my 2021 word of the year & how to pick yours

my 2021 word of the year

In some ways, I feel like it was just yesterday that I chose my word of the year for 2020. I mentioned as we closed out 2019 that I wanted to focus less on resolutions and more on a holistic approach to the year ahead. The same rings true for 2021. Last year, I chose “intention,” for my word of the year. After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided that “drive” is my 2021 word of the year. Want to know why?

How I Chose My 2021 Word of the Year

I thought a lot about what word I wanted to choose that might embody exactly why and how I wanted to tackle the year ahead. In 2020, my goal was to do things with purpose; to find meaning in the chaos and ensure that I chose the right path for the right reasons. In hindsight, I think it was the perfect word to choose – especially with all the curveballs the year threw our way. When I chose drive for my word of the year, I focused on two main definitions:

  1. drive / verb: to propel or carry along by force in a specified direction
  2. drive / noun: an innate biologically determined desire to attain a goal

Essentially, both definitions fit the purpose of choosing drive as my 2021 word of the year. While 2020 was a year of measurable and marked change, 2021 is destined to be a year of growth, both as a family and as an individual.

What My Word of the Year Means to Me

Drive means that I now I have the opportunity to not only seek out my goals, but to follow that proverbial force of nature towards them. Success in future ventures, in growing my photography business, in focusing on freelance, and in chasing down new heights (and hikes) with this family of mine, my (and our) collective drive will be what fuels us on this new journey. And, above all else, drive means to chase things down with wild abandon and purpose like never before.

family snow

franklin falls hike

How to Pick Your Word of the Year

Choosing a word of the year is easier than you might think. Like setting goals and resolutions, choosing a word of the year requires you to be introspective and contemplative regarding your purpose and your goals for the year ahead. Here are four steps you can take to help select your own word of the year:

  1. Reflect – Ask yourself what do you need more of in your life? Less of? How did you feel about the end of 2020 and your headspace, and how do you want to feel at the end of 2021?
  2. Visualize – Decide what you would measure as “success” in 2021. Is it personal? Professional? How to the two combine? What will give you the most joy and fulfillment this coming year?
  3. Create a List – Write down 10 words that come to mind and, without editing, reflect on each of those words and how they would play into your life.
  4. Commit: This is, perhaps, most important of all. You need to find the one word on your list that you can commit to. Which of those words goes beyond just being aspirational and is one you can and want to 100% commit to?

Still need a little help? Here’s a list of great words to get started choosing your word of the year.

word of the year list

Remember, choosing a word of the year isn’t one-size-fits-all. Maybe you need or want to commit to two. Or three. Find that word (or words) that forces you out of your comfort zone and in fearless pursuit of your goals. That, my friends, is why drive works for me. I will let it that drive (see what I did there?!) fuel me on this next big adventure with wild abandon. Still need a little

Tell me – have you chosen a word of the year yet? Will you?