word of the year 2017

Sometimes, I choose a word of the year.  Sometimes, I don’t.  It depends on whether a word presents itself to me in the days and weeks leading up to the end of a year.

My 2016 word was ease, which felt both ironic and essential as the year unfolded not at all easefully.  In 2011, I chose trust, and in 2012, I chose light.  I’m sure there’s some ineffable rationale behind why certain words present themselves to me at certain times (similar, of course, to my belief that there’s a deep-seated logic behind why certain quotes and lyrics run through my mind at certain times).

For the last several days, I’ve been thinking about one word: deliberate.

Deliberate.  That’s my word for 2017.

I wish to be deliberate about my love, my time, and my attention in 2017.  The truth is I already feel I’m pretty deliberate my choices. I’ve been thinking about this. Am I choosing something easy as it’s already something I do? Is that a cop-out?  Maybe. Ease sure wasn’t something I was good at, for example.  Arguably, neither are trust or lightness.  I do think there’s room for all of us to be more deliberate, though.  There are two other words that have been hovering in my mind, so much that I almost chose a triad of words for 2017.  Those other two words are gentle and human.

Maybe I want to be a deliberately gentle human in 2017?  A gentle, human, deliberate person?  All true.  I feel less laser-focused on deliberate than I’ve been on other words, but it does keep insistently presenting itself. I was speaking to a dear friend on the last day of 2016 and I mentioned deliberate as a possible word of the year.  This was the first time I’ve said this out loud.  “It seems so humorless,” I went on, saying that it felt like in some ways like a dull or uninspired choice.  Her reaction to the word was different, and that difference was validating to me. Something for me to think about, as I move forward in this new year, is why my impression of deliberate – a word I own as something I am – is boring and lame.  What does that say?  I’m not sure but I don’t think it’s good.

I will log off the computer now, as a deliberate act of choosing my family.

Do you have a word for this year?  If so, what is it?  Do you think deliberate is a humorless word? What does it mean that I chose it?

31 thoughts on “word of the year 2017”

  1. I love your word choice. I think of deliberate as I would intentional and I too feel as though time is so precious that taking the time to make choices about how and where I spend my time and energy is so important. I don’t choose words but last year I tried to keep one day a week open for spontaneity by planning to not work, stay away from screens etc. Ironically i ended up really benefiting from the deliberate choice to schedule in free time. I hope to do that a bit more this year, thinking unplugged evenings? Or a couple of unplugged hours every day? I will have to figure that out. . And I love gentle and human. So hard when you are parenting teens but such good aims. Wishing you peace and happiness in 2017. ❤️

  2. I love deliberate as although it is not a flashy word it resonates deep and I think is a word for all seasons. A more soulful, deeper version of purposeful. Wishing you a wonderful 2017.

  3. I think deliberate is more positive and less boring than you are musing- Theresa an aspect of mindful and choice that is so powerful and important because it’s so easy to run your life on autopilot, or in a reactionary mode. Both cloud your true self. Living deliberately brings awareness gives you back that control and forces you to identify what is really important to you- in the small moments and as a life. It gives you freedom and hold you accountable. This is a good word, and a great focus. 🙂

  4. One thing I like about “deliberate” is that it is both an adjective and a verb. So I think it might have more muscle to it than you imagine.

  5. I second what Hilary wrote. When I first read your word, my mind immediately jumped to the verb (perhaps the attorney in me?), which I could just as easily ascribe to how you move through the world as the word you actually chose. It’s a great word either way–suits you and not humorless in my opinion. Happy New Year!

  6. Lindsey, As has so often happened in the past, you and I are on the same wavelength in a way that seems uncanny. Yes to deliberate. I’ve been going back and forth between deliberate and intentional; they are really the same thing, and to me these “humorless” yet powerful words get at something deep inside that I want to address about the way I spend my time, my energies, even my affections. Life is short. We can allow it to have its way with us, or we can pause, continually realign, and deliberately bring creativity and courage and self-care to this brief moment allotted us. Good luck to you! And know that I’m challenging myself to walk this path of intentionality right along with you. Happy new year!

  7. It’s a perfect word for you. It’s grownup and thoughtful. And if you need it to be light —be deliberate in being lighter. Right?

    My word for 2017 is: enough. Last year was unraveled…. love having this guidepost . This year I’m thinking of adding a mantra/saying to go with it.

  8. I love your word. After reading this post, I looked it up in the dictionary so I could dig a little deeper into it, and wow! Just a powerful word. I agree with Hilary – the fact that it is a noun and a verb makes it even better;) Deliberate might end up being my word, too…although I am also toying with intention, or conscious. But I never would have chosen these words without reading your post!! Thank you my friend. Your writing always makes me feel more centered and grounded. xoxo

  9. I love your choice. I’ve decided that my word will be “quiet”. As a person who is always contributing her opinion and speaking up, I would like 2017 to be a year where I listen more, spend more time in peace (quietly) with my family. Happy new year!

  10. A beautiful word…I was thinking how much it reminds me of how I often stop and pause and ask myself what my intention is….and then when I saw Katrinas comment I smiled, and was so happy to have such spirits as part of my Journey. Thank you for your words and deliberateness, and blessings to you in 2017.

  11. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Thoreau

    Deliberate is a good word.

    But keep in mind Thoreau also said this: “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then?”

    These are difficult times we live in. Those of us with children have to be concerned about and fight for the future. I think it is also one of the essential facts of life in a democracy. My word for the new year is dissent.

  12. Oh, deliberate is a good one. I’m still trying to figure mine out. Lats years was “unmoored,” and it unleashed something – and life took a strange trajectory. So I’m really nervous to pick this one…

  13. On January 7th I settled on my focus for 2017 which will be to “create Space” in my life. I wrote a little post about what this means for me and why doing this requires being intentional.

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