Category: One Little Word

Thoughts about One Little Word® 2020 and Setting Goals

2020 marks the sixth year I have chosen a word. I just went back to look at what I shared here about my word for 2019. I only wrote about it once and that was right at the start of the year! I actually had lots of success in terms of keeping up with Ali’s prompts last year but for whatever reason I didn’t share them on the blog.

Heart was a good word and I still love it but I didn’t fulfil my hopes with it. This year I have chosen the word BREATHE. I haven’t signed up to the workshop this time around.

I got a series of newsletters via email from Elise a few weeks ago talking about reflecting on 2019, asking questions about 2020 and setting goals for the upcoming year.

She asked how you wanted to feel in 2020. A simple concept that cut all wheat from the chaff. I aimed high!

  • A supportive and loving human
  • Healthier
  • Content/satisfied that I tried my best/not feeling like I failed.

These were pretty much the first thoughts that came into my head. From those ideas I pinned down ten ‘goals’.

  1. Support Gav in his change of job
  2. Do more Yoga
  3. Visit and help family who need the help
  4. Less laptop/Instagram more reading, much more reading!
  5. Stick to a skincare routine and look after my teeth
  6. Be healthier
  7. Walk 10k steps a day
  8. Consider my green/eco goals
  9. Keep making and creating (sell something?)
  10. Clean my house more!

Many of these items have come up in past years as things to work on. But that is ok. I have come to the conclusion that taking on a word for the year or making a list of goals such as above is not about a quick fix. I have realised that it is a commitment to learn about yourself and keep on learning as life changes around you. I really liked the way Elise set up this idea.

Rather than trying to work out how I could achieve these things I worked it the other way. I wrote down all the barriers to achieving these goals.

For example number 4. Less laptop, more reading. It sounds easy to achieve right? Just don’t open the laptop….. But somehow I can’t seem to do it. So how can I actually do it? My intial thoughts are to a) have books on my to be read pile that I really want to read. b) bring my book downstairs every day so it is there when I’m tempted to scroll Instagram I can pick the book up instead.

And number 7. I know that if I don’t take Buddy on a 5o minute walk in the morning I will not get to 10k steps that day. The main reason I fail to get the 50 minute walk done is because I sleep in past 7am. I like to be out early before the school kids and rush hour. Therefore the key to 10k steps? Get up at 7am!

Writing down the barriers was so liberating. Seeing them in black and white helped so much. Sounds like common sense right but sometimes our heads get in the way of common sense and writing it down helps you see what the real problem is.

Something else that came out of this process was that in many cases I found I was writing down ‘lazyness’ or ‘no motivation’. Even admitting these things to myself felt positive. I may not be able to change that part of my personality (I am basically a lazy person!) and I know for certain that part of these feelings are due to the menopause. But understanding that the obstacle is me is valuable knowledge. I can see that at the start, accept I don’t really want to do something and then think about why I began this process in the first place. I can revisit that list of how I want to feel in 2020 and maybe that will drive me on.

I am so happy with my list, that I have approached this year slightly differently and have got all these things down on paper.

In relation to One Little Word® I have worked through the January prompts from last years class using my list of how I want to feel as a jumping off point. I shall work through the monthly prompts from some of the previous years to keep my word and my goals visible this year and add them to my One Little Word® album.

Let’s do it!


One Little Word® is a project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over

One Little Word® 2019 – Heart

I mentioned the other day that I was joining in on this year long project again. This will be my sixth year.

Previous words were –

  • Practice
  • Light
  • Whole
  • Align
  • Listen

This I wanted to write down that ‘success’ doesn’t come into my journey. In my head I always consider that I have failed with this concept because 1) I don’t complete all the prompts from the class and 2) I don’t really change. I’m sure I written about this before but wanted to state is here again.

It is not a case of success or failure. I shall try to do every prompt this year but want to give myself some grace and not put too many ‘things’ into the equation.

Ali had the same thoughts. Her word is habit and she wants to cultivate a yoga practice more days than not this year. She wrote that if she did that ‘it would be enough’.

My word is Heart. It popped into my head last October and hung around. It came from thoughts about looking after my heart in a literal sense. Living well to keep a healthy heart. All too often in my journey with words I have listed so many things I want to work on. This year while I know other things will come up I want to primarily focus on my health.

I want to get back to walking 10k steps a day (except Wednesday when I’m at work for 10 hours….). I want to practice yoga three or four times a week. I want to loose a little weight. This is such a huge ‘thing’ in my life and I don’t often discuss it here. It’s a battle I’ve had all my adult life. Part of me feels that I should accept what I am and get on with it but that is a very hard thing to do. So this year I’ll try to get to a certain weight which will help my health and stay at that weight. When I began walking 10k steps a couple of years ago I held a steady weight for months. So a little cutting back and more steps should help this plan.

And that is all I’m thinking about right now. Steps, Yoga, less unhealthy food.

What’s your word this year?


One Little Word® is a project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over

In the Frame – A Journey into Self Portraiture – Part Two

Over the summer I have been continuing to play and experiment with taking selfies. From the point of view of my phone camera I never really stop taking photos often of my feet and sometimes on the timer but I have been using the big camera more to try and hone my self portrait skills.

You can read the beginning of this story here.

Going back and reading that post has me inspired all over again! Anyway here are a few from this summer, some thoughts and revelations!

I bought one of Vivienne’s online classes and have loved reading her tips and positive messages about this form of photography. I’ve been trying out one of the methods she uses for focussing the camera. Simply put she turns off auto focus and uses the feet/metre guide on the lens to work out where the focus point is then stands there.

I don’t always get it right as you can see in a couple of the photos above but I’m still enjoying it and also now deliberately standing out of focus for a different type of shot.

I’m obsessed with the jumping shots and want to get a good one….. I’ll keep practicing.

Something I have got better at is looking for the light. Photos are just better when there is some light and dark, some sunshine basically. And from a technical point of view the more light the faster you can have the shutter and hopefully capture an in motion type of shot.

And even sometimes when you use that sunshine to take a great all be it a technically bad picture.

The light in Tuscany was just amazing. And I have more evidence that I wear skirts!

I say that a little tongue in cheek but this photo journey has made me realise that I dress in jeans all the time. I like to be comfortable and I guess I have a uniform for day to day living.

However, going back to Vivienne’s original idea about ‘cultivating self love through self portraiture’ I have come to the conclusion that although I like being ‘comfy’ what that actually means is that I choose to wear those jeans over skirts and dresses because of the thoughts I have about my body. I should add, the negative thoughts I have about my body. I hide behind what I feel are neutral clothes, nothing that makes me stand out too much.

Yet by looking at the photos from the post in 2016 and some of these here I love to see myself in something other than jeans. I can honestly say that this has been a revelation, a pause for thought, something that I need to be conscious of and work towards changing. Loving myself in whatever clothes truly want to wear.

This self portraiture journey really is turning into an adventure of discovery on so many levels and I am bravely taking these steps, practicing all the things and embracing what I see through the click of that shutter.

One Little Word® 2018 – Practice – Update

The year is speeding away and I have not been doing so well with my word this time around. I’m both disappointed and not surprised. At the start of the year I had high hopes that this word was going to be the one that clicked, the one that I stuck to and made real changes in my everyday life.

I’ve just gone back and read my January post again, the words I took time to write at the beginning of this journey.

Let me celebrate what has worked. The yoga. I have been practicing for over a year now and love it still.

All the other things are still a work in progress. But that’s okay. What I need to do is accept what’s gone and move forward with the intention of trying to keep my word more active in my head for the rest of this year. There are a whole five months left that is plenty of time to work with this wonderful word.


One Little Word® is a project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Someone Loves the Snow and a Little Practice

Popping in real quick today to share this series of fun photos in the spirit of my One Little Word®. When I decided to delay going into work because of the surprise snow fall I grabbed the camera and caught a sweet doggie having some fun.

Not the best photos, that’s why I needed to practice taking pictures in the snow (it throws the exposure out) but still fun ones….

Needless to say that pristine and beautiful snow-covered garden is now trashed with his antics!

One Little Word® 2018 – Practice

This is the fifth year I am embarking on walking with a word.

Previous words were –

  • Listen
  • Align
  • Whole
  • Light

I usually start strong and enthusiastic. And this year has been no exception. My word showed up in mid November and stuck. Pretty sure it is all linked to the yoga I have been doing. Whenever anyone refers to ‘doing’ yoga they always call it a ‘practice’.

Here in the UK we have two spellings of this word.

Practice – The application or use of an idea, belief, method. “The principles and practice of teaching.”

Practise – Perform an activity repeatedly to improve. 

I hold my hand up and admit that thinking about these two made my head hurt……. I get it. Mostly. I may slip up along the year’s journey and spell it wrong, forgive me in advance!

Anyway onwards.

There are a few areas that spring to mind when thinking about my journey with this word.

You can see from the photo above that I’ve made a note of things that initially came to mind about my word. Yoga, health, kindness, photography, playing music, making art, meditation, being present, giving.

For me this word is not about practice to make perfect. It is more practice to live good. That is the essence of how the word manifested in my mind.

We are all a work in progress right? And I’d like to find a balance between the idea of working, working, working at something till you get fed up and give up (well I do) and saying okay got that wrong lets have another go. There is a difference in the mindset. I want to nudge myself towards having another go because I know I’m the sort of personality that when pushed gives up – I’m stubborn that way. HA!

So lets see if I can acknowledge this, have some understanding and kindness towards myself and hopefully it will help me grow and become more practised in these areas of my life.


One Little Word® is a project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Looking forward to…….

(The photo has nothing whatsoever to do with this post but I mean c’mon…….)

We are looking forward to the Winter Olympics. The winter games have a place in our hearts more than the summer games do. We love the curling! It all started in 2006 when the U.K ladies were defending their title. We were decorating our bedroom and set a little T.V up in there so we could watch all the matches. We also like the scary luge, skeleton and bobsleigh events and four years ago we really go into the snowboarding too!

We are going to read two books a month, at least. Gav’s joining me on this quest. The stacks of book to be read are crazy right now so we need to do something about them. Last year was possibly my slowest reading year since 2012. I need to work on this.

We are going to see The Last Jedi again tonight! We had a big family outing the week in between Christmas and New Year to see this long awaited movie and we both loved it so a return trip is in order.

I have a new One Little Word®. PRACTICE. More to come on this.

I am taking part in the 30 day yoga challenge over here. I have been doing a little yoga since May last year. I don’t feel like I have improved physically but I know my mind loves this practice and I like the way she teaches so thought it would be good to give a challenge a go.

We are going to start learning a new song in our mini band soon. H, Gav and I have been learning ‘No Surprises’ by Radiohead for a few months. We haven’t perfected it but it is time to try something new.

We are looking through all the seed catalogues and getting excited for another growing season. I need to have a search through all my flower photos to see what was a success last year. So adore growing things!

Just a few things to think about as we get into this year of 2018!

One Little Word® – 2017 – Light

My fourth year doing this project. I usually write something here at the beginning of the year and then forget to share as the year goes on. We’ll see if I can improve on that.

Light came to me around October last year. And as often happens with these things it just stuck around. I pondered a couple of other words – magic and adventure because hopefully we have a potentially adventurous and magical year planned! But I went with light as my focus and I’m keeping the other two close as well.

When I began to think about the word light and all its potential I was filled with joy at the possibilities for my journey with this word.

Here is a stream of consciousness I jotted down about it –

lots to explore – eclipse, all about the light – living under this sun – light to nurture, make stuff grow – light/dark – for photography – candles – twinkle – harness the light – solstice – moonlight – starlight – drawn to it – shadow – travel light – light touch – shine your light – catalyst

Oh so much to think about and work with.

I joined in with the class again this year and for February we were asked to practice something. I loved the practice prompt last year and that was the spark for my increased walking. I carried the prompt into March when I practiced drinking a glass of water before leaving the house every morning. I still do that today and I know it does me good! So practice is a lovely idea to work with.

Although not directly linked with light I chose to practice meditation. Gav and I had a go at meditating in 2015 and we loved it. So we brought the practice of meditation back.

This month we are tasked with making a vision board or a variation on that theme. I’ve not had great success with this prompt in past years but I am willing to give it a go again.

So far I love my word and love the chance to walk along side it this year.

Do you have a word?


One Little Word® is a class over on Ali Edwards site go here to check it out.

One Little Word® 2016 – Whole – an update


It had been months, 7 months in fact, since I posted about this project.

Overall this year has been more ‘succesful’ than previous years both in terms of taking part with the monthly prompts for the class and feeling like I have stepped a tiny fraction closer to what my ‘whole’ means.


At the start of the year there was a lot of thinking about what the word means to us. I’ve just re-read my post from January and still believe that the word you select doesn’t matter 100%. What matters is your willingness to keep the word with you throughout the year, to walk with it as Ali says, to invite it into your life and develop a relationship with it.

I have done that more this year than before. And that is great.

Here is April’s prompt.


Something that came directly from working on that months prompt is a habit of drinking water every morning before I take Buddy out for a walk. I’ve also continued to enjoy a herb tea instead of coffee at least once a day at work. And amazingly I have been walking 10 thousand steps a day (more on that milestone to come.)


One of my favourite monthly prompts was May when I felt like I really grasped the idea of my word on a less literal level.


The idea was to use photography as a ‘lens’ to see your word in your life at that point in time.


Oh and that picture of me with my eyes closed has to be one of my most favourite selfies! Just something about it.

July saw us creating manifesto/encouragement cards.



I struggled a little that month and felt like I was repeating myself but I still enjoyed the creative side and getting something in my album.

And that is where I am up to. Looking forward to finishing August and getting into September.


One Little Word® is an idea developed by Ali Edwards read about it over here.

And read other posts about my words here.



One Little Word® – 2016 – Whole


I’m joining in again. I’m keeping it low key, not making any rash statements. I have joined in on the workshop again and we’ll just see how this year rolls.

I almost picked a different word because Whole is the word Ali has chosen and I don’t want to follow her ideas for the word. But this year I wanted a looser word, if that makes sense.

I am sort of coming to the conclusion that really it doesn’t matter what word you pick. The purpose of having a word is to be more intentional, more thoughtful, more active throughout the year and you can ‘fit’ those things in around your word.

All that said I do admit that one of the reasons I am drawn to whole is the idea about whole food. Not whole foods as in a health food shop, although that features, but just taking time to think about the idea of whole food and trying to eat more of it and less processed. We’ll see.

What’s your word?


One Little Word® is an idea developed by Ali Edwards read about it over here.

And read other posts about my words here.