Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 26, 2012

One Little Word 2013

One Little Word necklace from Lisa Leonard.

My word for 2013 is open.

Last year I had a great story about how my word came to me. This year it was more of a whisper and to be honest I’m not really sure what it means for me right now, or what it will end up meaning for me 12-months from now. And I’m okay with that.

Open is an attitude and an approach. It’s a reminder to live wholeheartedly, to enter the ring, to live the length and the width. It’s how I want to tackle this year.

I love that open is an action & a re-action. I can act with an open heart; I can re-act with an open heart.

I want to be open to it all – the amazing and the challenging. Wide open.

Are you considering selecting a word for yourself (or letting one find you)? There’s no right or wrong. The main thing to remember is that this is your word. It’s not for your child, parent, partner, spouse, sister, etc.

And what do you do with this one little word?

You live with it. You invite it into you life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.

I’d love to read what word you’ve chosen or are considering for 2013. In the comments feel free to simply leave your word as your comment or write a bit about why you are choosing this word. In a couple days I’ll combine all the words into a single post – super inspiring to see all the words in one place.

If you’re new to the concept of One Little Word, you can read some of my previous posts here: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

One Little Word necklace from Liz Lamoreux. Use ONELITTLEWORD and receive 15% off through Jan 31.


Registration is open for 2013 and you’re invited to join the journey.

Each month you’ll receive a prompt with a simple creative, writing, or photography project and a gentle reminder to check back in with your word. By the end of the year you’ll have compiled the contents of an 8.5×11 album that documents, defines, celebrates and generally makes your word more visible. Workshop materials include printable elements, full-color PDF handouts, and video presentations.

People have been asking me if you have to be a scrapbooker for this class. My answer is no. Even though we are making an album it’s really more of a journaling/record keeping/thinking/exploring project. I’m excited to see how people interpret the prompts and make them meaningful for their own lives.

This is not complicated and it’s not time-consuming. It’s simply a way we  can come together to share our experience with our words throughout the  course of the year.

The One Little Word classroom opens on January 1, 2013.


  • 51.
    Shannon said…

    I am still working between “forward” and “magic”. They both came to me and I can’t seem to pick just one. Forward I think came about with moving across the country in march or April of 2013 and I know that it’s going to be hard for both myself and my new marriage and going forward is going to be important. Also magic because I was wrapped up in a job that was long weeks and hours for the last half of 2012 and I recently quit that job and am looking forward to finding magic in 2013 that I know I missed in 2012.

  • 52.
    stevie said…

    my word for 2013…BRAVE

  • 53.
    Pidgen said…

    2013 = Strength
    I must admit I’m a bit scared of this word. I’ve done OLW enough times to know that they are always a challenge. And we gain strength through pain. But I am really hoping to gain strength in 2013 from the pain that was so overwhelming in 2012. There was so much pain this year and I want to be stronger for it in the coming year. I’m sure that there will be a great deal of pain in 2013, but I’m wanting this to hold more of a “rebuild”, “support” and “strengthen” type of connitation. I’m all about the idea of nurturing the lessons I gained this year.
    I’m also signed up for OLW2013!! Can’t wait! :)

  • 54.
    shannon b said…

    My word is THRIVE. We moved to a new state in 2012, after spending 12 years in Oregon. To help me through that big change my one little word in 2012 was embrace. It was good for me. But for most of this year I have felt like I have just been in survival mode. Going through the motions, just living day to day. Now, I want to get out of survival mode and really “thrive” where I am at. It is time.

    • ….
      Vasilly said…

      My OLW is thrive too. I think it’s finally time for me to stop living day-to-day and do more. I want to do the things I love (and the ones that I need to do) and be great at it. Good luck to you.

  • 55.
    Amanda A said…

    My word is create. I want to create more love, happiness, art. I want to create a space to come home to where I feel happy and loved. I want to create a life that is worth living.

  • 56.
    Dawn F. said…

    My word for 2013 is believe. I had this word for 2012 and I don’t think I’m done with it yet.

  • 57.
    Christina said…

    FREE-free to be truly me,to freely forgive, to break free of my comfort zone, debt free, freely love. I can’t wait to see how this world revels itself in 2013

  • 58.
    Rinda said…

    My word for 2013 is prioritize. I need to ask myself everyday “what is truly important?”
    I love the word “open.” it was my word several years ago, and I did a set of 52 ATC’s. There are some really great quotes with the word open.

  • 59.
    monica said…

    My word for 2013 is peace. It seems to be speaking to me a lot in the last couple of months. I had a difficult 2012 and while many words would be good for overcoming the events of this year…forward, move, up, etc., I think mostly I need to just be at peace with where I am in all aspects of my life. I read a quote recently that said “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself” and that really resonated with me. And as I find myself second guessing that word to make sure it’s the absolutely right word it occurs to me that my second-guessing is exactly why I need this word! PEACE with my choices and where I am. Looking forward to another great OLW class this year.

    • ….
      dawn said…

      I picked this word also, it’s been popping up lately and finally felt right after the tragedy in Newton. Hoping to find more peace at home, in my heart and spreading it to others. Good luck with your word in 2013.

  • 60.
    Debbie G said…

    I already have my necklace with the word Happy on it. I plan to wear it and remember to embrace the happy that life offers.

  • 61.
    Linda said…

    My 2013 word is FOCUS. In September I opened my own mixed media shop AND I own my own retreat business. This is the year that I plan to FOCUS on transitioning 100% to working my new creative career and leaving my other traditional employment. FOCUS reminds me to make disciplined business decisions that help me accomplish this hefty goal. I’m so excited about my journey!

  • 62.
    Rebecca said…

    I think my word is direction or intention. I’m still mulling it over, but I’m looking for my word to help me stay on the path I’m walking while still allowing me to grow as a person.

    • ….
      Wendy said…

      Intention was my word in 2011! I loved it! It came to me from a graphic I saw in a magazine- “Live with intention”.

  • 63.
    Devon said…

    Open is my word for 2013 as well. I like that it is both a verb and adjective. I want to be open to opportunities and people and life, in general and I know that I can open doors and possibilities with my own actions.

    I can’t wait to see what the year brings and how my word manifests.

  • 64.
    Peggy J said…

    My word is Connect. I want to take more time to connect with people who are important to me, and too often I just don’t get around to it. The off-hand comments to do this or that, go out for lunch, just get together to catch up, apparently require a little more effort than I’ve given them this last year. And it also relates to my plan to connect via blog postings (something I have let go for well over a year). It will be interesting to see where this takes me.

  • 65.
    Kathy L said…

    My word for 2013 is Create. I’ve considered other words, but this is the one that feels right.

  • 66.
    Patti L said…

    My word for 2013 is Jump! Like the song by Van Halen. I started pondering the word in November and this just kept coming to me (along with the song lyrics) so it has stuck. I’m a little scared by my word, but I think that’s good. I love that this has turned into a thing I discuss with family&friends and everyone is into picking a word (even if they don’t scrap)

  • 67.
    Kim said…

    my One Little Word for 2013 is… SONG.

    We’re embracing music as a family this year… I’m taking up guitar lessons at age 40! My kids are going to take piano lessons… music is such a gift and makes everyone happy. It’s been missing in our lives for quite some time. This year that will change…

    • ….
      Aly said…

      I’m learning to play the acoustic guitar at age 35! So I’m right there with you!

  • 68.
    april nowotny said…

    Simplify ….my word is simplify. I hope to streamline my days and plan time to stay organized. Staying organized will help simplify my days. And this will have to start with a purge of unused and unwanted items…

  • 69.
    ShellyP said…

    My word for 2013 is “Enough”. I have just enough in my life right now to satisfy me. And it’s not about placing a monetary value to things, it’s about placing an emotional value on my life right now. Do I wish for more? Possibly. But over the past year I have learned that having enough right now is okay.

    • ….
      Tessa said…

      I chose Enough Also!

  • 70.
    Peggy said…

    Brave is my word. There are changes in my life that I need to make. And I need to be Brave to make them.

  • 71.
    Carrie S. said…

    My word for 2012 should have been embrace. I didn’t go with it, but I should have. It’s spoken to me this entire year, so my word for 2013 is EMBRACE. I’m signed up for the One Little Word class, and can’t wait for it to begin.

  • 72.
    Kristen said…

    I have been toying with three words: Balance, Go and Free. Over the last few weeks the word FREE has grown larger and more demanding. My word for 2013 will be FREE and I can’t wait it see where it takes me. I know I want to be free of my unfulfilling job, free of the little credit card balance I carry, Free of self-doubt and fear. My body yearns for more freedom too. My word for 2012 – emerge, helped me shed more than 80 lbs. I have more weight to release figuratively and literally.

    This is my third go ’round with OLW and I am so grateful for this practice!

    Thanks Ali for both your guidance and your company on this joyful journey.

  • 73.
    Miranda said…

    I chose live, because I want no longer to be controlled by fear, shame for being me

    • ….
      Song said…

      I am toying with this word too. I made some great changes in my life over the last month and I really want to start living the life I want, not that which I think those around me want.
      Here’s to living OUR live as we should.

  • 74.
    Elina said…

    My word for 2013 is ART.

  • 75.
    Ali Gitt said…

    I’m playing with various words. I like the word UP which Ali used last year and also MOMENT. To live in the moments not the overall expectation of the idea or what you want the future plan to be. Up is good bc I want to bring more positive thoughts my way and think of the brighter sides of things and all the directions upward can represent. Hmmm maybe BRIGHT could be my word. See. It never ends. I chose embrace a few years ago.

    Any ideas of how to pick just one. .

  • 76.
    Jeanne said…

    I’ve chosen “Move” as my word. It’s intended as a practical probe: I’ve been getting too sedentary and it’s causing me to miss out of some things. This is the year to change that. It can, of course, have many other meanings and those will be fun to explore. Looking forward to the class.

  • 77.
    Julie said…

    Bring on 2013 and Adventure!

    We had alot of death this year and it’s a reminder that each moment is important. Get off the couch and do it! Life is an adventure, something new, risk, excitement, living out loud!

    If pysched!

    • ….
      Julie said…

      I’m so excited I can’t spell.

      I’m psyched not if..


  • 78.
    Armalite said…

    My little word for 2013 is Perspective, and I wrote about it (in french) there:
    As a very anxious person, I would like to stop looking at the world through dark glasses, be able to step out of myself and look at what I’m going through from a distance, in order to have a more relaxed attitude toward things.

  • 79.
    Carrie Rosalind said…

    I love picking one little word each year…thanks for the inspiration! I am still a tiny bit up in the air, but I’m pretty sure my word for 2013 is OWNERSHIP. I wanted to do “no excuses” or something along those lines, but I like that “ownership” is positive. Love your word this year and love your necklace!!

  • 80.
    lee said…

    In 2013, my word will be virtue.

    In the past few months, as I look ahead to a 2013 that will have some interesting life changes, I’ve felt a calling in my heart that says it’s time to take the things I find frustrating about myself or in my life, and to actually do something…and a reading that I’ve felt drawn to as I work on that is Proverbs 31 (which talks of a virtuous woman). Hence, my word. =)

    • ….
      Pidgen said…

      I love Proverbs 31! As a single lady, I find it a fun, challenging and always a good read! :)

  • 81.
    JC said…

    My word for 2013 is SAY — be it with words, art, or any form of expression, I’m challenging myself to get what swirls in my heart and head out into the world.
    (John Mayer’s song “Say” from some years ago really brought this one out for me. :) )

  • 82.
    Jamie R. said…

    My word is focus. It’s time to spend my energy on the things that matter most. To consciously focus on them and let everything else fall away.

  • 83.
    slmnontec said…

    Open was my word for last year (2012) and I learned SO MUCH.

    “Give” seems to be calling me for 2013.

  • 84.
    Theresa said…

    My word for the year is accomplish. I’m in my last year of law school and I want to remind myself to accomplish my goals this year.

  • 85.
    Ellie Augustin said…

    My word for this year will be Accomplishment. No matter how small it might be I will remember it is one as I had a year of trails and I see now I didn’t give myself enough credit so this year it’s about finishing what I start! Here is to an awesome 2013 for us all :)

  • 86.
    Lisa said…

    The word EMBRACE keeps coming back and nudging me. I liked my 2012 word, invest, because it applied to so many different areas of my life. So will embrace, if that’s what I choose as my word. I’m also thinking of doing what you did one year, Ali, which was to have a main, public word and then a secondary word that goes with it. We shall see.

  • 87.
    Paula said…

    My word was going to be “embrace” and at the last minute I changed it to “understand.” As I thought about the word embrace, it is really a quest for understanding so many of the factors of my life and how my family situation affects it …. once I can increase my understanding, I am open to embracing life more. I am hoping to understand more of what I can and can’t change and understand how to make things work better or more peacefully in my life. I also want to understand how to handle the challenges that aren’t going to go away with a better clarity and inner peace.
    This word is still spinning in me, not sure how I am going to get this understanding yet, but hopefully the word itself will make me seek ways to make it happen. It’s a challenging word for me, but I’m going for it.

  • 88.
    TRACY B. said…

    My one little word for 2012 is ACCEPT. It almost brings me to tears to even say it. I must be able to accept the good and the bad that is bound to come my way this year. Accept the repurcussions of the choices I make. Accept myself for who I am. Accept everything for what it is and not use so much energy trying to change or modify.

  • 89.
    karen c said…


    • ….
      Laura BC said…

      I like the quirkiness of this word! It will be an interesting year for you I’m sure.

  • 90.
    Dana said…

    My word for 2013 is PERSPECTIVE. Just changing the way I think of things will make my life more calm, more happy and less drama filled.

  • 91.
    Wendy said…

    My OLW2013 is RENEW. Lots of things that need dusting off and starting again with new commitment.

  • 92.
    Kim said…

    Can’t wait to begin the journey on Jan. 1! My word chose me about 2 months ago -’BECOME.’ Several years ago I discovered the quote, “It’s never too late to become what you might have been.” It has continued to inspire me that it is never too late to make changes in myself and become better than who I am today.
    For 2013, with my oldest child graduating in June and my youngest finishing kindergarten I feel that I really need to focus on becoming the woman I know I can be, the wife and mother I want to be. I’m really not sure what exactly this word will bring me this year but I am hopeful and open to what I can become and what my marriage and family can become.
    Ali, thank you so much for offering this opportunity again.

  • 93.
    M Wyatt said…

    I am condsidering BE or NOW. After losing my mother this year these words are my attempt to move forward and live my to the fullest.

  • 94.
    Kelly said…

    Hi Ali! Looking forward to my first year participating in OLW! I have chosen the word “plan.” It’s defined as “a scheme or method of acting, doing, making, proceding, etc, developed in advance.” There seems to be so many synonyms of the word that I feel I connected with and I look forward to how this word will keep its presence in my world during 2013!

  • 95.
    Beth R. said…

    I’m recycling my word from last year.. and using Revive. I had big plans for my word, and my year, and then right around February, my whole life fell apart and, well.. it wasn’t a good year and needless to say I lost my word in the mess. As I begin to move forward, I think now more than ever, I need this word for 2013.

  • 96.
    marisa said…

    consistent. I so need this.

  • 97.
    Robyn :) said…

    My word is Nurture. I felt strongly this is the word for me. What it means is that I am going to nurture my relatationships, especially with my husband, continue making our new home ours, nurturing myself by eating better and exercising and possibly getting pregnant.

    • ….
      Lauren F. said…

      This was my word last year :) My finances, relationships (with husband and others) our home, and my “diet/health” were all part of the plan. And it all came together towards the ultimate goal (Pregnancy!). I am now “nurturing” a 4 month-along pregnancy. It is amazing what can happen in just a year when you use this word as a basis for the decisions and mindsets that you make. Good luck!! :)

  • 98.
    Sandy said…

    My word is grateful.

  • 99.
    Peg D said…

    I’m leaning toward DISCOVER and/or DOCUMENT.

    It’s been a rough couple of years so I’m hoping to focus on the active. Discover health, Discover stories, Discover answers. But as I think of it, it won’t be enough to just Discover– I actually have to to Document it so that the impact is that much greater. Guess I have some more thinking to do on it.

  • 100.
    Myra said…

    First timer here and my word is STILL.

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