2023 Word of the Year: How I’m Finding Joy

For as long as I can remember, I’ve chosen a word at the beginning of each year to represent what I want to strive for. I’m not a huge “resolutions” person, but I do set goals and they usually center around one specific word. I’ve chosen words like connection, contentment, and growth in the past… and this year? My word is JOY.

I don’t think I’ve ever written a full blog post here about my word of the year – I’ve touched on it here and there but I’ve never really taken a deep dive. But, I always do better with goals when I’m being held accountable, so I wanted to share with you. Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and planning about how I can bring more joy into my life this year. I’m sharing them with you today partially to help remind me of what I’m working towards, but also to hopefully help inspire you to find more joy in your 2023.

Because who doesn’t want to spend an entire year finding joy in every corner of their lives?!

how I’m finding joy

I’ll admit, the concept of actively seeking out joy was a little overwhelming to me at first. How do you even begin? I did my fair share of googling. Let me tell you, searching for “how to find joy” will give you a lot of cheesy, abstract ideas. But, it won’t bring you a lot of concrete, actionable steps.

So, I took matters into my own hands. If I wanted a detailed plan for finding joy, I’d have to create it myself. And that’s exactly what I did.

Let me walk you through the process!

Step One: Brainstorming Session

I started by sitting down with the “notes” app open on my phone and asking myself, “what brings me joy?”

It feels like an abstract concept, but I tried to not think too hard. I wrote down everything that popped in my head – all of the moments big and small that make me feel joyful. Here’s an example of what I came up with:

  • Gratitude journaling
  • Game nights
  • Family walks
  • Music + candles
  • Setting (and meeting!) running goals for myself
  • Finishing a puzzle
  • Laughing with Corey
  • Celebrating small holidays in fun ways
  • Family traditions
  • Dates with Corey
  • Watching my kids having fun
  • Traveling with my family
  • Baking with the kids
Last year, I met my biggest running goal to date – running a marathon!

Over time, I’ve continued to add to this list as I think of new things, but this was a good start.

Once I had this list, I moved onto the next step.

Step Two: Think of Habits / Actions

Armed with the list of things that bring me joy, my next step was to come up with how I can intentionally have more of those things and moments.

I went through each item on my list and tried to think of an action I could take or a habit I could incorporate that would increase that in my life.

Some were really simple. Family walks? I decided to intentionally create a habit of a nightly family walk after dinner. I talked with my family and got them on board, and we have been working together all week to remember to make this a priority.

Some required a little more thinking. I love laughing with my husband. How can we do that more? Here are a few ideas I came up with:

  • Be silly together more often (stay tuned next week for how I’m doing this!)
  • Watch comedy specials together
  • Put my phone down when we’re watching television together
  • Look for opportunities to connect and laugh each day
  • Try new things together

Sometimes, just being intentional about looking for chances to be more joyful is all you need!

After my brainstorming here, I had a nice little list of habits and actions to take to increase the joy in my life.

And now comes the hard part: implementing it.

I’m fully aware that it’s really easy to say you’re going to be a more joyful person, but actually making that happen requires effort and energy. For me, step one is sharing it here with you and asking you to help hold me accountable. Step two is going to be to take that nice list of habits I worked so hard on and start incorporating them into my life one by one. I’ll be sharing all about my journey over on my Instagram stories, so be sure to follow along if you want to see how it all goes!

Have you set a word of the year for 2023? I’d love to hear about it!

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