“Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, no matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, you will do more than simply survive. You will thrive in spite of it.”

When I graduated high school I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions and I started picking a Word of the Year. It’s something I’ve continued to do annually and I focus my year, my choices, my intentions, my days, moments, and breaths on that word. I do all I can to live and become the word I have chosen. About 10 years ago I had a dream about a woman whose back was covered with words when she died and the funeral home asked the family what the words meant because they had no rhyme or reason to them. Family. Hope. Love. Commitment. Spirituality. And the family explained that those words were carefully chosen each year of her life and tattooed on her back as a reminder of who she was and how she lived. I’ve since written a story about her and started my own tattoo. My words are just as random to others that see them but for me I see a life journey being molded. Faith. Everest. Sparkle. Connect. Steadfast. And so on…

So since we aren’t making resolutions that will inevitably fail, I’m going to suggest you find a word of your own. It can be anything you want it to be. This life is your journey and you have the ability to make it into anything you want.

My word for 2023 is going to be thrive. I’ve already got the appointment lined up to add it to my back. See I realized this week that I am a survivor. I know how to survive, I’m good at surviving and I can help others survive, but I want to thrive. Thrive means I’m going to learn how to take changes, step outside of my comfort, love a little harder, take care of me more, say “no” when I want to, and open my heart and soul to a new way of spending my days.

What do you want to be? What ways do you want to transform this next year? Choose wisely. This is you we are talking about and you deserve the best.

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.