Remember the first tip from last week's blog? Sharing your Word of the Year and the story behind it is a powerful way to make your word a reality in your life. We reached out to nine friends from all walks of life, to share their words with us. These are their stories. 

Erin Loechner, Author

"I'm not much of a #wordoftheyear gal. In truth, I'm simply far too wordy to narrow it down.

But I do have a few marks to aim for these days, and one of them is this.⁠⠀⁠⠀

I'd like to sit down to have the harder convo instead of running away from discomfort. To sit still and watercolor with the kids instead of peeking over their shoulder on my way to the laundry room. To sit in the waiting room with a crossword, not a phone.⁠⠀

I'd like to sit with my bad mood for a second.⁠
I'd like to sit with my kids' bad moods for a second. ⁠⠀

I'd like to sit with what I stand for.
To sit below the salt, not in the catbird seat.
To sit in for someone who needs it.⁠⠀

I want to sit and enjoy lunch, not stand-and-shovel-leftovers.⁠⠀

I want to sit down and pipe down.⁠
I want to sit up and listen up.⁠

Mostly this:
I want to sit next to, not across from.⁠
By not above.⁠
Close up, not closed off.⁠"

You can read more by Erin here, and find her book here

Carlee McDot, Blogger, Runner

"First, I want to be kind to myself. I am often my harshest critic (aren't we all?!) and really want to take this upcoming year and work on being nicer to myself (although, let's be real, I am sure this is going to be a lifelong goal). If I wouldn't say something to a friend, I shouldn't say it about myself. I often always seem to demand perfection from myself, but that's not realistic or feasible in every situation... and when I come up less than perfect I need to acknowledge the shortcoming, see if there is something I can fix and then adjust accordingly. I don't need to beat myself up for hours days weeks upon end over mistakes (whether they be tiny or huge). We are all imperfect - I am willing to acknowledge that in others yet demand an impossible level of perfection from myself. I need to learn to give myself grace, to do my best and then to move on."

Read Carlee's full blog about her Word of the Year here

Emma Ferguson, Student

"Happy twenty twenty // using my favorite mug in my favorite coffee shop (and wearing my new bracelet with my word of the year: try) trying new things can be really hard for me, but i’m hoping to do better at it in the new year."

Follow Emma for even more kindness. 

Madison Surface, Student

Check out the video above to hear the heart behind Madison's word! 

You can follow Madison here

Mishelle Kost, Speaker, Coach

"In 2020 all I want to do is ✨S H I N E. Have you chosen a word or intention for the year yet? If you haven’t or you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. It’s a powerful practice in getting clear about what you want the year to be about. When you select an intention it will guide everything you do. You’ll be amazed to see how all your choices get connected this time next year.

I chose the word shine to remind myself to go into everything I do this year feeling worthy, confident and fearless. When I think of a diamond, it shines at every angle. It’s multifaceted. It’s not worried about it’s cut or color, it just shines when the light hit hits it. So this year I’m going to seek the light and I’m going ✨SHINE✨."

Find more of Mishelle's work here

Brooke Bohinc, Writer

It’s not about fixing. It’s not about what you think you should do. It’s not about trying more. It’s not about not being good enough. It’s about having an intention. It’s about choosing to lean into what's already coming to the surface in you. It’s acknowledging the direction you’re headed.

Read more of Brooke's work here, and read her MudLOVE blog here

Johnette Cruz, Fitness Blogger

"After your season of suffering, God in all His race will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10) 

This is my verse for the year along with Restoration being my word. Have you ever felt like you’ve lost yourself and your purpose? I’ve come to the revelation that I have been living with a skewed perspective of life. My dear friend @madeovermandy said something to me this past week during our trip to Napa that her pastor said at @itownchurch: ⁣

⁣"God can't bless the person you pretend to be, only the one He created you to be."

Goodness. That hit me like a ton of bricks. God will remove the desires of YOUR heart and will replace it HIS. ⁣Grateful for His grace because without it I would be lost."

Be inspired by Johnette here.

Shannan Martin, Author

"I spent last January reading the newspaper each day while I ate my lunch. I got pulled into a big story swirling in the local news cycle about our growing homelessness crisis. I didn't really know many of the folks being affected but it started to consume me - in a good way. I wrote a few impassioned blog posts and attended meetings. I climbed the learning curve of what it means to lack shelter.

Unexpectedly, a few months later, I was offered my job as a cook at The Window, where most of these men and women eat lunch every day. Now, I their names. I know who's picky and who isn't. I recognize their laughs from across the room. I went from thinking about them in theory while I ate to actually eating with them. This has powerfully changed my perspective.

I don't always make a big to-do about having a "Word of the Year," but I usually choose one. This year it's Shelter. Have you ever read the tiny little parable of the growing seed in Mark 4? The Kingdom of God is like a farmer, a seed, grain, harvest. The kingdom of God is a garden where we all grow, bound together underground, dependent on the same things, including each other. That's where we belong. That's where we take our shelter."

Read more of Shannan's writing here, and find her book here

Ali Edwards, Founder: One Little Word

"Less is a word that has "almost" been my word for the last few years. I come back to it again and again in a variety of areas in my life so I'm excited to work with it this year and make it my focus. Less extra stuff. Less of what matters least + more of what matters most. I love diving into a new year with a specific focus and “less” is working its magic for me already."

Learn more about Ali Edwards here. 

What's your Word of the Year story? Send us an email with your story and a photo to Or tag us on social media with @mudlove.