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On Choosing Your One Word

| written by Alece Ronzino | 110 comments

Do you have your One Word for 2013?

Maybe a word has already risen to the surface for you. Or perhaps you have a list of possibilities and aren’t sure which to choose. Or maybe you haven’t even begun to think about it yet.

Wherever you are in the process, here are some helpful things to consider when choosing your One Word:

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 (in a way that others can’t fully understand, even if they have the same word).

Don’t overthink it. It’s not rocket science, and there’s no wrong answer. Don’t analyze it to death! It’s not about whittling down a long list of potential words; it’s about identifying the word that keeps coming back to nag at your heart. Someone commented on our last post, “I will watch for the next 10 days (till the end of the year), and I will use the word that I see and recognize the most.” Such a brilliant idea for choosing! Stop the hamster wheel in your mind long enough to listen for your word.

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. Don’t miss the freedom in that!

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.


alece: One-Worder Becca Obergefell wrote a post with some other great ideas for finding your One Word: http://beccaobergefell.com/reflection/one-word-resolution-tips/1029/ Reply

    Becca Obergefell (@OberBecca): Thank you so much for sharing my link! I've enjoyed participating in the One Word resolutions and am happy to share my journey and resources. Reply

      alece: So appreciate you, Becca! Reply

Laura Rath: God clearly showed me my One Word for 2013. It wasn't a word I'd thought of, but He was quite clear that this was the word. :) I'll be writing about it soon. God bless! Reply

Delonna @ Chick Flick Diva: COUNT ME IN! I love how you wrote it's not about doing more, but about being who you were created to be. I have found my word and can't wait to share it in a future post. Reply

john: I know you did this last year Alece, I thought what a great idea. Then I raced on with life.Well I picked a word for me (well God did) this year . So I'm in. Reply

    Alece: That's awesome to hear, John! Reply

Michelle W.: After some searching/asking/trying to wait patiently, I have my One Word for 2013. Yay! I'm looking forward to doing this more fully in 2013 (if that makes sense). Reply

    Alece: so exciting, michelle! Reply

Suzan: This sound fun and really cool to think about choosing one word & dedicate it to 2013... I can think of a few~ can't wait :) Reply

    Alece: look forward to hearing what you land on! Reply

Jenny D: My word chose me on December 16 - breakthrough! I can't wait to see what 2013 brings :) Reply

Courtney: Now into a fourth year of One Word. The first three: God, worship, joy. The fourth one picked me too--service (and variations of it). At first, I wanted to avoid it and tried to pick a different word, but these past couple of weeks, God has shown me what it feels like to serve from the heart (and not from an imposed obligation), and it feels beautiful. Reply

    Alece: wow, courtney! i love that! Reply

Tammy Perlmutter: My blog post on my 2012 One Word. It really did do all the things Alece said it would. God used it in amazing ways in my life. Almost settled on my Word for 2013. http://bit.ly/V87s7M Reply

    alece: Loved your recap post, Tammy! Reply

Dawn St Amand Paoletta: Counting down to link up! Thank you for this opportunity, community and springboard for One Word inspiration! Reply

    alece: Yay! Have you linked up yet? http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Heather: My word has always been Joy but I've been feeling God stir in me a lot recently to move more than I have been in the recent past...so this year's word is Alive. Looking forward to officially joining in on One Word this year! Reply

    alece: I love love LOVE your word. Reply

JennyRain: My one-word surprised me for 2013... then I was excited. Then, I was very trepidatious because what looks like "fun" on the outside can be hard when you are in the middle of situations that challenge it. I might have even talked the husband into working on one word as a couple... such fun. And I love that you do this community each year :) Reply

    alece: So... did you talk John into it?! ;) Reply

      JennyRain: Still working on talking John into it... but I have managed to talk 2 of my co-workers into it :) yay! Reply

    alece: And thank you for always helping me spread the word about this online. You are a wonderful cheerleader and advocate, my friend. Reply

creole wisdom: Doing this for the first time instead of a large list of goals like I usually do. Excited to see what God teaches me through this :) Reply

Chandra: This is my first year to do this, and I got my word almost immediately after reading about this. I am really excited because I feel like it's directly from the Lord for me - passion... I am excited to see what He will do in me and through me in 2013! Reply

Libby: I am going to join in this year after hearing more about it this fall. Not sure what word yet but love your advise and thoughts on this...not something I "should be doing" but instead what is God speaking to my heart. Reply

    alece: Look forward to hearing your word, Libby! Reply

Louise Davidson: Hi, I did this for 2012 & my word was COMMIT which I've tried to do & through doing this I've started in September full time to Bible College at the age of 40 by doing a Diploma in Theology through committing every area of my life it's an amazing journey God is taking me places that I would never have dreamed of... To God be the Glory!! Reply

    alece: WOW! This was so amazing to hear!!!! Reply

Louise Davidson: So I'm pondering & seeking direction what my word will be for 2013 x Reply

    alece: Did you discover your word, Louise? Reply

sheryl: Count me in. Praying! Reply

Lisa: I thought I had a word ready, but I'm second guessing it. It just doesn't feel right. Back to the drawing board. Reply

    alece: Did you land on your word, Lisa? Reply

Anne Demo: Thank you so much for this inspiration. I just discovered you so will be pondering my word all day tomorrow. I also appreciated your "don't over-think" it caveat. Very grateful! Reply

    alece: So glad to hear that, Anne! Reply

Miranda: Although I have heard of one word for at least a couple years now, 2013 will be my first year of joining in. I plan to write a bit about my word to kick off the new year tomorrow! Reply

Scott Sandmeyer: My lovely and wise wife told me about this site last year and she stuck to it faithfully and is renewing her commitment this year. This has inspired me to join in. My word for this year has been resounding in my mind for months and has filtered into my teaching, too. The word is: GLORY! Reply

    alece: Love that you and your wife are doing this together! Reply

Karen Sandford: My one word is content. After a year of unbearable grief, I no longer search for happiness but contentment. How do I link to my blog? Reply

    alece: beautiful word born out of pain, karen. i really look forward to following your journey this year. add your blog post about "content" to the link-up on the community page: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Sarah Farish: Hope. That's my word. So excited! http://wp.me/p2xL8L-ge Reply

    alece: Love it, Sarah! Don't forget to link it up on the community page: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Emily Rachelle: I recently wrote a post about OneWord365, my word, and a list of What to Do With Your Word: http://maybeteenauthor.blogspot.com/2012/12/one-word-365.html Reply

    Alece: so great! make sure you link up your post here: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Cassi McCauley: My word is Satisfied. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Gods approval. For they will be Satisfied. Reply

    alece: love that verse -- and your word! Reply

Kendra: This year I'm not just going to get by, I'm going to THRIVE! https://thegrubhub.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/restore-oneword-2012-recap-and-2013-oneword/ Reply

    Alece: one of my favorite words ever! don't forget to add your post to the community page: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Melanie @ M&M: I found this after I'd already been thinking about my word. Without even knowing it, I already had a plan! Thanks for this : ) My word is PURPOSE Reply

Julie: My one word for 2013 is abide... My prayer is that I will abide in Jesus and He in me in such a way to draw others to want to abide in Him too! Reply

    Sara: Abide. That is my One Word for 2013. How funny it is, Julie, that your word is abide! Reply

      alece: love when people connect over shared words! someone else to journey with this year! Reply

    alece: BEAUTIFUL! Reply

Meredith: I'm so excited to start this journey! My word this year is "steady." Reply

    alece: i love your word, meredith! Reply

Lori @ Encourage Your Spouse: 2013 - OneWord - "Realize" Looking forward to the adventure! I wrote about "Realize" if anyone is interested... http://encourageyourspouse.com/2013-oneword365/ Heading over to read about what others have chosen! :-) Reply

    Alece: love your word! don't forget to add your post to the link-up: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

J. Heather Leigh: I am so thrilled to have found this blog and selected my own ONE WORD: http://jheatherleigh.blogspot.com/2013/01/one-word.html Reply

    Alece: I look forward to reading your post! don't forget to add it to the community link-up page: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

TerryMorgan: This is great - to share with each other...I chose courage for my word this year... http://maturitascafe.com/2012/12/31/courage-my-word-for-2013/ Reply

    Alece: Awesome! Don't forget to link up your post here: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Amanda Socci: Really interesting concept behind this community. Thank you! My word for 2013 is undeniably PUBLISHED, as in, a published book author. I have some pretty good writing goals going on in 2013 and "published" is where I see myself going. Reply

Elizabeth W. Marshall: This is my first year participating. So filled with excitement and anticipation. Thank you for rallying the troups into community with this project. Love it. My word for 2013 is ART. My post if here: http://www.wynnegraceappears.com/2013/01/02/ Reply

    alece: Beautiful, Elizabeth! Did you already link up on the community page? Reply

Melanie @ M&M: I've got my word! Read my first post here: http://musingsandmeanderings-mlp.blogspot.com/2013/01/one-word.html Reply

    alece: Awesome! don't forget to link it up here: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Tammy Brouwer: This is the first time I've heard of this idea of one word for the year. I LOVE IT! And the neat thing is that as I was reading about it I thought quickly, "Lord, what would my word be?" I tend to over think everything so I was surprised when a word came quickly to my mind. As I read more about it here, and then on some of the links, I thought about ways people came to choose their word. But the Lord kept whispering the same word over and over again in my mind. This word is quite applicable in my life right now, even though I don't really like it - never have. But it is God's word for me this year WAIT. Reply

    alece: powerful word, tammy! gonna be quite the year! Reply

Dedra: Love you and am joining in BIG time. My word for 2013 is Intentional! Every breath and move... intentional. Reply

    alece: Love it, Dedra! And i love YOU! Reply

shannon: love this! count me in :) http://myspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/awake/ Reply

Piper: Last year was my first time doing ONE WORD. I loved how God worked in my life and is still working through the word CONTENT. 2013 JOY is my word and I have been blessed to see so many people share and desire God's working in their lives! Reply

    alece: so awesome to hear that, piper! Reply

Jill Grens: I love this! I found my word and have already begun living it and deep breathing it! My word is patience. I teach 3rd grade and I am doing this with both my classes tomorrow. The kids will be looking inward-upward- and outward to each find their special word. Reply

    alece: you are a BRAVE soul to choose "patience"! and i love love LOVE that you're having your students get involved -- so fun! Reply

Denise Dilley: Though I'm not a stranger to the idea behind the One Word challenge, I've never actually participated until this year. My one word for 2013 is "return." Read more of my thoughts on it here: http://denisedilley.blogspot.com/2013/01/forget-new-years-resolutions.html Reply

    alece: beautiful, denise! don't forget to add your post to the community page: http://oneword365.wpengine.com/community/ Reply

Debra: Awesome idea. I was so intrigued when I saw it popping up around my virtual world that I am going to do it! Thanks for this blessing of oneword. Reply

Growing Up Little: I picked my One Word! Check it out: http://growinguplittle.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/self-one-word-2013/ Reply

Melanie Self: I Choose Joy......Leading the women and families that I minister to through Motor Racing Outreach, a ministry to NASCAR members, on The Joy Journey in 2013!! This is awesome!! Reply

Sue: Freedom Reply

Kim: It's official... I'm making 2013 about being "still." http://stephandkim.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/its-probably-no-surprise/ Alece - Can't tell you how much that word "enough" is impacting me, too. I'm looking forward to reading along! Reply

Nikki: Can't wait! I'm getting started on my One Word. Will post in community page soon! Reply

Anna Wright: Still trying to 'find' my word Reply

Lori Johnson: My one word will be TRUST. I thought it might be hope, but hope comes from God as we trust him and the Holy Spirit fills us with it. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you TRUST in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:1 Reply

    Tracee Persiko: That is such a hard word! Trust is a life word for me. Such a fight and battle. IT is the core word for so many things. Hoping you find such peace and exhale in trust this year. Reply

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