Forget resolutions, friends.
They don’t work. Usually. Maybe you are one of the 8% of people who actually stick with them all year. If so, good for you.
Resolutions aren’t bad. They remind us that we have goals and things we want to achieve. But sometimes they involve check-lists and to-do’s and endless reminders that you are, or are not achieving your goals.
Rather than make a resolution, maybe you can join me and choose ONE word to live by this year. One word that defines how you want to live your year. One word you can daily choose to focus on, rather than just idly work towards a resolution. 365 days of focused living.
Your word can help shape the decisions you make this year. It can help you take the steps you need towards something.
Join OneWord365 and choose your word for 2016.
Sometimes you just have to pick a word. Sometimes you already have a word in your heart that you just know is your word. For me, I have to pray about this and allow God to be part of it. I ask him to reveal a word to me. Usually for me it doesn’t happen in the moment. But it’s a word that keeps coming back to me over and over.
This year, I had three words in my mind. Three. Too many.
Not that you can’t live by three words, but it sure doesn’t keep the focus there. And Lord knows I need a bit more focus in my life for sure. And then one day when I was praying about it, I heard that voice in my head. That lie. You know what it said?
How dare you?
How dare you hope? How dare you dream? How dare you write?
Damn that voice.
To be honest, I’m not an overly bold person. Or very daring. As much as I am trying to live this more out-of-the-box life, I can easily cave to make people feel better. Yes there’s stuff I’m done apologizing for. Yes, I’m walking by faith boldly.
But dare me to do it? And I’ll probably cave. Because to me a dare seems like a bad thing. Something I might get in trouble for. Something that might hurt someone else. Because even though I like to bend the rules, I don’t like getting caught.
Dare seems like a bad word most of the time. I think we all have those memories of someone taunting us, daring us to do something we wouldn’t normally do. “I dare you,” is like a tease, a sad series of words that pricks your soul and forces you to ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes? Do I dare to do it?”
Most of the time, childhood dares that I remember were just that: childish. I dare you to put something on the teacher’s chair. I dare you to kiss what’s-his-name at recess. I dare you to jump off the swing with your eyes closed. I dare you to fill-in-the-blank. I wasn’t one to finish the dare most of the time. I was too worried about getting into trouble.
When someone dares you to do something, it can be a hit in the face. Because you realize that perhaps you’re not strong enough. That you don’t have what it takes. That you’re not actually that brave. Or maybe perhaps that you recognize you’re not stupid enough to go through with someone’s stupid dare. So the word “dare” tends to have a negative connotation. At least in my book it does.
But when you look at how dare is defined in the dictionary, it has a strong and positive meaning: to have the necessary courage or boldness for something, to have the boldness to try, to face courageously, to challenge or provoke into a demonstration of courage.
To me, this changes everything.
This takes the word dare from a taunt, to a bold challenge. To one that requires courage. And a heart to try.
So to that voice in my head? The one that took my three words I was praying over. That voice that can defeat me. That has stolen from me in this past year. That has told me that I don’t have what it takes. That my voice, my heart, my life, don’t really matter all that much. That why have hope, why keep dreaming when your circumstances don’t align, why write when no one cares?
I accept your dare.
Because I dare to hope.
And I dare to dream.
And I dare to write.
And along the ride of 2016, whether we continue to face the same circumstances or see breakthrough; whether we face new trials or rejoice in a restful season; whether we laugh or cry or succeed or fail; I know this one thing. That God goes with me and before me and behind me. That the words He’s given to me for the year are all mine. That He is all over them. That He will give me the courage to hope, and dream, and write.
And so I dare.
I dare to hope.
I dare to dream.
I dare to write.
How about you? What word will you live by in 2016?