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My One Word for 2016 (+ some heartfelt thoughts I’ve been wanting to share)

My One Word for 2016

As I’ve alluded to the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection over the last two months on where we’re at and where our business was headed. In all honesty, I didn’t like the trajectory.

I don’t regret the last three years. They have stretched me far beyond what I believed I was capable of. I’ve grown up as a businesswoman. I’ve had to make hard calls. I’ve had to carry heavy loads. And I’ve had to rely upon the Lord like never before.

Right before we left for South Africa — when I had just made it through surgery recovery and was gearing up for my big book launch — I got an email. It was a short and simple email but it rocked my world in profound ways.

My One Word for 2016

For privacy purposes, I can’t tell you the nature of the email or who it was from, but I can tell you that the whole trip, it consumed every conscious thought. It forced me to step back and really ask, “Why?”

“Why am I doing what I’m doing?”

“Why do I feel like I need to build things bigger and better?”

As I asked myself hard questions, I realized that, unknowingly, I had bought into the lie that says that more is what really matters.

All around me, I saw the signs that I had believed this and let this belief guide my actions and strategies. I was chasing after MORE.

More speaking opportunities, more book sales, more influence, more customers, more social media followers, more traffic, more impact…

More. More. More.

My One Word for 2016

Our culture has convinced us that more is always better. More success equals more fulfillment. More traffic numbers means more influence.

But in all the MORE-chasing, I was losing something of greater value: my joy.

I was tired. My heart was heavy. And I felt a little like I was suffocating.

The responsibilities, the emails, the people needing me, the business demands, the projects, the meetings… they were sucking the life and joy right out of my lungs.

My heart was craving rest, not rushing. Peace, not platform-building. And solitude, not success.

I was tired of the chasing and the racing and the out-of-breath sort of living.

So I came home from South Africa settled in my spirit: I was done with MORE. 

The Year of Rest

Instead, I am pursuing a life of less. Fewer responsibilities. Fewer commitments. Fewer meetings. Fewer to-do’s. Fewer must-do’s.

Which is why I chose REST as my word for 2016. It’s time to slow down. It’s time to savor. It’s time to say “no”. It’s time to stop, to pay attention, to really listen, to breathe.

For 2016, I’ve committed to only focus on three things when it comes to the business: writing, scoping, and producing products. Those are the three things that really refresh and energize me and allow me the space to breathe and to pour into my family and my community. And even with those things, I’m really pacing myself so that doing these things is a blessing not a burden.

{It’s possible I may do a few other things here and there, but each “yes” is going to be carefully and prayerfully considered — and my accountability partners have to agree that it is a wise “yes” for me.}

I’m so happy. So calm. So at peace. I’m ready for #TheYearofRest!

P.S. Just for fun, I’ll be documenting #TheYearofRest on Instagram if you want to follow along and be inspired! And come back tomorrow when I’ll be sharing my 4 goals for 2016 and how they coincide with my Year of Rest. 

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92 Comments

  1. Aileen says:

    Crystal, good for you! I hope 2016 brings you lots of rest and time for things most important to YOU. I look forward to following along on IG. 🙂

  2. Darla says:

    Love this! And you.

  3. Everyone needs rest. Enjoy. I hope that you are able to stick to your decision. All moms know this is a hard one. <3

  4. Bekah Pogue says:

    Okay, can I just say I am so freakin’ proud of you?! Yes! Rest! Since I read your words I’ve been praying for you as you start the new year filling your cup with the One who will pour abundantly so you can live intentionally. I chose a Rest rhythm 2 years ago and have not regretted it for one second. It’s taken some prioritizing, saying confident no’s, and really choosing how God wants me to spend time but I’ve never enjoyed the hours or felt more content or thankful and I KNOW this will be the case for you. I’m cheering you on. Hugs from HB 🙂

  5. claire says:

    You so deserve rest in 2016. Have a great new year and peaceful 2016. I love reading your posts, they really make me think what i need to do. The last few years have been hard and as a couple we have not set goals like we did when we were first married. This is what i want to work on in 2016. Plus move house in feb!

  6. Lizzie Keen says:

    Hi Crystal, I can’t recommend the book “Rest Assured” by Vicki Courtney enough! Your desires for 2016 sound just like what she writes about. It’s one of my top favorite books now. 🙂

    Happy New Year’s Eve!

  7. Liz says:

    I LOVE this post. It really gives me a feeling of taking a big deep breath! I have a phrase for the year. Its “Let Go”. Oh, how I am in need of some letting go. People pleasing, grief, perfection, and even stuff.

    I wrote about how I came to it here. 🙂 http://elizabethchristineblog.blogspot.com/2016/01/words-for-2016-my-take-on-one-little.html

  8. Adri Hugo says:

    Hi Chrystal!
    WOW I am so blessed to read about your Year of rest 2016 goal!
    We live on a fruit and vegetable farm in South Africa and as a side line we have 6 self catering cottages. Both businesses grew so much and are successful, but we are working 7 days a week! We made the very hard decision to close the guest house business for a year or may be even two! It is very sad, because we love our guests, but for quality of live reasons – we are closing it!
    So my goal for 2016 is PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY with our 3 young children and my husband!!!! Just one other goal and that is to support my husband to be a champion in his work!!
    Greetings
    Adri

  9. Emily says:

    Wow. It’s takes a lot of integrity to stop chasing the More. I’m proud of you. So many people seem so intent on selling their souls for money. I hope if I ever come to a place of such success that I’ll have the courage to lay it down and rest. Be Blessed by the Giver of Rest,
    PS. When we rest God works… -Emily

  10. Good for you. It’s hard to go against the grain but more of us need to do it. I hope this post will inspire many.

  11. Kirsten says:

    I’m also taking a year of rest. God led me to a book called the Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst just when I needed it, and I just finished the book 5 Little Questions That Reveal the Life God Designed for You by Dannah Gresh, and I highly recommend both of them as they speak on the subject of being less busy. In our human efforts to accomplish more, we become tired, and lose our peace and joy. But the amazing thing is, when we stop to spend time with the Lord, He REDEEMS our TIME! I’m learning this and excited by how God will allow us to accomplish so much if we spend the necessary time with Him to seek Him first. As a result, we can be free of the stress associated with living harried, busy lives. I’m looking forward to being on your journey alongside you as you pursue Him and your year of rest! God bless you!

  12. Marna Thall says:

    Hey, This post is very inspiring and hope it will change life of millions of people.

    Cheers!

  13. Lisa Patterson says:

    I just lost my mom in December (after a very stressful season of sickness.) Since then, I’ve been beyond overwhelmed with trying to take over her duties. I don’t even feel like I’ve have a chance to mourn. I’ve had several low moments, feeling like my prayers weren’t being answers as to what to do next. Then I came across this entry about your year of rest. After reading this, I feel like God is also calling me to a time of rest, to be centered and trust in Him. Thank you so much for letting the Lord use you to speak this word to me!
    Lisa

  14. Terra says:

    After a year of crazy (that we couldn’t wholly avoid), our family is choosing 2017 for our year of Rest. I’ve been following your blog for about nine years now and it’s been a joy to see your journey. I’d love to see a blog or response on how the year finished out. What did you learn? What did you wish you would’ve done differently? Did you establish rules as to what you would “not” do during that year? My husband and I are both very wired to help, help, help but often to the detriment of ourselves. We see and acknowledge it but are wondering even what boundaries to set to not say too many “yeses”. We have 5 children ages 2-9 so we’re exhausted enough right there. 😉 Would love any thoughts by comment, email or blog. 😉

  15. Melissa says:

    It is very much the norm that we chase more in our lives. Society is all about the fast pace life and we are told more is better,but if we do this we forget what really matters.

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