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.


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. Love Scrapbooking » Blog Archive » Crop Preparations Part 1 says…

    [...] as possible this year with my scrapbooking, and get as much done as I can this year.  Part of my one little word is about my creativity and merging my daily life with that creativity.  This fostering of [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Solo says…

    This is my first year here. I choose the work 'refresh'. I feel I need to refresh relationships, goals, health etc. So I am looking forward to going ahead. TY

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Angie says…

    Compassion: I choose this word because i am raising teenagers for the next 5 yrs. I am guessing this will be something I will need a lot of.
    I think my husband may need some of this too, but i guess i better leave that to God to put on his heart. Oh there is another reason why I need compassion. Maybe i should have chose the word submission instead.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. The Student is Ready « Just Be Beth says…

    [...] when Kolette wrote about Ali’s One Little Word idea, it was the Perfect Storm of [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Courage « Just Be Beth says…

    [...] know I have adopted Courage as my focus word for 2011 after being inspired by Ali Edward’s One Little Word challenge. I think Courage fits nicely with my quest to live a wholehearted life. What is more [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Beth says…

    I JUST discovered this and I love it. My word is Appreciate! I had already planned on starting a Thankful Journal and sending letters of appreciation to our veterans, making time to notice the small things (sunsets, starry nights, the birds in the backyard). I think if I learn to APPRECIATE the many blessings given to me, I'll be a better person for it.:)

    Thanks for this wonderful inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Laura R says…

    Just came across your blog and I am deeply inspired. I used to be a scrapbooker. I still am, in my heart of hearts...but with six kids I can rarely find the time. I love this idea of zeroing in on a word. Now how will I ever choose a word. These are the ones I am contemplating:

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. 5 Senses | fridayprize says…

    [...] week’s letter is going to be visual, touching on the 5 Senses of what makes up your Word for 2011* and/or your Theme for the Year.  Carve out some quiet time, make yourself a cuppa, and sit down [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. One Little Word | The Curvy Life says…

    [...] “names” in Scrapbooking- Ali Edwards does this every year and has made it very popular. (Click there to see more [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. misty stanley says…

    my word is "breathe". my thoughts & ideas often race from one to the next, although my body is slow to catch up, lol. i need to learn to stop, breathe, smell the roses & enjoy the moment. thanks for the idea/inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Whitney Weir says…

    Thank you so much for your inspiration! My word this year is invest. I blogged about it here:

    Thans again! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. One Little Word | Brooke Summer Photography says…

    [...] Ali Edwards is an amazing scrapbooker and designer, and someone that continually inspires me. In 2007, she decided that instead of setting New Years Resolutions, that she was going to choose one word that she would focus on continuously for the year, and that her goals and resolutions would all fall under this word. I’m paraphrasing here, but if you want to read more about it, check out One Little Word. [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Una Piccola Parola: Cambiamento « KPOD the GREAT! says…

    [...] For the last couple days I have been thinking about my friend Brooke Summer‘s blog post called “One Little Word“.   When I started reading it the other night I thought what a great idea.   Instead of setting New Years resolutions you choose one word to focus on throughout the whole year.  One little word to incorporate in your life for the year.   Something to think about and move you.  I LOVED IT!   I don’t have to worry about the New Years Resolutions part.    I didn’t make any.  I loved the simple one word focus.  I can do this!  I want to do this!   So I read a little more about it.  I read the blog from Brooke’s inspiration for this great  idea.  If you want to know even more about it travel her way too.  I did .. One Little Word. [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. kim says…


    to go back to the root of the word in french and latin - 'heart' ; 'coming from the heart, innermost feelings'

    to remember that all things are possible when they come from a place of courage

    thank you ali for the one little word

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Sherri Stone says…

    My word is WISDOM. There are so many changes happening to and around me right now that I will use every resource I can find to gain the wisdom I need to grow. I kicked around serenity and patience too but kept going back to my word. I purchased an owl pendant that I wear at times to remind me since the owl is symbolic of wisdom:D

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Di says…

    CONFIDENCE: is my word. Its the first year I have chosen a word and discovered Ali's website. It seems that CONFIDENCE is something I lack is major quantities, confidence to make decisions of major and minor proportions, confidence to speak my mind more and confidence is myself to know that I can do more arts and craft project.

    CONFIDENCE has definitely found me this year and I look forward to finding out where it leads me.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Kirsten Miller says…

    Hi Aly,

    As a friend (and blog follower) of Lisa Leonard's, I found your site through her one little word necklace post at the beginning of the year. I've also been a subscriber of CK magazine for years, and loved you there as well.

    Just wanted to share that I was inspired by your idea and made it my own... along with these thousands of others. My word of the year is OPEN.

    Not only is that word already been impactful in my life over this last month, what's been really cool for me is that I teach a college success skills class at our local community college, and I invited my students to come along with me on this journey (though just for the semester for purposes of this class). They all chose their one word and seemed excited about it. Inspired by you again, I created a bookmark of all their words together, and handed it out to them this week. I hope this will promote a sense of unity within the class and can be used as a catalyst for deeper things. You're welcome to check it out here:

    Thanks for sharing and for inspiring so many!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Genevieve Thul @ Turquoise Gates says…

    I picked a Greek word this year, hupomone, which means to "stay under". Pretty similar to last year's word: abide. Same stuff going on, and I still need to "stay under". I was surprised to see this pop on someone else's blog - Grit and Glory - and thought I had found it there, until I went back to my 2010 post and found the link back to you from then. Thanks for the great idea!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Project Life – A New, Weekly Approach | It's Never Easy But It's Always Fun says…

    [...] I read Ali Edwards blog. She is/was a celebrity scrapbooker with a design eye I always admired. Her One Little Word inspired me last year and I’m doing that again this year. And then she mentioned her other [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Uma palavra para o ano | Scrap Party says…

    [...] eu já falei lá no blog do Scrap Sins, pela terceira vez estou aplicando o conceito One Little Word, da Ali Edwards. Mas neste ano, além de escolher a palavra, estou participando do workshop [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. About stillness | Transcending says…

    [...] Edwards has been writing about the power of One Little Word since 2007. She has a One Little Word online workshop where you can learn more about the power of [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Sharon says…

    I love this idea - I think my word will be "Lioness". Just recently read a book by Lisa Bevere which is very interesting and this is the message - to be a who hunts, nurtures, supports, is magnificent, doesn't need lots of things or overcomplicates life and many other attributes. Well worth a read!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. in the kitchen | the habit of being says…

    [...] been thinking a lot about my one little word, nurture. thinking about the people i nurture, the need to nurture myself, ways of nurturing. [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Pat says…

    Don't know if it's too late to join, but I like the work "enjoy"....the process of creativity; my family; my challenges; nature. What an interesting concept..and so simple!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Wishcast Wednesday – What do you wish to enjoy? #2 | Ceanne's Best Life says…

    [...] the person I am meant to be. - *Update – Interesting that “BE!” is my One Little Word for 2011– I will be doing a post on that really soon.- the walks I take with my [...]

    Reply 0 Replies

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