Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 28, 2009

One Little Word 2010

I am a fan of welcoming the new year with open arms. I love fresh starts, new opportunities, clean slates, possibilities.

Back in January 2007, as a way to celebrate these beginnings, I started a public tradition of choosing a single word to focus on over the course of the year.

Many of you are familiar with this tradition and have been joining me in selecting a new word each year. If this is your first time reading about the idea of one little word I recommend taking a few minutes to read my original post here.

Here’s a look at my words from the past three years with links to the original posts.

2007 : Peace [ read my post for 2007 ]
2008 : Vitality [ read my post for 2008 ]
2009 : Nurture [ read my post for 2009 ]

Essentially the idea is to choose a word (or let it choose you) that has the potential to make an impact on your life.

Maybe you want to invite something or maybe you are hoping to subtract something. Maybe your word will be practical or hopeful or creative or fanciful. Maybe you need a big word, something in-your-face that will challenge you everyday. Maybe you need something smaller and quieter that will whisper gentle tidings as you make your way throughout the year.

Whatever word you end up with, make sure it is your word (not your sister’s, mom’s, partner’s, child’s, etc). You can share it publicly or keep it close to your heart.

My word for 2010 is STORY.

I’m planning to do a post with more details on my thoughts about this word on Wednesday (look for the finishing pages of my December Daily tomorrow). I am hoping to use my word as a springboard for a variety of different projects and inspirations, in my life and my scrapbooking, over the next 365 days.

Have you chosen your word yet?


  • 1.

    My word is cherish.
    I want to cherish my sweet bug while she is still little. I know that I get frustrated a lot but she will only be little for such a short time.

  • 2.
    homedotmade said…

    My word for 2010 is Possibilities. There have been so many limits placed on myself (sometimes by me!) that I’m ready to challenge myself into limitlessness!

  • 3.
    Carolyn HP said…

    wow, time for a new word already… hope you are enjoying the holidays.
    My word for 2009 was Believe – believe in myself, in the good in the world around me, to believe in the journey I am meant to be on.
    For 2010 I want more action, so I decided for my one little word to be Change – the change I already see in myself, the world around me, in continuing my self improvement in my life and my health.

  • 4.
    Bloomingayl said…

    My word is REACH -
    I was worried you might forget. This will be my third year for what I call my simple word. What a difference it makes to have this reminder to guide us through the year. Thank~you.

  • 5.
    Jessica said…

    I’ve been batting around my word since early November and keep coming back to one of the first I considered: INTENTION.
    Oh! And Ali, you should be honored to know that I challenged all 118 of my high school junior and senior English students to take part in this challenge for 2010. We did an awesome class activity with it and their responses were fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

  • 6.
    anna said…

    i’ve had my word chosen for about a month already – it’s wholeheated. it seems to have been something that has been important for a long time now (especially noticable as i look back over my spiritual journal), and there are so many ways that i want to be more wholehearted – in my walk with God, in my parenting, in my role as wife and homemaker. little things, big things; things which are momentary, and things that last. i’m even considering a tattoo of it… ;)

  • 7.
    Annie said…

    My word this year is “gather” as I aim to connect and reconnect with people around me, gather my family (husband and teen/tween kids) in meaningful ways, and gather my thoughts and ideas into new projects, essays, stories, (and papers for grad school).

  • 8.
    Icecat62 said…

    I’m new to this and since reading your post I’ve mulled over a number of words and the one I think that suits me best is…Study. “The cultivation of a particular branch of learning, science, or art.” I want to study the world around me, the way people in my life react, her voice and phrases my daughter makes as she grows, I want to study everything…to see more than what meets the eye and I want to get it all down on paper so I can reflect on it later. Study…I like this word already. :)

  • 9.
    Nancy said…

    I choose a word for each year too. Love it. So intentional and directed. Loved reading the other words from your readers…. very inspiring. Mine is “grateful”… in all circumstances.

  • 10.
    Jujudo said…

    As the year 2009 wasn’t the best year for me and my family I just heard one word inside me for the new year:
    My word for 2010 is optimism – the courage to face life as it is.

  • 11.
    Betheroo said…

    My word for 2010 is joy. I want to bring more joy into my everyday life.

  • 12.
    Barb M. said…

    My word is persist. I am in the middle of changing my life in the face of obesity. I need to continue the journey and I have hit a plateau of sorts. I can do this and I will do this. I also have not taken the time in ’09 to scrapbook or sew enough. In ’10 I will take the time to create. Persist is perfect for me.

  • 13.
    Andrea C. in IL said…

    My word for 2010 is actually 2 words, ACCEPTANCE & HOPE. This is the last stage of grief. 5 years ago this month, I gave birth to my youngest daughter. She was born into heaven that day. It was the hardest day of my life. During lent each year I try to give up which ever stage of grief I am in at that time. Grief spirals and is ugly. For 2010, I am going to face this all head on and move right through everything. No guilt or anger. I know that acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil I have experienced, I can never return to the carefree, untroubled existence of before this tragedy. But I will move forward positively and with hope.

  • 14.
    Jessica said…

    I used this practice last year with the word “essential” and I found it to be so much more useful than resolutions. So, thank you!
    My word for 2010 is “resource.” As in, how am I spending my resources of time, creative energy, and money? I’m sure my think on this will evolve over the year, but here is the post I wrote yesterday, which helped me to flesh this out a bit more:
    Thanks again!

  • 15.
    helena said…

    my word for 2010 is connect – in lots of different ways. Really like this idea of choosing a word for the year

  • 16.
    Becky G. said…

    This is my first time reading about your ‘word’, but I’d like to participate! This year (2009) was very hard. My dad’s health drastically declined and I spent many hours in doctors’ offices, ER’s, hospitals and finally a hospice house. He went to heaven in September, and now I am having to learn how to live without him, and without the stress of caring for him. There wasn’t much ‘joy’ in my life in 2009, so my word is ‘joyful’, and modified to add ‘live’, to make my goal for 2010 to ‘live joyfully’!!! Thank you! Becky G.

  • 17.
    christen said…

    my word is WELLNESS.

  • 18.
    Kristi said…

    My word for 2010 is FOCUS.
    I often need to remember to focus on the task at hand, do one thing at a time, and prioritize where I place my focus. I think that this reminder will help me create great things in the year to come!

  • 19.
    Beatriz said…

    My word for this coming year 2010 is CREATE.
    This word will give me lots of energy. I’ll see it every day on the bookshelves in my study. I have the need to create: to get pregnant (creating pure), painting, scrapbooking and photography (don’t go out without my camera). I am confident that 2010 will be a very creative and positive year for me and my family.
    Thanks Ali for the inspiration. I hope that your word HISTORY, gives you the same energy.
    Greetings and Happy New Year 2010

  • 20.

    Ali, I’d already been thinking about my word for 2010. I’ve decided to keep the same word as last year–SERENITY–because I felt I didn’t get as far with it as I’d intended. And, interestingly, the word itself kept popping up in the oddest places toward the end of the year, like a reminder. Even on Christmas Day when my husband gave me his Christmas present. Guess what the label was–SERENITY! So I am vowing to be more intentional about achieving it for myself and to do some little projects here and there around it. Thanks for your guidance in this. kay

  • 21.
    Sarah C said…

    My word is Explore.
    This word excites me when I think about it. 2010 appears to be holding several changes for us and exploring those changes and not holding back seems to be just what this next year needs.
    Happy New Year!

  • 22.
    Debbie said…

    Wow….my word found me.
    As I was reading Kristi’s word..FOCUS…
    the same word was said on TV…
    and I immediately recalled my daughter telling me that my lack of focus was making her crazy lately.
    So I guess that is it for 2010.

  • 23.
    liz said…

    i want my word to be “family.” in the last month i have lost 2 people i love, so i want to cherish the time i have, with those i love. family will be in the forefront on my mind this coming year. of course, we should always be so aware that our time is fleeting. we need to remember every day to enjoy the time we havef with our family…including friends and distant aquaintances.

  • 24.
    Erin said…

    I love this tradition. Choosing one word has given me comfort and focus in the previous three years. For 2010, I’m going with NEST.
    My husband and I have trimmed our budgets a great deal over the last few years-we travel less, eat out less and generally spend less. We spend more time at home and we couldn’t be happier. In 2010 we will be investing some of our savings into making our home more comfortable and fitting to our homebody lifestyle.

  • 25.

    Hi…my word will be “Change”…I hope that changes will take place….I am not fond of changes, BUT in 2010, I hope to change my job, change my exercise regime and my singlehood status….:)
    thks for the inspiration!

  • 26.

    Charisma- I recently re-read A return to love by Marianne Williamson and the words original meaning hit me in that one little word place:) “of the spirit and inspired”. I so want to continue this year to live my life truly inspired and let that part of myself shine more.

  • 27.
    Linn said…

    Thanks for the inspiration as always. I’ve chosen one little word with you for the past two years (“listen” and “peace”) and for the past month I’ve been thinking about my word for 2010. I just can’t get any other word to come to mind except “slow”. I am a big believer in slow living in so many ways and I want to embrace it even more in 2010. So most likely that will be my word, unless anything new suddenly pops to the forefront this week.

  • 28.
    MichelleG said…

    This year it was an easy one…Believe. For so many different reasons. Love your choice!

  • 29.
    Karen said…

    I’ve been giving some thought to keeping my word-learn-for another year. I have quite a list, but some things on the list don’t quite match, so when I saw Jessica’s word-INTENTION-I knew that was the right word for me for 2010. Thanks, Ali and Jessica, too. I found the perfect definition for me: A course of action that one intends to follow. 2. a. An aim that guides action; an objective.

  • 30.
    Brooke said…

    My word is without doubt BLESSED. God has blessed me beyond measure and has given me so many opportunities to recognize the, He never fails. I look forward to cherishing all my blessings in the new year : )

  • 31.
    Joey said…

    My word of the year comes from the great quote by Howard Thurman. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” My word is ALIVE. This year I am quitting my job that I have disliked and sometimes hated for 10 years to go to school and come a ALIVE!!!

  • 32.
    Julie said…

    Ali – did you do a post long ago that had a listing of all of the words that people had chosen for that year? I’ve looked for it, but didn’t find it. Perhaps I am imagining it? I’m praying about my word and enjoy reading the comments. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  • 33.
    Lani said…

    Waiting for my word to find me… LOVE all the words posted here. Might see if my moms group wants to participate…

  • 34.
    juliann said…

    my word found me this Christmas season – PONDER
    I have always loved thinking about Mary pondering all the things the angel told her and feeling that there is an intentionality about how she held and wondered about what was going to happen – I hope to slow down enough to ponder this year

  • 35.
    Chookooloonks said…

    Mine is BEAUTY. And I have my painting that you helped me script hung in my studio to remind me of this. :)
    Happy New Year, friend.

  • 36.
    Elizabeth said…

    My word for 2010 is PATIENCE. To make a long story short, we are trying to move and with today’s economy it is a bit difficult. So I must be patient and try to go with the flow.

  • 37.
    Colleen said…

    My word for 2009 was Grace and I found it really helpful to have that word guide me throughout the year… although I am not sure I entirely lived up to it, but I made progress.
    This year my word is Choice – as in I Am At Choice, always. With every decision, no matter how big or small I have the opportunity to make sure every choice is in alignment with my core values.
    Thanks for the inspiration. I really love reading your posts about this… and everyone’s comments too.

  • 38.
    Jaimie said…

    My word for 2010 is PRODUCTIVITY. Over the last few months I have lost focus of the plans I have for myself, so I’m aiming to be more productive in the new year.
    Thank you for sharing your tradition.

  • 39.
    jenn shurkus said…

    i was thinking of this yesterday… remembering that you would be mentioning this soon… frustrated i never picked a word last year… and decided i’m def picking one this year… now to decide ;) thanks ali!

  • 40.
    Katarina said…

    Ali, it’s the first time I’m choosing my word (here along with you), and my word is ‘stability’. 1,5 years ago my life changed and all this time it was quite uneasy, and I was not sure I wanted to do anything with it. Now I understand I want, and I’ve made my first steps to it. I want to get stability in my life during the coming year.
    Thank you for inspiration :)

  • 41.
    Shannon said…

    Everyone has such positive words and mine might seem negative…but they’re not, for me. My words are LOSE & REPLACE. I need to LOSE about 80 pounds and I’ve struggled with this for years. This year I actually gained another 10 pounds and I’ve gotten to the point where I’m finally going to do this for myself. I also want to REPLACE some bad habits with better habits and I want to LOSE a lot of the emotional baggage I’ve carried around for a bazillion years.

  • 42.
    Debbie W. said…

    Last year, my word was Balance – making sure there was time for me, family, others -keeping my life balanced among all the demands on my time. This year, I need to focus on simplifying my life – cleaning out clutter, working on my weight a bit, cutting back on volunteering to the point that there is more time for family… My word for 2010 is Reduce – that seems to fit all my goals for the year. Thank you Ali for such a great concept – this is so much better for me than “resolutions”, I guess because I can’t “fail”. I am working toward an ideal, not trying to check something off a list.

  • 43.
    jakki said…

    Live…my word is LIVE.

  • 44.
    Susan said…

    My word for this year will be Journal. I started a journal last year and was not consistent in my writing…big gaps between entries. Since writing really helps me to clarify my thoughts, it is a very helpful tool for me. Perhaps by making it my word, I will be encouraged to do that which I am anxious to accomplish. I don’t feel the need to journal every day. I just want to remember and act upon the fact that it is a good action for me to acknowledge, understand, and record my feelings.

  • 45.
    lissa said…

    My word for 2010 is Blessings.
    Blessings are all around us we just have to really look hard sometimes and that’s my goal for next year,is to look for the blessing admist the trials.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  • 46.
    Jill said…

    My word for 2010 found me in August – it’s LOVE. The magnitude of this word is still taking my breath away. I’m eager to see for how it will challenge, inspire, surprise and lead me through 2010.

  • 47.
    Rhonda said…

    Oh Ali….of all the things I have been introduced to by you, my word for the year has to be my favorite! I have had three wonderful words the past three years, and I end my prayers each night with them. I have been thinking of my word for 2010 already, and am so excited to see this post and to thank you for sharing this gift with me those years ago. I *love* your word, it fits you and what you share with us all perfectly too. Enjoy your day!
    Rhonda :)

  • 48.
    Michell said…

    After taking your class over at BPS all I talk about is telling the story. I think that my family thinks that I have gone a little over the deep end with telling the story. But they love reading about it in my pages! My New Years resolution is to work every day at telling the story meaningfully. I wanted it to be a LO per day but I am afraid that life will get in the way. So if I take pictures and/or journal and be present everyday I will have hit a homerun. STORY

  • 49.
    Jen said…

    I’m typing this before I read the comments. My word for 2010 is INVITE. There are so many opportunities I would like to invite into my life, so many moments, so many characteristics, friends, and memories. This is the year.

  • 50.
    Karen said…

    I love choosing a word for the year! Last year it was Gratitude and by year’s end, I had such a full year of things to be grateful for. This year my word is Recreate. I want to breathe new life and energy into myself, my surroundings and all other aspirations I have.

Post a comment