Unhindered 2021 -A Few Words on Picking One Word for Your Year

My weekend Dreamers Summit Vision Board created with Horacio Printing the first weekend in December.

It’s that time of year again. Pandemic or not, many have set their sights on a new year, and 2021, whatever else it is to be remains a distant unseen dream. Meanwhile if you have set your own sights on all the new year might be, perhaps you are wondering how to approach this unknown beast called 2021, even how one might tame it, or at least wrestle it into submission. Whether or not it will be a beast or a beauty, there is a way to face the year we have yet to know with confidence, trust and hope. In a word, a word.

Choosing one word to color my year has been one of the best practices I have incorporated into my yearly plans. It has also been one of the most creative opportunities to listen for God’s vision for my life and trust Him in new ways. I believe it is my yearly reset and refresh moment. It has been my personal experience that God has not failed to speak to me each year in personal, and deeply intimate ways – ways in which only He can do. I am not sure exactly why this one little endeavor has been such a fruitful journey for me with Him, ecxcept perhaps He knows I have way too many ideas, and tend towards getting off track. He shines His mercy on me in the wonder of words, the plethora of possibilities, yet this One Word speaks into me one word, and I know…it’s often a surprise. But it shows up. It’s sometimes a suspicion, but it is confirmed with peace, and a beautiful curiousity, knowing He will lead me well, and show me what I need to learn.

I want to share that I often ponder word choices and possibilities as the season approaches. I have a list of candidates. Trust me, I am not shy about suggesting to the One True Living God, my big ideas. He is patient with me beyond any human’s capacity for patience. I am extremely grateful for His grace and patience, naturally. BUT, for those of you who doubt God’s ability to guide you…. I’d say you need to learn to listen. God speaks…maybe not in an audible voice, but He will be heard, by those who are truly willing by faith to hear Him. For those who aren’t afraid of sounding simple. Who believe He is who He said and trust He means what He said. Who know He has a word, is the Word, and is able to communicate to His own. Listening to God is something I try daily to do. As a matter of fact I thought listen might be the a word for this year…until I took a walk on an early Satuday morning on a local trail, and sat down to have a converstion with the only one I know who truly listens…the One who made me. The One who listens without distraction, or hidden agenda. The One who sees me beyond my superficial appearance, the One who knows my heart and loves me fully.

That’s when my one word appeared, and startled me in it’s awkward appearance in my journal. As a matter of fact, even as I wrote it, intuitively, I paused. I used the word, surely I did…I must have chose it, right? But it was such a word as I am not sure I have ever used before. I mean, really. It was the right word for what I was saying and praying, but I just did not expect it…words just popping into my vocabulary and writing that sometimes take me by surprise are definately ways that God awakens me to His presence. I can’t explain it any other way.

So unhindered came into my place and space and mind in a moment on a walk. It would be a week or so before I felt the confirmation. But the beautiful connectivity I sense with the Lord and His vision for the New Year, is both exciting and enlightening. God continues to weave together His story for me through this simple practice. It’s special and absolutely another way my sensitive, supernatural shepherd keeps watch over me. And I know it is good.

If you haven’t tried seeking the Lord for your One Word- give it a try. If you have a different way of finding your One Word, I’d love to hear it!

I have written consistently on each of my One Word experiences- the discovery of and walking with on my blog throughout each year.  I’ll link the intro post for each word below.

My list of One Words with corresponding Intro post:

2012 – Less  Could Less Be Best?

2013 – Release {One Word 2013}

2014- Renewal- When Your One Word Flies Into Your Life Uninvited

2015- Redeemed …But, I am Redeemed

2016 – Revelation 2016

2017 – Light Thoughts on Revelation and Coming to The Light in 2017

2018 – Jesus  My Arrow and Aim for 2018

2019- Free Journaling My One Word Journey AND Five Quick Tips for Finding Yours

2020- Remember Listening for My One Word and How Not to Listen for Yours Remember 2020

You can join in at One Word 365 and My One Word for support and resources.

Thanks for joining me here today- I hope this post was helpful.

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “Unhindered 2021 -A Few Words on Picking One Word for Your Year

  1. Yes, this was indeed helpful…reminding me that I need to be praying about and seeking the Lord for my One Word for 2021. I have kind of put it on the back burner for now as I try to calmly get through Christmas. My One Word for 2020 was “joyful”, and looking back, I almost think it was a kind of psychological ploy to help me get through the year…but God knew what I needed, and He gave it…joy in the journey. So I am still trying to keep the joyful attitude for the next couple of weeks until the New Year, and am praying that by then God will show me the next phase of my journey in another new One Word. I love your post and your approach to finding the One Word. I do much the same thing, although I don’t post words in front of my face and hope God will choose one of them. I just kind of go through my life’s routine and expect Him to show up with the word and say “here it is…take it and use it wisely”. So thank you for your timely message. It helps me to refocus my thoughts for a while and remember that there is a New Year coming! God bless you, Dawn, and your beautiful family. I pray you all have a very JOYFUL Christmas and the Happiest and healthiest of New Years.


  2. Dawn: I love your word for 2021. For 2020, I chose “Praise”. I believe the LORD led me to choose it because of all the unusual events that would affect us this year. God has been good to us in spite of the issues we faced as a family, as a church, and as a nation. He is STILL in control. Looking back, I realize I spent most of this year trying to heal from injuries and major surgery. But I can say I have learned to praise God for the simplest things. Christmas will be different for us. But we will all be safe. Our son was leery about coming home, although he lives just a hundred miles away. A friend will come and get me tomorrow and take me around so I can do some Christmas shopping. I have about four more weeks of healing ( housebound) time. But God is still on the throne.


  3. Wow you have been picking a yearly word for quite a while now. Hard to believe you have posts going back to 2012 on this. Unhindered I love it!


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