One Little Word 2018 – #OLW18

     For the past few years I have participated in the social media initiative around One Little Word or #OLW, but if you were to ask me TODAY what words I’d selected in previous years, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

     Those words were clearly unimpressionable.

     Choosing #OLW was supposed to replace the much maligned New Year’s resolutions that start off with good intentions, peter out before the end of January, and are quickly forgotten in February. However, my #OLW’s were not any more successful than my New Year’s resolutions in helping me live a healthier, happier and more productive year. Wasn’t that always the purpose in sweating over just the right wording of your New Year’s resolutions or finding the precise #OLW?

     What always unhinged me when selecting that perfect #OLW was that other people seemed to do really well with theirs, so why couldn’t I? How come my life wasn’t being transformed in the same way other #OLW enthusiasts claimed in their very effusive blog posts? How come I didn’t feel the same attraction and devotion to my #OLW as other teacher friends?

     The process of choosing my #OLW was always painful. I agonized for days over the “perfect” word, yet it never seemed to surface for me. And, when I finally picked my #OLW, it sounded forced; the blog posts were strained and insincere.

     Let’s face it: I was a fake.

     So, this year, as I think about that perfect, idyllic, unique #OLW, I am once again confronted with the difficulty of New Year’s routines, such as resolutions and one little words. Unless I truly meditate and reflect on these every day of the year, they are meaningless exercises in social media pop culture. And, if there’s something I know for sure it’s that I don’t want to participate in to-me cutesy, ineffective activities. Therefore, my New Year’s resolution is simple: stay true to myself.  My #OLW: Truth.

What about you? Any New Year’s Resolutions or #OLW? Share in the comments section below. 

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to disparage the #OLW movement, only to make sense of what I think is a potentially useful exercise for setting goals and intentions for the new year.

Note to self: Remember that writing always reveals that which is hidden. If I hadn’t written this post, I wouldn’t have arrived at what truly matters to me.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for sponsoring the Tuesday #SOL Challenge.

11 thoughts on “One Little Word 2018 – #OLW18

  1. I am sometimes challenged to choose a word (and admit freely that some words have “worked” better for me than others). I love your honest reflection and think that part of your truth will find its way into my explanation of my word next week.


  2. I’m sure you didn’t set out to make me laugh but you did. I am right there with you! I actually had to look up my 2107 OLW. Like you, too, I am thinking about a really meaningful OLW.


    • Hahaha! Actually I’m glad you thought it was funny. That was part of the intention here! The serious part is in the realization, yet again, that through writing I can make sense of things when I’m confused.


  3. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski says:

    I like “truth” a lot. So many good quotes come to mind- especially “to thine own self be true.” I’ll be sharing my OLW on Two Writing Teachers on January 3rd. I wrestled with my word this year and went through a few choices before settling on the word that will lead me this year. My 2016 word was “happy” and that was a good choice. I picked “audacious” last year but it didn’t hold as much meaning or direction for me as I hoped it would. I think my new word is simpler and can be applied to many facets of life. I hope your word will have a positive impact on your year!


    • I’ll look forward to reading about the word you ended up selecting this year, Kathleen. Simple is often better! And, thanks for putting a bug in my ear about quotes with “truth” in them. I’ll be searching for those, soon.


  4. Terje says:

    Words – little and big, one or many together- are just words. I think the whole process of choosing is more about figuring out what one needs at this point of life, and this isn’t always easy. I have had some OLW-s that have been just right, and some that haven’t. I enjoyed reading your post.


    • Agreed, Terje! That’s why it’s important to reflect over the previous year and explore different words or phrases that can help us have a more productive, healthy and happy year. The catch, I think, is to truly live your word during the year. Otherwise, this is just an exercise without meaning. Enjoy finding your own #OLW!


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