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One Little Word® 2014

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Make your word visible: Order your own word from recycled matericals created by artist Colleen Attara here

My One Little Word for 2014 is thrive.

This year, more than any other I can remember, I'm starting off the year with questions. What does it mean for me to thrive? What does it look like? What does it fee like? Are there areas in which I'm already thriving? What's realistic vs. visions of what I have in my head of what it means to thrive?

Open was an awesome word for me last year. It was a touchstone as I navigated my way through growing pains and man oh man did it work in a million different ways I could not have imagined when I started 2013. More often than not when faced with a decision, I chose to open more rather than closing off which was my number one intention last year. That said, I feel like I've been spinning in circles a lot this past year. I've been reacting vs. being proactive and have been dealing with a variety of issues related to stress and growth (totally all part of my own life journey).

To me thriving is optimal living. It's being present and awake and stepping up to be my best self physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively and within my relationships.

It's not a quest for perfection. It's an opportunity to continue choosing to let go of things outside of my control and to figure out who that best-me-right-now really is.

It will be a whole new journey and I'm here to tell you I welcome it wholeheartedly.

Bring on 2014.

This year I invited my friend Elise Blaha Cripe to film a little video about her experience with One Little Word. One of the reasons I admire Elise is that she is awesome at follow-through and documentation. I've loved reading about her experience with her words over the last few years on her blog and she inspires me consistently with her projects and her real-life reflections.

Here's Elise in her own words:

Thank you Elise for sharing about your own journey here.


AE_Thrive

Are you considering selecting a word for yourself (or letting one find you)? 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.

SHARE YOUR WORD THE COMMENTS | I’d love to read what word you’ve chosen or are considering for 2014. 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 days I’ll combine all the words into a single post – super inspiring to see all the words in one place.

If you’re new to the concept of One Little Word, you can read some of my previous posts here: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.


ONE LITTLE WORD® 2014 | To help keep your One Little Word® more visible throughout the year I offer a year-long workshop featuring one prompt per month. Read all the details and sign up here. Registration is $5 off until December 31.

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938 thoughts

  1. Tara says…
    12/30/2013

    My One little word is...GO!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Meg says…
    12/30/2013

    My word for 2014 is true.

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  3. Jasmine Ford says…
    12/30/2013

    SIMPLIFY...I need this in my life more than ever right now!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. jessica o'brien | jessohbee says…
    12/30/2013

    my first word in 2012 was "core." i chose it to help me refocus on the core people and core elements/themes/values of my life, letting the rest (others' opinions, stress, etc) fall away. i picked up yoga and meditation that year and got pregnant, which further brought my attention to my core. very grounding, very valuable!

    in 2013, i chose "stretch." i wanted to stretch physically as prepared to birth my baby naturally. i wanted to stretch my marriage to fit a new person in the family. i wanted to stretch my energy, time and patience as a new mom and then a working mom. i wanted to stretch in my career and go for a promotion. i wanted to stretch my ideas of what life could or should look like.

    in 2014, i've chosen expand. i like to not define how the word will take shape too much at the start, and let it happen naturally, but some thoughts i do have are: expand my lungs (exercise, meditation practice again, yoga), expand my family (universe willing, i hope to get pregnant in 2014), expand my impact (career focus), expand my mind (new learning, reading, new hobbies). with "core" and having a baby, my world really shrunk down in a beautiful way and i focused on my little family and the key elements of my life. in 2014, i'd like to reopen again and turn outward. move more. think more. grow. expand...

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Deborah says…
      12/30/2013

      This is such a beautiful example of how a word from one year will influence and extend into the years that follow. I love this idea, and am inspired to see how that takes root in my own life! Thanks for sharing the background and details!

  5. Kathy says…
    12/30/2013

    I have much to be grateful for but have allowed some negativity to overshadow these blessings, therefore my OLW is POSITIVE. I need POSITIVE changes in my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing in order to attain the peace and balance I crave in my life. Looking forward to a POSITIVE year!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Genevieve says…
    12/30/2013

    My word is nourish. Merriam-Webster gives two definitions: 1) to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc. and 2) to cause (something) to develop or grow stronger. This feels right to me. I want to concentrate on doing things that nourish me and my family, both physically and mentally/spiritually.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Natalie says…
      12/30/2013

      I also have chosen Nourish as my word. The definition truly embodies so many things.

  7. Rebecca says…
    12/30/2013

    My word this year is ***SHINE*** :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ellen Gutierrez says…
      01/04/2014

      Mine too! SHINE!! from the inside out...SHINE!! We'll shine together!!

  8. Sarah says…
    12/30/2013

    Blessing

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. kristina says…
    12/30/2013

    My word for 2014 is CONTENT.:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Deborah says…
    12/30/2013

    My word this year is MARGIN. I have started out in previous years (2012 being the most memorable) choosing a word, and then finding that there simply wasn't room in my life to track with it, or to allow it to enter my days and change me. This year, picking up with some very hard work I began in 2013, I'm looking for MARGIN, and for the space within and around me--in all areas: physical, emotional, financial, relational, parental, spiritual, dietary, situational--to engage more fully in my days and to allow change and growth to take root and grow.

    Really looking forward to learning how more MARGIN will give me room to spread my wings in 2014!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Deb J says…
    12/30/2013

    My word is Focus.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. brandi says…
    12/30/2013

    After more uncertainty in choosing than I expected, the word "focus" finally chose me. I'm figuring out more day by day in a tiny little ways, why this was the perfect word for this year as I focus on the present, on the good, on hope, on possibility, and on change. I have such a tendency to borrow tomorrow's trouble, getting mired of what might not work instead of giving focus to what is and what could be.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Rebekah says…
    12/30/2013

    Up! It came to me one evening while rocking/feeding my baby. I have been allowing these quiet moments to think on negative things unfortunately. So this new year I want to be uplifted, look up more, feel positive etc etc. And then once I decided on it, I realized it was your word a few years ago!! Looking forward to joining in on this project again.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Karen Kellenberger says…
    12/30/2013

    My word is RENEW, and it found me this year. I've only chosen a word one other time, several years ago, so I'm excited to see what this year holds.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Emily says…
    12/30/2013

    Gratitude.

    Over the last few weeks of 2013 this word has been heavy on my heart. It has been showing up in the most perfect places and I truly believe that it has sought me out. I have followed OLW for a few years, but have never chosen one of my own. This year is the year to focus on my life and watch myself grow in a new way.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. crystal moody says…
    12/30/2013

    This is my fifth year participating:
    2010 SIMPLE 2011 FOCUS 2012 LIGHT 2013 MORE/LESS
    This year my word is HABIT and I'm taking it a step further and set up this project for myself: http://yearofcreativehabits.com
    Thanks Ali for all you do and how you inspire so many of us. :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Marie says…
      01/03/2014

      Crystal---thanks for inspiring me! My first thought was grow---because there are numerous ways and places I want to do so.
      But a big element that comes to mind with that involves
      turning 'once in awhile' things into habits - and/or creating new ones! I loved reading your creative habits post too. The don't break the chain' idea is great!!!
      Happy New Year!

  17. Megan H. says…
    12/30/2013

    This is my first year doing OLW! I'm excited!

    After struggling with post partum depression, and the after effects, as well as bipolar disorder for the last three years, I finally feel ready to face the world again as my true self. So I picked the word:

    Brave.

    I want to bravely face the world, and all its challenges. I've been hiding from my reality for too long. time to be brave and face my world head on!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Heather H. says…
      12/30/2013

      As you can see (I posted just below you) my word for 2013 was Brave. Absolutely amazing word. Here's to your 2014. :)

  18. Heather H. says…
    12/30/2013

    I haven't figured out my word yet, but I do want to say this, I did OLW last year and I only completed about half the assignments. However, my word (which was BRAVE last year) was with me ALL THE TIME. It is a totally worthwhile venture, even if you don't get all the assignments done. I'll come back when I know what my word is. Last year it found me right at midnight on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Ckah says…
    12/30/2013

    My one little word... I've been thinking for a while. And I can't seem to focus on just one. Id love some help.... Joy, cheer, smile, positivity, save, and push, all the ones that I would love. I'm leaning towards postivity though... Any advice ?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ckah says…
      12/30/2013

      Polish is also a major contender

  20. Tessa says…
    12/30/2013

    My 2014 word is MORE. I find that I have such high expectations for myself that I feel like I never measure up. So I have decided to try for just a little more- to do better than I did yesterday. To have more family time, spend more time outside, exercise more, be more organized, spend more time on devotionals. To be more intentional about being a part of my life rather than getting so caught up in the chaos of life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Lynne Gillis says…
    12/30/2013

    I've been going back and forth between two words: TRUST and TRANSFORM (and who knows - maybe this will be a year when I have two instead of one!). They each speak to me in very different ways.

    TRUST feels like the flip-side of the coin of my 2013 OLW (which, like Ali, was OPEN). Open was such a powerful word for me - and I feel like I'm not done with it - like there is more to experience - and I think the deeper part of that, for me, is developing my ability to trust (in all kinds of different ways).

    TRANSFORM feels like a stretch that kind of began mid-way through 2013 (when I began to train for the Chicago Marathon), but that is by no means complete. I feel like I am on the precipice of an enormous transformation in how I approach the world, how I show up in it, how I see myself, how I see the possibilities that exist for me, how I move beyond the me (and the old stories/tapes) I have been reluctant to leave behind, and how I create or embrace/nurture the tender new parts so that they can flourish. But that marathon training experience was so pivotal, that I know following through on what that started is the absolute right thing for me now.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Iris says…
    12/30/2013

    Brave.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Kai says…
    12/30/2013

    I have been bouncing back and forth between BALANCE and PEACE. I think PEACE is winning out, and along with seeking peace and striving for peace - inner and outer, balance will come as well.

    PEACE

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Aurelie H says…
    12/30/2013

    Mine is focus

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Robin Gibson says…
    12/30/2013

    Embrace!
    And it feels good to have it picked! I've given it some thought, and tried to 'listen' for it, and it didn't seem to come.
    Until today, just now, in fact! And suddenly I'm SUPER excited for it! Thanks Ali for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies

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