on my one word for 2013

Brave had such a profound impact on me during 2013, that is was nearly a given that I’d choose to repeat this new practise – choose a word, just one word, that I can anchor myself around this year, that will orient my steps and my thoughts and my decisions.

I like lists too. A few years ago I made a big birthday list of things to complete before the following birthday and despite only finishing about two thirds (on a generous count), it helped me be intentional about spending my time well, filling it with the things and tasks and goals that I knew I wanted in there.

And so why have I stripped it all back to one word? Because it has such power. One tiny little word, and yet it gave me strength, it kept me on course, it challenged me, it inspired me. My year was better because of this one word and how I responded to it.

On New Year’s Eve, we had a moment before we needed to head out for our raclette dinner with good friends. Rasmus was sitting reading his book, I was sewing some Christmas decorations that were meant to be gifts this year, but I guess will be gifts next year now. I was turning over a few words in my mind, feeling them, inspecting them, seeing if they fit, when a brand new one appeared.

My #oneword365 for 2013 - joy

It landed in my lap, over the felt hearts I was sewing, and I stared down at it for a moment. Joy. Well, I wasn’t exactly unhappy, so why would that be my word? And I looked at it a minute more and couldn’t shake the feeling rising steadily in me that this was it. Joy was to be my word for the new year.

I cautiously announced it to Rasmus and he nodded his agreement that it was good and returned to his book and I sat back and surveyed it again. Joy. So you and me are going to be getting to know each other pretty well then.

Over the last few days I’ve kept it close, thought about it a lot. And I like it. I want to pursue joy. I want to feel real joy. I want my life choices and decisions to revolve around joy, for me, for my family, for my friends. I want to spread joy. I want to understand joy, how we can hold on to it in the toughest times. I want to chase after the one with whom there is fullness of joy.

And so Joy is my one word for the year. Let the journey begin…


If you’ve not tried it before, but are thinking you’d like to practise having a one word for 2013, the website oneword365.com is a wealth of ideas and encouragement. And let me know what word you choose!