I’ve been following along with Ali Edwards’ One Little Word project for several years now, but only half-heartedly. In fact, I’ve been known to forget my word and then not be totally sure I remembered the correct one. I know I had words in 2009-2011, but I don’t think I knew quite what to do with them.

I was still working full time as a scientist during those years and also trying to get pregnant (and subsequently, gestating). My focus was on the basics, not so much on personal or professional growth. I was happy but generally just making do. Much of my free time was spent on blogging here at Simple Scrapper.

In 2012 I followed the lead of Chris Brogan in choosing three words for my year: big, bold, and brave. For me these words worked together to help me push past fears and venture into uncharted waters. I leaned on these words a lot in 2012 and learned a lot from my mistakes as well as my successes.

In 2013 my word was enough. At some level I knew this word was a baby step for me, not a giant leap. It was about saying no more and accepting imperfection. I needed to test the waters of creating boundaries before I could really dive in and make real changes. I don’t think I’ve explored this one fully, but maybe that’s just as it should be.

Which brings me to 2014.

There were many aspects of life in 2013 that just didn’t work. I was tired much of the time. (I am tired now.) I didn’t take care of myself very well. I worked too much and played too little. I forgot how to relax and be in this moment instead of the next one. I often felt like I was bumping against the walls of a tiny box.

Choosing One Little Word for 2014

In 2014 I want to understand what it means to have more space in my life. I want to create more space and develop skills to maintain it. I want to feel light, airy, and open instead of dark, heavy, and closed. Though I don’t yet know what it looks like, I can imagine what a spacious life feels like.

I am ready. 

How I’m Making My Word Visible

I believe that declaring your intentions is a powerful step towards making them real. In the past I never wrote about my words in public and I know this was a barrier to real progress. I thought keeping it to myself made it more sacred, but I was wrong.

This year I have signed up for Ali’s class and am already excited there is an active Facebook group. I’ll be sharing portions of my exercises here at Simple Scrapper along with additional personal insights on taking action on my word. I’ll also be exploring the idea of space further in each month’s membership magazine, as it pertains to creating space in life for scrapbooking.

Last year’s thematic core at Simple Scrapper was the idea of focus. I developed a 12-module course on the idea of focus in scrapbooking, but I felt like I was missing something. I realized that space is an important precursor for focus. Space is a foundation on which you can plan your year, build new routines and habits, and finish your big projects. Without space prepared, change can feel overwhelming and even impossible.

I’m excited to explore my word this year, both as it relates to me personally and to simplicity and focus in memory keeping.

Are you choosing a word for 2014? 

Did you find this post helpful?

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  1. Emily Adams

    “Space” is a great word! I hope 2014 is the best year yet for you. I’m doing OLW for the first time this year. I haven’t written a blog post about it though… but I’ve been thinking that I probably should – to make my intentions clear too!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      I find that writing helps me organize my thoughts so that my actions can be more intentional. A blog post about your word can help you crystallize what you hope to achieve with it!

  2. Ana Frazee

    I’ve tried OLW for about the last 2-3 years. I chose a word, get the definition, set it all up in my mind and then nothing. I remember my word all year but can’t seem to do anything with it on paper. But I’m trying again in 2014, I think I have a better handle on what I want out of my word and how to work with. My word is ‘begin/start’ for 2014. I hope it helps me focus each month on a different part of my life….work, health, home, relationships, creative projects just to name a few.

  3. Kelly Sroka

    My word for this year is FRESH. I’m focused on eating healthier, getting more exercise, being outdoors more, and getting rid of clutter.

  4. Briony Merrett

    My word is SIMPLIFY. I can make things so darn complicated when they don’t need to be, so this year I’m going to focus on trying to keep life simple.

  5. Ximena

    Hi, Jennifer!! SPACE was my word in 2011 (the year I was most diligent about my OWL), and I can tell you: if you keep it at the forefront of your mind and let it help guide your decisions, you are going to love your word!!! It is very loyal, very steady, but not too flashy, which is totally fine by me. Last year that was my mistake: choosing a word that for me was too demanding.
    By the way, my OWL is CLEAR, which is quite similar to SPACE.
    Happy New Year and I’ll see you on the FB group!

  6. Terri-Lynn Torrez

    My word for 2014 is Open and it incorporates a lot of similar ideas to what you described, including physical openness and space. I made good progress in this area in 2013 with my word Choose and I want to keep it up.

  7. Ami

    This will be my seventh year and my 7th word. Each year the word seems to take on more meaning. Even in the years when I didn’t join in with Ali. My word this year is CONNECT. I spent a lot of time last year not feeling well, not eating right and exercising less than needed. I was pushing myself in the wrong ways and lost site of the goal. To connect with others and enjoy the journey. So I am excited to commit to my word this year in a healthful way.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Love this and hope you get to connect with more people in your area too!

  8. Renate Olsen

    Space is a great word, and your explanations of why this word is great too! I am a little in the same box as you, and I think my word would have to be organizing! My life lacks o lot of that lately! And gratitude!

    I have never joined this OLW-thing, but I have my own little thinking-time every year when I read about others OLW blogposts! 🙂

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Gratitude is an important habit no matter what your word is!

  9. Sofia

    That is a great word! I have done it the past 3 years, the first 2 were a success but 2013 was forgotten. I think this year I’m going with DO but not sure, so far it seems like a good fit though.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      I believe in trusting your instincts!

  10. Margaret

    My word is perspective. I’ve committed to drawing each day this year.
    Have several definitions using the thesaurus and dictionary.

  11. Irene

    Over the past couple of years I have chosen OLW and for the life of me I cannot remember them. Maybe they were not strong enough (for me) or maybe life just got in the way. I have been spending too much time looking at everyone’s amazing efforts in scrapbooking and photography and have lost some of my confidence. Soooo, this year my OLW is
    LEARN. My goal for 2014 is to learn how to better use the tools I already have whether it be my camera, Photo Shop, blogging, glimmer misting (this one scares me the most) and taking an online class or two.

    • Cindee Nielsen

      Your word for this year could be “Utilize,” Irene. I’ve already chosen a different word for OLW, but that one would work great for me too.

  12. Jill P

    I thought about this alot this, the word that keeps coming up is



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