Choosing a word for the year is part of my goal setting for the coming year. The word I pick is a guiding word for the year, representing what I want to focus on. I am choosing to “explore my life through the lens of the word”, which is how Ali Edwards describes One Little Word®. She started choosing a guiding word for her year in 2006, and offering an online workshop in 2011.
What I’ve learned about choosing a word for the year
- Don’t wait for the perfect word. In 2015, I liked Seth Godin’s ship it concept, but wish I had chosen a single word that best represented that idea, something like finish.
- Document your word throughout the year. I experienced my word more profoundly when I wrote about it every month.
My words of the year
- My 2017 word is story
- My 2016 word was momentum
- My 2015 words were ship it
- My 2014 word was dwell
I share about my word of the year on Instagram with the hashtag: #olwanika.
Making your word visible
One way to remind yourself of your word is to buy things with your word on them, like a bracelet or poster.
- The plastic word in the above photo was ordered through Ali Edwards’ One Little Word shop. I have also purchased a larger plastic word from Colleen Attara.
- In 2016, I ordered a handmade pewter heart talisman from Soul Mantras as a way to remember my word:
Remembering your word throughout the year
One way to remember your word throughout the year is to take Ali Edward’s year-long online monthly workshop. The album I created in 2016 using her monthly prompts helped me record how I experienced my word. I appreciate the ideas she discusses in the workshop because they helped me process my word in a way I wouldn’t have been able to on my own.
- In 2014, I half-completed the January prompt. I tried to be frugal, so I didn’t buy the 6×8 album that Ali used and discovered that the cheap 8.5×11 album I tried to use didn’t inspire me because my project looked so different from her project. I learned that I prefer the smaller 6×8 binder size and it was well-worth buying it in 2016. I am adding my 2017 pages to the same binder.
- In 2015, I chose not to take Ali’s course since I didn’t complete the prompts in 2014 (though I think I watched all the videos). I don’t think my words in either 2014 or 2015 had much of an effect on my since I wasn’t remembering them throughout the year.
- In 2016, I completed all the prompts. The prompts helped me remember my word throughout the year in a way that I had not previously been able to. Some months I got behind with the prompts but was able to catch up later.
The following photo is an example of a 2016 monthly prompt, we were invited to choose something to practice daily in February and I chose daily drawing.
Here’s another example of a prompt I completed, choosing words and images to represent my word (I used images I had saved on Pinterest):
Learn more about how to choose your own word:
- Listen to the Elise Gets Crafty podcast episodes with Ali Edwards: 2017, 2016, 2015
- Read through a list of word ideas
- Listen to the Scrap Gals podcast episode 148: Scrappy New Year!
- Read Andrea’s experience with choosing and documenting a word of the year
- Read I’m Not Choosing a Word for 2017 by Jennifer Wilson of the Simple Scrapper
If you choose a word for the year, what recommendations do you have for someone who has never done it before?
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