Like many others, a few years ago I switched from making resolutions to fixating on a single word focus at the beginning of a new year. All of my words tied to specific passages of Bible scripture, equipping me with a support system for my resolve. And they enhanced my writing, as well as general life choices.
In the past, various encouragements came to mind:
- Joy — Nehemiah 8:10
- Choice — Deuteronomy 30:19
- Patience — Psalm 40:1
- Invest — Matthew 25:27
- Love — 1 Corinthians 13:1
- Obey — 1 Samuel 16:4
- Learn — Job 34:4
- Peace — Proverbs 12:20
- Teachable — Exodus 33:13
- Resolve — Daniel 1:8
- Call — Jeremiah 33:3
All very positive affirmations. And each one transformed me more into the person I wanted to become.
But this year, I’m compelled to focus on a very different word. Mostly opposite of concentrated efforts in my past. This year, I guess God’s using a little reverse psychology on me. My New Year focus word?
As in, don’t be the wicked and lazy servant who buries her talents. Matthew 25:14-30.
Besides the spiritual application, there are practical applications as well. Especially when it comes to succeeding as a published writer.
- If I fritter my time away on television, or other useless endeavors, I can’t be about my Father’s business of writing.
- It takes practice, learning as a good apprentice, to become a professional.
- Allowing myself to wallow in tiredness stifles my ability to be a doer, and makes me a dreamer only. (I’ve learned I can talk myself out of being tired, can move around for a few minutes, or even allow myself a short nap to revive. Sometimes, fatigue is a mindset.)
- A person has to start where they are in order to get where they want to go.
- I only get so many seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months in a year, and wasting them will only leave me discouraged, guilty, and depressed. This can spin me into a hamster wheel of failure.
- Publishers don’t like working with lazy writers.
- Being lazy with my marketing means missed opportunities to get my message into the world.
- Building a writing career takes time, energy, and persistence. Laziness steals momentum from what we’ve invested thus far.
The reason I’m writing about this now, versus week one or January 1, is I know myself. Often, about six weeks into a focus of this nature, I start getting lax, allowing apathy to override my renewed concentration on a specific act. I need something to propel me into my Writing Cave.
So this post isn’t just about you, although I certainly hope it encourages you to revisit your resolution or New Year’s focus, but it’s also about me. I’m creating a tickler for myself, to help me avoid the pitfall of so easily forgetting the promise I made to me, before God.
Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” A resolution or word focus is a vow you make to yourself.
I’m not saying this to make anyone, including myself, feel guilty. But I can’t ignore the truth of the statement, and the reminder that I need to do a better job of acting on my God-given ability and opportunity. After all, a lazy attitude toward learning new things, or accepting new challenges, will make me stagnate.
As the tagline on my website says, “It’s Never Too Late for a Fresh Start with Fresh Faith.” I believe it, and I live by it.
So this year, my focus is on the word lazy — something I hope to learn to live without. Each day dawns bright with new hope, and each moment burns deep with opportunity.
What have you resolved? How are you doing in your renewed efforts?
16 Replies to “My New Word Focus — Six Weeks Later”
Interestingly, Anita, you made me re-look at my tagline in my email signature: Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement. Think I need to take another dosage of my own medicine 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.
You are so right, Elaine. Sometimes, we become complacent with our own message, only because we see it so much. Many blessings as you rejoice in the good stuff!
I enjoyed this post, Anita! I needed to hear much the Lord had to say in it through you. My word for the year is intentional and I haven’t thought about it in a week or more so THANK YOU for the reminder. (Maybe I’ll blog about the meaning behind it soon and I’ll holler at you.)
I would love to read your blog on intentional living, Shellie. You inspire me a great deal, and it’s always a special blessing to hear how God is working in the gifts He’s given you.
Your theme really grabbed my attention. I think of myself as a little lazy, plus easily distracted. Being distracted by your blogs this morning was well worth the time it took to read them…I ventured back to your past blogs and devoured your words…plenty to chew on there! Thanks for reminding me what is really important!
I’m humbled by your gracious words, thank you so much. Grateful to serve, and thankful anytime God uses me to encourage a fellow sojourner. Many blessings along your way. 🙂
You don’t strike me as lazy. You’ve accomplished so much as a writer. Thank you for your continued authenticity.
It’s so cool that you linked the books of the Bible to the verses connected to your words. Handy.
I will work on the word – choice.
Like many, I sometimes struggle against temptations of instant gratification, which would drive me to make the wrong “choice,” hence, lazy.
I’m interested to hear more about your word, and why you are drawn to it. I love the unique way God speaks to each of us, and how He uses the talents and abilities designed into our DNA for His glory, and our good.
I’m drawn to the word “choice” because each day various options face every one of us. For me “choice” is about offering others mercy. Choice is also as simple as beginning my day with a prayer and “remembering” to pray throughout the day. God always waits for us to come to Him. It’s our choice to receive His invitation.
My new focus word is…Remember.
Thank you so much for your encouragement.
Good word, AnitaFreshFaith! I chose “joy” as my one word this year to help me focus on God and persevere the rough seas. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb.12:1-2 NIV).
Love that scripture, Karen. And isn’t that the encouragement we need as writers? Praying you receive cascading joy throughout 2013 and beyond!
Amazing that you too chose the word “focus” as the word for 2013. I am finding myself energized to complete my writing each day and to give the Lord my day each morning in order to have Him glorified in all I do and say. I am grateful for your input and great scriptures to bring me “focus” each day.
I pray your focus is sharp and clear this year. Giving it all to God, and partnering with Him in your efforts, is the best success secret I know. 🙂
My word for 2013 = Redeemed. I just love that word and concept in the Bible– God takes something that is worth nothing (me) and makes it valuable and pure through His love and forgiveness. It helps me remember that if I fail as a writer, I’m still worth something to Him. Kayleen Reusser http://www.KayleenR.com
What a beautiful use of a one word focus, Kayleen. Thank you for sharing your heart, and reminding all of us to have a healthy view of our worth, whether in writing, or anything else.
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