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My Word for 2019: Healthy


“To lose my soul means I no longer have a healthy center that organizes and guides my life. I am a car without a steering wheel. It doesn’t matter how fast I can go, because I am a crash waiting to happen.” – John Ortberg, Soul Keeping

I really shouldn’t be surprised by my word for the year for 2019. Over the last few years, this idea of thoughts and renewing our minds has been on my own mind as we created the Renew email series as I wrote Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday. But recently, I’ve been confronted with what power our thoughts carry. I am a practical girl. I like doing things. I like skipping the steps that focus on “figuring out your why” and want to move right on to the action.

2019 Word of the Year by Valerie Woerner | Val Marie Paper, resolutions, new year, goals, powersheets, cultivate what matters

But it’s hit me. When I renew my thoughts and change my thinking and then act, that’s where real change happens.

In 2019, I want to focus on doing things “healthy” instead of just doing things. I want to think more and act less mindlessly. I want to direct my actions more effortlessly because I first directed my thoughts. It was incredibly empowering when I realized just how much control I had over how I feel or what I do based on my thoughts. I know that word “control” can make us bristle because we aren’t God and He has the ultimate authority, but the beautiful thing is that HE has given us control over our thoughts and minds and is calling us to exercise that.  

Proverbs 4:20-23 says:

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Romans 12:2 (the key verse in Grumpy Mom):

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Over the years, different verses have stuck in my head for long seasons.

2019 Word of the Year by Valerie Woerner | Val Marie Paper, resolutions, new year, goals, powersheets, cultivate what matters

In 2016 it was Psalm 16:11 and led me to make Abundant my word for 2017.

In 2017, I wrestled with Romans 8:15 and it led me to make Led, Not Driven my word(s) for 2018.

In 2018, Proverbs 4:20-23 keeps coming up and it led me to Healthy for my word for 2019.

It’s entirely possible to do all the right things and still have an incredibly unhealthy mindset. It’s possible to crash diet and lose the weight without confronting “why” I turn to food in the first place. It’s possible to launch a book and have it look like a success and still be completely wrapped up in the approval or disapproval of others or feel burnt out by the end. It’s possible to give big but still not do so with a heart that’s prideful and focused on me. It’s possible to live minimally but still be consumed by stuff or feel the “hit” of seeing an Amazon package on my porch.

This idea that we have power over our thoughts and how we handle that has taken a nerdy turn. 🙂

Reading Switch on Your Brain, The Big Leap and Soul Keeping (see my reviews here) has gotten me excited to take seriously the origin of everything I hope to do and make sure that the end goal isn’t the only goal but the how I get there is too.  

What I’m hoping this word, healthy, will do for me this year is remind me to take a step back before I press forward in action and pay attention to the process and not just the result. To make space for thinking about things and use the power over my mind that God gave me to:

  • spend less days depressed by the smallest negative thoughts that enter my mind instead of taking them captive immediately and enjoying my life
  • experience less fear so that I can live more adventurously
  • give less power to total strangers on the internet who review my books and live in my identity in Christ
  • not get discouraged when I don’t make quick progress in my fitness goals but enjoy the process and find something to be grateful for in it
  • avoid overspending in search of satisfaction and learn to accurately gauge our needs because I took time to really think about it before hitting “order”.

Healthy for me is a buffer, a boundary, a call back to stop and think. If anything, this next year could be a year where I define myself by the numbers. Where I twist up really great opportunities and make them about me or make them about worldly gains. Will my happiness be determined by how many books sold? Will my daily mood rest on whether I get a bad review? Or gain an extra pound?

Even as a girl who loves tangible goals, I’m super excited for what I’m hoping will happen in my outlook on everything. Do you have a word for the year picked out??

Last year I shared tips on how to figure out your word of the year. If you’re not sure about how to figure out a word, click here and scroll to the end of the post for 5 tips!


Val’s video tips on how to jump-start your prayer life will continue tomorrow! Need to catch up? Click here.


2018 Goals Recap

What I Read in 2018

My 2019 Goals

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