2020 WOTY – A Review

I am a strong believer in having a WOTY (Word of the Year) to help drive a yearly personal growth intention.  I’ve added this tool into my Retirement Transition Toolbox. Some of my past year’s picks have been very helpful (see my previous post on Joy, Soar – link here). As I look ahead to my 2021 WOTY selection, my first step is to evaluate this past year’s pick. 

As the pandemic progressed, I found myself moving away from my 2020 WOTY, which is Release.  I moved more and more into “Putting Positive Psychology into Practice”.  This shift is actually a positive psychology intent – move away from release of the negative, which will bring you to the null point, and start to create the positive.  So, perhaps this was a natural shift from release?

As I relooked at my WOTY choice and what I did from my “RELEASE – 20 for 2020 Action Steps” (link here), I realized that I did release a lot.  Yes, there is still work to be done, but…

  • I am actively working on shifting my self-limiting beliefs into self-empowering beliefs.  I’ve identified deeply held beliefs that have been holding me back and am working on shifting them with regular affirmations and awareness. I am much more aware of my Compare & Despair moments and I have noticed, there is less despair.  Awareness is the key first step to making a change.
  • As part of my morning journal habit, I do gratitude journaling, dream journaling, and emotions assessment.  I’ve also added in the “25 Things I’m grateful for TODAY” tool for those weeks I’m spiraling down (ex. pandemic stuff, hurricane stuff, election stuff).
  • I have spent more time outdoors, especially in Florida, and that will be the new habit when we complete our Big Move.  In Florida I also walk more & bike, which is great for my physical health.
  • I have added the color orange to my wardrobe (Sacral Chakra release); did a Reiki session; did a Feng Shui analysis on our new Florida space; follow the phases of the moon and the tides more regularly; and explored Astrology (blog link here). 
  • I took baths (yeah, new jet tub), am listening to classical music (at times), and am taking more pictures  (sunrises, sunsets, on my walks). I am cooking new recipes and taking classes in things of interest (releasing my creativity).  I completed the big photo project and got creative with photo-book crafting.
  • I transitioned 95% of the care-taking of my SIL; the only thing remaining is the legal concurrence for guardianship transfer. That completion will be a big release moment.
  • I am less hard on myself (still a work in progress), accepting that I am living the life I envision (most days), using my signature strengths (more than I thought), and nurturing my friendships.

So 14 of the 20 for 2020 ideas were successfully completed, even with the pandemic creating a totally different daily life rhythm.  I do believe that my 2020 WOTY was a successful pick.

RELEASE so I can be the true me – active, connected, creative, contemplative.

So now I can begin to contemplate (pun intended) what my 2021 WOTY could be.  I’d like it to continue to connect to my retirement lifestyle vision (active, connected, creative, contemplative) as well as link to my current focus of Putting Positive Psychology into Practice.  There are (hopefully) some big things happening in 2021 (the end of the pandemic and the final move to Florida), which I would like my WOTY to reflect as well.   Quite the challenge… and more to come on the selection!

Do you use a WOTY?  How has it helped?

Picture Credit – Me! – with hubby at the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights. Socially distancing and wearing our masks, it was so much fun to be out and about!

15 thoughts on “2020 WOTY – A Review

  1. Finally catching up on my favorite blogs after a year of staying cocooned 😦
    You are moving to Florida?! (or perhaps you already have). We are looking to move to the Navarre area sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. Where will you relocate?
    My word for 2020 was acceptance … a great word but did not go in the direction I had originally anticipated. So, I am declaring it my word for 2021 too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Molly, It’s great to hear from you again and I look forward to your blogs. We spent half the year in Florida in 2020 (nothing consecutive – lots of back & forth), and plan on making the full move this year. We are near St Petersburg, on a barrier island.
      Acceptance has been coming at me from lots of directions and I’m posting a blog about it this weekend! I’ll be interested in hearing how you deal with it as your WOTY.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. FUN… we will be just across the Gulf 🙂 Acceptance is taking hold of my life right now in several ways. I very much look forward to reading your post and conversing.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. HI Pat! Like I commented to you on my blog, I admire you for your willingness to take a deep dive into what you believe is holding you back. I don’t think a lot of us really want to know those things. And know that I already know what your WOTY will be (cuz you told me on my blog) I can see how it will guide you even deeper. May it be exactly what you hope. ~Kathy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kathy, I do want to know – maybe it’s part of my enneagram – hah. Thanks for the encouragement to write something about Enneagram. Will definitely be exploring that as it has been an interesting deep dive, and the insights are reflected in my plans for this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great photo of you kids!! I love the Christmas lights in the background. Very striking. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the zoo.

    You have released a great deal in spite of this virus. I would imagine releasing the care of your SIL will be a relief as well as a release. Hope the care you have given her has been well appreciated.

    This post seemed more hopeful to me than some of the posts you wrote earlier in the year. You said you are less hard on yourself (still a work in progress), realizing that you are living the life you envision (most days), using your signature strengths, and nurturing friendships. I feel that positivity in this post and in our email correspondence. I feel a happier, lighter, more hopeful you!!

    Sure enjoying our friendship and pen-paling. Hope 2021 will bring us both much happiness and purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leslie, It’s good to know you noticed the positivity. I am consciously trying to be more positive… and certainly this week needed it! I’m only just now getting into my comments response because of other attention grabbers. I’m spending time this next week trying to sort out Winter Bucket list plans, 2021 goals, and my 2021 WOTY… and hoping all that will keep (return) the positive energy!


    1. Marty, I had forgotten the weeding out. Definitely a big accomplishment. And surprisingly, a work colleague I had removed connected with me last week (asking for an introduction to someone I knew) and I had to tell him I no longer had his info (email, etc.) I had just shifted my phone to take calls that are not in my contact list direct to voice mail too (no ring), so I didn’t even notice his call for a few hours. Ah well.


  4. In my journaling this week, I realized how many “old habits” and routines I continue to follow even though they no longer serve this new retirement lifestyle. That is something I hope to adjust in 2021.

    I unintentionally left blogging in 2020, but I feel the nudge to return in the new year. I am excited to continue to follow your retirement transition – and I look forward to hearing ALL ABOUT Florida (my husband constantly talks of retiring to Pensacola Beach. In what area will you be living?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I realized in the pandemic how many new habits I had created that were being disrupted. And I’ve formed a few new ones in the past 6 months. Yes, I still have some old though patterns that need work… but that’s work in progress, too. I did wonder where you had gotten to, but I’ve learned that many people leave the blogging world as other things come along. It’ll be nice to hear your voice again! In Florida, we are just north of St Petersburg. Big differences between east coast, west coast, South Florida, Central Florida, and the panhandle! It is a very big state.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been thinking it’s time to come up with my 2021 WOTY, but I seem so preoccupied. Adapt is my 2020 word and it couldn’t have been more appropriate. I haven’t done a look back yet, which might give me ideas for 2021. I may need to try Adapt for another year!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Pat – 2020 was certainly an interesting year and put a bit of a spin on how we actioned our #WOTY. I’ve just posted my review of my word “Symphony” and how it played (pun intended) into all that the year taught me. I found there was a lot of overlap with the idea of slowing down and savouring the good stuff and discarding the things that weren’t relevant any more. I’ve been tossing around several words for 2021 and have finally settled on one that encompasses them all – now I just have to get a post written by the beginning of January!

    Lovely seeing a pic of you out and about – so different to us here in Australia where everyone is out and masks aren’t even a thing….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, It’s becoming the norm to see everyone in masks out of the home. And still we have super high new case counts everyday. I worry what the holiday’s will bring. We are now in our Florida place… crazy week so I’m just getting to read comments from last weeks post. But sunshine and warmer temps, so I can do more outside. I’m narrowing in on my WOTY and hope to think more on it this week, now that we’re settled in a bit. So curious about other’s WOTY choices too!


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