Why You Need a Word to Define Your Year

I read a great thing recently, and I’m a bad person because I’m not 100% sure I remember where. I think it may have been in Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home — Rubin’s great second book about continuing the process of bringing more happiness into your daily life.

But I’m not entirely sure it was there. So, if it wasn’t, I apologize.

Wherever it was, though, here is that great thing:

Each and every year you should choose a word to represent the year you have in front of you.

I loved this idea, and it made me wish I had created my one word before setting my goals for 2013 – as one singular word seems the best way possible to coalesce and bring together key goals.

A word that imbues the type of year you wish to have, and a word that can serve as a guidepost for what you want in the year to come. One simple word you can always harken back to in moments of darkness and doubt. One word that informs your decisions, that crystalizes your passions and priorities, and that embodies – well – everything.

Depending on the type of year you’re going for, some examples might be:


You get the picture.

One word that means everything you hope to achieve and catalyze and crystalize and create and live and breathe. One word. For one special year. (Your next).

So, to you: Do you have a word? Can you create one for what you want 2013 to be?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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29 thoughts on “Why You Need a Word to Define Your Year

  1. Hi Claire
    Many thanks for the posts.
    My word for 2013 is CURIOSITY.
    I used to have this in abundance as a kid, but life kind of takes the edge off…
    This year I am determined to spend more time learning about the wider world: both the good and the less good aspects…
    All the best

  2. My word is simplicity, although it encompasses a lot, so it’s ironically almost complicated.

    I’m paring back things that I don’t have time for, whether they are good or bad, and saving them for another season to focus on priorities, and building a more solid foundation for the future.

  3. Alece Ronzino wrote about this idea on her blog, ‘Grit and Glory’ and the idea was very popular, so she set up the website, oneword365.com. My word this year is ‘free’- to know true freedom in Christ!

  4. A word I have been thinking about over the last few weeks that probably should be my word for the year is “brave”. While none of what happened to me in 2012 counts as tragic, there was a lot that was sad, disappointing and discouraging things. The choice of that word is about learning to stand and live well in the face of continuing situations that make me want to literally and metaphorically hide in a corner.

  5. I do have a word. I read about the concept in My One Word. My word for 2013 is contentment. The first two months have been a failure in many aspects, but I still have 10+ months to cultivate this!

  6. We started our ONE Word project this year and my word is Health. I set a goal to improve the health of teh following aspects of my life, physical, mental, relational, spiritual and professional. So far I think I am doing a great job.