One Little Word and a 2020 Review

Since all of my previous One Little Word posts are gone, and I can’t refer back to them, I thought I’d give a quick overview of what One Little Word is and where you can find more information about it before doing a review of my word for 2020 and the goals I had set for the year.

What is One Little Word?

Ali Edwards started the concept of One Little Word in 2006. The idea is that you choose a word and you focus on the word for the year. How much time you put into your word depends on you. Ali runs a workshop with monthly prompts that you can sign up to or you can just pick a word and check in on it from time to time. It’s totally up to you. You can find out more about it at

How I choose my One Little Word?

I spend some time thinking about what I hope to achieve throughout the year and I look at lists of words to see if anything stands out. Some years my word jumps out at me and sometimes it takes a bit of work to find it. When I have a few words in mind, I sit down and think about what I want to work towards that year and then I break my goals down into categories such as family & friends, home, work, hobbies, health etc. That usually helps me to settle on one or two words. The word I go with usually keeps showing up for me over the next few days. I see it popping up everywhere and that usually decides it for me.

What if my word doesn’t resonate with me?

If my word doesn’t resonate with me for the full year, that’s fine. In 2017 my word was Focus and by September I had to check to remind myself what my word even was. Some years it works and some years it doesn’t. The good news is I can chose a new word next year. There’s also no rules against me changing my word during the year.

Other words I’ve chosen

2020 – Joy, 2019 – Flourish, 2018 – Less, 2017 – Focus, 2016 – Balance, 2015 – Strong

2020 – Joy: A review

My word for 2020 was Joy and when I picked it, I had no idea what kind of year 2020 was going to be. Nobody could have predicted it. I don’t think anyone would blame me if I had forgotten all about my word and the goals attached to it and for a while, I did. As the year went on and it looked like we were in for the long-haul with Covid and lockdowns, my word became very important to me. For a lot of the year, all I could do was look for little pieces of Joy. I definitely found Joy in the small and ordinary things.

Some areas I made progress include:

  • Home: we turned the shed into 3/4 man cave and 1/4 utility room, finished decorating some rooms and found permanent homes for things we still hadn’t fully unpacked in 2019.
  • Money: I tracked my spending a little better (this still requires lots of work) and after getting our house in early 2019 and putting money into it, I managed to start saving some money in 2020.
  • Hobbies: I printed and framed more photographs for the house, continued to record snippets of my life on the 1 Second Everyday app and I finished my 2018 Project Life album. I also started working on some other things that weren’t on my list.
  • Online Storage Organisation: I’m a much happier and more relaxed person when things are organised and in order and something that really annoys me is when emails and digital files & photos are a mess. I definitely didn’t get there with my file storage or photos but I got to Inbox Zero in my personal email account and have managed to maintain it and as sad as it is, that brings me great joy.

Some areas that still need some work include:

  • Health: I make plans to lose weight every year. Some years it works and some years it’s an epic fail. This was an epic fail kind of year. Normally I’d be really hard on myself, but this year was so tough, in so many ways, that some extra weight really isn’t the end of the world. Spoiler – 2021 doesn’t specifically have ‘lose weight’ on my goals list but it does include goals to be healthier.
  • Hobbies: More reading. I struggled to read this year and didn’t reach my goals in this area but this is one that I plan to carry over into 2021. I also planned to work on learning how to sew more and that didn’t happen at all. I had planned to get up to date on Project Life but I ended the year only halfway through 2019’s album. Finally, I aimed to take better photographs and really didn’t put any thought into that at all.
  • Online Storage Organisation: I planned to organise all of my digital phots on my phone, hard drives and cloud storage and they are absolutely still a hot mess. I also planned to organise my files on my hard drive and cloud storage and I haven’t. Maybe this year.

I’ll be back on over the next couple of days to share my word for 2021 and some goals for this year. What’s your One Little Word for 2021? If you don’y have one, would you be interested in giving it a go?

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