December 19, 2013
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.)
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!