Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 30, 2013

One Little Word® 2014

Make your word visible: Order your own word from recycled matericals created by artist Colleen Attara here

My One Little Word for 2014 is thrive.

This year, more than any other I can remember, I’m starting off the year with questions. What does it mean for me to thrive? What does it look like? What does it fee like? Are there areas in which I’m already thriving? What’s realistic vs. visions of what I have in my head of what it means to thrive?

Open was an awesome word for me last year. It was a touchstone as I navigated my way through growing pains and man oh man did it work in a million different ways I could not have imagined when I started 2013. More often than not when faced with a decision, I chose to open more rather than closing off which was my number one intention last year. That said, I feel like I’ve been spinning in circles a lot this past year. I’ve been reacting vs. being proactive and have been dealing with a variety of issues related to stress and growth (totally all part of my own life journey).

To me thriving is optimal living. It’s being present and awake and stepping up to be my best self physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively and within my relationships.

It’s not a quest for perfection. It’s an opportunity to continue choosing to let go of things outside of my control and to figure out who that best-me-right-now really is.

It will be a whole new journey and I’m here to tell you I welcome it wholeheartedly.

Bring on 2014.

This year I invited my friend Elise Blaha Cripe to film a little video about her experience with One Little Word. One of the reasons I admire Elise is that she is awesome at follow-through and documentation. I’ve loved reading about her experience with her words over the last few years on her blog and she inspires me consistently with her projects and her real-life reflections.

Here’s Elise in her own words:

Thank you Elise for sharing about your own journey here.


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.

SHARE YOUR WORD THE COMMENTS | I’d love to read what word you’ve chosen or are considering for 2014. 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, 2012 and 2013.

ONE LITTLE WORD® 2014 | To help keep your One Little Word® more visible throughout the year I offer a year-long workshop featuring one prompt per month. Read all the details and sign up here. Registration is $5 off until December 31.


  • 51.
    Dawn S. said…


  • 52.
    Sarah said…


    I am learning to manage expectations and just let things work themselves out. Let our 3 boys grow and learn on their own without my constant intervention.

    I’m going to GO WITH THE FLOW when I can.

    I’ll also be revisiting the One Little Word classroom from back in 2011 that’s in my BPC archives and incorporate it into my PL album.

    Thanks Ali for sharing. Know that you do touch our lives and make them better.

  • 53.
    Susan A said…

    Begin. In order to move forward I need to begin.

  • 54.
    Cindy deRosier said…


  • 55.
    Melanie G said…

    My word this year is POSITIVE.
    I try to keep a mantra to follow through the year as well. This year is “Positive thoughts, positive happenings” I will have it up and about in my house, in my art, at work so that I see it and think about it on a daily basis.

    2012 was Change (Change it or Change the way you think about it)
    2013 was Reduce (Reduce everything)

    Thanks for OLW Ali! It has been a joy to work with over the past few years.

  • 56.
    Jenn said…


  • 57.
    debi said…

    My word for 2014 is *mindful*. I actually bought some pretty stacked rings to wear to remind me to be mindful. Of what I say… Of what I’m thinking… of how I live my life… with intention. To be *mindful*.

  • 58.
    Maica said…

    My Olw is TIME, temps.
    Best Regards from Catalonia.

  • 59.


  • 60.
    Karen said…

    My word is FOCUS. I realize that I spend much more time thinking about, dreaming about, compiling information about, etc., projects and dreams I have than I do implementing them. As a result, very little has come to fruition. This is the year to focus on just a few ideas and see them through.

  • 61.
    Pam said…

    My OLW for 2014 is BALANCE. I have been struggling with work and home and all my other commitments and finding time for everything. This is the year when it will all balance! This is my 7th year with OLW and I love it. Believe, joy, inspire, family, focus and grace. ..

  • 62.
    Caitlyn said…

    balance – because I need more of it in my life.

  • 63.
    P.J. said…

    My word for 2014 is JOY. It instilled itself into my life earlier this fall. 2014 is going to be a tough year and needing all the JOY I can find. Both of my parents are very frail, elderly and with various health issues. I’m in charge of much of their lives now. To keep myself from being overwhelmed, I started daily actively look for JOY. The other day as I sat waiting at my Mom’s doctor’s office, joy came with 3 little squirrels as they chased each other up trees and through the fresh snow on the ground. CUTENESS X 3! and JOY X 3!

  • 64.
    Christy said…

    FIND – I chose a word two years ago and it was discover – and discover things I did! Initially when find came to me while reading this post I thought that is just the same thing as discover and as I was listening to Elise I realized that find is entirely different as it implies to me looking for something you once had and want to rediscover vs. discovering new things. This is perfect as I have led a life of accomplishing things that although good do not feel authentic to who I am really am. So I am off to “find” my authentic self and just signed up for the workshop to keep me focused and having fun while I look. Thanks, Ali. (p.s. I discovered so many wonderful resources thanks to you! – Danielle LaPorte, Christine Kane, Marc and Angel Hack Life and the list goes on….)

  • 65.
    Jessica K. said…

    EMBRACE. Embrace life, love, health, family and possibilities…embrace to me means holding those things dear to me nearer, exploring those things that will make me healthier and taking chances on myself and the possibilities within me.

  • 66.
    Holly Ford said…

    This has been my hardest year so far to pick a word. My life between last year at this time and now got completely turned upside down and I find myself in a deep depression. So many things I want different right now, so much unhappiness, so much conflict, so little time for me.
    I chose the word MORE, because I want my life to be more than this. More than Depression, more than a caregiver to my mom with cancer, more than a mom to two kids. I want MORE purpose MORE happiness MORE personal development.
    I want to be MORE, because, darn it, I am worth MORE.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I hope you copy and paste and print this out and put it somewhere you can see it often.

    • ….
      Vanessa Babin said…

      Wow Holly, I know how you feel. I am a caregiver to my quadriplegic son and I think about how I want more too. God Bless you and hope you get MORE out of life because you deserve it.

    • ….
      Carol said…

      Holly, your word is amazing. Good luck with your journey. xo

  • 67.
    Evalyn said…

    My word for 2014 is INVENT.

  • 68.
    Tiffany said…

    This year my word is Action. There are so many things I want to do or needto do, this year is the year I plan to take action and do them.

  • 69.
    amy t schubert said…

    Choosing BRAVE last year changed my life. Brave will be my word forever, I think.

    This year, though, I feel like I need to take better care of me and what I have. My word for 2014 is NURTURE. I’ll be posting more about it in a couple days.

    :) Excited for our class this year!

  • 70.
    Jen Ernst said…

    This is my first year participating on OLW and I am so excited! I have participated in multiple AE Projects this past year, I did Day in the Life in April, I am currently completing my Week in the Life album from September and I am also working on finishing up my first December Daily Album! I am so grateful that I took up project life last year as it was our first year of marriage and as luck would have it, we are expecting our first baby this year! So it will be so awesome to see how different our lives will be from one year to the next! My word for 2014 is COMPLETE. I will use this word as a daily mantra to motivate myself to complete my many craft projects, home projects, things as simple as the laundry or making dinner, classes that I have signed up and paid for to learn more about photography, crafts, graphic design, the silhouette, so many things to COMPLETE. I also hope to make a connection with this word and for it to help me cultivate a feeling of being COMPLETE. And when our little baby arrives I will finally BE COMPLETE as I have always wanted to start a family with the love of my life. Yes, OLW will be COMPLETE this year and last but not least I am hoping to really commit to and COMPLETE a years worth of meaningful sharing on my blog Thank you Ali for all of your inspiration!

  • 71.
    Lindsay said…

    My word is foster.

    • ….
      Tammy W. said…

      Excellent choice Lindsay. This was almost my word for the next year as we just became licensed as foster care parents, but a stronger word presented itself recently. Good luck with fostering you!

  • 72.
    charissa said…

    My word this year is refresh. I toyed with rejuvenate and renew, but I like the idea of refresh because it is about bringing fresh, New ideas, views, focuses to my life and the circumstances in it.

  • 73.
    Erin said…

    I chose Enough for this year. I want to always remind myself that I am enough, just the way that I am. I am single & I am enough without a husband – don’t need one to be complete (although, I would like one). Also, thinking about what it might mean to live simply in 2014, rather than continue to accumulate more & more. I think enough is going to serve me well. Excited to see where 2014 takes me.

  • 74.
    Cynthia said…


    It was a 4-week series at church a month ago…how God has a NEXT for us as individuals and as a church. The word NEXT really struck me and stuck with me. I want to know what God’s NEXT is for me. I know I will have to make many huge changes this year and I’m a little nervous and very excited. NEXT seemed perfect for my One Little Word!

  • 75.
    Sheila said…


  • 76.
    Heather R said…


  • 77.
    HeatherO said…


    Homework, soccer practicex3, dance class
    Even when my kids push every button I posess
    I know that some day I will miss it all

  • 78.
    Allison said…


    • ….
      Rachael Hectus said…

      My word is also trust. Trust myself and my emotions. Trust others to take care of themselves. Trust the Universe to provide for our needs and provide opportunities. Trust my marriage and the love that it holds. Trust. It is a huge one for me.

  • 79.
    Jennifer K said…

    FORWARD. As in, moving forward in life. After getting settled in a new state (which feels like a strange new life), and working on recovering physically and emotionally from several very stressful years, I feel it’s time to (and I’m ready to) move forward. (My 2013 word was Restore, which was a wonderful encouragement to me this past year!)

  • 80.
    Gabi said…

    I’m on the same word as you are, Ali – thrive. I’ve been choosing my one little word for the last 5 years and those words were always a huge part of my everyday life. In January I’ve started working full-time for the first time as being a mom and a lot of days I’ve felt like I’m working on auto-pilot. 9-5 work, dinner, prepare lunches, homework… In 2014 I’m hoping to get back to “myself” more, to enjoy the everyday chaos more fully and to push myself to take better care of myself, not just of my family. I want to thrive!

  • 81.
    Kim Bolyard said…

    How do I choose just one word….over the past month I have been finding myself using the word “relax” a lot. Reminding myself to relax, slow down and don’t sweat the small stuff…having said that the word Joy has been popping up all around me…from the beautiful necklace I bought from Lisa Leonard, to the ” Peace and Joy words I display in my home at Christmas, and here on the recycled word link you posted was the word Joyful…I have a feeling that if I just relax a little I will find Joy and have a joyful year. At least that is what I am striving for…so I choose to ‘Relax” and be “Joyful” because I need to remember that I am truly blessed.

  • 82.
    Leanne said…

    SEEK…. I’m seeking out who I am as an individual this year. I need to find her again, amongst being a mother and a wife..

  • 83.
    Jennie said…


  • 84.
    Carole said…


  • 85.
    Michele R. said…

    I’ve been thinking about kind and magic. Magic seems to be speaking a little more lovingly to me and my heart.

  • 86.
    Elaine said…

    This is my first time “playing along.” Thanks Elise for that snippet, I love when girls are deep thinkers, yay! to us! Originally I was thinking of GO! to get this business going. But I think this other word hits so many chords in life.

    My word is WORD: Studying it (God’s), hearing it, applying it, speaking it in love, what I choose to say,how and to whom, adding quality words to my blog, keeping it [follow through], taming them, profiting from them. WORD!

  • 87.
    Janey said…

    I turn 50 in 2014 and have been pondering how to prepare for this milestone — in other words, training for 50. Santa brought me a brand-new activity monitor to help with the physical part of my training.

    Its name: SHINE. And thus my 2014 OLW chose me.

    I’m going to shine, sparkle and glisten in all aspects of my life — and then spread that life glitter around.

    • ….
      Peg said…

      You sound like you are sparkling already. Thanks for the smile and YOU GO GIRL!! :)

  • 88.
    creole wisdom said…

    I chose “listen.” Or maybe it chose me. This is my second year choosing a olw and last year’s “authenticity” changed my life. I’m excited to see everyone’s words listed out and I’m curious if anyone will choose the same word I did.

  • 89.
    Patti L said…

    I like this exercise, and a lot of friends & family have gotten in on the concept too.

    Past few years words: Be, Balance, Hope, Commit, Jump

    This year it’s Home. And it means a lot of different things.

  • 90.
    becky h said…


  • 91.
    Robyn :) said…

    My word is Patience. I am pregnant with my first child so I need all the patience I can get!! I am the most impatient person in the world.

  • 92.
    Laura said…

    Content. Each year I seem to find “things” (projects, animals, new babies) to “fill” something within me. I just finished my masters degree two weeks ago and have space. I don’t want to add any more… I just want to be content with what I have and where I’m at.

  • 93.
    Susan said…


  • 94.
    Linda said…

    My word for 2014 is Embrace. It found me in Nov!

  • 95.
    Ashley said…


  • 96.
    janel said…


  • 97.
    carla said…

    My word is capture. I choose it for photography then I look up the definition. This word will fit into my life for 2014.

  • 98.
    Karen W said…

    My word for 2013 didn’t hold its usual power for me. I thought maybe I’d keep it for another year, but just this weekend, I realized the right word for 2014 is “simplify.” It seems so obvious now as I’d already signed up for a year long class called “A Simple Year.” I want to simplify a lot of things: my creative process, my home, my menu planning, our eating habits, and on and on. I’m excited to start the new year!

  • 99.
    Scarlett said…

    This is my first time jumping in with OLW, thanks to my friend Dawn, and I couldn’t be more delighted. My word found me long before I’d even pondered becoming a part of this class and as much as I thought and prayed on other words I kept coming back to the same one or versions of it.

    My word for 2014 is stillness. This year I desire to take a step back from the hustle, bustle that has become my life and experience stillness. This encompasses so many things that have already been set in motion and I’m thrilled to be on this journey!!

  • 100.
    Lisa said…

    Hi, Ali. I’m on my 6th year of the OLW journey with you. I love it. This practice has literally changed my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    This year my word is:


    Thrive on, Ali. Thrive indeed!

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