One Word 2018


Happy New Year!  I hope 2018 has got off to a good start for you!

As usual, the start of a new year is a time for making resolutions, setting goals, and planning for the year ahead.

Just over two years ago I first discovered the idea of selecting a single word as a focus for the year.  I gave it a try with “surrender” in 2016 and then chose “voice” for 2017.  In both cases I found these words challenging but really helpful.  I have learned a lot, and they have carried throughout the year much better than resolutions I have made in the past, which tend to be forgotten after the first month or so.

As I have been thinking and praying about a word for 2018, the word that has kept coming back to me is “focus.”

As usual, I’m not sure exactly where the word is going to take me during the year, but some definitions of focus which appeal to me include “directed attention” and “a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding.”  Here are a few initial thoughts on why I was drawn to this word:

Focus on God: I have been reminded increasingly over the last couple of months about how important it is to focus on God, that he needs to be at the centre of my vision and my thinking, that time with him reading, praying, and listening is so important, that nothing should be allowed to get in the way of that, and that if my focus is truly on God everything else will fall into place.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”  (Matthew 6:33 NLT)

Focus on what really matters:  Worry has been too much of a distraction lately.  It has always been a natural tendency of mine and it is far too easy to get caught up in anxiety over things that will probably never happen, or which are not worth the time and energy I devote to thinking about them.  I need to be intentional about turning my thoughts away from these things and onto God.

“We don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on what cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”  (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT)

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”  (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)

Focus on what God is calling me to do:  I think lately I have been trying to do too much.  It is hard because there are so many things I enjoy or want to be involved in, and I don’t like to turn down opportunities, but at times it has left me tired and stressed, with things I once enjoyed becoming a burden.  I think this year I need to be better at seeking God’s will and saying no, even to good things, if they are not what he is calling me to at the moment.

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a safe path for your feet; stay on the safe path.  Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”  (Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT)

“I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT)

It will be interesting to see how this word plays out.

What about you?  Do you have a word for 2018 or any specific goals?  I’d love it if you’d share in the comments!       


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46 thoughts on “One Word 2018

  1. Enjoyed reading your choice for a word for 2018. “Focus”, was the word I chose for 2017. I needed to live life in the moment instead of racing ahead. My attention needed to be in the present, not the future all the time. The word served me well. My 2018 word is “inspire”. To be inspired and be inspiring. I must say so far, it’s been good. Read inspiring words this morning. God’s blessings be with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mar, thanks for visiting! I’m glad you found “focus” to be a helpful word. I definitely need to stop my mind racing ahead at times. Hope you have an inspiring 2018!


    1. Happy New Year, Anne! Surrender is a great word. It was my word in 2016 and while it wasn’t a word I wanted, I look back and am very grateful for how God used it.


      1. Thanks for sharing your post about your word, Anne! So glad this inspired you to think about this, and I hope you have a great year of surrender!


    1. Thanks, Joanne! I’m so glad you were blessed by the songs and verses, and It’s great that we have the same word for the year. It’s always good to journey together and I look forward to learning from your insights too!


  2. I love your word for 2018, Lesley. We definitely need to focus on God more. Worry is a natural tendency of mine, too. God is so patient with us, isn’t He? The song – Jesus, Be My Centre – speaks the deep longings of my heart, too. I am not picking a one word this year, but I’m always interested in what you and others have. I hope you will again update us with your thoughts on it throughout the year in your monthly reflections. I love that. Have a Blessed 2018! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Trudy! I’m glad you liked the song, and I’m definitely hoping that focusing more on God will help me to worry less. Thanks for your encouragement about the monthly reflections. I wasn’t sure whether to continue doing that this year but it’s good to know that you liked them, and it has been a useful way to keep my word for the year in mind and reflect on what I’ve been learning. Happy New Year to you, and I hope you have a great 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your word for the year, focus, and the applications you’re making. So good, especially the part about doing what God is calling you to do. (and not more!)

    If I choose a word, it will be “loved,” but this year, I’m going with something Ann Voskamp recommends on her blog: to choose a verb for each month (she has a list) and personalize it. For January, it’s “Embrace.” I want to embrace smallness. Be faithful in the small things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Betsy! I like that idea of choosing a different focus for each month, and yes, remembering that we are loved is so important. Hope you have a great 2018!


  4. Lesley, Focus is such a great word! I considered this word for me this year too. But, God showed me another one. I love that you’ve got some definitions to work with. I haven’t had time to really dig into my word yet, but I’m so eager to begin learning about my word: Hope. I look forward to reading about the things God’s teaching you through the year.

    Thank you for sharing music. Your selections always complement what you’re sharing here.

    Hugs, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! Music always helps things to stick in my head better. Look forward to seeing how both of our words work out this year! Love and hugs to you!


  5. Hi Lesley,
    I love the word focus and your photo of the camera! That word has so many applications, doesn’t it? Focusing on God and others should be our goal yet often our focus is turned to things that offer little value and only serve to distract us. Wishing you all the best in 2018, friend! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Valerie! Yes, it is far too easy to get distracted and focus on things that don’t really matter. Choosing where we focus is important. Hope you have a great 2018!


  6. Oh yes, Jesus be the center.

    Amen, Lesley. Just wanted I needed to read, to hear this afternoon at the beginning of a new set of months.

    Our hope, our song, the fire in our hearts …

    Bless you, friend, for drawing us closer to the Lover of our souls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Linda! I’m glad this was what you needed today. It is good to take time at the start of a new year to refocus our thoughts on God. Hope 2018 is good for you!


  7. Excellent word, Lesley. I like seeing the different words people choose and how much can be gotten from one word. I’ve put this idea to men in our Center too and am encouraged by those who choose to try it. One man, now an employee, chose love last year because he needed to learn to love himself and this year he’s chosen others. After Holley’s post last week, I was lead to stay with my word from last year – peace. Thanks for fleshing out your word for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Debby! Yes, it is really interesting to see all the different words and how they work out. That’s great that some of the men you work with are joining in too!


  8. We would all do well to add “focus” to whatever else we’ve chosen for the year! I love your choice, Lesley. I love hearing how people choose words, or how words choose them, and watching how God uses those words throughout the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Focus” is such a strong word, Lesley. It’s so easy to become distracted, isn’t it? Can’t wait to hear all that He teaches you through this word in 2018. Happy New Year, friend. ((hug))

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lesley my one word several years ago was focus. It’s a great one. Sounds like you have some great goals to go along with it. Blessings to you in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

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