My Word of the Year for 2020–Plus a Bit of Encouragement


Do you have a word of the year for 2020? Last year, for the first time, I chose a word of the year to help keep me focused on how I wanted to work on myself (with God’s help, of course).

I’ve never been one to make a lot of new year resolutions, because I haven’t known a lot of people to be successful with them beyond the first month or two, and I know myself well enough to know that I’m going down in February (if not before).

Choosing a word of the year helps keep me motivated regardless of ‘failure’ because even if I lose focus for awhile, I can bring it back around and keep working toward my goals.


If you’d like to read about my word of the year for 2019, check it out here!


2020: New Year, New Start

2019, though it was filled with more blessings than I can count, was a rough year for us financially and I’ve had a few personal struggles that seemed especially difficult in the past few months. I’m praying that 2020 is a year of recovery for our finances as well as a time of strong personal growth for me.

Too many goals for one year…

As usual, I have about a zillion things that I want to make improvements on. As a wife, a mother, a blogger, a ministry leader, and just a plain ol’ regular person I find it difficult to narrow down my word with laser focus.

Here’s a taste of things I want to do better this year:

As a wife I want to:
  • be more intentional about making time and mental/emotional space for my husband (without our kids being at the epicenter ALWAYS)
  • listening better and not worrying so much about being right vs. being supportive
As a mom I want to:
  • be more patient
  • get my kids outside more
  • be more intentional about teaching my kids the plan of Salvation
As a blogger I want to:
As a ministry leader I want to:
  • expand the ministries I’m involved in to reach more of my local community
  • find a way to minister to Christian moms who feel isolated
As a person I want to:
  • spend more time in prayer
  • spend more time in Bible study
  • drop the unhealthy guilt I carry
  • improve my practice of hospitality

My Word of the Year for 2020 | Disciple MamaHere’s my Word of the Year for 2020:

Of course there are so many more goals I have, but even the ones I’ve just listed are pretty overwhelming. So, with that in mind, my word of the year for 2020 is progress.

Progress is my 2020 word of the year because as a mom of two littles with a lot to do and a busy husband and less sleep than I need, I need to be okay with less than 100% success in reaching my goals this year. My goals are good and important, and reachable, yes! But I’m not pressuring myself to check off every item on the list before 2021 rolls around. If I can make measurable progress toward these goals in 2020, that will be my measure of success.

Perhaps inching forward doesn’t seem like a lofty enough goal, and maybe for you in your season of life it isn’t. But for me, right now, progress is enough. And I have a feeling that there are other mamas (and dads, too) who are going through a season in which just moving forward is success.

Progress through and past unhealthy guilt

The thinking and learning I’ve done about healthy vs. unhealthy guilt and how to deal with guilt is going a long way toward shaping my choice of a focus word for 2020. Even though I know that unhealthy guilt isn’t helping me move forward, I still struggle with it, and I really want to make changes in my life that help me set it aside and move on, hand in hand with my Savior. One of those changes is letting go of unrealistic expectations and accepting that progress is positive, even when it’s slow.

Here’s the thing–Christian parents have a lot to live up to. We are striving to follow the perfect example of Christ, and we fall short (and we fall hard) on a regular basis. It can be discouraging if we don’t recognize the value of progress on the way to achieving our goals.

Biblical encouragement for positive progress

Paul gives us a word of encouragement on the subject:

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. Philippians 3:12-16

Of course Paul is talking about spiritual growth, here, but the point remains that until we reach our goals we press on, and there is value in the little steps we make in the right direction. We are not able to achieve sanctification, self-discipline, or sinless character in a day, a week, a year, or a lifetime. God works in us to better us, and we simply must make the decision every day, every moment to allow Him to do so. There will be failures along the way, but accepting and even celebrating progress can motivate us to keep pressing on.

"God, grant me the faith to celebrate my progress more than I lament my setbacks." | Disciple MamaNot achieving your goals as fast as you’d like? You are not alone.

So, mamas, if you’re at a point in life where you’re just not achieving at the level that you want to, or if you’re carrying a heavy burden and progress is slow–I want you to hear me when I say that you are not alone.

In this season maybe some days are two steps forward and one step back, and you know what? Some of my days are one step forward and two steps back. Either way, in 2020 I’m praying for the faith to celebrate the progress more than lamenting the setbacks, and I hope you’ll join me in that prayer.

Progress is success.

This year, when you miss the mark, or fail to make a self-imposed deadline, remember that progress is success.

Give yourself the same grace that God grants you.

Let your goals motivate you instead of overwhelming you.

When you fall down, remember that you can’t fail unless you’re trying to succeed, and try again with God’s help.

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

God’s time is different than our time, and He will complete the work that needs to be done in us.


Do you have resolutions or a 2020 word of the year? Is progress a worthy goal? Let me know what you think by commenting below!

You may also enjoy reading:

My Word of the Year for 2019

The Christian Mom’s Guide to Mom Guilt

Overwhelmed? God’s Got You–Thoughts from Psalm 139

5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Spend Easter with Jesus

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