My One Little Word for 2017

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life13 Comments

If you’ve never heard of Ali Edwards’ One Little Word project you may have been living under a big-assed, memory keeping rock for many years. I say that in all fun, but her idea is a fantastic concept and literally thousands of women have joined in over the years.

I’m no exception.

While I don’t technically DO the class content, I do like to think of a word to frame a period of 12 months. I haven’t really posted much about them but I’ve had a few, namely: grow, care, fit and this year, I’m choosing live.

I was thinking a lot about what I want to do as a human who lives here, especially with a year just finished that felt less than inspired, less than joyful, and full of all manner of challenging things and then it hit me: you simply have to live.

I feel like last year was not about living. It was about fighting against the flow of change. While some parts were definite steps forward in my personal development (I work with a woman who has quite literally changed my life for the better), I definitely spent time mired in judgment, anger and entitlement, all things that are essentially negatives, and there I was, just white knuckling my way through.

That’s not really enough. Life shouldn’t be about just white knuckling it through.

It’s for living and living means meeting it head on every day, working to understand what life offers and what reality actually looks like.

So this word is helping me to frame who I really want to be. And that is someone whose goal is to:
• Live with more understanding. I’m not the smartest person on the planet and that actually can serve me well if I’m okay with all the things I’m ignorant of because then I might actually get to learn more things.
• Live with more curiosity. Like the previous statement, if you know everything, where’s the joy in discovery? I want to be a person who asks more questions.
• Live with more gratitude. Every day I actually get to be here and alive? Pretty effing amazing. I need to be grateful for every inch of it.
• Live with more purpose. Working to be a responsible adult—one who handles ALL my shit on my own and doesn’t look outside for anyone to feed me—that is one of my main purposes right now. I’ve spent a lot of years doing the polar opposite. Believe me.
•  Live with more love. One thing I’m learning is that to really love something is to nurture it, to show interest in it, and to work to understand it. It can be anything. A person. A project. A job. But real love is about caring and working and I need to offer more of that to everything in my life, including myself. The fact that I’m working to take care of myself again via my Fit class? That’s love in action. Love isn’t supposed to be passive. It’s meant to be a verb.

And on the flip size, I want to be a person who lives with less:
• Judgments. These shut down any chance for growth or understanding or love. The minute I pass a judgment, the experience is over.
• Anger. This has been my go-to trick for my whole life. Something doesn’t feel good? Get angry. That’ll make it better. But instead, that anger over the years has eroded my integrity. That’s one of the greatest things I’ve gotten out of therapy, to let go of that shit, though I still experience it from time to time. It needs to be shown the door permanently.
• Things. I don’t want more stuff. I want less stuff. I want more life with the people I love. That is something I can totally achieve. Well, unless the people I love are like, “Cathy, we need a break from you.” Then at the very least, I can still work on having less stuff.

So that’s my word. A motivation and a framework to mirror the stuff I’m already working on, but still have a ways to go. In fact, it’ll likely be a lifetime process.

But seeing how life is pretty short, I think I’ll start picking up the pace.

Cathy ZielskeMy One Little Word for 2017

13 Comments on “My One Little Word for 2017”

  1. #1
    Kim Jackson

    Love this! I am struggling to narrow down mine for this year. I am up for some serious changes in my life & i was hoping for something to help me through them, I can’t seem to find a happy medium between “take life by the horns & make it what you want” vs “just sit back & roll with it all”. i am a firm believer that what is meant to be will be no matter how hard we push one way or another, however, we do have SOME influence on how things go. ugh. any suggestions??

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I think that anything active is probably a positive thing. If you’re up for serious changes, you’ll have to figure out how DO something different. Honestly, Kim, it all starts every day with attitude. If you really have the attitude of wanting change, you will do it. I have to start everyday with focusing on the attitude of the things I need to be doing, I will do. 🙂

  2. #2

    This is beautiful! I had decided on the word Fit for the year but I think I’ll use Healthy instead as it “sounds” better and the creative person in my needs that flow. 🙂

  3. #3

    I love this! You are preaching to the choir over here! I get so frustrated, and I’ve come to learn that I act defensively all the time. Not good at all! Why on earth do I always feel that I have something to prove? If I’m being completely honest, it’s probably because I’m a little too judgmental myself sometimes. I need to just let it go and be happy.

    Wishing you all the best in 2017!

  4. #4
    Alicia Warnick-Ellis

    My word for this year is FINISH. I started a serious life changing wellness plan December 10, 2015 and while I have lost a lot of weight and have regained energy I did not meet my goal of a certain weight. I feel like I got comfortable with the new me and I am going to finish what I started this year. But the word also goes with everything I do, or start. I need to finish things before I switch to other things.

  5. #5

    As usual, you’ve inspired me again, dear Cathy. I’ve started each of the last few years with One Little Word, but manage to forget about it later or it blips on & off my radar through the year—to the point I was thinking I wouldn’t bother this new year. But while reading your post, MY word just came to me: DO! I’m frustrated because I seem to spin my wheels so much, & at the same time life is flying by so quickly. I am, after all, in that period where I see life waning! It’s downright scary, too. I have a good friend who frequently says, “Kay, just DO it!” when I’m running ideas past him, hemming & hawing. I ponder almost everything forever, frequently closing my window of opportunity without having accomplished a thing. This is one more reason your SYY class is so inspiring. Your simple approach to scrapbooking. I love that, but I tend to make things so much harder than they need to be. So…I’m planning to just DO it!!

  6. #6

    Hey Cathy-

    Even though I’m toggling on whether or not to take Ali’s class (you two are my absolute favorite by the way), I did find a word for 2017: health.

    I tried the class in 2015 and my word was push. . .I was not very successful with it, so that’s one of the reasons I may not sign up for Ali’s class, but I appreciate that she got me thinking of a word.

    Like the word fit, health is one that immediately took me to physical fitness. It took a little while, but I’m realizing that health for me is more than working out. I don’t want this word to be just that for me. I did a little bullet journaling (so great to get things on paper) and found other uses for this magical word that apply to so many different things in my life–relationships, work, love. Looking forward to how you are going to “live” in 2017–as always happy to along for the ride.

  7. #8
    Amanda Maddox

    “I definitely spent time mired in judgment, anger and entitlement, all things that are essentially negatives” — This was SO me this past year. We lost my brother-in-law in May and the DRAMA that followed with the ex-wife has just been so heavy….We’ve yet to grieve properly. I love your word: live. It truly is a great one. I have yet to pick my word, but I love yours!

  8. #9

    “Seeing as how life is short I think I’ll start picking up the pace.”
    Exactly that. Thanks for saying it out loud Cathy.

  9. #10

    I just LOVE that you can apply it in so many ways…in so many directions. A word needs to be an active word for me…I like being able to focus on one aspect for awhile, and then use the same word to change things up a bit. Thanks to the way you live…and share…my Scrapbook 2016 book is all uploaded at Adoramapix, and I will be looking forward to its delivery about the 19th. Thanks again for your help.

  10. #11

    My word this year is GOOD. Do good, be good, look for the good, good enough. Last year I did LISTEN. The 2 years before that it was HEALTHY. And the year before that it was FUN. and the year before that it was RELAX. The FUN year I actually did Ali Edwards class and that was the most I got out of my word. This year I’m working GOOD into my morning pages to help me remember.

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