What’s Your Word for 2021?

Welcome to 2021! As we ease into this brand new journey around the sun, most of us hope for a return to life as it was pre-pandemic. Gatherings, concerts, travel, work, school, and interactions with others look very different today than it did a year ago. We can choose to become overwhelmed by so much uncertainty, or we can ride the wave and see where it brings us. 

One way to do just that is to pick your word for 2021. 

I’m not talking about resolutions, because they are often empty and rarely successful.

I’m also not talking about a word of complaint or disdain, or a word that you’ll find as part of a social media rant full of frustration and acrimony.

Instead, choose a word to positively guide your journey through 2021: A word that will empower you and lead you to living authentically, a word that will provide you with purpose and abundance instead of distractions and anxiety.

I’ve had a word every year since 2015, and all of them helped guide me towards living a more purpose-filled life: Direction (2015), Determined (2016), Onward (2017), Cherish (2018), Kindness (2019).

Despite its challenges, I encountered a number of silver linings along 2020’s calendar. My word for 2020 was BECOMING, and while it didn’t seem too fitting as the year unfolded when I felt so incredibly lost, the pandemic provided me with time: time to sit and be, time to think, and time to shift my priorities and appreciate what I formerly took for granted. I might not have been able to travel, but I felt the sunshine on my face and the rain hit my skin in my backyard. I wasn’t able to see loved ones and friends as much as I had hoped, but now I am more present when I am in the company of others. Most importantly, the pandemic provided me with time to write. Over the past year, journaling gave me the gifts of clarity, acceptance, and courage. I freed myself from the layers of self-perpetuated beliefs and scars and blindness and indecisiveness that essentially crippled me for years. I finally realized I am meant to live and thrive, not just exist while unconsciously muddling through day after day after day like a lemming or a droid.

In short, I BECAME who I’m meant to be. 

Words are my life raft, my passion and my purpose, and dammit, and I AM worthy of good things and fantastic experiences.

Sometimes I struggle to find the right word for the year ahead, but my word for 2021 came to me earlier this month with unwavering certainty.

My word for 2021 is BELIEVE. This will be the year I wholeheartedly believe in myself and everything I do as I pursue my passion of writing with all of my heart and soul.

While there are many resources out there to help you bid a proper farewell to 2020 while finding the perfect word or theme for 2021, the ones listed below are ones that I have found to be the most helpful. Bonus is that they are all free!

Ink and Volt: Building Your Yearly Theme

Susannah Conway:

Chopra: Set Your Vision for 2021

One Word Challenge 2021

After you select your word, embrace it. Paint it. Write it at the top of every page in your journal or your planner. Put it on sticky notes and place them everywhere. Wear it on a bracelet or a necklace. Live it every day and never abandon it.

Let your word guide you towards the life you are meant to live in 2021, a life full of goodness and of purpose in the face of challenge. Let your word lead you to LIVING and THRIVING, for you truly deserve it.

And if you find a more fitting word presents itself during the year, welcome that new word with open arms.

Sending you all of my love and light for a better, brighter, and more beautiful year ahead for us all.

by jillocone

I am a senior contributor/editor for Jersey Shore Magazine and several Jersey Shore Publications annual guidebooks. When I’m not writing or editing, you might find me in a classroom teaching journalism, searching for beach treasures, making my nieces and nephews laugh, or making memories with my husband, family, and friends.


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