A: We set goals together! I (Pam) have selected a word and a verse for the year each January since I was 19. When Bill and I got married, we continued this tradition.
Download our Your Best Year Yet goal-setting worksheets.
Selecting a Word for the Year helps provide focus. We each choose an area needing the most growth, help or improvement. By focusing our energies, choosing a Word for the Year, a verse, a theme and a clarifying question, we often see powerful results.
Let us share one example. During the fall of 2010, I (Pam) began to experience some physical issues in my body. In January that year, at a Christian Wellness week sponsored by First Place 4 Health, I received some test results that shook me to the core. I had been working out daily, eating what I thought was healthier in my choices, and yet my weight kept going up. I was now slapped in the face with the reality that my health was at risk unless something changed!
I knew I wanted to live long and strong for God. I also knew one of my books was going to be re-released under the new title 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy and Strong—and I felt like none of that was true of me at that moment. I was so discouraged. I instinctively picked up my Bible reading through my Logos Bible software. I scanned for verses on being STRONG! I was so discouraged and fearful so when I read this familiar passage, I dug in:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Joshua was also not feeling very strong or courageous. He too was discouraged, looking for help and hope. I felt I had found a comrade in arms! I phoned Bill and together we elected to use STRONG as our Word for the Year. We also chose Joshua 1:9 as our verse because Bill wanted to see strength increase in many areas of his life as well.
The word “strong” used here means to grow in strength – so God says it is a process! Courageous, likewise, means to make strong, bold and victorious. The word discourage is a pretty encompassing emotional word and God was saying, “don’t tremble, be in terror, be dismayed or adopt dread or fear.”
Bill and I arranged weights to spell out the word STRONG in one of our workouts. We combined the picture with the verse to create a motivating poster. We hung our hearts on the word STRONG. We adopted the motto, “Stay strong.”
So what are the results of meditating on the word STRONG and studying how God makes one strong? I grew in strength! I shed over 50 pounds; I went from walking to running; I moved from health risk to health strength. Bill made new strides in his career and his health. In my book, Becoming a Brave New Woman, I make it a goal to give women a bigger, stronger, view of God. I quote A. W. Tozer who says, “What we believe about God is the most important thing about us.”
In what area of life do you need God to make you strong?
Here are some tools to help:
Your Best Year Yet Worksheets (for couples) (for women)
Robert Herjavec, entrepreneur and star of ABC’s show Shark Tank says “a goal without a date is just a dream.” In Woman of Influence, I quote Emilie Barnes, “Goals are just dreams with deadlines.” Move your dream into reality with a goal plan and follow up. For long range success, we suggest one of our 10 Best Decisions books: for couples, for men, for women, for singles, for parents, for leaders, and for grads. Select one of these and spend 10 weeks creating a strong foundation for your year– or more importantly, for your LIFE! Once your goals are written, schedule in time you will need to accomplish those goals. Review Your Word for The Year and Your Best Year Yet goals sheets regularly to check on progress.
For more ideas on how to select and dwell in a word for the year, check out the book, My One Word by Pastor Mike Ashcroft & Rachel Olsen.
Find a word that reflects the desire of your heart for forward movement. Make it your one word prayer for the year. Find a verse that reflects the heart of this word. Then dig in to as many verses as you can find in which that word appears and watch—God will empower you to cross the finish line as a victor too!
Here are our words for 2015:
My prayer is that I will see God’s beauty and that my own life would better reflect the beauty of living by God’s design and plan. I want to enjoy the beauty of some of the fruit of living by God’s beautiful plan- our 35 happy years of marriage and our family with all our kids who love and serve Jesus, our grandkids and adding a new beautiful daughter-in law later in the year.
Since I wrote 7 SIMPLE SKILLS FOR MEN last year, this year I want to take diligent yet SIMPLE steps to see progress in some important (but not always enjoyable) areas of our life. I want to enjoy the SIMPLE delights along the path God sends me/us.
So what is the word you need to hang your heart on this year? Post it on our Bill and Pam Farrel facebook page and we