Words for 2023 

Yes, yes, I know – 2023 is already well into its second week, but January – all of January – is such a good month to reset, to restart and to realign. 

Many people choose certain words to represent what they want their year to reflect: Reset, for example, was popular in 2021 and 2022 (and, honestly, after dealing with 2020, who can blame people? We should all have had that as our 2021 or 2022 word). Some of the words I’ve heard for this year have included Discovery, Focus, and Intention.  

I didn’t pick a word for 2022. I was just glad to be a year further away from 2020. This year, though, after dealing with a heavy December, I’ve picked two words to reflect, not necessarily what I want my entire 2023 to look like, but at least what I want January to look like, and the first is Consistent. 

Consistency is hard for everyone. Life is full of changing seasons – babies come, then we have toddlers, and then we have babies again, and, oh wait, now our kids are in school, and hold up, was that a change in careers?, and don’t forget that we still need to exercise, be active in the community, eat healthy, etc., etc., etc. 

In other words, yes, consistency is hard. And I have a terrible habit of wanting to do more – exercise more, do all the macros, read all the books, memorize all the Scripture – and so the cycle of inconsistency continues. Because I can’t do all of that consistently.  

But I can make little changes. 

So right now, for this month, I’m focusing on consistency. Running a little – not a lot – on a regular basis. Walk the dog 40 miles a month (that seems doable, right? I’m already almost at 13 miles!). Do yoga 10 minutes a night. Stay off of social media unless there is a specific reason (in other words, not mindlessly scrolling).  

And it’s gone really well. REALLY well. Already, I’ve read two books in a week. I started Duolingo and am trying to learn a new language. I’ve been reading all the astronomy news I can get my hands on. And it’s good. It’s really good. 

The other word is Quiet. There is so much noise everywhere – and I don’t mean just externally but internally too. And when we as a family were watching the “Matilda” musical on Netflix (which I highly recommend, just fyi), there’s this song that Matilda sings called “Quiet.” One of the lyrics goes like this: “Like silence, but not really silent; just that still sort of quiet. Like the sound of a page being turned in a book, or a pause in a walk in the woods.” 

I’ve been reintroducing myself to quiet. To allowing myself to be quiet on social media. To allow myself to breathe quietly in a car ride. Or a walk. Or at work. Or anywhere. I can accept and enjoy the quiet. And breathe. 

Words are powerful; words carry such meaning. And I hope, whether you chose a word or not this 2023, that you recognize the ability to make small changes for big results. For this year to not necessarily be the best year – but a year full of it all: of focus and discovery and the ability to reset and welcome this new year with anticipation and joy. 

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