One Little Word: Vision Board

I have been participating in several workshops, classes, challenges, and other activities this year to varying degrees. Some of these I’ve posted about fairly regularly, while for others, I have taken more of a behind-the-scenes approach. For Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop, my word (Commit) has been steadily at the front of my mind, despite not regularly posting about or even, in some cases, completing each month’s activities. The workshop is still silently helping to shape my day-to-day choices, convincing me to finish what I started even when I’d rather say “Maybe tomorrow…” but I still have a long way to go!

Back in March, Ali assigned the task of making a vision board about our words. It was AMAZING to see all of the creativity that came out of different participants that month. Some got out a canvas and some paint, while others took to their stacks of outdated magazines to cut out phrases and pictures that spoke to them. Everyone’s project had a completely different angle, but they all served the same purpose of creating something that puts our word of choice front and center. Since our apartment has limited space for getting physically artsy, I chose to create my vision board digitally.

When I think of the word Commit, I think of all the challenges, temptations to procrastinate, and excuses that get in the way of finishing what I start, and the disappointing results of letting these excuses, challenges, and procrastination win. Focusing on committing has become somewhat of a shield from these challenges. As I thought of my word from this angle, the image of an umbrella protecting someone from the rain came to mind. So I built on that visual image as the focus of my digital collage, which I made in Photoshop Elements to mimic the effect of a magazine-cutting collage. I was very happy with how it turned out, not so much because of how it looked (intentionally messy but still somehow cohesive), but more because of the symbolism it reflects. I plan to have this printed 12×12″ and included in my album with my previous One Little Word activities.


Do you have a guiding word this year? Have you ever created a visual reminder of a word that speaks to you? If so, I’d love to see yours. Share in the comments!

Want to see more posts about my One Little Word progress? See them all here



One Little Word: January and February 2014


A few weeks back, I posted about joining Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop. I explained how I chose the word “Commit” as my mantra for the year, so to speak, because I was tired of always leaving projects unfinished, giving up on things before I could see any real progress, and just generally procrastinating way too often. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what kind of difference I could expect this workshop to make. For other folks who chose words like “Savor,” “Gratitude,” etc. it seemed like it could be a great way to focus energy. But for a habitual procrastinator? Who’s to say I wouldn’t just procrastinate on this project too? While the project started in January, I joined a little later, but after a little over a month working on the monthly prompts and interacting with other workshop participants, I’m happy to say I am actually noticing a change in the way I approach life.

The fact that you’re reading this blog at all is a testament to how well the workshop has been helping: I’ve “committed” to a regular posting schedule and kept to it, I’ve kept up to date with my Project Life layouts, and I’ve continued taking a photo every day (a resolution I made for the New Year). But I want this project to help me to commit to improving more areas of my life than just my blog & other creative endeavors. So the workshop’s February prompt to declare what actions we plan to take to bring our word to life was a helpful exercise. Putting it all on paper has a way of helping me hold myself accountable.  Here is my documentation of the first few months’ prompts (as an aside, since I chose the word “commit” rather than the word “persist” mainly because of our upcoming wedding, I decided it would be fitting to create the pages for this workshop using our wedding colors. All designs are my own and were created in Photoshop Elements except the polka dot washi and the numbers on the action pages. Card prompts are by Ali Edwards).

I’ve still got some work to go on several of these actions, but this is a year long project so that’s to be expected. This project has been a great exercise in not expecting immediate gratification!

What are you committed to doing more of?


Want to read more of my One Little Word posts? Go back to my first post!

One Little Word 2014: Why I chose my word


  • In the recent past, I had another blog. I had big, ambitious dreams for that blog. Dreams that involved challenging myself to various different things and writing about them. Every. Single. Day. For a full year. I spent hours printing out an entire year worth of calendars, filling in each little square with precise little notes about what I would be challenging myself to/writing about each day. Less than two months into said blog, I gave up. Fizzled out. Threw in the towel. I had gotten too far behind on my “plans” to ever catch up, so it seemed easier to just give up.
  • Every once in a blue moon, I get the itch to crochet. To fulfill these temporary whims, I have started working on multiple different crocheted scarves in the past. They sit, scattered across my apartment, half-finished with their hooks still attached mid-stitch, as if I’ll ever actually pick them up where I left off.
  • I have a stack of no less than 8 half-finished books, waiting for me to finally read their conclusions (This does not count the numerous eBooks on my Kindle app that I have yet to finish).
  • My health history has included numerous “It’s possible you may have cancer, we’ll have to do a biopsy to find out” scares. Each time, I have drastically changed my diet to include healthier choices. For about a month or two, until the “all clear for now” comes through. Then it’s right back to the pizza delivery, lack of fruits & veggies, and far more coffee than water.
  • I signed up on to try to make a little money on the side. I applied for one gig, got frustrated when the listing was closed because the host never chose a winning applicant, and have yet to apply for anything else since.
  • I once started a scrapbook-for-hire business. Vistaprint likely loved me for my impulse-splurge on notebooks, mugs, pens, tote bags, and other unnecessary products with my logo on it. My future mother-in-law was my only “customer” prior to me deciding it was too hard to market the business, so I might as well stop trying.

I have a serious start-don’t-finish problem. Which is why, after reading numerous other bloggers’ posts about Ali Edwards’ “One Little Word” workshop, I decided to try it out myself. The concept is pretty simple: choose a word that embodies something you really hope to focus on or work toward throughout the year, keep that word visible in as many ways as possible to keep it at the forefront of your mind, and reflect on various aspects of the word throughout the process. At first, I thought my word would be “persevere.” But that word seemed to be more geared toward surviving difficult times rather than finishing what was started. I was just about to settle on “persist” as a good substitute, when the light bulb turned on: “Commit.” My word would be “commit.” It had the same basic meaning, but it was a great personal fit, as I’ll be making one of the biggest commitments of all in a little over two months when I marry my best friend.

Are you participating in One Little Word 2014? What word did you choose? Let me know in the comments!