Fit feminists’ 2023 Words of the Year #woty

Image description: round-shaped wordcloud containing all the words of the year listed in this post: accept, allow, explore, purpose, create, thrift, growth, welcome, imagine, consolidate. Word cloud is from

In recent years many of our regular blog crew have chosen a Word of the Year to help guide or define the year ahead. Here are our 2022 choices. I think if it as a touchstone for myself to remind me what I want to prioritize. It’s less directive than a resolution but it offers hope for positive change in some sense.

Here are our 2023 Words of the Year:

Amy: My word is create. I’m so much happier when I have the space to create things, whether that means crafting (knitting, sewing, etc) or creating ideas for writing or planning the perfect trip. Prioritizing time/energy to create also means I need to be mindful of how I’m spending my energy elsewhere to make sure there is enough leftover to focus on creating joy.

Nicole: I was reminded that last year,my word was Blossom. I forgot that’s what it was. I participated in another word exercise and my WOTY really became “Envision”. I said this word to myself,often, while running. This year, my WOTY is PURPOSE. I was worried it might be too much pressure. But, I’ve decided that, it doesn’t have to be purpose laden with pressure. On the contrary, upon leaving my job in September and seeking new opportunities, I am purposefully seeking opportunities in my life that feel purposeful in a way that is organic for me. I want purpose in my days that doessn’t feel forced. Whether it’s continuing my workout routine that serves me well (running, HIIT, strength..) or finding ways to use my caring, empathetic, analytical, relationship-building, facilitating, legal and other skills in ways that feel meaningful and useful to others. Purpose really feels like an extension of Blossom, so hopefully, I am on to something here!

Sam: My word for 2023 is Growth. I want to expand in lots of different ways. I want to learn new things, make some new friends, discover some new music, travel to new places, read some new authors, and think about new problems. I want to challenge myself to think big and take risks. I’m not sure yet what the specific fitness applications of this new focus will be but I’m open to ideas.

Elan: Mine will be Explore: I like the word “explore” because it suggests no expectations about prior experience or firm end goals. Explore is about trying, testing, inquiring, traveling, and having fun. Explore is not about judging how competent or proficient you are or aren’t. For those in the crowd who worry about sucking or failing at things, give yourself permission to “explore” a new activity, practice, or habit this year.

Diane: My word for 2023 is Accept. This will be my last full year of work and I am starting to think about letting go and moving on to a new stage of life. Fitness-wise, it could be great as I will be able to do classes and activities during the day. And I am still looking at becoming a swim instructor as a retirement project. But it might be terrible unless I can wrap my mind around things that are worrying me about getting older. Am I ready to join the “old lady” fitness groups? Will I be forced to give up on some fitness goals like biking a certain distance, or ballet because of foot issues?

Mina: I’m going to go with Welcome as my WOTY for 2023. I’m facing what will undoubtedly be a year with a lot of personal challenges and that’s the spirit I’d like to bring.

Martha: Imagine: for awhile I have felt I’m on the cusp of something. While I’m not sure what it is, I’m letting myself imagine all kinds of possibilities. The questions that guide me are “what if?” and “why not?” I don’t know where this word imagine will take me; however I believe it will be risky, freeing, exciting and maybe a little wondrous.

Natalie: For 2023 it’s consolidate. I need to bring activities, knowledge and people in new ways to support my wellbeing. I know a lot of stuff and do lots but sometimes it is too compartmented.

Tracy: My word this year is THRIFT. I was hoping a less practical more inspirational word would present itself, but “thrift” just won’t go away. I am entering 2023 with a commitment to do the No New Clothes or Accessories thing that Mina did a few years ago and Sam and Catherine did this year. But I also want to re-group in very practical financial terms this year, making more conscious choices in all of my spending. And not engaging in any impulse shopping or “shopping therapy.” So when I say “thrift” I am tilting more in the direction of “thrifty” than “thrifting.” I am more excited about this than I expected to be, as if it will free me in other ways. I will post separately about the buy-no-clothing-or-accessories challenge further into early 2023.

Catherine: My word for 2023 is Allow. I was very fortunate to be on sabbatical in the second half of 2022, and what I learned was that I’m most happy when I allow myself to take the time I need to do what needs doing, what I want to do, and to do nothing at all. Allowing myself to do nothing, as it were, has translated into spending more time with friends, more time with books, more time with dogs, more time with family, and more time with myself. As I return to my full-time job in 2023, I’m giving myself permission to do things that make my life meaningful.

We’d love to hear about your WOTY. Please feel free to jump into the comments with it.

Happy New Year!