One Little Word 2015: PRACTICE

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One Little Word | Ali EdwardsChoosing BRAVE as my One Little Word in 2013 changed my life.

Choosing NURTURE in 2014 ended up being exactly what I needed for a rough year.

I had chosen One Little Words before 2013, but it wasn’t until that year — the first time I signed up for Ali Edwards’s class — that I actually got anything out of it. I don’t even remember the words I chose in 2011 and 12. I am not even an affiliate, but I just love it so much. Sign up for 2015 here.

(I know if you have done the class once or twice, you might feel like you don’t need it. You *get* what kind of projects to fill your year with. But I need the accountability, so I am happy to give Ali money every January)

My word for 2015 actually came to me about … two or three years ago or so, and I knew I wasn’t ready for it. But I wrote it down (in this very same draft post) and thought about it. Around November of 2014, I revisited this word and description and knew it had claimed me.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.09.36 PM

An online entrepreneur I follow — Chris Brogan — chooses 3 words every year. For 2012, he chose Practice as one of his words and described the meaning far better than I can:

Practice is the building block of all habits. But I just realized something. You might think I mean “practice” as if that’s separate from doing.

Practice is the path. Practice is what you do every time, not just before the “real” thing. Practice is the choice to adopt the lifestyle, the way, the path of what you intend to be.

Because the secret is that there are those who “do” and those who “are.” If you “train for a marathon,” you might complete a marathon. If you “become a runner,” you will run as many marathons as you’d like.

When you go beyond “do” and into “be,” that’s because you’ve chosen a practice and not a destination.

The practice is the reward. The practice is the reward. Practice means that I will remember to do DAILY what needs doing. I will look at all of my larger efforts in life as the results of the work I accomplish through practice. I can’t be a sharp sword if I stay in the scabbard all the time. My days will be geared around practice. I refuse to just “wing it” in any aspects of my life any longer. And when I say that, I don’t mean that I’ll not allow for serendipity or leisure, but instead, that I will be much more mindful of how I can accomplish what needs doing, and that I will work towards those goals and interests in a way that affords me more success.

 I love it. That is exactly what I need right now. That’s what I mean when I say I wasn’t ready January 1, 2012 when I first heard it (I was still at the day-job then), but I *totally* am now.

Now — 2015 — I feel like I have finally shaken off all the baggage and crud from having a full-time day job that made me miserable. I feel like I am ready to start again with a new foundation and build my work and income (and practice) from the bottom up. Taking 2014 ‘off’ from launching new L&R products is a big part of that and now I have a clean slate.

I’m ready to actually identify myself as a writer and publish finished novels. Move beyond ‘do’ into ‘be’ … I love how much this word means DO. Look at the synonyms in the image up there: execution, use, implementation. All focus on doing. Actually doing it, and not just planning to do it.

The word PRACTICE ties in with my 2 biggest goals for the year — write fiction every day (and publish it regularly) and get into shape.

I have everything I need to write (just gotta get my head in the right space), and I bought myself a Fitbit a couple weeks ago to track my steps and be the constant reminder that I have been sitting for too long.

Lucky me — Elise’s Make29 product for December was perfect for these goals! I logged on too late to get a letterpress one, but I bought the digital download and promptly printed myself off one (and then my printer ran out of ink).

 December  001 (1)

That’s where I’m going to start. 1000 words written (and I’ll print up another for 10,000 steps taken). Considering I don’t yet do either of these every day it’s enough to start with, but I’m hoping by the end of the year I will have a higher word count and other daily/weekly practices.

I also want to work on improving my chosen PRACTICE (read: career) and read at least one writing-craft book each month.

Results are the external proof of practice. If I can write at least 1000 words every day, that’s probably 2 books a year. If I can walk 10,000 steps each day, that will burn about 4x more calories than I am doing now. I want to get into the practice of taking care of my backyard (I forget to water vegetables) so we have a lovely place to hang out. I want to get into the practice of a better-structured promotional calendar for L&R, so new readers can easily find my old offerings.

There are lots of ways to take this, and I love the long stretch of 365 to feel my way through this word.

I’m ready to PRACTICE.

 What is your word for 2015?

P.S. One Little Word word choice and discussions from my friends Megan, Elise, and Ali. I hope you find your word!

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  • Alissa January 1, 2015 at 10:43 am edit

    My word came to me in a flash of inspiration yesterday as I was struggling with some other words that didn’t quite feel right. My word for 2015 is LIGHT. It encompass everything I was trying to make the other words be and I love it.

  • Megan Anderson January 1, 2015 at 3:32 pm edit

    Yes, yes, yes to all of this.

  • Meg Woolston January 1, 2015 at 4:25 pm edit

    Such a great word choice. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between choosing “stretch” or “reach.” They’re both pretty similar but have slightly different connotations for me. I think, as today is January 1st and I shouldn’t delay much longer, that I’ve decided to just going to go ahead and pick “stretch.”

  • Mika (Oshiro Design) January 1, 2015 at 5:46 pm edit

    I love your word & how you’re implementing it! I chose Embrace as my first year doing OLW. I also bought Elise’s goal tracker, but I’m doing a mile a day with mine- another 2015 goal.

  • Nancy January 1, 2015 at 8:24 pm edit

    I’m not sure of my word for 2015. This past year has been somewhat uneventful personally, but I know that 2015 is going to bring some big changes. Husband’s job is ending after 10+ years, so questions on where his career will go from there. That change will probably impact others aspects of life as well. I’ve been yearning to jump back into my online projects, but those take time and money, which I don’t have a lot of extra in either area. I’m still searching for that perfect word we’ll see reveals itself.

  • andrea January 2, 2015 at 11:02 am edit

    what a great word to work with! 1000 words seem a lot. I wish you all the best for accomplish this goal.

    My word is quality.

  • dona January 6, 2015 at 10:15 am edit

    My word is “practice” also. My focus is around painting. I’ve experimented with a painting a day, or 30 paintings in a month, or other similar project, but my inner rebel just can deal with the rules. I know what I really need is to just open up the paints every day and play, without a set goal in mind. Like a meditation practice. Come back to the cushion, no matter what’s happening in life. Come back to the breath, even when thoughts slip in. Come back to the paint, over and over. I’m going to let the word guide me in other areas of my life, like parenting and how I relate to my partner, but I don’t yet know how all that will unfold.


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