ASSESSING IMPACT

journaling

You chose your word for a reason. If you have kept your word in front of you this year, you probably recall those initial reasons for choosing it.

I can look back at my journal and see mine – my hopes and dreams for my year with my one word. I can also see the fear that so quickly rises when we first think about change.

As the year takes shape, so does your one word. Your word begins to reach into areas of your life that you may not have expected when you picked it. This is one of the surprising by-products of using your word as lens.

So as the year comes to a close and we think back over our time with our one words, let’s take inventory. Let’s see what we experienced and what we learned. I use two questions in my journal to assess my year with my word.

 

1) In what ways has your ONE WORD impacted your life in ways that you expected?

You may need to look back over your journal if you’ve kept one. My word was SHAPE and so my expectations had to do with my own personal formation. The clay in the potter’s hands, and allowing God to mold me into the SHAPE that seems best to Him (Jeremiah 18:4).
I can see both the victories and the struggles as I worked to remain submissive to God’s hand on my life. My emphasis was that I would allow God to SHAPE me and help me resist being SHAPED by the expectations of others.

That brought rich learning into my personal walk with Christ and my spiritual formation. But my word spread out in some deeper and more challenging ways than I expected. This, I discovered, from answering the second question.

 

2) In what ways has your ONE WORD impacted your life in ways you did not expect?

My word SHAPED me in a most unexpected way. It wound up pushing me into becoming a bolder and more stratgic leader. Before, I would too often move into problem-solving mode without first clearly defining the issue(s). Or I’d occasionally shrink back and not put my hands on the problem at all.

SHAPE caused me to see leadership challenges and demands through a different lens. I began to approach challenges by first giving them some SHAPE – defining what the true nature of the problem was, and what the best outcome would be, before putting my hands on the problem to SHAPE its outcome.

SHAPE framed the way I see leadership. My one word challenged me to lead with boldness. (I blogged about that process here.)

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I want to encourage you to take some time as 2013 comes to close to examine the impact of My One Word in your life this year. How did it change you, in both expected and unexpected ways?

Email us, comment, or post on our Facebook page and let us know the impact of your word on your life in 2013. We’d love to hear and perhaps share your story with others!

  • What started as a desire to start living out of a grateful heart, suddenly morphed into letting gratitude shape the way I saw my world. As it did, it began pushing me in a direction I never saw coming. It sparked life-long passions that had been hidden from plain view. It lit a fire in my soul and charged me to the greatness I felt God calling me to. My word then became GREATFULL – using gratitude to pursue greatness.

    Not only am I a more grateful person, I feel alive as I pursue the passion God has placed on my heart.

    This year is the most remarkable experience I’ve had with MOW to date and I’m so incredibly encouraged as I look into 2014.

    It’s time to TRUST!

    • “using gratitude to pursue greatness” – that is awesome, Matt!

  • Last year I selected my one word after I noticed the word all was all around me. I then did a quickBiblegateway search and discovered the word allwas used many, many times in the Bible. So, I designed the art above and committed myself to this little three letter word … all. I shared the many Biblical uses of the word on my social media channels. But then, one day I noticed this little word had also quietly worked it’s way into my vocabulary. I was speaking in ALL terms ALL the time. Lately this little has worked it’s way into my music choices. Whenever I see it my soul thinks in awe of all. Yesterday, I noticed the word All in an Old Negro Primitive Baptist Hymn Book …

    Brethren, we have met to worship
    And adore the Lord our God:
    Will you pray with ALL your power,
    While we try to preach the word?
    ALL is vain, unless the Spirit
    Of the Holy One comes down;
    Let us pray that holy manna
    May be scatter’d ALL around.

    Did you see that, three times!

    • ALL has clearly become a lens for you to look through – that’s terrific, Sonya.

  • http://nickiedwards.wordpress.

    My one word for 2013 was “strength”. I’d love you to read how much of an impact it has had on my life over the past 12 months. I’m so excited about my one word for 2014 – “speak”. http://nickiedwards.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/faster-higher-stronger/

    • Encouraging post. Sounds like God-given strength clearly defined your year. Keep writing!

  • Nicnamered

    This past year has been difficult. My One Word was “mercy”. Little did I know how much mercy I was going to need to show. My daughter was sexually assaulted and told no one for 6 months. If it were not for my one word (and scripture to back it up) keeping me accountable for my actions I don’t know where I’d be right now. I kept remembering how much mercy God shows me when I sin and I was able to forgive and show mercy towards others. I am hopeful for 2014 and thank you for your book and all that you do to help others grow closer in their walk with the Lord.

    • So very sorry to hear what an awful thing you and your daughter walked through in 2013. We’ve paused and prayed for her today. God so often gives us a one word He knows we will need in the year ahead. We’re grateful your one word lens of MERCY helped you process and respond. May 2014 be a year of healing and growth.