Colossians 3:16 - The best way to read the Bible in one year

~ Today’s Scripture Art and blog post were designed to entrust to you the specifics that helped achieve success (finally!) when I ventured to read the Bible in one year after many failed attempts. ~

*This post may contain affiliate links. To learn more, click here.

Psst. I think I have stumbled upon the best way to read the entire Bible in one year. That’s a pretty big claim, I know. And I assume all you savvy online navigators want me to prove it.


There’s nothing I would like more than to give you everything you need to know to be consistent with your Scripture reading.

Just imagine if every single Christian read through their whole Bible next year. Imagine how God would use that to affect our world! 

Instead, we have studies that say only a third of Protestant church-goers read their Bible every day.

Not even half. 

That statistic seriously needs to change.

Romans 15:4 (ESV): For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 - Reason to read the Bible in one year

So today I’m gifting to you the details that made the difference for me. 

Have you tried any of the hundreds of different yearly Bible reading plans that are out there? How did you decide which one to try? But the bigger question is: did you complete it?

Since I have tried quite a few and the majority of them still sit unfinished, I understand the conundrum. 

But there was one method …

One that I have now completed multiple times! 

So that right there is scientific evidence that it works, right? {grin}

Ok, here’s the background story. Tell me if any of this rings true in your own life.

In the past I had many a January where I pledged to read the Bible through in one year. I genuinely wanted to! I started strong. Then of course life happened and most of those pledges I made were followed by Februarys where I waved the white flag of defeat. 


But (and I can’t tell you how happy I am to tell you about this “but”) in more recent years, I have actually completed the charge several times!

What was different this time? 

I set out to figure that out so it could be repeated. 

Jeremiah 15:16 Scripture Art
*Shop this ^ printable HERE.

It wasn’t that I had more time, because I was still as busy as I ever was. 

And it wasn’t that I had more desire, because I had always had a big desire.

Side note: If you wish you had more desire to read God’s Word, then start with this post before continuing.

I began to pick apart the one year Bible reading plan that worked for me. What did it have that was missing from the other plans that failed? 

Today I am revealing my findings after that analysis.

There were 3 details that were different (and you are welcome to copy and implement them).

Honestly, I might have totally overlooked these differences had I not been carefully scrutinizing.

Yes, they are small. But as you will see, sometimes small things can make a big difference.  

The key differences found in my successful (finally!) one year Bible reading plan …

1. Tracking 

2. Tracking 

3. Tracking 

No, that wasn’t a typo. Allow me to explain.

Joshua 1:8 Scripture Art by Write Them On My Heart
*Shop this ^ printable HERE.

As I was making notes and deciding how to word my findings, God made it all come together with one word! 

One word, but 3 different meanings. 

The secret ingredients turned out to be 3 types of tracking. 

1. Tracking – as in hunting and pursuing.

Example: They were tracking her dog by following the paw prints.

2. Tracking – as in perceiving, grasping, and realizing.

Example: We were tracking what she was explaining. 

3. Tracking – as in keeping a record.

Example: I kept a list tracking every glass of water I drank.

Are you tracking so far? 

These were 3 things the other unsuccessful plans didn’t have. 

The plan that worked for me wasn’t just reading. It added those 3 elements: hunting, grasping, and keeping a record. 

If you have yet to succeed in reading the whole Bible in a year, may I suggest that you make sure your plan of choice supplies those 3 things.

They are easy to add!

Because let’s face it, reading the entire Bible in a year is not an easy task. You will want to engage every aid you can find to make it happen. 

So let’s go over it in a little more detail.

Here are the 3 elements again, worded slightly different …

3 Essentials For a One Year Bible Plan

1. Something to hunt for

2. Something new to perceive

3. Some way to keep a record

Here’s how those 3 looked for me.

1. Tracking / Hunting – While reading the designated chapters for each day, I would hunt for a “special” verse to write down – a word God wanted me to ponder that day. Underlining as I read made it easy to go back afterward and prayerfully choose a verse to write. It was fun to hunt for a verse!

Note: The thrill of the hunt was positive reinforcement to continue every day.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV): And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 - The best way to read the Bible in one year.
*Shop this ^ printable HERE.

2. Tracking / Grasping – I was amazed at all the extra things God revealed in the “going back.” Instead of closing my Bible after reading, I went back through what I had underlined to choose a verse to write. Well, that short little “going back” extra time was so special! The Lord opened my eyes to fresh new things time after time.

I also would go back and read my “verse for the day” again after I wrote it. I like to use a method where you read the verse several times and emphasize a different word each time you read it. Again, God used that tiny extra exercise to teach me all kinds of little things I never would have seen had I not read it one more time.

Note: The learning and grasping (aha moments) fueled my desire for more.

Deuteronomy 11:18 (CSB): “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads.

Deuteronomy 11:18 - The best way to read the Bible in one year is to imprint these words on your heart and mind.
*Shop this ^ printable HERE.

3. Tracking / Keeping Track – There’s something satisfying about marking off a to do list, right? The way I tracked my progress was to have a journal with 365 designated spots to fill in. I wrote a verse in each spot each day – that served as my “checkmark.” Plus I couldn’t bear to leave any spot blank! Even when I lagged behind, I felt compelled to go back later and fill in that blank spot. 

Note: Keeping track was positive reinforcement to stick with my commitment because it was very satisfying to see every spot filled with a verse.

Acts 17:11 (NASB): Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Acts 17:11 Scripture Calligraphy
*Shop this ^ printable HERE.

Now I know none of us want our Scripture reading to be solely something to check off a list. We want to spend time with Jesus and grow closer to Him! That’s why you shouldn’t do #3 without #1 and #2. All 3 make up one secret sauce.

And the good news is: they don’t take much time at all – unless you want it to!

I would love for you to add these 3 elements to your one year Bible reading plan and let me know if works for you as well as it did for me.

A journal to guide you through reading the Bible in one year

For those of you who would like to have a guide with these elements built in as you read through the Bible in one year (or two), I’ve got just the journal. {grin}

Introducing our brand new Journals

To guide you through the steps we just talked about.

Scripture Writing Journals to read straight through the Bible in 1 or 2 years

Write The Word On My Heart One Year Journal


Write The Word On My Heart Two Year Journal

Yes, you can opt for a one or two year journal! That means reading either 3-4 chapters a day or 1-2 chapters a day.

Your choice!

Read more about the new journals HERE.

I’m so excited to share these new journals with you, because I know how the Lord has used them in my life. My relationship with Jesus has grown closer because of consistency in His Word. I want the same for you!

John 5:39 (NLT): “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

*My prayer for you is … that this blog will inspire you to open your Bible every single day to seek God’s face and write His Word on your heart – because HE’S the key to lasting heart change!

Comments for this post are HERE.

You might also enjoy these …

Read > How To Write The Word On Your Heart

Check Out > My Personal Bible Study Method

See > A few of my favorite things!

Shop > Our Scripture Writing Journals!

Colossians 3:16 - the best reason to read the Bible through in one year.

Did you know?

I like to send my Insiders free original Scripture Art!

Yep – I email a new printable once a month so it can be used in these 20 Clever ways!

Join the fun by subscribing below …