It’s Not Too Late to Choose Your “One Word”



My “one word” for this year is Health. Please allow me to explain why I chose it, in the hope that, somehow, you may be inspired to choose a word for yourself too.

When my father-in-law suddenly fell gravely ill last year, our family was in shock. While we waited for the results of tests to see what the root of his sickness was, we consulted a doctor who practices alternative (natural) medicine. He advised us to try changing my father-in-law’s diet to a healthier, fully plant-based one to boost his immunity. Sadly, Daddy passed away even before we could start it.

Choosing to make our health a top priority will help us live longer lives, so we can be with our loved ones and serve God more. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Another reason I chose “Health”: When I was still pregnant with our youngest child, I was diagnosed with urinary tract infections (UTI) more than once. To this day, I still blame myself for the UTI that she had when she was still a baby — I’ve read before that a baby can get a UTI if her mother has one when she gives birth. I always think that if I had been healthier during my pregnancy, maybe our daughter wouldn’t have gotten sick. More health, less illness.

Also, our two older children seemed to be sick every other month last year. Though they were usually down with a cold and cough — nothing serious that required hospitalization, thank the good Lord — it still made me think that they need to and can be healthier. I want them to be healthier and to learn to make healthier choices when it comes to food, exercise, etc. The same goes for me and my husband — I want us both to be in good health so we can live more, love more, serve more.

But the word Health doesn’t apply to just our physical bodies.

I want to be healthier spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially as well.

Spiritual Health

  • Pray more. Read my Bible more. And encourage my kids to do the same, too.
  • Go to Mass more often, aside from the usual Sunday Mass.
  • Spend more time in Eucharistic Adoration, with the kids if possible. (Pray for us that we’ll be able to do this!)
  • Go to confession at least once a month.
  • Participate in the Year of the Laity in a more concrete way. Serve God more actively.

Mental Health

  • Read more books related to what I do.
  • Learn more by attending more seminars and workshops.
  • De-stress more by doing more breathing and “centering” exercises.

Emotional Health

  • Be more present emotionally for my husband and (especially) our children, and other family members and friends, too.
  • Love more, yell less. (I want to be an orange rhino!)
  • I want to stop being the bully too close to home and to remember to choose only love today, every single day.

Financial Health

  • Save and invest more consistently.
  • Be more aggressive in paying off our debts.
  • Increase our active and passive income but not at the expense of family time and health.
  • Give more and on a more consistent basis.

These may seem like simple goals and desires for some of you, but just looking at this list makes me want to take deep breaths and say, “Lord, I surrender it all to You!” (And maybe pray The Stressed Out Parent’s Prayer more!) Well, that’s what we all need to do anyway, right? 

Now it’s your turn! Do you have a word, or Bible verse or maybe even a saint for the year? (Incidentally, I have all three!) Come share in the comments!

Copyright 2014 Tina Santiago-Rodriguez

Note: Part of this post originally appeared on


About Author

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a Catholic wife and home educating mom by vocation, and a writer and editor by profession. Among her different roles, she believes that her most important "work" is to be a helpmate to her husband, and to raise her kids to be "Kingdom-Seekers." Find out more about Tina through her website: Truly Rich and Blessed.


  1. I’ve never chosen a word or a Saint before this year. Thanks to the Saint generator @ Conversion Diary I received St. Catherine of Sweden which I think is a perfect match for me considering that we lost 2 babies last year.
    Recently during my Holy Hour, the word “Release” came to me so clearly that I knew I had to write it down. To me it means working on releasing control and giving it to God. Obviously He’s had it all along 🙂 – but consciously doing it can, I believe, help with my anxiety and anger.
    I’m looking forward to growing in this next year with the help of my Saint of the Year and Word of the Year!

  2. prov31wannabe on

    Wow, I had never heard of this Pick A Word activity before, and now I’ve read or heard of three times in ten days, including the Farmer’s Almanac web site! (Secular)
    After some prayer and discernment (freaky story but too long to tell here) the word I got was “obedience.” Not sure how that will play out in the coming year, but looking forward to the adventure!
    There is a random Saint Generator Picker thing? I’m in!

  3. Pingback: The Week and Day That Was: Blessed and Overwhelmed

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