How do I pick a Word for the new year?

Well, here we are once again. . .another year has come to an end and a new year has begun! I think we all can agree 2020 was not what we expected, right!? This could have been a bad thing or a good thing for you. Here are some questions to ponder as a new year is in front of us: 

Was the past year what you wanted it to be? Did you accomplish your goals or fall short? What happened that brought you joy or pain? Are you glad to see 2020 come to an end? Are you looking forward to a new year? Have you been thinking about what your new year’s resolutions will be?

A few years ago, I decided to stop looking at a new year coming up with resolutions to set. The time had come to try something different because resolutions were just not cutting it for me. After only getting so far in the year, I would eventually quit.

I started coming up with a WORD FOCUS for each year. A WORD that would challenge me, change me, push me, and grow me. Some examples of WORDS I have used in the past have been: OVERCOMER, FEARLESS, CONFIDENT, BELIEVE, PURPOSE, FORWARD, and NEW.

Why pick a WORD FOCUS?

Why a WORD you may ask? It’s very simple…there is power in the WORDS we think, say, and read. Take the Bible for instance. Look at all the powerful WORDS God has given us. He tells us His Word is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword in Hebrews 4:12. Proverbs 18:21 says life and death are in the power of the tongue. 

WORDS can build faith or build fear. 

By choosing a WORD for the year to focus on, it makes me focus on building my faith and suffocating my fear. 

Maybe you are ready to suffocate fear and stop listening to doubt. I would challenge you to give this a try for 2020 and pick a WORD

How should you pick?

PRAY. Ask God to give you guidance on what He wants you to focus on this year. Ask Him to show you areas in your life you need to grow.

BE CHALLENGED. Don’t pick a WORD you are already doing well at in your life. For example, if you are already great at being on time and organized in your life, TIME MANAGEMENT is not something you need to work on. What is an area in your life you want to see change? Your work ethic? Finances? Confidence? Faith? 

BE A LITTLE SCARED ABOUT YOUR WORD. I know this sounds crazy, but if the WORD you choose doesn’t make you feel like you may throw up a little inside, it isn’t the right one. When I picked BEYOND for 2018, I had no idea what God was up to and I was scared out of my mind y’all! He pushed me into trying things BEYOND my own abilities. I had to trust completely in God and allow new people into my life that could do things I could not.  Because of that, I wrote a 31 day devotional on overcoming anxiety called Anxiety Elephants, and it has been purchased literally all across the world! He encouraged me along the way to keep walking in things BEYOND my own ability and to trust He would do immeasurably more than I could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

BE GRACIOUS. This is not a New Year’s Resolution guys. If you mess up or have a bad day, or even week, give yourself grace. When choosing a WORD, it is all about a year long process of growing and changing. You are not going to get it right by the end of February! It will take time. . .there will even be bumps in the road, but the journey to your new destination will be worth it!

So, what’s my WORD for 2021?

It’s funny you should ask that question, HA! It normally takes me all of January to know what my WORD FOCUS is for the year, but God revealed it to me right before the end of 2020. I won’t lie…He scared me with it because it means bigger faith from me and bigger faith steps.

Before I tell you this WORD, I do want you to know something. I know a lot of people reflect in December and hit the ground running in January with all their visions, goals, dreams, and WORDS. It is OK friend if you don’t! It is OK if it takes you all of January just to get your house back in order from all you had going on in December. And. . .it is totally OK if you need to take the entire month of January to do your reflection, goal setting, vision writing, and WORD FOCUS. Don’t let social media tell you otherwise. Take your time so you can be ready and focused to slay this new year.

Ok, enough stalling. . .my WORD FOCUS for this year is. . .


To upgrade something means to raise the standard. 

I jokingly said something to my husband driving to see my Grandmother for Christmas about making an upgrade to my car because the heat was not working and the sunroof was making a crazy noise. Every time we hit 75 on the interstate, the noise would happen and me and my girls would giggle and yell, “UPGRADE!” After getting home, I started looking around my house at the different things we changed to make upgrades and make it better during 2020. 

I stopped in my tracks as if I heard the Lord ask me, “Why are you not raising the standard and making upgrades in every area of your life? Why are you still sitting comfortable without making needed changes to continue growing?”

I honestly have sat comfortably and only kind of doing things halfway because it terrifies me to go all in I think. I still get consumed by the What Ifs myself in a negative way. . .but. . .what if I did UPGRADE in my spiritual walk, in my time of writing, in my relationships, in my speaking, in my health, and etc? 

How different would 2021 look? How much closer would I be to the Lord? How many books are in me to discover if I upgrade and raise my standard in the focused time I spend on writing? How many places are out there to speak at face to face or virtually if I raise my standards and upgrade my knowledge and how to apply it? How many people are out there needing to be coached in their faith and mental health? How much closer could I become to my family and friends if I raise my standard in how I communicate with them and love them? How many people are out there waiting to hear the gospel in my path and God is calling me to raise my standard in boldness to share His Good News? 

These are questions I want to see answered in 2021.

The time is now

One day Jesus will come back and our time to help others and lead them to Him will be gone. God has given you, us, gifts to use to help others in this world. 

Now is your time to grow in them and grow in Him. It won’t be perfect or pretty…in fact, expect it to be messy and filled with bumps in the road. In those moments, get back up and remember why you are doing what you are doing. 

Now, your moment has come. . .what will your WORD FOCUS be? I would love to hear from you so I can pray with you as you journey in this new way!

I am excited to walk 2021 with you friends!

CLICK HERE to check out more about my faith and mental health journey.


  1. Samantha on January 7, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Great advice, thank you!

  2. Bruce W. Martin on January 14, 2020 at 2:19 pm
    • Caris Snider on January 20, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      I love that word Bruce!

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