One Little Word 2011


My 2011 necklace from the lovely Lisa Leonard. Get one for yourself here.

My word for 2011 is light.

This year my word sure seemed to choose me.

Most years I start thinking about my word for the following year in November or December. I think about it in passing and start listening, looking, and being open to the possibilities of a new word.

This year the word light seemed to be trying to catch my attention.

I found it in books, in magazines, in music, in conversations and in quiet moments.

So I'm going with it. It's already surprised, delighted, challenged and sparked some new things within me.

Some years I've had to look harder or listen longer or simply choose one that fit with what was on my mind and heart at that moment. 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 2011. 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 of days I'll post a compilation of the words as an inspirational reminder to us all.

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



NEW FOR 2011 : ONE LITTLE WORD at BIG PICTURE CLASSES

I'm excited to be offering a brand new One Little Word online workshop through Big Picture Classes in 2011 as a way to connect with and honor our words throughout the year.

Each month you'll receive a prompt with a simple creative 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 8.5x11 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, 2011.

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1655 thoughts

  1. Jennifer Lavender says…
    12/29/2010

    I chose the word CONSISTENCY. Actually, I think the word chose me. I wrote more about it on my blog here: http://becomingthatfamily.com/2010/12/27/one-little-word-2011/

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Erika Bates says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is grow. It is the word that keeps jumping to mind whenever I have thought of this project...it must be the word I need :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. QuinnCreative says…
    12/29/2010

    Such a good idea! The "one word" idea can be so powerful--last year my word was "light." I ran a post asking people for their one word for 2011 on my blog and discovered a lot of 'focus' and 'perseverance." One woman said she wanted only adjectives. For 2011, I've chosen a word that's both a verb and a noun, and want to use it both ways--"Wonder."

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Erika Bates says…
      12/29/2010

      great word! i love the idea of using both meanings

  4. lauren helstrip says…
    12/29/2010

    MOMENT- every year for the past 3 years something "bad" has happened to me- I lost my gran, then my mom died while I was 4 months pregnant with my first baby, and this year I miscarried my second baby. Ontop of all that my dad has been seeing a woman with whom I don't get along very well. I am changing my perspective this year. To be able to live in the moment and NOT in the past anymore. I hope I stay inspired! Thank you Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Meg says…
    12/29/2010

    I have chosen VERB! A verb is an action or a state of being. I thought about choosing action, but for some reason I felt very limited with action. I may want to be in the state of relaxation and to me for some crazy reason it didn't work in my head with action. For me action is about doing something and moving, but I want to focus on relaxing more this coming year as well. I know my mind is a bit crazy in it's thinking sometimes. I feel like with Verb my possibilities are endless. I'd like to pick a new verb word each month to really focus on as well.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Susi says…
      01/01/2011

      Meg, that is such an awesome idea! I am still struggling with my word, but act, action, do keep coming to me. I think choosing a different verb each month will be very exciting. I wish you a great new year and hope you will share how your choice shows up in your life.

  6. Kim says…
    12/29/2010

    Soar. I am going to stop holding myself back. The little voice that talks me out of everything that is out of my comfort zone is going on mute. I am finally going to let my dreams and ideas take flight.

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Jennifer Levin says…
      12/29/2010

      Kim I love your word! It's so inspiring. I immediately thought of a website that I recently found. I thought you might enjoy taking a look at it.

      http://wiselivingblog.com/the-inner-critic-clinic/

      This workshop aims to help us silence the inner critic/voice that holds us back from all that we can do. Good luck! I hope your word speaks volumes to you this year.

    2. Queen Mary says…
      12/30/2010

      Just seems like a great word!

    3. Alisha says…
      01/14/2011

      Soar is also my word for this year. I kinda feel like the caged bird after the door opened. I'm gonna soar.

  7. Mari says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is FINISH. I am the queen of unfinished projects, thoughts, ideas. I start something and then stop without being FINISHED! This year I'm putting it there. Start working out and keep going. Think of writing that letter and DO IT! I am striving to be a person who finishes what she starts (staring with my December Daily! : )

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Christine says…
    12/29/2010

    My word chose me, as well. It is "temple". Not as in a place of worship, but rather as in sanctuary. Sacred place. My body is a temple that houses my soul, therefore I should take better care of it. My studio space is my own little temple of creativity and inspiration. Therefore, I need to clean/organize/complete/respect/inhabit it.

    Can't wait for class to start!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. kelly mcmahon willette says…
    12/29/2010

    my one little word this year is: grace

    i yearn to be full of grace, and i look forward to fidning it this year!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Micah Putman says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is JOY. I was looking through some old pictures a couple of weeks ago and I came across one that I'd taken of a sign (a Christmas decoration, actually) that simply said "joy." I instantly knew that was it. I'm looking forward to One Little Word. Happy New Year!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Michelle M says…
    12/29/2010

    Much like others, this word seemed to find me...Balance. I had been pondering the idea of signing up for this class and wondering what word I would pick, when I came across this verse (I wasn't even looking for one): "It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes." Ecclesiastes 7:14

    Fittingly, it seems to be what I am grappling with...finding the right balance in so many areas :o) I am really looking forward to the class and this journey!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Krystyn says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is FREEDOM...to be me, to take time for myself w/o guilt etc.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Dawn-Rene says…
    12/29/2010

    My words 2011 flow from one to another ORDER and SELF-CONTROL.

    I live in chaos with so much going on around me that my finances, home, work,life and relationships are all out of balance! In trying to balance I over indulge in eating and shopping that lead to more chaos!

    Want, more than anything, to take the BIG class but that is a part of the SELF-CONTROL!!

    Much Love!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Peggy says…
    12/29/2010

    Ok, got through the first 150 and now I guess I'll post and come back! LOL

    My word for 2011 is Routine. It's a more 'action' word than I usually think of with OLW but I kept coming back to it so here we are. I am a person who really has and likes my life that doesn't have a whole lot of structure BUT there are certainly areas where a little bit of routine would really serve me. I'm hoping this focus will allow me to figure out both what areas need that and figure out why I am oh, so resistant to it. Hoping there will be little things (how 'bout I actually put the keys where they belong?!?) all the way up to some that feel pretty big around exercise and health.

    I've only done this one other year, that word was Adapt. It was much more subtle but I do think I created some change around that word. My runner-up for this year was Gratitude and I'm hoping that some gratitude journaling can be part of my new routines so it won't be lost.

    Already signed up and looking forward to the BPC class. Yeah Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Cheryl K says…
    12/29/2010

    I've chosen the work Share as my OLW for 2011. I'm still thinking about all that this word means to me, but right now, I know that I want to share and give more to others and share more of me with my family.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Jennifer Levin says…
    12/29/2010

    My one little word for 2011 is ACTION. Last year was a year of big ideas, and I'm excited to put them in ACTION. Nothing will ever get accomplished if I never start.

    Thank you, Ali, for all the inspiration and encouragement you give to so many every day. Happy New Year!

    ~Jen

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. BeccaGroves says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is TRY. It picked me. I have a few items on my life list that I haven't attempted just out of fear of failure. But that's going to end this year! I'm just going to try. If I fail, at least I tried. The true failure is in not trying at all.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Stephanie Howell says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is grace. I resolve to handle pressure with grace. To weather this year's deployment with grace and with a smile on my face. To model grace to my girls.  Grace is moral strength. Elegance. Kindness.  Gods grace is the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them. So grace is the word I have chosen.  

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      01/03/2011

      Perfect choice :).

  19. Jan says…
    12/29/2010

    I think my word is going to be LISTEN. I know that being a better listener will improve the quality of my life and my relationships...listening more fully to my children, my partner, my elderly parents, my body, that "little voice in my head". You never know what you might hear when you truly listen!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Stephanie says…
    12/29/2010

    LOVE is my word, this is my first year and I am so excited! :0)

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Teri says…
    12/29/2010

    In searching for my word. I thought long and hard about the previous year and i realized that I don't take the time to ENJOY life to the fullest. So therefore i chose enjoy and hope this will take me to a new attitude about my life , family and friends. I felt often that i am letting the simplest everyday enjoyment of life just pass me by. That I'm buried in this overworked overstressed and unhappy place i need to free myself from. So 2011 bring it on. I will ENJOY every minute from the mundane to the outrageous. Can't wait for you class to begin Ali sounds like it will really motivate us to stay on our path.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. debi says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is Renewal. I will be practicing starting anew and letting go of the past. It will be a year of hope and optimism and all the GOOD things that will happen in 2011. Last year's word was Gratitude, and it changed my life! Hubby's word was Serene and that word helped us get through a VERY difficult year. To stay Serene through chaos and turmoil was truely a gift!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Kim says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2010 was flexible - it helped me immensely. 2011 is building upon that. My word is Can - as in I Can, or We Can. It is already helping me cut down on negativity in my life and helping me to take on new challenges with a good attitude.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Debbie S. says…
    12/29/2010

    I have two that keep bouncing around in my thoughts. The first is practice. In regards to running, gardening, scrapbooking...these are a few things I would like to spend more time doing this year, and I tend to go in spurts...I would like to find a way to make these things a practice in my day, my week. I look forward to the lessons that this approach to these treasured activities will share. I also can't get the word train out of my mind. It says learning, doing, destination, commitment, faith...all sorts of things to me.

    I'm hoping to find some certainty on one of these SOON!

    Thanks Ali...I love this. I've spent so much think time on words in the past week or two, and it's good.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Wendy says…
    12/29/2010

    My word this year is Heart. I need to listen to my heart more, I need to hear what my heart is saying to me, and listen less to what others are expecting. Also, I plan on spending more time with God's Word, so that it lives within my heart. And finally, I plan on taking care of my heart by eating well, being active, and being mindful of my health.

    Reply 0 Replies

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