2021 Word of the Year

I started to think about my 2021 word of the year back in the fall of 2020. It seems like I am able to start thinking about what I want my focus to be around October of each year. However, I wasn’t entirely sure that I would stick with the word that had been floating around for my 2021 word of the year until the first week in January.

2021 Word of the Year: What

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My 2021 Word of the Year is Life-Giving. Life-giving is something that have been thinking about for a while now. Actually, I considered this way back at the beginning of 2020 as well. I started to read the life-giving book series by Sally Clarkson again. Specifically The Life-giving Parent and The Life-giving Home.

This past fall I realized that I had fallen out of a lot of the normal rhythms that made up my days and weeks in 2020. The reason seemed simple. We moved at the beginning of 2020. Also, 2020 happened. I needed to work on those rhythms, and I wanted them to be life-giving.

Why Choose a Word of the Year?

When you choose a word of the year, you have something to lean into as you move through your goals setting. It gives you a focus. It is a permission slip to lean into what is most important.

I started choosing a word of the year many years ago. Goal setting has always been a big priority for me, but I never chose a word as a guide. When I finally figured out how to choose a word, everything became laser-focused. I was able to see the forest through the trees. Instead of knowing my why behind my goals, I instead had a list of tasks – a to-do list.

Once I realized that having a guiding word got me farther, I was able to get that focus back.

How do you choose a word?

This is the personal part of the work. You choose a word based on how you are feeling. I use the PowerSheets in order to help me narrow down my focus for the year. There is also a 6-month undated version of the PowerSheets in case you are reading this later in the year and still want to jump on board with goal setting.

When you go through the PowerSheets Prep Work, you will get a lot of guidance for how to choose your word. When I choose a word it is about a feeling. I innately know what my word ought to be going into a new year. Why? Because I know where my short-comings are. It doesn’t always come easy, but when you are honest with yourself you will start to see where your focus ought to be.

Is it too late to Choose my Word?

What if you are reading this and it is past January 1st? (Which you are since I use the entire month of January to narrow down my goals and focus on what I want for the new year). Can you still choose a guiding word? The answer is an enthusiastic YES! Just because the new year has already begun doesn’t mean you can’t now choose a guiding word.

In fact, the PowerSheets give you the opportunity to change your word every month if that is what you want. Think big picture here though. What do you want to focus on this year? Why is that important to you?

Life-Giving: What even is that?

What does life-giving mean as my word of the year? Life-giving, to me, simply means breathing life into something. I want to breathe life into my home, my family, my homeschool, my faith, my friendships. Life-giving is my focus because I want to improve all of those areas, and breathe new life into them.

When I chose my 2021 word of the year, I knew that I needed to work on rhythms. I needed to focus on our new home. My homeschool needed some new ideas and less monotony. I want my kids to see me happy and enjoy our time together. Seeing them be secure in their surroundings, and to know what to expect. To build on the traditions that we have in place and incorporate new ones.

Now, will all of that happen in one year? Most likely not. However, I will be able to make improvements throughout the year as I keep life-giving at the forefront of my mind.

Setting your Goals After Choosing your Word

Most people will set their goals and then look for a theme within those goals to choose a word. I do the opposite. I choose a word, and then I create my goals through the lens of that word.

Usually, picking a word is my why for the year. We go through all of that prep work in the PowerSheets in order to find the why behind what we are doing. So, choosing my focus for the year seems the next best step. It also allows me to see where I won’t spend as much time.

For example, this year, I have goals for Townsend House as a whole. However, life-giving isn’t necessarily focusing on my business. It is focusing on my family and how my business relates to my family. So, I will not be spending hours and hours building a business at the expense of my family.

There is always balance, and for me, I know that this year my focus needs to be on home and family. I still have goals relating to my business, but they are not as audacious as they have been in past years. That is OK!

How does Choosing a Guiding Word Cultivate Simplicity?

When you choose a guiding word you are taking some decision fatigue away from you. You figure out what is important by having that word. That may sound simple, and it kind of is, but it is important. You can look at what is going on around you, what your focus is, based on that word.

It gives you a lens to see life through. You are looking at whether or not something lines up with your word.

For example, if I am looking at life-giving as my word, I am going to start choosing more family activities and traditions to have in our weekly rhythm. Things like eating dinner together, having a game night, reading aloud to the kids before bed. Those are all life-giving activities. Something that would not be life-giving for us would be to have everyone at different activities most nights of the week, and only seeing each other on the weekends.

The Bottom Line

When you choose your word of the year, you give yourself permission to focus on that word. You let the rest go. Does everything need to be done this year? No, and that is why you have your focus word.

You have the opportunity to make this year the best for you. You get to be the one in charge of that. It doesn’t rely on anyone else. You have the choice in front of you.

Take the time to think about what your focus should be for the rest of the year. What comes to mind for you? Let your dreams become your reality. It is OK to reach for something that you have put off, or thought you were unable to do. Let’s all move through the rest of the year with gusto and make our dreams, plans, and then those plans reality.

What is your guiding word for this year?

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