What's Your Word for 2021?
We’re already a couple of weeks into January, but if there’s one thing that opened my eyes last year, it’s that it’s okay to take my time and ease into things. So, instead of rushing in, I’ve allowed myself space to get really curious and feel into my goals and dreams for 2021.
Today’s episode will help you start your Sunday (or whenever you’re listening to this) with intention and hopefully spark some magic and inspiration within you.
I’m going to show you how to choose your ‘word’ for the year to get grounded in what you most want to cultivate. Once you’re clear on that, you can take aligned action steps everyday to make that your reality.
Press play or click here to listen:
This is something I’ve been doing for the last few years to help me design my days and create my life with intention, otherwise I just spend my time drifting with no purpose or direction, kind of like a satellite that’s lost its course.
One of my most important values is dreaming big because I know that we as humans are incredibly powerful creators. When we show up for our biggest dreams and share our unique gifts, we can light up our communities and change the world. Your word can help you anchor in that energy.
This is the stuff I get really excited about so let’s dive into today’s episode!
If you’ve not chosen your word for the year yet or you’ve never even thought about it, I’ll take you through it step by step. And if you have, let this be a moment to inspire you and connect more deeply to your word.
When you’re clear on your word, it’s like a guiding light or inner compass in the direction of your dreams and goals. It reminds you of what’s most important to you, so you can stay focused throughout the year, instead of being pulled in different directions and feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve had lots of different words over the last few years, from Breakthrough in 2017, to Growth, Bliss and last year’s word, Aligned, which I think was my favourite and the most powerful so far.
For me, that was all about creating alignment in my body, mind and heart, my work in the world, relationships, dreams, values and being in flow with life. I used it as a decision-making tool where I asked myself ‘is this aligned with my purpose?’ It helped me choose what to say yes or no to and show up with authenticity and honesty.
Now my yoga practice has always given me the gift of self-awareness so I know that when I’m out of alignment, I feel anxious. But when I made alignment the sacred focus and intention of my day, I was able to make more impact with a lot less stress.
Let’s be honest… last year didn’t turn out like we expected it to. I thought I might have to choose a new word, but interestingly, my word expanded with it. That’s always a good sign that you’ve chosen the right word. It guided me to clear out anything in my life that was out of alignment with how I wanted to feel and where I wanted to go.
I let go of the need to rush and do more, old clothes in my wardrobes and perhaps most importantly, quit my job to focus full-time on my soul’s calling.
And by the end of each year, I’ve noticed, my word usually transforms as a result of my own inner transformation. So for 2020, ‘aligned’ turned into ‘space’.
Hopefully this shows you just how powerful your word can be!
Sometimes though, if you choose a word that isn’t quite right, it can change from what you thought you wanted, to what you really needed.
That’s usually the case for me when I’ve chosen a word that merely reflects the result or outward action I want to take and then it falls flat. I don’t want that to be a reason for you to procrastinate, for fear of choosing the wrong word because you can’t do this wrong. I always believe that obstacles are detours in the right direction and if your word changes, it’s just bringing you closer to your truth.
This happened to me in 2018 when I chose ‘growth’ as my word because that was my focus in my business. And that intention was more about outer attainment than inner action. I wanted to spread my message far and wide and impact more lives through yoga. But at the time, I was struggling with severe stress, anxiety and depression, which led to burnout. By December, I realised that my true word that year was actually, HEALING. Needless to say, I didn’t make a lot of progress out there in the world, but I did the inner work and found the personal growth and nourishment I really needed to heal.
How, then, do you make sure you choose the word that’s juuuuust right?
Well, it’s like I always ask at the beginning of a yoga class: how do you want to feel?
For me, my word is like a Sankalpa - something that we use in the practice of yoga nidra, which is like an intention, a prayer, or an expression of your heart’s deepest longings.
And it has to be something that lights you up because all words carry energy.
When your intention, or word is aligned with a feeling, it becomes much easier to know when you’ve hit your mark. You don’t need to look outside of yourself because your embodiment of a particular feeling is what attracts your desires to you. And as the saying goes, “what you focus on expands”. Your outer world is simply a reflection of your internal condition.
Personally, I’m a big fan of setting goals from the inside out, otherwise I just feel resistant to them. My goals need a big dose of soulfulness so I can feel them in my body. That feeling is what inspires me into action and the same can be said of your word too.
So now we get to the exciting part where you choose your word! I like to make this a sacred ritual - after all - it’s going to inspire how you show up this year and what you’re going to manifest.
Sit somewhere cosy, light a candle and get your favourite drink (mine’s usually a lovely cup of tea). Grab your journal or a piece of paper and a pen then pull up an online dictionary and thesaurus.
We can all get what we want in life, but first we have to get crystal clarity on what it is. You might already know, but if you don’t, spend some time dreaming and write it all down. We don’t always do this as adults but it keeps us inspired, especially when things feel tough, like now.
So what are you calling in this year? Maybe close your eyes here and take three full breaths.
As you slow down your energy and begin to visualise your goals and intentions, you might notice a common theme or a feeling. Write down any words that come into your consciousness. Pay particular attention to those that encompass all of your goals and how you want to feel. Like I said, words carry energy, so look up different meanings of the word in your dictionary or get creative with your thesaurus to see what resonates with you. It’s really nerdy but I love getting to the root of a word and grounding myself in the energy to see how it feels. That’s how you try it on for size.
Once you have it, it will vibrate with you on a cellular level and that’s how you know you’ve chosen the right word for you.
Sometimes it’s completely obvious, it might drop in as a divine download or it may take a little longer.
If nothing comes to you right away, sit with it a while and let it steep. Do something else to shift your energy. Perhaps you move your body or go for a walk outside.
You may want to meditate on it for longer and really visualise your goals coming to life. This part is all about holding that vision in your heart so if you’d like a guided visualisation, check out episode 26 of the podcast here.
So I’ll close out this episode by sharing my word for 2021 and I hope it inspires you too.
My word is GOLDEN. It’s a new word I discovered recently but I have big dreams and goals this year and this holds the energy of everything I want to create and feel.
When I looked up the meaning of the word, it’s described as ‘glowing with vitality, happiness, success and prosperity’.
It just feels so good to me and lights me up from the inside!
And I hope you feel this way when you’ve chosen your word too.
Once you’ve chosen your word, write it everywhere… on post-its, in your shower steam... Let it be a call to action. Use it to inspire you, ground you, get into alignment and give you a roadmap, especially when you’re feeling stuck, unmotivated or just a little bit low. Your word will always help you get back in flow.
Now, I’d love to hear from you! Head over to my Instagram @pranapatchouli and below my post for this episode, leave a comment and let me know: what’s your word for 2021?
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