A Word For the Year

  Also known as: my 2017 goals.

Also known as: this is an honest post of where I want my life to go this year.

(Pictures from Pinterest)

A Word For The Year

First of all, what in the world is a “word for the year????” If you’ve never heard of one of these puppies before, it’s a word that you want your year to be about, something you want to pursue and focus on. Preferably, it should be abstract (courage, discovery, love, etc.), unless it absolutely must be something else because you get a specific feeling from the word (i.e. surf or bike or something *wink*)

Anyway, I found out about this a while ago on  Nadine Brandes’ blog. Immediately, I wanted to do it. I mean, why not?

1. {it gives you something to focus on}
2. {it gives you a goal}
3. {you have a “theme” for your year and themes are very important}
4. {it sounds cool}
5. {I didn’t need another reason after all of those XD}

That aside, I had to think about mine for a while. What did I really want my year to be about? Last year was strength, for sure. Should 2017 be hope, because that had shown up so many times in the past months for me?

In the end, I chose:


Because joy is such a beautiful little thing. It isn’t happiness; happiness is an emotion, like anger or sadness. Joy is more of a feeling, like love. And, also  like love, it’s something that’s always there underneath the other crazy emotions we have.

joy is that feeling when you’re on the beach or in a meadow and just can’t walk slow anymore and have to run, as fast as you can
joy is that feeling when it’s midnight and you’re still out and roll down the window and let out a crazy beautiful sound because you can’t help it
joy is that feeling of laughing after you accidentally dropped something because you’re such mess today but know God’s with you
No matter what you’re feeling, it’s that little bit inside of you that knows God is there and watching out for you and you will see Him one day.
(Pictures from Pinterest)

2016, I felt myself get worked up about a bunch of tiny little things and put down by the smallest mishaps. If something wasn’t perfect, what I expected it to be, my day was ruined. It was horrible. The perfectionist in me was taking over, and that was stealing my joy.

On New Year’s Eve, I was working on my bullet journal, scheduling out January. My new pack of colored pens turned out to be very blot-y and I kept making only six days a week in my calendar. I could have gotten pretty frustrated and upset. I almost did. Then I paused, and I laughed, a little laugh that probably made me sound  crazy, but nothing seemed more fitting.

“Alright, God,” I thought. “I’m ready to admit I’ll never be perfect.”

I sort of went crazy in my bullet journal, and wrote up a preclude to 2017. I used different color pens for every paragraph. I switched from sloppy cursive to sprawling printing but no one would be able to tell the difference because it was all so messy. And it was beautiful. raw. pure. messy. beautiful. 

So I went a little further. It was raining that night, and I stared at the ceiling, whispering out loud to God like I often do. I asked Him to let this rain that washed the world tonight wash away all my perfect structures and plans for my life, because, in reality, He is the only Perfect Planner. 

Lord, I just have all these doubts and dreams in my head. I’m all over the place in the pouring rain, trying to catch my thoughts on the wind and find a steady beat.

I’m just going to let these thoughts fly and start dancing to the falling rain and skipping across the puddles, let the imperfection be my perfect and the unsteadiness be my constant and just follow You.

I know some people don’t do resolutions because they know that only God’s plans will prevail. Well, my resolution is giving in to His plans.

My goal for this year is to keep a constant state of knowing God’s got me covered, both my future and all the little details. I just need to follow Him. 

I want His plans to be mine. I want my mantra to stop being “my plans” and start being “His plans.” I think that’s what joy is: giving in to His plans and being satisfied with them. I think it’s about dreaming up things you want to do, then handing those dreams to Him to see where He takes you.

I made a Pinterest board on this, which you can check out here. I’ll be adding to it through the entire year.

(Pictures from Pinterest)


So before I go dream up more things for myself to do, I’m going to put my priorities in order. I feel that I didn’t do this very well in 2016. Somehow, writing went before family, and myself went before God (which is not cool)
Here’s what I want 2017 to look like: 

 God 1st

(prayer. bible. taking a moment to remember I’m not alone)

Family 2nd

(chores. not locking myself in my room all day to write)

Friends 3rd

(why add more to the list and say “enemies and strangers?” everyone’s a friend) 

Health 4th

(like eating. and sleeping. and exercising. and breathing) 


  School 5th

(*bangs head on desk because it comes before writing*)


 Other Commitments 6th

(say, my bike team and things I’ve signed up for this year) 


 Writing 7th

(*cries* but I would put my current novel 1st in here, new ideas 2nd, Pinterest boards 3rd, and watching my scenes play out in my head while grinning over them 4th) 


Social Media 8th

(sorry, Twitter and Instagram) 

You may have noticed blogging isn’t on here. Blogging falls somewhere between “Friends” and “Writing” because it involves both πŸ™‚
So do I do anything else? Yes, yes, there’s more to my life. I knit and sew and read and recently started playing the guitar….
My mom says those are under “Health.” Apparently, I’m bad at taking breaks. XD 
heaven bound.
(Pictures from Pinterest)



So, are you going to publish your book this year?!?!
*clears throat* Perhaps. I don’t want to rush it and publish something that isn’t ready. Basically, I’m just going to work at it steadily and see how I get along.
Other than that, I have some things I want to improve:
I think I need some stronger villains in my writing. I’m going to try and write some really evil people this year (not disturbing at all)
Sounds strange, but I go a bit with the Disney cliche of “remove the mother from the picture.” (this is a compliment, Mom, because you guide your children so well πŸ˜‰ ) I want to write some strong mothers this year.
{scene length}
I’m ready to conquer my greatest confusion and pet peeve.
{share my work}
I think I need to stop being Gollum to the One Ring about this. I can be so terribly secretive, and when I’m struggling with a scene, I really need someone to tell me it’s not so horrible.

And maybe sometime in February…. (something that starts with a ‘b’)


Alright, so I have an announcement…. 
I’m going to do a series.
Starting next week, I’m going to do a series of four posts about “Getting to the Heart of Your Story.” The first two posts will be on characters, then one on plot and one on theme. I’m SUPER excited to talk about this stuff πŸ˜€ And I’ll be having some very special guests appear as well πŸ˜‰
I hope you all had a wonderful New Year and have already started pursuing your 2017 dreams!


– Audrey Caylin

Do you have a word for 2017? Any resolutions you’d like to share? Writing goals? Blogging plans?

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No Comments

  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Wow! Amazing post Audrey πŸ™‚ Those are brilliant resolutions and ideas, and I can't wait for that writing series!
    Joy is such a beautiful word, and I wish you all the best on pursuing that this year, with God's grace πŸ™‚ <3

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

  • Reply
    Marrok MacIntyre
    January 7, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    What a cool post Audrey! And those are some great goals! your and my list for 2017 looks a lot alike. Let's see my word for 2017… Maybe avarice!… wait never mind πŸ˜›

    I totally understand that feeling of not wanting to share anything about what your writing. I feel like Larfleeze hording all my writing stuff to myself, I got to see if I can change that.

    Well I do got writing plans and blog goals. For writing I want to finish up my novel and for my blog I want to do so work on it, do a little mini-series about dragons, maybe do some more celebrative work, have you guys vote on some art I will enter in a contest… wow this is a long comment sorry πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Micaiah SaldaΓ±a
    January 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Lovely post! And I TOTALLY feel you! I'm a perfectionist too, and this year, I don't want every little mishap and stumble to drag me down. I don't have a word for 2017, just some goals. =) I plan on writing another novel this year and blogging once a week on Saturdays, but that's about all.

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    January 8, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Ahh, thank you, Amy! I'm pretty pumped about it myself (I don't have many writer friends that aren't online so I just have an urge to dump all info I know here. lol)

    Same to you! πŸ˜€ <3

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    January 8, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Thank you! Long comments are totally welcome!

    I have yet to know a writer who doesn't feel that way (my novel is in my mom's hands right now…talk about nervousness even though I know I have nothing to be afraid of. lol)

    Oooh! That sounds cool! Especially the art. I can't wait! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    January 8, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Thank you, Micaiah! Striving for perfection CAN be good in some places, but it can also drag you down a bit for sure. I totally feel you.

    Simple goals are definitely wonderful, as only the Lord's plans will prevail πŸ™‚

    Have a great weekend! <3

  • Reply
    January 8, 2017 at 2:15 am

    This is such a beautiful post! I love the idea of picking a word for the year, and "joy" is a wonderful one. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Autumn Raelin
    January 8, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I love this post, Audrey!! I love pick a word or phrase for a year, and I feel like it can be really motivational. And I know that for me — last year I remembered my phrase a lot more than any of my resolutions. XD

    OOOH YES I really need to work on that too. I feel like sometimes it's almost easier to write a story without a strong mother character or anything, but it's an important thing. *sigh* I hope your 2017 is a wonderful year!

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    January 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Yeah, I think I should bookmark this post and come back to it so I remember my mindset at the beginning of the year πŸ˜› But JOY definitely sticks in my mind XD Thank you!

    Conquer! Let's do this! πŸ˜€

    Same to you! <3

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    January 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you, Emily! I never used to think about "joy" much, and I'm super excited to focus on it more this year πŸ˜€

    Thanks for stopping by! <3

  • Reply
    January 9, 2017 at 1:59 am

    I never thought about choosing a word of the year. I'll have to think of one.
    I'm looking forward to your series.

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    January 9, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Until I read that post, I hadn't even heard of doing it either! Now I convinced my whole family to try XD

    Thank you! I'm SUPER EXCITED as well because I get to ramble off writing tips (hopefully in an organized, helpful manner though ;-))

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Katie Grace
    January 10, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Whoah. You have so many plans this year — you're definitely going to be keeping busy! xD I hope that you can enjoy this year throughout the busy times and find joy through the process.

    You got this! I'm excited about the new blogging things to come. πŸ˜€

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

  • Reply
    Audrey Caylin
    January 10, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Yes, BREATHING is definitely something I'm going to try and perfect at last! πŸ˜‰

    I'm super excited to see where everyone goes with their blogs this year! Another wonderful thing to look forward to now that I have a blog XD

    Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜€ <3

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