Jimmy Page and Dan Britton are both leaders of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Jimmy is a speaker, author, triathlete, fitness leader, and co-author of three books: Wisdom Walks, Wisdom Walks Sports, and Pray Fit. He also hosts a weekly radio show called Fit Fridays.

Jimmy is an adventure seeker, he went skydiving with each of his kids for their 18th birthday, and he loves Country Music!

Dan is a speaker, author, and marathon runner. He is a former professional lacrosse player who has coauthored two books, Wisdom Walks and Wisdom Walks SPORTS. Dan is also the author and editor of eleven FCA books.

Memorable Quotes:
  • “And I remember just having to say no to a lot of things, getting rid of a lot of things that were probably pretty good things. But they weren’t helping me make progress towards the most important things. So it began that journey of, as you say, simple changes that made a big shift or, in this case, a big difference in our lives.”
  • “And that’s part of the beauty of “One Word” is God will do things in your life. If you’re open to it, you’ll see things happen. You’ll be like, man, I did not see that coming when I picked this word, and that’s a beautiful part of it.”
  • “We all have barnacles on us from life, whether it’s what we’re eating, who we’re around, the thoughts we’re having.”
  • “Now some days are better than others. But when we count each day and there’s no wasted days, we develop a heart of wisdom.”
What You’ll Learn:

How to implement the concept of choosing one word to permeate your year and give you purpose and direction.

This Episode Includes:
  • The origin story of the One Word concept was born out of one challenging conversation with a friend.
  • The first word Dan chose as his “One Word” in 2000 was “intimacy.”
  • Jimmy learned about the “One Word” concept from Dan during an accountability group session and it immediately clicked. Jimmy realized he needed to let go of the noise and focus.
  • Jimmy and Dan share a few words their children have chosen in the past like “overflow” and “due.”
  • The duo shares how both of their families choose a word each year and make a painting of it on a canvas.
  • Robin shares her word from 2021, which was surrender, and her new word for 2022.
  • Dan and Jimmy coach Dr. Robin through the word she chose, “trust,” and how to implement it in her life.
  • Dan and Jimmy talk about the six dimensions: physical, mental, spiritual, relational, emotional, and financial. They relate it to Dr. Robin’s four quadrants of wellbeing: mechanical, chemical, energetic, psychospiritual.
  • It’s important to remember your “One Word” throughout the year so it truly saturates your entire year, not just January 1st.
  • Dan shares that his word for 2022 is “rattle.” Jimmy is still praying about his word.
  • Dan and Jimmy give several takeaways about choosing your “One Word” and how to implement it in your life.
Three Takeaways from Today’s Episode:
  1. Don’t put too much pressure on choosing your “One Word” for 2022.
  2. Go through the process. Go through the three steps of looking in, looking up, and looking out to choose your word.
  3. Decide how you will ruminate on your word this year. Maybe it’s painting the word on a canvas and hanging it in your bedroom or maybe it’s buying a plaque with the word on it for your office. Whatever you choose, find a way to focus on your word throughout the year.
Episode Transcript:
Click Here To View Written Transcript of Episode

Dr. Robin

Welcome back to Small Changes. Big Shift, building, rhythm and Resilience. Hey, happy New Year as well. It’s fun to be kicking off this year with you. And one thing that I’m really talking a lot about is One Word. And so I thought, what a better way to start the year than inviting Dan and Jimmy to join me to talk about the One Word book if you haven’t heard about it.

So a couple of fun facts about Jimmy and Dan. Jimmy is a speaker, author, triathlete, fitness leader and coauthor of three books Wisdom Walks, Wisdom Walk, Sports and Prayfit. He hosts a weekly radio segment called Fit Fridays. I did not know this about him as I was bringing him on. Jim. I’m also a triathlete. Jimmy went skydiving with each of his kids for their 18th birthday. That’s fun to hear more about. And Jimmy loves country music.

Dan is a speaker, author and marathon runner. Dan is a former professional lacrosse player who has co authored two books Wisdom Walks and Wisdom Walk Sports. Dan is the also the author and editor of Eleven FCA books. Dan and Jimmy, welcome to Small Changes, Big Shifts.

Dan and Jimmy

Great to be here with you. Great to be here. Yeah. Thanks for having us both on. Are you ready for this?

Dr. Robin

I am ready. I’ve been thinking about my word for the year and I think I’ve got it. So I’m interested to hear, first of all, How’s the book One Word come about?

Dan and Jimmy

Well, it was really almost mistake. It shouldn’t have happened. Broken play. You could say we’ve been doing this one Word discipline since 1999 and going into the year of 2000, we were wondering if the world was going to melt. Right? Two K and I had a friend that challenged me on a drive and said, hey, what’s your one word for the year? And Jimmy and I are very driven people. And I have a seven page word document that all my goals and roles and plans and resolutions and everything. And at the end of the year I’d accomplish maybe five or 10%. I’d redo the whole thing and try it again. And so when my buddy Steve asked me what my one word was, I thought he was talking about my seven page word document. And so, Doctor Michelle, I gave him a 20 minutes sermon on our drive to a conference. And he looked at me. He’s a former NFL player. And Steve looked at me. He goes, Dan, you’re really stupid.

I asked for one word, and I could not boil it down into one word. All the things I wanted to accomplish for the year. So I gave him a slogan and he goes, yeah, you really are stupid. And I still remember Dr. Michelle, that I was trapped. I could not narrow the focus. I couldn’t reduce it down. And I remember saying to Steve, I go, okay, big boy. And he was a big boy. Former NFL guy. I said, What’s your one word for the year?

And he said, Harvest, and he’s a communicator speaks to thousands of young people all across the US. He says, Dan, I want to plant seeds of greatness in the next generation of leaders and see a harvest of leaders rise up. I get chills telling you that today 20 plus years later. And so he says, What’s your one word for the year? And I said, Harvest, no, I didn’t take his word. I didn’t take his word. But it really challenged me. And that set me on a course that year of the year 2000, going into the year 2000, to begin to pray and to think and meditate. And that two weeks later on my run, my daily run, I do it was almost like the word found me. And the word was intimacy.

And so the year 2000 was your intimacy of going deep in my relationships with my friends, my family, even with the God of the universe. And it was the year of intimacy. And really, Michelle, that’s where this whole concept of one word got birth. And as Jimmy and I started doing it and sharing this vision with people, people wanted more. And we just realized we just couldn’t keep up with it. And that’s when the book came out because John Gordon, our good friend and best selling New York Times bestseller, started doing it and said, hey, let’s do a book together and man in 2013, when we actually got the book written and developed and seen hundreds of thousands of books sold. And now millions of people doing the one word for the year. We knew that something special was happening, that’s kind of the Genesis in the background of it.

Dr. Robin

Well, I love it. I love the word harvest, too. I got the chills down the left side of my body, which is where the Holy Spirit talks to me. And it’s interesting. We have a foundation called Big Shift Foundation with the goal to make generational change through wellbeing through five to 30 year olds. And we just took eight new scholarship outfits last week. And one of the things we gave them was the one word book because we wanted them to think about that as part of this psychospiritual Quadrant. So, Jimmy, how did you get pulled into this?

Dan and Jimmy

Well, as Dan said, we were journeying together at that time. We were actually part of an accountability group. Every Friday morning, we would get together at 06:00 a.m. And have a lot of coffee and talk through the word of God. And we were all looking honestly at that point, we wanted to maximize our life. I mean, we really wanted to make the most of this journey. We knew we had one shot at this.

So in most of those times that we would talk, we wanted to be great husbands and dads, we wanted to maximize our purpose in life and really make a difference for others. So we were struggling with that. We felt like with all of our effort, we weren’t focused enough to really enjoy the life change that we wanted and the impact that we wanted. So for me, when Dan brought this idea to me, I got it right away. I wasn’t quite as slow as Dan was. It took Dan a little longer than me. But when he said, hey, you just need to narrow it to one word and focus. I was like, that’s exactly what I need. I need focus. I need to get rid of all this noise in my life. And as soon as we were able to get rid of the noise, my word for the first year actually was simplified.

And I remember just having to say no to a lot of things, getting rid of a lot of things that were probably pretty good things. But they weren’t helping me make progress towards the most important things. So it began that journey of, as you say, simple changes that made a big shift or, in this case, a big difference in our lives. And it didn’t take long to figure out it was going to work because we started experiencing life change, and everybody around us was like, what are you doing?

And one of the things that I did, and I know Dan did this as well. We brought it back to our families, our spouses, and sometimes that’s even an easier leap for them to make once they see some life change happening in you.

Dr. Robin

Well, that was one of my next questions, especially with our passion collectively around young people. Tell me a story about. And, Jim, I’m going to come to you first. Tell me a story about one of your children taking this philosophy of one word and how it has impacted their life.

Dan and Jimmy

I mean, for the kids, it’s easy to see, and sometimes they feel I would say sometimes they feel unsuccessful because sometimes they lose focus on their word. But I’ll remind them throughout the year and one of the things that we do. And this is a different part of the book. But you want to keep your word front and center throughout the year so that you don’t just pick it for January 1 and kind of put it on the shelf.

But instead, you put it everywhere, and we would paint our words on these canvases. My wife would get these canvases. We would paint our words. And I’ll never forget one of the years that we went through this one of my son’s word was “due,” and my son, Jake, his word was “due.” And I thought, Dude, that’s such a cool word. Why? And we always want to get to the why? Why did you pick that word? And he said, you know, instead of wanting to do things, I’m going to actually do things. I’m going to get stuff done. And I was like, Man, you’re going to have a year of progress. And he did. He journeyed with it. And all aspects of his life began to change because he started taking action. He started taking action around that word of due, and it’s a simple word with profound changes.

Dr Robin

I love that you said, you have it front and center. So, in 2021, my word was surrender. And one of my friends, Marquita, actually sent me a little surrender plaque, and I still have a full-time wellness practice, and it’s actually in my office. And I look at it every single day. I’m seeing patients, and my clients will say something to me, and I’m like, oh, there’s my word, surrender. I’m like, well, they’re right there. And so I think that’s the magic. And I’ve never actually had it that way. This is the first year I’ve done that after a handful of years doing One word, and it’s been front and center all year long. So I love that. Dan, how about you? What about one of your children? You’ve got a couple since you’ve been skydiving at the age of 18 with all of them?

Dan and Jimmy

Yeah, it’s interesting. We’re at a new season. Actually, all three of our kids are actually married out of the house, graduated. So now they’re starting their own families. They’re doing the one word with their spouse and creating those traditions. But I remember a number of years ago when we were doing the pictures, actually, Jimmy, when we would get together on December 31, both of our families would get together and would go and get all the canvases. And Jimmy and I aren’t really too great at painting, even though some of our family members are awesome.

We always felt pressure to come up with a great painting. But I remember my oldest daughter, Callie, had the word “overflow,” and she put a cup with just water flowing out of it. And as a student, she just wanted to be an example of overflowing with God’s goodness and generosity and to see what God would do out of the overflow of her life, not trying to Minister out of the dredges of her soul, but overflowing with the goodness of God. And just I remember her picture with the cup and the water overflowing it.

And I would say that really that she was a person of overflow. And I still see that impact happening in her life today.

Dr. Robin

I love that word overflow. People always say to me, how do you do what you do? And I’m like, well, I’ve got lots of energy to use. I’m either going to use it for good or I’m going to use it for bad, but I’m giving for my overflow because I do the things that take care of my wellbeing, sleep, hydration, all those things. So I want to shift to the 6th dimension, and I’m going to get some complimentary coaching today. I’m not going to call it free complimentary coaching today. So, my word for 2022 is “trust.” And you talk about six dimensions. And I’m guessing maybe through the years, the last 20 years, one of you may have had the word trust. Is that a possibility?

Jimmy and Dan

I have not, Dan. I have not. Oh, my goodness.

Dr. Robin

Okay, well, maybe my coach is going to be limited here, but talk about the six dimensions. If you’re coaching me and guiding me on how to really maximize my word, what would you recommend?

Dan and Jimmy

Yeah, well, I know that you communicate and share quite often the quadrants of wellbeing, and you have four of them. And we have six dimensions. I think they really go hand in hand together, but kind of when we’re writing this book and Jimmy, John, and I were beginning to think through when we narrowed on the front end, that doesn’t mean we limit it.

We have to narrow it on the front end so we can have greater impact on the back side. And so, as we begin to process through, that is, hey, take the effort to be disciplined on the front end and then now apply it to all those areas of life. And we said, hey, there are six dimensions. There’s physical, mental, spiritual, relational, emotional and even financial.

And so now as you narrow it on the front end, as you push it through that filter, how can your word “trust” impact the physical, the mental, spiritual, emotional, relational and financial? Now you can develop a game plan on the back side of where all those areas of increasing that word trust come into the six dimensions.

Yeah. And Doctor Michelle, I was also thinking that on the front end of the year, I built an expectation of sorts. I asked myself, for example, one of my words has been “unstoppable.” It’s funny. You say you keep it front and center. I’ve got my unstoppable band. I’ve got it on shirts and hats. Dan knows I’m a little bit of a freak. I even have unstoppable shirts from him. Yes, but what I do is I built an expectation. What would it look like to have an unstoppable mindset? What would it look like to have to be unstoppable emotionally, physically, what it would look like?

And I start to Journal on that on the front end of the year. So, I think building a positive expectation for what you think might happen as far as personal transformation that year. Now, I will say you’re going to be super surprised at how the word actually works its way through your life. Sometimes there’s some very unlikely things that happen that you didn’t expect.

And that’s part of the beauty of one word is God will do things in your life. If you’re open to it, you’ll see things happen. You’ll be like, man, I did not see that coming when I picked this word, and that’s a beautiful part of it.

But if you can set the expectation on the front end of the year, what is the greatest positive change that can happen in my life around this word in those six dimensions? It puts you on the right track, if you know what I mean.

I like that, Jimmy. I think it’s important. We always say that. What story do you want to tell at the end of the year? Okay. So right now, we’re telling the story about 2021, which probably is different than what we probably laid out at the beginning of 2021. But we kind of say, hey, go through the exercise. And with that word, trust, if it would play out the way that God wants it to play out in your life, not the way I want it to play out, the way God sees it, playing out in your life of who you can become, not what you can accomplish.

What story do you want to tell at the end of 2022 about trust again? It’s creating that expectation, creating that game plan and laying that out before God and saying, God, this is the story that I want to tell at the end of the year. Now, it might be different at the end of the year. But at least you’re laying that out with expectations and Dan it’s like beginning with the end in mind.

Right. And part of the process of discovering your word. And you probably went through this in the book is you’re asking yourself the question, what do I need most, what’s in the way and what’s got to go? And so, when you arrive at a word like trust, you’re arriving at a word like trust for a reason. There might be a primary driver of that. But if you begin with the end in mind and we always talk about this becomes part of who you are. It’s not something you do. It’s part of who you become.

And so in the end, you’re going to be a more trusting person. In the end, we’re hoping that it will be demonstrated in your life and part of who you are. It’s not something that you close the chapter and it’s done. Instead, it’s part of who you are. It’s part of your being as part of your DNA. So if you begin with the end in mind, a lot of times you end up there intentionally, which I think is super important.

Dr. Robin

Well, Dan, and you brought up your daughter, Callie, who still operates, even though her word was not overflow. Maybe the last couple of years is still part of who she is because you start to embody that persona or not that persona, that habit. So I think that’s a good reminder. Everybody, like, surrender my word for 2021. It’s still going to be who I am, that surrendered trust. Kind of as I’m thinking about writing the definitions about those, and that’s what I will do is kind of dive into a deeper.

One thing that I love about the work you do. And you guys actually have the book, right, which is a great read. It’s simple, easy yet very thought provoking. But you also give people free tools they could download. Where can they find those?

Jimmy and Dan

Get one word. Com. Get one word. Com. We have tons of posters and resources and action plans. It’s just we’re loaded with equipping leaders with the tools to be able to live this out and apply it to their life, their family, their business, the Church anywhere. Great.

Dr. Robin

Well, it’s a delight to have you on the show with me today. Either of you want to share your word for 2022?

Jimmy and Dan

Dan, you want to go? I’ll go right on it. You and I have not even talked about this yet. No. In fact, this is pretty unusual by this stage, but so my word for the year is “rattle,” and it’s based on a scripture passage in Ezekiel 37, where the Prophet prophesies to the bones. It’s the Valley of dry bones. And those bones start to rattle as they come back together. And then God breathes new life into them.

So, it’s rattle. It’s the whole idea of encouraging people to come back to new life. Ezekiel 37. I’m surprised I’m 37. I know you are. His life number is 37. So, it’s part of him.

I’m praying through right now, Doctor Michelle, two or three words and don’t have clarity yet. I’m going back and forth and I think I might know, but I just don’t want to say yet. I’m still getting a lot of mileage off of 2021 word, which is wisdom and man. Just going into this year, I knew it was going to be a very challenging year, following up 2020 and just ask God for more wisdom. I want to see and feel the way God sees and feels. And this year I have two more days left with wisdom. I’m holding tight to my wisdom and asking God. And you know what really the thing? That probably the big thing this year that I learned is a lot of people have knowledge and the difference in knowledge and wisdom is knowledge doesn’t have to be shared.

You can have knowledge, you become smarter, but you don’t become wiser. And wisdom is always shared. It’s always put an experience. And when you can share wisdom, that’s when you become wise and I’m still benefiting the last two days of wisdom.

So I’m praying about 2022 word. I can’t wait to reveal it soon, but still contemplating on it.

Dr. Robin

Well, it’s interesting. I’ve been thinking about my word and I was actually thinking of wisdom at your wellness connection when I got the word trust, I was doing a sound ceremony of just kind of clearing the vibration of I always say, the barnacles. We all have barnacles on us from life, whether it’s what we’re eating, who we’re around, the thoughts we’re having.

Jimmy, I’m coming back to you. What are three takeaways? As we start to wrap up what are three takeaways you’d want our listeners to know that can help them manifest, encourage, pray about to have a phenomenal 2022?

Jimmy and Dan

Yes. First of all, I think it’s not to put too much pressure on your selection for the word. A lot of times people will come to us and say, what if I get the word wrong? I’m like you can’t get the word wrong. Any word that you pick is going to be profoundly going to make a difference in your life. So don’t feel that pressure.

Especially a lot of times people will get it narrowed down to two or three words. Take the pressure off and look at it as a chapter of your life. God’s going to use this as a chapter of change in your life and then develop that positive expectation.

I think the second thing is, you really go through the process. The three steps of looking in, looking up and looking out. Don’t shortcut it and just start writing words down or see something on a Billboard and pick a word. Go through it unplugged from the busyness of life. Set aside some time to be contemplative to ask yourself the questions in the book and answer those and let God use the space and the time to reveal the word to you.

Dan and I would always say that the first couple of years we picked words, but after we started really going through the process, we became good at discovering God’s word for us. There’s a lot of good words out there, but you want to let God ruminate in your mind and your spirit before you select that word and keep it simple. Keep it super simple.

Dr. Robin

Dan, how about you? What are your three takeaways?

Dan and Jimmy

Well, it’s hard to take 20 plus years and simplify it into three big takeaways on the one-word concept. But, Jimmy, yours was great. Can I just borrow yours? Yeah. So one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 90:12, and it’s the only Psalm that Moses wrote. It’s the oldest Psalm he wrote a prayer, and it’s a powerful passage and verse twelve says, Lord, teach us to number our days carefully so that we can develop a heart of wisdom. And I just love that because I believe, Doctor Michelle, when we count each day, there’s no wasted days, right that every day counts.

Now some days are better than others. But when we count each day and there’s no wasted days, we develop a heart of wisdom. And I want a heart of wisdom moving forward into 2022. So, number one is, remember, there’s no wasted day. Every single day in 2022 counts unless count each day. So, we can have a heart of wisdom.

My second encouragement, this is when we realize we have no wasted days. Let’s not just have a good year. Let’s have a God year. A Good year is marked by God. His fingerprints are all over the year. Again, the ups and the downs. And again, we love to be on the mountaintop, and nothing grows on the mountaintop.

A lot of growth happens in the Valley, but we don’t like to be in the Valley. It’s always green in the Valley. So, second thing is not just a good year, but a God year with God’s fingerprints all over this year.

And the last thing that I would say is, remember, we cannot master or conquer our word. I remember one year, my dad, he passed away in 2008, but he loved this one word. I think, Jimmy, you and I would sell many more books if he’s still alive today. But he one year came back to me, and I said, hey, dad, what’s your word for this upcoming year? And he goes, Discipline. I go, dad, you can’t do that. That was your word. Last year. He goes, I know I didn’t do a good job at it. I got to have it again. I got, dad, you can’t do that. You can’t have redo’s. And he goes, Danny, it’s my word. And I said, Well, dad is my concept. You can’t pick.

So the thing is, let the word stand on its own. You don’t own the word. You don’t climb to the mountaintop, put a flag on top and say, I now own this word. I’ve mastered it. I’ve conquered it. It’s more about experiencing the word, journey with the word, learning from the word and seeing what God wants to do in you and through you.

And when that happens, I think the big impact that Jimmy and I again at the very beginning, a lot of times we’re about, hey, the one word is about us, about growth in us. But the big AAA happened after a couple of years, we realized that really the big impact isn’t what lives on in us, but what lives on in others and how our work impacts those around us.

So it moves from, like, hey, the words of me, word versus you, word. And now it’s impacting all the people around. So like, trust for you. You might start out like, hey, Lord, I want to grow in my trust. But now other people are becoming more trustworthy because you are utilizing your word in their life. And that’s the beauty. And that’s the power.

Dr. Robin

Well, I’m excited to maybe recap this year with you, too, to see what kind of magic has happened, not only in our life, but the people that are new to this concept of one word, like our kids through our foundation. I’d like to wrap up the show and first of all, say, thank you so much for not just this moment, but the moment you’ve had dedicated your lives to with the work you’re doing on the planet. So thank you for that. And is there a quote or a song or a book that’s inspiring you in this moment?

Dan and Jimmy

Okay. Well, I’ll give you a book that I’m really enjoying. It’s called “The Ten Rules for Resilience” by Joe De Sena. He’s the founder of the Spartan Races, which I race in. And it is one of the most compelling books, really for parents and kids. I’ve got my kids listening to it now because it is such an impactful book. So I would say The Ten Rules for Resilience by Joe De Sena.

Dr. Robin

Well, we definitely rhythm and resilience, right? It’s perfect for the show today. Dan, how about you?

Dan and Jimmy

Well, I am reading a couple of books, and instead of sharing a book, Jimmy shared a great book. I’m going to just share a simple principle that I believe is so important, especially as we dive into this new year is I love the concept is ,“we drift to complexity. We drive to simplicity.” And I just think for such a time as this, I feel like every day Dr. Michelle gets more and more complicated, more and more complex.

Everything going on with the pandemic and vaccine and opinions, and everyone has a voice. And there’s a lot of noise. And just over time, we just get way down. And there’s another rock in our backpack. And I just think for such a time as this, we need to drive.

There needs to be intentionality to drive to simplicity in our leaders today, both in the Christian world, religious world, political world. We need to drive to simplicity and just strip away all the extra and just get down to the things that really matter the most.

And that’s people that’s relationships, that’s a relationship with God relationship with people, love God and love others. Period. Drop the mic that’s all we need to do is drive to simplicity.

Dr. Robin

You know, you’re making me think of a quote that I want to share today, and I didn’t have one until you actually shared that. Dan, for today. And it’s one by Confucius says that “life is really simple. We insist on making it complicated.” And so don’t complicate this one work process. Dan and Jimmy have it all laid out for you. What’s the website again?

Dan and Jimmy

Get one word. Com.

Dr. Robin

Get one word. Com. I encourage you to get the book. We’ll have it in the show notes. But, you know, here’s a song that I want to share today. I was going to share a song and it’s by Carrie Jobie where speak to me. And I know that sometimes I have trouble because I’m in my head and I want to get into my heart. And I’ll play that song. And it really helps me to start to listen more to the Spirit, God within me. That’s trying to help me be the best version of myself. And your work has really changed my life. So thank you so much for joining me today on small changes. Big shifts.

Dan and Jimmy

Thank you. You bet it’s been a pleasure.

Dr. Robin

All right. Hey, I’ll look forward to chat with you all soon. Next week, you will want to join us here. We’ll have a John O’Leary sharing his story. Talk about somebody who’s also got a lot of passion. We are on a roll for 2022. Without a doubt, it’s going to be one of the best years ever. Go back to what Dan said. Remember, you just have these moments and so make your moments count. Blessings to all of you.

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