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3 Simple Steps to Choose Your Word of the Year 2021

How to Choose Your Word for the Year 2021

If there was ever a new year I will be glad to ring in, it’s the year TWENTY-TWENTY-ONE.

Because, well, 2020 has been a real bear, and I’m going to be supercalifragilisticexpialidociously glad to see it go. Aren’t you?

And yet, as I’m looking back, reflecting on the good parts, it’s pretty humbling to see that while it has been difficult and it has been treacherous, the last year truly hasn’t been all bad. Some fun things have happened. Some monumental occasions have been enjoyed (birth of a grandson!!), and certainly, a few treasured memories have been made.

A Little Skittish

However, when it comes to anticipating the promise of a brand new year, and choosing a word to guide me through it, I’m feeling just a touch, oh, what’s the word? Skittish?

Yeah, that’s it. Skittish.

As in, possibly, nervous.

Maybe a bit jumpy.

And I bet I’m not alone. Chances are, you may be facing the new year with some of the same careful trepidation.

Remember when we were little kids who creeped around the corner of the living room wall for a sneaky peek to see if Santa had really left anything under the Christmas tree? Well, that’s how I feel about the coming year. I mean, here we are, mere days from December 25th, and all any of us really wants is for Santa to take something away (i.e., da’ Covid). You and I would gladly forego the pleasure of a new phone or an expensive hair product if ol’ Saint Nick would just pack the sleigh with nasty Covid germs and dump the darn things over the big blue sea on his way back North.

Even So

Even so, I’m mentally reprimanding my optimistic-Enneagram-7-self for even going there. For even getting that close to complaining. Or grumbling. I know how God feels about his people forgetting to count their blessings, and if this was anything like a year in the Israelites’ wilderness, I certainly don’t ‘want to be the one whose bad attitude prolongs our collective lesson-learnin’.

Truly, 2020 wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, Praise the Lord. In fact, now that I’m thinking properly about it, I guess I might even go so far as to say that my Word of the Year 2020 proved to be what it was supposed to have been – a stabilizing pillar of focus that hovered over all I endeavored to accomplish. I prayed about that word, after all. So, it’s time now to look back of the last 12 months and thank God for whatever was gained from choosing it.

The Word Was

What was my Word of the Year 2020?


I blogged about it here, and I’d love for you to read the story behind my choice.

But I can tell you this. That word did its duty.

In many ways over many days, NOURISH served as a boundary, a sort of stake planted in the hard, dry winter ground, which took root and blossomed into 12 months of purposeful thinking and productive planning.

The Word Is

So, now that 2020 is nearly gone, and 2021 is nearly here, it’s time, my friends. It is time to come up with – decide – determine – what will be your new Word of the Year?

Maybe you’re ahead of the word game and already have etched your guiding word into a stone for the front flower bed. Perhaps your Word of the Year 2021 came to you in the dark of a sleepless night and you quickly typed it into the Notes section of your smart phone?

If that’s the case, yippee! You’re well on your way to counting the blessings in the year to come, my think-ahead friend.

If not, if you’re wondering how to pick the perfect noun, verb, adjective or adverb, here are a few suggestions.

How to Choose Your Word of the Year

  • Do a “brain dump”. Write down a full page of words you really like. Then sit with the list for a few days. Mark out words that don’t seem to be speakin’ to ya’.
3 Simple Steps to Choose a Word of the Year
  • Pray for direction.

Spend some time praying that God will lead you to the word he wants you to choose. Since he already knows what the year ahead holds for you and your family, asking God to help you choose a word reminds you that he’s in control, while challenging you to be on the lookout for ways to honor him in your daily doings.

3 Simple Ways to Choose a Word of the Year
  • Choose one.

While a lot of thought should go into choosing your Word of the Year, resist the urge to overthink the process. Just choose one. Trust God that you won’t choose the wrong one, since you already prayed and asked for his help.

How to Choose a Word of the Year

Enjoy the Journey

That’s it. The choice has been made. Now, enjoy the journey, confident that your well-chosen word has set a pattern for 365 days of choosing well!

3 Simple Ways to Choose a Word of the Year

Don’t Wait Too Long

Has it come to you yet, my friend? Do you need just a bit more time to ponder your choice? Great! But don’t take too long. TWENTY-TWENTY-ONE is nearly here. Yay!

Encouraging an everyday life filled with intentional adventure, while you choose a word to focus on for the year ahead,

Blogging to encourage intentional adventure!

A few other posts you might enjoy:

Word of the Year Ideas for 2020

How to Read 50 Books in a Year

Seeing Life as a Daring Adventure

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