My Word of the Year

by tinareale on January 2, 2013

A few years ago I heard about the idea of choosing a word as a theme for the upcoming year instead of a long list of New Years resolutions. The word should encompass many other goals and areas of life, but allow more focus by having the sole word at the forefront of your mind.

I have never been a big resolution person because I pursue goals as they arise, but I like the notion of setting an intention and theme for each year. It seems a lot of people are doing that this year, and I have loved the singular focus so I choose to continue the same myself.

In 2011, I decided to “dream big” and accomplished a lot of new goals that year. It fit the year perfectly.

In 2012, I chose the word “trust”. I have to laugh because that word about sums up my overall year and the overarching lesson that God laid in front of me time and time again. Oh, I had a lot of chances to learn to trust in 2012 – in Him, in His timing, in His creation of my body. Lots and lots of trust learning going on over here in 2012. I mentioned last week that while it certainly challenged me, I still choose to focus on all the good that came in 2012. And learning to trust is certainly a good thing.

This year I want to go a different route, though. Do you blame me?

My word and theme for this year…


I want to bring joy back. I let the joy of life get away from me too easily this past year.

I want to feel the joy that comes from knowing God more and more. I know when I keep him at the forefront of my life, everything else seems to fall into place. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect (not by a long stretch!), but it does mean I can find more peace in all things and experience joy regardless.

I aim to have more joy and less stress with parenting. I love being a mom and I deeply love my children. Nevertheless, parenting can feel stressful from time to time. Right now, the kids are at an age where they are fighting a lot and Braedon is entering the “I’m going to push every button you have and see just how far my limits can go” toddler phase. It takes a lot of patience and I can let the frustration get the better of me in some moments and some days. That bothers me and I want to put the focus on the JOY of being a mom in all parts of parenting so they can grow up with joy and love surrounding them more and more each day. Even the fights and constant “No, Braedon”s are genuine blessings.

I want to bring joy back to my workoutsjust as I touched on in my post Monday.

And along that same train of thought, I need more joy in my body again. A lot of times when I couldn’t run or when I felt upset about training it would lead to negative self-talk and getting very down on myself. I couldn’t see the progress I have made and myself as the healthy, strong person I know that I am. I can’t allow that.

I must allow joy back into my thoughts after a rough year where I felt I had to fight and claw through a lot of mud and murk in my thoughts. I don’t want to slip back into old, depressive thoughts and ways. Recognizing all the joy in life combats that struggle quite nicely. Goes back to the first joy, too.

I seek to keep my work as a source of joy, inspiration, and passion. I found a really good balance this past year to have fun with blogging, pursue some new opportunities, and share something I love with others – fitness. I want to keep that going through this coming year – no added pressure or specific goals. I want to keep the joy and just doing what I love and seeing where God takes me. I already have Round 4 of Best Body Bootcamp kicking off next Monday and a few fun things lined up for the blog after that. I can’t wait!

There you have it – my word and theme and, I guess you could say, goal for the new year. I hope to make it a good one…or at the very least, squeeze every ounce of joy I can out of the year. Cheers!

Your Turn: If you put all your goals/hopes into one word, what would you choose? Any specific goals/hopes for the upcoming year?


1 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 2, 2013 at 6:31 am

LOVE this! My word this year is “me” and while that may be a bit selfish, I’m 25, single and no kids; I think this is my time to be selfish, to really focus on myself, my happiness and what I want out of life. I’m so optimistic and hopeful for what 2012 will bring!

2 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:52 am

YES! I agree. Before marriage and kids its so good to use that time to learn more about yourself. You can still be there for others in the process too but very good goal to have.

3 Libby January 2, 2013 at 6:37 am

“BALANCE” is my word! I so want/need balance in my life! Balance family, bible study, running, strength training, healthy foods, home,etc
It is such a broad word though. I know what I want but I don’t know how to achieve it..yet. I really need to sit down and write out exactly how I want balance in my life and steps that I can take to achieve it.
Happy New Year! I love the word “Joy”!

4 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:53 am

I was considering balance for myself too!

For JOY, as a reminder, I’m setting an alarm to go off on my phone at random intervals through my day and then I pray and consider what I can do during the next time block to commit to joy. I was going to do the same with balance.

5 Miranda @ Biting Life January 2, 2013 at 6:43 am

What a great word to start off the new year! I love your “one word” concept instead of doing resolutions — such a cool idea :) I like how, unlike a long list of resolutions, “joy” is such an easy thing to remember! It could almost be like a mantra that you just keep repeating to yourself throughout the year. I think all of us could always use some more joy!

6 lindsay January 2, 2013 at 7:14 am

Joy brings so much light to your year! i can feel it! mine was nurture.

Happy new Year friend.


7 Katie @ KatieEnPursuit January 2, 2013 at 7:29 am

Joy is a fabulous word to choose & can be used in so many areas of life! I saw this idea the other day & chose “intentional” for my word, I take it to mean that everything I do will have a positive intention. Happy New Year & enjoy spreading & receiving JOY!

8 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:54 am

Love that one!

9 Miz January 2, 2013 at 7:37 am


10 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:54 am

Oh, yes. And you will certainly be moving forward this year. I bet it will be a great, life-changing year for you. Probably already is starting to be, though, huh? ;)

11 Lauren January 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

I absolutely love your word! Joy is such a beautiful word that encompasses so much. I truly hope you find joy in every aspect of your life this year!

12 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) January 2, 2013 at 8:03 am

Love your choice of JOY for the word of your 2013. It is one word that can encompass so much.

I don’t know if I could choose only one word. I seem to be the last one remaining that actually likes resolutions ;) but if I had to choose one word, it would be BUILD. Weird, right? There are many things I want to build this year. BUILD a solid plan to my family’s future, BUILD new friendships, BUILD my professional goals… just build – onward and upward! :)

13 Katy @ MonsterProof January 2, 2013 at 8:06 am

Ha! I even JUST hit publish on my post that says this. My word is “POSITIVITY”. Thoughts, words, contributions, relationships…I want to change my perspective.

14 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:55 am

Positivity is certainly a good one! I love the word themes so many are doing. It really has given me better focus the past two years.

15 Kim January 2, 2013 at 8:21 am

Mine is KINDNESS. It’s been a trying year, and I think focusing on being kind to myself, as well as others, will help to focus on what’s good in this world, and also contribute to the goodness out there. (I have to say that TRUST would work for me too:))

16 Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness January 2, 2013 at 8:42 am

Love this! I’m such a fan of the yearly word as I’ve been seeing it on a few blogs. I really love your choice for this year. Such a meaningful commitment!

17 Kim @ RedefiningKim January 2, 2013 at 8:47 am

My word for 2013 is HOPE. I am basing it on Psalm 25:5 “…..and my hope is in God each day.”. I have plans and goals for this year. However, I am ultimately putting my hope in my Savior.

18 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:56 am

LOVE that one! No surprise, huh? That would be a good one for me too. :)

19 Rachel @RunningRachel January 2, 2013 at 9:26 am

Great word choice focus! My word for 2012 was peace. I still haven’t confirmed my word focus for 2013 yet… but I am thinking it will be BALANCE! <3

20 Haley @ The Saucy Apple January 2, 2013 at 9:46 am

Words cannot convey how much I love this idea. I am stealing it. :)

21 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:57 am

Go for it!! It’s been a big help to me to have a word focus each year.

22 misszippy January 2, 2013 at 9:48 am

This is a great word to wrap yourself around. I like how you have woven it into all of your areas of life. No doubt it will be a great guide for you in 2013.

Happy new year!

23 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions January 2, 2013 at 10:08 am

I think that’s a beautiful word to center your 2013 around. I do think there’s value to acknowledging that negative emotions and feelings exist and letting yourself feel those emotions and work through them, but I also think it’s equally important to not wallow in those emotions beyond the time it takes you to work through them. Joy is tough, but it’s a great way to frame your way of thinking :)

24 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 5:58 am

That was the thing. This past year I let too many trivial things (in the grand scheme of things) rob my joy for too long. I agree its good to feel emotions and allow ourselves to be upset or hurt or angry as we feel it, but not to dwell on it. I was dwelling on some things. Time to move forward recognizing joy. Thanks, Bethany!

25 Ari @ Ari's Menu January 2, 2013 at 10:36 am

I love it!! So often we are too caught up in achieving goals to step back and feel the joy in our lives. I know I get very focused on “what next” instead of experiencing joy in the moment. I think it’s a perfect theme for the year!

26 Shanna, like Banana January 2, 2013 at 10:44 am

I rather like joy — I could use more of that for sure.

For me, the first word that came to mind was ‘calm’ — a calm mind and a calm heart.

27 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf January 2, 2013 at 10:48 am

I love your word of the year Tina. Yes, joy. I think that we often forget about it. I definitely do especially in the midst of parenting challenges. I love the idea of bringing joy back.

28 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries January 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

Love your word for 2013!! I would actually say my word for this coming year is trust… We have a lot of changes coming up, and it’s overwhelming at times to say the least. I know I just need to trust God and let Him take control, as I know He will always take care of us.

29 Amanda @ Romancing the Unusual January 2, 2013 at 10:56 am

What a great word! I am still thinking about what my word should be. Joy is perfect!

30 Jess January 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

I was reading your post while listening to a really uplifting and downright joyful song on pandora (my Matt Maher station is in heavy rotation these days) and reading your words while listening to that station brought a sudden surge of emotion to me. At first I thought it was sadness because it felt like it was welling up in my throat like sadness or grief does, but then I realized something — that surge was JOY. And I have no doubt that that Joy surge was coming from reading your words, listening to uplifting tunes and letting God in more and more to invigorate me. It’s something I’ve really focused on the past few months — on daily devotion time, on more prayer, more faith-building. So when I read your joyful words, it makes me happy to see YOU focused on those things. And honestly, it makes me a better person for seeing Him work through you and ultimately through me too. If that makes ANY sense at all. hehe.

bottom line: love your word and mission for the year. so much.

31 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 6:00 am

I have done the same thing many times where I get overwhelmed with joy in God at the most random moments. He is pretty amazing, right? And I know I’m so joyful to have you as a friend. :)

32 Heather (Where's the Beach) January 2, 2013 at 11:12 am

I love love the idea of choosing a word. I did a post on it yesterday after being inspired by Lindsay Cotter. I love your word choice.

33 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 2, 2013 at 11:33 am

Joy is a great word! I’ve been feeling the same, I haven’t announced it yet on the blog but I went to a doctor on Monday who said I need to take off at least a month of running for my IT band to really heal. Not being able to exercise like I used to has really gotten me down about myself and I need to work on my negative self talk as well!

34 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 6:01 am

Be sure to email me (I can even give you my # to text) if you ever need an uplifting ear to listen. I’ve been there, still am, and know how much it sucks. Just please listen. Otherwise, you will be almost a year later and still on the crappy injury roller coaster.

35 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm

That would be great, Tina. I’m having a rough time with gaining some weight, feeling crappy, and not being able to run, which is my favorite stress relief!

36 Christine January 2, 2013 at 11:35 am

I still need to pick my word. I think my word is ORGANIZE, but it’s more than that. I want to stop forgetting things, which organization will help, but it’s also SIMPLIFY and perhaps EXECUTE. Maybe I’ll go with EXECUTE. But that doesn’t capture the “not forgetful” part. Ooohhh, maybe I’ll choose “DO.”

37 Kacie @ Savvy Sassy Me January 2, 2013 at 11:45 am

I love your word for 2013! That is so perfect; it is applicable in SO many ways! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and JOYOUS 2013 for you and yours! ;-)

38 Jessica January 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I love your word for 2013! I picked the word celebrate for this year, as it is a huge year for changes for me, which I am hoping to welcome into my life with as much joy and happiness as possible. I heard about the One Little Word project from Ali Andrews and fell in love with the idea. Best of luck in your new year with your goals and motivations!

39 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 6:01 am

Oh, LOVE your word! That is such a great one. Important to celebrate life, especially with so many positive changes.

40 Jennifer Dunham January 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I have been trying to think of what my word for 2013 will be. I think I have finally settled on “Progess”. Because it’s all about “progress” not “perfection” and as a perfectionist extrodinaire, I need to focus on progress in many areas of my life such as workouts, eating habits/relationship with food, relationship with my body, my new career. And I need to focus on moving forward and making progress in each area, not be perfect! Thanks for such an inspiring post Tina!

41 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 6:02 am

That has been my mantra for so long and I sitll regularly think on it – “progress, not perfection”. Here’s to a year full of progress despite possible missteps along the way. Remember that we ALL have them. ;)

42 Allison January 2, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Wow, I feel like you just put into words so many of the thoughts I’ve had on my heart in looking into the new year!! I thought I had “stumbled” across your blog this past fall…but now I see God has put this in my life for a reason. Thank you for your encouragement of others and for sharing with sincerity. So excited about BBB next week! Hope it’s ok – I’m going to go with Joy in 2013 too.

43 jobo January 2, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I LOVE your word!! Joy is such a good one for you this year, given the last year’s challenges that you encoutered. Yet, even as you say that you had some down moments and times, you still always see the positive, within the negative and that is the difference between a happy person and a chronically negative unhappy one. Perspective and the ability to shift your focus into the good admist the bad. To a JOYFUL 2013!

44 Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness January 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Boy I hear you about needing to look for more of the joy of parenting. We’re also at that difficult toddler stage and it’s easy to get lost in the stress and lose the joy and appreciation for what a wonderful and wonder-filled age Mini Terrorist is at. I think my word for the year is actually two combined: follow-through. Last year, I had a ton of goals and I kept most of them, but the ones that were uncomfortable to me I let slip because they were in fact, uncomfortable. This year, I want to follow-through on everything, even the things that scare me or are outside of my comfort zone.

45 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength January 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

So funny…I wrote today about how I don’t really do the new years resolution thing either because I think you should constantly have goals and challenges, regardless of what time of year. :)

I love that game with the one word and I think mine this year is learn. I want to learn as much as possible and grow to be a better trainer, better nutrition coach and most importantly a better Christian, mom and wife.

46 Heather @ Better With Veggies January 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I love your theme and I hope 2013 brings you more JOY than you can imagine! My theme for the year is BALANCE, it’s going to be an interesting ride, I can already tell! :)

47 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 6:04 am

What? How? Adjusting to a new place still? Training for an Ironman? Coaching and working? How does that need balance? hehehehe ;)

48 Heather @ Better With Veggies January 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Haha – exactly! Don’t want to bored, you know. :)

49 Stacy @ Stacy Eats January 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I remember hearing about the word idea from you and I love it. I considered doing it this year, but then went back to just having a few goals because I had a hard time choosing one word! Joy is a great one – here’s to loads of joy for you in 2013!

50 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast January 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Yes! What a beautiful word to set as your intention for the year. Especially because joy is meant to be constant, regardless of the ups and downs of life, joy can remain. Wishing you a blessed and joyful 2013!

51 Kierston January 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Great post! My word would be … “live”…Live in the moment.

52 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper January 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Great word, especially in regards to bringing joy into your workouts. I haven’t really picked a word for 2013, but I suppose my word could be “yes”. One of my goals is to say “yes” more in hopes of getting out there more & trying new things!

53 Nick Goodall January 2, 2013 at 7:55 pm

What a wonderful word :) I think joy is something no one should fall short of, although I’d say it requires a certain amount of discipline to do the things that create joy :)

My word: Diligence, if I stay diligent with my activities I’m sure I’ll be able to sustain great joy throughout the year, as well as achievement of some great things!

Have an awesome year! :)

54 tinareale January 3, 2013 at 6:05 am

Diligence is a great, great one! All goals take it so that one encompasses everything. I wish you a year of diligence…that leads to achievement in the things you have in mind.

55 Lee January 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I think mine would be Positivity. It’s something that I really struggle with and I know it’s holding me back sometimes from the life that I want to lead.

56 purelymichelle January 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Amen to JOY!! I am all about bringing more joy into my life. If I had to pick one word for me to focus on this new year it would be – Positivity!

57 Mary @ Have the World January 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

DISCOVERY is my word for 2013. I hope along the way my many discoveries will uncover abundant joy as well. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2013!

58 Sarah @ A Runners Heart January 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

So I hate to say it, but I’m going to borrow your word of Joy! Joy is actually my “theme” for Christmas. Yes I am weird and I have a decorating “theme” for Christmas! lol But I love to find things that say JOY and put them all around my house at Christmas, because Christmas brings total and complete Joy to me every single year! So instead of just having Joy at Christmas, I want to see it All year long! I love this idea of having a one word “theme” for the year! SO I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your word of JOY! I’m going to mention this on my blog and I’ll link it back here! Thank you for such a fantastic idea!! :)

59 Bek @ Crave January 4, 2013 at 3:33 am

Great idea! I think Joy would be a word I’d use for 2013, or maybe happiness or acceptance.

60 Madelaine January 11, 2013 at 7:06 am

Hi Tina, I decided not toO think to hard on a word but rather to ask Holy Spirit what He had in mind for me. Needless to say He is so faithful and a word that I wouldn’t have thought of popped in my spirit.
Free. Free from fear, free from condemnation, free from fat, free from the opinion of man, free from insecurity and inferiority, free from excess weight, free from oppression, free from disappointment, free from guilt, free from disease, free from doubt etc. etc.
Also Free to love, free to give, free to laugh, free to live, free to cry, free to help, free to Worship, free to create, free to inspire, free to hope, free to enjoy – well you get the idea! No more shackles, no more chains – this year I am going to live FREE!

61 tinareale January 12, 2013 at 5:55 am

I prayed a lot about my word too. I love the ways the Spirit can guide. And your word is so wonderful. I love it!

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