This small little book has had a large impact on me and those around me in the two weeks that I have been reading it. If you have come within ten feet of me you have probably heard something about it, if not a direct quote read to you from the book itself!
I think we all like to make resolutions because we really do want to be better people. Unfortunately most of us forget about those resolutions shortly after we begin. My One Word is meant to help focus your good intentions. The premise is that you pick one word and focus on it and its meaning for an entire year. For example instead of making a resolution to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, read your Bible daily, etc. you may choose a word like consistency. You would then focus on what being consistent is all about and applying it to your life. Then presumably the other areas would fall into place.
I've only been concentrating on my word for about a week now, but already I am amazed at how focused it is making me become. Whenever I run across the word I've chosen it makes me stop and contemplate its meaning and context and then I apply it to what I'm learning.
There are a few things that stand out for me in this book. The first is that this is meant to be a process. You aren't expected to pick your word right away; in fact you are encouraged to spend time in prayer and study before settling on your one word. At the conclusion to each chapter is a section entitled Reflect that gives you areas to think about and journal through during the year. Scattered throughout the book are examples of other people's one word with explanations on why they picked the word. I enjoyed reading the process that each person went through picking each of their words.
There is a small group video and discussion option that I think would be wonderful to go through with some close friends. Even if you don't do this study with a group be sure to check out the website and other resources available at www.MyOneWord.org
A huge portion of the population has made New Year's resolutions, only to see them disappear like vapor in the early weeks of each new year. Pastor Mike Ashcraft began 2004 by writing one word in his journal, and the decision to meditate on that one word throughout the coming year. In January of 2007, he challenged the members of his church to each select a word upon which to focus that year. He titled the series and the project "My One Word" and the experiment quickly began to show results. People were reporting success with spiritual growth and change as they prayerfully focused on their word. As the years have passed, My One Word has become a movement.
In this new book, authors Ashcraft and Olsen talk about the process of selecting a word that has meaning in your life and what you want to become. You can follow the steps given to carefully and prayerfully select your word as well as choose scripture to back up the change you want to implement. After choosing the word, advice is then given on how to focus and keep that word in front of you for the year, how to invite the Holy Spirit into the project, and how journaling will be a tool to help. Also included in the book are many personal stories - testimonials of words chosen, and how God used that word to achieve results - maybe not the results the individual expected, but definitely Spirit-led. In addition to the help and encouragement offered in the stories shared, there is now a website where you can go to be part of the "My One Word" community. (www.myoneword.org)
If you would like to try something new this year, I'd recommend this book and method. You don't have to wait for another New Year's Eve to begin - there's no time like the present!
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.