One Word 365 – 2014 Edition

For the past few years, I’ve selected a single word to live by throughout the year. As I’ve described before, this is a word that defines my life for the year, and helps undergird everything I do for the next twelve months.

One Word 365

I’ve settled my focus on several different words over the last few years. For example, in 2011, I chose to focus on the word passion. This word underlined all I did throughout the year. It defined the year. Everything I did, I did with enthusiasm, and passion was pretty visible in most areas of my life.

In 2012, I chose the word commit. One of my biggest struggles in life has been to stick to many of the things I decide to do. Focusing on this word helped me to address that deficiency.

Last year, in 2013, I chose the word intentional. We have a large family, and as a result, we have a lot going on. I realized that I needed to be intentional, especially in my relationships with family and friends, and in my ministry.

Each year, I choose to identify and implement a single word as a part of my life plan. I add this word to the beginning of my plan, and try to use it as a piece of the foundation for every portion of my plan. Some areas are more successful than others.

The past half a year has been a pretty crazy year for my family, and for me, personally. We’ve seen several major changes in our lives, from the birth of our sixth child, to a move to the Midwest from Florida, to a change in ministry role, from youth minister to a lead minister role. I’ve also started a master’s degree program, which requires some time.

Add all of that to the higher priority things, such as family time, personal growth, fun and leisure, and it starts to get pretty hectic.

It’s been obvious to me that I need to slow down, take a deep breath, focus, and wait.

One Word 365 - Wait


That word has all kinds of negativity associated with it.

We wait in line at the bank. We wait at stop lights. We wait for a seat at the restaurant after church on Sunday. We wait in line at the grocery store. We wait for our kids to get out of school. We wait for Christmas morning to come.

We wait…

And we wait…

And we wait…

And we think that waiting is bad.

But it’s not.

Waiting can be good.

In 2014, I am planning on waiting. I’m planning on waiting in at least three areas.

Spiritually Waiting

Ecclesiastes 7:8 tells us:

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

Patience. Waiting.

And Isaiah 40:30-31 states:

Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

For me, 2014 will be a year where I wait upon the Lord. I want to see his hand moving in everything I do. But when I jump ahead and try to do things on my own, in my own way, and in my own time, I’m not waiting.

Personally Waiting

I tend to do things quick. I’m an impulse buyer. I’m not an impulse doer. I plan everything out with extraordinarily care. But if I see something I like, especially if it’s one of my current interests, I want to grab it right away. I’ve never learned to wait.

I tend to react quick to things quickly as well. Instead of waiting to see how something will turn out, I try to work the situation and move things along to my desired outcome. It’s hard for me to wait.

I tried to give my wife an early Christmas present, because I didn’t want to wait. And because I didn’t want to wrap it. But that’s a different story. She decided to wait until Christmas morning, making me wait as well.

Relationally Waiting

A third area I need to practice waiting is in my relationships. Especially those relationships I have at my home, with my wife and kids. I find myself too easily becoming impatient, wanting something to happen before its time.

Too often, instead of taking the time to help my kids learn a skill, I just jump in and do it myself.

Too often, instead of listening to my wife, I imagine that I already know what she has to say.

I need to wait more.


That’s the word I plan on keeping in front of me for the year. It will be integrated into my life plan. It will be printed at the head of my goals lists. It will be hung on the wall above my desk so that I can see it daily.

But in order for me to see any growth in my life in this area, I must…


Have you selected One Word to live by this year? If so, what is it and why did you select it? If not, should you consider doing so? You can share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Heather Randleman

    My word for the year would have to be LISTEN. I have a hard time listening intently to those in my family in particular. With so much going on, sometimes multiple children talking to me at the same time and plenty of background noise at home, I need to listen more closely. I will try to repeat the things that I am told, just to be sure that I have really heard the person.
    Also, I need to listen to God more closely. I want to use every opportunity for his purpose, not mine, so that means I need to listen to His through His Word, through circumstances, and through the people around me.

    • Jeff Randleman

      I seriously considered “listen” as my word for the year as well.

  • Alan Lewis

    My word for 2014 is “Contentment”… Last week in your sermon you quoted, “Life is what happens when you’re planning for something else.” You reminded me that wherever we are in life we tend to wish we were someplace else… For example: When I was young I wanted to be older; when I was single I wanted to be married; when my kids were young I wanted them older; I’ll be happy when I get or buy this; I can hardly wait to retire; I wish I were young again… Now that we’re entering the New Year, my prayer is that I be content with where I’m at today and enjoy my life where I’m at now… I have a lot to be thankful for!

    • Jeff Randleman

      We all do. And contentment is something that comes hard for most people, I think.

  • Steve Cloud

    Hello Jeff, I came across your page from Alan Lewis. As I was looking at your word for 2014, WAIT, I thought for a moment and chose (Listen) for my word. As I read down your page I noticed you also had thought about “Listen” as being your word for this year.

    Maybe it would just be okay to have two words for 2014? Listen & Wait, or Wait & Listen. Either way, one compliments the other as a tool to slow down and consider things before taking action. Listen to what the Savior has to say. He speaks to us in many ways. That’s why we must sometimes also Wait for Him to reveal His will to us.

    • Jeff Randleman

      Hey Steve! Thanks for reading!

      You certainly could choose two words if you so desired… Of course, that would make it no longer “One Word 365″… My OCD might not be able to handle that. 🙂

  • I can identify with your “personally waiting” goal. I’m an impulse buyer. I can’t wait to get something nor can I wait for the cost of something to be reduced.

    I’ve have done the “one word” a couple of times now but really with no success. This year I’m being much more intentional. I chose as my one word “Encourage”. I want to be an encourager to several people in 2014. I have some ideas rolling in my head as to what to do. I also want to be encouraged, not so much from other people, but from God himself.

    If you’d like to check out the blog post I wrote about my one word, here is the link:

    • Jeff Randleman

      “Encourage” is a great word! I’ll go check out your post!

    • Encourage is my word as well 🙂

      • That’s cool, David. Great minds think alike. 🙂

        • Jeff Randleman


  • Really enjoy the idea of waiting. Especially in the age of busy-ness. The word I’m focusing on is encourage. It’s something I need everyday, and often times people I encounter also need it.

    Congrats on a major year in 2013 and your 20 years of marriage. We celebrate our 10th on the 3rd!

    • Jeff Randleman

      Encourage is a great word to focus on! Congrats to you guys as well!

  • My word in 2013 was EPIPHANY.

    I haven’t finalized my word for 2014, but I’m leaning towards FINISH. I want to be known as a finisher. I have many great ideas spinning in my head, and sometimes they collide and get lost. I want to concentrate on finishing a few things that are of utmost importance to me.

    • Jeff Randleman

      Finish. That’s similar to my word intentional for 2013, for some of the same reasons.