My 2020 Word of the Year

Chicago fashion blogger wearing Nanushka Puffer Coat, Vineyard Vines Hoodie, Citizens of Humanity Charlotte Crop Jeans, Marc Fisher Shearling Booties, and Brahmin Faith Bag.

I believe last year was the first year that I came up with a word as an intention for the year. My friends and I sat around the dinner table on New Years Eve in Steamboat (December 31, 2018) and all said our one-word intentions for 2019. If you remember, I had just finished my four-month Remote Year program. I flew to my hometown on Christmas Eve, drove up to Chicago on the 27th, and then flew to Colorado for New Years on the 28th. While the ending of 2018 was the best ever (being in the mountains in a house with almost all of my best friends!), 2018 was far and away the hardest year of my life.

Fashion blogger wearing Marc Fisher Izzie Booties with Brahmin Faith Bag.

If you want to think of the last few years as a storm (you should know by now that I’m alllllll about an analogy), it would look a little something like this…

2016: Warning sirens going off.
2017: The year that all of the ‘natural disasters’ happened. Quite literally weathered the storms in realtime.
2018: Everything in fucking shambles.
2019: Pick up the pieces and lay the new foundation.

Fashion blogger wearing Nanushka Hide Vegan Leather Puffer Coat with Citizens of Humanity Jeans and Brahmin bag.

As I was closing out 2018 from Mexico City that December and thinking ahead to 2019, a phoenix kept coming to mind. Rising from the ashes. I remember thinking it was pretty cheesy, but that’s honestly the picture that kept coming to mind anytime I’d meditate on what my intention for the year should be. So as we sat around the table on that New Years Eve, I came up with the word rebirth as my intention, or my word, for 2019. (You can read a bit more about that here.)

Fashion blogger styling Marc Fisher Izzie Booties in Black Leather with Raw Hem Jeans

And honestly, that is exactly how 2019 ended up being for me. I feel like a different version of myself than I was a year ago, in a good way. From the beginning of the year to the end, there was SO MUCH growth, expansion, and evolution. Was it hard and uncomfortable at times? Beyond. (A lot of the time, tbh.) But was it worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Style blogger Jessica Sturdy wearing Nanushka Leather Puffer Coat.

So a few weeks ago as I was trying to come up with my word for 2020, I kept coming back to that storm analogy… If 2017 was the storm, 2018 was the destruction, and 2019 was the year we cleaned it all up (and laid a strong foundation), 2020 has to be the year where we build, right? The vision that kept coming to mind was a shiny new city by the water with gorgeous tall buildings and sunshine and blue skies and breezy palm trees. (Apparently the so-called “storm” happened in a tropical city, IDFK where my mind comes up with this shit.)

Chicago stylist Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins wearing oversized leather puffer coat with jeans and leather shearling lace up hiker boots.

A mental picture of a pretty coastal city wasn’t exactly helpful, as I still wanted a word for the year… I thought of rise, but it didn’t feel quite right —  it felt too similar to the whole phoenix analogy last year. What happens after you rise? And then as I was curling my hair a week or two ago, it came to me.

Fashion blogger wearing Nanushka Hide Vegan Leather Puffer Coat.


In 2020, we conquer. Well actually, when conquer first (randomly) popped into my head (as I wasn’t even trying to come up with a word as I was getting ready that day), I was like YES! And then I was quickly like, “Waiiiiit, is that too war-like and violent-sounding?? “That’s def not the vibe I want.

So I did a little research and decided that the definitions of conquer that I’m going with are ‘to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition’ and ‘to overcome by mental or moral power.’
In other words, ‘to be victorious.’

This year, I want to conquer my fears, squash self-doubt, and f*cking win. And as I laughingly said to my friends, I have every intention of making 2020 my bitch. 😉 (You know… In a very non-forceful, non-violet way. 😂)

Chicago style blogger Bows & Sequins wearing a puffy leather jacket with a camel cashmere hoodie, raw hem cropped jeans, and leather shearling hiking boots.

So that’s where my mind’s at for the year ahead! Of course, I’ve set some lofty goals to go along with my word, but I find it really powerful to set overall intentions. For the year, the day, a workout class, a conversation, you name it. When the going gets tough (as it always does and always will), I find it easier to get through it when I remember that intention I set going in.

Fashion and style blogger wearing oversized leather coat with cashmere hoodie and jeans.

Shop My Outfit…

Nanushka Faux Leather Puffer (similar here for less)
Vineyard Vines Cashmere Hoodie (old; similar here)
Citizens of Humanity Jeans
Marc Fisher Booties (also available here; similar here for less)
Brahmin Bag

Chicago style influencer Jessica Sturdy of the lifestyle blog Bows & Sequins wearing leather puffer coat outfit with cropped jeans and shearling booties.

Have you ever set a word for the year? I’d love to hear! xx jrs

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  1. 1.9.20
    Meg said:

    I love your word for the year. My word is “finish.” I have a handful of lingering court cases to wrap up (I’m a lawyer) and once I’m done with those, I hope to become a full time stay at home mom to my baby.

    • 1.9.20
      Jessica said:

      Love that! xx

  2. 1.15.20
    Cori said:

    Yes! I LOVE word of the day. I had “try” in 2015…then didn’t do it again until 2019 (idk why – laziness/forgetfulness?). But, I had an awful 2018 as well – probably the lowest I’ve ever been. So my 2019 word was “embrace”. It really helped to shift my mindset as I moved/lived in a new country, went through new things, etc. For 2020, I’ve chosen “Dive”, as now I’m more content and happy in life, and I just want to dive into so many different things and get deeper.
    Loved this post!