My OLW for 2016


images.pngHow can finding one little word be so hard? Last year I noticed some of the discussion about OLWs and was intrigued by the idea of choosing one little word to define my year. Sure, I’ll do that next year, I thought.

Once in a while this year a word has drifted through my mind as a possible contender. Focus? Clarity? Embrace? All considered and rejected for one reason or another. As the end of the year approached, my search intensified. I frequently turned words over in my mind, exploring their nuances, considering their potential impact on my life in the year ahead, which feels charged with a potential for change. I wanted to come up with a word that was unique, inspiring and layered (and preferably multi-syllabic). A “wow!” word! Looking back, I think I wanted the discovery of my OLW to do all the work of the year for me in advance—to be an epiphany of sorts which would chart out a clear course. I think I was missing the point.

At any rate, somewhere through the process I realized it was important to me to choose a verb. I wanted an action word. I’m too apt to go with the flow and follow the path of least resistance and I’m determined to make active, conscious choices this year. And, there it was, I realized, my one little word: Choose.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that must be it. It’s not a “wow” word to be sure. It’s nothing too fancy, rather pedestrian really, but it’s a one-syllable word packed with potential. Because to choose, you have to make a decision. Even staying where you are is a choice, but this year if I choose inaction, I want that to be an active, conscious choice. I want to know that I’m setting my foot on a certain path, or choosing not to set my foot there, because that’s the path I want to follow. Or not to follow. I want to pack my choices full of intention.

Choosing is powerful.

My OLW for 2016: 

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17 thoughts on “My OLW for 2016

  1. Erika Victor says:

    I like it! Thanks for sharing your process.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. franmcveigh says:

    The journey of #OneLittleWord is a big part of the word selection so thanks for sharing how “choose” became your word!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kimberley says:

    Choose has impact. It’s for sure an action word. I think it’ll serve you well in the year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Baie says:

    Nice that you feel good about your OLW. I like hearing your reasoning, especially “if I choose inaction, I want that to be an active, conscious choice.” Best wishes in the choosing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Choosing is so powerful. Having choice is as important for toddlers as it is for adults. What a great word to live by in 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Stacey, your comment reminded me that one implication of choose is that there is a choice to be made. That’s a luxury and an important awareness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sparking some new ones for me!


  6. Sue says:

    M, remember when you were asking your son questions about what he remembers his mother always saying? He replied, “Make good choices.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I hadn’t really thought of that, Sue, but you’re right! Isn’t it interesting that the mantra I send my kids off with (“Make good choices”) is the one that I want to guide my own year?


  7. hollymueller says:

    I loved this line: “It’s not a “wow” word to be sure. It’s nothing too fancy, rather pedestrian really, but it’s a one-syllable word packed with potential.” I think CHOOSE can be a wow word! Like you said, it’s packed with potential – the potential to change your life! Choosing what’s right for you can be so empowering.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. danrothermel says:

    We are our choices! Love Choose.

    Years ago I thought of summarizing the meaning of life in one word. No small task. My word was Seek.

    My word for last year is Trust.

    Loved the piece again.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. danrothermel says:

    I worked with a fine teacher at Somersworth Middle School in NH who always said “There are choices and there are consequences.” Of course we were dealing with “pushing the boundaries” middle schoolers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dana Murphy says:

    It’s a lovely word… and it sounds like it ‘chose’ you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The power of choice is really important. I think it is a wow word! Enjoy the journey of your choice with choose!


  12. Tara Smith says:

    Yes! “A one-syllable word packed with potential” – what a great choice!


  13. […] 2016 after much deliberation, I selected my first OLW–Choose. Last year, for no real reason, I skipped the entire process. In all honesty, I hadn’t given […]


  14. Barbara Fox says:

    I’d like to follow


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