Past Words of the Year
Choosing a Word of the Year, or WOTY, is not new. In fact, a quick Google search showed me that Germany has been doing this since 1971. For the USA, the American Dialect Society has been choosing a general WOTY since 1990. Sometimes it’s one word, but it could be multiple words or even a phrase.
1992 – Not!
Oh boy, everyone was saying this! “Sure you can have the last slice of cake. NOT!”
2006 – Plutoed
Poor Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet which became synonymous with any one or thing having less of a value. I still love you, Pluto!
2014 – Bae
While kids still use this to refer to someone they “love” (Before All Else), let’s not forget that it was also once used as the Danish word for poop. Just sayin’.
Choosing a Word of the Year
These words are all chosen based on popularity or representation of the year’s public climate. Sometimes this is from politics or entertainment, but they are always chosen at the end of the year based on the last 12 months.
But at the end of 2016, I heard of a different WOTY trend. (Yes, for many of you I am behind the times for just hearing about this.) Instead of waiting for the end of the year for an organization to reflect, take submissions, and make the final choice (2016’s is “Dumpster Fire” by the way), let’s make this personal.
Choose a word and claim it for 2017!
My 2017 Word of the Year
After spending time in prayer and considering different options, one word kept sticking out to me:
Shine is in opposition of shying away from what I’ve been called to do. And that’s my goal this year. I spend too much time coming up with reasons why something won’t work instead of focusing on what could. I am often plagued with insecurity and anxiety instead of being confident.
Moses Syndrome. When God called him to speak with Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt, he immediately went through this “But I’m not good at talking” dialogue with God. But God provided everything he needed to complete the calling.
Do you do that? Do you ever have an idea to solve a problem but then think of all the ways it won’t work? Or meet someone and then think of all the reasons why you don’t think they’ll be your friend? Do you come up with excuses before someone else can?
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Having Shine as my WOTY reminds me to be confident in everything God has called me to do, whether in ministry, Bible study, being a wife and Mom, learning, using any gifts or talents I have, but also in showing love to others.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it Shine.
My wonderful husband has been a source of encouragement to act out this resolve. For Christmas, he gifted me this beautiful rose gold bracelet with my WOTY reminder. Write your WOTY out on a mirror or your planner, wherever you might see it regularly so you can put it into action the entire year.
More WOTY Examples
In case you want some more examples, I asked some colleagues if I could share their Words of the Year. Read them and then spend some time deciding on a word that coincides with your goals for the year. Make it personal. Then let me know what you chose!
Steve Roller of Cafe Writer:
In the past, I’ve suggested coming up with just one word, but you may need more. Maybe a few words, a phrase, or a quote.
Think about why you’re doing this, what you’re trying to accomplish, and what’s going to keep you going when you have minor setbacks or plateaus.
Mine is focused partly on my attitude, partly on my work ethic, and partly on serving others. It’s a seven-word phrase I came up with earlier this year to describe my overall outlook on my work:
“Enthusiastic service-minded hustle with a heart.”
Forget about wishing, waiting, and hoping that someday soon things will change.
Do the WORK.
Lauren Jane Bellows of Bellows in the Berkshires:
We’re using “peace” as our word for the year! For me, it’s being implemented a few different ways-peace within our chaos-we have six kids and busy schedules and I want to implement truly peaceful moments within those times, peace with what God has in His plans-not mine, peaceful disagreements and actions (I’m a yeller), and peace with my past, traumas and mental health.
This past year has been growth filled and wonderful for our family outwardly, but I want the inward sense of peace Jesus promised us within all aspects of my life, while leaning on Him and only Him.
Abbey Phipps of Small Town Soul:
Our word is intentional. In 2017, we will celebrate one full year of marriage and the birth of our baby girl. We want to be intentional in our love towards each other, our parenting of our daughter, and our growing together with the Lord.
Tasha Robinson of Imperfect Concepts:
My word for 2017 is balance. 2016 was a very crazy year running a business and taking care of my mother who is mentally ill. I affirm that this year will be a year of balance in my business and personal life. They all work together for my good and his glory.
Veronica of Veronica Anne:
My Word for 2017 is Courage! I struggled so much with intense anxiety last year, and this year with God’s help I want crush that and live in courage this year!
What’s your WOTY?
A great big thanks to everyone who shared their WOTY’s with us! Show them some love by clicking on the links to their websites too.
Don’t forget to let me know what you chose as your WOTY in the comments below!