I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, December 2, 2011

Don't Make New Year's Resolutions: Choose a Word for 2012

Yes, I know it's December 2.
I should be blogging about Christmas.
But my thoughts -- some of them -- are turned toward January 2012.
Fast forward with me for just a moment. I'll let you get back to your Christmas carols and tinsel and lights, I promise.
2012 will be the seventh year since I gave up the whole New Year's resolutions rigmarole. Last January, I blogged about how much I didn't miss compiling a list of my dos and don'ts for the year, knowing I'd most likely lose it before mid-February. It's so much easier to focus on one word for the entire year than try to keep track of an entire list.
What were my words in years past?

  • 2006: gratitude (I kept a gratitude journal and found my "glass-half-empty" attitude revolutionized.)
  • 2007: simplify (A severe illness turned this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.)
  • 2008: content -- as in "be content with such things as you have" (Hebrews 13:5) (I bought a lot less that year!)
  • 2009 & 2010: forgiveness (I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness.)
  • 2011: hope (A word I clung to when life hurt or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. There were times I could have asked "Why?" Instead, I asked myself, "Are you going to abandon hope?" My answer: No.)
As in years past, I started searching for the word for 2012 back in September. I started listening. For what? I listened for repetition as I prayed. For repetition as I read the Word. When God repeats himself to me, I sit up and take notice. 

The word for 2012? Trust.

To be honest, that's a scary word for me: trust.

And then, just the other day I thought of this equation: Hope + Trust = Faith.

I haven't settled on the accompanying Scripture for 2012's word. (There's always an accompanying verse.) And there's always a visual of some sort too -- a photo, an ornament ... something that is a visual reminder of that year's word. Haven't found that yet. But I am confident I will. 

So ... before you turn your focus back to checking your Christmas list, before you focus on now ... consider this invitation: Don't make any New Year's resolutions this year.

Instead, pick a word. Just one word. And then focus on embracing that word, living that word, for the next 365 days starting January 1, 2012.

I'll be back in January to check and see how many of you decided to choose a word for 2012! I promise you, it's life changing.

Merry Christmas!

Beth K.Vogt

*The photo for this post is a picture of a recent "Praying in Color" session of mine. I've really enjoyed praying in color since I learned about it this summer. For more information, check out the book Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. You can also check out her blog


  1. I agree...this is a much so much more life transforming than the resolution bit. Thanks for sharing!

    A Miniature Clay Pot

  2. Choosing a word. Great idea. I'll be praying/thinking about what word God wants to give me for the new year. Loved this!

  3. Love this concept. I'm going to start looking for my 2012 word today.

  4. Wonderful, Beth. And I love the prayer art--it adds so much.
    Yes, I'm tuning my ears, alsom & A. W. Tozer taught me, listening expectantly.

  5. I'm so glad this post is encouraging some of you to at least ponder (Couldn't resist!) a word for 2012!
    And yes, Dee, that's something I drew during a recent "praying in color" session. I added a brief note about that to the blog.

  6. Loved learning about my word this year. Still not sure what my word for next year is. So glad you introduced me to this idea. :)

    I know that God will be a gracious teacher for you in this coming year.

  7. Fellow author and friend, Keli Gwyn, and I are on the same wavelength today! Read her post over at her blog: http://keligwyn.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-1-tip-for-successfully-establishing-a-new-habit/

  8. Love this alternative to New Year's Resolutions. Going to have to ponder a word for myself and an accompanying verse...hmmm...Thanks for sharing yours, Beth, along with your past words!

  9. Looking forward to hearing the results of your pondering, Melissa!

  10. Thanks for the reminder to pick a word. I've had "Hope" and "Joy" but it's time for a new one. I've never picked a New Year's word before. They "somehow" just become my word for that year.

    Great post, Beth. I'll be listening....

  11. I've been doing one word since 2009. 2009 was the Year of Change. 2010 was the Year of New Opportunities. 2011 was the Year of Hope.

    For 2012, I seriously considered either Trust or Believe, but then something my editor said caused me to ponder a new word. That same word was reaffirmed during our ladies luncheon yesterday. 2012 will be the Year of Faith.