I wonder if we’d be so gung-ho about New Year’s resolutions if January didn’t come so quickly after December.

The holiday season, with all its fun and festivities and falalas, also gives us obligations, stress, and to-do lists (or credit card bills) a mile long. And after pushing ourselves to exhaustion or gorging ourselves on red and green candies (No, YOU ate an entire large bag of peanut M&Ms in one day!), the idea of a new day, month, year is more than a breath of fresh air. It’s a gulp of oxygen as we feel ourselves drowning in year-end excess and (often unmet) expectations.

But before we start a list of all the many, many ways we’re going to be better, do more, work hard or smarter — or both! — this year, let’s take a time out. Let’s breathe in deep our clean calendars and pretty paper journals, and let’s boil all our best intentions and goals and ambitions down a little.

I don’t know for sure about you, but I know that this time of year, as we put 2015 behind us and look forward to whatever may come in 2016, I’m tempted to forget everything I’ve learned in the past twelve months (and every year before). My knees feel weak at the thought of a few more bullet points, and I get a little breathless as I organize all my hopes and dreams and plans into the most perfect outline or spreadsheet you’ve ever seen.

Yeah, it’s true. I totally get a crush on New Year’s resolutions, the bad boy of all goal-setting strategies, the one I swear off every year because he’ll just end up hurting me. That one. Yes. I fall for his charm (and the possibilities! the potential!) every time.

And that’s why I come back to One Word 365 each year.

One Word 365 is a community and a movement, encouraging us to forget resolutions and to choose JUST ONE WORD instead. The idea is that we should choose one word we can focus on every day, all year long — one word that sums up who we want to be or how we want to live. One Word 365 is what snaps me out of my dreamy resolution fog and grounds me, not just in January, but every month of the year.

Whether I’m brainstorming writing topics and business ideas, pinning recipes to try and crafts to make, or identifying all the ways I need to do more, work harder and be better, I easily lose my mind first in the more!more!more! approach to making my lists and next in the overwhelmed, I-can’t-possibly-do-any-of-this, I’m-going-to-hide-under-the-covers reaction to my lists in the face of reality.

Choosing just one word for the year keeps me focused. It keeps me sane. And it leaves me a whole lot more successful and satisfied with life. Especially because, when I force myself to funnel my hopes and goals for an entire year into a single word or phrase, I also force myself to focus on what truly matters and what will make an eternal difference in my life and the lives of those I care about.

See? Way more satisfying than pretending like this is the year I’m going to start flossing.

This year I’m choosing JOY for my word. For the past two years I’ve been working on a project that focuses on choosing joy. Prior to that, I thought I knew something about joy. I thought I was an optimistic person. But as it turns out, I’m not really. I’m realistic and that’s not exactly the same as optimistic. And optimistic isn’t necessarily the same as joyful, just like — depending on who you ask — joy isn’t the same thing as happiness.

All these thoughts and more have been ricocheting through my brain and pinging my heart every once in a while — ALL WHILE I steeped myself deeper and deeper into the idea of choosing joy no matter what my circumstances are. So even though I’ve learned a lot about joy over these past months, what I’ve learned most is that there is a lot left I don’t know.

That’s why I’m choosing joy as my word for 2016.

Are YOU choosing one word for 2016? Will you share it with us if you are?

If you’d like to learn more about the project I’ve been working on, I’d love for you to visit TheChooseJoyBook.com.

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Rooting for you as you choose joy in 2016!! My word is “See”. In order to truly see, I need to be outwardly vs. inwardly focused. I want to stop, be intentional, and actually see God in new and glorious ways. I also want to truly see others and what’s going on in their lives so that I might love them better. I want to not be in such a hurry that I can actually focus on the here and now…what is right in front of my nose. I want to truly see the pain others are suffering and lend support whether it’s across the street or across the globe. I also want to see myself as God sees me…to look at life through His lense…not my own. So that’s it. Here we go…
    Happy New Year Mary!

    • Lynn D. Morrissey

      I love this, Bev. Several years ago, my theme was VISION. It’s very similar to SEE. May the Lord give you rich insights as you see Him in every circumstance of your life in 2016.
      Happy New Year.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      I love this, Bev. Knowing we can only truly SEE if we focus on something outside ourselves is huge.

  • Madelyn Riddle

    my word is meekness

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Thanks for sharing with us, Madelyn!

  • http://www.christanperona.com Christan Perona

    My word is SUBSTANCE. I just wrote a 12-day, advent devotional series on my blog called Choosing Substance. I’m going to try to practice what I preach and do less mindless, scattered activity in 2016.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Oh, I could definitely do with more substance and less mindless, scattered activity!

    • Rebecca Jones

      I think that’s a great idea, I have really devoted myself to serving the Lord, but now and then I have to get away and find a little mindless entertainment.

  • Cindy

    Last year was my first time to be apart of this. I was amazed how my word carried through the whole year (peace). Three days prior to Christmas I had my word for 2016 “ME”.
    Taking me time … in yesterday’s sermon as my husband shared I wrote on my January calendar Psalm 90:14 as the verse for the year ….. let God satisfy me early in the morning so have joy through the day.
    Taking time for me, setting me as a priority, … I know God will be near and will shine in the broken areas and bring calm.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Good for you, Cindy! I love the way you’re focusing on God even through the lens of caring for yourself. He will surely honor that!

  • Judy

    JOY was my word of the year the first year I did it. I truly made me experience JOY in every day life. My word this year is CONNECT.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Thanks for sharing, Judy! Connect is a great word!

    • Julie Rogers

      Judy, I have been thinking and thinking on this for 2 months! And my word is connect as well. Four years ago I moved back home (home state) unwillingly and have been fighting it and a lot of other things since. Now my word for the year is connect, so that I can see the beauty around me and the connections. With faith, with family, with friends, my community, my dreams, my present, my past. I’m curious, why did you choose connect?

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    I love this, Mary! It’s so transparent and inspiring, both characteristics I look for in others’ writing and which I need for my life. Like you, I can get overcome with all the responsibilities, goals, and tasks of a New Year looming ahead. It is at once exciting and terrifying (not your word, but mine). Many years ago, I decided to try living by a theme (what is now called one word in a number of circles). Sometimes, I sense the Lord asking me to repeat a theme (I’m a slow learner), and this year, it’s BRIDE. I know–it’s a strange word. That was my theme last year, and now again in 2016. Having just celebrated my fortieth wedding anniversary, I am hardly a bride. And yet, Jesus is my Bridegroom, and I was surprised at how many Biblical references there are to bride. I love the book of Hosea, especially, to give substance (Christan’s word below) to this word. And God is inspiring me with so many points of reference to a bride….the things she does, who she is, but especially who her Bridegroom is, when we think of Christ. And talk about having joy in knowing He is my Bridegroom!! I hope that you will post here again a year from now to let us know in what particular ways the Lord manifested joy in your life. I love the week between Christmas and the New Year. For me, it has always been a gift. The calendar is clear, the guests are gone, and it is just the Lord and I. I think before we can really move ahead into the New Year, it’s good to reflect upon what the past year has been–where we moved forward or where we regressed spiritually. I often close a journal listing the highlights and lowlights of my year. Have I obeyed the Lord? Where have I failed or succeeded? How did I live out that theme? Do I really know myself, see myself, under the Holy Spirit’s search light? Do I really know Him? Granted, that will all take a lifetime, but there is something so special about reflecting back before we move forward. I would also simply add a slightly different perspective re: joy and happiness. I really don’t think there is a difference. Over the years, I had heard many teachers make this distinction, but I could never find a biblical reference point. I have been reading a marvelous book by Dr. Randy Alcorn called, simply, Happiness, and he makes a strong case for happiness being the same as joy. Not trying to argue here whatever, but simply to offer another perspective. Thank you so much, Mary, for a wonderfully encouraging post. May the Lord flood your heart with JOY in 2016.
    Happy New Year!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Lynn, thanks so much for sharing your heart with us. I love the idea of diving into our role as His bride!

  • Heidi Milton

    Joy was my word for 2015… in fact #choosejoy was my theme on Instagram and Twitter all year! It’s amazing how fulfilling it is to focus on just one word throughout all the ups and downs of a year! My word for 2016 will be TRUST… because I have a penchant for letting fear creep in — fears of all shapes and sizes. I want to just TRUST in Him — in His love, His provision, and His path for me. Blessings to you all!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      I’ve learned a bit how joy and trust often go hand in hand, so I’m sure your year spent on JOY will make this year of TRUST even richer!

  • https://www.66books.wordpress.com Courtney Lilly


    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Great word and focus, Courtney!

  • Donna

    Hi. Happy New Year! I thoroughly enjoyed this article! The word that came into my heart and mind wa kindness.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Oh yes. We could all do with a little more kindness!

  • Patricia

    God gave me the word “unhurried” back in November for the upcoming year….I believe He’s encouraging me to live more in the moments, not hurrying on to the next thing. To take time studying His Word -not treat it like something to check off my to do list for the day. Spend more time listening for His voice in my prayer time-not hurrying through all my requests…..I’m excited to see all the other reasons He gave me that word at the END of 2016…reasons He will reveal that I haven’t even expected!! He’s a good, good Father…

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      UNHURRIED – just saying that word out loud gives me a little bit more peace. Thank you for sharing this, Patricia!

  • Racquel Guevara

    Four Bible verses spoke to me as I was going through the process and my one-word for 2016 is PURPOSE. Proverbs 31 (The Proverbs 31 Woman walks in virtue, walks with purpose, walks by faith), Colossians 3:23 (Live for an audience of One), 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God), 1 Corinthians 10:8 (Run with purpose).

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Last year the Lord gave me scriptures to back up my word, and I need to seek that for this year’s word as well. Thank you for this reminder, Racquel!

  • Toni Carringer

    My word is compassion. I’ve been struggling the pass few months and this word keeps coming back to me.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Toni, it’s a brave and wise thing to lean in to the thing you are struggling with. Praying you find compassion for others and yourself on this journey!

  • Maureen Hager

    My word is PURPOSE. Blessings for a Spirit-filled New Year!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Thank you for sharing your word with us, Maureen!

  • Mary Bowman Featherstone

    My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. Jn. 10:27 Asking Jesus to speak a word over the coming year is so life giving. Being still and listening for His answer requires that I listen until I hear His voice. He then begins to repeat that word or theme throughout the year in various ways. So personal and intimate. He alone knows what is to come and what I’ll need to abide with Him through it all. I heard ‘trust’. His heart is for me no matter the circumstances. Amazing grace. Thanks for sharing this! Happy New Year! Mary

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Yes, yes. God IS FOR US, no matter what our temporary circumstances look like. Trust is a great word, Mary – thank you for sharing it with us!

  • http://www.Trueandfaithful.net Lisa Appelo @True and Faithful

    Love this! I skipped one word last year but this year, God has been impressing on me my need to obey immediately whenever He speaks. My one word: RESPOND. Cannot wait to see what, where, how God leads.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Lisa, I love that you’ve chosen RESPOND instead of OBEY. A few years ago I chose OBEY and it didn’t necessarily drive me to respond. I don’t know; the words are similar but not the same. I’m thinking in circles right now, but I guess the point is – you’ve made me think about this! :)

  • karen

    God has made it clear that “steadfast” is my word for this upcoming year. 1 Cor 15:58. I was to stop the roller coaster and be steadfast and consistent….day in and day out!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Great word, Karen. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Barb from CNY

    This year my word is “Enough”. As in I am enough in God, I have enough stuff, I do enough. I am trying to simplify and rest this year, and hopefully this word will remind me that things are ok just as they are….I don’t need to buy more or do more or be more than I am.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Oh, yes, “enough” can mean so many good things. Thank you for sharing this with us, Barb!

    • Nancy Ridder

      I chose Enough as my word several years ago–exactly the same perspectives as you have and found it very helpful. I still have that word on my office wall!

      • Barb from CNY

        Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Miranda Miller

    I’m choosing hope because going through the ordeal with my husband (he’s wrongfully imprisoned) I tend to lose hope that he will ever get out, but without God we should never lose hope

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Miranda, I can’t fathom your situation, but I’m so inspired by your commitment to hope nevertheless. Some of the other commenters today have shared great scriptures to support this word. Praying He shows you “the thrill of hope” this year!

      • Miranda Miller

        Thank you so much for the prayer!! I’ll look at the other commentators!!

  • Daphne Massaro

    My One Word is Hear
    Scripture: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24 NIV
    Webster Definistion: “to listen to with attention”

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Listening WITH ATTENTION – I could definitely do more of that!

  • http://pelicanpromise.blogspot.com/ CHERRILYNN BISBANO

    Great post. I have Chose Joy as my Facebook page photo. My word is Focus. As a person with ADHD I find myself chasing squirrels (they are cute). God has been helping me to FOCUS. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Focus can be so hard – or, as I think of it, so slippery! I’m encouraged to hear that God is helping you in this area!

  • Deb

    Joy was my word for the second half of 2015. My husband passed away in June, and I needed to find joy to balance the grief. This year’s word is “trust,” as I need to stop worrying and trust in God.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Deb, I’m sorry for your loss. Praying 2016 is a year of more joy than you can imagine and an increased trust in God.

  • Connie Starkey

    I have started a journal called Finding Joy – so we share that word “JOY”. Too often we overlook the the small joys and treasures that are presented in our day-to-day lives. In 2016 I plan to discover these blessings and praise Jesus for how rich I am.

    I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. ~ Psalm 34:1

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Day to day treasures – I like that perspective, Connie! :)

  • Beth Hardinger


    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Great word, Beth! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Meghan Gorecki

    My word for 2016 (after a lot of anxious striving/worrying over Just the Right One) came to mind after listening to O Holy Night: A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
    THAT is why I’m choosing Hope for 2016.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      This lyric has popped up a lot lately for me, and I love the juxtaposition of a weary world with hope and rejoicing. Hope is a great focus for 2016!

  • Marilyn

    Last year I chose the word Stronger and will continue with it this year. While I have grown stronger in some areas, I still have work to do. I picked a scripture each week of 2015 and for 2016, I will focus on these scriptures as I continue my Stronger Journey. I am exited!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Wow, Marilyn – a scripture for each week will certainly keep you focused on what God is teaching you about your word! Great idea!

  • Sarah Paz

    I love having a focus word for the year. In the past my word has been NOURISH. This year it is LISTEN. These words whisper to my heart, not what to do, but how to live it.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Sarah, I love that – how to live, not what to do. Beautiful – and wise!

  • Julie

    My word for 2016 is purpose. I find I can go through a day without a sense of purpose, and this year I have bought a Passion Planner to help me cultivate purpose in several areas of my life.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Julie, I love that you’ve not only chosen a word but decided on a strategy to make it happen! So smart!!

  • Winston

    The first word that comes to mind this year is Abba. I truly desire to look to Him in everything; in every relationship, action and moment.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Great word, Winston. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Lynn

    My word is RESTORATION believing God can restore my family and bring my adult sons back to their childhood faith. Isaiah 61:1-4,7,8,9.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      A beautiful and worthy prayer, Lynn, and a great focus for 2016!

  • Sarah H

    My word for this year is BE!

    BE present, a blessing, of good cheer, prayerful, patient, joyful, an encourager, strong, thankful, bold. Just to name a few! I’m excited to see how the Lord will use this word in my life in 2016!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Love the focus on BE instead of DO. :)

  • Suzy

    I love reading what everyone’s words are – it always inspires and encourages me.

    My word is FOLLOW… because following involves so much I need in my Christian walk right now – it involves seeking direction, listening, staying close, trusting, obeying… and I think I will find a lot more as the year goes along!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Me, too, Suzy – love hearing about everyone’s words!! Follow is a GREAT one.

  • Cris

    My word for the year is Gratitude. I want to be aware each day of God’s saving grace and love

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Yes, yes – me too!

  • Kim Herron Ridgway

    I’m trying to figure out what would be a word I could make up that incorporates “obedient” and “be still”. Besides trying to pray and being in the word daily, I also need to be still. “Intentional” maybe?

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Hmmmm. Rest? Alert? Listen? Respond? Receive? I’m not sure what combines those two ideas! Will you share with us when you decide?

      • Kim Herron Ridgway

        RESPOND it is. I can choose how I respond to certain circumstances. I can be mindful how I do respond to my days and time. Thank you.

  • PamC

    Thank you. I started choosing a word 3 years ago now & have been amazed at how they flow together in my life. 1st was Strength, then this year has been courage and now 2016’s word is Obedient. Last year I had trouble understanding or hearing what one word the Lord was calling me to. This year it came through loud & clear in October. Exciting! Can’t wait for your book.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      I love the way strength leads to courage, which leads to obedience. Beautiful!

  • http://www.cranberryteatime.com/ Rachel Lundy

    My word for 2016 is also joy! I am currently reading several books about joy, gratitude, happiness, and contentment. I have a few more books about joy that I will be reading next year. Joy is a theme that keeps finding me, so this year, with all of the changes my family is facing, I want to go through them with joy!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Rachel, I really admire your decision to get ahead of the changes coming for you and your family with joy. So wise!!

  • Rebecca Jones

    I love the idea of focusing on one word each day, I’ll mention that on my blog. I don’t make resolutions. I probably never will drink enough water and I can’t eat just one BBQ chip, but I can love Jesus and my word is rest. It’s funny that we have to work at getting to the rest of Lord, that supernatural rest. Blessings in 2016!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Well, now, really – who can eat just one BBQ chip?! ;)

  • http://livethegoodnews.com Crystal Hall

    God gave me “remain.” and last year I had “trust.” Remain is not a word I was excited about, but I am learning to embrace it. For me, it’s about remaining where I am in life right now and continuing to do what God has called me to do. Love your word this year Mary!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      There is great strength and courage in remaining, Crystal. I hope you’ll keep us posted about what this looks like for you in 2016!

  • Stefanie

    This is my third year in choosing a word. My word this year is “reach”. I feel like God has given me this word to start reaching out to others and share his love.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Reach is a great word, Stefanie. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Mimi Dublin Knowles

    Hi, Mary, & anyone else who reads this comment. :)

    I received the related email for this post a little while ago, & I’ve been pondering & praying about the word that God wants for me this year, &, at first, I was thinking about JOY since I need to be more joyful. Then I thought about THANKFUL or GRATITUDE, which’re related to each other, since I’ve been learning to have these in my life over the past several years, which’ve been extremely hard for me.

    After a while the words FAITH & TRUST kept coming to mind. I need more of both. While I’ve been learning to live with more of both in my life, the one that I need most of all is TRUST. I have faith & do need to be more faithful to God, & one way that I can work on this is by working on TRUSTing Him a lot more.

    So my word for 2016 is TRUST, & the verse that I’m making my verse for 2016 is Isaiah 41:10 ~ “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (ESV)

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      TRUST and the accompanying verse are beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us!

      • Mimi Dublin Knowles

        You’re very welcome, Mary, & thank-you for your kind words. :)

  • http://www.messymom.com Messy Mom

    I love how you describe your enthusiasm for new year’s resolutions. I am the exact same way! My word this year is NEXT.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Oooooh, next sounds exciting! Can’t wait to hear about that!!

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/vol-au-vent/ Kiki

    For 2015 I had SMILE and today when in town visiting my mother in law, a 2 men TV mini-team wandered through the streets and asked me my ‘goals’ for 2016. I told them that I’m not taking the risk of promising myself something I wouldn’t hold but that yesterday, Sunday, I had one word coming up to my mind several times and I decided that that one word was my 2016 motto: JOY… same as yours – but that’s OK! :)

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Love it, Kiki!

      • https://www.flickr.com/photos/vol-au-vent/ Kiki

        Dear Mary,
        Today, on May 11/16, I think once more with gratitude to this ‘motto of one word’ to accompany us throughout a whole year…. I not only look for one joy per day but the set goal (easily done!) is at least FIVE JOYS – minimal as they may be in themselves, they are reason to be thankful, joyful, filled with courage and smiling into the day/moment/minute.
        Love you for the post…. Kiki

  • http://jeanmariebauhaus.com/ Jean Bauhaus

    I didn’t consciously choose a theme for 2015, but looking back the one that emerged was SURRENDER. For the new year, as I looked back over my life I realize how much of it has been ruled by fear and anxiety, so I was already planning to declare 2016 to be my Year Without Fear. Thinking about how to sum that up, I was going to say that my word for the new year is TRUST, but after praying about it I think my word for this year is supposed to be LEAN. As in, lean into God–trust Him, rest in Him, let Him carry me when I need it.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Leaning into God sounds like a GREAT way to have a year without fear!

  • Doris2

    I had already had chosen this word, So now I think it was meant to be! Now gettin’ ready to be joying this new year. My verse is Romans 15:13

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Sounds like a great plan to me, Doris!

  • Kristy Lynn Hanson

    As we come to the close of 2015, a very difficult year for me, and begin to look towards 2016 the word that has made a resounding presence on my spirit is the word Thrive! Last few I struggled with finances, being out of work more than working, and over the last few years my walk with God has fallen away due to all the struggles I have been facing, as well as a falling out of the church I attended before my husband passed away in 2012. I have been reluctant to step out and find a new church because of the hurt I suffered before and because I never fully felt accepted as I was even though I was active in women’s ministry and worship. As a single mom I have always focused on making sure my daughters are confident and tried to raise them up in church so that they would be able to succeed in life and in faith. However I didn’t worry about whether I was succeeding in my own life, it was always about everyone else, and figured as long as we were getting by than we were ok. God has been teaching me that I am worthy too, worthy to make a difference in this world, worthy to do more than survive, worthy to succeed by His standards and so my one word for 2016 is Thrive! I will thrive in my walk with God, I will thrive in getting healthier, I will thrive in finding a job I love, I will thrive in making new friendships and building relationships, I will thrive in finding a church community to become a part of, I will thrive in learning to love who I am and in finding the things that make me happy and fulfilled.

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Praying you thrive fully in 2016, Kristy!

  • proudgrits11

    I’ve chosen one word every year–this is my 5th! This year is “gather.” Gather together everything I’ve been collecting, and gather women together. I did joy as my first word!! :)

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Ohhhh, I love that. I know I shouldn’t envy someone else’s calling or word, but I hope someday my word for the year is GATHER. :)

  • http://sarahcoleman.com.au/ Sarah Coleman

    My word is no excuses. Two words with a one word sentiment. Leave it all on the pavement. Give it my all. Every. Single. Day. I’m pumped for it!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Sounds awesome, Sarah!!

  • Emily

    My word for 2016 is SURRENDER. I have been a follower of Christ for a long time but God has recently shown me some areas in my life that I have not fully surrendered to Him. It is time!!

    • http://www.givinguponperfect.com/ Mary Carver

      Whew! That is a brave word, Emily. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • helensteer

    I would like to choose the word LOVE for this year ahead in my first time of doing this. I want to be ready to express love to myself and to others more readily and in a way that will reflect Jesus in my live. the words of a hymn or chorus come to mind as my prayer, that God will teach me to love as He loves and do what He would do.

  • Ashley Fields

    My word for 2016 is fearless. As someone who lives in and battles with a spirit of fear on a daily basis, this year’s one word both excites me and scares me.

  • Berta Hartzell

    Mary, I am with you! After spending time pouring over Sara Frankl’s words and getting to know her through your words in your book, Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, I couldn’t choose anything but JOY! Last year my word was SIMPLIFY…and my husband and I did just that over the course of last year. I love the idea behind One Word. I bought and read Ashcraft and Olsen’s book My One Word a couple of years ago. I am tickled pink to be a part of One Word 365 this year.

  • Trina Sortman Miller

    I’m also choosing JOY as my word for 2016! 2015 was a year of grief for me, after losing my dad, who was my my best friend, on November 24, 2014. I’m praying for restoration of the true JOY that comes only from the Savior, one day at a time

  • Sally

    Mary, I chose a phrase to focus me this year: simple is satisfying. Joy was my word last year. I stenciled JOY on a canvas then hung it above my desk to remind me everyday. It worked!

  • Beverly

    My word for 2016, is INTENTIONAL. I need to learn to be real and present in my walk with Christ. I need to work on relationships with family and friends, and to be intentional in those areas. I need to learn how to be who I am, and not worry about what others think. (As long as I’m BEING who God wants me to be!). I want to be a DOER OF THE WORD, not just a hearer. (James 1:22).

  • Jill Ann Loya

    Every year I choose one word that I believe God would have me focus on-for 2016 it is GRACE. I am looking forward to growing in grace and lavishly extending grace to all I encounter. I have a new journal where I will memorize scriptures regarding Grace and am looking forward to seeing what God will do this year in & through me!

  • Beth Williams


    My word for 2016 is contentment. I need to be more content with my circumstances and surroundings. I need to look up, around and outside myself to put my petty problems in light of others misery! My focus needs to be on the needs of others and I need put myself in their shoes!
    Blessings :)

  • Megan

    My one word is Authentic. I want to be real and raw when it comes to my relationship with God.

  • Amanda H

    Love your word for 2016! I’m picking the word “Faith” for 2016. I always thought I had a lot of FAITH in my everyday life. Faith in God, my family, my country, & my friends. Turns out I need to ask if I have any FAITH in myself that God will take all my worry & stress away in his time.
    I want to to truly feel God’s plan for me & watch it play out in my life.

  • Beth Biskup

    Last year when you had the chose a word I put a question on FB to give me one word to live by in 2015. I had been battling deep grief and depression and having been a poetry writer for years I knew the power of words. I took many of the words and wrote them in paint on the glass of an empty picture frame and hung it by my mirror. I have read this list many times this past year. I have already bought a frame for 2015 and plan on writing Jesus in the middle and many words to describe his unfailing love for me to remember in 2016. That one word project helped me grow in faith and unimaginable love for Jesus!

  • Barb

    my word for 2016 is prayer. It seems like a make it a priority but often get caught up in the business of life. I choose this word to remind me I can say a prayer in a moment

  • AJ Dent

    My Word for 2016 is ENJOY

  • Char

    My word this year will be CLEAR. My head is swimming in chaos homeschool, bible reading, organizing the house and my time. Schedules, social activities. You name it, it’s crammed in my head, overwhelming me and turning me into one crabby wife and mother. I want to clear my head, my spaces, and my time. Bring it back to zero and slowly reintegrate things. I’m hoping I will feel more clear.

  • http://outoftheboxmama.com Allison Whing

    My word is “dare.” It’s a bit out there for me but I’m blogging a bit about why I’m choosing it. Mostly because I think this year will require boldness on my part. Dare to dream, dare to hope, dare to write.

  • pmdteapots

    I am choosing “beauty” because it will direct my gaze outside of myself and keep it on the Lord — the maker of all things beautiful. He alone can help me see all that crosses my path as full of beauty. In His strength alone I can leave a trail of beauty as well.

  • Jayni

    My word is forgiveness. I need to give it and receive it.

  • Robin Hallmark

    My word for the year is MOVE. Staying on point with this word will help me reach goals I have not even thought of. So here goes, I am going to move!

  • Lisa Harris

    This was a good thing for me last year, I am picking the same word because it’s been difficult learning it. #listen #oneword365

  • Nina Recarey Obier

    My word is Grace! For me that means, God, Relationships, Abundance, Cheerfulness, and Ease!

  • Vicki Dickeson

    I have chosen the word “Redeemed” for 2016. There are parts of my story that have felt wasted to date; parts I wasn’t ready to talk about. My word for 2015 was “Ready” and it’s a bit ironic that at the end of that chapter, I finally *feel* ready to move into new areas, and to see the hard parts of my story “Redeemed”. Thank you for this post; it has confirmed my need to choose one word and focus this year. Happy New Year to you and your family as well. :)

  • Jennifer Atchley White

    I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and I received the devotional for Christmas. My word this year is Eucharisteo, or Thankfulness. I think that learning how to be truly thankful this year for every easy and/or hard circumstance will help me experience true Joy and see His beauty in all things. This is what my heart longs for.

  • Joseph

    My word is help. What does it mean?

  • Janice McGuire

    I would choose COPE.. Knowing has a purpose for all that happens to us. I have had to COPE with a Sister in a nursing home for 13 yrs. with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, colostomy