BUILD: My Word for 2021

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to share with you my “word of the year” for 2021. I don’t typically choose a word to focus on for an entire year, but I thought I would give it a try this time around for some extra guidance and motivation this year. 2020 was rough, so every little bit helps, right?

At first I wasn’t sure what word to choose for myself. I looked up lists and articles about choosing a word and looked through the suggestions, but I really wanted to avoid anything too trendy like “abundance,” “flow,” “bloom,” or “hustle.” For one thing, I just don’t relate to some of these popular buzzwords, as I’m not very spiritual or woo-woo at all, and for another thing, I wanted a word that would be more realistic and suited to my personality and situation in life.

And that’s how I settled on the word “build.” Here is the definition according to Google:

1. construct by putting parts or materials together.

2. make stronger or more intense.

3. establish and develop over a period of time.

Google Dictionary

I also made note of some of the synonyms to help frame the word and its meaning better in my mind: construct, assemble, form, create, mold, shape, forge, strengthen, enhance, raise, improve, establish, begin, develop, etc. I really liked the idea that I would be building up my life over time, with each small action and habit adding up to real change or results.

For 2021 I want to:

  • build confidence
  • build trust in myself
  • build physical endurance
  • build sustainable routines and habits
  • build my knowledge base
  • build momentum in my online content creation
  • build an audience
  • build a business
  • build a stable financial future
  • build a family

In order to keep my expectations realistic however, I also decided to choose a subword that would set parameters for how the word “build” would apply to my daily life. Even though “build” is a solid, sturdy word that I’ll be able to lean on as I work toward my goals, I thought it would still be too easy for me to get caught up in producing fast results, which is not realistic, nor is it necessary. The subword that I came up with to keep myself in check is “measured.” Here is the definition according to Google:

1. having a slow, regular rhythm.

2. carefully considered; deliberate and restrained.

Google Dictionary

Some of the synonyms included: steady, slow, sustained, dignified, resolute, unhurried, thoughtful, deliberate, etc. If “build” is the subject of my photo, then “measured” will be the lense through which I view it. Building a structure in a hurry without a solid foundation will undoubtedly lead to stress, sloppy work and eventually a collapse. So I want to go slowly at a manageable pace, moving step by step, brick by brick, to build up something that will last for years to come.

build (measured)

I’ll be keeping these words at the front of my bullet journal with my goals and plans for 2021 as a constant reminder to keep building up the life I want, slowly but surely.


I have no way of knowing if having a “word of the year” will impact my 2021 at all. Who knows if I’ll still resonate with these words a month from now or if I’ll forget about them entirely. But it was an interesting exercise to think about words and their impact, and to choose ones that mean something to me. I’d be interested to hear what your “word of the year” for 2021 is, as well as what you think of the concept in general! Feel free to share your thoughts and 2021 words in the comments!

Thanks for reading! Please stay safe and warm this holiday season!

– Veronica

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