Do Something About One Thing: A Guest Post by Mike Ashcraft

Mike Ashcraft is senior pastor at Port City Community Church in North Carolina and co-author of “My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word”.  You can follow him on twitter @mikeashcraft or watch his sermons on

Mike has been gracious enough to share with us and give away 5 signed copies of his book.  Be sure to read to find out how!

Mike has been gracious enough to share with us and give away signed copies of his book; find out more below!


Do Something About One Thing

In just a few weeks, once the holiday bustle is safely in the past, we will turn our attention to the hope of the new year.  Our minds will drift towards the many ways we long to be different in the year ahead.

We’re not alone – 90 million Americans make New Year’s Resolutions.  Only a small fraction of us actually keep them.  We realize that.  But for now, the hope of a new year and everyone’s talk of change inspires us to make our list of resolutions again.

Resolutions:  pressure packed, sworn statements of our intentions to be better than we are

We are going to get organized, stop cussing, eat better, be on time, lose 15 lbs, do P90X, read more, watch less TV, enjoy the outdoors, yell less at our kids, get on a budget and spend more time in prayer.

But you know what happens?  We don’t.  Or we don’t for very long.

Then we assume we’re not cut out to be the kind of person we hoped we’d become.  Who we are is just, who we are.  And so the talk of change, as inspiring as it seems each January, fades into the reality of February.

Here is what you need to know:

You can change – change is possible.  God promises that.  (see Philippians 4)

But it won’t happen because you join the gym, clean your closet, organize your checkbook, or make a to-do list.

We can force changes for a while at the behavioral level. But what is needed is heart-level change.

We don’t need new goals – we need new character.

Seven years ago I abandoned my list of sweeping promises to change and instead prayerfully picked one word to be my focus for the entire year.  Just one word that represented what I most hoped God would do in me in the twelve months to come.  I meditated on it, wrote about in my journal, and prayed about it.

It became a lens through which I would see my heart and my life.  I remained committed to this word for the year, regardless of how much progress I made with it in any given week.

Here’s what I discovered:  change is possible; but focus is required.  And one simple word can hold your attention in a given position long enough for God to form your heart in that matter.

This year my one word has been SHAPE.  It has challenged me to become a bolder leader.  Last year it was INVEST.  It helped me identify what I had to offer- and I was challenged to actually offer those things I’d identified.  Another year it was LIGHT and another year, FINISH.  Each one brought something new—often surprising—into my character.  I have seen change happen in me and each word continues to impact me today.

So perhaps you ought to adjust the way you approach change.  Instead of making a bunch of promises about the behaviors you’ll stop or start in January, arrange your life to pay more attention to who you are becoming at heart.

Let me encourage you to choose your own one word for 2014.  Post it at  And if you want more guidance in this one-word practice, pick up a copy of “My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word“.

Let this be the year you do something about one thing instead of nothing about everything.  Let this be the year you get focused in your quest for change.



All week-long, we will be taking entries to receive a free copy of Mike’s book.

Later this week, I will share a testimonial on how the concept of My One Word has shaped my life.

In order to be entered:

  1. Share this post via Twitter or Facebook
  2. Tag @mikeashcraft or @matthamsr (Matt Ham for FB) so we’ll know
  3. Share your thoughts on picking a word, we’d love to hear from you

We will pick 5 winners Friday to receive a free signed copy!

Thanks again for stopping by!


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12 Responses to Do Something About One Thing: A Guest Post by Mike Ashcraft

  1. Misty Scott December 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    I can’t even begin to explain how My One Word has impacted my life! For 2013, I chose “Invest” (not stolen from Mike) and it has changed me in so many ways. I wanted to invest in my relationship with God, my children, my marriage, my important friendships & my clients. I caught myself going through the motions of everyday life without actually paying attention to the others in it.
    Foe example, my children are 11 & 8 so they need a Mom who is 100% invested in them. I would catch myself not paying attention when they were talking to me & then they started catching on, it was obvious that I needed to put everything else aside.
    My One Word is such a great tool to steer your life in the direction you know you should be headed!

    • Matt Ham December 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      WOW – what a great testimony! AND to see the principle of INVEST take root in you over the past year has been awesome! Can’t wait for 2014! VALUE?

  2. Joseph Lalonde December 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I haven’t given much thought to living a year with a single word as the focus. But this makes sense. I’m going to give it a shot as I move into the new year. I think this will be able to give me much more focus.

    • Matt Ham December 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Joe – It is REVOLUTIONARY in how I approach everything that I do – I know you’ve got a lot of irons in the fire too! Just as a lens brings things into focus, one word is your lens by which you engage in your life. I’m sharing my testimony on how it has shaped me on Thursday’s post – check it out if you get a chance!

      • Joe Lalonde December 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

        Awesome. I’ll for sure check it out.

        • Matt Ham December 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

          Thanks brother!!


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