What's all the hubub about choosing a word for the year? I mean setting goals and New Year's resolutions...well, most of us fail by mid January, right? If you're nodding your head, thinking, "Yes, that's me," then you're in the right place! In today's show I'm sharing how to have your best year by unlocking the secret of a focus.
Every year around this time, our social media feeds are filled with the promise of a fresh new start; a way to let go of the past in hopes of a better future.
37% of the population set New Year’s goals, and out of that, only 20% make it past mid-January.
It’s staggering, isn’t it? It’s defeating when we start the year with high hopes of changing our lives, only to fail…again.
And when life gets busy, those resolutions and goals go right out the window.
The reason this happens is because we’re focused on the wrong thing.
In today’s show, I’m sharing why it hasn’t worked for you in the past, and how to have your best year yet.
If you’ve failed to meet your goals through the years or you’re ready to finally make a lasting change, then this episode is for you.
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Why your new year’s Resolutions fail
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.
New Year’s resolutions made with gusto, only to fizzle out by mid-January. The problem with setting goals and making resolutions is that they’re self-centered.
Hey, no judgment here, my friend.
We’ve all gone after those lofty dreams without considering what God wants for us.
For most of my life, I thought only about what I wanted. And when I’d set out with all the excitement of the New Year, it wasn’t long before I, too, became a statistic.
But what if there was a different approach—one that wasn’t about self-centered goals but about aligning yourself with God?
That’s where choosing a focus for the year comes in.
It’s the key to unlocking your best year yet.
If you’ve never heard of having a focus for the year, stay with me because in this episode, I’ll walk you through…
- understanding what a focus is
- why a focus for the year is so important (and transformative)
- 3 pillars to your focus
- 5 steps to choose your focus
Imagine having a guiding force, a North Star, that directs your choices and actions that are in alignment with God’s purpose.
Sounds incredible, right?
That’s the power of setting a focus for the year—it keeps you on track, even when life gets crazy.
What IS A FOCUS OF THE YEAR
I have no doubt your social media and Pinterest feeds are filled with all the ways to choose a word for the year.
And although choosing a word is incredibly important, it’s not the complete picture. If we want to experience a lasting transformation, there are a couple more steps we must take.
So let’s dig into the three pillars that make up a focus.
The Three Pillars TO UNLOCK YOUR BEST YEAR
As I mentioned, choosing a word for the year is incredibly important. But in order to make it our best year and truly experience change, we can’t stop there.
So let’s break down the three pillars to an effective focus for the year.
HOW TO HAVE YOUR BEST YEAR: pillar 1 — A WORD OF THE YEAR
Think of your chosen word as the heartbeat of your year.
It sets the tone, guiding your decisions and actions. Whether it’s “faith, courage, gratitude,” or any other word, it becomes a powerful reminder of your focus.
Our word for the year challenges us when we’re facing hard times.
HOW TO HAVE YOUR BEST YEAR: pillar 2 — Bible Verse OF THE YEAR
If our word of the year keeps us focused, the second pillar (a Bible verse) anchors us to this word. Our Bible verse is like adding wings to our focus.
It becomes a source of courage, guiding us in obedience and offering solace in the midst of challenges.
All scripture is inspired by God, so the Bible verse you choose guides you as you navigate your challenges. It anchors you to your word of the year and encourages you to step out when God is calling you.
HOW TO HAVE YOUR BEST YEAR: pillar 3 — Christian affirmation
James 2:26 teaches us,
“So then, as the body without the spirit is dead, also faith without actions is dead.” GNT
In other words, we can’t sit on the sidelines and expect our lives to change. We must put our faith and scripture into action.
We must actively apply it to our lives by choosing a Christian affirmation. After all, we’re striving to show up for God better and better with each passing year.
Simply put, Christian affirmations are short statements, written and repeated in the first-person point of view. They help us stand on the truth of what we know about God when we feel the pressures of life around us.
They are short statements that ground us in God’s truth when everything feels like it’s falling apart, and when facing difficult decisions.
How to Choose Your Focus in 5 Simple Steps
So how on earth do you choose a focus for the year?
I got you, my friend. In today’s show, I’m sharing 5 simple steps to choose your focus and unlock your best year.
step 1: Make that ask
After you print off your FREE Focus of the Year Worksheets, find a quiet place and ask God for His wisdom and clarity as you work through this. Ask that He reveal His desires for you.
Proverbs 16:3 gives a beautiful example of how important this step is.
“Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.” MSG
When you begin by asking our Father for wisdom, then your plans and desires will fall into alignment with His and come to fruition.
But you’ve got to make that ask.
Step 2: Reflect on the Past Year
Start by taking a stroll down memory lane.
Reflect on your triumphs, challenges, and moments that revealed God’s faithfulness. Consider what didn’t give you peace.
Pray for clarity and wisdom as you choose a focus that’ll help you show up better for God in the coming year.
STEP 3: Listen
Spend time listening for God’s wisdom and clarity. Taking this time is crucial to unlocking your best year.
Matthew 7:7 teaches us that we can and should ask anything of God.
“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. GNT
Reflect on the past year, ask God to lead you to the right word, and then listen.
- hear an audible voice
- feel a “knowing” rise up within you
- get clarity through scripture (Did you catch that? You’ve got to get into the Bible to hear God.)
- hear our Father’s guidance through others
But you’ve got to be open to hearing Him.
Here’s what I need you to understand.
This isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’ll take practice. So stay persistent and consistent as you uncover how to have your best year yet.
STEP 4: Get Into the Bible
The next step in choosing a focus is to get into the Bible.
Once you begin to feel God leading you to a word for the year, do a quick Google search on Bible verses that relate to the word you’ve chosen.
Spend time reading and reflecting on the verses. Which one resonated with you most?
Don’t rush this. Take a few days to process and reflect. And of course, ask God for His clarity. (Are you seeing a theme here? Stay in constant communication with God.)
Step 5: Choose a Christian Affirmation
Christian affirmations help us put our faith and focus into action.
If you a little inspiration choosing a Christian Affirmation, be sure to check out 40 Powerful Christian Affirmations.
They’re short statements based on God’s truth (a.k.a. Bible verses) that help you stay rooted in God when things get hard, and you have tough decisions to make.
So based on your Bible verse, what short statement will you stand on when life is difficult?
Embrace Progress Over Perfection to HAVE Your Best Year
Let’s keep it real, my friend. Many of us get stuck in perfection purgatory. (Ahem, or is that just me?)
Don’t let it!
This journey is about progress, not perfection.
The truth is, you may not get your focus for the year right on the first try. After spending a few days (a couple weeks, at most) reflecting and praying on this, pull the trigger!
Here’s the thing I need you to understand.
You’ll be walking close to God, so if you don’t hit the nail on the head right out of the gate, it’s okay.
God will lead you back to the right path.
So say it with me: “I will stay in motion.”
Growth happens in the process, not just in the destination. So celebrate the small victories and keep moving forward.
Access Free Focus of the Year Worksheets
To make this process a breeze, I’ve got your back!
How TO HAVE Your Best Year
As you prepare to have your best year yet, make choosing a focus your #1 priority.
Remember, it’s not about setting goals and resolutions.
It’s about aligning your desires with God’s purpose. It’s about making every choice count and trusting Our Heavenly Father’s plan, even in uncertainty.
So, let’s do this, my friend! Dive into this process with courage, faith, and an open heart.
My prayer for you is that this will be a new season of purpose, growth, and unwavering faith in God’s plan.
- 00:00 Introduction
- 05:17 When our fears and worries start to spiral
- 07:13 Step one in your battle plan
- 13:25 Step two in your battle plan
- 18:08 Step three in your battle plan
- 19:00 Step four in your battle plan
- 22:29 How I used this personal battle plan in my own life
- 35:56 How you can use this battle plan
- 38:31 Free Battle Plan Cheat Sheet
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Mentioned in TODAY’S show
Fearless Prayer — 7 Days to overcoming doubt and distractions to create a consistent prayer life.
Learning how to put our complete trust in God isn’t easy. We say we trust God, but what we really mean is that we trust Him for what we want, when we want it. At Footprints of Inspiration we uncover who you are and why you were created; how to walk in healing through forgiveness; and how to go before the Lord with confidence. Through this journey, you’ll discover that it truly is possible to experience peace, even in the hardest times in your life.
Tammy Rotzoll is the founder and owner of Footprints of Inspiration and podcast host at A Faithful God Podcast (which can be found on your favorite podcast player). She lives in Virginia with her husband and together they’re learning how to navigate their fun, new adventure as empty nesters.
Join Tammy and the FOI community and discover the freedom that comes from saying, “Heck yeah, God! I’m all in!”