Saturday, December 9, 2023

Writers, Start 2024 Off Strong with One Word

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

How’s your December going, my friends?

If you’re like me, the last month of 2023 showed up a lot quicker than you expected. And there are only 22 days left until 2024 arrives!

Each one of us could look back over our shoulder at the past 12 months and recall personal and professional ups and downs. Joys and disappointments. Answered and not yet answered prayers. 

With the new year approaching, this is also the time of year when we ponder personal and professional resolutions.

It’s also when I wave my arms and yell, “Stop!” about doing the whole resolution tradition. Making the “I will” and the “I won’t” list seems so positive—until you lose the list in February and can’t remember half the things you wrote down.

There’s an alternative to starting the new year off right without making a list of goals:

Consider choosing One Word for 2024. 

This will be my 19th year choosing One Word to focus on for 365 days—and never once have I lost track of what word I chose as the days, weeks, and months progressed. You can misplace a list of resolutions, but one word? Almost impossible to lose track of a single word. Even more important, God has used the process of focusing on one word to change me in significant ways that influence all areas of my life. 

Some of my One Words have been: 
  • Gratitude
  • Hope
  • Kindness
  • Trust
  • Confidence
  • Inheritance

Last year, my One Word was “pray”—the verb, not the noun “prayer,” because praying is active. This quote by Mother Teresa inspired me: “God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” 

This was only the third time I’ve repeated a One Word from the previous year. I also repeated the One Word “forgiveness” and the One Word “listen” because as I mulled over my One Word for the coming year, God didn’t move me past the One Word I had focused on the previous year. 

Interested in trying One Word in the new year? 
Four Tips to Choose Your One Word for 2024
  1. Pray about your One Word. God usually provides me with a scripture verse that anchors me to my One Word.
  2. Be attentive for a visual. I’ve used a photo or some sort of graphic to remind me of my One Word. I’ve also worn a necklace or bracelet engraved with my One Word. 
  3. Dive into your One Word. Consider reading books related to your One Word. The year I focused on the One Word gratitude, I incorporated a gratitude journal. 
  4. Read My One Word by authors Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. This is a helpful resource to learn how to choose One Word. I also recommend checking out their website, My One Word. It’s motivating to see One Words other people have chosen.
For 2024, my One Word is “rest.” I’ve been learning about sabbath the last part of this year and want to continue to do so in the coming months. I’d love to know if you focus on One Word each year and if you’ve chosen a word for 2024 or why you prefer to do resolutions.


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” She’s authored 15 novels and novellas, both contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Beth is a Christy Award winner, an ACFW Carol Award winner, and a  RITA® finalist. Her newest contemporary romance novel, Dedicated to the One I Love, released June 20, 2023. Her novel Things I Never Told You, book one in her Thatcher Sisters Series by Tyndale House Publishers, won the 2019 AWSA Golden Scroll Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel 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. Connect with Beth at


  1. I love this. I’ve done this for the past few years and it is interesting to look back and see year after year how the word corresponds to all thats happened! My word in 2023 was Just Be! Even a rhyme for such a time!

    1. Del, I agree it's so interesting to see how your One Word played out at the end of the year -- how God used it in your life.

  2. My 2024 words are self control and fit my actions and reactions. What and how much I eat will benefit my physical health. They also benefit me when I listen to conversations, giving me space to think about different opinions. (Galations 5:23)

  3. Every year, I also choose one word that carries me through the year. Already started the thoughts on my one word for 2024. Purpose.

    1. Purpose -- that puts a strong focus on 2024, doesn't it?

  4. My word(s) for 2023 were Abide, Delight, and Dwell. All for the purpose of staying in God's word. 2024 word(s) are Change, Transform, and Renew. Scripture to accompany these words is Romans 12:2.

  5. Judy, I see how your words all fit together. And Romans 12:2 is such a beautiful, hope-filled verse!

  6. I wasn’t actually looking for a word but the Lord dropped one into my spirit last week.
    “Prepare.” And very specifically, “Prepare for good.” :)

    1. Oh wow! Your heart must be so expectant for 2024.

  7. My elder daughter and I have done this practice for years. We even order little disks with the word on it, which we keep on bracelets. However, God impressed upon me the Word "PAUSE a week ago. At first I was puzzled, then I attended my first Dementia Conference (because my husband has begun to slip) and all through the training, there was the importance of taking a "PAUSE" before you react. (That's good advice ... regardless!)

    1. Let me say I'm sorry to hear your husband -- and you -- are dealing with dementia. I prayed for both of you today. And "pause" sounds like the perfect word for 2024.

  8. Rest was my word in 2021. Choosing a word of the year helps me to focus on my goals for the coming year. I see every decision I make from that vantage point. I highly recommend it!

    1. How interesting that rest was your word in 2021. And yes, choosing One Word helps me focus too.

  9. I choose to do the One Word practice. I can't remember not choosing one word to guide me through the year. I usually choose my word for the coming year in October. This year, I felt led by God to change my word. for 2024 is "Trust".