“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

I’m part of a group of men who are committed to meeting together every week for 20 years. We are over six years into that commitment. Each year at this time, each man in this group chooses a word of the year that represents their intention and hope for the year ahead.

Picking a word of the year can be an excellent way to strategically approach your life. A word of the year can clarify your purpose and direction. The word of the year when shared with others can provide an opportunity for accountability.

Yesterday, I met with the group of men I mentioned above. As we spent time together, each man had the opportunity to share a recap on their 2020 experience, and each man then shared their word for 2021 along with their reason for selecting that word.

When I initially shared my word for 2021, I shared the word reset. After feeling like much of my year was reactive in nature in part due to the pandemic, I explained that I wanted to reset – to be more proactive in my approach to life in 2021. One of the men kept confusing my word reset with the word renew.

After further thought and prayer, I decided to change my word for 2021 to renew. I think it fits much better with my intention for 2021.


verb (used with object)

1. to begin or take up again, as an acquaintance, a conversation, etc.; resume.

2. to make effective for an additional period: to renew a lease.

3. to restore or replenish: to renew a stock of goods.

4. to make, say, or do again.

verb (used without object)

1. to begin again; recommence.

2. to renew a lease, note, etc.

2021 will be a year with many milestones in my life:

  • January 8th – I will celebrate 25 years with Siemens.
  • January 15th – I will celebrate 1000 days in a row with 10,000 or more steps each day.
  • July 13th – Leanne and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage.
  • December 8th – I will celebrate my 50th birthday.

I don’t want to move about 2021 aimlessly. I want 2021 to be intentional. As I consider where I want to see renewal, I think of several areas of my life:

  • I want to renew my sense of purpose and calling to my job. I have a tremendous opportunity at Siemens to help our customers with building solutions, and I have an important opportunity at Siemens to lead and serve my team. I want to do this with renews vigor and focus in 2021.
  • I want to renew my commitment to personal health through healthy eating and regular and focused exercise.
  • I want to renew by marriage and my relationship with my bride. I am so blessed to be married to Leanne. Marriage takes work and focus on a daily basis. This year we plan to renew our vows as we celebrate our 25th anniversary.
  • I want to renew my commitment to stretching, learning, and growing. Reading, listening, and writing are three keys to finding renewal in this area.
  • I want to renew my relationship with God on a daily basis. Last but not least, this is important to my year of renewal. Romans 12:2 above states it very well. Renewal through God will lead to the transformation that is worth it!

If you’d like help selecting your word for 2021, I’d recommend picking up a copy of One Word by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. In One Word, you’ll gain a very simple understanding and method for picking your One Word for 2021. Simply put, here is their method:

  1. Prepare your heart by looking in.
  2. Discover your word by looking up.
  3. Live your word by looking out.

What is your word for 2021? Where do you need renewal in your life? What is one step you will take this week towards your word or towards personal renewal?