Choosing a Word of the Year for 2023
My Word of the Year for 2023
Have you heard about Word of the Year? I first heard of it when I was listening to the Abiding Together podcast. I had never heard of it prior to this. It is basically a word that will guide you throughout the coming year. My word for this year is NOURISH! How appropriate! More on that shortly…
What is a Word of the Year
There isn’t one fixed way of choosing your word of the year. Hey, there is even a website that will assign one to you if you want.
But I feel reflection should be key in choosing your word. I always choose my word for the next year in December. I feel it is a good way to reflect on what the current year has been like for me. What has gone well? What needs improvement? For me, it’s important to see where I’ve been before I can figure out where I want to be.
I bring this before the Lord. He knows better than me, where I’ve been and how it has shaped me. Often it takes me several prayer sessions of reflection before I’m ready to move on.
After my time of reflection, I pray about the new year approaching. I ask God to guide me. And I specifically ask for one word that will guide this upcoming year.
Some people simply go thru a list of words and choose one that they feel best describes what they want their year to be like.
Deciding on your Word
This year was a bit different for me. I had a thought come to mind during my reflection on self-care. If you knew what the last two years have been like for me, you’d understand that I definitely need a bit of self-care. But self-care wasn’t the word for me, I felt.
So, I ran thru a list of synonyms for self-care, and the word NOURISH came up.
Definition and Synonyms
I looked up NOURISH in the dictionary. According to the Oxford dictionary “provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.”
If the Word just doesn’t feel right to you at any time in the process, feel free to pick another one. Don’t force yourself to be defined by a Word that simply doesn’t feel appropriate for you. Although I will tell you, sometimes I’ve had a Word chosen that was confusing but turned out to be the right one for me.
Break It Down
I mulled this definition over a bit. Taking each word of the definition into consideration and figuring out how it applied to my life.
Break down the definition and see how it applies to you, and your situation. What is God trying to tell you with this word? How will this word shape the year for you?
Here’s a bit of my process on the breaking down of the word.
“Provide” has always defined my relationship with God and with my family. I’ve always been grateful to God as my Provider. I have never lacked anything He hasn’t been able to provide. And I’ve been blessed with work that I loved and helped provide my family with a comfortable life.
“Food” and I have battled for a long time. It would be great to work on that relationship.
“Growth” in my emotional and spiritual life.
“Health” is so appropriate for me since I’ve recently been diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease that I know little of.
And so forth…
Living Your Word
I go thru each word again and figure out what this would look like in my life. I mash up words to help me.
In my definition, let’s go with provide with the food necessary for health. What would that look like for me?
Well, my rheumatologist gave me a list of foods to avoid and those to incorporate. How can I do that? What would a meal plan look like? How can I substitute foods?
Write It Down
In my journal, I write my word, its definition, and ideas on how I can live this word throughout the year. It is among the first few pages of my journal so I can refer to it often. Keep it in a place where you will see it often. This can be on your phone’s wallpaper, your desktop, your planner, or your journal. Heck, you can put it on a post-it note and put it on your mirror, your refrigerator, or your car.
Make It Actionable
I will often go to this page when I am planning my month and my week to see how this word can become part of me in the upcoming week or month. How can I make it actionable? How can I live this word?
Bring It to Prayer
Don’t forget to bring your Word up in prayer, especially if you prayerfully received yours. You may not understand the whole reason for your Word, but God definitely does. Ask Him to guide you throughout this year so you may live it as He desires for you.
- The Word of the Year is a word that will define your upcoming year.
- There are many means of coming up with your Word of the Year: a website, a list of words, reflection or prayer.
- Look up the definition of the Word to make sure you understand every aspect of the Word of the Year you have chosen.
- Break the definition down into its parts and see how each one can apply to you.
- Write it down in your journal, your planner or even as a background image on your electronic device. Keep it front and center.
- Refer to your Word often and make it actionable. Use it when planning your week or your month.
- Bring it up often in prayer. Ask God to guide you as to how He wants you to be living this Word.
Food for Thought
What is your Word of the Year? How is one way you will live your Word?