Have you ever been asked “what’s your word of the year?”
Peace. Confidence. Adventure. Those three words are ones I’ve used as my word of the year since I started setting one in 2018. I chose peace for 2018, because my 2017 year was full of a lot of change, transition and stress. I chose the word confidence for 2019 because I felt like I struggled with a lot of self-doubt the year prior. And last year, 2022, my word was adventure. I became settled in a new city putting myself out there more, I got engaged to my best friend, I took my first plane ride and went out of the country, and overall I got out of my comfort zone more than I thought I could.
Whether you have heard of setting a word of the year or not, I challenge you to create one for 2023 after reading this blog post!
What is a word of the year?
A word of the year is any word you would like to carry with you into the new year. It will help guide you, it will prompt intentional focus, and it will help you continue to grow and develop into yourself. Your word may be something you felt like you lacked or struggled with the year before like discipline, it may be something that aligns with your goals for the new year like wellness, or it could be as simple as a word you have prayed and thought over and was just placed on your heart. Whatever word you choose, it is unique to you and is a constant reminder & guide you can hold on to throughout the ups and downs of the year.
What are some helpful tips to choose my word of the year?
I’ve found that it is hard to narrow it down to ONE word for the whole year. I could think of a million things I want to work on this year! Even though it is a word of the year, doesn’t mean that you can’t have other words you would like to highlight for yourself as well. There’s no rules! You can have “words” or even “phrases” of the year if you want. But if you’re wanting to narrow it down and focus on only one word for the year, here are some helpful tips that have helped me:
- Reflect: If you’re having trouble thinking of words special to you, do some reflecting and journaling on the past year. What were your highs and lows? What lessons did you learn? In what ways did you grow last year, and in what ways would you like to continue to grow?
- List: Grab a sheet of paper (always love pen & paper over grabbing your notes page on your phone, but either works) & write down whatever words come to mind that you would like to focus on and/or improve on this upcoming year. If you need inspiration, see the graphic I made below for word ideas. Try to get to at least 10!
- Finalize: From your list you created after reflecting, circle the top 3 words that jump out to you. From those, visualize each one and think about your upcoming year. Which word would help to guide you the most throughout the upcoming year? Highlight that word!
What are some suggestions for words to use?
Not sure where to start to pick a word? I was in the same boat this year. I actually attended my moms group last week where they shared a devotional on this exact topic which ultimately inspired this post. The speaker shared an awesome graphic with a lot of options of words to use for the year. I used that as inspiration, but wanted to create my own graphic with more words I love that you all can use and save to help you pick out your word for this year.
My 2023 Word + Reflection
I’ve always been a big fan of the new year and a fresh start on all aspects of life. While some may argue that you can realign your goals and resolutions at any point of the year (which is true), there’s just something about January 1st that gets me excited to reflect on the past year and take a look at all aspects of my life.
Before writing this blog post, I grabbed my pen + my journal and wrote down my 2023 goals for the different areas in my life: goals in my relationship (and soon to be MARRIAGE!), my blog, my family, financials, faith, reading goals, fitness goals and mental health goals to name a few.
After reflecting on 2022 and creating a vision of what I want this year to look like, I kept thinking of one word that was mentioned at my moms group I referred to earlier in this post: yes. I know I know, what kind of word of the year is yes?? You may be wondering why that jumped out to me when there are a million other words to choose from.
Let’s get vulnerable as I share the reason behind this word. I’ve always struggled with some form of anxiety. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to live with it through years of counseling and tools I’ve gained along the way.
But it isn’t something that just goes away. I still catch myself making decisions in my life based on my anxious thoughts. It can be as simple as not trying a new food because I’m afraid I’m going to have an allergic reaction… (if you know anxiety you know it’s not rational!). Or more frequently turning down plans or exciting adventures that are out of my comfort zone because my anxious thoughts take over.
Well, it’s a new year and the word yes is going to be on my mind whenever anxiety is present. Sometimes I wonder if my anxiety gets in the way of God’s plan for my life. I’ll ask myself, “would I say yes to this experience if I wasn’t anxious about it?” I want the word yes to be on the forefront of my mind in every decision that I make. I want to say yes more to lending a helping hand, following new opportunities I didn’t plan for, trying new experiences, and overall being open to all that God has planned for me this year. I want to say YES to His plan for my life, whatever that may hold in 2023.
My mom sent me this blog post that was really cool to look at my word of the year from a biblical perspective. It reviews some of the many people that fearlessly said YES to God in the Bible, not knowing what the future held for them. Some of the ones listed are:
- “Noah said yes when God asked him to build the ark.
- Abraham said yes when God asked him to sacrifice his only son.
- Mary said yes when they angel told her she would carry God’s son, Jesus.”
This year, I want to be more like Noah, Abraham, Mary, and the many others that said yes to God’s plan for them.
One of my favorite quotes is, “life happens outside of your comfort zone.” The word yes embodies that quote for me and serves as a reminder that to get uncomfortable is oftentimes the only way towards growth.
As always, thanks for reading!
QUESTION: What is your 2023 word of the year? If you feel comfortable sharing I’d love to be able to cheer you on from the sidelines as you carry this word into the new year!