My Word of the Year for 2021

Life has a way of throwing things at your face when you least expect it. After countless struggles and endless attempts to work on my yearly plans, two years back, I decided to do away with writing ‘fancy’ resolutions, once and for all.

Why ‘fancy’ did you ask? Well, I think, I realised that once you reach a certain point in your life, resolutions no longer hold any significance, because you know they stand on slippery terrain. One may not foresee how and where situations change and everything that one has been planning for might never see the light of the day. That was how I experienced the shift from making resolutions to setting intentions.

In the face of one of the most powerful challenges of my life, 2018 had already taught me that there was no point crying in the rain and waiting for sunshine when all I needed to do was to change my stance and learn to dance in the rain instead. Naturally so, in 2019,  ‘Flow’ came to be my word of the year.  It brought me wisdom and acceptance. But, more than that, it also made me aware how our time in this world slips by faster than we think or realise. It lifted my soul from wallowing in self-pity to letting go what was not meant for me, and living life one day at a time in the face of unpredictability.

This was followed by ‘Immerse‘ as the word of the year for 2020. As days rolled into months, I felt the power of this one word permeate through my being, eventually leading me on to embrace the challenges, become more accepting of the unpredictability of life and learn to embrace the fragility of our own existence, in the face of the unforeseen.

The storm of 2018 and 2019 had turned into a full-blown cyclone in 2020 and threw our lives into a tumultuous spiralling frenzy, beyond what I’d have ever imagined. What a year of learning and unlearning it turned out to be.  Despite the challenges and the paucity of time, I took the effort to create the time for writing, blogging, creating art and photography. Not just that, I took up singing and fulfilling my dream of starting my poetry reading channel on YouTube, whilst working on the book that I’ve been meaning for a long time—things that were sitting in the pipeline for years before 2020 taught me that I had to get down to working on them if they had to see the light of the day. My biggest learning on this has been that whenever we set out to do something, it’s not really time that is the most crucial factor, but our intention to prioritise that one thing and get it done. But, somewhere deep down, I also realised that before I got started on my intentions, I had to work on myself—to get my well-being into focus before I was ready for taking on whatever the year had in store for me.

With that, in mind, I came up with My Word of the Year for 2021—


It struck me sometime back, that with all the multiple roles that one has to play on a given day, it is all too easy to ignore oneself for the more pressing issues (and people!) at hand. In the last few months of this pandemic year, I realised how essential it is to nurture myself in order to have a happy, upbeat mindset. Yes, even if life is tough, you can have that positive mindset, when you know how to nurture yourself. You feel better about your life in general and it’s easier to get through challenges on every front when you feel nourished and nurtured. This, in turn, allows you to have more to give to family and the loved ones.

So, instead of watching out for the plans that life has in store for me, I decided that I shall be focussing on what I am going to be putting into my life, especially in the everyday moments.

I trust that nurturing the self is what I need the most, right now. Unless I fill my own cup, how can I fill that of the others around me? 

I’m eager to see how 2021 will unfold for us, especially, with the pandemic raging on. There is no denying that there will be challenges ahead. But, let us not focus on that alone. We need to focus on the possibilities, as we send out a prayer to the Universe to help us get back on our feet, regain the lost tempo of our lives and to thrive in the hope that things will take a turn for the better.

So, with a lot of hope and fervent prayers, I’m looking forward to stepping into 2021, promising to live in the moment, immersing myself in all that I do, and nurturing the self, to the best of my ability. 

Do you also have a word of the year for 2021? Do share yours in the comments below. I’d love to know the story behind how you came up with your Word of the Year.

Linking this post with Corinne’s #WOTY2021 post. If you’re interested to join in, just write a post on your blog sharing all about your #WOTY and your reasons for choosing it. Add your link here


17 thoughts

  1. Self care and self nurturing seem to have taken on greater significance in these times. I think you’ve spent a lot of time nurturing others and now it’s time for you. I like how you’ve started off with the soulful writings on Sundays and the poetry reading channel. I just listened to your poem home and enjoyed both the words and your voice. May 2021 bring you all you need to nourish and nurture yourself.

  2. I’m thrilled to see this apt word you have chosen for yourself, Esha.
    It was also mine in 2018.
    Here’s the link:

    I’m so glad you are working on investing time for yourself and that despite the challenges galore you managed to do suc h commendable things for yourself. Really happy for you. Keep at it, and even when the days are bleak, don’t give up on this pledge, as that’s what will see you through.

    Big Love, plenty of hugs and great new tidings in this brand new year! <3 <3

  3. I love your word for 2021, Esha. You know, while any word could be ours for the year, we feel drawn to certain words as it makes sense to our scenario more. That’s why I like choosing a word of the year. It is not a promise that I will do these, these things. Instead, I attach some reminders to the word so that when the going gets tough this one word will be there to guide me. You need to care for yourself. You need to take some time just for yourself. If not now, then when? Nurture yourself, Esha. I truly hope and pray that next year this time you will write a post saying how much this word has helped you in 2021 to become the best version of yourself. Hugs! 🤗💓💖

  4. So true that when we make resolutions we often forget to think about ourselves. Perhaps if we focus on ourselves, the remaining resolutions may come effortlessly!

  5. I totally agree that intentions make more sense than resolutions and I love your word of the year. We all deserve to nurture ourselves and put ourselves first. My yoga Sir told us something lovely the other day. He says he makes us meditate on the image of ourselves because we love ourselves the most and we are the most important person in our lives.

  6. Very thoughtful word of the year, Esha.I like the phrase that if you can’t fulfill yourself then how ca you fulfill others? Between, Nurture is a great word that goes perfect with today’s scenario.

  7. “I had to work on myself—to get my well-being into focus before I was ready for taking on whatever the year had in store for me.”
    This is what I have focused on in 2020. Myself. Nurture is a fantastic word for the year 2021. All the best to all of us for 2021.

  8. What a beautiful word to focus on for 2021! I love it. Yes, we all need to first nurture ourselves so that we can better nurture others.

  9. Nurture is a great choice to set the intention for next year. Indeed, we need to nurture ourselves first to be able to take care of the people around us, 2020 has taught me that – placing yourself first is not selfish but good for both you and people around you. Wishing you the very best for the coming year.

  10. Absolutely ! Unless you look after yourself you can’t look after others. I think we have all come to realise this in some form of the other this year in particular after we all had to step in and look after many more people simultaneously. My word for the year is embrace because that is all I can really do after trying desparately to be detached in 2020 ( my WOTY for 2020).

    Please note my new URL is as the old one points to a blue site.

  11. I absolutely love this concept of letting go of resolutions and setting intentions for the new year. Makes it more purposeful. Loved your WOTY. I am not sure if I am at the stage of letting one word define my thoughts and actions for an entire year, but I do intend to set intentions for 2021, make this year more fruitful. I hope you nurture yourself wonderfully.

    1. Thank you so much for your wishes, Ramya! I’m hoping to make the coming year positive and upbeat and will do all that it takes to ensure I never miss out nurturing myself in all the different ways. I hope you too find your intention/inspiration(s) to make 2021 purposeful and meaningful in every possible way. Have a great year ahead. Stay safe and take care. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Ramya. Self-care sounds good and absolutely essential for us, as we juggle so much on a daily basis. Hope you can make priority to ensure self-care even beyond 2021! Stay safe and take care. 🙂

  12. I haven’t made any resolutions for 2021. I don’t even have a word for the new year. I just want to live each day, each moment as it comes. I want to live and love life and myself and not be bitter about things or people, and that’s what I am going to focus on. Let’s see how well I do.
    I liked your WOTY, Esha. We so need to nurture ourselves, our souls and our body, especially since we have so many responsibilities to fulfil. We do stand the risk of losing ourselves if we don’t care for ourselves. Right?

    1. I know how challenging things are at the moment for you, Shilpa and I know whether or not you have a word of the year, you are invested in yourself and ensuring that self-care comes before anything else because that is how you can enable yourself to do all that you have on your priority list for 2021. Have a blessed and empowering year ahead, dear Shilpa! I wish you health, happiness, strength, and peace of mind in abundance in the coming year!

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