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My One Word for 2017 (it might surprise you!)

Last year was my first year ever to choose a word for the year and really live by it. In previous years, I had chosen words, but they had never truly stuck or made a lasting impact.

2016 was entirely different.

My Year of Rest changed my life in very powerful and profound ways. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever be the same as a result of making the commitment to a year of rest. (You can read more about how this simple word radically changed my life in 2016 here.)

As the end of 2016 began to near, I started really thinking through what my dreams and hopes and goals for 2017 would be, as well as what I wanted to invest my life in during this next year.

I learned so much from streamlining my life and paring down so I had breathing room this past year. I learned that when I stepped back from all of the crazy and gave myself space to breathe and laugh and LIVE more, there were parts of me I didn’t know existed. Sadly, I’d been too busy and too focused on productivity to recognize them.

A few things I’ve discovered in 2016: I’m actually not as ultra minimalist as I thought I was, I actually , I actually am less of an introvert and more of a people person than I realized, and I . (If you missed it, be sure to read yesterday’s post on 10 Surprising Things I Learned About Myself in 2016.)

I realized that saying “no” over and over and over again to the things that weren’t priorities in this season of life and/or didn’t bring me joy, gave me the space to really invest deeply in the people in my home, a few real-life relationships, and a few projects that really mattered to me.

So my Year of Rest is turning into a Year of Yes!

Now that I’ve pared down my life, cut back on the calendar clutter, and made space to live and breathe, 2017 is the year I’m committed (and able!) to say yes to more spontaneity and joy and color and laughter and fun and trying new things.

What I’m Saying Yes To:

  • My marriage
  • My health
  • My kids
  • Real-life relationships
  • Investing in a few extra things in my week that spark joy
  • Being more adventurous & spontaneous in a way that will bless my family
  • Trying at least a few things I’ve never tried before

Now, in case you get the idea that a Year of Yes means I’m just going to fill up my schedule again with a bunch of crazy, I’m not. This is about being intentional to continue to say no to those things that aren’t the best things in order to say “Yes” to the best — memory-making and being more present with the people nearest and dearest to me!

What I’m Not Saying Yes To:

  • Chaos
  • Crazy
  • Calendar clutter
  • Meaningless to do’s
  • Guilt
  • Comparison
  • Trying to be someone who is not true to who God has made me to be

I’ve spent too much of my life playing it safe and saying “no” to adventures and spontaneity. This is the year I’m giving myself permission to be a Yes Mom, a Yes Wife, and a Yes Friend to those in my local community. I can’t wait to see what lessons I learn and how this changes me in the months to come!

Do you need some motivation to make your health a priority in 2017? I have a passion to help you become your best self. I don’t want you to go through life feeling exhausted and burnt out. I don’t want you to have to rely upon coffee or coping mechanisms to make it through the day!

I want to help you prioritize your health, boost your energy, and set realistic goals for self-care. Join me for the 15 Days to a Healthier You Program — registration ends in just a few days! Sign up here.

Coming in the next few days: My goals for 2017, My top 10 reads from 2016, and some big changes that are coming here on the blog!

What’s YOUR word for the year? Share in the comments!

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57 Comments

  • Misty says:

    The year 2016 was the year of fun for our family. After two of our three children were the victims of a crime at the end of 2015, we purposed to make time for having fun together each day in the new year. My husband stepped away after 19 years in ministry. We held our kids, we laughed and played, we healed. We made so many memories and all of the time spent having fun (being outside, science experiments, day trips, etc) was a welcome respite from the sadness that seemed to hang over us. We fought isolation because the perpetrator is a member of my husband’s extended family. So…2016 found us forming new traditions and deeper friendships. I’ve been amazed by the ways God has provided community, comfort, and moments of pure happiness over the last year. He is faithful!
    We’ve decided to call 2017 the year of goodbye. We’ve spent this week saying goodbye to clutter and unneeded possessions in our home. Lately we’ve noticed that the overwhelming sense of grief we lived with has lifted. Goodbye! We plan to say goodbye to all sorts of things that divert our time and attention away from our mission as a family. Most importantly, I’ve said goodbye to my ideas about how God should do things in my life. His ways are higher! Thank you for this blog. May God bless you.

    • Jo says:

      Wow! So many good thoughts here in this comment! Thank you for sharing! And I’m so sorry you are having to go through that heart-breaking and difficult situation. 🙁

    • Amy says:

      “I’ve said goodbye to my ideas about how God should do things in my life.”

      Love this statement! I’m so sorry for what your family has been through. May the Lord bless your new year and new beginnings!

    • says:

      Love this post, and what a beautiful comment! I’m also in “goodbye” mode for 2017… but I love that goodbye and yes years can be focused on such similar sentiments. Best wishes for your new goodbye year! 😀

  • Michelle G says:

    Hi Crystal, I love from REST to YES! I love to see how the Lord is working in your life. Thank you for sharing. May blessings flood your life this next year!

  • says:

    Love this! This will be my first time choosing a word of the year. My word for 2017 is brave. After some challenging experiences in 2016, I’m praying for the Lord to give me courage.

  • says:

    Hi Crystal!!
    My word for 2017 is STILL. In the past six years, God has placed me in situation after situation that requires great faith and trust. My husband is slowly recovering from a six year on and off battle with addiction, which has tested my faith and trust in God’s sovereign will to the point of exhaustion. What I have learned from the ups and downs and involuntary roller coaster ride is this……. my has deepened far greater through the trials than it ever has through seasons of prosperity. Still, even as I have watched God faithfully provide for my every need in the midst of chaos and pain, I struggle with simply trusting. I want to learn to just be still, be quiet and trust. I spend too much time looking for and attempting my own solutions rather than just being still…… and know that He is God. Being busy or occupied does not always equal being productive. This will be a great challenge for me but I am very excited!!! Thank you for this blog!!! I visit you almost daily!!!

    • Jo says:

      Oh! Addiction is so, so hard — and very hard for those who are closest to the person as well.

      Being busy or occupied does not always equal being productive. <--- THIS!

  • Cheryl says:

    My word for this year is balance. I’ve come off of a good year with my word being simple in 2016. My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this June and our son will be 13 and daughter 15. Parents of teenagers! I want to make sure I balance and focus on these 3 areas this year: family, faith, and health. Our family word is active. We want to be an active together, doing things together as a family. I’ve been a long time follower and wish God’s blessings in 2017 Crystal!!

  • says:

    This year is the first year I am choosing a word. My word is PURGE. This year I’m hoping to purge physical items in our home and yard as well as some bad habits, extra pounds, and negativity in my life. The last few years have been very rough and my family is carrying a lot of extra stuff, both physically and emotionally. I’m looking forward to purging the clutter to make room for the PEACE and JOY. Thank you for being an inspiration and putting yourself out there so others see real life and what is possible!

  • Quinn says:

    “In previous years, I had chosen words, but they had never truly stuck or made a lasting impact.”

    Any suggestions tips that helped make 2016 a year of success in your year of rest.

    I want to do a year of prayer. Focus on prayer, but as I think about it I am probably going to get rid of reading blogs and listening to podcasts because they are distracting me.

    Would love anything you have to make my Year of prayer a success?

    • Jo says:

      I think, for me, it was putting it out there in a very public way and stating what I meant by making this commitment (that I was saying no to pretty much everything) gave me the courage to actually then live according to what I had committed!

  • Valorie says:

    I’ve made a commitment to a “Year of Yes” as well for 2017. I’ve been reading Shonda Rhimes’ book, and bought the journal to keep me on track and accountable.
    It will be fun to do this along with you!

  • says:

    The coming year is going to be “Living The Moment” in my case. Both my husband and I work full time, expecting another baby and I blog. Our schedule is always full and sometimes even though we are physically present, mentally we are thinking of work.

    We want to spend more time with our kids and cherish the moments. That’s my personal goal for 2017.

  • Jaime says:

    FRIENDS…..to spending more time with the ones I have and meeting new ones along the way. I spend too many years feeling pained by one friend I gave everything to, but nothing in return. I took me a while to realize I was in a toxic relationship with said friend and while I didn’t want to say goodbye, I had to for my mental health (walk away from negativity). I am grateful however to now recognize this behavior and avoid putting myself in that same situation again.

  • says:

    I love this idea! 😀 For 2017 I choose the word family. ^^ Our family just grew by one a week ago. I promised myself that I will not make the same mistakes as with the first baby, when I tried so hard to work and didn’t give myself the time to just be a mom. I am taking a 2 year break from my business, in which I will concentrate more on my family and doing what and I like rather than what others (the customers) need me to do, artisticaly speaking. 🙂 I want to show people in my family how much I care about them, make gifts for them. I want to participate more efficiently in budgeting and meal planning so we have more money to spend on family trips. I want to help other moms to do the same for their families, through my blog and volunteering for the WAHM community in my country. I would love to make a family cosplay for Halloween this year. 😀 I want to print family photos. I want to have a cleaner and better organized house. I wanna bring more magic into our home. It will be a beautiful year! ^^

  • Terri says:

    2016 was the year of “steady” as I learned to NOT allow the world around me to determine my emotional state. Now I’m transitioning into 2017 where the word is “invest” – I want to invest into the future in many ways…my family (husband and two kids), my potential new business, and my Christian faith. We reap what we sow…and I want to sow good things into my future. Looking forward to 2017!

  • Lindsey says:

    It has been so exciting to see all the things God brought about in your year of rest! I can’t wait to see what your year of yes brings! A few years ago I first saw people choosing a word for their year, and I loved the idea… but I never did it because I didn’t know what word to choose, was afraid to choose the wrong one, etc. Towards the end of this year, 2016, I asked God for guidance and a word to focus my 2017 around, and He gave me one ~ “Discipline”. It’s been amazing to see all the places in Scripture that talk about discipline and the need for it (and what happens when you don’t have any of it). I’ve been convicted of areas where I’ve been lazy or just haven’t given it my best (not as working for the Lord) or could do some things that would give me more peace and joy but I haven’t because of mental blocks or lack of motivation or excuses. I have two precious little girls, and I’m finding that the more I discipline myself to pick up our house or put things back right away, the more time I have to breathe, relax, and laugh with them. The more I push myself to try and learn new things, the more I have to offer them in the areas of teaching and encouraging. The more I read my Bible and pray, the more I focus on Christ and eternity in my day. I hope that makes sense! I’m going to be writing down more specific goals today and am so excited! Thank you for the encouragement! You helped me finally have the guts to ask God for a word!

    • Jo says:

      I love this! And I’m cheering you on!!

    • Dana says:

      Discipline was my word two years ago! I learned so much by studying the concept. Discipline and punishment seem synonymous for so many, but it’s really about bringing every area of your life into discipleship, following the Lord in all areas. That was a great word!

  • says:

    “Looking For the Lovely” is my current listen through Hoopla (LOVE that app). I am really enjoying it. Right before it I listened to “The 5 Habits Of Women Who Don’t Quit “and I had no idea that “Looking For The Lovely” was also about not quitting when I figured it out I was like “okay God what are you trying to tell me here”.
    Anyways you know my words for 2017 Soak, Create, & Share. I want to “soak” up the moments of our 5 month RV trip with our teenagers, let it speak to my creative side and share it with others.

    • Jo says:

      Oh! I want to read that book on the 5 Habits! I’ve seen it mentioned multiple places and it looks good! I just finished Looking for Lovely today!

  • Winter says:

    My word for 2017 is “prepare”. Prepare for the future by decluttering, simplifying, getting finances in order by sticking to a budget, getting an emergency fund in place, saving toward a down payment on a house, cutting down debt… taking steps toward a bright happy future.

  • Michelle says:

    My word for 2017 is Happy. I spend so much time doing things I “should” do without thinking about whether those things are actually helping me get where I want to go. So I’m going to concentrate on doing things that actually make me happy and saying no to things that make me unhappy.

  • says:

    My word for 2017 is Dreams. I’ve been really struggling with chronic health issues for the last several years, and this year, I’ve finally seen some dramatic improvement, so 2017 is my year to use that new energy and really go after some things I always wanted to do. For instance, in the spring my husband and I are planning to hike up a (small) mountain.

  • Courtney says:

    Absolutely love the idea of choosing a word for the year. Your post is so inspiring and I love both of your words, rest to yes. I did it last year and it was great. But I was wondering if you have suggestions for choosing your next word. Last year, it just came to me when I decided to do it but I haven’t thought of one for 2017 yet.

    • Jo says:

      I wouldn’t recommend forcing it… but maybe just think about what your hope is for this coming year, a specific area you really want to focus on, or something that you really want to make your theme. For me, I chose Yes because I want that constant reminder to be more adventurous, show up fully, be present, and experiment more!

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I love the way God brings things, thoughts, and people to us when we need them most. I have a feeling 2017 is going to be an amazing year! A year of rest and health is so desperately needed. Would you please share your nutritionist’s info with me? I don’t have much help in my small town with my autoimmune issues and really need someone to guide me through. I’ve already signed up for your 15 day program (which is a huge step for me!) and I’m getting excited about thriving for God in the new year rather than surviving through my days much like a zombie does! 🙂

    • Jo says:

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re joining us! Shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail.com) and I’ll be glad to share more info about my nutritionist!

  • says:

    I am not 100% with my word yet but the one i have picked is freedom – i want more time with my family and to spend on things I want to do instead of have to do or feel obligated to do…

    I am really loving all your posts and so excited to be starting 2017 as part of your community!

  • lorie says:

    will you be posting your favorite reads of 2016?

  • REBECCA says:

    I guess my word is a phrase…”less is more”! Purging and hopefully blessing others with our stuff.

  • Tammy says:

    My word for 2017 is release! I want to release clutter from our home. Release pounds from my body. Together we are working on releasing as much as possible this year. We also will be releasing some negative stuff from extended family. And most of all I am releasing myself from always being a people pleaser!

  • Melanie says:

    I love this idea of choosing a word for the year! As I’m reading your post and everyone’s comments, I started praying to God and asking what my word should be. This last year, I’ve grown a lot in the Word and in my knowledge of taking care of myself and losing weight. Anxiety is my biggest obstacle. I’ve chosen to not use meds and find ways to combat my anxiety by being in the word, exercise, nutrition and essential oils. But I still tend to resist change. So my word for 2017 is EMBRACE!! Embrace what the Lord has blessed me with and stop fighting and resisting due to fear!!! I will no longer allow fear to rob me of my joy- I will embrace life!

  • Emilie says:

    STRENGTH

    To say yes to what’s best for me and my family
    to seek God to ease anxiety
    to save and not spend
    to choose healthy foods
    to say no when it is not a priority

    I found my word through prayer and my bible reading for today.

  • Allison says:

    I just finished reading Present Over Perfect, and was also inspired to make this a year of yes! As a teacher mom, it is so easy to say yes to things that I really shouldn’t, because I want to give 100% to my job and my family. So I made a list of all the things I will say “yes” to this year, as well as the things I will be saying “no” to. I would love to see you develop a “Say Yes” shirt with Cents of Style, my Choose Joy shirt is one of my favorite shirts in my whole wardrobe!

  • Tiffany says:

    Long time reader, curious as to what you’d consider “meaning less to do’S?”

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