a blessing…but the existence of adult diapers, I must reluctantly admit, is.)

    • That verse of Paul’s was the one I tried to model my behavior after for the past year. Most times I fell short but there were a few times when I was in groove. I love your word for 2016 – so happy and positive. Thanks for reading!

  2. Hi Kim! FOCUS is my choice for 2016…I’ve been seeing the need for it in the most important areas of my life. So I am looking forward to the journey next year, as I focus my efforts on those areas. Looking forward to reading about your One Word journey for 2016. All the best.

  3. I have had good intentions in past years, saying that I would pick a word. But, then, my word kept changing throughout the year. So, in 2016, I am not choosing a word. I think I will see what the Lord puts in my mind and “focus” on that word whenever He sends it to me. Happy New Year! 🙂

    • Good choice, Melissa! Maybe you need a word per quarter instead of one per year. I think One Word was intended as an alternative to New Year’s resolutions, which often get broken within a month. The idea that you can make changes based on that one word and all its nuances, well it seems a little simpler. Less constricting, and you know how I like my wiggle room. 😉

  4. My word last year was “change”. It was a hard year and I did not embrace the change well. I have no word yet this year. I believe I fear choosing one. Happy New Year!

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