My Word For 2023

Happy New Year, friends!

I love choosing a word for the year. I typically use a word to guide my goals and the steps I take toward them for the year. Last year I didn’t choose a word. I thought I’d outgrown the process of choosing. Or that maybe I needed to let the word choose me. I told myself it would all come together if I just sat back and let the year play out. Perhaps it was pandemic fatigue or the realization that some years we have no real control over the big things that happen in our life- I’m looking at you 2020. 

But this year I noticed that I let a lot of things go. I wasn’t using my planner the way I had in the past, I was surprised by meetings on my schedule that I should’ve been aware of. I wasn’t blogging as frequently (which had much more do with the book than my desire to write). Everything felt haphazard and while it was still a very good year, all things considered, my goals (beside the great big book goal) weren’t clear. 

So this year I’ve decided to reinstate my word for the year. When I sat down to think about what it might be, I tossed around a couple of new phrases I’d written down for myself and while I liked those words as affirmations they weren’t right for THE word. So I tossed a few of the usual suspects around-Joy, happiness, prosperity, but none of them landed.  

I thought about some of the things that are already on the horizon for me. How did I feel about them? How did I want to approach them? How did I feel about myself?

And then the word appeared.

Here’s how:

Oftentimes, a friend would call or text to congratulate me on a recent accomplishment. They’d go on to tell me about something they see for me in my future- upping the ante.

“I could see you doing XYZ next!” They’d offer up with enthusiasm. But the truth is their declarations often feel too audacious, because even as a big dreamer that particular thought had never even crossed my mind. 

I’d try on their predictions and walk around in their words but they’d feel awkward, like walking around in someone else’s shoes that were a size too large. 

This year there are two big opportunities looming, one I orchestrated and another presented to me in a way they left me speechless and wobbly on my feet. 

Both of these things still feel too big for me (even the goal I set for myself). And while neither is guaranteed I’ve decided to try. 

What would I need to do this year? I asked myself while tapping my pencil on the still black page.

My thoughts were interrupted by a gentleman calling to confirm the introductory Pilates class I’d signed my husband and myself up for at a local studio.

 “You’ll need grippy socks,” he’d said.

I thought about the machines they used and how they’d help me extend my body in ways I hadn’t before. Thank goodness for that grippy sock requirement! And then I realized that was the word. Not Grippy but Stretch. This year I’d be asking myself to stretch- mentally, physically, emotionally. I’d have to extend in ways that I hadn’t before, to put on the too big shoes and metaphorically stretch out into them until I filled them up.

It won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, but I can get there if I keep trying- just like getting deeper and deeper into my Pilates moves. If I stick with it, my body will stretch out. All I need is the consistency of showing up and the support of my grippy socks. And if I move forward with those goals this year my path will open up too. 

I realize that my family, and close friends are my grips! But my blog subscribers and my social community (my virtual friends) have definitely played a role in keeping me steady, making sure I feel supported and that I don’t slip while I stretch too.

And with that being said I want you to know that I really appreciate each and every one of you! I don’t think I could have embarked on this unexpected journey without all of you!

Thank you for all of your support this past year and may you have a happy and healthy New Year!

I’d also love to hear about your word for the year or your thoughts on choosing one. 

Until next post!

Xo Tonya Parker

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

11 thoughts on “My Word For 2023

  1. That’s a great word Tonya! You got this!! As you know, my word is action for the new year. I fell off the blog and planner consistently too and am taking action to start doing both more already. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What a wonderful coffee and morning read, honestly it really put the pressure on ( in a good way) well as I reflected I knew I needed more than a word for me, easily it came to me, ( push with grace) thank you for giving me the push to put this in writing as my reality as I move forward in 2023

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      2. Thank you for reading, Shanta! I’m so glad to hear it resonated with you. And I love your words! Giving yourself grace but pushing through….that’s perfect my friend!❤️🙌🏾

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  2. There is so much I love about your word, and all it encompasses. While I haven’t chosen a word before – this feels like something I want to let move in on me too. Tonya, there is so much I admire about you – and I am also continuously inspired. You are a treasured virtual friend whom I’ve never met! I think I will stretch this year too! All goodness and joy and happy juju this year and beyond!

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  3. Tonya, although we only communicate virtually, there is something about you I connect with on an inspirational level. Listening to your stories and watching your postings keeps me motivated and always leaves me feeling happy. I haven’t thought of my word, yet; however, I’m definitely inspired me to stretch myself mentally and physically. Keep being a light to others! Happy New Year my sis and friend!🎆🎉🥰❤️

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    1. Thank you so much, Warrenette! Your sweet comment means so much to me. I’m so glad we’re connected!! Maybe we’ll get a chance to meet up again IRL this year! I love following you too! Happy New Year, sis! ❤️

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  4. Love it! My word for the year is service. I did not a very good job last year of adhering to my intention to be of service, so I am trying again this year. Thank you for your post.

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