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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. Chrissy says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is ACTIVE. It has been a long pregnancy, an inactive one. This baby is due in Jan. and I am looking forward to becoming active again, now with two kids! My goal is to get healthy again, for myself and my family. I want to start living again, not just going day to day.

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

    My word for 2011 is "FOLLOW". There are many things I need to be submissive to in my life, mainly God's will for me. Like you, Ali, my word has picked me... As I thought about what my word would be, "follow" kept popping up. And look - even in your post: "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." Thanks for sharing this great projet for yet another year. :-)

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

    My word is also LESS. Right now I am unemployed and am having to focus on less in lots of aspects of my life. But I want to bring it to all aspects in 2011. I am excited about it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Rachel Hope says…
    12/29/2010

    Simplicity

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Jenny L. says…
    12/29/2010

    This is my first year doing the one little word concept, although I've followed it for several years. I'm also doing the one little word class on bps. I chose the word change for 2011. Change- change my study habits, change my weight, change my eating/fitness habits. I would also at some point in my life, change the world in some little way, I know it's a big goal, but i have a while to work on it, and this year is just the start.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Kristi Wildung says…
    12/29/2010

    I sifted through many words this year, and the one that seemed to fall out is COURAGE. The bottom line is that fear controls too many areas of my life and I need courage to move away from it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Colleen Ryan says…
    12/29/2010

    This year I've chosen the word OPEN. Or perhaps, its better to say it chose me. I've thought about it off and on over the last number of weeks, and open came to me almost immediately and always seems to be the right word for 2011.

    I'm expecting our first child in late March and I know this will bring so many changes to our lives. I want to be open to all that it entails - the change in routines, the new type of love I've never before experienced, the challenges and the blessings. I'm a very independent person with a strong type A personality, yet I want to be open to sharing this experience with our family and friends, inviting their help when it is needed and letting go of what I 'expect' to happen to enjoy all the unknowns before us.

    Looking forward to the class!

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

    Mine is MOVE. I need to move more physically, move to make things happen professionally, move mountains to make magic happen in my life, for me and for my family. Love this concept, which can be so so powerful. Can't wait to see what your class holds in store and have already made the word 'move' in various forms for various places around the house to serve as a physical reminder of my aims for 2011 and what I need to do to achieve them.

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

    GRACE! I need to accept it from God and give it to others!

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

    De clutter was my first choice, my faith, my home, my relationships.
    But saw the post on less, and thought how I need to have less "stuff" and more of God in my life, home and relationships.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Jill T says…
      12/29/2010

      I have also chosen LESS for similar reasons. I want to have less of me, literally, by losing weight but also less clutter, less worry, less stress, less procrastination, less regrets. I was a little surprised to see others had chosen it

      A favorite Bible verse of mine is John 3:30 - He must become greater; I must become less. When I looked that up today and reflected on it for awhile, I knew I had found my word.

  11. Laura T. says…
    12/29/2010

    My 2011 word is PATIENCE. I need to focus on being more patient with everything in my life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. MelissaL88 says…
    12/29/2010

    Ali, my word for this year is PERSISTENT. In order to meet my goals for the year, I will need to be persistent.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Sarah F. says…
    12/29/2010

    The word that keeps coming back to me is Persevere. I keep resisting it and looking for another because I think ... I don't know, that it is too negative? 2010 had been rough in many ways and I have plans to make 2011 better, but I already feeling the effort may be futile. So, persevere!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Sarah F. says…
      12/30/2010

      Thank you for this! You hit exactly on what I was feeling but couldn't put into words. I want to choose something that doesn't feel like I still need to struggle through but that I am, and will, succeed.

    2. TracyBzz says…
      12/30/2010

      I know what you mean about not wanting a word to sound to negative. I feel the same way about some words. I read many times that when you set a goal you need to word it as if you are currently doing it. Example: don't say "I want to excerise" say "I am excerising 4 times a week" Maybe you need a word more like accomplish, seems more like you've finished overcoming versus trying to persevere.

  14. Megan says…
    12/29/2010

    Float. That's my word for this year. I've spent a lot of time recently swimming against the current or feeling like I'm drowning. I'm going to actively stop resisting and just...float.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. christy a says…
    12/29/2010

    Still thinking about my word, but the one that keeps coming back to me is "joy." This past year has been full of struggles and just life stuff that has seemed to steal my joy. I want it back and I want to be a joyful example for my kids on how to live, even when life seems to be difficult. Love the word "light" and excited to see how you interpret it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Phyllis says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is peace - it was just there and I'm not sure why, other than I need more of it in day to day life.

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

    My word is calm. I am dealing with Postpartum Depression which caught me completely off gaurd as this happened with my third child. I need to be calm- inside and out.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Cathy T says…
    12/29/2010

    My word for 2011 is Change. I love the quote "You must be the change you want to see in the world" by Ghandi. I complain about others but I cannot change them. I can only change me. So to do that I must be the change I want to see. Time for me to dream big and be bold. Two words I do not do. I have played small for so long so I wouldn't make other people feel bad about themselves. But that has only hurt me. No more! 2011 is the year for me!!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Gina Crowley says…
      12/31/2010

      I was just thinking how much I loved that Ghandi quote.

  19. Cynthia says…
    12/29/2010

    Torn between two this year... rejuvenate and nurture. Leaning towards nurture today. Nurturing myself, my husband, new baby, boys, my almost adult son, those around me, my home. Strengthening my circle...

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

    I haven't decided. It's between Cherish and Treasure. I am looking to really live in the moment of my life as it is, cherish/treasure the stage I'm in, live the visions I had for this part of my life rather than just keeping up.

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

    I've decided on nurture for my word. A bit like you with 'light' Ali, I feel it has really chosen me rather than the other way around!

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

    For 2011 my word is “health”. I had a bit of a health scare this past month and that word is definitely on my mind right now as I go for more follow-up exams at the doctor office. Low Thyroid and “Disordered Prolifertive Endometrium” (or I like to say: a dysfunctional uterus). Both are something that must be dealt with but are manageable.

    “Health” is different from losing weight. For me, it’s being more mindful of what we, as a family, are putting into our bodies. Yes, I am dragging my family into this too. Some of them are kicking and screaming.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Ellen Coker says…
    12/29/2010

    Marathon. I tried on a number of other words but this one just continued on until I fully listened.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. shannon b says…
    12/29/2010

    Nurture - I want to nurture the relationships in my life . . . with my spouse, my children, my parents, my adult brothers, and my friends. I already have some thoughts & plans on how to do this. For Christmas I gave my husband 12 envelopes filled with pre-planned, pre-paid dates for us to use in the coming year. I'm planning to keep in touch with my brothers on a more regular basis (pick up the phone). Some special projects, rituals, traditions that I want to commit to with my children. Lots of things go into this, but basically I want to focus on the people that matter most in my life.

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

      That's an awesome gift - love that 12 envelope idea.

  25. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams says…
    12/29/2010

    My word is TRUST. My 2010 word was/is BRAVE, and my life in a new city still requires a lot of bravery - but I want to move into a deeper place of trust in this new year. I love hearing about everyone's words.

    Reply 0 Replies

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