One Little Word® 2017 | Connect

Another trip around the sun is coming to a close. 

My overwhelming feeling at the end of this year is wholehearted thankfulness. For the whole of it. The hard parts and the easy parts and the parts in between. It's something we can count on - that crazy mixture of highs and lows and normals - throughout the 365 days we call a year in our lives. 

I absolutely loved focusing on the word "whole" as my One Little Word® for 2016. It is a word that I will carry with me for the rest of my life - "open" is another one that I feel strongly about. Whole challenged me in the ways I needed to be challenged and wrapped me up in goodness in so many other ways. I loved asking questions about the different pieces of my own whole and looking deeper into what it means to me to feel "whole." 

It's crazy when I think back on all the words I've had over the years (I started this practice in 2006):

  • Play
  • Peace
  • Vitality
  • Nurture
  • Story
  • Light
  • Up
  • Open
  • Thrive
  • Give
  • Whole

For 2017 I'm choosing to explore my life through the lens of the word "connect."

I'm ending 2016 and beginning 2017 by connecting directly and in person with my immediate family (parents, brother, sister + all their families) at my parents house on the coast. I'm already including "connect" in daily thoughts as I go about the regular stuff of my life - asking myself how I'm connecting with this and that and especially focusing on what I can disconnect from (love the angle of including the opposite of my word). 

This blended family life is offering me a whole lot of opportunities for connection and I don't want to miss those. We've all been sinking in to this "new normal" around here - life is such a series of "new normals" isn't it? We get used to a situation or a piece of our lives and then something changes - for better or worse - and then we are forced (either kicking and screaming or accepting or a crazy combination of those emotions) to adapt to the "new" normal. What I have learned over the last so many years is that we are always riding that wave - either in the beginning or the end or somewhere in between. It is life. It is our life. What we get to choose is how we respond and live through all those moments. 

In 2017 I hope to specifically investigate areas related to connecting with myself, connecting with others (especially family and community), connecting with work, and connecting with nature/outdoors (I feel a strong pull towards that this year). I also plan to focus on the idea of disconnecting in order to make sure I'm living in alignment with my highest values. 

If you'd like to hear me talk more about this topic, check out a new podcast I did earlier this week with Elise about our words from last year and this year. It's a very candid conversation about what's worked and not worked related to both choosing and living with our words. 

My wonderful little heart shown above is from Liz Lamoreux and is called a Whole Heart Pocket Talisman. It's a wonderful way to keep your word close throughout the year. 


I’d love to read what word you’ve chosen or are considering for 2017. In the comments feel free to simply leave your word as your comment or write a bit about why you are choosing this word. Next week I’ll combine all the words into a single post – it's become tradition and 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: 200720082009201020112012201320142015 and 2016.


To help keep your One Little Word® more visible throughout the year I offer a year-long workshop featuring one creative prompt per month. Read all the details and sign up here. Registration is $5 off until December 31, 2016. I've also created a selection of products to help you document your journey with your word - check those out here (stamps will be restocked later in January and we have a pre-order happening for an additional restock of the blue albums that will arrive in late March/early April). During the One Little Word® 2017 Kick-Off ordering period (between now and 1/31/17), items featured on the One Little Word® 2017 page are eligible for free shipping domestic and $5 international. If you add any other items from the shop to your cart, normal shipping rates will apply to those additional items.

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430 thoughts

  1. rosiechristine says…

    Confident! Love this time of year - thanks for everything Ali :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. kimkbolyard says…


    the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate

    words to live by!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. yooperbrat says…

    I am joining the party late! Been hearing about OLW for a few years but never got around to doing it or even checking into it. I am not good at journaling or analyzing my thoughts and feelings, so I'm a bit hesitant to join the workshop - not sure if it will be something I will follow through on or not. Would anyone like to share their thoughts on how it worked for them? I am learning one thing about myself recently - I'm very indecisive! I have a list of about 8-10 words and I can't seem to make a final decision. I need to work on many areas of my life, so I can't help but think if I choose one thing I'll be "ignoring" the other words/areas that have come to mind. Part of me thinks I should have a different work each month, but I know that's not the way it's intended. Been praying about it, but have not felt any clear answer yet. Would love any lit bits of "advice" anyone may be willing to share.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. jamiepate says…

      It's never too late. This could be a great class for you to help you focus on your word. Usually when I pick a word (or it picks me) it then shows up in my reading or conversations or what not. Maybe reading Ali's past posts will help you find clarity for a word. But I would definitely advise you to take this class.

  4. jenlevin says…


    Reply 0 Replies
  5. jamiepate says…

    Honestly. My word has been picked and written in my journal since early last month. And it too is Connect. I can't believe I picked the same word as you. Well, it actually picked me as I am sort of reluctant to have it. But I know already it is specifically needed in my life. Glad to be taking your class again this year too. Love how it has helped in the past to stay focused and active in my word.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. rhondaw says…


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  7. Yuka says…

    My word is 'build'.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. fcivira says…

    Hi everyone,
    Adventure is my word

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Judi2 says…


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  10. Kathy73 says…

    Happiness - find the happy in all things I do, immerse myself in happiness to reset my mental health.

    Reply 0 Replies

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