Diana Kerr »

My word of the year (Why I chose 2!)

I thought I was set on my 2017 word of the year, until another word came to me out of nowhere and totally stuck.

So, being the rebel that I am (not), I chose two words of the year.

(And since I chose both of my sisters as maids of honor in my wedding and the world didn’t fall to pieces even though people said, “You can’t have two maids of honor!,” I’m thinking that having two words of the year will also be A-Okay.)

Last year, my word wasn’t a word; it was a phrase: intentional foundation-laying.

I didn’t know when we’d get pregnant, but I hoped it would be soonish, and I wanted to focus on goals that would help me lay a strong foundation in my personal life and business before taking on the role of motherhood.

Okay, so I won’t leave you hanging anymore. Here are my two words for 2017:



The word simplify has been on my mind for months. I resisted it because it felt so cliché.

Also, as I told a few friends about it, a lot of them said, “Aren’t you always simplifying? Isn’t that kind of the theme of your whole life and the work you do in your business?”

The answer to that is yes. But I feel more compelled than ever before to simplify, for a number of reasons:

  1. I’m becoming a mom next month, which adds a whole new layer of wonderfulness but obviously complexity to my life.
  2. I’ll be working a little less when I return from maternity leave: 3-4 days a week instead of 5ish.
  3. The minimalism bug has bit Kyle, and it’s awesome. I want to run with that. :) It’s way easier to simplify when both spouses are on board.
  4. I feel convicted that my complicated life is keeping me from truly living out my faith. Even though I have greatly simplified over the past few years, life in modern America is still really complicated unless you intentionally resist it. I’m sure you’d agree. I just can’t help but notice that all the unnecessary time, money, and energy I spend maintaining my life, possessions, home, business, etc. is time, money, and energy that can’t be spent on things with an eternal purpose.

Photo: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

And then there’s the word rejoice. This word didn’t come to me until I was reading a devotion the same day I began filling out my 2017 PowerSheets, and it stuck like glue.

In a year that will be filled with a lot of unexpectedness, with some inevitable challenges of navigating motherhood for the first time (helloooo, sleep deprivation), I want to choose to rejoice.

See, I’m a natural doer, a fixer. My first inkling when something doesn’t feel good is to improve it. But not everything in life works that way. Plus, that can be a vicious cycle.

So on the days when I don’t have the energy to deal with the giant pile of dishes or laundry and “fix” what’s bothering me, or where it’s not possible to go catch up on sleep, I want to still rejoice. Rejoice in my circumstances, yes, but much more than that, I want to simply rejoice in God’s goodness. Circumstances can and will let you down, but God never does.

I love that both of my words for this year are verbs. Simplify is more of a tangible, action verb and rejoice is more of a mental state, a choice in attitude.

How do I plan to actually live these out?

Like I shared in my 2017 goals post, I kept my 2017 goals slightly unspecific on purpose to give me freedom as the years plays out. My approach with these words is similar. Each word actually coincides with one of my 2017 goals (goal #4 and #6) and here are some ideas I have for how to live them out:


  1. Reflect daily on how I could have simplified things that day.
  2. Reread Radical.
  3. Read Satisfied.
  4. Consider doing a Contentment Challenge (3-month spending fast) again.
  5. Go through our possessions again, one category at a time, and get rid of even more.


  1. Put that word up in our house.
  2. Focus on who God is in my gratitude journal in addition to circumstantial things I’m grateful for.
  3. Memorize Scripture verses about rejoicing.
  4. Buy a bracelet that says “Rejoice.” (I’d love recommendations of Etsy shops or a small business I can support!)
  5. Read one of Caroline Leaf’s books about how God created our brains to change.
  6. Put cork sheets up inside my bathroom closet door and tack up verses and reminders to rejoice.

Obviously, I would love to hear your word for the year! (Or phrase, or Bible verse, or theme—whatever you’ve chosen!)

And whether you have a word for 2017 or not, if you want some help making what matters happen, I’ve got your back!


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  • January 23, 2017 - 10:46 pm

    Emily - A friend has an Etsy shop with custom made (or pre-made) leather cuffs specializing in ‘words of the year!’
    (Company name is Trabellabee, also on Facebook)


    • January 30, 2017 - 6:05 pm

      Diana Kerr - Oh awesome! Thank you, Emily! You’re the best!ReplyCancel

  • January 18, 2017 - 1:43 pm

    Kyla Fetzner - These are such good words, Diana! Especially the meaning behind your choice of each. And Caroline Leaf is amazing! :)ReplyCancel

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