Word for the Year- How is it going?

“That’s a good word for you,” my friend commented when I told her my word is Journey for 2021. It was over a cheese plate and mock cocktails one New Year’s Eve years ago when a gathering of friends decided to each create a word for the year and then help each other stay accountable. Although I have lost touch with a few of those friends, this girlfriend and I faithfully stayed connected including sharing our intentions for the new year. She’s been a confident, a good listener and prayer warrior for me, so understands why Journey fits me. Like many of us, the pandemic has affected my goals, intentions, and plans. And as a very goal driven gal, letting go of plans due to such conditions as unforeseen government regulations, changing economic climate, and event cancellations is not easy! However, is anything ever for sure? 

No, nothing is for sure. 

Life is change. Every moment is change. 

Questions to help define your Word for the Year

I use the following questions to help define my word for the year. 

1. If you were to FULLY live your life, what is the first change you would start to make?

My answer: More fun! Adventure is a value and driving need of mine. When I become too focused on my task list, I do not fulfill my adventure value leading to discontentment, low energy and ,ironically, too self focused to serve others. Bob Goff in Dream Big says that sometimes we need to clear our room and “give Jesus the whole room.” When my check lists take up too much room I am leaning more on myself than Jesus.

2. What do you want MORE in your life?

My answer was life balance, work fulfillment, and time for artistic endeavours. To do this, I knew I would have to create space in my schedule to allow spontaneity for fun and adventure. I also needed to learn to be okay with that unchecked item at the end of the day and maintain peace within even though there was perceived instability in areas of my life.  

Trusting the journey instead of always striving for the destination, worrying about what lay ahead, and anxious about making the right choices for the future did not bring MORE fulfillment. Jesus teaches

“Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes?” – Matthew 6:25

Allowing myself to just be, bake a cake, make a card, take a walk, call a friend, be AVAILABLE for family and friends — enjoying the journey trusting enjoyment is also purposeful for God’s plan for my life. 

           “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me.” – John 14:1

3. What do you want LESS in your life? 

I listed less striving, worrying and anxiousness about making the right choices for the future.  

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

4. Imagine it is the end of 2021. In one sentence, describe your year. 

I accomplished more than I ever imagined, grew in how God wants me to use my gifts, and had so much fun letting life be about each moment of the journey instead of the destination. 

How am I doing so far with my word of the year?

I have baked so many cakes my sister asked if I was thinking of changing careers!  I’ve done paper crafting that is not Instagram worthy, but did make others smile. I’ve taken long walks with a friend and stayed to visit much longer than I intended. I’ve also cancelled on friends because felt ‘too busy’ and fallen into comparison traps when watching social media reels. And then fallen into disempowering thoughts such as “everyone is way more successful than me” or “I am lazy” or “I should be doing more with my time.”  At these times, when insecurity and doubts rise, reminding myself of the purpose behind my word helps to get me back on track. 

Life is change. Every moment is change.

It is about the journey, not the destination. 

God’s purpose for our lives is revealed moment by moment. 

Give Jesus the whole room.

How to apply your word every day

Another way to help keep me stay intentional about my word for the year is to ask:

Is this action moving me toward my word for the year or away? 

For me this is:

Is this action moving me toward being present on the journey or away from it? 

Other ways are:

  •  1. A vision board or file folder with words and pictures that encapsulates your word for the year.
  •  2. A scripture verse that encompasses your word and/or intention posted where you can see it multiple times per day.
  • 3. A friend that checks in with you to simply ask “How is it going with your word this year?”

If you have a word for the year, how is it going? If you’d like to create a word, you can download this worksheet and feel free to share your findings! 

Helpful books for the journey…

Linked up today with Lisa Notes.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

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17 Comments

  1. My word(s) for the year is Best Day Ever! My hubby and I say it to each other at least once a day. It reminds me to look for the good things, and how can I make it a better day for someone else. Some days don’t feel like the Best Day Ever, but I can always look back at the end of the day and see how there were actually little nuggets in the day and be grateful for them.

  2. Lynn, I love this post! I’ve been thinking a lot about my word, but I haven’t seen a lot of God glimpses on what He wants to teach me about it. I like the questions you asked. I’m going to take these and use them during my quiet times and see what He shows me. I also like the idea of creating a visual for my word and its synonyms, etc. I’m going to to do that. I admire how intentional you are being to make your word an important part of your life.

    Your cakes are beautiful!

  3. Beautiful post, Lynn. My word this year was focus. The pandemic gave me more time to write, but I struggled with maintaining my focus. I think I’ve been successful in turning my attention away from my struggles, etc. and keeping my focus more on God. Of course, I’m still a WIP. 🙂 Gorgeous photos today!

  4. I have forgotten my word for the year, but thank you for the reminder about it Lynn. I will have to think and pray about this. Life is obviously too busy because I haven’t made time to go for a walk with you for a very long time. Let’s make a walking date. Please let me know when you might be free to connect. (-: Ker

  5. Thanks for these wonderful tips, Lynne. Your first one reminded me of my word, “empty”. We do need to empty the room to give Jesus the whole room.

  6. Your questions are spot-on for me too, Lynn! I need to add more fun to my life as well. I do have lots of fun things I get to do, but I work them in around my self-imposed project deadlines. I’m currently telling myself everyday that “I don’t have to finish it all today.” 🙂 (which fits your #2 answer!)

    I love your photos and I love your word! Thanks for sharing this at our One Word linkup. It is super encouraging to me.

    And whenever someone quotes Bob Goff, I know it’s going to be a great post. 🙂

  7. Lynn, hi! I love the questions and considerations you’re putting on the table. This is the first year my WORD has stayed with me for more than a week. That warm accountability from friends makes all the difference, doesn’t it …

  8. What a cool way to apply your word of the year! I haven’t chosen one for several years now, because it felt like too much. Your photography is gorgeous! I need to work more at giving Jesus the whole room.

  9. I’ve watched bloggers use the word of the year very successfully. I haven’t tried it, Lynn, but I really liked your questions – What do I want more of? And, what do I want less of? The “less of” seems like it might create space for the “more of.” 🙂 I’m always on the search for balance and will give this some thought. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. <3

  10. I don’t know how I missed this great post, Lynn. I love your reflections here.
    “God’s purpose for our lives is revealed moment by moment.
    Give Jesus the whole room.” Such great reminders. Thank you! Love and blessings to you!