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Dana’s One Little Word of 2016

I finally found my word.  I had been looking everywhere, but my word escaped me.  I was starting to panic.  Was I going to begin 2016 wordless?   I thought about all the ways I could improve my life.  I could write more.  I could clean less.  I could work on self-acceptance.  I could be a better wife.  I could worry less.  Words jumped out at me from everywhere: write, accept, messy, wife, be.  None of them felt right, and the panic mounted.

I have an app on my phone titled “365 Days of Flow.”  It is from the founders of Flow magazine, and each day offers a quote, snippet, proverb, or idea for a happier life.  I usually read my Flow Card in the morning before I get out of bed.  Last week my card read:


Maybe I was approaching this wrong.  Maybe instead of looking forward, I should look back.  I lay in bed thinking of all the things that were good and special last year.  The lake house.  Time with my mom.  A writing retreat.  So many moments with my kids.  Dinners with friends.  Conversations with my husband.  There was so much joy in my life last year.

Joy.  My word had found me.

In 2016, I will find more joy. I will spend more time doing things that bring me joy and less time doing things that do not.  I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll revisit many places I’ve already been:  The lake house.  Time with my mom.  A writing retreat.  So many moments with my kids.  Dinners with friends.  Conversations with my husband.  I imagine I am going to find joy in some unexpected places as well.

As part of my quest to be where the joy is, I am starting a new project on Instagram.  Inspired by my friend and fellow blogger, Michelle Haseltine, I am going to snap a photo of my whereabouts every evening at 6:50 P.M.  I will post the pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #tento7.   This little project will serve as a litmus test to see how well I am living my OLW.  How many of those photographs will capture moments of joy?  You can follow along on Instagram at @dmurph2008.

My OLW is simple, really.  Find the joy.

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Dana Murphy View All

Literacy Coach, Reader, Writer

25 thoughts on “Dana’s One Little Word of 2016 Leave a comment

  1. What a great OLW for 2016. Joy is so important in appreciating and enjoying our lives… Still haven’t found my word, I’m sure it’ll come to me soon. Happy new year! 🙂


  2. Love your search for finding the joy! (I just wrote my #sol and you’ll see we are on similar wave lengths!) Just downloaded the app as well! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to your journey of joy this year! Happy JOY year!


  3. Dana,we are definitely on the same wavelength! (You’ll see what I mean on Wednesday). I love your Canva and I’m going to check out the app you suggested. Interested to see how you like the Instagram project. I love taking pictures and that idea is so cool.


  4. Dana,
    I love the twist~ feeling angst is not finding a word then, Ta Da JOY! Your Instagram idea sounds like an excellent way to follow your joy!
    Have a joy filled year Dana!


  5. Thanks for posting your OLW. Mine for 2016 is Happiness. I am ‘sprinting toward happiness’. Funny, I look at myself as living a happy life. Want to recognize it in the day to day. Love your plan for the year to take a picture. I am keeping a happiness jar, documenting moments of happiness through the year. I also have listed areas of happiness focus–the topic for my blog tomorrow. Heres to hoping you find joy in all of the nooks and crannies.


  6. Dana- I am an Instructional Coach and I love this idea for kids… On a personal note, I think that I may join you on your Instagram journey. My word is.. “peace”.


  7. THANK YOU – you gave me my word! I too have been searching and trying to figure out how to put into one little word my need to pause, move slower, and more methodically rather than dive in and then backtrack like I usually do- it is FLOW! LIke the river no obstacle too great and water is strong. I AM SO HAPPY_ thank you.


  8. So wonderful for you to look back on your year and see so many blessings. Many more daily gifts to be enJOYed in the new year! Thank you for sharing your OLW.


  9. Find the JOY! I love that!!! Ok, this Flow magazine…it’s the second time I have heard of it in two days. Do you get the magazine? Where? I can’t seem to find it. It looks AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your word and I can’t wait to follow your adventure on instagram! 🙂


  10. Dana–How smart of you to look for the treasures from last year to choose a word to define your upcoming year! Wishing you even more joyous moments in 2016…and looking forward to reading about some of them.


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