Can you remember back to the beginning of 2020? Have you grown spiritually in this past year? Can you identify areas in your life where you have changed for the better? Did you keep your New Year’s resolution in 2020?

One way you can make sure that 2021 is a year of growth in your spiritual formation is to choose one word as your area of intentional growth for this new year. Choosing one word to regularly and consistently meditate on, one word to keep in the forefront of your mind, one word to motivate you to allow God’s Spirit to change you, is a way to ensure that this time next year, you will be able to clearly identify spiritual growth.

I’ve been sharing some stories from the book, My One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen, which illustrate how impactful this practice of choosing one word for the year can be. Here’s what a woman wrote about her one word:

I am an intensely shy person. I avoid confrontation at all costs. And I only share my faith when it happens into a conversation. The idea of BOLDNESS, of being a truly bold Christian, is seriously out of my comfort zone. But it seems that this is God’s challenge for me this year. I am to actively pursue BOLDNESS and be transformed in the process. So here I go—man, this is intimidating!

This is an example of choosing a word that challenges you in areas that push you out of your comfort zone and teach you to trust God in new ways. God might put this kind of word on your heart—something that even frightens you, but you know God wants to do a new work in you in that area. For example, that word might be boundaries, where you recognize your weakness in setting appropriate boundaries in your life. That often requires some confrontation, but if you recognize your reticence and fear of setting good boundaries, that would be a great word for you in 2021—and by God’s grace, it could truly be life-changing for you.

So, start your search for that one word you will choose for 2021, and see what God wants to do for you in this new year.