New Year’s Resolutions.  We all have this sort of love hate relationship with them.  On one side of the spectrum, we are all excited to change something in our lives that make it better.  To form a new habit, or get rid of an old habit.  To bring some sort of meaningful change to our lives that will set us up for a successful year.  But then there is the other side of the spectrum.  The fear of failure.  The fear that we won’t be able to stay true to the long list of resolutions we want to make for ourselves and for our lives.  According to statistics surrounding New Year’s Resolutions, almost 50% of people make a New Year’s resolution, and less than 10% are successful with sticking with it.  We choose these high goals of things we need to change, fail at them, and then feel bad about not being able to succeed in that one thing.  And my guess then, is that year after year after year, we continue to make a promise that THIS YEAR is going to be the year for that change.

I was talking to a friend about this same thing.  The pressure we put on ourselves.  The set-up for failure.  She mentioned that she had listened to a podcast, where they said to choose ONE WORD that will be your word for the new year.  ONE WORD.  That’s it.  That to me seemed much easier than making a long “TO DO LIST” of things I wanted to change.  I started to dig a little more into this, and found that this is the new trend for 2017, and it makes sense!

I found a number of different words that people wanted to focus on in 2017.

HEALTH.  One of the biggest things people want to work on.  But instead of saying, “I am going to lose 20 lbs. in 2017” and then you find after 3 weeks it is harder then you thought, and you give up, people focus on things that make them healthy.  Maybe that means more exercise and movement.  Eating healthier.  Making choices in their lives so they are able to cut back on medications they are taking.  It could be their mental health.  Emotional health.  All the things that help them reach a goal of living a healthier life.

RELATIONSHIP.  This was another word that stuck out.  It could be working on your marriage, and spending more time together as husband and wife, talking or dating each other again.  It might mean fixing and repairing a damaged relationship that eats away at you and causes tension or anxiety.  This word can mean a number of different things to the person who chooses it.

FINANCES.  This was also at the top of the list.  Many people create unrealistic goals of how much money they want to save, or put towards their debt.  And after one month of not being able to do this, they completely give up.  The word finances can mean whatever you need it to mean for your financial situation.  Save more.  Spend less.  Use cash.  Pay off debt.  Working towards those goals in 2017, and knowing that in the big picture, your financial situation will be your focus for the year.

HOME.  I loved when someone suggested this word.  Home to them meant creating a space that was inviting to have friends and family over.  Organizing.  Getting rid of clutter.  Finishing different projects around the house.  Working on routine.  Creating a space that reflected who they are.

All of these words were GREAT words, along with the many others I saw, but for me, one word kept LEAPING out at me.  SHINE.  The word SHINE didn’t seem like a typical word, but to me it means so many things.

As a Christian, there are a number of bible verses that have stuck out to me over the last month, and they all revolve around the word shine.  The light in the darkness.  Jesus talks about being a light that shines in the darkness, and he talks about our own lights shining in the darkness.  If you have downloaded the free YOUVERSION BIBLE APP, you can do a quick search for the word “SHINE” and many different verses come up.  This word is one that finds itself popping up many times in scripture.

For me, SHINE means a lot of different things.  It means, showing love, even when it is hard.  It means speaking with love, even when it is hard.  SHINE means spending my time with positive people who lift me up and putting my energy towards positive things in life instead of the negative.  Not sitting in a pool of darkness, or allowing darkness to overshadow all the blessings I have in life.  It means not gossiping about others and instead focusing on having meaningful conversations with others.

SHINE.  For me, it means being who I am, who God created me to be, and not apologizing for that.  It doesn’t mean to live selfishly, arrogant, conceited or boastful; it means to live boldly.  Knowing I am a child of God, knowing who I am, and loving myself.  Self-love.  God created me, I am his child, and I need to love the woman he created.

SHINE.  It means praying more for God to shine light into the areas of my life I need his guidance, and listening.  It means living out my faith and not hiding in the fear of what others will think.  SHINE means knowing that I don’t need the approval of others because I already have the approval of God.

SHINE.  It means being a guiding light for my children.  Showing them love.  Deciding to bring more light into our home.  Remembering to lift my husband up and feel like I am a beacon of light; of love, hope and peace that he can come to.  Creating a home that is filled with positivity and light.  Inviting Jesus, who is the light of the world, to continue to be the center of our home.

SHINE.  Showing others who Jesus is.  For me, being Christian doesn’t mean I have a free pass to stand on my soap box condemning people or pointing out their mistakes.  It means just living my life.  It means allowing others to just see light, and love in me.  Jen Hatmaker once said, “Sometimes the only Jesus someone might meet, is you.”  So how do you want to portray the kind of love Jesus showed others?  It is in our words and our actions.  That’s my focus for 2017.   Show love.  Shine.

SHINE.  As a Christian, knowing, believing, trusting and remembering that Jesus came for us.  He came into the darkness to be a light, to trust in him, and no longer live in the dark.

SHINE.  “This Little Light of MINE…. I’m going to LET IT SHINE.  LET IT SHINE.  LET IT SHINE.  LET IT SHINE.”  *sorry, but not sorry for that  🙂

If you want to use my word for 2017, I would be happy to share it with you!  Shine might mean all of those things for you, or it might mean something very different.  But whatever your word is, choose it knowing that you can make that word whatever you want it to be.  We all have the power to change something in 2017 that will help us create the life we want to live.  If you are stuck, decide to get unstuck.  If you are in a rut, get out.  Only you can decide the change you want to make in 2017, and then go do it.

Happy New Year friends!

Here is a website that helps you find your WORD:

Some of my favorite bible verses with the word SHINE:

“You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you.”  – Job 22:28

“In that same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.”  – Matthew 5:16

“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.  For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.”  – Isaiah 9:2

“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.  Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”  – Isaiah 58:10

“I have come as the light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.”  – John 12:46

“And there will be no night there- no need for lamps or sun- for the Lord God will shine on them.”  – Revelation 22:5

“Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket?  Of course not!  A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.”  – Mark 4:21

“Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer.  Walk in the light while you can, so darkness will not overtake you.”  – John 12:35

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