The Word I’m NOT Choosing this Year

Words are powerful. The ones we say and the ones we don't.

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The internet has been abuzz with “word of the year” talk. I’ve joined right in and I shared in my first post of the year that I’m focusing on “content.”

But the other day a new thought occurred to me: What word am I not going to choose this year? What’s the opposite of contentment in my life? It might seem simple to say worry or fear or envy. But none of those rang quite true.

Then as I sat with my dear friends Suzie Eller and Jennifer Watson doing a Facebook Live video, Jennifer said, “When we take the ‘shoulds’ off the table we find out why we’re really waking up in the morning and our true purpose.” That statement kept ringing in my ears and in my heart long after we stopped recording.

I thought back to a year ago when I sat in a counselor’s office and she said to me with a gentle smile, “You say ‘should’ a lot.” I’d tilted my head and responded with surprise, “Really, do I?” It turned out to be true. I had a secret favorite word.

I should do this. I should do that. I shouldn’t feel this way. The applications ranged from flossing to the big, deep questions of my life. As an unintended consequence, fear and guilt could become the motivation behind what I did rather than love.

As I realized the prevalence of “should” in my life and considered the consequences, I began to ask, “What can replace the ‘shoulds’ in my life?” It came to me that gratitude is what belongs in my heart and on my lips.

For example, I took a nap the other day. As I woke up I thought, “I should never have let myself rest. I should have gotten more done during that amount of time. I should be more responsible.” Then I looked at the sunlight streaming through the windows and the squirrels playing tag in the yard because they know their Maker will take care of them. I whispered, “God, thank You for the gift of this nap. I must have really needed it.” I got up and finished my work.

‘Should’ in my life is a shamer and a trickster, a liar and taskmaster. I have decided that for this year I will not speak its name. Instead I will choose love. I will choose gratitude. I will choose contentment.

What is the word you will not choose this year? If you haven’t thought of one yet then maybe take a moment to do so. I’d love to hear…{email subscribers, you can click here to share}.



p.s. If you’d like a little encouragement for your new year then take a look at this live video I did with Suzie Eller and Jennifer Watson.


Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. And when you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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