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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. shelly brewer says…
    12/29/2010

    Allow.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Cathy H. says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is sensitive. Every time I sit to think of a word for 2011, sensitive pops into my mind. I'm a little too sensitive where my feelings are concerned. So, whether it's me being less sensitive regarding my feelings or whether it's me being more sensitive toward others. We'll see where it goes. This is my first time, so I'm anxious to see where this takes me.

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

      I adore your word. I'm incredibly sensitive myself. It can be a curse, as well as a blessing. Best of luck with your word!

    2. Laura from AZ says…
      12/29/2010

      That is a great word which I never thought of. I'm so with you on being sensitive and sometimes it gets me into some situations that I wish it hadn't. Hope to see what you do with your word throughout the year!

  3. Katrina says…
    12/29/2010

    My 2011 word found me, also - abundance.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Linda says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for this year: Purpose.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Esther says…
      01/02/2011

      Wow, that's a great one. I picked perseverance, but purpose is probably even better! Maybe I'll just take both. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

  5. Laura from AZ says…
    12/29/2010

    I had a list of about 4 words but Cherish is the word I decided to go with this year. I'm focusing on cherishing the little things in life. Cherish my 3 children and what they bring to my life., cherish my husband and our love for each other, cherish my other relationships and hopefully learning to cherish myself even withh all my imperfections. Can't wait to start the class and see what you have planned for us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Bonnie P says…
    12/29/2010

    This is is my first on-line class and I'm looking forward to being prompted. Just maybe needed that push to get back to some me things. My word is ENOUGH. I am enough, I have enough, I love enough, I've had enough. I think it fits me. Can't wait for Jan.1st.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Julie K. says…
    12/29/2010

    BALANCE! I need to create a balance between all of my roles.

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

    Ali, have a question for you. Do you also plan on having goals for your new year not just about your WORD of the year but goals you plan on making? Just curious if you do that also or just the word for the year.

    I'm enjoying reading all these words and ideas from people, so fun and creative.

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

      Hi Dawn - I don't really do goals in the traditional sense. I stick pretty close to my word and things that go along with it - sometimes I share those things and sometimes I keep them for myself.

  9. Dawn says…
    12/29/2010

    Ali - I am very excited to see where this is going to end in December -
    My word in ACHIEVE.

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

    My word is shine. I chose it because I want it for myself and for everything in my life. I want to shine as an individual - want to feel good, to live brightly and have good energy. I also want the things I touch to shine - my kids, my projects, my home - everything. I am ready to tackle things that have been lingering, want to finish them and make them shine. To me 'shine' is largely about respecting things (and myself!) enough to care for them, to polish them and make them shine :)

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

      I love this word! My favorite song as a little girl was called "Shine On," and I've been thinking about the word, "shine" a lot.

      It doesn't feel like the word I need at this time (right now my word is "connect," but I do want to try a series of art pieces soon based on your word. :)

      Shine on...

    2. stephanie c says…
      01/03/2011

      Hi - I picked SHINE, too, for many of the same reasons. Love to see it.

  11. Denise says…
    12/29/2010

    My one little word for 2011 is Happiness. I want to be happy and that's not asking for much, but at times it takes work to make life happy. It will happen for me. Happiness!

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

    My word...revive. It found me for sure. Within its meaning are so many possibilities for the new year and within myself...I'm really excited!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Jenny B says…
    12/29/2010

    I think that my word for 2011 will be "open". Open to possibility. Open to detours and change instead of staying where it's comfortable and predictable out of fear. Open to being present in the moment instead of always thinking about the next thing. Wanting to have eyes and ears and a heart that are open to finding the sacred in the everyday. Open to following the path God has for me each day.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Shari says…
      12/30/2010

      Open is my word as well. In addition to being open to possibilities and influences, etc., I also need to open myself up and allow others to know me. I want to be a participant in life and not just an observer.

    2. JoLynn says…
      12/31/2010

      My Word this year is OPEN also. Open my mind, my mouth, my heart.

  14. Linn says…
    12/29/2010

    Like a few previous posters, the word I'm leaning towards right now is FOCUS. I've used Listen, Peace, and Slow in previous years. I thought about Trust for 2011 but it didn't seem right for every arena of my life. Yet in all areas I think FOCUS could move me forward. Pare me down. Hone me in on what's important.

    I feel the same about your word LIGHT. What a great word. It has so many meanings of casting things off and removing yourself from chains, but also has that great feeling of finding clarity and focus on the brightness in life. Love it. And I love that necklace.

    Just signed up for the OLW class because I need to be reminded throughout the year to FOCUS on what's important and not try to tackle everything.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Andrea Q says…
    12/29/2010

    This is my first attempt at OLW, and I am really eager to get started! My word is "WRITE". I can't stop thinking of how much it is part of my everyday life yet I do so little of it! I really want to get back to journaling and really keeping in touch with friends & family without turning to the computer. I feel like handwriting is so personal and I can't wait to bring that back to my life!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Sandi Keene says…
      12/31/2010

      Andrea, what a great word! I love it.

  16. noell says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is CONNECT.

    I chose this word in November after deciding on some areas of focus and an image as a symbol for the year. My image is the lotus flower.

    Here's a part of tomorrow's Paperclipping newsletter about it--

    Since November I have been meditating for just a few minutes almost every day. My meditation lasts only as long as it takes me to chant (in my mind) my word and my focus areas. This is my chant...

    Connect.
    Connect with my people -- family and friends.
    Connect with Earth. Live sustainably. Love all, serve all, and create no sorrow.
    Connect with now. Be present. Be mindful.
    Connect with my story. Express through writing and art.
    Connect.

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Ali says…
      12/29/2010

      I love that you have a chant Noell - awesome.

    2. noell says…
      12/30/2010

      That's awesome, Alexandra. Thank you!

    3. Alexandra says…
      12/29/2010

      I love this too! Loved the chant so much that I wrote it out on a post-it so I can refer to it later. It reminds me of the feeling I get from yoga. Thank you :)

  17. jeanie says…
    12/29/2010

    so many words and so little time...and we can only choose one...this is the first time i have done this with intent...i thought of many words--create, art, safe, survive, peace, help, closure, healing, inspire, wellness, but they all have something in common--begin....i must begin....to become well i must begin by taking the first step, to create art i must begin by finding time and a peaceful place....to feel safe and peaceful i must begin the journey of healing and closure from the past.....etc so my word this year BEGIN.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Vanessa says…
    12/29/2010

    This is the first time doing this project and I think it will be fun. My word for this year is heal. I really need to work on that area in my life. I need to be heal from the wounds that I let others do to me. I want a new me. Letting God be the leader for my life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Brenda Weaver says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is "focus". In 2011 I want to keep my focus on my goals and not become distracted. No wasting time, no procrastinating, no making excuses! If it is going to get done it is up to me and I can't afford to get side tracked.
    I didn't do much with my word from last year, but I'm hoping to incorporate my word into my life in many more ways this year.
    Thanks for the challenge and the inspiration, Ali!

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

      Great word. I like what you wrote - sounds like me and what I am hoping to accomplish next year.

  20. Melanie says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is EXEMPLIFY. I am a mum of 4 and I want to be an example for my four young children. I want to exemplify positive parenting. I want to exemplify good eating and healthy living. I want to exemplify the kind of love relationship a man and woman should have. I want to exemplify a lot and it is all because I have 4 sets of eyes watching my every word and deed!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Melissa in SC says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is Diligence. The choice comes from a discussion of the chant "Ubi Caritas" in choir rehearsal last year. Diligamus is a form of the verb diligare and signifies love of friends, esteem, respect, caring. To me diligence toward a task, goal or friendship denotes the care, respect and love that goes into everything important that we do.

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

      I like this word...I'm struggling to find mine this year and this resonates with me.

  22. Cindy WElch says…
    12/29/2010

    Live is my word this year. Its part of my mantra of Live Laugh Love, but with losing my mom this year I feel the sense that I need to live more. That will include laughing and loving, but I am going LIVE, not let time and work take all the fun out of my life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Melissa L. says…
    12/29/2010

    Solace. That's my word for 2011. This year has been full of stress and distress, and I've found myself consumed by fretting and worrying. In the New Year, I need to find refuge from all of that, especially since the situation causing it isn't likely to improve much.

    I've already signed up for One Little Word on Big Picture, and I'm looking forward to getting started.

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

    Home is my word. I had been tossing around several words and I kept coming back to home and it kept arising in various spots and standing out. So, we chose each other. I can't wait to start the class and keep the word more present in my life this year. I do also want to get charms for each of my words (soon).

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

      now this is a great idea!

  25. Melissa says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is "intentional". I went to be more intentional about every part of my life. From being more active and eating right, to really listening for God's will and purpose for my life. I have felt like I was just floating along in life for too long. Looking forward to your class.
    Synonyms: conscious, deliberate, intended, knowing, purposeful, purposive, set, voluntary, willed, willful (or wilful), witting

    Reply 0 Replies

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