My One Word for 2021 #OneWord2021



I’ve been participating in One Word since 2017. Wow. Five years.

This quote from 2018 says it all:

Every year around this time I say, “It’s going to be different.” Well, gentle readers, it’s not. It’s quite the same. Which is to say, I let myself get caught up in a shitstorm of stress and overwhelm by choosing others instead of myself, by over-committing, by working too hard on things that don’t bring fulfillment or happiness, by helping everyone but me.

I’m feeling a bit like Scrooge. Another year? Another One Word? Bah! Humbug.

And so, of course, I was in for a visit from… 👻 🎊🎉

The Posts of New Year’s Past:


One Word for 2020 was: Focus. Focus on one thing at a time to avoid overwhelm? Fab plan, lady. Alas…

One Word for 2019 was: Move. Getting unstuck was sort of the idea. I’m still stuck but heartily sorry for it and flailing for a helping hand out of the pit.

One Word for 2018 was: Self. It was a good choice. It worked. A little. Some of the time. Not as often as I’d hoped.

One Word for 2017 was Accept. I did not accept anything. I sort of UN-accepted pretty much everything. I faltered. Failed. Moved on.


What I’ve learned from these Posts of New Year’s Past is I’m trying to be positive, providing some word to nurture, encourage, help… That’s lovely, but something was pulling me away from that. 2020 was a tough year. For many people. For many reasons. The celebration of that year being over is everywhere.

I’m not celebrating. Not yet.

I decided I’m not going to force positivity on myself. Oh, I know I mean well but, hell, things kind of suck at the moment, new year or not. Why not acknowledge the suckiness? And why force positivity when we all know that never works?

When you shove those negative feelings down, they resurface. Always. In one way or another, they bob up like a rubber duck in a tub.

So I’m going with a negative One Word this year.

Sort of.

I’m acknowledging the negativity that clouds my life and letting myself know it’s okay to not be okay about it.

My focus word for 2021:


With everything going on, I’m giving myself permission to feel however I need to feel. If I feel bad, that’s okay. If I feel sad, that’s okay. If I feel stressed, angry, or hurt, that’s okay.

No guilt. No “should”. None of that nonsense.

I’m allowed to feel however I feel.

If I happen to feel good, or even happy, that’s allowed, too. So, yay.

As always, a definition (*nerd alert*):



  • give (someone) permission to do something.

grant someone the right · give one’s blessing to · approve of · give the go-ahead to · give the thumbs up to · give the OK to · give the green light to

I’ve got the green light here, my friends. The go-ahead. The thumbs-up. I’ve been granted the right and given a blessing. What else could I ask for?

  • give the necessary time or opportunity for.

Time and opportunity to feel. I guess that’s what else I could have asked for. *shrugs* Got it.

  • admit (an event or activity) as legal or acceptable.

My feelings are hereby legal and acceptable. Right on.

I’m allowing myself to feel however the hell I feel without the dreaded “should” and “shouldn’t”. And without guilt. I’m allowing my feelings to break free of that self-imposed New Year’s cocoon of positivity, emerging in whatever shape, size, and color they are. If I feel angry, well, The Hulk and I can hang out for a bit. If I feel sad, so be it. If I happen to feel happy, it’s going to be a genuine bubbling glass of joy.


Happy New Year, my friends. ❤ Here’s to your goals, aspirations, resolutions, or whatever floats your boat. Cheers! 🥂


Have you ever taken part in the One Word Challenge?

If you haven’t, why not try it? Or think on it a moment and leave one in the comments. What could your focus be this year? I’d love to hear what your One Word is for 2021.

18 thoughts on “My One Word for 2021 #OneWord2021

  1. Allow – great choice.
    I followed your lead for the first time last year and chose ‘prioritise’. That got blown out of the water.
    For this year, I’m just focusing on collecting all the broken pieces first and seeing what I can make of them, if anything. I’m not sure what my word might be, perhaps a phrase – shuffle through the mish-mash. 🙂
    Have a wonderful year of allowing yourself to be, do and feel, Sarah. You deserve it.


  2. I think you made a fine choice, my friend. Acknowledge how you’re feeling instead of trying to dam up the emotions. Maybe once it all flows out, more positive feelings are waiting behind it. Happy New Year!


  3. I like your choice of word for 2021. It seems to fit your life goals well, and I wish you great success in achieving them.

    For me, I think my word is “Finish.” Finish the damn book, finish the exercise challenge, finish more artwork.

    P.S. Sorry for never responding to your New Year’s text. If it’s any consolation, I didn’t respond to any texts that day, not even my dad’s…


  4. Indeed it’s OK to be OK with not being OK and do whatever we need to do to get to OK. The should have could haves my how they steal our peace of mind. Happy new year and to more of the good but also to more allowing ourselves to be happy with who and how we are. I’ve taken part in the challenge with mixed results. Last year could not focus for the life of me, but this year, even with the s$%&*show it’s started off with, I feel better prepared to find more bubbles of happy…and hey, beer has bubbles, so why not? Cheers.


  5. You’ve done several times, so you’re an expert:) You’ve chosen a great word! Allow. It gives you permission to do what you will and I bet you will do many things. It’s going to be a great year!


  6. Pingback: More Thoughts for the New Year | The Mindful Writer

  7. Some days, I feel like I really just don’t want to get off my arse and do stuff. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised I should just go with it instead of fighting it, and that feeling tends not to linger as long. So allowing stuff like that isn’t always a bad thing. Allow doesn’t have to be negative at all. Have a great year of just rolling with it!


  8. I loved your words for each year, and your honesty about how they panned out. Ironically, I concur with everyone of them as I can relate. Allow. I like that word because I’m am too allowing myself permission to stop beating myself up about things beyond my control. So I’m stealing your word. 🙂
    For me, sadly, it’s still 2020 – waiting for the light. Hugs xoxo


  9. I don’t do any of the typical things for New Year, but I like your choice. It’s been an exhausting year, and it isn’t over yet. Allow hits the right spot for me as well. ♥


  10. Pingback: My One Word for 2022 #OneWord2022 | Lemon Shark

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