My One Little Word and Printable Goal Matrix – Free Download

January 1st, 2014


I couldn’t sleep last night. Normally that’s not a bad thing on New Year’s Eve, however it was way past midnight and I was the only one awake. Restless.

I hadn’t thought much about my goals for this year. It seems as though our lives have been on hold for the past 8 months. In transition (how many times have I said that?). Waiting for our new life to begin. Holding pattern. Stress. How can you start a fresh year when you’re on hold? I still don’t know. I still feel overwhelmed by the clutter and chaos that surrounds me. I’ve never really battled with depression, only during my pregnancies to some extent – hormone related no doubt. But being in transition seems to bring out the worst in my psyche. These past few months I’ve battled with some form of sporadically crippling depression. It comes and goes in waves, sometimes for a few days and other days I’m amazingly productive. But it’s there kind of hiding waiting to sneak up on me. “Today’s going to be a productive day!” I know it, and then, BAM! it’s there, and I can hardly function. I’ve never dealt with anything like this before so I don’t know what to call it, or how to manage it (other than dysfunction). I’m just clinging to the hope that it’s due to the transient nature of our lives, and once I’m on more solid footing and in an environment more conducive to creativity (not piled high with boxes and cabinets and nearly everything I own still in boxes) that it will disappear.

So not feeling particularly motivated to make any changes just yet, and feeling as though I should just keep eating my feelings (like I’ve been doing for the past few months), I stumbled upon an instagram of someone’s One Little Word. Now I’ve never done a OLW, I didn’t even know who the founding person was who started this – I just found out this morning that it’s Ali Edwards who started it several years ago. Basically the premise is that you choose a word – like a little spirit guide – to help you in your personal progression through the year. To help you focus your intentions, desires, goals, and actions into one central unifying principle that you are working towards.

Thinking about this idea late at night really just hit a spark with me. I could choose a word, I could find my path again – I could even create a free printable to help me execute my word (see below!). But what word to choose?

What do I name this battle that was I fighting? I thought “Organize” is a great word. If there’s anything I need right now, it’s Organization. But that seemed pretty shallow for my needs. Like a bandaid to fix an artery. I thought “Health” because building a house is kind of like building a baby, it takes everything out of you and I could really use focus on my health to start getting things in order (also see eating emotions above). But I instinctually knew that this wasn’t right either. I was trying to heal symptoms and and not the actual problem.

After much pondering, I realized that my symptoms were all caused by my life being off-kilter. Not just my physical environment, but everything. I had set myself up so much to be living a temporary life during this house-build, that I never found my center. I just knew if I could hold on till we were settled in the new house that everything would work itself out. Except the design and build took longer than I thought, and before I knew it I was spinning on the wrong axis and life was spiraling out of control. I can handle a little chaos, even a lot of chaos, but it just got to be too much, and I didn’t know how to correct. And thats when the depression came. Endless cycles of stress eating, stress insomnia, stress stressing, stress shopping, stress crying, stress iphoning. And I knew what I needed more than anything else was to find my center again. Throw off all the disfuctional coping mechanisms and be incredibly deliberate in my actions.



So today on this glorious first day of a brand new year, I’m starting fresh. Mr. Project cleaned the house this morning, soon the boxes and cabinets will also be gone, and I have a clean slate to make choices that will reinforce my decision to find my center. I’m going to edit and print my 2014 Planner, and be as organized and cleanly as I can. Plan menus, the works! I’m going to look at food not as a drug to numb my stress, but choose to eat things that bring me health and clarity of mind. I’m going to be far more deliberate in loving my husband and children and when/how I choose to interact with my phone/social media outlets. And probably most important, I’m going to reconnect with my inner self, and my spiritual self. No more excuses, just using my time as wisely as I can to make sure my actions are inline with my One Little Word.


I created this “focus matrix” not just as a goal sheet, but a prioritizing of aspects of my life, and how to reinforce my “One Little Word” in each of those areas. I filled this out by keeping my OLW in the center box as my “fixed point”. Then I asked myself what areas of my life do I need to focus on and make better and how do they relate to my OLW.  For mine, I chose:


2. Relationship with Spouse

3. Family

4. Body

5. Environment

6. Spiritual

And in each of those areas, I carefully thought of ways that I can apply my “one little word”. I hung this above my desk, and am going to use it as a daily reminder of my desire to find my center, and the types of choices that will lead me towards the change that I need to see this year.

This form is available as a free download. I challenge you to choose a OLW use it as a guide to bring about change in your life. Click on the image below to download. If you like it, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you. 

I feel like my goals now have a “fixed point” instead of being independent ideas of what I want to do or be this year. And I know that focusing on that fixed point will lead to greater success towards getting to where I want to be.

I created this saying for the printable form, and decided I should design some printable art version of it, to hang up and motivate me. So I drew this up and printed the black ink it on a piece of ombre card stock (MME Cut & Paste Adorbs “Story” Recollect Paper).



If you’d like to print it out, I’ve provided a free download PDF (download by clicking on the image below) that can be printed on plain or colored paper.


I’ve also created a JPG “watercolor” version that can be printed out on white or cream paper. (download by clicking on the image below).printable-art-goals-quote-theprojectgirlI hope that you feel motivated in 2014 to search after your own One Little Word and make some changes that bring more clairty and happiness into your life. For more info on One Little Word visit Ali Edward’s Blog.

Also if you’re interested in keeping your house clean and organized, check out my 2014 planner and use the coupon code RESOLUTION3 to get $3 off in the month of January.


The downloadable files in this article (and across my entire site) are free for personal use only. If you would like to blog about this free download, please accompany any images from my site with a credit and link back to this article. As a courtesy please do not link directly to a downloadable file but rather to this page. At this time, no customizations of this or any of my forms are available. Forms are a free download AS IS. If you use and love these downloads, please leave some comment love! It helps me to keep creating useful tools that are free to use.

22 responses to “My One Little Word and Printable Goal Matrix – Free Download”

  1. cindy b says:

    AWESOME! Thank you so much for the download!! I have printed it out and will definitely be using it. My word this year is LESS…. you know, Less is More. I want less stress, less debt, less stress eating (I can SO relate to you about that).. I want LESS of everything which will actually equal MORE for me. 🙂 THank you!

  2. susi davis says:

    Thank you so much for this great Goal Matrix! I’m definitely going to use it with my olw Thrive. After struggling to exist for a few years, I’m ready to thrive in 2014!

  3. AshleyMarie says:

    Thank you for this post. I so needed to read this right now. Me and my husband just got married and are currently living with his parents (Long Story) Our house was supposed to be ready December 1st and we are still waiting. Our first Christmas as a married couple spent in a house w/o a single decoration. I didn’t think it would affect me like it has but living out of a suitcase isn’t for me. Sat down looking for Organization printable for my binder which I decided to start today and FOUND YOU…Thank You.

  4. Jen Allyson says:

    I’m so glad you found me! Transition is hard, our house should be done in a month, hopefully yours will be done even sooner. And as everyone says to me, Next Christmas will be amazing in your new home! Which doesn’t really make me feel better, but I know that I will feel better in the 2014 holiday season, which kind of makes me feel a little hopeful 🙂

  5. Judianne Graham says:

    This was very inspirational.

  6. Debbie says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your talents

  7. Debbie says:

    Cindy B… Less was my word last year…great word! If you need some quotes or images, check my Pinterest boards…one little word 2013–less

  8. Donaa says:

    I chose centered as my word this year, so I was thrilled to see this post. I , too, want to be more centered on the tasks at hand, doing the tasks that matter most. Thanks so much for the downloads.

  9. Ashley Marie says:

    I wish you the best and hopefully the rest of your construction will breeze by with little strain or stress. Here is to 2014. Here is to surviving and thriving in a year that has started with so much stress and here is to one more year behind us and all the things it has taught us. Thank you for your reply.

  10. Jen Allyson says:

    Amen. Thanks 🙂

  11. Jen Allyson says:

    Awesome!! I’m loving my word so far, and I’m thrilled that you picked the same one. I feel like I”m looking at things with the “whole” in mind. It’s been great.

  12. Jeanette says:

    Pure. This will be my olw for 2014. Thank you for this amazing (and other) printable. I am a visual learner and having a concrete reminder of my goal will help me stay focused. Please revisit how your olw has helped or not this year. Thank you.

  13. Wonderful post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Thank you!

    My page: Project Spark Beta Free Download

  14. Angie C. D. says:

    I have not dealt with the stresses of building a home, but I have dealt with the stresses of being in transition. I completely understand your emotions about this. It feels like you’re stuck and can’t move on in life. I hope for peace in your life and for your home to be done SOON.

  15. Angie C. D. says:

    By the way, thank you for this download. My OLW this year is “Courage.”

  16. […] You can get this hand written motivational free art printable from The Project Girl. […]

  17. Sarah C says:

    Hi! I came across your website after looking for a to-do list template in hopes of putting some organization into my chaotic life of motherhood/spouse/school/work/chores/etc. haha… I found a great print out on your site and decided to explore more!

    This OLW matrix is amazing! I feel like you were speaking right to me. I get caught up in the chaos, and tell myself ‘it will all even out’ and I always feel off center and behind. I just printed it and can’t wait to fill it out and have a visual reminder of practical ways I can feel organized and “centered.”


  18. Jen Allyson says:

    You are so sweet. I’m glad that you found me and I was able to help a little bit!

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  20. […] One Little Word focus matrix (The Project Girl) […]

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