Numbering Your Days with One Word

by Beth K. Vogt, @bethvogt

“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90:12 NASB

 It’s that time of year again when I throw down my One Word challenge!I encourage one and all –  that means you! –  to abandon the time-honored tradition of New Year’s resolutions and instead, to focus on One Word for the upcoming year.

One. Word.

“The ball keeps dropping in Times Square each New Year’s. And we keep dropping the ball on our resolutions to improve. Only 20 percent of resolution makers report achieving any significant long-term change.” (My One Word by Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen)

Bit of a reality check, yes?

This will be my thirteenth year to focus on One Word, and this choice has changed me personally, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. Here’s a quick recap of my One Words in years past:

  •  2006: gratitude – I kept a gratitude journal and found my “glass-half-empty” attitude revolutionized.
  • 2007: simplify – A severe illness turned this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.
  • 2008: content – as in “be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5) I bought a lot less that year!
  • 2009 & 2010: forgiveness – I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness.
  • 2011: hope – I clung to this word when life hurt or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. I asked myself, “Are you going to abandon hope?” My answer: No.
  • 2012: trust – During a year of change, I faced doubting versus trusting — and chose to trust.

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  • 2013: confidence – I’m so much stronger emotionally after keeping my heart and mind set on “not throwing away my confidence.” (Hebrews 10:35-36)
  • 2014: think – I anchored my thinking to truth more and more, rather than letting my thoughts go wandering around in doubts and lies.
  • 2015: collaborate – “to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.” I focused on collaborating with God in my writing life.
  • 2016: prosper – to act wisely, as in “And David was acting wisely (prospering) in all his ways for the LORD was with him.” (1 Samuel 18 14) This word stayed with me as I confronted a lot of major (and minor) decisions.
  • 2017: inheritance – Psalm 16:5-6 talks about having a “delightful inheritance.” To be honest, I wasn’t as intentional about my One Word as I’ve been in the past. Life was just one challenge after another. But God continued to show me the word again and again in small ways … and I’ve been encouraged that there’s more to this life than the here and now.

My One Word for 2018 is kindness. Why? There’s been a lot of divisiveness in the world this past year and we need more kindness. The verse I’m anchoring this One Word to is “Be kind to one another …” (Ephesians 4:32a) I also found a fun, multicolored visual on Etsy that says, “Throw kindness around like confetti.”

 In the book My One Word, the authors encourage you to think of your One Word as “the lens through which you examine your heart and life for an entire year” that forces clarity and helps you concentrate your efforts.

“We’re so busy with the surface-level things of life that we forget to number our days and tend to our hearts. We become so preoccupied with getting our lives to a manageable point or a better future that we miss both the moment right now and the reality of a coming eternity.” (Ashcraft & Olsen)

So, are you a resolution or One Word person? If you choose One Word, I’d love for you to share your One Word from this year – or the one you’ve chosen for 2018.


Numbering Your Days with One Word by @bethvogt on @NovelRocket #writing

Choosing One Word for the year forces clarity and concentration @bethvogt on @NovelRocket #writing

New Year’s Resolutions vs. Choosing One Word for 2018 @bethvogt on @NovelRocket #writing

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Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Beth’s first women’s fiction novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, releases May 2018. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding Series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at