My Word for 2018

Inside: A word for the new year is like a compass, guiding you where you need to go for the next twelve months. Here is the story behind choosing my word for 2018.

My word for 2018.
Embracing my word for the year.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Word

I have been doing the word for the year habit since 2005, although for probably the first dozen years I’d get a phrase–a command of sorts–instead of one word. The first phrase I ever got was “Don’t compare yourself to others,” to which I literally answered, “Do I compare myself to others more than other people compare themselves to others, God?”


Then the irony hit me. Obviously!

Since then I’ve had good years, bad years, and many in between, but the word for the year has been like a compass, helping navigate both the still waters and Tsunamis of life.

Normally I get my word the end of December, though last year it came in November. Sometimes it’s been as late as the first week in January. Or, rather, what I consider late, which is my own perception. God is never late. Last year’s word was the first actual single word, and it was “accelerate.” Frankly, I thought maybe I had made a mistake because after losing Dad, I couldn’t fathom how I could have such an exciting direction for my life and at the same time be faced with grieving. But our heavenly Father is amazing, and the word “accelerate” categorized so many facets of my life in 2017.

So then comes late fall, and, of course, I’m starting to wonder what’s in store for the next year. The word “prolific” came at me one day with such a vengeance that I thought maybe I’d gotten my word very early. It was still October, after all. But I filed it away. Too soon. About a month later I’m thinking how I needed more consistency in my life, and I had a subtle stirring, enough to wonder if maybe that could be my word. But I was rooting for prolific.

Fast forward to a week ago, and in my dreams that night the word “trailblazer” appeared. I was completely captivated by the word. How cool! I thought. Except that anyone who knows me is making a squinty-eyed face about now. Not exactly a term that has ever fit me. But you never know.

Thoroughly confused, we headed off to church, and I told the Lord how confused I was about what my word should be. So I asked Him if He would have someone use one of those three words from the pulpit that night, so I’d know which one was my word for 2018. Our pastor was teaching on prayer, a subject I’m pretty jazzed up about anyway, when all of a sudden he was comparing being consistent in prayer with being inconsistent. He said the word about four times.

My reaction? “Dang it!” (Pause.) “Darn. Darn it, darn it, dang it!”


In life what we need is not always what we want. So I’ve asked God to help me embrace my word for 2018. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Yeah, you probably already figured that.

Until next post, I’ll be practicing consistently being consistent.

Welcome 2018.
Crossing into 2018.

Do you do the word for the year? If so, what’s yours? Tell us about it in the comments.

Related posts:

Taking Inventory of 2017

The Useful Art of Daydreaming

Finding my Pace: Slowing Down to Enjoy Life






2 Responses

  1. Cheryl Carter

    I do NOT have a word for the year. This is so cool! I have an “animal spirit” for the year, a starfish. But I’ve never tried having a word… Guess God and I are going to have to have a chat when I crawl in bed. LOVED this post! <3


      Thanks, Calen! You have got to tell me what your word is when you get it! 😀

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