Finish: Theme Word for 2013

Will you select a personal theme word for the New Year—a quality or attitude or action that you feel led to concentrate on this year? I have. Deciding on such a word helps me focus and will help steer me through the coming months.

Last year was the first time I selected a theme word for the year. My word for 2012 was focus. I can’t tell you how many times remembering my theme word helped guide me or keep me on track. Since this new practice proved to be so helpful, I’m ready to jump on board again this year.

As I thought and prayed about what my theme word for 2013 should be, the word finish came to mind. It keeps coming to my attention in other ways as well. Since that seems like good confirmation, finish it will be.

Finish will be a good follow-up to focus, won’t it? After spending much time in 2012 focusing on my book project, the time has now come to finish it.

And just as the word focushelped steer my decisions in many different realms last year, I’m sure the word finish will also guide me in areas other than my writing this year. I’m already thinking about the photo albums I need to finally catch up on. Yikes! :)

If you’ve never adopted a theme word for the year, I encourage you to try it. Ask God what quality, attitude, or action you need to focus on this year, and I’m sure he’ll give you some direction.

Don’t let fear of failure keep you from giving it a go. You’ll benefit more from trying and possibly not following through than never trying at all, right? And if you do follow through, think about how helpful it might be. Either way, it’s a win. And remember—we have a Father who wants to help us follow his lead!

“Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.” 2 Corinthians 8:11

*What will you choose as your theme word for 2013?

*Another word—love—is on my mind as well. Maybe that should be a word for every year, huh?

*Flickr photo by jayneandd

*Scripture memory has been one of the most helpful spiritual practices in my life. If you’d like to try memorizing some scripture this year, join Beth Moore’s 2013 Scripture Memory Team. Very manageable with two verses each month.


  1. I think my word for 2013 will be Teaspoons. I’ve been running with the unofficial tagline ‘Moving Mountains With Teaspoons’ for a while, but I think this is the year I really embrace that. I seem to do much better focusing on very small tasks than I do larger ones– so I suppose it’s time to break down my overall goals into the smallest possible improvement. *ponders*

  2. Authentic. God has shown me that I’ve been trying too hard to be what others need me to be, and that I’ve been doing a lot of pretending; so much that I’m not even sure what an authentic “me” is now. There’s no time like the present to find out. So, several times a day – certainly in prayer, but also outside of prayer — I want to filter my decisions, answers, behavior through my theme word/thought, “Is this authentic?”

  3. You’re right . . . “finish” will cross over to many areas of your life this year. It will be a good guide, even in those confrontational moments.

    Live your “finish”, Cheryl.


  4. Martha, so nice to have you drop by my blog! Much wisdom in your approach of breaking down goals into small steps. Good luck!

    Debbie, love your word for the year — and thank you for being authentic today with us. May God bless your efforts to be the authentic you!

    Elaine, I’ll do my best to live my “finish” — it will definitely be a good guide!

  5. I love it! I picked a theme verse this year, but if I had to pare it down to one word I would use “presence”–rest in God’s presence, trust in God’s presence, joy in God’s presence.

  6. LOVE your word, Cheryl! Perfect…

    My word this year is service. Not sure yet how that’s supposed to play out, but I know it has something to do with widows or orphans. :-)

    New Year blessings!

  7. “Finish” is an amazing word to choose as your theme for 2013, Cheryl. I love this idea of taking a word to help stay focused throughout the year. I think my word will have to be “plan”. I always seem to be flying by the seat of my pants, but I think if I could pre-plan a little better, I might accomplish so much more. Thanks again for a great idea. Best wishes for 2013 and I will say a prayer you can finish your book project. All the best, Mairead

  8. My word for 2012 was “change” and I think for 2013 it will be “grow” or simply “live.”

  9. Emily, Vonda, Mairead, and Jolene, thanks so much for your encouragement and for sharing your theme words for 2013. Love the variety and how God is working differently in each of our lives!

    Maired, so glad this post prompted you to think of a theme word, too! And Jolene, welcome to my blog. So glad you stopped by!

  10. What a great idea! Mine would be “awake,” which I try to stay during the day after being up every night with my baby. But since that may not be achieved, I vote with elastagirl and say “presence.” :-)

  11. Hi Cheryl,

    “Finish” is a good word. I haven’t done a word theme yet. I love hearing that Beth Moore has a scripture memorization process though. Thank you.

    Thanks for stopping by my article “In the Mornings After.” Yes, I agree! Returning to glowing worship is as simple as facing Him again. :)

    Warm greetings to you,
    Jennifer Dougan

  12. Lady M, love how you said your word would be “awake” :) Different stages of life definitely have different priorities, huh? :)

    Jennifer, so glad you were happy to hear the info on Beth Moore’s scripture memory team. I love hearing about all of those who are participating!

  13. Flexibility is something I continue to try to learn and was definitely learning throughout 2012. Maybe I will be better at it 2013. :)

  14. For the last couple of years, I’ve selected three words (a la Chris Brogan and others) but this year I heard very strongly to choose only one. That word is fearless. Deep breath! I love selecting a word or words and doing my best to live it throughout the year. Good luck with yours.

  15. Debbie, flexibility is something I need to continually work on, too. I predict it will be my theme word for the year at some point in the future :)

    Charlotte, so nice to have you join us! Fearless — what a great theme word. Like you said, though, deep breaths! God bless as you live it out this year!

  16. Cheryl, I love this idea and have decided to experiment with it this year. This blog post gives me encouragement and support in doing this. Thanks for writing this and sharing it with us

  17. Sharon, I’m so glad the post helped inspire you to give a theme word a try this year. What a blessing to hear. Thanks for letting me know!

  18. Ooo! I like “Finish” for a theme word. Last year, my theme was “Be Present” in everything. This year I have too theme words, “Surrender Gracefully.” To remind myself to surrender all things to God first, and then to act gracefully with where His wisdom is guiding me.

  19. Kirsten, so good to hear from you! Love your themes from both this year and last year — both so very important. Blessings to you this year as you focus on surrendering gracefully!

  20. Thanks for the prompt! Mine is intentional. I didn’t know it was until I read your post. Intentional has been popping up a lot in conversations and in reflective times. I was applying it to my walk with God, but I see that it also applies to my writing! Thanks again!

  21. Anna Marie, I’m so glad the post helped! Great theme word!

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