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Finding Your Word

| written by Alece Ronzino | 12 comments

Maybe a word has already risen to the surface for 2018… Or perhaps you have a list of possibilities but aren’t sure which to choose. Maybe you’re struggling with where to begin… Or you might not have even thought about it at all yet…

Wherever you are in the process, here are some helpful things to consider when choosing your word for the year:

Focus on being rather than doing.
Different than resolutions, your one word isn’t a constant reminder of what you “should be doing”. Instead, it stands to inspire how you want to live. Think about who you want to be, and choose a word that will help you become that.

Be authentic.
Your word should reflect YOU, and no one else. It’s easy to listen to others’ words and then pick one that sounds good. But you want a word that’s uniquely yours… one that resonates with you on a deep level.

Don’t overthink it. 
It’s not rocket science, and there’s no wrong answer. Don’t analyze it to death! It’s simply about identifying the word that keeps coming back to nag at your heart. Keep an open mind and heart, and pay attention to the word that you see, hear, and recognize the most in the coming days…

If you’re the journaling type, this writing exercise may help you discover your word for the year…

1. Spend some time imagining what you want your life to look like. What kind of person do you really want to be at the end of 2018? What do you want the condition of your heart and your relationships to be? Write out the mental picture you imagine.

2. Write down the characteristics of that person you want to become. Describe him. What’s her heart like? What character traits does he have? What drives her? What are his best qualities?

3. Make a list of words that sum up that description or that conjure up an image of that vision you started with. It can include nouns (such as peace or joy), adjectives (like thoughtful or brave), verbs (like create or pause) or even prepositions (like with or in).

4. Then whittle your list down to the few words that resonate most with you. Take some time to look them up in the dictionary, thesaurus, inspirational quotes, or the Bible. Really dive into the true meaning of each word.

5. Turn them over and over in your heart and mind. Give yourself time to mull over your short list. Try them on—get a sense of what it would be like to intentionally pursue them.

6. Take a deep breath and commit. Just go ahead and decide. Remember that there’s no right or wrong answer here. Simply follow the prompting you sense.

Remember — Your one word is intended to be your guide, not your harsh standard. It’s not about doing more, but about being who you were created to be.





After pioneering a nonprofit in South Africa for 13 years, Alece Ronzino now lives in Nashville, TN. She’s a nonprofit communications strategist, freelance copywriter/editor, and the founder of One Word 365. More importantly, she dances in the car, talks with her hands, and makes a mean guacamole. She blogs occasionally but candidly about searching for God in the question marks of life and faith. Follow Alece on Instagram and Twitter, and visit her blog, Grit and Glory.


Dwight H Dzierzek: Thank you for reminding us how powerful this is. I love the exercise of discovery, and making an effort to identify and share with those around you what your one word is for the year. Blessings to You! in 2018 Reply

Myrna Noyes: I have been doing "One Word" for several years now, and it has been a real blessing to me! I am praying and thinking about my new one for 2018, and I relish the anticipation! :) Reply

Susan Keane: it's the overthinking it that is my problem...so thank you for these steps, I think they will help. I've been doing One words for the past 5 years and have loved the focus they have given me! Reply

    Alece Ronzino: Overthinking is SO easy to do... Pretty much sums up my whole life! HA! I agree... the focus my one words have provided blows me away too! Reply

jenniferjbunderle: Oh, Alece, thank you so much for this site, this post and this specific quote: "REMEMBER — YOUR ONE WORD IS INTENDED TO BE YOUR GUIDE, NOT YOUR HARSH STANDARD. IT’S NOT ABOUT DOING MORE, BUT ABOUT BEING WHO YOU WERE CREATED TO BE." I've been so challenged, blessed, encouraged and taught by my "one word" for several years, and I'm certain this year will be especially memorable! For 2018 the word given to me is TRUST. I'm very excited and a little awed by what lies ahead in this upcoming year! Many thanks again and blessings to you in the new year! Reply

    Alece Ronzino: This is so encouraging to hear, Jennifer! Thank you! Reply

      Annabelle Dorsey: This is so cool! I never tried this but i hope to chose the best word. For the past years I always chose a quote to go by, and my 2018 quote is "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams" by Willy Wonka Reply

        Alece Ronzino: Such a great quote, Annabelle! Will be interested to hear what word you land on!

Annie: Hi Alece, I have only just learnt about "One Word" on a FB group and then Uncle Google led me to you. This is a wonderful initiative and a great way to focus one's energy and direction. Thank you for this. Now to sit down and not overthink finding my word (or words) for 2018. Reply

meg: you are awesome go girl! Reply

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