6 Reasons to Embark on a One Word Adventure in 2016


Did you make New Year’s resolutions in 2015? Perhaps you too made one of these resolutions – these were the top ten in 2015 according to statisticbrain.com:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

To tell you the truth, I’m not much for making New Year’s Resolutions. The fact that only 8% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them isn’t very motivating to me. Given that 55% of Americans don’t make New Year’s resolutions at all tells me I am not alone.

For the past several years, I have implemented a different strategy which was inspired by the book One Word That Will Change Your Life: a collaborative effort by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page and Jon Gordon. If you have not yet read it, you should. It is short and sweet read!

Rather than making New Year’s resolutions, I have adopted a single word for the year. This year my word was “release.” Last year my word was “Faith-Full” – I know, a slightly made up word, but it was the word God laid on my heart so I went with it. Prior to that, my word was “proactive.”

Each year I start off with my One Word thinking I know the journey that lies ahead. And yet, for the past three years, nothing could have prepared me for the adventures that ensued. The events of the year have deepened the meaning and my understanding of my word in ways I could never have imagined. My One Word has…

1. Provided focus and been a divine reminder – especially in difficult moments.

2. Stretched me and helped me to become more of the woman that God created me to be.

3. Strengthened me – urged me forward in challenging times.

4. Empowered me – enabled me to step out of my comfort zone.

5. Guided me – helped me to make better decisions.

6. Changed me – or more specifically, changed my heart!

Every year we have three limited resources: time, money & energy. Your One Word can assist you in saying no to good things, so you can say yes to better things. Without making careful choices, you will be pulled into the vortex of busyness. You will wear yourself out and miss out on the chance of operating out of your full potential. That’s not a happy place for anyone!

Here’s how you can begin the One Word adventure:

1. Evaluate your life

Take time to consider the various areas of your life including your relationships, spiritual, finances, health, work, intellect, leisure, emotions and spiritual life. What would improve these areas of your life taking them to the next level? What needs to change in order for you to grow in these areas? What do you need that you aren’t getting? What’s keeping you from enjoying more satisfaction in your life?

As you answer these questions, do you notice any themes or patterns? What changes would have the greatest impact on your life? What words would sum up these ideas?

2. Seek God and listen

This is a process. God may not instantly reveal your One Word in the middle of seeking Him. Then again, maybe He will. The important thing is to listen, really listen, over a period of time. He will whisper that word – be patient!

3. Out of sight, out of mind

If you want your One Word to truly have an impact on your life, you have to keep it in front of you! Without frequent reminders you will forget it and minimize the power of your word. For me, I spend a great deal of time in my office so I hang my One Word in a prominent place and I have also made it my wallpaper on my phone. Where ever you need to post your word to keep it top of mind, post it there!

4. Check-in

Routinely check in with yourself. Are you living your One Word? What changes do you need to make to ensure that your One Word can have the optimum impact on your life? Pick a time that you can routinely evaluate how things are going. Perhaps on the first of the month, or when pay bills, or every other Friday; whatever works best for you. You may even wish to keep a journal of all that you are learning around your One Word.

5. Don’t go solo

Your One Word will be even more powerful if you share it with others – your spouse, a trusted friend, or your coach. Don’t keep it a secret! You will face challenging moments – moments that test your ability to live your One Word during the year. When others know your One Word they can help point you back to it when things get difficult. It is one more way to help you fully experience the power of your One Word!

This year will be my fourth One Word adventure. Every year has been a unique experience. In addition to my One Word I like to add a tagline. This year my One Word is RECEIVE: Even what seems less than desirable at first, may be a gift. This word made me chuckle a bit after a year of letting go with “release.” I have a small sense of how God has prepared me for this word, but I look forward to sharing my word journey with you a year from now! I know it will be memorable and life-changing!

How about you – what’s your 2015 One Word adventure been like? How has your One Word changed your life? What’s your One Word for 2016?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Coach, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, become free of funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.


  1. Avatar Dawn on February 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm


    • Marvae Marvae on February 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      I look forward to hearing about all that God does in your life through the work “One” in the coming year!

  2. Avatar Mary on February 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm


    • Marvae Marvae on February 2, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your “One Word” Mary.

  3. Avatar Patty on February 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Hungry for change!

Leave a Comment