One Little Word

An alternative to the January resolutions

Reading Time: 2 minutes

So we’re in the third week of January now.  We’ve experienced Blue Monday, and it’s probably no longer appropriate to say ‘Happy New Year’ to people you haven’t seen since the start of the year.  In fact the euphoria of a New Year and the all the promise that it brings is probably fast waning and it’s officially back to normal for the next 340 or so days.

This is partly why I gave up on New Year Resolutions many moons ago and the disappointment that usually accompanies it around this time in January.  However what I have been doing for the past ten years is choosing a word for the year.  Kind of like a mantra, a little like an intention, it’s a word that I choose to guide me through the year ahead and it’s proven to be pretty powerful.  

I started in 2008 beginning with ‘Foundations’, when I decided I wanted to start my own photography business and my words for the subsequent years were generally focussed around my business intentions with ‘Build’ in 2009, ‘Action’ in 2010, followed by a big leap to ‘Flourish’ in 2011 (which was a great year for the business!) and continue telling ‘Stories’ 2012.

In 2013 I wanted to bring my intentions back to myself and chose ‘Nourishment’ as my word that year, followed by ‘Home’ in 2014 (where we ended up buying our home at the end of that year). There was a quest for ‘Balance’ in 2015 and ‘Joy’ in 2016. For 2017 my word was ‘Light’, as I started forging a new career path, and for 2018 with a move to another country on the horizon and a lot to accomplish in the time in-between, my word is  ‘Do’.

Since 2011 I’ve been participating in Ali Edwards One Little Word Workshop, which I love as a means to keeping my word visible over the year and can highly recommend.  However this year I’ve also chosen to anchor my word to a scent by choosing an essential oil to carry my intention so that I am reminded of it whenever I smell the aroma.  For me, this is the wonderful Rosemary. 

Rosemary stimulates and strengthens the mind, encouraging clarity and energises and uplifts the spirit.

With a lot of studying ahead of me this year and a move to the other side of the world, I need all the strength, clarity and energy I can muster together!  Rosemary essential oil is not only known to boost brain power but is also recognised for warding off lethargy, instilling positive feelings and increasing productivity; all of which I can do with in the coming year too.

So I’ll be diffusing rosemary a lot over the next 12 months, particularly whilst I’m studying, and I will also be making a roller ball blend and inhaler so that I can have the oil to hand whenever I need added motivation or a reminder of my intentions this year.

Do you have a word for your year ahead?  If you do, I would love to know what it is and hear how you plan to keep it active and visible in your life too.

Visit the One Little Word® Website

Penny was inspired by Designer, Blogger, workshop instructor, and author of four books, Ali Edwards, in writing this post. Please take a moment to visit Ali's 'One Little Word®' website to learn more.
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  • My word for this year is ‘empower’. I have decided to take my future into my own hands and I am so excited to empower myself to move forward and also empower others to be their best selves x

    • Check out Ali Edwards website too! She was my initial inspiration, and there’s so much good stuff on her site about it.

  • I can’t think of a word, but I want to slow down, take a step back and work out what’s not serving me anymore. I’ve spent so long doing things because I’m scared about what will happen if I don’t do them anymore, but it’s making me ill and I can’t do it any more. I’ve bought 20 essential oils and am on a mission to start improving my health and who knows where this journey will take me. Maybe ‘healing’ should be my word.

    • Connecting with essential oils and natural remedies in particular can really help you reconnect with your more intuitive self. Healing could be a very powerful word for your 2018 x

  • What a fabulous concept! I am going to take some time tomorrow to consider a word for my year ahead. Thanks for sharing this fabulous idea!

    • I can’t take credit for the concept, as I was inspired all those years ago by Ali Edwards, but it’s definitely worth considering and it’s my favourite New Year ritual now!

  • Penny, this is a great idea! So having just finished reading I think the word I am going to choose for this year is “Team”. We are getting married this year and my partner is also making a career change which once qualified should see him be able to earn more and give us more security as I cannot work currently. It’s also good to remind us that the wedding is not the end but just the start of working together!

  • I have thought about my word too and really feel strongly that for 2018, it will be ‘Together’. I have prioritised work to the detriment of my health and relations with family and friends the past few years and really want to create opportunities for togetherness in 2018 – walking, get togethers over lunch, watching movies together, discussion books together, yes *working* together.

    I can’t help but think of the A Life Loved community too and how this brings people from all walks of live ‘together’.

    Thank you so much for inspiring me with this lovely post Penny,
    Love A xXx

    • Together. That’s perfect. My only advice would be to make sure the word is visible. In the past I’ve had jewellery made with it, printed it out and framed it, or simply written it on my desk! Just so that you see it (even if it’s only subconsciously!) xxx

  • I do this! My word this year is “kindness”, and I’ve actually updated our work plan to mention it. x

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