One Word Resolutions for the New Year

Photo on cover of One Word Resolutions for the New Year Blog. Photo shows an 18th-century Habsburg domed Baroque church; The Rektoratskirche St. Karl Borromäus, commonly called the Karlskirche located on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna Austria. With a cloudy skyline at sunrise as orange and yellow rays poke through the clouds.

Do you ever see the one word-for-the-year IG captions and social posts, alongside typical New Year resolutions and goals?

Do you wonder: What’s that all about?

Let’s find out, beginning with a quick history, vision, and mission overall of this 20+ year practice.

Intro to One Word

In 1999, Jon Gordon created the One Word concept with colleagues Dan Britton and Jimmy Page at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

They first began the practice with their immediate families.

When One Word proved more lasting than traditional New Year resolutions or goals, they spread the good news.

They later wrote the best-seller One Word That Will Change Your Life. Wrote more books. Added journals. Expanded the program. Launched an annual free One Word Challenge.

One Word applies to all dimensions of life – mental, physical, emotional, relational, financial, and spiritual.

One Word means to evoke clarity, power, passion, and change.

From the New Year’s heady and happy start through the up and downs of all 12 months to come.

Benefits of One Word

Consider the flurry of New Year resolutions, goal setting, and self-improvement to-do lists which oft fall by the wayside.

Benefits of choosing One Word include:

  • Simplicity
  • Purpose
  • Focus
  • Effectiveness

One Word distills endless list-making to a simple and clear essence. It builds a foundation for the entire year.

Indeed, Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page believe that One Word can change your life.

Because its simplicity, clarity, focus, and effectiveness crystallize and catalyze such change.

How to Choose Your One Word

Firstly, choose your One Word, set aside typical New Year resolutions and outcome-oriented goals.

Instead, ask yourself perceptive questions such as:

What inspires you? Lights you up? Whispers to your hopes and dreams?

Likewise, how and where do you want to make a difference?

And most importantly, WHY? Because the WHY underscores everything.

Secondly, reflect on the answers.

Thirdly, winnow down and choose your One Word.

Lastly, whether you prefer jotting in a journal, captioning a post, or scrawling on a Post-It note,

Write your One Word and the WHY down.

Our One Word

Every year at Spotlight Sojourns, we pray, contemplate, deliberate, and decide our One Word for use in both our business and in our personal lives.

We commit the word, and the WHY, in writing. To reflect in the months ahead, and to review at year’s end.

In previous years, our One Word included: NOW, FOCUS, INSPIRE, OPPORTUNITY, and FORWARD.

In 2022, One Word became two, a different word for each founder:

Paul Kostadimas chose COMEBACK. He described it thus:

People say all the time, ‘I want to return to normal.’ But there’s no returning to the way things were. There’s only the now normal and the next normal.

Still, I’m used to doing things a certain way. During lockdown, I developed different habits. I want to eliminate those bad habits. Restore some of the good habits that made me a better me.”

I chose LEAP.

“Leap into action. Leap with courage and confidence. Leap with faith, hope, and love.

Because a leap is movement forward. Movement is momentum. And momentum is mighty.”

Our One Word for this Year

In 2023, our One Word is SERVICE.

SERVICE to others is our purpose. Professionally and personally to clients, colleagues, community, friends, and family.

Because for us, the professional is personal. Likewise, the personal is professional.

SERVICE is our calling, a clarion call to action.

SERVICE additionally encompasses our values, our beliefs, our faith.

Paul describes the imperative to: “Serve others first. Then you will be served best yourself.”

Our Poetic Inspiration

If One Word succinctly states our intention, then one poem especially expresses our leitmotif:

The epic “Ulysses,” written in 1833 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland.

Tennyson’s magnificent poem rings louder and resonates deeper at the present time.

Because it speaks to the triumphant spirit and the ageless qualities of:

  • Resilience
  • Patience
  • Determination
  • Unity
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Gratitude.

The closing stanza particularly conveys profound resolve:

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved heaven and earth, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

In Conclusion

As we step into SERVICE, may you, too, surely embrace the opportunity and the optimism of this new year.

May you also find your One Word, its meaning, and its WHY.

Discover its simplicity, purpose, focus, and effectiveness.

Move forward with clarity, power, passion, and change.

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


TRAVEL: Planning a road trip this year? Route 66 is the ultimate road trip

And add the epic Erie Canalway to your bucket list