My 2021 Word of the Year

Why do I do this? Yes, picking a word of the year is kind of gimmicky and definitely trendy for bloggers like me. But, when taken seriously, it can be rewarding. Some years I’ve picked a word, and by the end of the month, I’ve completely forgotten what I chose. Other years, one word fueled my passions. In 2018, I chose the word “coffee” – and invited friends and family to join me for a cup of joe and conversation. While it may have been a little self-serving because I am a big coffee drinker, the friendships I’ve built and grown and the connections I’ve made continue to flourish to this day.

Last year, I picked “believe” as my word of the year. I’d say that worked out well for me. When I was furloughed from my job over the summer, I believed I was given the gift of time. I had faith that there was a better opportunity for me and my career, and thankfully, I found it. I believed in being resilient in the face of change personally and in the new normal we are experiencing. I’d say that “believe” was the right choice for me in 2020.

Choosing a word is no easy task. I want the word I select for 2021 to represent what I need in my life right now and what I can do without. I want the word to be what gets me out of bed in the morning with each sunrise and have a daily focus or mantra that helps me become an even better version of myself.

Sounds like a tall order, right?! 🙂

At first, I chose the word “comfort.” We could all use some comfort these days. After the year we’ve just been through, why wouldn’t I want to embrace this word and take full advantage of what it includes. I can live in my comfort zone, enjoy comfort food, and buy fleece blankets and fuzzy socks to my heart’s content.

Yes, comfort would be nice. But, the word didn’t feel strong enough to me. It didn’t resonate and quite frankly sounded a little lazy. And, I guess I didn’t want to get too comfortable.

So, I gave it some more thought. I’m turning 50 this year (next month!), and it is natural to look at life thus far and take inventory of where I’m at and where I want to go. I wrote a few thoughts down about this milestone birthday. The themes that kept coming up were that I didn’t want to worry about what happened in the past because I am powerless to change it. And I don’t want my “Type A” self to set a ton of goals and plans to wrap my head around that go too far into the future. And honestly, that would stress me out more than serve as motivation.

And then – like a sunrise – it dawned on me. I want to be more present in my life, less distracted. I want to put my cell phone down when people talk to me – especially my husband and my children. I wish to choose baby steps over giant leaps. I don’t want to worry about my mistakes or what could happen next month or next year or in the years to come. I want to focus my energy on TODAY.

My 2021 word of the year is TODAY. I will count my blessings, practice kindness, and listen to my heart. I will be productive but calm. I will let go of what I can’t control. I will breathe.

I will ask myself – What can I do TODAY to improve myself, to help others, and to feel accomplished? How will I take better care of myself TODAY? What will I do that brings me joy TODAY? Who can I learn from TODAY? How can I make someone else’s life a little easier TODAY?

I have to tell you that I’m so happy with this word. I want TODAY to take me out of my comfort zone and help me grow. Who knows where TODAY will take me, but what a great reason to get out of bed in the morning and find out! And of course, I’ll report back here what I’ve learned and experienced.

If you want to pick a word, here are some questions you can ask yourself. What do I want to do differently in 2021? What can I do better? What do I want less of in the coming year? How do I want to feel at the end of the day?

Everyone’s word of the year is different and true to themselves. You may see people choose other words and wonder why you didn’t choose it for yourself. Pick a word that means something to you, and it will be the right one. And I hope you will let me know when you figure it out.

2 comments on My 2021 Word of the Year

  1. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA
    January 4, 2021 at 9:29 am (3 months ago)

    I think PRESENT covers that better. Because being PRESENT is immediate- and it is the best present of all.
    Happy 2021.

  2. Lily Leung
    January 4, 2021 at 11:46 am (3 months ago)

    Your reason and choice of word are excellent. I’ve been choosing a word for a few years now. I came upon the idea from Susannah Conway. I’ve also been downloading her annual workbook, Unravelling Your Year. I haven’t always done them all the way through, but I always look forward to it every year. She offers it free on her website.


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