Welcome To Week In The Life 2012 | Thoughts On Getting Started

Photo spread from Week In The Life Sunday 2011.

Welcome to Week In The Life 2012!

I know many of your around the world have already started the process of documenting your week - thanks for sharing your excitement via Facebook!

Two things before I share some additional thoughts on this process:

• SHARING YOUR CONTENT | In my post tomorrow morning, where I share my words and photos from today, I'll include a spot for you to link to your photos and words. It's been fun the last few years to check out all the different links to see what's happening for others as they experience the content gathering portion of this project. In addition, here's a couple other places to share: (1) Big Picture Free Week In The Life Community (message board + gallery) and (2) Flickr Week In The Life 2012.

• GIVEAWAYS | Today begins a week long series of giveaways celebrating this project. Each day you will find a new giveaway post featuring two of my Week In The Life giveaway sponsors. The giveaway post will be open from 3am Pacific to 9am Pacific the following day. On Sunday I'll have a giveaway featuring all the 2012 Title Sponsors. All the winners will be posted next week on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Don't miss today's giveaways from Chic Tags and The Vintage Pearl. Click here to see what they are giving away and leave a comment to enter.


As I get ready to embark on this project once again, I wanted to share a few things that are rattling around in my mind:

1. FIND YOUR OWN RHYTHM. I usually begin with lots of enthusiasm and end feeling so very ready for it to be over. And that's totally okay. This can be an intense project - it's also one that is very rewarding when you commit to seeing it all the way through. Everyone is going to have their own pace with this project. Set yourself up for success with the right attitude: you'll do the best you can with what you have in front of you. For some of you your rhythm will be all iphone photos with text documentation via Instagram (love the idea of using that one tool to capture the words + the photos). Others will use the Daily Sheets as you go about your day. Some will use a blank journal or a Smashbook. There's no right or wrong. Make it work for you.

2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE. A combination of iphone and dslr photos will likely make it into my album. With this project I tend to use my big camera more because I'm thinking about it - and it's good practice. So many of my favorite shots happen during this week because I take more photos than usual of whatever it is that's happening around here. And I keep it simple.

3. THOUGHTS ABOUT THE "STUFF." Week In The Life used to be more about capturing the "stuff" than it is these days (for me at least - again, make it what you want it to be). Last year when I did WITL I collected very little stuff - for me it's mainly because I'm already actively capturing those things in Project Life. What I liked and learned last year is removing the "stuff" component enabled me to focus more on the words + photos for this project. It's really totally and completely up to you. I loved the stuff that I gathered in my older Week In The Life albums.

4. NO GUILT. I say this every time - with all the projects. If you miss an afternoon or a day don't throw out the entire project. All the stories and photos you collect can come together into a million different formats.

5. LIFE HAPPENS. Good, bad, sad, crazy, boring, fun, life-changing, life-affirming, life-challenging. Anything can and does happen because that's how life goes. Be open to capturing it.

6. HAVE FUN. Sometimes this project can feel a little like a chore - especially towards the end of the week. Make it fun. This is something I'm going to try to remember as this week progresses. When I start feeling stressed or overwhelmed I'm going to be conscious of it and just take a step back and a deep breath. When it starts feeling like that something that often helps me is to figure out what I haven't captured yet. Did I manage to get photos of breakfast each day but nothing of dinner because I was too busy? Do I have a ton of photos of Simon and very few of Anna? What's missing? Asking myself those sorts of questions usually helps get me back on track to finish out the week.

7. BE REAL. Yes. Your life may look completely different next year or two years from now...mine certainly looks different than last summer. The cast of characters is essentially the same but there are some very big differences. Take this opportunity to document what your life is like right now - all of it. My hope, and one of the reasons I keep doing this project, is that you use this as an opportunity, not just as a creative project, to take a good look at your life. What do your love? What do you dislike? What do you hope never changes and what would you change right now if you could? Show me the wonderful, simple everyday pieces of your life.

Wishing you all the best as you embark on this journey of documentation!

Ready, set, go!

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85 thoughts

  1. Joyce Doenges

    2012-04-23 18:24:27 -0400

    This week in the life I am doing from Sunday through Sunday. Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary and next Sunday we run our first 5 mile race. Wasn’t sure I could leave either of those events out so, it will be an 8 day week! Looking forward to your posts throughout the week! Have fun!

  2. Cathie

    2012-04-23 18:39:38 -0400

    I almost didn't start today because I'm getting over a bug - blech - so there aren't a lot of photos today and you know what? I'm totally ok with that. I'm hoping that instead of starting strong I'm going to end strong. It's all a part of being real, right?

    Good luck to all!

  3. Joey

    2012-04-23 19:04:33 -0400

    I am soo excited to start this little journey. I am so bad at documenting things so this will definitely be a challenge for me. Good luck to everyone!

  4. Dionne, the Tea Priestess

    2012-04-23 20:02:54 -0400

    Happy First Day! This is my first time and I planned to do LOADS of journaling and not a lot of picture taking. Surprisingly I have taken 70 pictures (way more than I thought). All the meticulous writing gave me an idea of things to capture for the rest of the week! So looking forward to seeing what every one else is doing!

  5. Kimberly L.

    2012-04-23 20:09:40 -0400

    Hi everyone! I am super excited about WITL, but I will be starting either Saturday or Monday of next week. This is my first time and I know I will be very inspired and not so scared to do this on my own after reflecting back on all of the experience encompassed on this blog! Thank you, Ali, for an awesome project and your amazing ideas and products!

  6. Caroline M.

    2012-04-23 20:32:34 -0400

    I am thinking about doing it this year finally. I'll wait a week or two before I start my week in a life. Our life is not as usual these days because my husband is at home for two weeks. I prefer to show our real life, with everyone running at school and at work and at soccer practice... Thanks for your inspiration Ali and for showing YOUR week in a life.

  7. Elissa

    2012-04-23 20:44:27 -0400

    This is my first time doing WITL although I have been interested since CKU 2005. Looking forward to seeing what everyone posts.

  8. Brooke

    2012-04-23 20:54:09 -0400

    I'm not embarking on WITL right now but what a lovely pep talk for life and our creative projects. Thank you.

  9. Lisa S.

    2012-04-23 21:08:49 -0400

    I love taking on this project and I love seeing what everyone captures during this week!

  10. Julie MacManus

    2012-04-23 21:17:21 -0400

    thanks for the inspiration Ali. I started yesterday with a hiss and a roar and then today i havent taken nearly as many photos or written much but it's still early enough to keep going.
    thanks julie

  11. Annette

    2012-04-23 23:19:57 -0400

    I love this. Thanks for all the wonderful tips. I feel like there is a huge team of Week in the Lifers out there and I can just hear Coach Ali cheering us on "Go Team!" As I was reviewing my photos tonight I thought to myself, "This is why I do this" and it just made me so happy. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and for guiding us on this journey. Have a wonderful week!

  12. Kelly

    2012-04-24 00:25:23 -0400

    Today was so easy for me. Much more than ever in the past when I've tried WITL!! It was very fun!!

  13. Crystal

    2012-04-24 01:20:58 -0400

    I just got home from working at a polling station during our provincial election and even though I have only a few photos, they are will be great for telling the story of this day! And I'm going to include the front page of the newspaper tomorrow too. Thanks again for the idea, the support and the encouragement, Ali!

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  15. Kathy

    2012-04-24 02:42:50 -0400

    I simply love the WITL project and I've got 2 other mums doing it with me this year (in Brisbane, Australia). One of them did Project 365 last year after encouragement seeing mine and I said this is a pretty intense project and I think harder than one photo a day for 365 days (believe it or not!!) but it is totally worth it. This is my third year but I am definately breaking the project into two this year. This week, photos and journalling and next week put together the album. It is too much pressure doing it all in the same week...exciting but a lot of work so I feel it's easier this year.

    I also encourage anyone who thinks they have a boring week ahead to do it anyway....life is not all fun every day of the year. Some weeks there is nothing but home time and that's when you get to think about and appreciate right now. Can't wait to see everyone's links. Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  17. Lori Anderson

    2012-04-24 13:14:11 -0400

    I received a new camera at Christmas (the Sony NEX 5) and decided that 2012 was the year to begin a photo documentary project. I'm using an assortment of divided page protectors and a 12x12 3 ring binder album, keeping it simple by filling the sections with 4-5 photos and one journaling block, printed on printed papers from my scrap box. It isn't fancy, but I've completed one page every week this year. I have added some extra pages, or pieces of pages, when I've had more photos than would fit. I am loving the entire process.

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