Each year I choose a word for the year ahead. Ali Edwards first introduced this concept to me in 2007, and I fully embraced it. As I prepared to write this post declaring my One Little Word for 2016 I suddenly realized it’s TEN YEARS of choosing a single word for the year. Wow, time flies.
So why choose One Little Word for the year? As Ali says:
A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything.
It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow. …
A single word can be a catalyst to enrich your life…
A word that I can focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life.
I loved the concept, and jumped on board immediately with Focus, then in the following years: change, adapt, balance, achieve, grow, challenge, thrive, and 2015’s light. Each New Year I post my new word, intentions for the year ahead and reflect on the year past. I highly recommend anyone to join in. Ali does an online class where you get monthly prompts to help keep your word visible and present.
Reflections on One Little Word 2015 – Light
I chose Light as my One Little Word for 2015 because it just resonated with me. I needed a word to get me through yoga teacher training, and I almost chose Namaste, but it didn’t grab me like Light did. Sometimes you choose the word, sometimes the word chooses you. I admit that at times my word wasn’t fully present because I had a dark periods to get through during the year. Like when Sky passed away to Rainbow Bridge, emotions that came to surface during yoga teacher training, and the passing of my father, but it’s strange how the words work when you need them and feel like they aren’t there, but they are, busy working away hard in the background like Santa’s elves.
I needed light in my life and learned it doesn’t just come, you create it. People can offer the light but you have to choose to open your eyes and see it. Sometimes what you envision the direction your word will take you isn’t the actuality. Looking at my post for Light I also wanted to curse less, what I actually learned is that cursing isn’t the issue. Cursing is who I am, that’s part of my light, stop trying to change yourself Di. I still wish I cursed less, but hey it’s who I am and I’m making peace with it. I’ve learned over the last nine years that the words almost take on a life of their own, they speak to you. And as one word comes to an end another begins to take form…
One little word 2016 – ALOHA!
For me my One Little Word for 2016 came a little earlier than it usually does. I found my word “Aloha” in October that resonated with me so deeply but it seemed a strange word to use so I just mulled it over for a few weeks toying with other words but this one kept coming back. I wanted something a bit more tangible, usable, a bit less ‘weird’. I decided that it was a silly word and instead I’d use “Give”, but “Aloha” kept coming back.
Why Aloha? After years of wanting to vacation in Hawaii, in 2015 it actually happened. And it was amazing. Everything I imagined, and more. When we returned to the mainland, it was with a heavy heart. I knew that I wanted the feeling of Hawaii to never end. It wasn’t just the stress free vacation time. I enjoyed the slow pace of the Island life, no set schedule, beyond beautiful scenery and nature, relax, spend time with people, experience more, have less stuff, in fact I wrote a post about things I learned in Hawaii, and how I wanted to take those lessons and move forward. It was also living with less stuff (we rented a small condo, and only took carry on luggage). Taking time to eat together, read, be offline, and of course enjoying the sunsets over the ocean every night. I loved the “Aloha” spirit and way of life.
Spirit of Aloha
Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain – it is my pain. When there is joy – it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything. When food is needed I will take only my need and explain why it is being taken. The earth, the sky, the sea are mine to care for, to cherish and to protect. This is Hawaiian – this is Aloha!
Not only is Aloha life about being present, slowing down and living in harmony but it directly mirrors my yoga philosophy training and my passion for veganism and living cruelty free. Since getting back, our favorite thing to say is “that’s not very Aloha!” whenever we see someone driving crazily, or getting upset, or being an asshole, selfish, or anything not nice. Aloha is used as a greeting in Hawaii but it means so much more than just Hello and Goodbye. Like I said it’s a way of living life, finding joy in every moment. In December, just when I was warming up to “Give” as my One little word, one of my training clients/friends gave me a Hawaii calendar for my Birthday and I just smiled and said “Ok, word! I get it!” so my word for 2016 is Aloha. I may not be in Hawaii but I can definitely life the Aloha spirit here in California!
[tweetthis]Love the idea of using #onelittleword to set my intentions for the year ahead! via @workoutwithdi[/tweetthis]
Unlike other years where I promised to scrapbook pages, journal or post blog updates. This year I’m not promising anything. Because that’s not living Aloha. I plan on keeping this word close to me all year so I’ve changed my phone lock screen to an aloha image from my One Little Word 2016 pinterest board. That way it’s going to stay present whenever I use my phone, which is a lot. What I am going to do instead of documenting my journey is LIVE IT.
What would be your word for 2016?
Nicole Torres (@DesignItVintage)
I like this idea, helps to achieve your goals.
slow and steady! It’s the way to go!
Oooo a word of the year sounds fun! Now you have me thinking of words lol….
It really is! Helps so much to stay on track with just ONE goal!
I love your word choice for the year! I have always done this, but I don’t really have one come to mind for 2016, so I am still thinking about it!
Sometimes the words are slow coming to you huh?
This was absolutely beautiful. I simply love your choice of word and I think it’s going to lead to a wonderful year for you! My word for 2016 is “achieve”: I’m a workaholic and I like to take a lot on, but this year I want to focus on the results and what I achieve with all of my goals!
Michelle @ Sunshine and Hurricanes.com
I have also been a word gal vs. resolutions the last few years. My 2015 word was CONSIDER and I’m not sure what 2016 will be yet! All the best w/Aloha, I love it!!!!
Thanks! Consider is an interesting one! Definitely something that would make you slow down, take a breath and figure out the answers. A good one for learning to say NO to things I’m sure!
I love this idea!! A single word can become the mantra that transforms your year. I think I’m choosing Balance for 2016!
Ooooh I loved balance when I used it! It’s such a great word.
I’m sorry for your loss this year 🙁 I think choosing one word is a brilliant idea and I love your fun word for 2016. I hope it is a better year for you xx
Thanks Claire! yes it’s been a bit of a stressful year in many ways, ready to start afresh!
This is a wonderful idea and one I will do for 2016! I’ve chosen transform as my word. Best to you in the New Year!
Yay! Transform is an amazing word! Good luck and happy new year!
I’m so surprised to see an Ali Edwards reference. I started OLW with her in 2007! I even bought her scrapbook kits for several years and have great albums to prove it. Ali has inspired me in so many ways. I think I’ve finally decided on my word for 2016. I’ll share next week 🙂
Oh Jill! Girlfriend I’ve been a scrapbooker for years. I had projects published in a few of the magazines too, and was on a fair few design teams in my day including manufacturer teams. Seems like a lifetime ago now!
I don’t think there is a better word out there! The Aloha manifesto seems to sum up everything that I try to bring to my life. Kiss life hello and live a life of happiness. Perfect.
I know right! It just fit for my year ahead!
Ana De Jesus
I always use a lot of words when one will suffice lol. If I could use a word to describe my year it would be change, a lot has happened.
Change was a great word when I used it.