January 09, 2020

Contentment is My Word of the Year by Steph Beth Nickel

A version of this post first appeared on Janet Sketchley's blog, Tenacity, in December 2019.

Why do you do what you do? Complacency, contentment, or conviction?

An onlooker might not be able to tell the difference. Sometimes even we can’t tell the difference.

It’s what I’ve always done. That’s complacency.

I believe this is right, and it has been confirmed over and over again. That’s conviction.

But what about contentment?

It may look like complacency, but then again, it just may be conviction.

Contentment is my word for 2020.

As you may know, I am eclectically interested and eclectically involved. Too often I’m distracted by the Oo, Shiny! Books, online courses, careers …

Do you think it’s time to stop buying books (or at least slow down) when you have over 1,000 physical and ebooks you haven’t yet read?

Most of mine are accessible on my phone. <sigh>

And what about courses and lifetime access to online conference sessions, some of which were inexpensive, others … not so much?

I’ll buy this healthy living annual subscription and access to this library of workouts, and I’ll be healthier by the end of the year … if I access them and put what I learn into practice that is. (We won’t mention the fact that I was a personal trainer and know what I need to do to get healthier.)

Of course I’ll maintain my doula certification while writing, editing, working as our church admin, and helping my hubby clean the church each week. Sleep? Who needs it? (That would be me.)

To be honest, my whole life might be a case of FOMO, fear of missing out.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

In 2020, I will seek, with God's help, to live by my conviction that I have been called to contentment.

As it says in 1 Timothy 6:6, "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

I will read 24-36 of the books I already have.

I will complete at least 12 of those online courses I’ve purchased and put into practice those things I learn from my paid subscriptions.

I will devote myself to writing—and publishing—the books I’ve begun.

I will maintain my doula certification because this is something I’m passionate about, but I will pace myself and not leave the requirements of my recertification to the last month or so.

I will stop becoming distracted by the Oo, Shiny! and look for the sparkle in the opportunities and possessions I already have. I will look for the fun. As an Enneagram 7, fun is important to me. (I don't define fun as frivolity but as those things that get my mojo flowing.)

Plus, I will regularly give thanks for my life as it is in the Here and Now.

How can you grow more content in the year ahead? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Do you have a word of the year? If so, what is it and why did you choose it?

All the very best in 2020!


  1. Wow. Your post really struck a chord with me, Steph. I think we are all seeking contentment, but often it is elusive because we don't recognize it when it's there. I also saw myself in much of what you said - the Oh shiny! All the best with your 'to do' list, but make sure you're content even if you don't finish all those online courses!! God bless.

  2. Steph, I resonate so much with what you said. I am not alone. Yeah! I am a 7 too, and in constant distraction, love beginnings and shiny, then abandon when start getting dull instead of taking out the polishing cloth. I have three blogs, two under construction for almost a year! haha! I love your list and too, want to revisit all those courses I have taken and put them to use. God wants us to take a step at a time faithfully, and He leads our way. I'm cheering for you!

  3. FOMO - you described Perfectly what I’ve always struggled with! I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I love that verse you shared about godliness with contentment is great GAIN. And also how you said that you would look for the sparkle and the fun in the things you already have. Yes. I need to do the same! Thank you Steph!!
    Pam Mytroen

  4. I can definitely relate to having purchased books and courses that I haven't read or accessed :( Good intentions at the time, but not the wisest use of resources if they're going to gather dust or sit in my inbox. I agree with Tracy - be content even if you don't finish all the courses. Progress is worth a pat on the back!

  5. I think you hit the nail on the head, Steph Beth. All of us, and that includes me, need contentment for the year, to "seek, with God's help, to live by my conviction that I have been called to contentment." I agree wholeheartedly with all the above comments, particularly Lynn's: "God wants us to take a step at a time faithfully, and He leads our way."

  6. So since I am often in the presence of a squirming baby these days, I too have wondered about what it means to be content. Too easy to be squirmy in our lives despite the blessings! This gives me a focus to outline my year with what brings contentment. Thank you for your word and words!


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