I decided that my one little word for 2014 is STREAMLINE. I know it’s not all that little, and it’s not very warm and fuzzy, but you know what…I’ve never been one to follow convention so it works great for me!
If you’re not familiar with the tradition of One Little Word I recommend checking out some of the posts by Ali Edwards on her blog. She even has a 12 month workshop you can sign up for. I didn’t sign up for the workshop but this will be my first year staying connected to “one little word.”
It’s great to have all sorts of goals that you’re working on, but the main purpose of having one little word (at least for me) is so you can stay focused on your most important goal all year long, especially when it’s so easy to be distracted by other things. When faced with a difficult decision during the year, you can go back to your word and ask, “Does this align with my main goal?” and it can make things a little easier.
On Ali’s website she writes, “What do you do with this one little word? You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.”
Sure, it may sound a little hokey-pokey…but I think it will be fun!
So how did I choose my word?
I really resisted the urge to overthink this one. This is a rather large commitment and typically I would mull over something like this forever, but as soon as I saw this word I decided to just go for it!
Lately I’ve been reading books that talk about minimalism and living with less–especially when it comes to clutter, taking on too many projects, etc. Last month I finished reading The Power of Less by Leo Babauta which I thought was great. I also read Getting Rid of It by Betsy and Warren Talbot and I just started reading The Joy Of Less by Francine Jay, which may be my favorite so far. Of course, you can only read so much about something before you actually have to DO something about it…so that’s where STREAMLINE comes in.
In the Joy of Less, Francine talks about how to develop a minimalist mindset and how to put your new attitude into practice. And BTW, just because you have a minimalist mindset doesn’t mean you can’t dream big. I think sometimes people get confused about that…but that’s the topic of another blog post, or perhaps a book!
She talks about the STREAMLINE method, which is a series of techniques you can use to rid your life of clutter. She focuses on the clutter in your house, but I think these techniques can be used for ANY type of clutter, including the stuff you have sitting around in your head, and perhaps other places. Each letter of the word represents a particular step in the decluttering process. It’s like Eddie says in the Christmas Vacation movie, “It’s the gift that keeps giving all year long Clark!” In a way I’m kinda cheating, because my one little word is actually 10 little action steps in disguise!
S = start over
T = trash, treasure, or transfer
R = reason for each item
E = everything in its place
A = all surfaces clear
M = modules
L = limits
I = if one comes in, one goes out
N = narrow it down
E = everyday maintenance
Yesterday I started with our kitchen pantry. It’s been giving me anxiety for the past couple of months. So I emptied it out completely, threw away expired items, and only put back only those things that deserved to take up some of our precious space. Liberating! I will use those exact steps for a lot of other things this year, including my blog!
So that’s my word. If you’d like to follow my journey this year on social media I’ll be using the hashtag #streamline2014 to keep track of my progress. Some other hashtags you can follow include #olw2014 and #onelittleword.
What’s YOUR one little word for 2014?