One Little Word : 8 Month Update


[ kite flying in Gearheart : july 2008 ]

Each January for the last few years I have chosen a word that has been my focus for the upcoming year (here's the posts about my word for 2007 and 2008). The simple idea is that a single word can be powerful. It can bring about change, propel you forward, slow you down, help you focus, make a difference in your life, etc.

I usually take some time in the middle of each year (or a bit later) to reflect on my word and what action or inaction has come about since January.

My word for 2008 is vitality.

And just like most things in my life, it's a work in progress.

I chose this word thinking of it as a healthy word. I wanted something that could help me focus on eating better and exercising and living more healthfully overall. I struggle with this in so many areas: time, energy, motivation, etc. What I really want is to just feel good - strong and vibrant and open and full of life and not weighted down physically, mentally, or emotionally.

This week I am reconnecting with my word. I lost it there for awhile. Today I am thinking a lot about the daily choices I make regarding food and exercise and stress. I am planning meals. I am walking. I am making some additional work changes and adjustments (especially related to travel over the next year). I am taking action.

Focusing on vitality has an even deeper meaning and importance for me now with this new little person on the way. 

Back in January many of you shared your word for this year. Here's a reminder link to that list (and I am sure there are a few missing): 2008 list.

Have you done anything with your word this year? Has it faded into oblivion or lived near the surface or been on your mind daily? Has it impacted you one way or another? Do you need a new word or has a new one surfaced as the year has progressed? I would love to read if you are being challenged by your word or celebrate with you if you are having successes.


CHAT : Join me for a live online chat tomorrow night, Tuesday, August 19th at 6pm Pacific at Serendipity Scrapbooks.

45 thoughts

  1. dawn

    2008-08-18 06:36:30 -0400

    My word is trust. I am working on letting go...of control that leads to anxiety, which I have struggled with, but am getting better...My word helps to remind me to stay on track...let go and trust the process...And yes, I forget a lot...But it seems something always pops up to remind me...lately, art pieces on etsy that have focused on the word trust...I do pages in my art journal...look at my rock that has the word trust carved in it...etc...

  2. tchrtiff

    2008-08-18 06:56:27 -0400

    My word is FUN. I tend to be serious and at times uptight so I decided to add more fun to my life--be a fun mom, fun wife, have fun with friends, etc. So far I've been doing pretty well this year. I shared the concept and my word with my hubby so he's really been a great supporter of me being more fun. All around it's made for a happy home here. Thanks for the inspiration, Ali!

  3. Sandy

    2008-08-18 07:20:16 -0400

    I also chose a word for this year, "fulfill." I posted last week about the necklace I got from Lisa!
    I am also trying to decide if I am actually going to get a tattoo to memorialize this year as well. It would be little and discreet, but I would know it was always with me. I don't know if it is just because this is my first year choosing a word or what, but I feel very connected to it.
    I chose my word because I want to do more to fulfill myself. I find myself focusing so much on the needs and desires of others that I wanted to truly decide what fulfills me. It has been a slow process throughout the year, but I think I am really making progress.

  4. Aubrey Raney-Avers

    2008-08-18 08:38:33 -0400

    My word was play, and I've noticed recently that a new word has emerged. Brave. Wow--so many things I don't do that I would if I was brave. So I'm changing my word, and daily asking myself "What would I do if I was brave?" and making myself do it. It's scary (can I say that if I'm brave? :))!

  5. ScrapbookingPrincess

    2008-08-18 08:42:19 -0400

    I missed the word thing, the first time around, but how about, "focus"? That could mean focus on family, life, fun, faith, etc, and so on. I want to focus more on the things that mean the most to me. I want to focus on the now.

  6. kris

    2008-08-18 09:45:19 -0400

    "Believe" was my chosen word, & while it was difficult to settle on just one word, I am confident now that it was not a "fluke" that this was my word. I did a twist on your Christmas 2" square paper picture (how's that for a description?!). I used 2" sq. papers & then used chipboard to spell my word out & have it framed in my bathroom where I see it every day getting ready for the day. It has absolutely been a grounding word for me. I have used it time & again this year. My Mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor & there was much uncertainty, but the happy news is it was benign, is now removed, & I desperately "believed" all would be well. I also don't think it's a fluke that I returned to church as well. Most definitely the traditional "Believe" & then of course, I focus on it as a "Believe in myself". It was the perfect word for the way my year has turned out thus far. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Colette

    2008-08-18 11:13:36 -0400

    FAITH is my word this year- and I have needed it.... more than I realized even in January. I thank you for inspiring me to take on a word for the year. I know that it is a small but positive thing I can do in my life, and I'm getting excited to think about next year's word!

  8. jkhenson

    2008-08-18 11:44:52 -0400

    My "one little word" was Faith. I have been working on reconnecting/digging deeper, etc. I have been reading the Bible daily, for starters, and my family of four was baptized together last weekend! :) A huge step of faith for all of us!

  9. Steph H

    2008-08-18 11:49:18 -0400

    My word and I are fighting. It's hard to be finding "bliss" when this infertility journey is taking so much out of me. Just trying to be happy in the here and now.

  10. Tara

    2008-08-18 11:51:41 -0400

    I live with my word every day. My word for 2008 is CHANGE. See I am going through a divorce and I've had to handle a TON of things changing. I even bought one of ooh I can't think of her name. But you posted about her necklaces earlier in the year,, anyhoo,, I had her stamp a tag with the word CHANGE and I wear it everyday around my neck to remind me that change is in fact OK,,, it's fine. Actually compared to how my life was one year ago,,, change has been wonderful. Thanks Ali,, your one suggestion to pick a word has helped me in a HUGE way.

  11. Deb Long

    2008-08-18 12:01:27 -0400

    I chose the word REACH. It has been a touchstone for me all year - motivation to try for things I might not otherwise. And so, two weeks ago, I gave notice at my job to try something entirely different, something that I'm hoping will allow a realignment of my time and the ability to be present much more for my family. So even though I don't like changes much, I just take a deep breath and whisper 'reach.' Thanks, Ali.

  12. Ange

    2008-08-18 13:16:13 -0400

    My word this year was "BLOOM". I wanted to inspire myself to open up and grow. But over the year I have come to realise I don't really know exactly which way I wanted my life to go, what I should be focussing on, what exactly I should nuture.
    So I have taken a step back and decided that my word is now "LISTEN". To myself, my body, my family. I need to cultivate a life that has space so that I can hear myself think. This word suits my life as it is now and focussing on it will give me the information that I need to grow.

  13. Teresa

    2008-08-18 13:19:18 -0400

    My word is "accomplish". And I'm glad you wrote this post because frankly, I had forgotten all about it. So its good to regroup and reflect with it now that summer is winding down. Things have changed in my life since January in ways I never expected. But its funny though...even though I wasn't conciously thinking of my word, especially this summer, I still "accomplished" alot. Just in ways I never expected.

  14. D

    2008-08-18 14:39:46 -0400

    Sadly, with my word, I am still at the same spot. My word is "transformation." I have tried but it seems the devil (or something pretty close to it) gets in my way. I have desire to accomplish transformation. I wish I knew how to get started on it. I sat and read all of the comments and felt something so strong come over me. It just reminded me of all the wonderful people in this world and how important our words are. Good luck to everyone who is living it/attempting to live it!!

  15. Amy

    2008-08-18 15:03:48 -0400

    My word for 2008 has been HOPE. i actually meditate on it almost every day, which calms me down and makes me feel better.
    You see, my sister is going thru a very ugly & bitter divorce. It is such a terrible situation that i sometimes worry about what could happen to the point that i nearly have a panic attack, but i stop myself by breathing deeply and thinking about hope. All the hope i have for her and her 2 little girls. All the hope i have that they will not only survive this, but thrive. i feel so much better just repeating, "hope". She is so much stronger than anyone thought she was. It will be okay, and then it will just get better. It already is getting better.
    Because i have hope. Thank God for HOPE.
    Thank you for letting me share about my word. It has been a wonderful word for me this year.

  16. Jeannie

    2008-08-18 15:56:21 -0400

    A friend once told me there is a difference when you 'accept' or 'embrace' a situation. When I replied about how challenging it can be for his sister-in-law to accept her son who is having a problem with sexual identity. So in 2008, I choose EMBRACE. I really took what he said to heart - wondering how my children will turn out. I've been living every moment to accept what we do on a daily basis. Rather than be upset that my son ran over his cell phone, I took that opportunity to teach him a lesson. Rather than be angry when my 4 year old daughter wets her bed in the middle of the night (that glorifying 2am to clean up the mess), wash her up, clean up her bed, and find that opportunity to have her sleep with us in our bed. My husband and I do not plan on having any more children. This is it. This is the last time we'll have to clean up her bed at 4 yrs old. We are embracing every moment

  17. Michelle D in OR

    2008-08-18 16:31:03 -0400

    My word is organization. I scribbled it on a notepad and used a magnet to attach it to the fridge. I hired a professional organizer and she is helping me corral my craft room. This process is taking a lot longer than I anticipated, but the results so far are nothing short of amazing. I am finding the basic principles she is teaching me are spilling over into other rooms, my workplace, and my way of being.

  18. Lisa

    2008-08-18 16:39:14 -0400

    Well I was just thinking about my word "TRUE" a couple days ago. I haven't done much with it...other than I believe I have tried to stand up for me in what I know is true, to speak up when Truth needed to be said.
    Many times throughout this year I've thought of what almost was my word "FOCUS". I've had to just focus alot. I've thought that it really should have been my word, but TRUE is just so good too. Lots of growth in both words.

  19. janine

    2008-08-18 21:27:29 -0400

    There is definitely something about this time of year - the iminent new beginnings of a new school year that always excites me. I really lost sight of my word, simplify, for a few months. But after a week on the north coast of Ireland in torrential rain I was forced to find comfort in the simple things. It was just what I needed before I head back to life as a teacher and budding photographer with a major show looming! Gave me the chance to slow down and remember that the simple things are the things that matter - family, sharing good times, enjoying the little everyday details. I am encouraged to simplify my life again for the remainder of 2008 - should be interesting to see how that works out in the crazy run up to the holidays!!

  20. Two Writing Teachers

    2008-08-19 00:34:34 -0400

    I've been thinking a lot about this lately. As the new school year begins, I need to constantly remind myself of my word: BALANCE. I haven't been doing a great job of balancing my work life and my personal life: work seems to win out since I have an overwhelming sense of responsibility for making sure that I educate all of the kids in my care. However, sometimes I have to remember that it's also about me. Your post helped bring this point back... I'm going to try creating some more balance signs (and posting them in prominent places in my life so I can remind myself of my OLW daily).
    Two Writing Teachers

  21. Sara

    2008-08-19 02:55:29 -0400

    My word is cultivate, I chose it to remind myself to learn and grow this year. The goals I had in mind with the word (gardening and digital scrap booking) have...well...slipped by. I'll start again with my attempts to figure out the digital world and next year I'll plant more but I've had a new baby this year so I've been cultivating our relationship and the relationship between her and her big brother. I can't wait to see how much you enjoy your new little addition!! Thanks so much for helping me to learn about the fun of digital scrap booking and sharing all of your inspiration. AND How fun that it's a whole family affair with your sister expecting too!!

  22. Tracey Holdyk

    2008-08-19 03:33:27 -0400

    I think about my word often and to help I did a 12x12 page (a piece of art really) that hangs in my office to remind me. I love having something that is for me only and something that I can work towards and focus on. It is hard work sometimes but hard work never hurt right! I also love the challenge it brings everyday. Thanks for the inspiration. Oh and my word by the way Vitality. Tracey

  23. Brenda

    2008-08-20 14:26:46 -0400

    I had the word pause. Wrong word. I fell, had to have back surgery then got a staph infection. I didn't get to graduate with my nursing degree. So.....
    Choose your word carefully.

  24. make art every day

    2008-08-21 10:18:53 -0400

    mine was "fear less" and i'm not sure if i have followed it or not. i made a cover page for my frankin planner with that phrase, but i don't always see it every day. i do think this has been a great year, so far. both my girls are in school and that has given me more time to work on my photography business. i've started reading books again. so while i've progressed, i don't know if i've actually reduced my fears...

  25. Jennifer K

    2008-09-23 11:58:55 -0400

    I loved your idea of having a special, meaningful word when I read the original blog entry. But nothing came to me. I figured it would come when it was ready, I wouldn't need to go looking for it. I have *just this week* figured out what my word is! I won't be changing it at the year's end, I'm keeping it until I need a different one. :-) Thanks for encouraging us to be more aware, otherwise, I might have just let the thought be temporary and not latched onto my word and made it mine!

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