One Word

The One Word concept as a replacement for resolutions is identical to Chris Brogan’s #my3words, which was discussed in the previous article. Unlike Brogan’s idea, there are many designers, bloggers and hashtags tackling this one.

Scrapbook designer and creative, Ali Edwards introduced her #onelittleword project as early as 2007. The project has become a year long workshop, and from Ali’s website you can also order your word in acrylic letters. See here –

The hashtag #onelittleword is now found used on twitter and you can search on Pinterest for this hashtag or simply “one word resolutions” to find many people using the concept.  Pinterest also offers a number of graphic word lists for choosing your own word.

This is a well-known technique used for many years now by myself and others.

Upheld to replace “resolutions” choosing just one word as a driving force through a year both works as a review of what you are lacking from this last year and as a driver for everything next year. The one word acts as a filter for how you may perceive the events and changes around you.

Some Tips to Select Your Word

If you are having problems coming up with just one word which will exemplify how you want 2019 approached meaningfully for yourself consider the following tips –

  • Be self-aware. Consider if you want a one word for your personal life and another for your business. For me, I want one overall.
  • Use journaling or prompts to drill down on your needs for the next year.
  • If you’re like me, and had one word for this last year, REVIEW how it worked and how it did not. In the did nots you will possibly find your next one word for a successful 2019.
  • Don’t just choose a word that calls to you – that’s the easy part. Once decided you will have to spend a little time writing or mapping out what that word looks like through your upcoming life.

Helpful Resources

Why One Word works for me

I’ve worked with one word for several years, because it’s easier – for me – to remember. My interpretation of what that word means changes per situation, and on review of the year.

2018’s word for me was flow. This worked very well in the first half of the year, but I lost a sense of it while hitting some health issues later on. The last quarter of the year was very hard for my family, and a bit of a struggle to surf those flowing waves. All of this has some bearing on what I needed to find in my one word for this new year.

It took a little time but eventually I came to a point where I could look back and see that as hard as some of life has been recently, there’s always been something positive or fortunate in those situations. Something fruitful.

So that’s my stance for the upcoming year. My word for 2019 is fruitful. Whatever the situation, positive or negative, I want to look at it as being fruitful, productive, even successful ultimately.

In the previous post I chose three words as a personal styling brand, which also meet the #my3words quota. These were: artistic, thought-provoking and natural. For me these all fit with the overall word of fruitful. And the word also provides an instant colour palette, so I incorporated those colours into the two mood/style boards I created and displayed in that previous post.

I find it odd that when I say the word “natural” in the context of style I go to browns, greens,perhaps the murky blues of oceans, and textures. Yet fruit are also natural, yet full of vibrant colours and shine. The interpretation of natural changes with this word.

Here they are again:

My 3 Words Moodboard, created in Canva

My Styleboard, created in URStyle

Although not announcing it, I also snuck in my ONE WORD into both boards. The fruit, in forms of raspberries or apples. And in the colour scheme used. Which brings me to the final portion of this.

Create a Personal Colour Palette for the Year Ahead

This is an old scrapbooking trick, to create a personal colour palette as a background for your word and year. I personally apply the concept to character profiling for my fiction works in progress. After choosing personality traits and archetypes for a character, I then find a colour palette for them, using some colour theory.

There are many web tools to support creating a colour palette fresh, or lots of pre-made colour palettes you can filter for once you’ve selected some colours or a representative image. I have a huge collection in Pinterest, so feel free to browse those. Or simply do a web search for your key word + color palette. A google page full of palette images will provide you with many of the web apps which can create these for you.

I simply chose one of the many fruit-inspired palettes available as soon as I searched. I knew I wanted to go with the citrus combinations of yellows and oranges but also incorporate the pink of raspberry or watermelon. The palette I chose was close enough. Freelancer has 120 of them available, with several of fruit, all free to use. But if you want a bit of texture, there are a couple of websites out there which share handmade colour palettes using embroidery thread and popsicle or wooden sticks. I’ve collected some of these on Pinterest also.

Painted palette via Freelancer, using image by
Flickr/ Michael Stern
Sorbet thread palette via
ZingDramaQueenOfSheeba on (free to use)

I could have taken this further and created a large screensaver graphic with my word splashed across it, but because I chose a noun-based word, which is so concentrated in colour, I can remind myself of this word using simple pictures or moodboards of fruit, or by wearing the colours.