Welcoming a Brand New Year!



Are you ready to welcome a brand new year?  {via Pinterest}


Hi Friends!

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year! I look forward to the quiet time to remember, reflect,… and dream. This week, I have been documenting our family stories, Christmas traditions, and new holiday ideas in our ‘Christmas Memories‘ Keepsake Book, beautifully handlettered and watercolored by Susan Branch. Each book holds five years of precious family memories… and we are already on our second volume! (Sadly, this book is currently out-of-print. Hopefully, if we all encourage Susan, she will reprint more copies. Hint. Hint. We really need them!) ♡

Looking ahead to a New Year filled with possibilities!

‘Christmas Memories’ holds our stories, traditions, and favorite photos from each holiday season. It’s so much fun to look back and reflect on how we have changed… and all of the special traditions that keep our family strong and full of love year after year!

Many people are busy thinking about New Year’s Resolutions this week. Not me… A few years ago, I discovered something special that works oh-so-much better for me. I used to make several Resolutions each year, but after the ‘honeymoon’ period, my Resolutions were quickly forgotten. For a few years, I decided to set New Year’s Intentions instead. Although I worked hard on my Intentions for a slightly longer time, they also seemed to disappear while the winter snow still covered our garden.

{via Pinterest}

For the past three years, my life has been enriched so much by One Little Word.  Have you heard about this idea?  It’s very simple… and it really holds the power to make meaningful change in our lives!  Each year, around the beginning of December, I can feel a tugging at my heartstrings, reminding me that it is time to find my One Little Word for the new year. Sometimes I choose the word, but most often, the word chooses me!  I spend lots of time thinking about the One Little Word that will become a real catalyst for the year ahead. (Sometimes, I have even looked in a thesaurus to find the exact word that I need.) As soon as I find the perfect word for me, my heart lets me know right away!  About two weeks ago, my One Little Word for 2015 found me. I’m ready now… and it’s a wonderful feeling to begin the new year ready to soak up all of the possibilities that lie ahead.

{via Pinterest}

One Little Word was developed by Ali Edwards in 2006. I have always admired Ali Edwards as a true leader in the Memory Keeping industry. Ali believes that words are at the heart of memory keeping. It all makes perfect sense to me! Ali encourages people to create something to make their One Little Word visible every day. Some people decide to create a scrapbook about their One Little Word, while others simply display their word on a Post-It note where they will see it every day. I fall somewhere in between. Although I have not participated in Ali’s year-long workshop {yet}, the One Little Word concept still works really well. Each year, I find simple, creative ways to make my One Little Word visible.

Ali Edwards is the best one to explain the concept of One Little Wordin her own words:

One Little Word ~ by Ali Edwards (Please click on the video.)

Choosing One Little Word has truly impacted the path I am following through my early years of retirement. So, I thought I would share my One Little Word choices from the past three years. Focusing on one word every day throughout the year has been so powerful in learning more about who I am and who I am becoming


One Little Word 2012

Every single day during that exciting year, I intentionally reminded myself to Breathe in and Breathe out.

Whether a huge change in my life felt scary, overwhelming, or joyous ~

just focusing on breathing really helped me!

{via Pinterest}





One Little Word 2013

 Every day that busy year, I strived for Grace in my life, rather than perfection.

So often, just saying out loud, “I choose Grace,” helped me make the right decision!

{Artwork: Emily Ley}




One Little Word 2014

Every day this amazing year, I have been counting my Blessings… out loud.

(Perhaps you have heard me!)

{via Pinterest}


Now a brand new year awaits!

 I’m very excited about my One Little Word for the new year…


My new One Little Word for 2015.

 Throughout each day, I will strive to be present ~ mindful of each moment,

taking it in with all of my senses.

Imagine the possibilities of stepping away from the busyness of our days

to learn from the moments that are often missed!

This might be my most challenging One Little Word, so far…

{via Pinterest}


One very special part of focusing on One Little Word every day of the year is that it your word truly becomes a part of who you are.  Very often, I still think about my past Little Words, as they continue to help me grow.  Breathe, Grace, and Blessings all still speak to me each day.  The beauty of One Little Word is that it applies to our health, wellbeing, family, career, dreams,… really every aspect of our lives.  What a powerful way to enrich our path through life!

Ali Edwards shares a long list of One Little Words that people have sent her over the years. If you are considering choosing One Little Word of your own for the first time, listening to this list might generate some very helpful ideas.


Although I really look forward to taking Ali’s One Little Word workshop one day, in the meantime I still find many creative ways to make my One Little Word visible each day. Pinterest is just filled with beautifully illustrated quotations. In the past, I have handlettered and framed my word and spelled it out with Scrabble tiles. This year, I will create some mixed-media projects to display. I’m also going to create bunting that spells out all of my past words. It would be such fun to have them hanging in my Studio space. What a wonderful reminder of the ways I am growing! You will find your own unique ways to make your word visible every day!

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about your own New Year’s Resolutions or choosing One Little Word for the New Year!  Hope you will share with us…

Happy New Year to All!

Wishing you a New Year filled with wonderful possibilities!   {Artwork: Whimsy Studio}

Be happy!

♡ Dawn



12 thoughts on “Welcoming a Brand New Year!

  1. Dawn,
    What a helpful post. I too gave up creating resolutions each year as they were hardly ever achieved and usually made me feel bad about the failure.
    I love the idea of a word to focus on and found the list recording very helpful. I have a couple ideas. Thanks for this and have a wonderful New Year.

    • Hi Karen! I’m so delighted that you will be trying One Little Word in the New Year! It’s so simple… and so powerful. It’s good to think about your ideas for your word. One of the words will tug at your heartstrings. Choose that word! If you’d like to share here or via email, I’d love to hear your One Little Word. Wishing you every happiness in the New Year! ♡

  2. Although I call them ‘resolutions’, in my mind I call them intentions too. I find most people relate to the word resolutions far more easily, but we know what we mean, don’t we? First thing I do is set up my list of intentions in a positive way, with the wording ‘I aim to achieve’ ~ so always a work in progress, and no berating the moment one slip is made!
    ~~~Sending Warmest Wishes for a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year 2015~~~

    • Hi Deb! I love the positive way you phrase your Intentions. So true, we are always a work in progress! Wishing you and yours a very Healthy, Happy New Year, too! Warm hugs on a very cold morning in the Midwest! ♡

  3. I like the way you approach each new year and the way words are inspiring you. Have a wonderful New Year…I’m sure you will find a way to be “present” in each and every day.

    • Hi Karen! Many thanks for your kind words. Words are so powerful and inspiring! It’s going to be a real challenge ~ but I’m going to focus on my One Little Word every single day. It’s sure to impact my life in wonderful ways all through the new year. Wishing you a Healthy, Happy New Year, Karen! ♡

  4. A magnificent word with which to enter the new year, Dawn. Present. It will be enlightening and rewarding to see where this word and your living in the present leads you. This is such a wonderful post. Happy New Year.

    • Hi Penny! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. This One Little Word chose me… and I’m really looking forward to discovering all of the important ways it will help me grow! Do you make New Year’s Resolutions each year? It has been so lovely getting to know one another through the stories on our blogs, Penny! Wishing you a very Healthy, Happy New Year, too! ♡

  5. Dawn, what a wonderful idea! I am excited to read about your efforts to remain mindful and present this year, as it’s something I have been trying to do lately. I find that yoga definitely helps remind me to stay in the moment, but I can’t wait to hear your experiences throughout the year. I tend to make a long list of resolutions and goals, but I adore this idea of letting the right word find you! Thanks for this inspiring post ❤

    • Welcome back, Chris! So glad that you are here! Meditating on One Little Word every day has been so wonderful. My Yoga practice taught me the importance of being ‘present’ in each moment. Now, my challenge is to take that intention ‘off the mat.’ Which One Little Word would you choose? Happiest New Year, Chris! You have so much to look forward to in the coming year! ♡

  6. What a wonderful concept! One little word! I also use that week between Christmas and new years to reflect. I’ve been using a different book, which holds 30 years. I panicked when I finished volume one and couldn’t find it in print! Thank goodness for Amazon – I found one and I’m on my second volume!

    • Happy New Year, Jayne! Yes, One Little Word can be oh-so-powerful. My One Little Word has been coming to mind several times a day! Do let me know if you decide to choose One Little Word for the new year! What a treasure to have a book filled with 30 years of Christmas memories… and now volume two!! Our holiday traditions bring us comfort, warmth, and sweetness, while new additions add sparkle to our lives. Such special memories of who we are and what is important to us! Enjoy the January flowers in your garden, Jayne! ♡

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