Goals and word of the year for 2023

Hi everyone! How are you? I hope you’ve had a good start of the new year.

Last year I had a word and focus of the year, CALM. It helped me get on track with my thinking and my life, and learn to worry less and live more. I wrote a recap here.

I’ve been thinking about whether or not to have a word of the year 2023. I have clear goals that will be my focus of the year, but I couldn’t define one single word that would fit as a word of the year, and almost decided to not have one. I was thinking of something around accountability, perseverance and the likes. But all that sounds so… serious, and not necessarily positive. But I had forgotten about the obvious choice.


Jävlaranamma is a Swedish swear word. You might say it if you drop the hammer on your foot. But don’t worry, it also has a much more inspiring meaning than that. Jävlaranamma also is the closest equivalent to grit in Swedish.

It’s the passion, determination, drive, strength, perseverance, motivation & willpower to do what it takes to do the hard work required and keep going to reach your goals.

I had never really used this word in Swedish, but Jävlaranamma came to me in early October 2022.

I had recently started running, had made some stupid choices and ended up with (what likely was, but in reality I don’t actually know) patellar tendonitis. I thought my tendon was torn in pieces because I had so much pain. During the same weekend when the knee was at its worst, I was also having a bad cold and everything was seriously shit. I was angry and upset, saw my fitness goals and plans to create a new exciting healthy lifestyle and running together with my husband, go down the drain. I was upset and felt sorry for myself.

On the Sunday we saw a show on Netflix called “Human playground”, about extreme sports and similar. The first episode featured a lady, 10+ years older than me, who had an amputated leg, and she ran a marathon in the Moroccan desert. When she was young, doctors had told her she would never walk again. And when I saw her, the jävlaranamma in me woke up. My self-pity turned into new energy and it made me collect my oomph, and make the decision to get strong and fit, come back to running, and create that active lifestyle. If she could run in the desert with a prosthetic leg, then I could recover and get back to running on these simple country lanes!

At about the same time I discovered David Goggins, my husband recommended me to look him up when I talked about building mental strength. I read his first book almost from cover to cover, and took a lot of inspiration from his mindset. I wanted to challenge myself, become strong in mind and body, work on becoming the person I want to be, and not give up.

Jävlaranamma will be my word of the year for 2023. It will be used in whatever context I need it for and that requires it – fitness, music, business, and more. While my previous word of the year was more reflective, to work on thinking and mental health, Jävlaranamma is more actionable and that’s what I’m ready for now.

Rocking my Jävlaranamma!
Rocking my Jävlaranamma!

I have some interesting goals for this year, and all of them will require some Jävlaranamma and commitment.

Fitness goals in 2023

  • Continue my gym routine to build muscle, strength and mobility
  • Continue running twice, maybe three times a week and increase the distances I run
  • Be able to push myself and run more without getting injuries
  • Be able to run with my husband (I haven’t had the courage to do that after my injury because I’d push myself too hard)
  • When we go to Italy and meet the lovely couple who owns the farm we stay at, I want to be able to look at Paola’s muscles and instead of admiring them I can tell myself that I’m on my way to look like that. Yes, yes, it’s vain and superficial but it’s still a goal, and the way to reach it is the gym! I’ve envied her arm and shoulder muscles ever since we stayed at their farm for the first time in 2013!

Music goals in 2023

Although I played a lot of music in 2022 and had some fantastic experiences (see this post), I didn’t do much proper practice. I’ve probably become more confident with what I already can do on the guitar, and I know I’m much improved on the concertina. Also, I discovered that my voice range has expanded and I’m quite happy with my singing in general. But I miss the days when I practised regularly, almost every day, and I learned lots of new stuff all the time. I want to come back to that, and music will be a BIG priority in 2023.

  • Get into a regular practice routine on both guitar and concertina.
  • Become more fluent with playing up the neck on the guitar.
  • Get up to speed with some Irish tune sets on the concertina and continue attending Noel Hill’s online classes if he continues doing them.
  • With both guitar and bluegrass singing, continue working through the ArtistWorks course curriculums and do at least a few video exchanges on each course.
  • Some more hands-on goals are to learn a proper, Doc Watson-esque, version of “Beaumont rag”, learn to play “Black mountain rag”, Norman Blake’s “Whiskey before breakfast”, and Tony Rice’s guitar solo on “Nine pound hammer” (the first half of it at the very least!), and to sing Gillian Welch’s “Tear my stillhouse down” and “Orphan girl”.

At the end of the year I’ll do a review of what I’ve achieved – that’ll be interesting!

And the big question probably is…

Why Jävlaranamma? Why not grit?

Simply because I think the word Jävlaranamma has a lot more attitude!

And no, I don’t intend to make t-shirts for all future word of the year (although it would be cool!) – the logo was part of my last graphic design assignment, and I love using it!

Do you have a word of the year? What goals or intentions do you have for this year?

I’m joining Denyse Whelan who is back with her Wednesday words & pics link-up, and Tuesday Topics with Kookyrunner and Zenaida.

Wednesday's words and pics


32 responses to “Goals and word of the year for 2023”

  1. Caz avatar

    I love this word jävlaranamma. It sounds like something we all need a bit more of. (I’m going to have to research how it sounds now too.) It feels powerful – probably because it’s a naught word too so I can imagine it said with passion. Thanks for dropping by over at Cazazz via Denyse’s Linky. I am loving connecting with other again and look forward to following along here as you run and play.

    1. Susanne avatar

      You are right, I forgot to add the pronunciation. I actually meant to, but forgot about it! I also think it feels powerful! It’s nice to meet you, connecting with other bloggers is really enjoyable and one of the most important parts of blogging as I see it.

  2. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    I absolutely LOVE that word… I may have t steal and use one year.

    It is perfect for running and also life.

    I think we all need a little grit (especially as we age)

    Good luck. Your goals are all achievable.. Can’t wait to follow your fitness and music journey.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Feel free to use it! It IS a lovely word and it totally reflects my attitude these days.

  3. Joanne avatar

    I love your word and I think it’s so unique that you picked the Swedish version; it sounds so much better than grit! LOL. Best of luck with all your goals.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you Joanne! Haha, yes, it does sound better. More… gritty, lol.

  4. Joanne Tracey avatar

    What a cool word – and yes, much cooler than “grit”, which is tough, but this is tough and cool. Look forward to reading about your progress on all fronts in the link ups.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Jo! I’m glad you see the coolness with it! I’m curious whether this word will bring me to more than working hard in the gym and with music. I have a feeling there’s more to it!

  5. Coco avatar

    Oh, I love this! I think you get the prize for most unusual word — and it has a great meaning too. Now I need to hear someone pronounce it!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Haha, yes, this is probably quite unusual alright! I worked hard on getting the phonetic pronunciation of it but a recording would be great of course.

  6. Denyse Whelan avatar

    The word has to have impact and meaning for you and this one seems SPOT ON!!
    Congratulations on your goal setting and you already seem like you are up and running…and playing too.
    Thank you so much for returning to Wednesday’s Words and Pics Link Up in 2023. I look forward to continuing the blogging community connection this year. May your year go well. Denyse.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you Denyse! And thank you for continuing to host the link-up.
      I love this choice of WOTY as it will help me keeping focus on the attitude I’ve been collecting during the autumn.

  7. Debbie Harris avatar

    This is a fabulous word and you’ve explained why you chose and what you want to do with it really well Susanne! I love Jävlaranamma and even grit has that ‘don’t mess with me vibe’. All the best for all your goals this year and thanks for the new word we will all enjoy learning more about it, and you, during 2023.

    1. Susanne avatar

      “Don’t mess with me” is a wonderful description that I’ll need to save for future use! Thanks for the well-wishes and I’ll see you in a comment section soon again.

  8. Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au avatar

    Hi Susanne – I smiled at your description of choosing to not use your original ‘reflective’ word and to go with a more empowering one. It’s funny because I did the exact opposite – got all set with a get-up-and-go word and then switched it out for a gentler idea. That’s what I love about WOTY – it’s different for each of us, and the reasoning behind the choice always facinates me. I’ll be gliding lightly while you’re gritting and growing – each fulfilling what our hearts think we need for the year ahead. Happy New Year xx

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it’s interesting isn’t it! After my year with reflecting on calm, and where it brought me at the end of the year with a different lifestyle, I felt I wanted something more hands-on this year and definitely something where I could fit in both my fitness goals and music. It’s always interesting to see what other people have chosen and why! Your “lightly” or something related to it will probably suit me another year. I love how you describe my word as empowering, because that’s what it is, but I didn’t think of it!

  9. Suzanne avatar

    This word is fantastic! What an amazing choice. I picture it being shouted to the heavens as some sort of mantra (much more musical than grit!) when you need that last push to finish a run or do one more rep of lifting or get your fingering right on the guitar. Fabulous goals. What a way to start the new year!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I love how you describe it being used! I definitely use it when lifting!

  10. Retirement Reflections avatar

    Hi, Suzanne – I love your WOTY for 2023. Jävlaranamma – grit with attitude! That is very cool.
    Wishing you an awesome 2023 ahead!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Donna, I’m wishing you the same!

  11. Zenaida Arroyo avatar

    Great word! It sounds more powerful in Swedish. 🙂 I love your goals for 2023 and look forward to following along your journey.

    1. Susanne avatar

      It’s good to have you here Zenaida! It’s been a good start of the year so now I’ll just keep going (need to up my music a little though, I still have no good routine for that).

  12. Sanch @ Sanch Writes avatar

    I love the word! I’m not sure if I’m saying it right but it does pack a punch! Also loving your fitness and music goals. I saw your previous post about the weights you lift. I love training and deadlifts are my faves. Not much of a runner though. This year, I’m trying to also get my conditioning/fitness up a bit more than just focussing on strength. Happy New Year and looking forward to following your journey.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I love deadlifts too! And I’m not much of a runner either, lol. But I fell in love with running so I’m going to become one. It’s so refreshing for my head and is such a lovely way to start the day. Happy new year to you!

  13. Debbie avatar

    I love your word for the year (saying jävlaranamma is a lot more fun than says grit, too). My goals are pretty simple – to maintain my current level of fitness and train smart while hopefully avoiding injury.

    1. Susanne avatar

      They are very good and important goals, Deb!

  14. Kadie avatar

    I love this word! Actually I love the idea of a word of the year. I have to work on my fitness goals as well. Which at this point are non-existent. I have so much to work on this year. Happy New Year Susanne!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Same with me, Katie. But I’ve found that working on my physical fitness makes me work on a lot of the other stuff too. Happy new year to you!

  15. San avatar

    I love it. What a perfect word (and I totally understand what you mean when you say ” Why not grit?
    Simply because I think the word Jävlaranamma has a lot more attitude!” – there simply are words in other languages that carry a lot more meaning than the translation into another language!).
    I also love that you know have a t-shirt with the word on it! Very cool (I hope lots of people ask you about it!)
    I haven’t picked my word for 2023 yet (hey, we’re only a week in)… but I am contemplating a few.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I love this t-shirt and tank top and the logo! I’m going to rock them all year (and beyond!). You’re so right about how some words are just not the same in a translated version. I learned that Jävlaranamma can also mean to have backbone and ability to stand up for yourself, which I love.

  16. Anne avatar

    I think I need to add a goal to your fabulous list:
    (Extra goal created by annoying commenter): Create Etsy shop so I can order a shirt with your logo (seriously, it’s awesome) and

    I love this word. I love its meaning. And I love how you are operationalizing it in your every day life, and in more than one area of your life. Those are the best kinds of words, aren’t they? On any given day, you can show your Jävlaranamma (yes, I copied that text…) in the way that feels most right to you that day. This word seems to capture what I bring to my work. I’ve had some, shall we say, challenges in getting my ideas and conceptualizations accepted by others (I’m not *that* far out on a limb, I’m just proposing something different…). And each time I am set back, by an unfunded grant, or not-accepted on a manuscript, I say to myself, “Fine, I’ll show them!” This wonderful word seems to capture that sentiment more than “grit” or “determination” or any one of the rather, hm, blah English terms that I could use.

    I will be repeating this to myself (and mangling the pronunciation, I am sure) when I have my annual review. <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hahah, I love your new goal you set for me! 😀
      However, Etsy is ***** for new sellers and I’ll never use it. But your goal for me will happen elsewhere, because I have a plan with Jävlaranamma. Watch this space! (I may e-mail you about getting a t-shirt before that project gets started because my husband wants one too)
      It’s a wonderful word, isn’t it? A lot more attitude than grit, and includes a lot more concepts and attitudes. Do use it for your review!!

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