One Little Word: Slice of Life #sol17


There’s something a bit pedestrian about my One Little Word for 2017. In the past, I’ve chosen big, inspiring words. Words that invite action and change. Words that celebrate meaning, wonder, connection.

Good words. Fine words.

But in 2017, I want to shift my focus away from those big things to the little ones.

How I spend the minutes of my life. What I prioritize. What I do. What I practice.

I believe in the practice school of living. Writing practice. Reading practice. Yoga practice. Gratitude practice. Meditation practice.

There is power in what we repeat. There is power in what we practice.

We become what we do daily.

I chose “daily” as my One Little Word to remind me that this day is what I have. It’s easy to plan to do more or to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll take care of myself. Tomorrow I’ll make more of an effort. I’ll open my notebook tomorrow. I’ll read more tomorrow. Whatever it is, I’ll start tomorrow.

But today is what I have.

In 2016, I became a once-or-twice-a-weeker. I’d exercise once or twice a week. Get a good night’s sleep once or twice a week. Write once or twice a week. Finish a book once or twice a week.

Once or twice a week is not the practice school of living. One surprise lesson of adulting: it’s harder to do things once or twice a week than it is to have a set time and routine to do those things daily. Exercising every day is easier for me than exercising once or twice a week. Writing every day is infinitely easier than opening my notebook and sitting down to write once a week. Once a week becomes once a month becomes once every few months becomes never.

In 2017, I want to focus on the small actions, routines, and rituals that give structure and shape to a life when they are repeated daily.

Movement. Words. Wonder. Gratitude.

I am attracted to daily challenges, to making the commitment to do a thing every day for a period of time. Write a poem a day. Practice yoga every day. Read a picture book every morning. Meditate for five minutes a day. But then I feel bad when I inevitably skip a day of practice. The chain has been broken. The magic feels lost.

“Daily” reminds me that well-being is a lifelong practice, not a monthlong challenge.

And so with my One Little Word for 2017, I set my intention to live within the space of each day, to practice well-being not once in awhile, not when I remember it, but now. Today.

slice of life

15 responses to “One Little Word: Slice of Life #sol17”

  1. I loved your blog today. And I agree, daily is so much easier than whenever. Happy New Year. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. As a pianist – I love the image of daily practice and know that when it happens, great things can happen! I wish you success and thank you for motivating me to return to some “dailies” too!

  3. Elisabeth, once again, we seem to be walking the same path, my friend. Rituals and habits have been lacking in my life as well. I’m still marinating on a few words for my WOTY, and now I’m pondering yours as well.

  4. Well written, Elisabeth. “once-or-twice-a-weeker” speaks volumes. Best wishes for your ‘daily’ moments!

  5. I love your processing and your end result. I am a huge believer in daily and practice. It makes it a part of who you are. Sounds like it’s going to be a great year! All365 days of it!

  6. I think my focus is more in the moment right now because just breathing seems to be hard lately, but I so appreciate what you say about it being easier to do something daily rather than once or twice a week. Whether it is walking to school, going to the gym, or taking my vitamins…making ritual and habit out of things that are for my well being means I will take better care of myself…and in turn others.

  7. That’s a powerful promise to yourself. Daily practice is a commitment to being the best you possible. That’s what this OLW is about.

  8. I love this. I journaled about this very thing last night and then “tomorrow”-ed myself about something not even a few minutes ago, so thank you for this reminder.

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