My One Word for 2023

It’s that time of year again, when everyone feels hopeful and expectant for good things to come. We have a blank slate in front of us, filled with potential. Many people make New Year’s resolutions or write down goals. Personally, during this time of year, I like to reflect on habits I would like improve, or habits I would like to break. And I especially like to pick a word for the year. This word is my anchor for 365 days. One word (or phrase) can be an encouraging reminder to help us become better people or make lasting habits.

My one word for 2023 is Shepherd.

Most years my one word comes easily to me. And this year was no exception. In fact, I knew in October what my word was going to be. When I thought of this word, it really resonated with me. And then I asked God to confirm and He didn’t disappoint, as this word came up several times in a couple of days.

If possible, I also like to pick Bible verses to go along with my word. I will be focusing on Psalm 23. (Is it a coincidence or is it God ordained that the year is 2023 and I will be focusing on Psalm 23?) These are verses we all know well, as they are some of the most popular in the Bible. I also want to remember that Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11 & 14); and His sheep hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27). Shepherd and sheep are found dozens of times in the Bible. Therefore, I might also dig into other verses, as the year unfolds.

I have three books on hand that I plan to read. One is a Psalm 23 Bible Study by Jennifer Rothschild. I have gone through this before several years ago, and got a lot of insight out of it. I also have A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller. This one has been on my TBR pile for awhile. My father’s cousin told me about this book three years ago. The main reason why I haven’t read it yet is because I wanted the large print version, which I finally have in my possession. And perhaps this was divine intervention that I would be able to read it when the timing was right? I also have a devotional called The Good Shepherd with entries by Pastor Robert Morris and other writers. (Side note – I am excited that all three of these books are paperbacks, since the majority of my reading is ebooks. I didn’t plan this, but maybe there is something underlying here? Perhaps it is one way God is calling me to slow down, and lead me to green pastures?)

As I mentioned earlier, I also look at habits I want to work on. Here are some of the items I wrote down on January first:

1 – PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! I heard a sermon by Pastor Jentezen Franklin recently in which he mentioned this Bible verse that really struck me: “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.” – 1 Samuel 12:23

2 – I want to walk in God’s will and remember to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

3 – I want to immerse myself in the Bible. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105

I also wrote down a lot of other things that pertained to spending habits, reading habits, time on devices, getting outdoors, and so much more. I admit much of this can be overwhelming to try to incorporate. Which is why resolutions often fail… However, that is why having one word of the year can be a huge asset. It pulls everything together and helps you make better choices each day. In this case, with my word being Shepherd – when I remember that the Lord is my Shepherd and I am one of His sheep, this means my only need is to follow Him. He will guide me, care for me, lead me, protect me, and nourish me. Everything else will fall into place. I will make better choices and build better habits when I keep the word Shepherd in the forefront of my mind.

If you have one word (or phrase or resolutions) for 2023, please share in the comments. I would love to hear. Whatever the case may be, I pray your 2023 is filled with blessings, love, and joy.

Photo by Jaka Škrlep on

© Bridget A. Thomas 2023

27 Comments on “My One Word for 2023

  1. In 2021 I commented that my word would be intention. I didn’t have a word for 2022 because that’s when things really came together. So, being intentional with my time and energy really paid off. I feel like if I had a word for 2022, it should have been reap. Now that I have had 9 months of reaping the benefits of being intentional, it is time to slow down and avoid outside distractions.

    With that in mind, my word for 2023 will be fulfilled.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that you already have some books to go along with your word! My word is hope and boy I want to be blessed deeply by that word…seeing it show up and feeling and trusting God with it, throughout 2023!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shepherd is a great word. We need to follow Jesus and rely on Him to give us what we need each day. My phrase is Live Free. I am trying to stay aware of the freedom we have in Christ to avoid sin, be courageous and fulfill His purposes. It’s great that you have books to read to help you stay focused on the Shepherd’s leadership! Hope your week has been nice. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the phrase Live Free. It’s so powerful. And I believe many Christians forget the freedom that they have been given. So I love that you are intentionally keeping it in mind! Thank you, Dawn! I hope your week has been nice too! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My word of the year for 2022 was forget. I chose this word because I picked a WOTY early in the year but then forgot what it was. Yes, this really happened. 😌

    I chose the word “remember “ for 2023, hoping it won’t slip my mind. Seriously, my goal is to revisit all the things God has helped me to accomplish and then look to the future in faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! You made me laugh, forgetting your word. 😂 I love the word remember for the reason you said. Remembering is the first step towards living a grateful life. Thank you for sharing that, David! You have inspired me to remember God’s goodness! 😊


  5. Love your word for this year and how organised you are with material to read relating to it. I am excited to read posts related to this through the year.
    I have not yet settled on a word. Have been a bit hazy with it. I am hoping to have something clear to me soon.
    I am praying and spending some time reflecting on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have had years like that too. Particularly I remember in 2020 I was uncertain what my word would be. Finally I felt God lead me to the word Grace, which turned out to be so meaningful in light of everything we faced in 2020. I know He will lead you to the perfect word. ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: My One Word for 2023 – Bridget A. Thomas | DarylMadden

  7. My one word for 2023 is Faith. Also, I plan to write a chapter a day of the New Testament, going from Matthew – Revelation. I had thought I was going to go through the Bible with the Bible Recap podcast. Because I went through the Bible Recap study guide and journal in 2022, I wanted to do the audio. But, just before 2023 began I received an email about a group that was writing the New Testament a chapter a day in 2023. So I prayed and decided to do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks you so much for sharing this, Michelle. I love the idea of writing a chapter a day. I have found when I write things down, it helps it to sink in better. And I like your word faith too. That is definitely something we all could use more of. ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Bridget, “Shepherd” is a wonderful word! The “Good Shepherd” is my favorite image of Jesus, I think. In my songwriting years I wrote two songs based on Psalm 23, one of them a blessing. (“May the Lord be Your Shepherd, and may you never want … “) As our Shepherd, He is our Provider, our Protector, our Defender, our Healer, our Comforter, and the Lover of our souls. ❤
    There's been a lot of talk lately about choosing a word for the year, and although I wasn't thinking about it last October, I did come up with mine a few days ago: "Ready." Whatever the Lord has for me today, I want to be ready, and when He returns for His Bride, we ALL need to be ready. Since we don't know the day or the hour, we need to live every hour of every day prepared to hear His voice, obey Him, serve Him, abide in Him …
    Have a blessed 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so beautiful that you wrote two songs on Psalm 23. What a blessing! And I agree, thinking about Jesus as the Good Shepherd does bring so much comfort. And something else that I was thinking about this morning is that it helps us to worship with proper reverence – when we remember we are sheep.
      I love your word “Ready.” There is so much to learn from that. I agree that we all do need to be ready for Jesus. And as you said, ready for whatever comes each day. Personally, I tend to get frustrated when things don’t go the way I wanted or expected. So thank you for sharing that, Ann! I will try to remember to be ready for anything the Lord sends my way. I pray your 2023 is a blessed year as well. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Other than my reading goal for the year, I don’t have much else. I am working on my habit of reading the Bible daily though. One week in and it’s going well. I’ve got my chronological Bible on my desk! I hope by the end of the year that I’ve stuck with it. I know God will use that time to work on me and I’m looking forward to it!
    I love your word, Shepherd and Psalm 23 is the perfect parallel. I pray God reveals to you all you need for this year and helps you grow even more. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw your reading goal of 75 books. That’s a great number for you. If this year is like last year, I think you will easily reach it, without any pressure. And I love that you are reading the Bible daily too. I have found that when I am consistent with it, I feel more peace in my day, just spending that time with the Lord. Thank you, Summer! And I pray you see amazing revelation and growth in your year! ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

      • My biggest challenge is the consistency- I noticed when BSF is on a break or during the summer, it’s like I kind of fall off of my Bible reading. I needed to form a new habit so that wouldn’t happen. 🙂
        Thank you for your encouragement! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • I understand. It’s easier when we have a plan in place to help shape a routine. Then when a particular study ends, we don’t know where to turn. I hope your new habit helps you in the middle times. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

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