A woman in a checked shirt is holding a diary close to her, and writes with a pen in her hand.

If you struggle with New Year’s Resolutions, this might be the year to try something new.

“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.” Ali Edwards

The “One little word” concept. An idea that has been gaining momentum across the globe, instead of choosing a New Year’s resolution, is to select one word. “One little word”.  This word inspires you to focus on, reflect upon, and highlight your year ahead.  This single word can be a catalyst for enriching your life.

The word you choose can be something real or imagined, an action, a thought, a feeling or emotion. The key is to find something personal, a word that has meaning just for you. The idea is to incorporate the word into your life. Think of the possibilities. Celebrate your word. You might choose a word that brings about change, propels you forward, slows you down, helps with focus, or makes a difference in your life.

Some simple suggestions:

  • Achieve
  • Adventure
  • Advocate
  • Believe
  • Calm
  • Care
  • Create
  • Declutter
  • Do
  • Enjoy
  • Friends
  • Impulse
  • Give
  • Goal
  • Grace
  • Gratitude
  • Happiness
  • Health
  • Hope
  • Move
  • Mindful
  • Opportunity
  • Positive
  • Promise
  • Reach
  • Reflect
  • Rights
  • Sanctuary
  • Simplicity
  • Start
  • Thankful
  • Treasure
  • Value
  • Vision
  • Vibrant


Suppose you cannot think of a starting point to choose your word. You can google “One little Word suggestions” or “One Little word ideas list” to find lists to read through. Make a shortlist of words you like and gradually see which word has the most meaning for you for the year ahead.

A starting place once you have selected your word is to look it up in a dictionary. Write out the meaning and stick it up somewhere you will see it every day. Or, write it in a notebook you will use to record the acts, thoughts or moments through the year that apply to you and your chosen word. Any form of reminder is a great way to add extra attention to your word. It’s a work in progress. You can journal about, take photos to capture moments that reflect on your word, or any method that resonates with you to keep that word active in your life.

Ali Edwards started The One little Word movement. You can see the backstory here.


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