I wonder if we’d be so gung-ho about New Year’s resolutions if January didn’t come so quickly after December.
The holiday season, with all its fun and festivities and fa-la-las, also gives us obligations, stress, and bullet lists (and perhaps credit card bills) a mile long. After pushing ourselves to exhaustion or gorging ourselves on red and green candies (No, YOU ate an entire bag of peanut M&Ms in one day!), the idea of a new day, month, year is more than a breath of fresh air. It’s a gulp of oxygen as we feel ourselves drowning in year-end excess and (often unmet) expectations.
I’m so desperate for a fresh slate, a new start, I get a little swoony over all things New Year’s resolutions. My knees feel weak at the thought of more check boxes, and I get a little breathless as I organize all my hopes and dreams and plans into the most perfect outline or spreadsheet you’ve ever seen.
Yeah, it’s true. I totally get a crush on New Year’s resolutions, the bad boy of all goal-setting strategies, the one I swear off every year because he’ll just end up hurting me. That one. Yes, I fall for his charm (The possibilities! The potential!) every time.
But before we start a list of all the many, many ways we’re going to be better, do more, work harder or smarter — or both! — this year, let’s take a time out. Let’s breathe in deep with our clean calendars and pretty paper journals, and let’s boil all our best intentions and goals and ambitions down a little.
DaySpring’s Word of the Year helps me do just that.
DaySpring’s Word of the Year encourages us to forget the pressure of resolutions and instead, focus on just ONE word. The idea is that we focus on this one word every day, all year long — one word that sums up who we want to be or how we want to live. DaySpring’s Word of the Year is what snaps me out of my dreamy resolution fog and grounds me — not just in January but every month of the year.
Whether I’m brainstorming writing topics and business ideas, pinning recipes to try and crafts to make, or identifying all the ways I need to try harder and be better, I can easily lose my mind in the more!-more!-more! approach to making my lists for January and beyond. I then can move towards the overwhelmed, I-can’t-possibly-do-any-of-this, I’m-going-to-hide-under-the-covers reaction to my lists in the face of reality.
Focusing on just one word for the year keeps me centered, and it sets me up for a whole lot more success and satisfaction. Especially because when I force myself to funnel my hopes and goals for an entire year into a single word or phrase, I also force myself to focus on what truly matters and what will make an eternal difference in my life and the lives of those I care about.
See? Way more satisfying than pretending like this is the year I’m going to start flossing every day.
By Mary Carver, as featured in Everyday Faith Magazine.
We’re excited to share with you a fun, EASY way to kick off your new year — the Word of The Year quiz from DaySpring! The simple questions will lead you to one word that will remind you of God’s truth all year long and inspire you to live your faith every day.
Click here to take the short quiz and find your word — nothing overwhelming about that! Once you have your word, download the graphic that goes with your word and share it on social media. Be sure to tag @incourage so we can cheer you on!
Then come back here and share your word in the comments, along with what it means to you. As an added bonus, we’re giving one lucky commenter* a $100 shopping spree to DaySpring.com!
Take the DaySpring Word of the Year quiz and let us help you discover who God is calling you to be in 2023!
Let’s lean in together. What’s your word?
Listen to today’s article at the player below or wherever you stream podcasts.
Ruth Mills says
I’ve never been a New Year’s resolution girl. I figure God prompts me throughout the year (every day if I’m honest) what things in my life need to be aligned or realigned with His will. His changes in my life are so much more important than those 20 pounds to lose & weight training I need to commit to. I love the we ird of the year as it’s fun & fits so well with my rejection of New Year’s resolutions!
I’m still laughing at my 2020 Word of ‘Gather’. 2023’s word is ‘Presence’. In most of my prayers for myself & others is that we would know His presence in whatever we are facing, good bad or indifferent.
I am with you on that…no New Year resolutions for me. It takes away from the God given magic of being still and discerning HIS whispers to me.
The word that came up for me is PRESENCE and it could not be more true. I long for to be in HIS presence every day, every hour sometimes, even more often at other times. “We never walk alone”, Gods presence is all I need. Gods presence provides words of wisdom, provides the quiet ‘poke’ to be still and listening, and provides the always needed guidance to find our way.
May you all be blessed abundantly not only in the year to come, Gods presence is all we need.
Love and prayers,
(a Canadian follower of your incredibly encouraging website)
My word is confidence-a word I never associated with myself-but if God is with me who can be against me??
My word is presence. For me I think this means to be in the moment, not worried about all the “what if” situations in my head, or the what’s next ideas. It’s a great goal for me.
Hilary VanUtt says
First of all, some of those choices given in the quiz, I found myself agreeing with. I needed most if it in looking back on 2022. So my word for 2023 is “ROOTED”- so literally I must ask myself what am I planting myself in? This year by God’s grace and forbearance with me, perhaps I’ll quit planting myself in my own soil, but root myself in Him.
Brenda M. Russell says
My Word of the Year for 2023 is, “FREEDOM” and I and certainly made Free in God through Christ Jesus.
Thank the Lord !
Just think about it, I get to Embrace what it takes to enjoy Freedom in my Christian Walk with Jesus Christ.
As I embrace Freedom, the Holy Spirit is teaching me Truth. So this means that others will observe my Spiritual Behavior. Maybe some Freedom will overflow to others.
My Cup Runneth Over !
Thank Your Lord for this Word to enlighten my day to day Journey.
Your Sister in Christ
I am Free Indeed !
I use your quiz every year to pick my word. This year the word the came up is “presence.” However, about a month ago I was asked for my word and the one that came to mind was “shift.” I think that is my word for 2023. Shift from just surviving to thriving, shift from lack to abundance, shift from fear to faith…
My word for the year is ROOTED! Who’s joining me?
Belinda B says
I am! I got the word “rooted” also. To me it means being faithful and nurture and grow my faith in Jesus Christ and be rooted in his love.
Presence is my word.
My word is ROOTED.
After th stress of dealing with my husband’s health issues since May of ’22.
there were times I was crushed and overwhelmed.
This year I will hold onto being ROOTED in Jesus
Who will give me the strength I need to think clearly, make very important decisions and be able to comfort and support my husband as his health declines.
Ahhh my word is PRESENCE❣️ Relief.. as I am in need of Gods presence and He actually has never not been there when I do sit and listen and pray and worship Him❤️
In the last 48 hours He has brought the scripture Isaiah 43:18 &19 to me over and over:)) look He says forward not backwards! I am doing a new thing! Do you see it?? I’m making a way through the desert with rivers!! I’m in awe as I look back for the last 13 months… My Lord has reconciled my 3 adult children after 5&1/2 years. In ways I never could of expected ! Yes Mary Carver… I am focusing on His presence and trusting His way to this new year;)
May you be blessed in just the same ways
Mandy Carbon says
My word of the year is FREEDOM!
My quiz word is Freedom, and I would like to explore all that means for me this year, but— a couple of weeks ago (as I was working myself into a tizzy about all that needed to be done), I feel like the Lord dropped the word “cease” into my heart. As in, cease from striving, and relax and trust God. I must say, that while several things did not get done before Christmas, I was much happier and enjoyed the holiday much more. And no one seemed to care or even notice all those things I thought I had to do. Now, to apply that to the rest of the year!
Last year my word was “Empowered” which I grounded with the scripture John 14:27 concerning the peace of mind that is the gift Christ left us with. He empowered me to get through some very difficult times this year, including my mom’s and my SIL’s passing.
This year my word is “CONNECTED.” I am resolving to follow through daily with the nudges of the Spirit to reach out, connect with and minister to others. I’m bad about not doing that. Not sure if it’s my introvert personality or just laziness, but I need to move with the Spirit. Haven’t settled on my scripture yet.
Marti J says
Connection, yes that is my word. Connection is what God has created us for and I so believe deep in my heart.
Mary, I don’t know what kind of who do you’re doing; but I haven’t a clue how you know I ate that whole bag of peanut M&M’s. I like to keep this kind of shame to myself; but here you are, telling the world. LOL!
My word came up as Freedom and I look forward to what the Lord is going to teach me this year about what freedom in Him truly means. Great article and Happy New Year!
My word is freedom. I think God is calling me to be free from all I’ve been trying to do on my own and put my trust in Him alone. It’s been a really rough couple of months and I desire with all my heart to be truly free in Him and let Him lead my in his paths of righteousness as I put all my hope and trust in only Him.
I did this last year! It definitely took all the pressure of all the goals we want to do. Gives us the ability to breath ❤️
My word for 2023: FREEDOM
I took the quiz and my word was ROOTED. I had already decided that CULTIVATE would be my word for 2023, and I love how linked these two words are. I need to stay rooted in God’s love and word to cultivate a meaningful life and serve God’s world.
Like Jill, I was considering Cultivate for my word, and the quiz brought me to Rooted. I want to cultivate my spiritual life and health in the coming year.
My word of the year is FREEDOM. I’m intrigued by this and looking forward to how God will reveal this to me throughout the year!
The Lord had already pointed me to my words for 2023 – connection and community. But it was fun to take the quiz and see the result be CONNECTION. It was a nice confirmation.
Patti Rodgers says
my word is connection. Family connections, friend connections, church family connections and most importantly spiritual connections. I’d like to be more intentionally connected to each group and especially in regard to meeting with my Lord through prayer and bible reading. Making time to wait for His response and leading. Deeper connections
My word is Presence. Yes, I do feel I need more of His! Great word for me.
My word is CONNECTION which is so appropriate since I’ve been praying to go deeper in my faith and to be given the courage and the wisdom to share the good news of Jesus to others. I see that all starts with me being in a stronger relationship with God so he can help me build the bonds needed in order to openly and with loving care communicate His love.
This year my word is CONNECTION. I immediately hated it (I know, I know – what’s wrong with me?!) and redid the quiz to get a “better” word. But all day long “connection” was going through my head. It was as though the Holy Spirit was already using it to nudge me to text a couple persons and spend time with my daughter. I saw the word connection come in a text to me and on the page of a new book I cracked open. And finally at the end of the day I remembered how a few years ago I’d made some bookmarks and stamped different words on them. I’d given them away, but I had one left… I poked and rummaged around until I found it. And the word on that one remaining bookmark was – you guessed it – “connected.” I’m listening, Jesus! I love You. And guess what? I don’t hate my word anymore! Lol
Rachel Markin says
My word is Connection and that truly resonates with me
My word is presence and that seems to be something I truly struggle with daily. I’m always looking ahead for budgeting concerns, for my scheduling concerns, and it has just really been hard to stay present lately with so much going on since my move in October. I really need to work on this because I feel like I’m losing friends and it’s caused a deep grief these last several weeks. Thank you for providing another opportunity to win!
God has led to this word for the new year. Selah – so far exploring purposeful praise and rest.
My word of the year for 2023 is freedom.
Monica Robinson says
My word is “presence”. I know God is with me 24/7 but I need to bask and be still in his presence. He wants more of my time. I need to spend more time with him. I think it’s a crazy coincidence that as a grandma – I said yesterday before taking the his that I wanted to be more present with them and have intentional time. God said – he wants that from me too. Thanks for this cool quiz! Plus the blog post was written so well. I love my Dayspring emails. God bless!
My word came up freedom. I am not sure what this word means and how it fits me. I even did the quiz twice taking the other options that I had considered for answers to some of the questions and it still came up freedom. As I ponder over it, I hope it means freedom from all the fears and things that held me back From being who God wants me to be. I am still not sure what that means or looks like. I think I have a little bit of a negative connotation about the word, freedom or something. I can definitely use some guidance on how to use that word to make this a year that is positive and connected to God.
“Connection” yes, I see the humor Lord, the last three years were a refiners fire, leaving me with need for new community connection. He lays the ground work in time, calling me deeper into His body “come closer” “go deeper” to go deeper in the Lords Body requires my greatest pursuit, Gods love.
Thank you Jesus for this Dayspring Community and the year 2023.
My word is “Presence”, and one of the things that was mentioned to go with it is the scripture verse “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 – particularly the fist part.
“. . . this verse can be read: stop striving, stop fighting, and stop trying to do things on your own. Stop stressing about the battle ahead and trust me. Wake up! I am the Lord. I am your refuge and your strength. You have nothing to fear or worry about when I am with you. I will fight your battles and deal with your enemies. So get out of my way. Step back, open your eyes, and acknowledge who I am and what I can do. Let me be God. Don’t try and do my job for me. Be patient, be still, and let me go to work.” (From Christianity.com – https://tinyurl.com/bdsx2vpf)
For several years now I have been fighting a real battle for my faith against a deeply entrenched negativism. I grew up being told that optimists are fools and out of touch with real life. In particular I have begun to have trouble loving and trusting God (or much of anyone else.)
I think this word – Presence – will be a definite help to me. Asking Jesus to help and guide me to seek, find and live in God’s presence. Learning to really know and rely on Him.
My word is presence. I’m looking forward to experiencing more of His presence in this new year.
My word is “rooted”.
My word also was “Presence” . I want to draw closer… see His smiling eyes, hear His tender loving voice, slow down sensing and being thankful that He walks with me , will guide me in the way I should go and talk. What a wonderful Friend ..our Jesus is‼️ I don’t want to miss Him.
P.s. Thankyou to all who work with In courage. I here CANADA – love you and am grateful.
Blessings in 2023 ⚓️✝️
Mine is “Presence.” I need to remember God is always with me and to trust His plan He has for me.
My word for this year is “freedom.” I’m really curious to see what this will mean in further context.
My word of the year is Freedom! There are a lot of words that I could have chosen as a guide for the new year, but when I saw my quiz result, I was moved to tears. This is the word I needed and did not realize it. I am a child of God, but I know I still need to experience freedom in so many areas of my walk with Him. This word will be both a challenge and an encouragement to me in 2023. Thank you, DaySpring and (in)courage!!
My word of the year is Confidence. That’s definitely something I could use more of
sarah cantrell says
My word is “presence.” This word resonates with me as I am a high school teacher. I need to make sure I am “present” with my students but also to make sure I take time and be “present” with myself as I can easily burn out. I think along with “presence” my word is “peace.” Peace to know that God is in every situation and circumstance.
Beth Williams says
I took the test several times getting different answers. My problem is it was hard to pick some answers as none of them really fit me. This year I got Freedom as my word. I need to be free from distractions of this world. Mostly the distractions of the evil one. I need to kick him to the curb & out of my life. He has been making life miserable these past few months. It is time I said enough!! Think back to movie War Room-wife says
“I don’t know where you are devil, but I know you can hear me. You have played with my mind & had your way long enough. No more!! Jesus is Lord of this house. So take your lies, your schemes, your accusations & get out! In Jesus Name! I am so sick of you stealing my joy! My joy doesn’t come from my friends, my job or my husband. My joy is found in Jesus. And just in case you forgot He has already defeated you! So go back where you belong & leave me & my family alone!!” That is my motto for 2023!!
Vivian S. says
My word for 2021 was overcome. Did I ever?! My word for 2022…redeemed. Truly, I’ve been redeemed. My word for 2023 is confidence. It’s coming at a time that He knows I need most. He is so good.
Bre C says
My word is Freedom. I want to free myself from thoughts of doubt and open my heart and mind to pursuing a closer relationship with God.
Patty Feaster says
My word for 2023 is freedom.
I look forward to exploring the word, it’s meaning, what God has to say about, and seeing transformation in my life this year.
The word I got is ‘rooted’. A reminder that no matter what comes this year I can live steadfastly – I have a firm foundation in Christ, He is the source of all I need, and He can hold me fast.