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A Word for the New Year

Written by: Max Merritt, M.A.
A Word for the New Year

As we enter this new year many of you may be breathing a sigh of relief to have made it through 2020. For me personally, I think making it through 2020 was an accomplishment for all of us and, while I’ve never been big on the notion of New Year’s resolutions, I do think it’s important to set ourselves a goal or two as we move into 2021.

As I mentioned, I’m not big on the notion of resolutions.  Let’s face it, most of them are forgotten or given up on within the first few months anyway. And most of them tend to be too large or unrealistic and leads to disappointment or discouragement. So what I’m proposing is a little different. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I watched a video recently about instead of writing out some long, overly detailed resolution, we pick a single word that sums up how we want to approach 2021. This word may take on the nature of a resolution, but it doesn’t come with all the pressures.

This word you pick can be anything. I can foresee many choosing the word “hope” to represent this year. If that is you I would suggest looking for the things in your life and in the world that brings you hope, or joy, or peace. It may even be you looking for ways you can be a source of hope to someone else. For others, their word might simply be the word “new”. It’s a new year after all. Perhaps this word will serve to remind them to look for new opportunities, to try new activities, or to make new connections.

Perhaps you’ve been struggling with bitterness towards others and recognize that it has only brought emotional damage to your life. Your word for 2021 might be “forgive”, as a challenge to free yourself of the bitterness you have been feeling. If you are prone to high levels of anxiety or emotional outbursts, then “patience” or “calm”, or “peace” might be your word. For myself, I’ve chosen the word “abide” because, as a Christian, I believe it important for me to focus on abiding in the presence of God this year.

Whatever word you chose, I encourage you to write it down and place it somewhere you can easily see it daily. In fact, put it in several places. It is my hope that as you see this word you are reminded, and challenged, and encouraged. Lastly, I hope that your word sparks an abundance of creativity for you this year as you fully explore what that word means for you.

Happy New Year!