No Word of the Year, No Resolutions, Just One BIG Project

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The Happiness Project inspired me to undertake a whole new project...

It was in the fall . . . 2010. I was scrolling through Facebook when I noticed that Women’s Day Magazine was looking for bloggers to take part in a year-long blogger project to promote The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. (If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it.)

I wrote a brief intro-letter describing some of the struggles we’d live through the previous five years. Loss, illness, rejection, a micro-preemie, on top of life’s normal stressors and everyday complications. I must have sounded like I REALLY needed a dose of happiness…

I became a WD Happiness Blog contributor. And I learned a lot as I took my personal journey through the telling of Gretchen’s experience.

Rubin says, “The Happiness Project is an approach to changing your life.”


Because “One rainy April afternoon, I asked myself . . . What do I want from life, anyway?”

And, well…

“I wanted to be happy!”

She asked herself two questions:

  1. What makes me happy?
  2. How might I be happier?

From those brief questions, she wrote a list of “12 Commandments” and monthly resolutions. Beginning in January, she added monthly goals and daily adjustments to test their impact on her attitude. She tackled fitness, marriage, work, parenthood, friendship, money, and faith, etc. She documented good days and not so good days, what worked and what didn’t, and knew by the end of the year she had indeed found a greater degree of happiness.

2011 was the year of my Happiness Project. I wrote weekly updates for the Women’s Day Happiness Blog and three short articles for the print copy of the magazine. And . . . I learned that I agree with Abraham Lincoln – “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it’s time for a new project.

2016 will be the year of…

The Faith Project


It's a little scary. This project sure to leave me challenged and vulnerable, but I believe that by God's grace blessings will cover this journey.

Like The Happiness Project, The Faith Project will consist of monthly goals and resolutions all stemming from two basic commandments.

  1. To grow in faith and love for God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; with a desire to be completely devoted to Him in heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  2. To grow in the living out of my faith-filled love for God by loving others.

Monthly goals and resolutions will include:

January – Freedom – to know that through Jesus I’m completely forgiven.
February – Love – to reach out through acts of service and share God’s love with others.
March – Wisdom – to dig deep into God’s Word and commit more of it to memory.
April –Humility – to focus on who God is, His holiness and His character and why I need Him.
May – Prayer – to spend more time with God in intentional conversation.
June – Patience – to learn more and better understand the act of waiting on God.
July – Stillness – to listen for His voice and know His will.
August – Goodness – to obey God’s daily will for my life.
September – Peace – to commit to completely trusting God’s will for me.
October – Worship – to focus on praise and worship – remembering it’s not about me.
November – Gratitude – to thank God for countless perfectly chosen blessings.
December – Joy – to take delight in Jesus – Emmanuel, God with us.

Each week I will share what I’m learning, how I’m applying what I’m learning and implementing resolutions. I’m a little nervous about sharing this personal journey publicly, but I’m praying my joys, struggles, successes, and failures will bless your walk with the Lord this year as well.

My prayer for all of us this year is found in Ephesians 3:

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. v. 16–21
Would you please add this to your prayers as the Lord leads you? I’m sure there will be challenges along the way, but I am also confident that by God’s grace the blessings will far outweigh the difficulties.
I’m praying God will bless you in countless ways throughout the days ahead!

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  1. This is beautiful. Such a wonderful, more active idea for a year of growth. I have to say, as I read down the page, your image says “counting your blessings” and I couldn’t help but hear the tune from White Christmas (…you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings). Lovely idea!

    1. Thank you, Joy! Falling asleep with blessings on my mind rather than worries . . . so much better! Enjoy a blessing-filled 2016!

  2. Wow! This sounds like an amazing project. Good luck as you take it on!

    1. Thank you, Crystal! I anticipate challenges along the way, but I am praying and confident that the Lord has something beautiful planned in and through the process. Blessings to you in 2016!

  3. Debbie W. says:

    Beautiful. It is an exciting year for me as I enter with my one word and new Bible studies, reading thru the Word and exercise. Savoring the moments. Thanks for sharing this great post and love, love that prayer.

    1. Exercise is on my list of goals this year too, Debbie. I’m also changing up my Scripture reading. Usually reading through the Bible, this year I’m digging deep. Only a chapter a day with commentaries and prayer. I started in Matthew with Warren Wiersbe’s Be series. So far, it is a huge blessing. Happy New Year to you!

  4. Let the adventure and the blessings begin! I’m so looking forward to reading your blog, Deb, as you explore a new topic as it relates to loving the Lord every month. Maybe, your word for the year should be “project”? 🙂

    1. Martha, you are such a faithful encourager. Thank you so much! Yes, project could be my word for the year. Trusting the Lord to lead me through this journey according to His plans and purposes. Blessings to you in 2016!

  5. What a great project is this! I might be joining you any moment… love the topics for every month and your focus on this! Thanks for sharing! Blessings Deb!

    1. Thank you, Tayrina! I would love to have you join me for the journey! God’s richest blessings to you in 2016!

  6. Love this!! what a great idea and wonderful way to encourage a large group of people throughout the entire year!

    1. Thank you, Marie! Your encouragement is always a great blessing! Happy 2016! God bless you!

  7. This is a great idea, Deb! I look forward to following your journey as you discover more about and go deeper in your faith! As I was reading your post, Abraham Lincoln’s quote kept on coming back to my mind…and I think that the same works for faith! We have as much faith as we make up our minds to have! It looks like you’ve made up your mind to have a lot of faith! 🙂 I’m right there with you, Deb…I’m choosing to believe the promises that God gives us…I’m choosing to trust Him and to have faith!

    Blessings, Joan

    1. I agree, Joan. It takes digging deep and praying hard. Trusting Him with dailiness of life. I’m excited and a little nervous . . . but confident that this is something the Lord wants for me this year. Blessings and hugs my friend!

  8. for me, it’s all about being more consistent – with God – and with everything else in my life for 2016

    1. Oh, I get that, Andrea! As a Sanguine with ADD I can be all over the place. Being consistent with this will be part of the journey. Blessings as your journey forward into 2016!

  9. Love this idea, Deb. You’ve picked some great subjects and can’t wait to read what you’ve learned. I’m not sure I can handle 12 different words this year, but I’m so glad I can learn through you!

    1. Thanks, Pam. Learning from and with each other is one of my favorite parts of the blogging community. Sharing our joys and struggles and the ways God works through them is always encouraging. I look forward to getting to know you better in the year ahead! Blessings!

  10. Christine says:

    I love the idea of the the Faith Project! Thanks for sharing this great idea and inspiration! Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Christine. Many blessings to you!!

  11. What a beautiful post Deb,
    12 words wow…that is quite a list . I will be praying, following along, and learning too. Thank you for the verses in Ephesians today. I really needed to read those scriptures tonight. In our own strength we tend to make things more difficult than they need be but when we allow God to bless, encourage, and strengthen us, nothing is impossible! Thanks for sharing your heart and God blesss

    1. Thank you, Horace. God laid this journey on my heart several months ago. I’ve been laying out the format since then, and I’m excited to finally get started in the living it out part. I’m so glad Eph. 3 blessed you today. It will be my prayer going forward this year! Many blessings to you in 2016!

  12. Florence Ukpabi says:

    That sounds like an amazing project but knowing myself, I would struggle to keep at it. All the best on this journey of faith 🙂

    1. I get that, Florence. I’ve had trouble sticking with my themes in the past. Continuing with my word of the year for example. That’s why I’m so glad to have a plan for every month. I think it will help me stay focused and on track. At least, that is my prayer. Thanks so much for visiting and stopping to say hello. God’s blessings to you!

  13. Karen DelTatto says:

    I LOVE this idea!

    I think too often I try to tackle all my “faith issues” in one day and then I become like the person who “cheated on a diet” and then become so frustrated and given in to eating desserts. The sad thing is, I am depending on my own strength, not that of the Lord. But there is also accountability on my part to be intentional. The idea of focusing on a particular area a month seems very manageable and a way to truly grow in our faith.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Karen. I liked that part of The Happiness Project. Making smaller changes each month until by the end of the year big changes have been made. Digging deep this year in faith and trusting the Lord to guide me. Based on the title of your post, I think we’re enjoying similar thoughts this year. God’s blessings in 2016.

  14. ~Karrilee~ says:

    Love this so much, Deb! What a powerful project!

  15. I have no resolutions this year either. Glad to know there’s a no resolution revolution of some sort. May you have a wonderful 2016 ahead.

  16. I wish you the best in this project! Thanks for praying for all of us and for linking up at Literacy Musing Mondays.

  17. Thank you for sharing this project. I’ve saved it to my Women’s Ministry Board. I would like to share this idea with my Council for a theme.

    1. Thank you, Karen. I’d love to have you share it with your Women’s Ministry. I’ve learned so much and continue to work through the themes and write about my progress. I would love to have you all join me as I continue this journey. Many bless to you!

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