“Word up, it’s the code word
No matter where you say it
You’ll know that you’ll be heard.”

Cameo, 1986

It’s unbelievable how this is my tenth year of choosing words v resolutions. In 2014, I was in Singapore with a new business and new partner-my word was #possibilities. This year, my WORDup is #outdream .

At first, my word got pushback from others (which I value). It was seen as competitive (I am), it was seen as impossible (it’s not), and there was fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it (I can).

I saw this quote from one of my go-to thought leaders, and to me, this is what #outdream means.

“Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble.” John Lewis

My MOXIEmoment is choosing #outdream anyway. Because just like my business, I’m ready enough.

Over the past decade, I have found no matter which word I choose, the outcomes are powerful. WORDup is indeed the code word.

Why choose a WORDup? Here are my top three outcomes.

  1. Turns challenges into opportunities. One year, I chose #star, and it pushed me to apply to do an Ignite Talk. My application was accepted. When I applied, I thought it would be for around 200-300 at a vintage movie theater. That year, it was held during Bush Con at the Union Depot for 1,300 people. Star made me stand on stage and be heard-and seen. What challenge will I #outdream into an opportunity?
  2. Builds community. I put my WORDup on my business card-it sparks curiosity and leads to a meaningful conversation. I post about my WORDup. People send me memes with my WORDup-sometimes I even get pressies. Last year, quite a few #joypressies came in the mail-at just the right time. Community gathered around me and my word, and I built community and connection because of it.
  3. It keeps me going. Everyday I journal about my WORDup. Chapter 13: Sparkle is about how my WORDup helped me navigate year one of COVID. When I’m stuck, I’ll focus on my WORDup, and it helps me figure out what to do. One year #commit was my WORDup-it helped me dig deeper into making AWE a business not a side hustle.

What are three things your WORDup can do for you?

Here are three tips I found helps me choose my #wordup.

  1. Get out of your head. Stop judging yourself. Feel your word. Pay attention to what connects, what feels right, and what you need. In 2017, I claimed POWER as my #wordup. In November. I was ready for the new year. And then I went to El Salvador and led my POWERcamp for teen girls, and I felt SO loved and felt such love for the girls and their communities that my word changed to LOVE. Ironically, what greater power is there than LOVE?
  2. It doesn’t have to be one word. When I first saw the word #outdream it was written “out dream.” I didn’t want two words. I wanted one. So, I made it one word-and when I did a bit more research it does show up as one word-sometimes. My point is-maybe two words or a mantra or a quote or an object works for you. Do that-what works for you. Play with a couple of words and choose your favorite or keep all of them. Or don’t choose any at all. Most importantly, this needs to feel like a powerful experience, if it doesn’t-don’t do it.
  3. Trust yourself. Although I appreciated the feedback (it is a gift), and I played with a couple other words that got the approval of trusted friends, my gut knew this was the word. And when I went onto Little Word Projects to create my bracelet with my word and saw the sparkly white crystals and the gold tag with a little clear crystal on it, #outream was my #wordup2023.

Bottom line it: choose something that energizes you, that feels like a friend, and that also challenges you to show up a little bit MOXIER this year.

What is your #wordup2023? What will it give you? What will it take away? Comment below! 

Happy 2023! In LOVE and MOXIE,  Kristi

  1. If you’re in the MSP area, sign up for my WORDup session in partnership with woman-owned The Vine Room on February 8th here. Wine Wednesday Workshop // WORDup 2023 Word of The Year | The Vine Room (square.site)

PPS. Want another #wordup story, read Chapter 13: Sparkle in my book Quit Being So Good.

PPPS. In case you’re wondering what in the world is #wordup check out Cameo’s 80s hit “Word Up” for yourself. I got last place in a dance competition to this song when I was in high school. But that’s a whole other blog.

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    1. Linda Hemmer January 20, 2023 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      My word up, Serenity, is being used by having Johnnys memorial lanterns being lit day and night. It is bringing me calm❤️

    2. Robin January 21, 2023 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      My word up this year is connect. I want to be thoughtful about connecting with the people I see each day and with what I spend my time doing.

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