Why I Stopped Making New Year’s Resolutions


If I took the time to make a list of all the things I want to get right next year, I would:

1. Sit on the floor

2. Get in the fetal position
3. And cry.

New Year’s Resolutions (NYR’s) tend to overwhelm me because making resolutions require that I identify all of my pressing problems and find ways to fix them. And I have straight up ISSUES. Too many. (All of this to say, the NYR process makes me sad and frustrated.)

So when I heard about having a “New Year’s Word” a few years ago, I was instantly intrigued. With this method, you pick a word that describes what you want to accomplish or do in the next year. JUST ONE WORD. No lists. No lengthy “to-do” plans. I love it.

A handful of years ago, I loved this concept so much that I decided to make my own version of it. (Someone probably already invented this. Oh well!)  I changed the rules a bit and called it a “New Year’s Declaration”. This declaration would be a word or a phrase that I would speak in faith over the upcoming year– a word/phrase that represented what I wanted God to do in my life or show me. I’ve been picking a New Year’s Declaration for 5 years now, and I still LOVE IT! It’s been very effective, plus, it takes the pressure off of me to DO, DO, DO the whole year, and instead creates this anticipation and awareness of what God is doing in and around me.

How Do I Choose a New Year’s Declaration?                                     

  1. Pray About It.

    Duh. You already knew that, probably. It’s cliche, I know. But sometimes we jump right to the “doing things in the name of God” without sitting down to hear the heart of God. And when we switch those two things around, it can be detrimental in any circumstance. 

    Praying before picking a word causes us to seek the One who already SEES the whole year. He knows all of the things this next year holds, how you will respond and what you will learn. Asking Him to bring a Word to mind helps us align our will & ambition with His plans and His will. Ask him to prepare your heart and make your ears extra sensitive to His voice.


  2. Remember and Reflect.

    When you’re sitting down to choose your word/phrase, take some time to reflect on the past year and what God has been doing in your life. What are some things you are anxious for the Lord to show you? Is there a perspective you are seeking to have? A break through you’d like to see happen?  Is there a quality/characteristic you want to reflect? 

    Consider these questions and start writing them down. This part is simply a creative brainstorming session (or a brain dump, as I like to call it). Just take this time to write out ALL your ideas!

  3. Pick It and Stick With It!
    After you’ve written out all of your ideas, start connecting ones that have similar ideas/concepts. Write down words/phrases that tie in with those connecting ideas. As you narrow down your options, have a dictionary or a Thesaurus (if ya wanna get fancy with your verbiage) handy to help find words. Once you find your word, stick with it!

Declaration Decor (and a FREEBIE!)

If I’m gonna even try to remember something, I’d better see it EVERY DAY. In past years, I’ve made cute little signs, frames or journals that have my Declaration on it. This way, I’m frequently looking at it and remembering to declare that word/phrase in my prayers and over my life. 

**But Kaitlin, what if I hate crafting?!** No worries! I’ve made a FREE printable at the end of this post that you can write your word on! You can frame this in an 8”x 11” frame and hang it up it in your bedroom, office, bathroom, or wherever you’ll see it frequently! Better yet, place it somewhere where OTHER people will see it too. Then when they ask, you have the opportunity to tell them about all that God is doing in your life. (Hello! #instaevangelism)

I am praying that God will lead you in picking your word and that you will be FASCINATED with all that He does in your life and through you this upcoming year. What will your New Year’s Declaration be?





  1. Michelle

    I love the one word approach!! And even better to frame it so we can see it everyday!

    20 . Dec . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Yes! It helps me out so much because I am already so forgetful!

      20 . Dec . 2017
  2. Amy Cutler

    I absolutely love this! I also started doing “One Little Word” rather than NYRs a few years ago. Along with my word, I choose a verse for the year as well. Thank you for sharing!

    20 . Dec . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      I love it Amy!! That’s such a good idea 😊

      20 . Dec . 2017
  3. Dianne Thornton (@STHdianne)

    Love this, Kaitlin! I love the one word concept. Much better than resolutions. I love that you highlighted how our God SEES (El Roi) the whole year. And what our hearts need. Blessings in your Christmas!!

    20 . Dec . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      I’m there with ya!! Blessings to you too!

      20 . Dec . 2017
  4. Deb Wolf

    I completely agree!! I’ve picked a word or a theme each of the last few years. One area of growth on which I set back and ask God to go to work. I’m always hopeful that after 365 days it will stick. 🙂 Blessings and Merry Christmas!!

    20 . Dec . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      That is so cool that you do it too! Haha I know, I’m always hoping to keep it the whole year!!! Have a merry Christmas!!

      20 . Dec . 2017
  5. Backyard Faith

    I adore this idea. I had seen someone else speaking about a word/phrase of the year. So awesome thank you for sharing this.

    20 . Dec . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Of course!!! I’m glad you enjoyed! ❤️

      20 . Dec . 2017
  6. Heidi

    I completely agree that you should not set new years goals. I adore this idea. I think you should set goals on your own time and terms. Great post! 🙂

    20 . Dec . 2017
    • Kaitlin

      Me too, Heidi!! Glad you agree!

      20 . Dec . 2017
  7. hisdearlyloveddaughter

    Great idea! I love it.

    21 . Dec . 2017

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