One Word 2018 – To BE or Not To BE

Yesterday a lot of people announced their One Word for this year. It is a guide for how to live and/or what to do. Some people choose 3 words, which to them feels more specific and action-oriented.

Last year my word was “Bold” because I needed to make bold decisions to move my life and career forward. However, bold did not turn out the way I had planned.

Since bold did not turn into big, bold actions, I thought about taking a page out of Holley Gerth’s playbook and using my 2017 word again this year. Her 2017 word was “Content” and she discovered it had so many layers that she is using it again this year.

I figured that if I used “bold” again this year, I could focus on the big, bold actions instead of everyday boldness. However, I decided against it.

Paperweight Inspiration

Several months ago, one word kept coming to mind, so I settled on it. That word was


It started with the paperweight on my desk.


During several months, certain devotions, quotes, and articles would lead me back to the word “BE.” 

So in late November, I decided “BE” was my word for 2018. I ordered Neil Diamond’s Johnathan Livingston Seagull soundtrack, which contains the song Be. Then one day something happened that made me question my word choice. So I started praying about my word and decided “BE” would no longer be the word.

The words I considered instead were Joy, Kind, Hope, Faith, Love, Pray, Thanksgiving and Serve. I could make a case for anyone of these words.  I was like a Weeble, I wobbled from word to word but would not fall down in any direction. (These are so stinking cute, I just might start collecting them.)


The word that ended up being 1st runner-up (and will assume the crown should the winner not be able to carry out her duties)


That was based on chapter 22 of Holley Gerth’s book Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely. Her thoughts in that chapter on niceness vs kindness smacked me upside the head.

“Niceness comes from fear. Kindness comes from love.” 

Kind would be appropriate because as customer service call center representative, you need to be kind, very, very, very kind. This applies whether your field is logistics, collections or lawn mower parts.

However, something kept nagging at me about my word choice.


A couple days ago, DaySpring  (website) offered a link to a quiz that would help you determine your word for the year. I took the quiz. So I took it. Well based on my answers to their questions, it said my word for 2018 should be


Well, imagine that. Since my blog is JoyReturns, I should use “Joy” as my word for the year at least one time.

So JOY it is.


The tools I will be using are prayer and thanksgiving. I will put together a complete list of tools including books, music, quotes, websites, and scripture and publish it in a separate post. It is 7:34 p.m. on Monday night as I write this post and I only just solidified this decision at dinner time an hour ago.

So stay tuned, I do not know where this JOY venture will lead me this year.

I leave you with the view of the sky for January 1st, 2018. It was taken from my kitchen window as I waited for the spaghetti to finish cooking.

Yes, photography is a hobby that brings me great joy.


red-rose_signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.


Disclaimer: All links are non-affiliate and I was a member of Holley Gerth’s book launch team.

2 thoughts on “One Word 2018 – To BE or Not To BE”

  1. “Be” actually encompasses all the wonderful words you considered or have chosen: be bold, be kind, be joyful… even be still and know that He is God. But I do think “joy” is perfect for you! 😊❤️

    1. That is how I orginally planned to use “BE.” I’ve mostly gotten over the event that changed my mind but still did not want to deal with a year of “BE.”

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