2016 Word of the Year recap (joy) and my word for 2017!

Before I dive into this year’s word and the whys and wherefores thereof, I want to do a recap of my 2016 word, joy.

I’ll admit that it wasn’t one of my favourite words ever but it did what it was meant to do, which was to encourage me to live a little and also to choose joy when circumstances were not very joyful.

1. I know this will come as a surprise but I actually find it hard to relax. I’m much more comfortable on the work side of the scale πŸ™‚ Which is exactly why I put “read book” or “play with photos” on my to-do lists.

2. And then it’s always a good thing to realise that you always have a choice, even in the midst of hard situations, and for me, to choose joy in those circumstances.

3. I had a third leg which was to watch for the things that would steal my joy if not attended to promptly, things like doing my photo organising and backup on a monthly basis, doing my budgets regularly, putting in my expense claims. Basically, things that are not a big deal at all, but when left unattended can become a real schlep.

In that respect, I had a great year.

I did feel, around Sept or so, that I was done with that word and maybe I needed to choose another one.

But then a print from a friend arrived as a housewarming gift (I think?) with the words Choose Joy, and so I took that as a sign and ploughed on.

The word joy really helped me prioritise reading over social media, sleep over blogging (for like 30 people to see – my page views have been shocking this year!) and at work, when I’d get frustrated, I’d set up a meeting because I always prefer meeting in-person instead of exchanging hours of emails.

So thank you to the word joy for serving me well in 2016.

Now onto 2017.

Some years (like the year of enough) I agonise over the word and really have to pray and listen hard for my word.

Other years it just pops into my mind, feels right and there’s not a shadow of doubt.

That’s what it was this year when I received my word give early in December.

I tried it on for size and really liked it so give it is.

1. One day I was at the smoothie place in the gym behind a couple. They were battling to pay for their things because the machine wouldn’t accept their American card. So I paid for them. I’m not usually this kind of person but I loved that I could do that for them and best of all, they were so appreciative. Hope their visit to South Africa was made even brighter πŸ™‚

2. Of course I donated some money to the Aleppo refugee efforts and it felt really good to give instead of feeling powerless.

3. Another day I was at a clothing store. I had a gift card to spend from something I returned without a cash receipt, and it turned out that there was some money left. So I told the cashier to keep the card and to use the balance on my card for the very next person who came to pay for their things. She loved it, I loved it and I’m sure the person would have loved it too. I somehow feel like it wasn’t even about the recipient but about the cashier πŸ™‚

To that end, I think I may host a few one-week GIVE challenges πŸ™‚

How I want to explore the word give this year:

  1. What do I want to or need to give to God this year?
  2. How can I give better to my family in terms of my time and energy?
  3. Where do I want to give to my relationships?
  4. How can I give to myself more in terms of my finances? (by not spending frivolously, saving more, and using my gifts to make some money)
  5. What does my body need and how can I give it the best fuel/ exercise it needs?
  6. And so on…..

Now, over to you!

I’m going to ask you a question I heard from Ali Edwards on EliseJoy’s podcast.

Which direction do you want your life to go in this year? Which word will help guide and keep you focussed in the right direction to do so?

Don’t overthink it. Tell me your word for 2017.

PS Book a half hour session with me to get clear on your word and your purpose/ goals/ intentions for 2017.

PPS Words from previous years

2016 – Joy

2015 – enough

2014 – shine

2013 – trust

2012 – create (my favourite year of choosing words!)

2011 – courage

2010 – consolidate

2009 – simplify

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  1. Oh wow, such a big word Marcia. I’m sure it’ll go well for you. I think mine is achieve, there are things that I want to achieve, and they must happen this year.

    • Marcia Francois says

      It is a big word! I feel like I need to take charge of this year, Cassey.

      And I love your word, achieve! Let me know how I can support you πŸ™‚

  2. Kirstin says

    Thanks for your blog and the different worksheets. I have printed out your ‘Let’s do this’ guide and will make some time to reflect on 2016 and what my intentions are for 2017.

    My word for 2017 is ‘thrive’. The last year was really difficult and that impacted on my personal well-being, passion and energy. So this year, I want to thrive – on all levels!

    Good luck with your word – may you give freely and wholeheartedly.


    • Marcia Francois says

      Kirstin, so glad you’re using all the worksheets.

      I love your word THRIVE. It was on my shortlist when I chose SHINE in 2014 as I felt much like you did – coming off a bad year, you feel like you need to recover.

      Here’s to a great year for both of us!

  3. I love GIVE as a word, and your description of how joy worked for you over the course of 2016. xox

  4. LOVE that you stuck to Joy even though it was challenging and yes, it was a housewarming/birthday gift.
    I think you’re going to have a FANTASTIC year of GIVE. It’s totally you!
    My word is FIT. Am still fleshing it out but in a nutshell, it encompasses physical, financial, emotional and spiritual fitness.

    • Marcia Francois says

      Sometimes I think that’s the point of these words – to test the heck out of us! That year of TRUST was one of the worst ever!

      Here’s to a great year of FITness for you.

  5. Terisha says

    Excellent word and even more excelllent acts of kindness on your part. I love hearing stories like that.
    My word is brave.

    • Marcia Francois says

      I love hearing stories like that too and I hope you know I don’t share them to boast, just to illustrate the point.

      I LOVE YOUR WORD!!!!! It’s been a supporting word to me for many years.


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