Word Of The Year – 2023 edition! #WOTY Strength #JusJoJan

Another new year has arrived.

Hello, 2023. And wishing you all a Happy New Year, too!

The last two years I have joined in with Ritu’s Word of the Year post chosing a word to accompany that year instead of setting resolutions..

  • 2021 – my choice was CHANGE
  • 2022 – my choice was PLAN

So, last year I centred my Word Of The Year aspirations on the following:

Planning for Writing

This is the area I think I accomplished the most. I published a #writephoto prompt every week of the year and thoroughly enjoyed the variety of marvellous responses. I also completed my first “proper” nano and hope to get the first draft completed in 2023.

Planning for the Home

With cost of living crisis in full swing, planning for the home was not the easiest challenge in 2022 especially in the financial sense but we have worked within our plans adjusting them throughout the year when needed and were lucky enough to remortgage at a reasonable rate before prices went haywire! Life has a strange way at tricking you with these things, just when we thought we were comfortable with our Christmas spends, our freezer packed in a few days before Christmas. So, we still have a bit more work to do in 2023 to give ourselves a more comfortable buffer.

Planning for fitness

This was probably my least achieved objective. If anything I probably have more pounds on than ever before. However, I have also been on several quite adventurous holidays that required a lot of fitness. In Spring we went to London, doing just under 30k steps in one day! Needless to say over the 4 days I was knackered! In the Summer, we visited parts of Scotland and the beautiful Isle of Skye, we did vast amounts of walking visiting all corners of the island and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This Christmas we took a break in Kielder Forest, enjoying a walking and biking holiday. All of these things, I would have previously thought beyond me but I thoroughly enjoyed them and hope to do more of the same this year.

So, which word do I add to my list for 2023? It’s a simple one for me this year:


  • I HOPE my father responds well to his treatment plan.
  • I HOPE to finish my novel and perhaps my dreams of becoming a published author, will finally come true.
  • I HOPE to explore new parts of this magnificent world.
  • I HOPE that my family and friends find a reprieve in the tough challenges that we all face at the moment.

This post is also part of #JusJoJan

And Marsha’s WQW – WOTY Edition.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”

Christopher Reeve

Processing Time…

Laying in the water, she closed her eyes against the blinding sun. Just floating, listening to the water, clearing her mind. In the distance she could hear other sounds, children laughing, seagulls squawking but for now she ignored them all. She just needed five minutes to herself. Five minutes of alone time.

No-one could predict when they would hear bad news, or how they would react when they received it. With children, you don’t allow yourself time to process it, their needs must be met first, your anger, your pain, your processing comes later. Her five minutes were now.

Written in Response to:

July 18, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about floating. Who is floating, where, and in what? Is the floating real or felt internally? Whatever floats your boat, go where the prompt leads!

  1. Submit by July 23, 2022. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. The Collection publishes on the Wednesday following the next Challenge. Rules & Guidelines.
  2. Carrot Ranch only accepts stories through the form below. Accepted stories will be published in a weekly collection. Writers retain all copyrights.
  3. Your blog or social media link will be included in your title when the Collection publishes.
  4. Please include your byline which is the name or persona you attribute to your writing.
  5. Please include the hashtag #99Word Stories when sharing either the Challenge or Collection posts in social media.

Taking the time…

He sat at the table. He quickly tugged at his shirt cuff. Tucked an escaped curl behind his ear.

He glanced down. Two cups, identical, facing one another.

Should he go get another cup?

No, procrastination, wouldn’t help.

This was going to be harder than he thought, putting himself out there.

He was more of a keep-it-to-yourself than a heart-on-your-sleeve type guy.

Still, he knew he had to do this. It was time.

“I need to start this with an apology. I’ve neglected you…. a lot. I’ve suppressed my feelings. I’ve often forgotten about you and put others above your own. I know it’s got to stop. I am going to take steps towards that. This year, you will be a priority. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I’m determined.”

He looked into the mirror and nodded.

The time for self-loathing had stopped. Self-appreciation would begin now!

Time spent in self-reflection is never wasted - it is an intimate date with yourself. -  Paul TP Wong
Time spent in self-reflection is never wasted – it is an intimate date with yourself. – Paul TP Wong

Originally written in response to:

Thanks for stopping by.

Word Of The Year – 2022 edition! #WOTY

I had written a short and sweet happy new year post but to be honest given the last few years it felt….meh. I try to focus on the positives and I just wasn’t happy with how it felt.

Then whilst browsing the reader I came across Ritu’s lovely post on her #WOTY. It really made me smile and got me thinking about what my word of the year would be and what it would mean to me.

Take time to celebrate – even the little things.

So, if I was to pick one word to sum up last year for me it would probably be CHANGE.

  • Changes at Work – Last year, during a redundancy period I was promoted to a new position. Whilst I am still very much trying to get to grips with that, I welcome the chance to hopefully make positive improvements to the company in future.
  • Changes at Homes – My OH and I took on a renovation project, something we had never done before, and despite many hiccups along the way, at the end of November we finally got it complete (it felt like a Christmas miracle!).
  • Changes to my Writing – I took over as host of the weekly #writephoto challenge.

However, despite that probably being the most accurate word to sum up my year, it is only through hindsight, none of these are things I would have predicted or even planned for in January. Life doesn’t half throwh in some surprises at times – haha. Still, on reflection, I am very grateful for the opportunities it has given me. 🧡

On to 2022, I think my word this year will be PLAN

  • Planning for Health – the cliche new years resolution perhaps but I am planning to lose some weight this year and improve my fitness. I have a big family wedding coming up in Autumn and I would really like to at least feel good and not self-conscious about my body at the event. A few years ago now whilst I was on maternity, I think I was the happiest with my shape, size, figure. I was eating well and getting good exercise most days and doing a great variety of activities. Returning to being behind a desk for 8.5 hours a day has greatly hindered that, then covid, then a not-great diet whilst we were renovating, the spiral continued. So now to break the cycle!
    • I have food plans in place.
    • I am working on a weekly exercise plan.
    • I have joined a whatsapp group with friends all trying to achieve similar goals to keep motivated and on plan.
  • Planning for Home – Hubby and I sat down on New Years eve and reviewed our finances and created a budget. We have a few big events coming up, some special holidays booked, and also a mortgage renewal due this year. So, financial it was important to create a plan that captured everything.
  • Planning for Writing –
    • I am now looking at putting in a monthly writing schedule (Sara at heartbreathings has a useful download for this – here).
    • I have planned some of my posts already for the year. For those looking to do this, Marsha at WQWWC publishes her schedule ahead, so you can plan in some prompt responses – you can find this here for 2022.
    • I am hopefully going to have a monthly writing meet up with the writing group I joined.
    • I’ve also already planned a short break in London, to do some research for my new novel (fingers crossed).
    • I also plan to up my goodreads count. Last year, I played it safe with a low number and with the help of interspersing longer books with quickreads I smashed it. So, this year I am going for a book per week.

An hour of planning can save 10 hours of doing.

Dale Carnegie

So, Happy New Year to you all.

I’d love to hear any plans you may have for 2022.

I hope it is a happy, healthy & successful year for you all.