As the old year comes to an end and the new year arrives, how you have your focus set, makes a difference in your whole well-belng. Do you find yourself ready to look ahead to this fresh year and leave 2020 behind? I know I am ready! To do that, I want my thinking, feeling and being to come into focus.  Having a process like, word of the year, can help do that. Let’s dive in.

Word of the year

You may ask how can having a word of the year can help bring experiences into focus.  And what is a word of the year?  A word of the year is a word that serves as a focal point for your year, like a vision or value you want to filter your decisions and activities through.

I have found that near the end of the year, as I begin to reflect on what happened the past year and begin to look towards the new year, a word or phrase begins to repeat itself almost like a word chooses me.  You begin to see that word continually and consistently.  People bring that word up to you in conversations.  Being open and teachable helps you find the word that is to be yours for the year.

In the past, my 2018 word was unstoppable, a word that felt lofty, yet I became prayer and care director for Urbana18 that year, a once in a lifetime opportunity.  For 2019, be present- an opportunity for a six-month sabbatical and the beginning quest to be totally present with my grandchildren and finally 2020 prepare.  How did I know all the things I would need to prepare for in 2020 – a completely different type of lifestyle?

The word of the year helps bring different fragments of your thinking, feeling and being into focus.  What word has been floating across your radar lately?

Next steps

Once you have your word of the year, how might that help your focus for the new year? Taking time to pray and reflect can bring big dividends for your well-being.  God says in Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV:

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”: 

According to this verse, we can call to Him and He will answer. Getting away to be quiet can help. It might take some time. Or it might take some Bible reading.  Or it might take some baby steps on your part to move forward in what you sense God doing around you.

For example, my word for the year is curious.  In my experience, my word chooses me.  I had that word come across my radar so many times in December, I can’t begin to count.  I am curious to see where God will take me on the journey in 2021.

The result of the word “curious” for me is an emphasis on questions.  Each morning this past week, I have asked God or Jesus a curious question, such as “How do you want me to trust you today?”  Then I watch throughout the day to see what indicators I get to that question.  I might not get the answer that day but I can still be watching and waiting.  Another question was “Lord give me eyes to see and ears to hear you this day. What am I to notice?.”

So far, I’ve noticed a few answers to my questions.  God has been priming my brain!  The answer to my trust question was outside people bringing the exact presents to my grandson that was on his Santa list, but those random people didn’t know what was on his list.  They didn’t duplicate what his mom already had for him either.  Such a gracious God to show love to his little heart.  God provided and I can trust.

What about you?

Have you noticed a word these last few weeks that has been popping up frequently?  I would love for you to share it with me and other readers.  You can reply to this email or post on My Sacred Moments facebook. I want to hear your stories, too, of how words of the year have helped you focus.

If you would like to brainstorm or need support in this process, I would love to accompany you as well.  You can contact me and we can go through my needs and values process to help you find your word and start 2021 truly focused.

Words of the year, I believe, are God’s little gifts to us to say, “I see you.  I care for you.  I love you.  Let’s focus on this area this year together.  Abide with me.”  His word in Jeremiah 29:11 NIV reminds us:

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. plans to give you  hope and a future.” 

How will you focus your thoughts and feelings for 2021 that gives zest to your well-being?

I am praying for you!



Nancy Booth is a spiritual director and author who believes prayer encounters with God can help everyone change their world.  She is the founder of My Sacred Moments – Encounters with God that help everyone hear God through conversational prayer practices.  She writes helpful and inspirational posts about prayer and encountering God in daily life. She would love to pray with and for you as well as walk beside you as you seek to encounter God.  Contact her today.