Enough: My 2023 Word of the Year

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January is here, and with it, the impulse to draft goals and resolutions that will transform us more into the person we want to be. Ugh. About a decade ago, I realized my lengthy lists of lofty resolutions only left me feeling like a failure before too long. At the same time, I don’t want to be stagnant or never evolve. Choosing a word of the year has been the perfect personal practice to open myself to growth and change while removing the “pass or fail” sort of pressure that comes with resolutions. And my 2023 word of the year is ENOUGH.

I usually start thinking about my upcoming word during the fall, and over the years, I’ve learned that a particular word will eventually just rise to the top of the list. I begin by thinking about what worked and what didn’t work for me in 2022. What was hard? What gave me life? As I thought about 2022, I knew saying no to extra commitments, seeking quiet and rest, and making time for fun were all things that worked well. What didn’t work was the clutter in my house, the overwhelming mental to-do list, too many unnecessary impulse purchases, and jumping around from one thing to the other without finishing much at all.

At first, I was thinking about 2023 words like “simple” and “declutter,” but they felt too limiting. I need something more open and expansive. Something that will shift as the year goes on and life throws curveballs (like it always does). In the shower one day, it came to me: ENOUGH.

Recently, our Indianapolis Moms team of writers gathered for a holiday party and writing workshop. As part of the workshop, Lauren led us through a values exercise. She gave us a list of values and asked us to identify our top few. She said, “We can’t put our energy into every single place.”

I know what’s most important to me: faith, family, community, and creativity. I landed on these values years ago, and they’ve remained consistent. I know how those things shake out on a weekly basis. At the same time, I look around at my life and the world around me and I see all the endless needs and every possible thing there is to care about. I am constantly battling against the part of my heart that understands I can’t care about it all. Despite what I’m always saying, if I’m honest, I have to admit that part of me still believes if only I managed my time or energy better, I could do and care about more.

Because of all this, I really struggled with the value exercise that day. I knew it didn’t make sense, but I still wanted to choose almost all the values. My personality is such that I can see why almost any of them matters and might be important. (Enneagram 9 problems, here.) But, of course, that doesn’t create a sustainable life. As I journaled in response to Lauren’s questions, I began to feel more confident that “enough” was the perfect choice for my word of the year. (For more ideas and inspiration, check out this awesome conversation with seven women about their words for 2023.)

Truthfully, I’m exhausted. I am tired of the way I am always adding more and more to my mental list of could do, want to do, and should do. Could be, should be, could have, should have. 

And so, my 2023 word of the year will be “enough.”

“Enough” is not about noticing everything I don’t do. It’s not about anything lacking in my life. Instead, it is about recognizing all the things that are good and right already and choosing to believe it’s sufficient. It’s operating from an abundance mindset instead of scarcity. It’s giving myself permission to say, “That’s not something I choose to care about,” and “My time and energy are already accounted for.”

Do I feel confident enough in the things I do care about? That they are enough and I am enough as I lean into them? Can I choose to say “No thanks” to the rest?

I think I can.

It’s time to remember: enough.

I have enough.
I do enough.
I am enough.

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