What’s your word of the year for 2021?

In this post we will explore a more focused 2021 by choosing one word to help guide is in our goals and actions.

2020 Recap and 2021 Goals – Mind Map


Before I get to the word of the year, I think reviewing last year is an important activity. The process of reviewing my activities for last year and mapping out a rough plan for the coming year has been very helpful activity. I don’t develop excessively detailed plans as I used to do when I worked in Corporate America. I think having goals and reviewing them from time to time has a lot of value.

Zig Ziglar says, ” If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” No matter where we are in life, we need to use those talents that the Lord has given us to bless others and accomplish things in our lives. We need to never stop learning and growing. Setting goals is a good way to hold yourself accountable.

Last year I didn’t hit all my goals, but I got a lot farther on several goals than if I had not established any goals. I would encourage you to do a mind map of your accomplishments from last year and another one for your goals for 2020. I’d love to see you post your recap and goals for 2021 in the Sermon Sketchnote Boss Facebook Group.

What is a Word of the Year?

Choosing a Word of the Year is the concept of having an overarching theme you want to focus on for a year. I believe the concept originated for Christian, author and speaker, Jon Acuff. Since his introduction to this concept, it has become a very popular concept. Everyone has jumped on the band-wagon. This is a great activity to help us stay focused throughout the year to be more intentional in everything we do.

Collins Dictionary has assigned 2020 a word for the year. I am sure that you are all thinking ahead and trying to guess what the word is. You might guess pandemic or COVID, but you would be wrong. Check out the post here to find out the selected word of the year. If I got to choose, I would have voted for MASK.

Personally, the Lord gave me the word Gratitude a couple of years ago when I was just crabby and hard to get along with. This was really transformational for me as a jar of pickles really softened my heart and I began to see all of the Lord’s amazing blessings in my life. If you don’t know my pickle story, you can catch it in my Mini-Gratitude journal Flip I did for our Thanksgiving Project.

Why you need a Word of the year

In our lives we are often harried and busy. By choosing one word it will help you focus and be more intentional about the things you do. If your word is HEALTH then maybe it might help you say no to the fries – (which are my downfall so I need help!)

Choosing a word for the year helps you become more intentional about how you spend your time. By saying no to impulsive things, you can be more intentional to do the things you will outline (below) to help you stay focused. If you can stay focused, will have fewer regrets and be pleased with the progress you made.

How do I choose a Word of the Year?

There’s no right way or wrong way to find a word of the year. First and foremost, I think it has to start with prayer. What does the Lord want you to focus on? It could be a person or a verse. You might be a phrase instead of a word, but the concept is to pair down your focus on one thing which will help you grow and serve the Lord. Don’t overthink it, keep it simple. If you’re not getting a strong direction, look over the list below and then choose a word that speaks to you. If you get a clearer direction later in the year with a different word, that’s ok. There are no word-police around that will give you a ticket for changing your word.

If it will help, Dayspring has a quiz that will help you choose your word for the year. I took the quiz twice and got the word ABIDE and the second time I got BELIEVE. I’m not feeling believe at all, but I could get behind ABIDE. But I feel like my word is REACH, GO, or CONNECT. I know my assignment is to help people deepen their walk with the Lord by being Visual in their Faith. I have made some really great connections with Bible Journal groups, but I feel that the Lord is pushing me to find people who aren’t visual at all in their faith and introduce them to doodle devos, and sermon sketchnoting.

Word Inspiration

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some words to think about as you choose your Word for the year.

Ok, I’ve got my word, now what?

Once you have chosen your word, its time to make a very simple action plan.

  1. Try to find 12 verses that support your word and then download the WORD OF THE YEAR Packet (Project #21-1) and you will see that I have made 12 sheets for you to complete during the year to help you stay on target. Each month doodle one of the verses you found to support your word.

2. Write your word all over the place. Write it on the cover of your planner, doodle the word, and tape it to your bathroom mirror so you see if first thing in the morning. Make a bookmark with that word and put it in your Bible so you will see it every time you open it.

3. create a very simple list of 12 things you can do to help you stay focused on your word. If your word is service maybe you plan to do to 12 Random Acts of Kindness throughout the year. If your word is faith, then maybe you could commit to reading and doodling 12 books of the bible this year. I would love to know what your word is and things you are going to do to put that word into action.

4. At the end of every month, update the progress on your action plan and then write s very short journal post reflecting on the word. your focus, and how it’s going. By making a short entry you might be amazed and the insights you gain by reflecting.

To help you stay focused I designed a fun handout to help you document your Word journey in 2021. You can get it on the Member’s only page. You can access the Member’s Only Page by signing up for the newsletter to the right. Enter your name and email and hit submit. You will get an email confirmation with the link to the member’s only page

So what IS your word for the year?

leave a comment below or doodle it and post it in the facebook group.


Tune in again next week as we roll out the ICONS for 2021. I am working on a booklet you can keep all the icons in one place. Facebook Live on Jan 6th 10 am Central time to doodle some icons.


8 responses to “What’s your word of the year for 2021?”

  1. Denise Cahill Avatar
    Denise Cahill

    My word is


  2. Cynthia D Avatar
    Cynthia D

    My word is

  3. Joann Knepper Avatar
    Joann Knepper

    My word is Transform

  4. Laura Cooney Avatar
    Laura Cooney

    My word is HOPE

  5. Crystal Avatar

    My word is “Consistent”

  6. My word is abide.

  7. My word is comfort.

  8. Susan E Harman Avatar
    Susan E Harman

    I took the Day Spring test and my word is “Connect”

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