Choosing A Word for 2020



Years ago I learned of a New Year practice of choosing one word as a guide for the year ahead. The idea is to allow a word to come to you that will serve as your focus for the year. This is done by praying, reflecting, thinking of our heart’s desire or a way in which we would like to grow, or noticing when a word seems to resonate with us on a deeper level. You can find many helpful resources and ideas about this practice online, but today I want to share some of the ways I have been blessed. I have now done this for several years, and each year I receive new gifts from my word.

Several times I have chosen a word to guide my thoughts and energies, and then found that the word was perfect- but in a different way than I anticipated. The year I chose the word, “breathe,” my reason was to let go of achieving, to slow my pace and to be mindfully present. This ended up being the year I went through cancer treatments, and the word reminded me to simply breathe and allow my body to cope and heal. The year I chose “embrace,” my sister Janet invited me to accompany her on a trip to New York City. NYC seemed intimidating to me, but I decided it was time to embrace this experience with her. What a rich blessing this was!

This year my word was “attend.” My intention was to be more present, to be attentive to God’s movement, and to pay attention to self care. Once again, in my year-end reflection I was surprised to see how this word impacted my life in new and unexpected ways. The word had moved me to make some courageous life changes that helped uplift my spirit and honor my integrity. Also, a few months ago, I started listening to podcasts instead of music when I walked. Now I see that through these, I have attended numerous interesting and insightful talks that have taught and inspired me!

This coming year, my word will be “awaken.” The word actually came to me this summer as I was journaling. When I wrote the word, something in my soul stirred. I wonder in what new ways I will awaken this year?

What will be your word for 2020? God bless your discernment! (I would love to know what word you choose, if you don’t mind sharing in the comments!)


Photo by Romain Vignes on Unsplash

5 Comments on “Choosing A Word for 2020

  1. I have only been doing this for a couple of years and this year l am using “ Share”. I want to Share Jesus more and more, Share thoughts, share His love Share His Joy, Share His Peace Share everything about Him because so many here need HIM🤗 Blessings❣️❤️💖💕🙏🙏


    • “Share” is a perfect word for you! I have been blessed by the thoughts and inspirations and affirmations you have shared with me this year. ❤


  2. I also have been doing this for a number of years. I have a tendency to bounce between a word or a section of scripture or a combination of the two as in the case of 2020. I entered the holiday season with the word of “prayer” on my heart and mind. It was a deeper sense of prayer for myself, my world, or the things that would touch my outer circles, but what it would be like to honestly pray for others; to take on the heart and mind of Christ in my prayers. As the new year began, it seemed natural for me to check out some “20” portions of scripture. When I arrived at Psalms 20, I knew this would be a perfect backdrop for my word. I trust that God will reveal His character to you throughout the year.


    • Thank you for sharing your word and process! I had to look up Psalm 20… it’s powerful. May your word and passage bless you richly, too. 😊


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