What’s your word for the year 2023?

Choosing a word for the year is something I’ve done for over a decade now and it’s a practice I’ve passed on to the women of the See Jane Write Community too.

I believe everyone — especially women writers — should choose a word to serve as their theme for the year.

Why You Should Choose a Word for the Year

The word you choose for the year can be your True North or guiding light for the next 12 months. Even if your goals for the year change, you can be sure you’re still staying true to your vision and values by focusing on your word for the year.

Susan Sontag once said, “I want to make a new year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.”

I see my word for the year as a prayer, not a resolution. In 2022, I was praying for ABUNDANCE. In 2021, I was praying for RESTORATION because in 2020 cancer had taken so much from me. Nonetheless, I feel that in 2020 my prayer for GROWTH was answered.

How I Choose My Word for the Year

My word of the year is my prayer for the year but it’s also a word that captures the essence of my goals for the next 12 months. And it’s typically based on something that happened — or didn’t happen — the year before.

For example, at the end of 2018, I felt like I had lived the same year twice. So my word for 2019 was CHANGE. And this was the year I quit my teaching job and went full-time freelance.

Sometimes, though, I choose my word based on how I want the year to feel.

My word for 2023 is ELEVATE. As I look back over 2022, I feel that I’ve been playing small in a lot of areas of my life. I have a long list of dream publications I want to write for but I’m not sending out pitches. I have big dreams for See Jane Write, but I’m not turning those dreams into plans or plans into action. I have a clear vision of the woman I want to be, but I’m not moving through this world as if I am already that person.

So it’s time to level up in my business, my writing, my health, my relationships, my spiritual life, my home, and even my marriage.

Journal Prompts to Help You Choose Your Word for the Year

Choosing a word for the year can be simple, even if you’ve never done it before. Below you’ll find some journaling prompts to help you get started.

Looking back at 2022, what worked well and what didn’t?

What words best describe the person you want to be in 2023?

What are your top 5 values?

How do you want 2023 to feel?

What do you want more of in 2023?

What do you want less of in 2023?

What words best describe your goals for 2023?

When considering things that didn’t work well and things you want less of, you can use antonyms to help generate possible words for 2023. For example, if 2022 was so busy and hectic that you couldn’t really enjoy your life, you may want to choose a word like PEACE, CALM, or MARGIN for 2023.

The journaling prompts above should yield a long list of words. Spend some time with those words and choose the one that speaks to you the most. Then let me know in the comments what you chose!

What’s your word for 2023?