One word for 2014


After a year of ‘hope’, I started searching for my one word for 2014.

It’s all part of the One Word 365 project, an alternative to New Year’s resolutions. You choose one word to shape the year, a word that will act as a kind of compass, guiding your steps and influencing your decisions.

The word I have settled on for 2014 is dare.

I’m not sure if I really chose it: it didn’t feel as rational as that. I just prayed and thought a bit and before long I found that dare would not leave me alone. First it kept jumping into my head, then I started seeing it all over the place – in book titles, in a talk at church and even on Facebook status updates.

I’m excited about this word for my current stage of life. With all the offspring away at university there seems a spaciousness about the days, an opportunity to launch out into new things that wasn’t there before.

At the same time I’m watching my parents become increasingly frail and am more aware than ever before that we cannot take a healthy body or mind for granted.

Reflecting on dare I’ve realised how easy it is for some of us to play safe in life – and how much we might miss in the process.

:: If we play safe in relationships we will possibly avoid getting hurt – but we will also stop ourselves from enjoying the deep rewards of community.

:: If we always stay quiet in order to keep the peace, we can never be instruments of change.

:: If we are over-cautious with money we can miss the opportunity to invest our lives in projects that could benefit people long after we are dead.

:: If we stay in the shadows because we fear people will ridicule us or judge us harshly, we will never discover what we might have accomplished in the light.

In 2014 I want to change from being Mrs Cautious to becoming someone who dares.

I will dare to love people even though they might not love me back.

I will dare to say yes to opportunities that might not work out (I’ve already started with that one – more in a couple of weeks!).

I will dare to speak my heart out more often.

I will dare to risk criticism.

I will dare to make mistakes

2014: the year of dare.

Picture by Christopher Johnson. Used under Creative Commons Licence.

9 thoughts on “One word for 2014

  1. I’m so glad you wrote about One Word. I followed the links and really loved the idea of choosing a word rather than making a list. It’s more suited with my life and with who I am and with what I want out of this year.

    I chose brave–not unlike your word, dare. Interesting how these themes (do something that takes courage!) continue to come up in my life!

    • Hi Katie – ‘brave’ was very nearly my word, too! I just looked at your blog and I can see that 2014 will be an exciting year for you. Wishing you joy in it – and courage too!

  2. Thanks Joanna and Katie. My word is ‘backbone’ which all to do with my ‘lack of …’, of not taking risks or daring to do something. I love this one word idea and, already, seven days into the new year, my word keeps popping into my mind when I’m tempted to procrastinate. After all procrastination is a way of avoiding the scourge of perfectionism rather than dealing with it. For that I need to remind myself I do actually have backbone.

    • ‘Procrastination is a way of avoiding the scourge of perfectionism rather than dealing with it.’ Ouch – that hit home with me! Many thanks. I hadn’t seen before how my seemingly unlimited tactics for delaying things are another side of timidity but they surely are. Love your word too!

  3. “If we always stay quiet to keep the peace, we can never be instruments of change.” Oh, that line really stood out to me. I have all too often covered my mouth in the name of peace, even if it’s not really peace, it’s just uncomfortable silence.
    I have been learning this: You don’t have to squash yourself into a corner to make space for everyone else. You don’t have to hush just because your words might stretch you and make other people have to touch shoulders. You get to say things, too. There is enough space for all of us. (“enough” is my word this year.) 🙂

    • ‘There is enough space for all of us.’ Yes! I think that is one of the radical things about the Kingdom that the Church has too often missed. Looking forward to reading about your journey with ‘enough’ this year. x

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