New Year always brings so much hope and possibilities for most people. Why else would we be writing New Year’s resolutions, right?

But the reality is, that list is usually forgotten by the time the “new year, new me” shenanigans fade out.

So a much better idea would be is to have a Word of the Year instead.  

What exactly is “Word of the Year,” you ask?

It’s a single word that you will be focusing on for the year that will help you filter decisions, remind you what you need more of, or what you need to improve on.

Many bullet journal enthusiasts are familiar with the “Word of the Year” concept. It’s going to be like the main theme of how you want your year to unfold. It will also help you set your intentions for the brand new year ahead. But even without a journal, it’s a nice concept to apply in our daily lives.

Okay, Hazel, let’s do this! I want to have a “Word of the Year” and live out 2021 in a much more intentional way. But where do I begin?

I gotcha babe! Continue reading for the list of 100 Word of the Year ideas you can choose from! I also included some guide questions to ask yourself so you can discover the right word of the year for you.

Remember, there’s no correct or wrong or better or worse here. Simply choose what you feel is more applicable in your life. You can even change your word halfway through the year. YOU DO YOU, girl!

Okay, let’s start!

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List of 100 Word of the Year Ideas

Word of the Year Ideas For New Year 2021
  • Abundance
  • Acceptance
  • Achieve
  • Adapt
  • Add
  • Adventure
  • Amazing
  • Ambition
  • Appreciate
  • Awaken
  • Awesome
  • Be
  • Believe
  • Belong
  • Bliss
  • Bloom
  • Breathe
  • Calm
  • Capture
  • Care
  • Celebrate
  • Chase
  • Commit
  • Communicate
  • Compassion
  • Confidence
  • Connect
  • Conquer
  • Consistency
  • Courage
  • Create
  • Cultivate
  • Declutter
  • Decrease
  • Deliberate
  • Delight
  • Devote
  • Dream
  • Educate
  • Embrace
  • Empower
  • Encourage
  • Enjoy
  • Enlighten
  • Enough
  • Enthusiasm
  • Excite
  • Explore
  • Faith
  • Family
  • Fearless
  • Fitness
  • Flourish
  • Flow
  • Focus
  • Forgive
  • Freedom
  • Fulfilling
  • Generosity
  • Give
  • Glow
  • Goals
  • Gratitude
  • Grow
  • Happy
  • Harmony
  • Heal
  • Health
  • Heart
  • Home
  • Hope
  • Humble
  • Hustle
  • Imagine
  • Improve
  • Indulge
  • Inspire
  • Intentional
  • Journey
  • Joy
  • Kindness
  • Laugh
  • Learn
  • Less
  • Mindfulness
  • Motivation
  • Possibilities
  • Prosper
  • Reflect
  • Resilient
  • Self-care
  • Self-love
  • Soulful
  • Sparkle
  • Strong
  • Thrive
  • Travel
  • Wander
  • Why
  • Yes

How to choose a word of the year

If you can’t decide on your word of the year, don’t worry! Here are some guide questions that can help you think.

  1. What went well this 2020 that I want to continue for the year ahead?
  2. What is something I can improve on?
  3. What do I want to do differently this time around?
  4. What’s my main dilemma right now that I want to solve? (For this, you can use the closest positive alternative to that word. E.g. “I’m afraid of failure.” So the positive alternative to “failure” is “success.”)
  5. What do I want MORE out of life? What do I want LESS of?

List down all the words that pop up in your head as you answer the guide questions above. Then narrow down from there until ONE word truly 100% resonates with how you want the year to be. Think of it as the word you want to live by.

2020 Word of the Year Ideas

But if you can’t decide on just one word, then that’s okay too. You can have 2, 3, or more. Whatever floats your boat. There are actually no rules. You may even find yourself changing it or adding another halfway through the year. Or maybe having one new focus word each month is more your thing. As I have said earlier… you do you!

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What is MY word of the year?

For those of you who are curious, of course, I have a word of the year too! But before I answer that I want to share what my focus words were for the previous years.

In 2019, I focused on SELF-CARE (I wrote a blog about why I chose self-care as my word of the year back then).

And my oh my, self-care I did! Surprisingly everything I did last 2019, consciously or subconsciously, was somehow related to self-care.

I worked out regularly, I ate more salad and vegetables than I ever did in my whole life, I lived a healthier lifestyle, I cared about my skin more, I cared about myself more.

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In 2020, my word of year was GRATITUDE.

(noun) the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

2020 Word of the Year - Gratitude

Why this word? Simply because I realized time is fleeting. I wanted to be more grateful for the people I love and express my gratitude before it’s too late. Aside from that, I’m also thankful for the struggles and challenges I have experienced in the past since these made me stronger and made me a better person. It’s all about perspective and the word ‘gratitude’ perfectly encapsulates what I want to keep on focusing on for 2020.

So take it from me – having a focus word attracts good karma and a positive outcome! It’s like the universe will find ways to point you in that direction.

That’s why I told myself I will set a word of the year this 2021, too! So after much reflection…

My Word of the Year for 2021 is MINDFULNESS.

Here’s the definition of the word mindfulness by

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Furthermore, says that “mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.”

So why this word?

We all know how 2020 has been difficult for all of us. During these times of uncertainty, I can’t help but feel anxious and stressed out about what’s happening to the world. Then I stumbled across the word ‘mindfulness’ when I was scrolling through my feed. That word struck a chord with me since then.

Mindfulness cuts down unnecessary stress. We should be mindful of the fact that there are certain things we cannot control (so we should stop stressing about them). And rather focus our energy on things that do matter that can impact our lives and others around us.

That’s why I want to live a more mindful life this 2021. More mindful in the sense that I want to be more aware of my surroundings, the environment, the people I care about, and the well-being of others. There’s always room to help out, to improve how things work, to show compassion to mankind, and to live a much purposeful life. I want to be fully aware of all these things and act on them.

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Word of the Year Ideas for 2021
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So that’s it. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this blog post! So will you set a word of the year too? Do you have one already? If so what is it? And why did you choose that word? Let me know in the comments!

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About Hazel Salcedo

A digital marketer who’s always daydreaming about her next getaway. This wanderlust is living proof that traveling can be affordable! She’s traveled to many destinations thanks to Piso fare flights. Read the 7 best seat sale hacks that worked for her.

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  1. im not really into word of the years. but i remember my excitement to get to travel again this year. January pa lang nakapag local trip na kami, March-June was supposedly our US trip. December was supposedly Japan. So it was really something like “Reunite” with travel.. pero wala eh. anyare. hello covid. pero i think appreciate, adapt and resilience ang bagay na ngayon na matatapos na ang 2020.

  2. I love choosing A Word of the Year as it makes me focus more and after doing it for a couple of years I know I will continue in years to come. My words for 2021 are Courage (all about stepping out of my comfort zones) and Enjoy (stop waiting for a perfect moment and just enjoying simple things).

  3. This is a great resource. There are so many great words that can be used for the coming year because it’s all about a better one than last year.

  4. Thank you for coming up with this list it is absolutely helpful. the word that stuck with me was SPARKLE!

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