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Growing one word at a time

| written by Iliana

I was ecstatic. I was invited to work at the world’s leading weather forecasting center and be part of a renown international team. I was going to live a short train ride away from London. I was offered a generous salary. Things were looking up. I packed, rented my home, and moved across the Atlantic. Within weeks the reality proved to be different and not in a pleasant way. I worked through the term of my contract trying to be strong, to fit in, and change my attitude. At the close of the second year, I was utterly exhausted. 

I changed jobs in late 2009. Tremendous disappointment made me doubt everything and everyone. As the time for New Year’s resolutions came, I could not bring myself to ask for or aim at anything. I decided to let life happen and just observe. I committed my 2010 year to observe with the curiosity and open-mindedness of a child.

Observe was my first one word for one year.

The simplicity and ease of this approach are what makes it work. It helps me stay focused, yet it encourages creativity in the way I interpret and apply my word. What’s more valuable, by choosing one word and inviting it in my life for one year I cultivate one lasting life skill, then another, and another one.  

I grow by choosing one word for every year.

Over the years I learned to observe mindfully, to accept without judgment, to embrace without fear. Looking at the list of words I had chosen in the past, I see clearly what I have mastered and what I may need to work on. I also find peace in the realization that as years come and go, life may never get to be perfect (yet we could try), but we do get better at navigating it.

Growing and bettering ourselves as humans is at the heart of everything. 

Here is my list of words over the years. They’ve inspired me, encouraged me, or simply made me smile. They have been the strong canvas of a full life. 

Do you keep a list of your words and reflect on it? 

Iliana is a full-time scientist, part-time career strategist, seasoned traveler, and an aspiring writer. She loves Chicago, Dutch bikes, and laughing with friends. You can read more of her musings on her blog at http://www.iliana.us.

One Word 365 in the News

| written by Alece Ronzino | 2 comments

While I don’t love being on camera, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share about One Word 365 and the power of living with intentionality. (And the calls/texts/messages I got from friends who saw me on their TVs last night were the BEST!)  Thank you, WSMV News 4 in Nashville, for helping to spread the word about our One Word 365 Community!

You Are The Most Amazing Person You Know!

| written by Diana Rae | 6 comments

Exclusive hand-lettered print offer, only for members of #OneWord365!

Follow Your Appetite, Find Your Word

| written by Nina Coyle | 9 comments

Have you ever wished your word could be served up fresh on a big, fancy platter? Hours of reading, journaling, and Pinterest-browsing still leaving you hungry? In my five rounds of practice with One Word 365, I’ve come to know intimately that the year-end search can feel all-consuming. What I never expected? Perhaps, my word *is* what I’m consuming. 2014: Tend 2015: Run 2016: Improvise 2017: Voice 2018: …Anyway 2019: Charcuterie That’s right.  Charcuterie (n.)—literally, a collection of cured meats. (Charming, right? Write that one on your mirror.)  Here...

Finding What Fulfills Me

| written by cj

The last three years I’ve spent every waking moment in tears or suppressing grief (successfully and unsuccessfully). My grandmother passed on January 16, 2016, my younger brother on May 19, 2018; the two people I loved most in the world. When your heart is constantly aching; when you don’t know how to grieve because western society is crap at supporting the heartbroken; when the loving and the well-intentioned loved ones in your immediate family and friend group have generational trauma around how they process and express grief, so all you...

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