My word for 2017:

Grounded. That's what I want my 2017 to feel like.

No, I'm not talking teenagers in timeout.

For me, grounded means keeping in mind always who I am and whose I am.

Feeling glad and grateful for my personality, my extroverted introvert self, my loud laughter, my low maintenance beauty regimen, and even my foibles, the lessons I have to keep learning.

Taking comfort in who I belong to--God, family, friends.

Holding fast to the communities and relationships that embrace me with love and accountability--my marriage, my church, my coworkers, loved ones and kin who know me best.

When I think of living out 2017 in a grounded way, I also think about being present.

Not turning to my phone when I have a free moment, or a bored one.

Looking someone in the eye when I pass them rather than looking down. Or, gazing up at the sky and trees instead of at my feet.

Concentrating more on relationships built and grown face-to-face, or ear-to-ear, or pen-to-paper. Starting a conversation with a stranger.

Keeping "good secrets," as Rachel Held Evans says (#13 over here), and getting over the Fear Of Missing Out that our screen-oriented world has begun to ingrain.

Completing one task without a dozen other tabs open.

I mulled many other words for the year this weekend during my brainstorming.

Fearless, open, ally.

Seeking, listening, still.

Gospel ("Good News"), simple, light.

Centered, steadfast, stalwart.

And as I began to notice a pattern (see those last three), I finally settled on grounded.

Because in my mind, being grounded in who I am and whose I am will pave the way for me to strengthen the other words and concepts that I believe in.

My word for the year starts with me, but doesn't end with me. It's about centering myself, grounding myself, so that I can learn to better live with and serve others. I feel that "grounded," in one word, combines the concepts of presence and community. And that's what I want to convey, to myself and to the world.

By living an intentionally grounded year, I aim for my knowledge and love of myself and my communities to provide a strong foundation so that my courage, openness, compassion, and action toward others can grow. If I start from a point of grounding, of calm, then I hope I can respond strongly and positively to the unknown challenges and opportunities that will come through in 2017.

Grounded in who I am and whose I am, so that I may reach out to others. This year, that's always where I want to begin.

Haven't done this practice before? Head over to my friend Rosie's site, where I first learned about it, to hear what she has to say. And I'd love to know: What word are you claiming for 2017?

Happy New Year!