one word for 2013

There are several amazing folks in student affairs who have gotten me excited about choosing a one word resolution for 2013.  I tried to pick one earlier this year (2012) and couldn’t settle on one.  I’m not an overly decisive person when it comes to things like this – the idealist in me keeps thinking, “but, what if…” and I want to pick 100 words because I can’t imagine that just one would fit me for a whole year perfectly.  I knew it could be powerful, but I wanted it to be powerful and all-inclusive.  And that’s a high expectation.

Never heard of one word resolutions?  Here’s some websites to help you understand: My One Word and One Word 365.  Not only will they help explain what this whole one word resolution thing is all about, but these two site can also help you choose your word.  The awesome Becca Obergefell (who inspired this post) has some great tips on her blog as well.

Some great advice from the One Word 365 site:

Focus on being rather than doingDifferent than resolutions, your One Word isn’t a constant reminder of what you “should be doing”. Instead, it stands to inspire how you want to live. Think about who you want to be, and choose a word that will help you become that.

Be authentic. Your word should reflect YOU, and no one else. It’s easy to listen to others’ words and then pick one that sounds good. But you want a word that’s uniquely yours. One that resonates with you on a deep level (in a way that others can’t fully understand, even if they have the same word).

Don’t overthink it. It’s not rocket science, and there’s no wrong answer. Don’t analyze it to death! It’s not about whittling down a long list of potential words; it’s about identifying the word that keeps coming back to nag at your heart. Someone commented on our last post, “I will watch for the next 10 days (till the end of the year), and I will use the word that I see and recognize the most.” Such a brilliant idea for choosing! Stop the hamster wheel in your mind long enough to listen for your word.

So…how to choose my word.  I’m a list maker, so I’m starting with possibilities.


I’ll be honest, even as I brainstormed my list, I committed the “sin” of brainstorming – I nixed things in my head before they even got “written.”  Sometimes, my perfectionism (and slight OCD nature) gets the best of me.  When I think about who I want to be, I see a person who is loving, caring, kind, gentle with herself and others, and who loves ever moment to its fullest.  I want to be authentic and intentional and I definitely don’t want to make mistakes.  Adventurous as I may be, I often take the safe bet when it comes to big decisions.  I go for the best practice, I wait for someone else to make the call, and I use my logic-driven side to make the sound decision.  Sometimes, I have a hard time believing in myself, and my ability to get through challenges.

With all that, I have chosen imagine as my one word for 2013.  I pulled it from my favorite quote from N. Scott Momaday:

We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination  of ourselves. Our best destiny is to imagine, at least, completely who and what, and that we are. The greatest tragedy is to go unimagined.

From The Man Made of Words


I am so excited to begin this journey of imagination as I embark on 2013.  The last year has certainly held its challenges; we changed jobs and moved across the country and we lost the light of our lives – dear Zoe.  The new year will bring us a new puppy (squee!), the start of my official photography business (check me out on facebook and on the web), and several other adventures.

Don’t forget to share your one word with others!  Add it here (thanks to Niki Rudolph for collecting them!).

love, hugs, and imagining….ekt


Filed under life stuff, student affairs

9 responses to “one word for 2013

  1. Pingback: A One Word Resolution for 2013 « This is the year of ZERO…

  2. Visiting some of the One Word peeps. This is my first year participating…fantastic word, create. I can’t wait to get an update on how the photography business goes.

  3. jennifer s.

    My first year also! I have heard only positive things about coming up with words for the year, I figured why not. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the shoutout! Looking forward to seeing where your word takes you this year 🙂

  5. A great Word for 2013. Happy New Year!

  6. This is my second year to for One Word – didn’t realize there were entire communities on this! Last year was Believe. This year is Unstoppable! Love your post! I’d love to keep up with people and check back to see how their year is going every three years or so!

  7. What a great word!! So cool!! I love thinking about what could come of your year. Can’t wait to see how this words plays out in your life in unexpected ways!

  8. jonstolpe

    Great word for 2013. My word is epiphany. I’m excited to see God revealed in new and exciting ways in the coming year!

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