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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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1654 thoughts

  1. PJ says…
    12/29/2010

    2010 wasn't an easy year for me, dealing with having cancer! But my (secret) word was 'possibilities' and i found that during the year i had many! Treatment was very tough, but every time i felt a little better i was so happy that i could do things, that i could enjoy things, that i could meet people and that i could make things! There were still many possibilities for me in life! So i was a good word!
    And, now that treatment is done, and i step into another new year, i find myself hoping to achieve a lot in 2011! I don't have specific plans or goals, but i would be wonderful if i could close 2011 with a lot of things done! So 'achieve' is my word! Hope it's 'as good to me' as this years word!
    Oh, and i'm signed up to your class Ali! Have my page protectors and papers at the ready! Can't wait to start!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Miss Sarah says…
      12/29/2010

      It sounds like you had a tough year PJ, but also that you've got a positive attitude which is so great. I'll put you in my prayers for a wonderful and healthy 2011 for you!

    2. Ali says…
      01/03/2011

      I love your attitude PJ! Peace to you in 2011.

  2. Suz says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is "J.O.Y" As in:
    1. Jesus
    2. Others
    3. Yourself
    I want 2011 to be the year I consciously try my very best to live my life sequentially according to this acronym. I am sure I will find true joy if I do!
    Thanks for the continual dose of inspiration everyone!
    Blessings for a happy, healthy, "J.O.Y.-ful" New Year!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Suz says…
      12/29/2010

      Ok, I just received confirmation that "J.O.Y." is the word of 2011 for me. I opened up my daily Dove Promise Chocolate piece and my daily "promise" read:

      "Joy is contagious."

      (Yep, that's my word!) :-)

    2. Tammy Eberhard says…
      12/29/2010

      Love this word & especially your definition of it.

  3. Michele.NYC says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is Balance. This will serve as a gentle reminder to find balance in my everyday life. Family, friends, work & play.

    Thanks Ali- I am so looking forward to Twenty-Eleven!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Elizabeth*S* says…
    12/29/2010

    Execute-I have a lot of ideas in my head of things that I would *like* to do and never seem to find the time to do them. 2011 is the year to EXECUTE my "to do" list. ie more charity/community work; move more eat less ; even more time with family I can go on and on... :)

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

    My word this year is EUCHARISTEO and is inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (her website: http://www.aholyexperience.com/one-thousand-gifts-book/)

    When Jesus "gave thanks" the original language says eucharisteo which means gift or grace and also means joy. So, grace, thanksgiving, joy all together in one word: eucharisteo.

    I hope to use this word as a catalyst to give thanks continually, to notice the gift of beauty everywhere and be joyful always---something that is difficult for me as a recovering cynic.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. rene jantzi says…
      02/01/2011

      I just changed my one little word from "enough" to eucharisteo! I am almost finished with Ann's book and it is awesome! "In all things, give thanks." "In ALL things, give thanks." I want to live a life of gratitude.

  6. Margaret says…
    12/29/2010

    Strength...
    to sit and listen to what will be said
    to accept it
    to endure it
    and, when filled with fear and uncertainty...
    Strength...
    to smile, comfort and reassure

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Jane says…
    12/29/2010

    Move. As in physically, emotionally, spiritually and in all cases moving in a forward/growth direction. As I was reading your post (before reading the comments) it hit me right out of left field - move. It's my word. I love it when things are billboard clear!

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

    My word for 2011 is SAVOR!

    Savor the little moments, savor the good. 2010 went by really quickly and now having my second child watching the little changes in her everyday is important to savor. My son is almost 4 years old (WHAT!?) and I cannot believe how fast he's grown as well. So I want to SAVOR all the little details in my life with them, my family & with everyday little things.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. amy says…
    12/29/2010

    i can't wait for the class to start!

    this year my one little word is: make

    it totally works for me and where i want to be in 2011 - there are so many things i'm considering this for.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Miss Sarah says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is build, like Ali this has seemed to pop into my life in various ways- even before I knew what it meant. I'm now starting to see how appropriate it is for me and the things I want to achieve. Love this one little word concept, thank you Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Sarah B R says…
    12/29/2010

    Accept:
    what is
    what cannot be changed
    joy in my life
    love

    ACCEPT IT ALL

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Heather V says…
    12/29/2010

    In 2009 I chose "Focus" and by the end of the year it helped me decide which way my career was going to go. I am finally in a field of nursing that satisfies my to my core each and every day. It also helped me focus on my health and how I was going to get myself healthier and I did do it!! I lost 80lbs and feel like a brand new me.

    In 2010 I chose "Do", be cause I decided life was way to short to wait on things that I wanted or needed. I started doing the things that would help me succeed at work, and my husband and I started doing the things we needed for our future.

    This years word found me! It was on a gift I received for christmas, and it inst it was on dove wrappers 3 times in a row.....it is my

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Katherine says…
    12/29/2010

    My word this year will be 'Manage'. To manage with what we've got. Manage our home, finances, quarrels between little boys, manage my time. Last year my word was strength and I called on it often. I love doing this each year.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Heather V says…
    12/29/2010

    In 2009 I chose “Focus” and by the end of the year it helped me decide which way my career was going to go. I am finally in a field of nursing that satisfies my to my core each and every day. It also helped me focus on my health and how I was going to get myself healthier and I did do it!! I lost 80lbs and feel like a brand new me.

    In 2010 I chose “Do”, be cause I decided life was way to short to wait on things that I wanted or needed. I started doing the things that would help me succeed at work, and my husband and I started doing the things we needed for our future.

    This years word found me! It was on a gift I received for christmas, and it instantly went to my heart. When it was on 3 dove chocolate wrappers 3 times in a row I knew it was the right one. My word for 2011 is "Fearless".

    I am all signed up at Big Picture and cant wait for january 1st! Thank you for your continued inspiration!!!

    heather

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Laurie says…
    12/29/2010

    You are so right about the word choosing you. I chose patience last year and this year I kind of figured I'd just choose patience again since I didn't get to where I wanted to be with that word. But it just didn't feel right. All of a sudden, the word "acceptance" came to me. I kept trying to ignore it, but acceptance seemed to have the connotation of just taking what happens and not "fighting back" for want of a better phrase. But then I realized, what I really was looking for with patience was something deeper. Yes, I want to be more patient. But to become more patient, there are things I need to just accept. Things like a colleague who is always late, that's just the way she functions so rather than get bent out of shape and impatient, I need to accept that that is the way she is. Once I accept that, I will be more patient. Anyways, that is just one simple example. This coming year my word will be ACCEPTANCE. I am looking forward to the journey.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Cassie T says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is "restore"

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Amy B says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is LOSE. In the past 10 years I have gained 100 lbs. It's hard to even acknowledge this to others much less myself. In the past I have blamed it on so many circumstances. Having 2 kids too close together, not being able to exercise because of a heart defect. The list goes on. I realize now that those were only excuses to make myself feel better for failing so miserably. But it's not the end, only the beginning, and so my word is LOSE, because I can only WIN this race by LOSING.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Peggy says…
      12/29/2010

      You can do it Amy! Like so many things in life, it's a lot about knowing you can do it and so let me be one to tell you "You can!".

    2. Ali says…
      01/03/2011

      You can do it Amy - one day at a time.

  18. Bonnie says…
    12/29/2010

    Thank You for the inspiration Ali! My work is SIMPLICITY....something I really need.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Courtney says…
    12/29/2010

    Embrace.
    Embrace life as it is at the moment, embrace the person I am at the moment, and embrace the people around me.

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

    My word in 2009 was simplify, in 2010 was selfless and in 2011 will be HEALTHY. 2009 was a year to focus on my family's life as a whole (and was all about learning to be content with less). 2010 was about doing for others cheerfully. 2011 will be about me. Not in a selfish way but in a "I need to get my life back in order and be healthy for my family" way. My physical, spiritual and emotional life needs work. Thank you for introducing the One Little Word concept to me several years ago. It has really made a big difference in my life. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Tammy Eberhard says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is AWAKE. It found me. I want to be awake to the possibility, awake to the task, awake to the joy & awake to my life.

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

    I was going to use RE also! I was convinced of it, until your Reverb10 post. Manifest is my word. I hadn't heard it in years, and it pinged something in me like a little note. Now I see/hear the word everywhere.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Susan Wilson says…
    12/29/2010

    Mindfulness - for so many reasons

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. katie says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2010 was LIGHT (see my reasoning here: http://katemadedesigns.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html) and am interested in seeing how it will manifest itself in your work next year.

    I am leaning toward BEGIN this year. I am looking for a job and a relationship and will be starting classes this spring so BEGIN is a good word for me. Of course that may change at any moment, maybe I should try commit.

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

      Love your reasons for light last year - many of those are the same for me this year ;).

  25. Verbena says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is "enrich." I am so happy with so many things in my life, and I just want to make them better: enrich my relationships with family and friends, enrich my knowledge by learning and trying new things, enrich my artistic skills, and enrich my relationship with myself by taking care of my health. I am really looking forward to your class, Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies

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