Select one powerful word to guide your goals for 2021

Word of the Year for 2021 on Over 50 Feeling 40

Happy New Year, everyone! 

I don’t really want to begin this post re-living all that happened in 2020 as you are witnessing around most media, because, honestly, none of us need to re-live it and 2021 could possibly be just as challenging.

So, what I prefer to do is look back at the biggest lesson I personally learned in 2020…as a silver lining to guide my future decisions…and focus on the hope I have of new beginnings for all of us.

I choose to “fashion” my goals around one powerful word.

Balance is the Word of the Year on Over 50 Feeling 40

In January 2020, I began with a blog focus on my style goals for the year.

Like you, I had no idea that everything would quickly change, and those style goals would be tabled indefinitely.

I would go home to work my two jobs… then be laid off in July…and decide to build my blog working from and around home in a world where we all became mobility challenged.  Those early January 2020 posts seem so far away.

However, as I came home and stopped the rat race of working in an office during the day and blogging the rest of the time, I learned some valuable lessons.

Walking a balance beam on over 50 Feeling 40

To begin with, my life was completely off balance.  Since I worked so much, I had neglected my home, and to a certain extent the people in my life. I didn’t have time to speak with the neighbors, or clean out closets, or watch the birds fly about my yard.  There was little time to do anything but work.

Opening my eyes to the lack of balance was huge for me and the reason why BALANCE is my word of the year.  Since, I have been working from home…and working on my home…and spending time with family and friends…my joy knows no bounds.  This new place where I find myself has been wonderful and I feel more like me than I have in a long, long time.

Of course, it was difficult to go through a COVID layoff, but it was also one of the best things that has ever happen to me. I was forced to look at my secondary income (this blog), which I continued to work for 10 years because I enjoyed it so much, as a potential main income.  Yes, it is hard work…but doesn’t seem like work at all when I am passionate about it and energized by it

2021 Goals on Over 50 Feeling 40

This is why I say that my number one silver lining last year was the word HOME.  I have been blessed to have the time to organize, decorate, cook, and relax.  Working from home has afforded me this balance.  With Mr. B also working constantly, we were like two ships passing in the night, but coming home to work together has given us a deeper relationship and new meaning together at this stage of our lives.   

Keeping BALANCE in my life means so many things for me going forward.  It involves making time for family, friends, order in my home, spiritual growth, good health practices and meaningful work that I love to do.   Each of those areas will have their own set of goals for the year…and yes the style goals will return!

It took a complete upheaval to set me on the right path.  Though not fully retired from working, I can still enjoy more balance with only one profession to oversee and the blessings of an in-home office.

I love the quote from Vivian Green, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.”  No matter the challenges ahead, I plan to take life one day at a time and continue to dance!

If you selected one word for this new year, what would it be?  Please share your vision for this new year.

Let’s raise our glasses to 2021 and celebrate each day as the gift that it is and find silver linings daily…don’t allow the “times” to drag you down or shut you down.    And, of course……




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By Pamela Lutrell


  1. Happy New Year Pam! This is a thought-provoking post. It usually takes me awhile to come up with a word because I have so many ideas and even phrases to consider. Your word “balance” is excellent… something many of us can use more of. It seems you are already on that road and I’m sure you will stay the course. I’m leaning toward “courage,” which along with faith, is something I’m going to need more than ever as I’m looking at major changes coming up. After years of listening to people give advice and opinions on what I should be doing, how and when, there is only one Voice I’m listening to. I’ll be giving these words more consideration.

  2. MyOneWord for 2021 is Consistency. I start a lot of things but don’t see them through. So I have specific areas of my life where I plan to focus on being consistent and seeing projects and tasks through to completion. Thanks for a great post to start off 2021.

  3. Last year was the first year I picked a word. I picked serene & it served me well. This year my word is trust. Trust myself & my instincts.
    Happy New Year to all!

  4. Happy New Year Pam. I don’t do resolutions, so it may take me a while to find the right word going forward. There has to be some optimisim involved, maybe that is it. I had an email from a friend last night that was so depressing focusing on the sadness of the whole world that I had to send back that I was following some uplifting blogs and working on a gratitude list to find the good in this all. Guess what, I did find a number of things that made me happy this past year, and honestly, I have had worse periods in my life. So, thanks for the uplifting posts and search for the joy in things. It works. I really like that quote from Vivian Green, it makes total sense, and I am learning to dance in the rain.

  5. This was a wonderful post, so very thoughtful. I love your blog and think that it is perfect in every way. Please keep posting on faith, home and cooking, as well as the usual fashion posts. I really enjoy all of these additional subjects. I am so proud of you and your word for the year is really applicable for each one of us. May God bless you in the coming year.

  6. Good morning Pam, lovely, positive, encouraging, thought-provoking post today. Happy New Year by the way. I love your word “balance “, dang don’t we all need that, especially pre-COVID. I’ve been working from home since March 13, with the exception of about 7 days here and there in the office. As an extrovert, at first it was hard, really hard. Then one day I decided to accept the inevitable, I’m a research and development scientist, so the signs were pointing to “long haul” a long time ago. Anyway, the word that has kept floating to the top for me is “acceptance”. I’m a glittery, joyful girl, so that word feels kind of bland for me, but since it keeps coming back no matter what other words I try on, I guess it’s mine. None of us know what 2021 holds, so I’ll cling to acceptance and see what comes my way. Amy

  7. Happy New Year!! My word for 2021 is gratitude. I wake up every morning and count my blessings instead of dwelling on the negatives. At times, it has been very challenging this past year…to say the least. This is not just a word, but an attitude to adopt. I learned this from an elderly neighbor several years ago who was struggling with the loss of his wife and a terminal health diagnosis. In the face of all of that, he remained grateful to the end….a great legacy I’ll always remember.

  8. Your blog is so uplifting that is one reason why I enjoy reading it. Sounds like you took 2020 and made lemonade out of lemons. You are so inspiring. Best wishes for 2021

  9. I choose a word for the year at the beginning of the liturgical year – the start of Advent. Some years I think about my life and choose a word, so years it seems the word just comes to me. This year it is “reflect”. Not only to think, but also to show outwardly my beliefs.

  10. Well finally- 2021 is here ! I love new beginnings! Since our state motto is HOPE I will latch onto that word as mine/ hoping for so many good things to come to pass. Hoping for: Fewer deaths and virus cases across our precious country. Hope that we mend fences with our allies across the world and hope that all of us can find relief from stressful situations and live in peace. Peace on Earth.

  11. My special word for this year is “MOVE”. I’m a teacher, you see and I’ve been assigned to teach virtually. I have 35 grade 6 students, whom I love. However, it’s been a lot of time sitting at a computer teaching but also planning and marking. I was developing a very sore hip. Over the xmas break I’ve been walking a lot and the hip feels less sore. So, my mantra is to move, move, move! Happy New Year!

  12. Your words are so important, Chris…gratitude is not just a word but a daily attitude! And it is so important for us to live daily with JOY!

  13. I do not see ACCEPTANCE as bland at all…it is a huge component of CONTENTMENT. I also strive to be content in all situations. Thanks Amy!

  14. And also you, Joanne. Thank you for being here and for your encouragement… and will you see more of those topics as I strive to keep a much needed balance in my own life!

  15. Thanks for sharing this Diane. I hope your friend is able to discover gratitude and joy as well!

  16. Trust is also a powerful word. Thanks for sharing Wendy…I bet serene was a great reminder to go through a difficult year with peace.

  17. I bet that will encourage a lot of other women to read this, Gloria. So many struggle with the same thing…great goals to work on!

  18. MOVE is one of my goals for 2021, Janet. I will tell you that hip stretches every day will help as well. Start your day with the stretches…which you can find online…and then make sure to walk. I have to do the exact same thing or my hips bother me.
    Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  19. My word is intention. Intention in my spending, my diet, and my marriage. I’ve just been going through the motions this last year. I survived, now it’s time to live my life with good and proper intention.

  20. Positivity. This last year has been full of negativity; the virus, politics, riots, etc. Even though there is little I can do about any of that, I can be more positive in my own life and not the negativity drag me down. So, I am going to focus on the positive things in my life and hopefully influence my family and friends to be more positive.

  21. Thanks Gloria for the ah ha word for my year…I love consistency! I also struggle with starting projects/plans but not finishing them. Consistency will be my word also!!!

  22. In 2018 I was in a similar position. Working three jobs, rushing from one building to another, using my professional skill as best I could. I often look back and wonder how (and why?) I did it! One day in June 2018, I retired and it was done. 2019 became a blur and when 2020 and Covid hit I finally found myself exhaling, slowing down. 2021 I will turn 70 and my word will be enjoy. Mary Poppins always responded when asked how she was that she was “practically perfect in every way”. For me, acceptance of being practically perfect goes with it is what it is and the fact that nothing is perfect but positivity, tolerance and acceptance in myself and others will be my mantra in 2021. Happy New Year Pam!

  23. Loved this post. As I drink my coffee and reflect on last year and consider 2021, my word is optimism. I was to retire last year but when COVID happened and I was offered working from home I accepted; my hubby and I are both over 70 so we couldn’t travel or go out much due to the risk for us with COVID so I decided to continue to work to remain busy and put aside money for trips for when we can travel again….that is where “optimism” comes in for 2021. I remain optimistic that as a nation we will conquer this horrible virus and again have the freedom to live our lives to be with friends and family, travel, share hugs, eat at our favorite places, walk into a local gift shop if we desire without the concern for contracting COVID or passing it to others unknowingly . Lastly, I am optimistic that once this happens, I will retire, travel, sit with my extra cup of coffee and enjoy the small pleasure in life. I will be able to see my grandchildren more often and travel with them too (trip to Disney World perhaps). But this past year has taught me to enjoy so many little things I have taken for granted before. I embrace and am thankful for the the joy of getting out of bed each day with optimism, for whatever the day may hold!

  24. It also taught me to enjoy little things I take for granted. Thanks for the reminder, Alice and, of course, I think OPTIMISM is an amazing word!

  25. A couple of years ago my word of the year was PRESENT…I was seeking balance even then, but did not discover it until 2020…thanks for the remind to be present and enjoy each day!

  26. “Balance” is an excellent choice of words for you. I think I will choose “healthy” as in, is this a healthy choice for me to make? Now I’m off to have a slice of leftover New Years Eve cake!

  27. Reading your post and then all the comments has been so inspiring! I love not only the words chosen, but the reason for each choice! What a wonderful way to start 2021!
    I have given a lot of thought to my life this year (haven’t we all?) and have realized how many things I’m just not content with or happy about. While not especially creative, my word for 2021 is Change. There are many things in my life I want to be different and I am the one who needs to change them. I need to say “yes” more to opportunities whether it’s dinner with friends or a new class about something that interests me. I need to stop procrastinating and get things done in my house. I tend to make excuses and not pursue things. After all we went through this year, I have realized I need to change the way I’ve been living. I want to be more social, make some new friends and definitely spend more time with my grandchildren. This has been my wake up call that only I control my own happiness…time to change!
    Thanks Pam for the thoughtful and motivating post!
    Happy New Year!

  28. You are welcome, Linda. I have never handled change well…and last year taught me to embrace it. I think as we age it does get harder to handle. But, I along with you want to be better about adapting to change. 2020 taught me that.
    Good thoughts here…you can do it!

  29. Well…part of my balance includes good health choices…I am sitting here sipping a hot cup of green tea, but have to confess the cake sounds so tempting!!

  30. I think my word is “forward.” I have a tendency to look in the rear view window, and wonder what if. It has caused me worry, negativity and unhappiness at times. In 2020, I retired earlier than planned, and didn’t get to do some of the things I’d always imagined retirement to be (see? A last look at that rear view!). We also had a very, very difficult passing of a family member this year. So I want to look forward. I’m getting long-neglected foot surgery, and I want to build a fulfilling post-work life and lifestyle that feels productive (enough, not the usual productive to the point of madness), meaningful, creative, fun, and embracing of others.

  31. You have such a healthy outlook, Linda…understanding what you tend to do, but looking FORWARD to embrace positive change. You will do this and I know do well.

  32. I love your quote from Vivian Green, that’s going to be my motto this next year. I am usually a very positive person but this last few months has taken its toll @ times. Lots of cancellations,sure missed my grand kids @ Christmas but we had great chats & “show & tell” over FaceTime.
    Thanks,Pam, for being a nice read each day

  33. Your so welcome, Dianne. I would like to frame that quote! I love the idea of dancing every day…no matter what! We will get through all of this.

  34. Happy New Year, Pam! I love reading your blog. I have been blessed this year that my family is safe and well and we have not suffered like so many people have. My heart goes out to all those who have suffered so very much. I think I need to remember that the people I come in contact with each day may be going so much stress that I know nothing about. So my word for the year is Compassion. Reaching out to each other with loving compassion has the power to make this world a much better place.

  35. Friendship
    I happily burrow into wormholes (YouTube videos, watercolor painting, writing, exercising) and emerge feeling isolated and lonely. I want to make time, reach out, and call family and friends but so often find it hard to do. Yet I love it when they contact me. So I want to nurture those treasured relationships. That’s my goal for 2021

  36. So many wonderful word choices here! My word for 2021 is Truth. More than ever before, I think, we are surrounded by so much confusion, so much misunderstanding, so much false information. I feel the need to dig deep and try to understand the truth about many things. Every year, I choose a scripture verse to go along with my word. This year I chose 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” That’s what I want to focus on in 2021, knowing and correctly handling the truth. Not just Biblical truth, but all truth.

  37. I love this, Elaine. Especially since I am a journalism major and former journalism instructor, there is too much propaganda and not enough truth. That is a great word to focus on right now.

  38. Wonderful goal, Mindy. Just take it one day at a time and tell yourself you will reach out to one person that day. Then get up the next day and do it again. It will get easier.

  39. Absolutely, Nancy. I wish all would place compassion and kindness at the top of their resolutions this year. What a better place this would be. Thank you!

  40. My word for last year was fresh, & then COVID hit. My whole world seemed to stagnate for many months. When you began your elegance series, it resonated with me on several levels, so I have chosen ELEGANCE for my word for 2021. It will be an umbrella for my constant goals of seeking simplicity, finding joy & living my best life.

  41. Hi Pam,

    Oh, I’ve thought about the right word and I have come to the conclusion that my word is “ACHIEVE” …

    This year hasn’t started off exactly the way I hoped, but I now have something to “achieve” to.

    To me, the word “achieve” gives me goals to reach! Every day I can achieve to reach a small or large goal and that will be my inspiration!

    Happy New Year!

  42. Happy New Year! I think my word for 2021 will be “content”. I have tried to be content staying at home keeping safe. It has been so hard. I envy you going out shopping, meals, friends. We have been in lock down a long time…lots mandated and some our choice as we are in a tight bubble with our grandchildren and it is well worth isolating if it means we can see them. I have lost 30 lbs since January and need new clothes so am learning online shopping and trying to navigate all the different sizes. I think I ordered 76 pairs of jeans to get a pair that fit! All this has been so frustrating so I am trying to be content. We are retired, like to air travel road trips, and RV trips and that is out of question. The biggest disappointment will be not being able to fly to Singapore for the birth of our granddaughter in April. So being content and finding joy is my goal for 2021.

  43. Wow…I wish I had your problem with sizes…congratulations on losing the 30 pounds!! Content is an amazing word and a key component of JOY. I will look forward to hearing about your trip to see your blessed granddaughter!

  44. I was excited to read this blog post….it reflects closely the journey I am embarking on this year! Pam, I admire how you have handled all the changes in your personal and professional life, and hope you won’t mind if I use you for my “model”. After much prayer and discussion/planning with my husband, I will be retiring at the end of March. My husband will continue to work another 2.5 years but I will come home. Not only will I happily address most of those things you mentioned – neglect of my home, friends and family, as well as volunteering/working at church – but I will happily be part-time help with child care for my grands! Looking so forward to being able to spend time with my loves! 8 and 5 years, 6 months and a brand new baby expected this summer!!! Love all these words that have been shared and the meanings behind them. I chose my word not long ago after much thought…… TRANSFORM. Romans 12:2 says “”And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” That is where I am fixing my eyes for 2021 – so that old things will pass away and new and better things will fill those spaces in me! Be blessed this day and on through 2021, Pam!

  45. Shirley, I am so happy for you…I hear your joy in this post! How exciting to spend more time with your grands…I know I cherish each moment I get with mine. Romans 12:2 is such a powerful verse…love that you selected Transform. So happy to have you along for this ride!

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