Something interesting that my husband pointed out is that choosing one word to focus on for the year does not instigate an onslaught of events/situations related to that word. Instead, choosing that one word installs a filter in our lives. All of a sudden, anything dealing with the word gets trapped via that filter, and we start to focus on these lessons God has for us.
So, it's not that I've suddenly infused joy into my life by choosing the word joy, but I can now recognize what God wants to teach me about the whole concept of joy. What it is and what it isn't. What the "joy of the Lord" is, and how it is my strength.
You may not be participating in a one word resolution this year, but you can still establish a filter in your life. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8 That, my friends, is a pretty good way to sift through all the dross that can pile up day to day. Choose to be aware.