One Word for the New Year

15 Jan


Ecclesiastes 9:10a: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . .”

I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago. Watching those resolutions fall like crispy leaves off a dead tree every January made the month—already a let-down after the holidays—downright depressing. Like so many people, for years between Christmas and New Year, I’d dutifully list all I was going to do differently come January first. Unfortunately, that list didn’t come with the how’s or even the why’s, just the what’s. And that list of all that was wrong with me in the previous year wasn’t really the encouragement I needed to become a better person.

Big shock, I know.

So a couple of years ago, I started a new tradition. Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, I simply choose one word to focus on for the year. Two years ago, that word was boldness. When I worried about speaking to an agent at a conference, I thought about boldness and did it anyway. When I trembled at the thought of sending a manuscript to an editor, I chose boldness and hit the send button. I did things that year I’d never have done if not for the decision I’d made to focus on boldness.

Last year, the word was faith. When I chose that word, I had no idea what was in store for me, but believe me, I’ve never had a year where my faith was tested more than it was in 2013.

This year, the word I chose was diligence. With my new freelance editing business, writing new books, editing my previous books, and marketing my published book, I’m busier than I’ve been in years. So two weeks ago today, I devoted myself to diligence, and I’m happy to say, I’m off to a good start. I’m staying diligent to my editing, writing, and promoting. I trust that if I apply diligence to my tasks, I can accomplish all God’s given me to do this year.

Two weeks into 2014, I’d like to hear from you. Did you make resolutions? Choose a word for the year? If so, how are you doing so far?

~Robin Patchen

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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in devotion, Robin Patchen


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