My One Word

“As he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he.” 
Proverbs 23:7

Toward the end of each year, I begin to think about my one-word selection for the coming year. I’m easily distracted, and I don’t do well with lists and New Year’s resolutions, so a one-word focus suits me.

But can one word change our lives?


Ask anyone who’s waited to hear “positive” or “negative” after a health exam. “Guilty” or “not” in a court of law. “Girl” or “boy” at a baby reveal. “Up” or “down” in a stock investment. “Pass” or “fail” on an academic test.

Scripture and science agree that our minds are powerful and that the things we meditate on can and will shape us. We have the power to change our reality by choosing to shift our focus.

“Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”(Romans 12:2).

My path toward my one-word journey began in 2000 when I replaced New Year’s resolutions with the prayerful selection of a scripture verse for the coming year. I’ve continued to choose focal verses annually. Then in 2013, I jumped on the one-word bandwagon via the My One Word book written by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. I now condense my chosen verse into a single word for a more concise focus. Throughout the years, God has amazed me by repeatedly bringing to my attention my word or verse and using it to affirm and lead me through situations that arose.

In the words of Mike Ashcraft, “Wouldn’t you love to do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything? Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. This single act will force clarity and concentrate your efforts. As you focus on your word over an extended period of time, you position yourself for God to form your character at a deep, sustainable level. Growth and change will result.”

Won’t you join me in the selection of a Scripture verse and one-word focus for 2020? Lose the long list of resolutions that leave you frustrated and defeated after a few weeks and embrace a single word that can transform your life. If you do, I’d love nothing more than for you to email me at with your selection. Let’s walk this out together.

“Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”

Isaiah 55:19-11, MSG

Happy New Year!

-Starr Ayers

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