Saying Goodbye (and Hello) to My One Little Word

Another year has come to an end and with it passes my word for 2013—RENEW. I have been doing Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class for the past three years. The first year I participated, I chose CONQUER as my word. I was a little hesitant to take the class at first because I couldn’t imagine how focusing on one word could make a difference in my life. But it did. By having that word in the back of my mind and for most of the year and actively working with it in class once a month, I believe that I accomplished some things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

The next year my word was FOCUS. I felt as if our family was being distracted by many outside forces and I wanted to use that year to FOCUS on what was truly important to us. I kept my word in mind as I made plans for us and ultimately said no to many extraneous activities.

This past year, my word has been RENEW. I felt stuck in a rut at the end of 2012 and I wanted to find new perspective in many areas of my life. I did make many changes in my attitude toward certain facets in my daily living during the year, so I felt this word helped me reach those goals.


These cards show the first six areas that I focused on RENEW-ing. Throughout the year I explored ways to bring new energy to these facets of my life.


These pages were two assignments that came mid-year. The left page is a reflection on how I was relating to my word at that point in time. The right page is nine quotations that I found inspiring and relating to my word. I had such a blast making these little cards!


I don’t normally do much art journaling, but one of the class assignments was to create a technique-y page with my word. I pulled out some paint and mist and a stencil and just had fun. My result is on the left. The right page is a collage of photos that I had taken through the year that I felt reflected my word. The photo assignments in this class are the most enjoyable to me. Now that the year is coming to and end I say goodbye to RENEW.

And hello to my word for 2014–FRESH. Over the past few years my family and I have been exploring organic eating and living. We have a flock of chickens that gives us fresh eggs. We have had a fairly successful garden the last two years. We shop at Whole Foods and local farmer’s markets. We get our beef from a local farmer. I cook more whole grains and vegetables. My kids are eating more vegetables. I am practicing yoga.

However, despite these efforts, we still spend a good amount of dollars on restaurant food. I have noticed my weight slowly creeping up over the last few months. I can see many ways in which we waste time and money. This year I want to keep focused on the positive changes we have made and see how much more we can delve into fresh, healthy living. I also want to reduce the clutter in our home and be mindful about what enters into our house. I’m excited about these changes and am ready to get started with One Little Word 2014.

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