In the past few years, I’ve become a big fan of choosing one word to focus on as the theme to my life throughout the year. While some choose only one word and scrap the resolutions, I am a supporter of both. I think you can set goals for the year while choosing to live by one main word. One focus. One theme.
There are lots of words to choose from.
My first year, I was intentional.
My second year (2015), my word was faith.
There are unlimited choices. (If you want to choose one for yourself, check out the OneWord365 page for more details.)
After a couple of months of deliberation, I knew my word for 2016 just had to be stewardship.
Yes, stewardship as having to do with finances. But no, not just finances.
Stewardship is the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care (Merriam-Webster).
We are called to be good stewards of all that God gives us. 1 Chronicles 29:14 reminds us that all that we have has been given to us by God. Matthew 25:14-46 (the parable of the talents) calls us to be good stewards of all of these things. We are entrusted by God with our money, our talents, our time, our relationships, and our bodies. That’s why I’m seeking to become better at taking care of all of these things.
After selecting the word “stewardship,” I knew I had to define what this meant for me. So I examined how I could be a good steward in each area of my life. Here’s the process I went through and what I came up with.
How can I be a good steward of my money in 2016?
- Recommit to budgeting (this may need to wait until we have a steady source of income)
- Regardless of whether or not we have a steady income, we must continue to commit to tithing
- Set aside money in an emergency fund
- Most importantly, pray before spending
How can I be a good steward of my time in 2016?
- Continue to plan my time in advance, allocating reasonable amounts of time for tasks. Planning in advance helps to keep me focused and remain on task so I’m not wasting precious time on mindless activities (i.e. Facebook, Pinterest).
How can I be a good steward of my talents in 2016?
- Finish a spiritual gifts inventory and submit to the church office
- Discuss with the pastor how I can use my spiritual gifts/talents in service to our church
- Continue blogging. One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement, and I find that I do this very well as a blogger.
How can I be a good steward of my relationships in 2016?
- Make devotions with Prince Charming a priority
- Make a better effort to communicate with my step daughters when they are not at our house
- Communicate with my mom once a month
- Send 1 “thinking of you note” each week
- Spend time with (at least) one non-family member each month, whether that means inviting friends over or going out for some social activity. (Believe it or not, I have not been great with this.)
How can I be a good steward of my body (physically, mentally/emotionally, spiritually) in 2016?
- Exercise an average of 3 times per week
- Limit soda to occasions only
- Commit to eating healthier
- Continue to be involved with a Bible study
- Read 24 books
- Journal 3 times per week on average
- Continue daily devotions
This seems like a lot, but many of these things I am already doing. What I am seeking this year is improving on the things I am already doing, sometimes adding additional goals in the areas where I am struggling the most. In each of these areas, I’ve created more specific goals that can be measured periodically so I can determine whether I am on track or if I need to reevaluate.
Have you chosen a word for 2016? I’d love for you to share your word in the comments below.