Last year was the first year that I took on the One Word Challenge. I didn’t link up with anyone, didn’t join some big group of people who were sharing and supporting and encouraging each other to live out said word or anything like that. I just picked a word. Something that represented everything that I wanted accomplish and attain in the coming year and I went with it.

Last year, knowing that we had been struggling for almost a year to get pregnant with our second and that I had just recently dove head first into running a Graphic Design Business, I chose the word CREATE.

My goal was to create new things and adventures for our family. To “create” a new being and bring a new baby into our lives. In the grand scheme of things, I feel like I was very successful both in a literal term (hello baby #2!) and as far as my business and my blog go.

I went back and forth on what to use for my word this year. I threw around ideas like relax (because I know with a business, too many ambitions, and two boys at home that I’ll need to be doing some of that this year) and breathe (see aforementioned reasons for the word “relax”).

But those didn’t fit. Those are things I can coach myself to do on a daily basis, but not something that I want to base my entire year around. I spent 366 days last year eating, sleeping and breathing the word create and bringing new meaning and definition to it for my life and my business. I wanted something that I could be that intense with this year.

Then, the other day while I was folding the millionth load of laundry in two days (seriously, what is it about laundry and how much it seems to multiply with a baby around?!) it came to me. My word for 2013. Plain as day, clear as crystal I knew that this word was THE word for me…

release2012 was a year of growth for me personally and professionally.

But there are things in my life that I still feel like are holding me back. Demons and doubts and questions that prevent me from moving forward and really embracing the role that I’ve been given in life and the place that I feel like I a need to be (and want to be) in my life.

Fears, doubts, worries…

Unresolved feelings and emotions…

Mistakes, hurts, and grudges that I haven’t let go of…

All of those things that I feel are holding me back. Binding me to a past that I no longer want and keeping me from the future that I want and deserve.

This word doesn’t only have to do with letting go of things that have happened, but also with my incessant need to control everything and dominate life. My mentality that I have to be everything for everyone all the time.

Because I can’t do that. I can’t do it all, no matter how hard I try or how much I think that I can. Life just doesn’t work that way. At all. And stressing about that…worrying about being it all and doing it all…only makes me miss the moments that I’ve been given and the things that matter. Moments like these…



And I am ready to let go of that. Ready to release those chains that keep me in an uproar and a whirlwind…trying to conquer and divide and overcome every little aspect of life.

In 2013, I want to learn to let it go.

Do you choose a word of the year every year? What was last years? Did you live up to it? Which word are you choosing for 2013?





  1. Brianne says

    I came across this blog entry while looking up an image for the word “release.” I also chose release as my one word for 2013 and your journaling brought me to tears. Best of luck to you as you continue to move forward and release this year. Prayers with you and thank you!

  2. says

    This is lovely. Something I need to work on myself. When I do allow myself to just let it go, I feel so much happier, so much more free! This is a great focus for 2013. And I can’t believe how big the baby already is! Both of your boys are too adorable!

  3. says

    I chose the word simplify, but the more reading I do on simplifying my life, the more I come to realize that “release” may have been a more relevant choice. Great word!

  4. says

    This is wonderful! I think we all should live by the word “Release” for 2013…at least I know I need to! Thank you for the reminder.

    For this year…I chose “Courage” as my word to live by!

  5. says

    Ah, Courtney, you hit on something so important. We all have stuff to let go and so often, it holds us back from our full creative potential as little, unimportant and dream defeating thoughts take up way too much real estate in our heads. We have to be like the mean landlords and say, “You haven’t paid your rent. Get out!” to those thoughts so we can allow enough space for the new ones to be created. We release the old, we take in the new and fresh. And healthy.

    May your 2013 be full of healthy release and may it embrace the creation of awesome, amazing things for you.


  6. says

    Mine is JOY – and as much as I didn’t think that word ‘fit’ for me, just like your folding the laundry story and finding the word release, the word joy came to me so naturally. After I embraced the word, it seems to be popping up everytime i turn around. funny how that happens, right?

    Would love to see how you continue to infuse RELEASE throughout 2013!

  7. says

    That is a great word! I almost wish I had come up with it. I didn’t pick a word last year but this year I picked content.

  8. says

    This is a perfect word! I loved this post! I haven’t committed to a word yet. Not sure if I will, but this post makes me want to steal yours, because I can relate to so much it.

  9. says

    So cool…mine is renewal this year and this is the first time I have had a word. I am actually hoping to connect with others who chose a word so I put a linky under my post in case anyone would like to link up!! Thanks!

  10. says

    Last year my word was Overcome. This year it is CONQUER. It fits well and was a word God gave to me. Just wrote about it myself. Love the word release. I look forward to a year (hopefully soon) when I will be able to rest, release, breathe, all those. Unfortunately it’s not yet. I remember when you wrote about create and do think it has fit your 2012 well. Be blessed!

  11. says

    I haven’t exactly declared a word just yet but the one thing that does come to mind is PURPOSE. I want things I do, projects I am involved in or posts I write to all have purpose. Whether that purpose is to inspire, create, motivate, encourage or support it all comes down to that one word. I don’t want to do anything this year just for the sake of doing it (household chores don’t count though even that does serve its own purpose).

    I’ve lived life with no goals, no purpose, no support, and no motivation for too many years. Now, I am embracing all of that and doing my best to provide the same to others.

    I wish you all the best with achieving your word this year.

  12. says

    I had no idea there was actually a community around choosing a word for the year. Last year, I picked a word and a Bible verse. This year’s word is “extend” and my verse is Micah 6:8!

  13. says

    I hadn’t chosen a word for the year before, but this year I did. Amazing. 2012 was good to us, but I have big plans for 2013. I want it to be AMAZING.

  14. says

    I do think it’s a great word. I hope this frees you to be more of you, to give more of yourself to YOU.
    I have a word too – in a post coming on Monday! 🙂


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