Tag Archives: olw

One Little Word 2019 #olw2019

New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for me. Making these grandiose claims about how I’m going to drastically change my life by doing this or stopping that doesn’t feel right for me. I know will eventually break my resolutions, which makes me want to just give up. So instead of resolutions, I try to find a word to guide me through the year. Finding one word to focus on for the year gives me room to breathe, allows to me make mistakes but get back on track, and makes it easier to forgive myself when I mess up.

The process of discovering my One Little Word always begins at the end of the year with a brainstormed list of all the possibilities for the coming year. I allow myself to jot down any and every word that comes to mind, no judgement. After giving myself some space, I revisit my list, reading the words aloud, marking the ones that resonate with me, narrowing my list to about five choices. Over the next little bit, I try them on for size, aiming to find the word that I keep coming back to, the one that seems to choose me. When I’m ready to decide on my One Little Word, I reread my list again, looking up the definitions of the top contenders, ensuring that I find the perfect one for me. Sometimes this process happens quickly, but oftentimes, my One Little Word doesn’t find me for a few weeks. And that’s okay.

This year, my top contenders were nourish, consistency, ignite, transform, and joy. While I liked each one for different reasons, one word stood out above the rest, a beacon for the direction I would like to take this year. After much consideration, my One Little Word for 2019 is JOY!

Joy is defined as:

    The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
    A state of happiness or felicity
    A source or cause of delight

Over the past year, I’ve lost that spark, that intangible feeling of sheer joy and happiness. While I certainly had moments of happiness and excitement, upon reflection, I realized that I tended to dwell on what I was lacking, what I didn’t yet have or what I hadn’t yet accomplished. I desire to invite joy back into my life, focusing on improving my health and well-being, and in turn, my happiness will grow exponentially. I want to cultivate a life of gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for, and by expressing gratitude for the people, experiences, and things I have in my life, I can discover joy in the ordinary moments.

This quote speaks to me, and I want to live this out in 2019. It’s so true, isn’t it? Aren’t we all drawn to those people who exude happiness and joy, finding any reason to smile, not sweating the small stuff? I know I am! I want to be a magnetic force others are drawn to.

In order to align myself with JOY, I’m going to invite more exercise, celebrations, gratitude, travel, and discovery into my life, while letting go of complaints, excuses, competition, comparison, being stuck, and the idea of ‘busy’. I’m going to find joy in the journey and the ordinary moments of my life.

What is your One Little Word for 2019?

OLW 2017

For the past few years, I’ve chosen One Little Word (OLW) to guide me through the year and help me focus on my goals. I love the practice of choosing OLW rather than making a new year’s resolution because, like most people, I inevitably break my new year’s resolution within several weeks of making it. After I break it, I feel defeated and throw in the towel, vowing to try again next year. The difference between making a resolution and choosing one little word is that there’s nothing to break with OLW. It’s a focus for the year, something that’s always in the forefront of your mind as you make decisions, helping you go down the path you want to take, without the fear of messing up taunting you.

Last year was a tough year for me, personally and professionally, and I felt like I limped into 2017, beaten down and dejected. I’ve made some major changes in my life on my journey to finding happiness and joy again, and I’m determined that 2017 will be my year! So far, it’s leaps and bounds better than 2016! 🙂

In January, I began by making a list of potential OLWs. I mulled over my list, trying to pick the right word, the word that best seemed to fit what I want to get out of 2017. Some of the words on my list were heal, joy, rebuild, connect, begin, and empowered. As I pondered my list, one word kept coming to mind. One word gave me hope and felt like it would help steer me as I navigated the inevitable newness.


Photo credit: aliedwards.com

Begin. This word hold so much promise. Begin means to start, initiate, or set in motion. I am determined to put one foot in front of the other and begin. I have recently begun a new job, and in the fall, I will begin another. A few of my goals this year are to begin writing again, reading more fervently, exercising, and get back to being me again. This word resonates with me on so many levels, and I am enthusiastic about all the things I will begin this year.

What’s your One Little Word for this year?


Getting Back to the Old Me- SOL #11

Anyone who knows me or has read some of my posts this month knows I’ve been having a hard time lately. Lots of things beyond my control have been very frustrating and have consumed my life for the past few weeks. I haven’t liked who I’ve been lately. I’ve been extremely sad, irritable, and angry, and my usual social self has retreated from my friends. I was letting the situation control me. I was forgetting the advice my dad has always told me, “You can only control what you do. You can’t control what anyone else does.” And he’s right, but dammit, sometimes I just want to control everything and make it turn out the way I want it to!

Beginning Monday, the fog has started to lift. Each day I find myself happier and more like me. I am smiling more, laughing more, and connecting more. I am looking forward to tomorrow, rather than dreading it. I am finding the joy in life again, both at work and in my social life. My OLW for this year is intentional. To be honest, I haven’t been living intentionally lately; I’ve been living in reaction to the people and situations surrounding me. But that’s all beginning to change. I’m starting to own my intentionality again. I know that there are still going to be bumps along the way, but I’m going to be more intentional with my choices, leading to a happier, healthier me!

IMG_4752_originalThank you to everyone who has supported me during this time! I’ve received loads of love from friends, family, and the TWT community of writers. You guys make my heart happy! 🙂 So as I begin the business of getting back to the old me, I am looking forward to the adventures and fun that lie ahead. I’m excited to be traveling with this lady (and Heather!) in just a few short weeks! Bring on the sun!



One Little Word 2015


I first heard about One Little Word (OLW) back in 2012; it was all the rage in the Slicing Community. For those of you who don’t know, it’s the act of choosing one little word to act as a beacon to guide you through the year ahead. Sort of that one thing that you keep coming back to, that you focus on, that you strive for. I couldn’t think of a word in 2012, but in 2013, my OLW was balance. I was struggling a lot with striking a balance between my work and personal lives. After not achieving balance in 2013, I again chose balance as my OLW in 2014. I did a better job, but I’m still not quite there (Will I ever be?).

As I began reflecting on last year’s OLW and thinking about what this year’s word would be, one little word kept swirling through my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It kept creeping in when I least expected it. Not wanting to accept that choosing my OLW would be this easy (it never has been before!), I began reading other people’s OLW posts, searching for inspiration. I came across a list of One Little Words, and began reading them slowly and deliberately, trying to find one that resonated with me, that spoke to my soul. But that small little voice in the back of my head kept whispering my word. Every other word was blah in comparison. I decided to succumb. It’s very clear that my OLW has chosen me. And that word is intentional.


Lately I feel like I have good intentions, but my follow through isn’t always there. You know how it is…you intend to work out, you intend to call that friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, you intend to save more money, you intend to eat healthier, but something (inevitably) gets in your way. Well, at least your intentions were good, right? That has to count for something!

To be intentional is to do something on purpose, deliberately, consciously, and with awareness. Having good intentions doesn’t mean much. Being intentional means making conscious decisions to follow through with what you intend to do. It’s not enough just to think about it. Being intentional requires action. I’ve realized that I want to live more intentionally.

This year, I want to be more intentional with my work. Instead of putting things off, wasting time doing things that aren’t important, I want to be intentional with my day, prioritizing and making those conscious choices that will leave me feeling fulfilled, rather than with regret.

I want to be more intentional with my money, intentionally saving more, using it on things or experiences that really matter, knowing where it all goes. Budgeting has never been a favorite thing of mine. I’m not bad with money, by any stretch, but I could definitely do with a little more intentionality when it comes to money. I am going to intentionally save for the future, save for traveling, and buy things intentionally and with purpose.

I want to be more intentional with my relationships. Living abroad is an unbelievable experience, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything, but it poses challenges, particularly in maintaining relationships with those who are back home. I always have good intentions when it comes to keeping up with family and friends back home, but inevitably, they remain intentions. Maintaining relationships takes time, effort, and commitment. Couple that with crazy time zones, and it’s no wonder it’s hard. But this year is going to be different. This year, I am going to be intentional with my relationships, both at home and abroad.

Lastly, I want to be intentional with my writing. Writing is a love of mine, but it’s always a struggle, too. As a perfectionist, I find that I don’t always write when I want to write because it won’t be perfect. I make excuses for writing. I can’t write now because I don’t have enough time to do a good enough job, so why bother. I can’t possibly write as well as so-and-so, so I don’t try.  No more. I’m going to be an intentional writer. I’m going to carve out time to write. I’m going to work on caring a little less about it being perfect and a little more about it being honest. I’m going to tell my story.


Time, I find, is so easily wasted when you’re not being intentional. It’s a precious resource that I don’t always use to the fullest. Being intentional is going to change that. This doesn’t mean that I intend to schedule in every second of the day, prioritizing every minute so as not to waste time. What it does mean is that I want to be intentional about it. If I’m working, I want to spend my time working. If I’m enjoying time with friends, I want to focus on them and our conversations (not think about work or check my phone). If I’m traveling, I want to live in the moment, intentionally soaking up all that I can from the sights, sounds, people, and experiences.


As I enter into 2015, with all of the wonder and newness that a new year brings, I am hopeful. Many changes are coming my way- that much I know. But growing through these changes takes intention, and that’s what I intend to do. Intentional is what I will be.