My word of the year quarterly review

My word for 2017 is give. You can read all about why I chose it here.

Here are a few questions I asked myself to see how my word’s been working for me:

what have I learned?

Interestingly, but probably not a surprise to God (Gal 6:7), I’ve been receiving more than I’ve been giving

I’ve paid for some lunches for friends which has been really nice. I hadn’t set out to do it like this but there has been one every month.

It’s not only money – I’ve been spending out in time with people, consciously taking time out of a busy schedule to phone/ whatsapp/ leave voicemails/ go see friends to engage with and encourage them.

what’s working really well?

I gave to myself by being brave and making all my health appointments early this year – gynae, mammogram and dental procedures. The worst of the dental is past and the last bit will be fixed in June this year.

I’m also giving myself relaxation in the form of enough sleep and the freedom to read (a lot of) books.

And grace. I’m recognising when things are hectic and that I might need to go a little bit easier on myself. In years past, I would still be up at all ours trying to get everything done, but now – sleep is more important.

The 5 love languages

You may know that I teach workshops on the 5 love languages.

I’ve been consciously asking myself how I can give love in the particular person’s love language – for Dion and the kids, and for my friends.

I said to a friend a few weeks ago, “I would LOVE it if all my friends would just take the love languages quiz and the MBTI, so I could know how to be an amazing friend to them all”.

A cool thing is that a good number of my friends came to a workshop I held last year so I wrote down all their love languages and now, I can show them love in the way they prefer.

What do I want to do for the next quarter?

  1. I want to arrange a 7-day #givechallenge on Instagram for me and whoever else wants to join me.
  2. I want to get my Bible reading going again.
  3. I want to start the day off and ask, “who can I give to today?”

How about you? How’s your word of the year working for you?

What’s working/ not working/ what have you learned/ what do you want to change?

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

A little end-of-year update


My one big goal for November is done.

I did my Spanish exam. I’ll find out whether I passed tomorrow evening but I did say to friends that I have done my absolute best – I have never in my life practised this hard for anything and I’m proud of all my efforts.

I also had probably 5 times as much fun as I did in the June exam which is all good.


But moving on…

On Saturday 19th I host this year’s 5 love languages of children workshop and I can’t wait. My prayer is that those who have signed up will leave having a deeper understanding of what makes them and their kids “tick”.

When I first went to a workshop, my mind was blown because I had insights about me, D and our kids! It’s so fun.

It’s not too late to sign up and yes, you can pay on payday if things are a bit tight now πŸ™‚

Email me!


What I actually want to talk about are two things:

1. word of the year

My word of the year is joy and I’m not sure if it’s because I have this word, or the circumstances require that I had to have this word to cling to but 2016 hasn’t felt very joyful on the whole.

There have been joyful moments, sure, but my joy level has been lower this year than in a year with another guiding word.

Just when I was about to give up on this word and choose another (in August!), I received a gift (framed printable word art) from a friend with the words “choose joy”. That made me smile, I can tell you.

So I’m choosing joy.

But I’m already thinking about a word for next year. I’ll confess that I feel like I need to set the bar reallllllly low πŸ™‚

I will write another post at the end of the year properly summarising JOY but for now, please tell me about your word for the year.

Has it been a fitting word for you? Have you wanted to abandon it too? Is your word still guiding you?


2. 2016 goals and intentions

My monthly goals have been going really well though despite unexpectedly buying a new house.

I think it’s because I’m focussing on only a few main life areas instead of all 7 or 8.

So I’m getting really excited about analysing (!) this year and doing my extensive reviews (aren’t you glad you don’t have to read all of that?!) and planning for next year.

Clean slate and all that jazz πŸ™‚

How are your 2016 goals looking? Are you ready for a clean slate too?

(I need to write about planners/ diaries/ bullet journals for next year soon!)

PS if you’re not following Organising Queen on Instagram, you might want to take a look. I post there daily and it’s really fun!

My 2016 word of the year

Friends, I’ve made you an easy-peasy organising roadmap for 2016. You can find it here.

word of the year |

Let’s run through all the words of the year I’ve had in the past:

  1. simplify
  2. consolidate
  3. courage
  4. create
  5. trust
  6. shine
  7. enough

The thing about a word for the year is that it helps you be more intentional about what you want and need, and also who you need to be or what you want to do more of.

word of the year |

Of course, I do goals (and boy, do I do goals) but the word of the year is something that really guides those daily decisions and choices.

The year I had the word courage, I’d say “what would courage look like in this situation?” or the year of trust, I’d say “how can I trust more?”

Unlike last year when I still didn’t have my word til about the first week of January, this year I had my word early in December.

word of the year |

Maybe it was linked to the big decision?

But aside from that, the question, “does this spark joy?” has featured so much in my life in the last 6 months since I read the book, that I’m not ready to let it go yet.

My 2016 word of the year is JOY. There are 214 instances of the word JOY in the Bible. Can you believe it?

  • does this spark joy?
  • how can I bring more joy?
  • will this bring me joy?
  • what can I do to have more joy?

word of the year |

These are all the questions I’m going to be exploring this year and I can’t wait.

I even found this tip on Instagram…

Joy is the best makeup – Anne Lamott

Amen to that!

Over to you.

What is your word for the year?

Word of the year 2014 and a few goals


First off, have you read this post on my closing out 2013 process?

If not, go have a read – I’ll wait!

Last year was quite honestly a beast of a year and towards the end of it, I started getting a sense that it was now time for something different – time for me to shine, and for God to shine me to reflect more of His glory.

So that’s my word for 2014 – shine!

I’m super excited and feeling hopeful about what this year will bring about for me.

Have you chosen a word for this year?

Whether you have or haven’t, I highly recommend this book.

Here are some posts I wrote in previous years.




And now onto some of my goals!

    • Continue posting every M, W and F on the Organising Queen blog
    • Think about writing another book! Live Organised was out in May 2012, 31 days was out in Aug 2013

    • Send out a printable on a monthly basis to my newsletter list (are you signed up yet?)
    • Simplify/ makeover website
    • Do user testing and improve engagement process πŸ™‚
    • Simplify the hundreds of tags into just a few main categories
    • Redesign “welcome gift” when people sign up (just so you know, I’ve done this about 4 times over the last 8 years, and I always send out the new one to the existing subscribers too so they never miss out)

Care to share some of your goals for this year?

In 2013, I tracked my goals each month. I set a certain number and at the end of each month, I tracked how many were accomplished.

Lowest % of goals reached – 80% in June

Highest % of goals reached – 96% in Oct

Average for the year – 89%

Aside from showing you how nerdy I am, at least it proves I use my own goal-setting methods and I’m successful at it πŸ™‚



Question of the week – your word for the year?

Well, the new year is just over a week old.

By now you’ve probably set some goals, made some resolutions or decided on your theme or word for the year.

This year I’ve chosen the word COURAGE as my word for 2011.

It means I’m stepping out even when I’m terrified, taking action even when I don’t feel like I know how and connecting even if I may be hurt.

Have you chosen a word for the year? Share in the comments.

P.S. You can read about my words for 2009 and 2010 here

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