Dragged onto the One-Word Bus

As the new year approached, Facebook was populated with posts on what one word individuals were adopting as their focus for 2014. The concept is to give up on resolutions and instead focus on a single word for the year, a word that will serve as a catalyst for transforming your life.

I’ve had several friends and business associates try it over the last few years, and they swear by it. Many of them are involved in One Word 365, a community of sorts, with “tribes” around selected words.

But I refused to buy in. For one (possibly infantile) reason. I saw it as a trend, and I have a strong aversion to doing something simply because everyone else is. (If I had thought of the idea, that would have been a different story. Then I would be the trendsetter, not the follower. I told you it was infantile.)

And so I put my fingers in my ears and chanted, “I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you.”

And then somewhere around January 2, I ran into a tiny hiccup. I’ve been reading through the book of Matthew in the Bible for months and that day I came to the passage known as The Great Commandment:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

And I heard (really!) God say, “There’s your word. Love is your word for the year.”

Really? Not only do I have to have a word, but it has to be the “Sunday school answer” word?


I guess I have a word.

And then my monthly networking group sent out an e-mail that we were going to do a One Word workshop, based on the book One Word that Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon.

Double sigh. At least I already had my word. It came from God, no less.

During the workshop, I quickly wrote “Love” on the word line. And then we did the exercises. And another word rose up, one that specifically applied to my professional life:


I want to take more risks this year, to have the courage to try, even if I fail. I want emulate Eleanor Roosevelt, who reportedly said:

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

I’m not going to go crazy with it, but when fear rises up this year, I intend to yell, “Courage!” at myself and move forward.

And so I have now ended up with two words for my One Word project. Maybe that’s innovative, making me a trendsetter instead of a follower. I don’t know. But if it makes me more loving and more courageous by the end of 2014, maybe I’ll be thrilled to have been dragged on the bandwagon.

2 thoughts on “Dragged onto the One-Word Bus”

  1. I have chosen a word for the past few years. Two of my closest friends do the same, and then we meet and talk about our words and the significance in our lives during the year. This year I was led to choose follow-through as my word/s. I’m justifying the choice of two words by linking them together. I’m sure that you can find a way to do the same. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  2. I’m glad you’re on board, even if it is reluctantly! 🙂 I’m the same way. It’s why I missed the first two seasons of Downton and why I’m just now willingly watching Dr. Who. 🙂

    Sarah Bessey just wrote this week about how she’s moving on without one word this year because it seems God is moving in a different way. It was a good reminder that God is not about gimmicks and this One Word transformation may not “work” every year or in the same way. My expectations are high for this year because of last year, but we’ll see how God moves.


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