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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. Rachel says…
    12/29/2010

    My word came easy this year as well. Cherish. My kids are entering new stages and growing so fast. I feel like a need to reflect and spend time with the idea that I need to do more than just get through the day with my kids, I need to enjoy the stages that they are in. I also need to remember to keep my marriage balanced so that we are more than just the kids parents.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Judi says…
    12/29/2010

    Finish - just seems right time to finish all sorts of things from loosing weight to last April's week in life project etc etc etc

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Bari says…
      12/29/2010

      Judi - I have been reading through all of the comments. Trying to thing of 2011 - the things I want to do - they way I want the year to go - and your word is the first that said "YES" to me. I, too, have so many things I want to finish. I have a great start to the life I want, but I don't feel that I have finished anything. So I am with you this year with the word FINISH!

  3. robin prophet says…
    12/29/2010

    my word is willingness to not be so broken all the time and to be open to possibilities

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Sarah J says…
    12/29/2010

    This year my word is discipline. I am so excited!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Carrie says…
      12/31/2010

      The same word has been surrounding me. DISCIPLINE is something I once had and lack so much of right now. Discipline to stay on task, work towards my goals, stick to a workout routine, discipline in doing the things that need to be done before the things I want to do.

      This will be my first time doing this challenge and I think it is a great idea!

  5. Lisa K says…
    12/29/2010

    My one little word this year is Revolution. This is absolutely my favorite time of the whole year thinking, feeling and listening for my one little word.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Jennifer Lavender says…
      12/29/2010

      I'm really curious to see where your word takes you. Revolution is a very strong and sometimes negative word. I'm not sure I could take it on.

    2. Lisa K says…
      12/31/2010

      This is year 5 of olw for me - the power of a word to change your person in one year is so great and positive I have no doubt revolution will be the same. Thanks for your interest I'll keep you posted!

  6. Donna Mayo says…
    12/29/2010

    Intention ~ This word found me and just seems to fit. I intend to live this next year with Intention and not coast through the everyday.

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

    Hi Ali,
    My OLW for this year is "Ordre", in catalan, that means Order or Organization, to dispose everything in a methodical and harmonious arrangement. I need to reorder my memories and my family's, for a better scrapbook.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Christy Miller says…
    12/29/2010

    "LOVE"
    I want to open myself to what love is (patient, kind, forgiving) and I want to share love more simply with others.

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

    My word is "breathe". I need to focus on this word; desperately.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Sue says…
    12/29/2010

    As I was reading all these wonderful words when I came across Less and it just seemed right. I need to have less of me (weight) and less "stuff" in my house that also "weighs me down" Thanks Ali for such a good idea.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Marilyn S says…
      12/30/2010

      "Less" is the word that keeps speaking to me, too.... In all aspects of my life.

    2. jamie says…
      12/31/2010

      whenever i make less of the clutter and stuff in my house, i think of it as my house losing weight.

  11. Sue F says…
    12/29/2010

    Hi, Ali. I signed up for the class and am looking forward to this journey over the next year. My word is "less" - less stuff, less worries, less bills, less clutter, less stress - you get the drift. Can't wait.

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

    My word for 2011 is 'CONNECT'

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Sandi Keene says…
    12/29/2010

    This is my fifth year with OLW and this year my word did not come to me and announce itself as it has in the past. Maybe it is because I am going in such a different direction with my word this year that it felt uncomfortable.

    My word is MERRY. Last year was filled with significant loss. This year I want to just be merry - to find a bit of joy, mirth and merrymaking in every single day.

    I too am fascinated by your word, Light. Can't wait to see where you are going with it. I am in the BPS class and so eager to get started.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Barb M. says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is action. I feel stuck in a lot of ways. Action came to me yesterday as I was struggling for my '11 word. Action works for me.

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

    Begin. I'm going to begin a life that includes more exercise (after knee surgery, I can now begin to move my body again). Begin to eat healthier. Begin a more simplistic life by getting rid of "stuff". Begin to love a new granddaughter due in March. Begin!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Beth Smith says…
    12/29/2010

    My word found me a few weeks ago, as I was doing some serious soul-searching. This year, my word is WHOLE. I am embarking on a movement to begin to make myself a whole person -- as a mother, a teacher, a wife, and as a person, both physically and emotionally. There are parts of me that have I have been missing or overlooking for a very long time, and I hope that focusing on this word will allow me to grow into a WHOLE person.

    Thank you, Ali, for sharing this concept with us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Kimberley Y says…
    12/29/2010

    Believe is a word that I have had for years - I grasped on to it when my daughter was diagnosed with Autism 9 years ago. when I signed up for OLW it kept jumping back out at me and I have been trying to "avoid" it because it is such a big christmas theme..... However, after much struggle to come up with a better word, I think I am resided that it just won't away. It needs to be "the" word for this next year until I truly "believe" it.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Mary Rogers says…
      12/29/2010

      An autism diagnosis affects us all in different ways....believe has been my word as well, and how it related to our daughters own disabilities. Wishing you the best

    2. Kimberley Y says…
      12/31/2010

      Thank you for your reply. Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011 as well!

  18. Ladybird says…
    12/29/2010

    My word will be TWO (http://blogladybird.blogspot.com/2010/12/le-mot-de-lannee.html), because this year, we will have our second boy in February (2nd month of the year) and we will marry together twice (in 2 different countries)
    And I hope, I will have twice more fun, happiness and creativity...

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

    Mine? Flow. It has connections with simplicity and serenity for me. I wish for more flow in my life, and am looking forward to exploring how to create the conditions in my life which sustain it, nourish it, and allow it to be - and also what slows it down, makes it stagnate, blocks it. I'm going with flow.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Sue Williams says…
      12/31/2010

      I also chose FLOW as my word this year. I tend to live my life in stops and starts and love the concept of gentler transitions. - FLOW symbolizes chi for me, the flow of energy through my body and home. - I'm aiming for a better workFLOW. - For my body, I have a goal to practice FLOW yoga at least 5 times a week. - Instead of over committing, I'm going to go with the FLOW.

  20. Rebekah says…
    12/29/2010

    My one little word for this year is "MINDFULNESS". Like you, I've already been amazed at what this word is meaning to me. Looking forward to following along in your class Ali, You are very inspiring!

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

    In previous years I was unable to find one word that I could carry thru the year. This year though, after reading your very first post regarding OLW the word instantly came to me . . . RECOVER. I am a mid-aged woman with two daughters and have suffered with bulimia for some years now. In September I was hospitalized and since that time I've been working on my recovery. A very SLOOOOOW process. I am completely commited to my word and plan to be in your BPS class! Hopefully, this will be the year I recover.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Janet White says…
    12/29/2010

    Nurture.

    To nourish. To give good things to foster growth into what God intends. To shape my life to encourage health, growth and to bring things to fruition.

    My first blog post on it: http://snowmoon.us/blog/?p=2566

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

    Fit

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

    For the moment my word is a phrase really. More and Less. I want more gratitude and less complaining, more family time and less electronic time, etc. I am turning 40 this year and am determined to make it a great year! Thanks for always being such an inspiration!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. jamie says…
      12/31/2010

      great phrase and thought process.
      and welcome to the 40 club.

    2. Di says…
      12/31/2010

      I'm also turning 40 this year! Looking for my own word today

  25. Rebekah Pontow says…
    12/29/2010

    Simplify: to make less complex. I have so many goals for this coming year, to loose weight, clear out all the junk in my basement, have a baby, and mostly to be more focused on what matters. The words Simplify and minimize have been roaming around my head a lot, so I went with Simplify when I looked up the definition - seems to be the directions I am in. Can't wait to see what it brings to me!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Carla G. says…
      01/03/2011

      I think I'm working with Simplify, too. It encompasses so many aspects of life!

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