How to Grow with Your Word for the Year

Choosing a word for the year has become a delightful tradition for many.

It’s almost like opening a gift for me. I feel anticipation and excitement as I think, pray and wait for a word to settle in my heart and cause my spirit to nod in agreement.

It’s a simple thing – just a word, really.

But there comes a new hope and enthusiasm for what the year may hold.

It wasn’t always like this for me though.

I used to think it was a bit silly putting so much store into one word.

Plus, I didn’t know how to pick a word, I thought.

However, over the years I have come to appreciate this tradition.

Looking back, I can see how the words I chose often applied directly to the things I learned that year. Or my word and it’s principles helped me get through the harder times of that year.  

If you’re not sure how to choose a word for the year, you can find a few tips and thoughts in this article.

A friend asked me once, “How do you use your word throughout the year?”

While there are many ways to learn about your word throughout the year, here are the first steps I like to take.

Ways to Grow using your Word for the Year

1. Search the Scriptures for that exact word.

I like to do a quick search for Bible verses that use my word. That usually gets me an immediate list of Scriptures to read through. This provides a deeper and more guided thought process for me, as well as gives me a few verses or promises to claim along with my word.

TIP Leave your word in the comments and I’ll try to help you find a few Bible verses to go along with it. ?

2. Scripture Write with your word.

An easy way to dive deep into your word for the year is to create your own topical Scripture writing list.

When you are searching for Bible verses that use or apply to your word, write them down in a composition notebook.

Then over the next few days, write one or two of the Scriptures on your list along with a few thoughts or a prayer inspired by what you are thinking.

Keep your “word for the year” composition notebook handy during your Bible reading times, so you can record more Scriptures that use your word as you find them.

3. Study Biblical Characters and historical people.

Read up on a few people in the Bible and ask yourself how your word topic of the year applied to their life.

Reading about other people’s lives and the obstacles they over came can be very insightful to how a specific word or topic might can apply to our life.

4. Read books on your word topic.

This year my word is lead. So, my reading list includes a few books what it looks like to lead well in life, marriage, parenting and business.

I’m also going through this free 30-day “Lead Your Life Well” Scripture Study.

Depending on your word and the topics surrounding it, you might be able to find a few good podcasts throughout the year, as well.

Actively look for teachings and thoughts that will speak to your word topic.

5. Have your word in plain sight for a continual reminder of what God wants to teach you.

Depending on my word, I will look for at least one piece of home décor throughout the year that uses that word. Wooden word blocks are a great addition to the coffee table or somewhere in the kitchen.

Also, with this trend of having a word for the year, you can now find customize-able jewelry and key chains as a visual reminder of your word. ?

Do you have a word for the year?

How do you plan to learn about it?

Drop it in the comments and I’ll try to help you find a few Bible verses to go along with it. ?

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    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      NEW or RENEW make me think of being made new in the attitude of my mind as well as being brought to a new place after remaining faithful to the Lord.

      Maybe these verses will speak to you – Psalm 18:25-36, Psalm 23:3, Psalm 51:10-12, Romans 12:2,

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Oh, how I pray this year will bring you much rest for your soul and restoration for your heart. Job 11:13-19 is a favorite of mine for a reminder that the Lord is in control and that all that is going on now will one day make sense when we simply trust Him in the ‘right now’. Here are a few more verses that might encourage you – Isaiah 61:7 & Jeremiah 17:14. ?

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Patrinella, I had to think a little about finding a Scripture for ACCOUNTABILITY. As I thought and prayed over this, I was reminded that we are all accountable for the choices we make and that our choices have eternal rewards, whether they are good rewards or of the less desirable. So I settled on a passage found in Deuteronomy 30:19-20 where we are reminded to choose life in the Lord so we may dwell in the Lord’s favor. Maybe this passage will speak to you at times throughout the year…?

      Praying for you to remain ACCOUNTABLE to the Lord, seeking Him and serving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Hello, Kate! When I think of SURRENDER, the “humble yourselves before God” portions of James 4:8-10 & 1 Peter 5:6 came to mind. Maybe the promises surrounding those two passages will encourage you throughout this year. ?

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Patience will suit you well, Kristina!

      Roman’s 12:12 comes to mind as well as the fruit of the Spirit. I pray you will have a year of abundant growth as you keep centered in Christ. ?

  1. LaShawna Thomas says:

    Hi sister! My word for this year is ‘DISCIPLINE’. This is my second year using the One Word Resolution. I know this word is exactly what I need in my life and I am grateful for the ideas you gave to really dig deep.

  2. Sallyann D says:

    My word is “Honor” Thanks to my dear niece who challenged me to have a word for the year.

    “that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭5:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭21:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    ‭‭“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  3. Susan says:

    Hi Kaylene! My word is forgiveness. Ugh!! This is going to be a tough one for me. Thanks for the ideas you gave in the post. I purchased a wooden block with my word on it from Etsy and starting on Feburary 1st, I will be doing a month long scripture writing on forgiveness. Please pray for me, as this is a tough word for me. God has shown me several people I need to give forgiveness to, but I am really struggling with doing so, because the hurt they caused me runs very deep.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      I love that you are diving into this forgiveness thing, Susan. Embracing growth is what I see you doing. ? February will be a transforming month for you. I pray you will be healed and strengthened and empowered as you learn and grow.

      I love little word blocks! What a perfect and non-space-invading way to give yourself a visual of your word.

  4. Ashlee Petrilli says:

    Love this!!! Last year my word was LISTEN (which I’m not sure how well I did or didn’t do listening last year lol) but this year it’s FOCUS and I’m really loving it. I never thought to look up “focus” in my Bible or even to find books with that theme. Going to do that right now!!

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      I’m sure you did quite well in learning about listening, Ashlee! ?

      A few Bible verses that come to mind when I think of focus are Philippians 3:14 & Hebrews 12:2. They don’t use the word ‘focus’ but they speak of keeping our eyes on the prize, Jesus. Thise two verses often help me get a right perspective or a better focus. ?

  5. Diana Paige says:

    My word is courage. I chose it because I have some major changes happening in my life this year and this word is something I can focus on as I take each step forward. One of the verses I focus on is Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go .”

  6. Iona Handford says:

    My word is lift. To raise from a lower to a higher position: ELEVATE

    Psalms 116:13 – I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me. NLT

    Psalms 146:8 – The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the Godly.

    I prayed for my word and was reminded of so many times that I was lifted up by the Lord from my circumstances. It is my mission this year to lift others.

  7. Chrissy Townsend says:

    My word is the word Positive. I prayed and truly felt this word pop in my mind over and over. But now sure how to relate it to scripture. This is my desire. Any thoughts?

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      When I think of the word POSITIVE I think of verses that surround the idea of renewing our minds and getting a right focus in the Lord.

      Maybe these passages will speak to you – Philippians 4:8-9, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:2, and Romans 12:2.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Praying for you to feel the Father’s presence all around you. May He calm you with His love and still your heart and mind with His grace and peace. ?

      Isaiah 43:1-3 & Matthew 11:28-30 might be an encouragement to you.

  8. Rhonda T Shain says:

    My one word is Soar….coupled with Unencumbered. My verses are Isaiah 40:31 NLT, Job 39:26, Hebrews 12:1 AMPC.
    I too am excited to see how God will shape this year with my one word.

  9. Erica Chavez says:

    “WHY” My word for the Year is WHY. I am not sure what I will find or discover but this is my word

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      This is very interesting, Erica. I am praying your word will lead you to many answers and fulfilled promises. May this year be a time of receiving blessing for the things the past has taken from you. Maybe this word, WHY, and all the questions surrounding it will be answered as you rest in the sovereignty of God. Just a few thoughts I’m having… Praying for you! ?

  10. Rae says:

    Joy. I did not necessarily choose this word but it keeps coming up in my life. Going through a marriage trial at this time and I feel God is speaking to me to find JOY even if I am not always at my happiest.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      As I read your comment Psalm 94:19 came to mind. His Word gives promise of JOY coming from trials and peace coming in times we do not understand what lies ahead. So I pray that His presence will surround you and that His nearness is what gives you JOY. Nehemiah 8:10 says that the JOY of the Lord is our strength. And so, I pray you will find great comfort, strength and delight in your Heavenly Father even as you walk through this trial. ?

  11. Diane Fox says:

    God gave me the word “Restore.” I am excited about this word. I have been experiencing a lot of trials and broken relationships. But in the valley He has been so real and so good.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      RESTORE is an exciting word! It holds promise of hope and healing. May this be so for you this year! Joel 2:25, Genesis 50:20, and Job 11:13-19 come to mind for you. ?

  12. Shannon C Walker says:

    My word for the year is Growth.

    1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tastes that the Lord is good.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      INTEGRITY is such a deep word! Proverbs 11:3 comes to mind, as well as parts of 1 Peter 3. Hope these bless and encourage you throughout this year. ?

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      PATIENCE is the supernatural fruit of the Holy Spirit. I pray this fruit over you in abundant measures. Ephesians 4:2 comes to mind. It’s not an easy verse, but I find it a great reminder that the Lord strengthens us to walk the way of His Word whenever we ask Him. ?

  13. Kassi says:

    My word is “me.” It feels like such a selfish word but my husband keeps telling me I never take time for myself. I’m assuming that’s part of why God gave me this word for the year…
    I also just wanted to say I love what you do! I think your spiritual warfare prayers are my favorite so far. They have literally been helping me not feel completely lost and broken right now by putting into words how I’m feeling and what to pray for. Thank you!

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Hi Kassi! ME is not a selfish word unless we make it all about ourselves. ? I know you won’t do that! Plus, you have your husband’s encouragement to take care of you. I pray you will find extra time alone with the Lord, as well as many moments of ME-time that will fill your heart and soul with joy. We need those times of rejuvenation so we can better serve and love others. Even Jesus went away on His own! ??

  14. Sbongile Nxumalo says:

    Goodday people as i was reading your comments the word that come to me was SAVE
    By the time i was thinking i thought of saving in terms of finances. But within me continues to say save marriage.Good ppl i do nt know but God will help me in his better ways

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      I am praying for you to experience the restoration of your marriage, Sbongile. May the Lord SAVE the remnants and make something beautiful come from it. I am praying Joel 2:25, Genesis 50:20 & Job 11:13-19 over you for this year. ?

  15. Belinda Van De Griendt says:

    Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

    My word is “dwell”. It speaks to me of depth and intimacy with the Lord and His Word, rather than flitting in and out of His presence like a moth.
    To dwell with Him means to stop taking sips at His wells and then rushing off to check social media or 100 other inane things that can suck up my day, but rather to linger in His presence, drinking deeply.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Laurie, I pray Psalm 121:7-8 over you this year. May the Lord watch over all you are doing and all you are going through. May His strength become your breath. May His love be the reason you LIVE. And may His presence bring you abundance of life. ?

  16. Teresa Vice says:

    My word(s) for this year “Take Hold “ – Philippians 3:12-14. I’m finding it everywhere- but specifically to me: taking hold of His goodness Ps 34:8, calmness instead of anxiety, His joy, and compassion instead of judgment.

  17. robin says:

    My word is “Fearless” (or fear not) I found fear is the source of alot of other emotions like woryy. I’m so tired of worrying for so many years especially over a reoccurring issue. God has my attention. Also, thank you for all you do!

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Hi Robin! I pray Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 56:3, John 24:27, Philippians 4:6-7 will speak to you in ways that will settle your heart throughout this year. ?

  18. Megan says:

    Hi, I’ve never had a word of the year before, but the word “Grace” keeps popping up…I’m thinking God’s grace could (and has) helped me in so many ways. Thanks.

  19. Bianca says:

    Hi Kaylene! I’m not sure if my comment posted last time- but the First Word that came to mind was, PRIDE (ouch)! Then commitment and abide! I jotted a few other words down. I know the Lord has been quickening me lately when my “ego” my “flesh” is bruised or feels some kind of way but not a word I wanted to hear. Any thoughts?

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Hi Bianca! This is very interesting and thought provoking. Given that you received words like COMMITMENT and ABIDE along with PRIDE, my fist thoughts go to renewing the heart and mind verses as well as James 4:4-8,10. I believe the Lord may be wanting to do a deep and very intimate work in you and He is inviting you into His love.

      Don’t let the enemy use the word PRIDE to make you feel guilty. Instead, allow the Lord to speak to you about it. We all have measures of pride to lay down so we may pick up greater humility. It’s part of growing up in Him and learning to ABIDE in Him.

      Personally, I love your words. They speak of new growth and a deeper relationship with your Heavenly Father if you turn to Him and COMMIT more of yourself to Him.

      I hope this makes sense. Praying with you and for you! God bless!

  20. Susan says:

    My Word is “Humility.” I know the Lord is calling me to humble myself and be filled with Him, not with my worldly desires. The words “quiet” and “pride” also came up. I’m believing in the Almighty God to bring about these changes in me; that He would quiet my soul and teach me to cling to Him with every breath.

  21. Lindsay says:

    RECEIVE came to me after reading about my Enneagram type from a gospel centered Enneagram Instagram page. INTENTIONAL was something I have been wanting to put into practice but I just never did. I felt like my whole year last year was wasted living life passively and I don’t want to do that anymore. And FAITH for so many reasons- strengthening my FAITH journey, having more FAITH in God, people, myself etc. I can’t choose just one because they’re all so important to me to focus on changing and growing this year!

  22. Shelly Reed says:

    I am new to your site, and I’m enjoying it very much. I only started having my word for the year two years ago. The first year was transformation. This year, 2019, is restoration.

  23. Hannah says:

    My word for 2020 is Different. I want to end 2020 different than I did 2019. I’ve been struggling with contentment these past few years and I feel that I have finally begun to be content but now I want to strive to be the best version of myself and be different.

  24. Joy says:

    My word is PATIENCE – it has been coming to me often as I try and push my plans thoughts and wishes for me, my husband or my kids and not wait on the lord to bring them in his timing. And as soon as I push it he is right there to remind me I went ahead of him again 😫. I want his will and plans not mine, they will always be better in the long run!!
    I do hope that you plan to still send e-mails or is that scaling back too? Going to miss your guidance and direction, I just found you in dec.

  25. Roxy says:

    My word for 2022 will be listen and also time.

    I need to work on listening to others more as well as slowing down and being guided by God not my own timing.

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