2012 is brought to you by the word New


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For years, I was one of the many who set New Year’s Resolutions that would evaporate by about February 8th – if they lasted that long at all. I let life get in the way, or I set goals so lofty that it would take superhuman powers and a bottomless checking account to achieve them. Also, there’s a chance that deep down, these were not the goals I wanted to achieve anyway.

Last year, a friend of mine told me about Christine Kane’s “Word of the Year” Resolution Revolution and for me, it made better sense. Choose a word as your guide for the year. It’s the tone or theme of your year.

What is missing from your life? What do you have too much of?  How do you deal with those things you know on a practical level you need to change? For some people, a single word occurs quickly. For others, it requires a period of stillness and contemplation.

As a writer, I appreciate the power and subtlety of individual words. There’s a difference between “sparkle” and “shimmer.” Between “foggy” and “hazy.”  Between “patience” and “perseverance.” Someone’s eyes can be “brown” or “the color of hot tea” (and if they’re “the color of iced tea,” that implies something else again). Choosing the right word – the one that resonates with your needs, desires, goals, and dreams – can be a powerful guide.

Last  year, I chose Trust. I’d tried to conquer Fear, to will myself to not be afraid of failure, success, or stagnation, with little success. I realized the opposite of Fear was Trust. I needed to Trust God (which was another step on my journey to recover faith), Trust Myself (I am my own worst enemy at times), and Trust the Process (the process of living, the process of taking life as it comes and not trying to control it).

I’m no Trust expert. I still wrestle with it. I hate being wrong, so I don’t always trust myself to make a decision. I don’t like having things out of my control or not being able to turn to the end of the story and see who lives happily ever after. But God and I have a better relationship. And it makes the other stuff easier to deal with. Focusing on Trust in 2011 made a big difference in how I approach opportunities, challenges, and obstacles. Trust is becoming a habit.

This gives me confidence to choose another word for 2012. I could stick with Trust and work on cultivating it a little more, but I’ve grown comfortable enough with the willingness to make mistakes and forsake control that I want to move on.

When I shake up the snowglobe of my life, I see several words floating around inside: adventure, laughter, joy, harmony, exploration, experiment, glow, commit, challenge, spirit.

“… A word, however, contains energy, images and meaning. These are things our hearts and souls get excited about. And this is how transformation begins…” ~ Christine Kane

As I contemplated my Word for 2012, I realized that the seeds for it had been planted already in the last half of 2011. I realized what my heart and soul got excited about:

Anything NEW.

My interpretation of NEW for 2012 is to “experience new things.” Take new classes (stained glass, landscaping, kettle bell, maybe yoga or tai chi), visit new places (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the alpaca farm in Michigan), do things that are new to me (participate in a mission trip, learn to install ceramic tile), or just experiment with other creative pursuits (painting, making necklaces and bracelets, music).

Cultivating Trust last year led to a number of new experiences and I realized how valuable they are for fueling creativity, and for fueling my true Self.

In 2012, seeking the NEW will be my guide. My goal is not to do things perfectly, but to do things for the enjoyment and the experience. It might wind up being messy, awkward, or difficult, but I might also make a new friend, reconnect with an old one, or create something beautiful for the world. We are not meant to watch life happen. We’re meant to be out in it.


26 thoughts on “2012 is brought to you by the word New

  1. What a great idea. Good luck achieving yours goals, and most of all have fun! I haven’t made a resolution this year, because like you I never keep them for long, but this is a great idea. I’m going to think about what my word for 2012 should be. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi, India! Nice to meet you! I think Christine Kane’s Word of the Year is a wonderful idea and it’s been immensely helpful. Good luck finding your Word! Let me know how it goes!

  2. This has been a very insightful write about your commitment to challenging
    your life in new ways. No one ever wants to fail by committing to something
    that reaches far beyond what they can do. Small steps can get you there just
    as easily as big steps. It’s why I chose to “Listen to the Music” this year. There
    is music in everything. Music is happy. Music makes you dance. Music enlivens
    your soul. There can be music in silence.
    For 2012 – I am going to “Listen to the Music” …
    Blessings to you …

  3. Interestingly, I attended a meditation on New Year’s Day that invited each of us in attendance to “discover our word for the year”. Mine was and is, without hesitation, “integrity”. 🙂

  4. I’ve found my way here via a friend’s blog and it’s turned out to be a really worthwhile trip. I really enjoyed reading this post – and I love the ideas it contains. Last year turned out to be all about challenges for me – and because I enjoy challenges (usually!), I hope to keep that theme going this year as well. However – I’m enormously intrigued by the notion of trust – so I’m going to adopt that one as well. I’m a Gemini – so I’m allowed two!
    Belated Happy New Year – and I wish you well in all the other new things that come your way.

    • Hi, Gilly! Nice to meet you! Happy new year to you as well. Thank you for your kind words – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m looking forward to some energizing challenges too…I’m ready for NEW.

  5. snagglewordz says:

    The Christine Kane approach resonates, thank you for providing the link in your post. ‘New’ seems a natural progression from ‘Trust’ and I hope you have a wealth of new and enjoyable experiences in 2012. Happy New Year Elizabeth!

  6. Elizabeth, I cannot ever keep New Year resolutions, so I never try. As I read this, I felt like you wrote this to me and the first words that popped into my head were laughter, joy and new. I’m going to laugh more, no matter how badly the day may be going and I know that through Christ Jesus, I will experience joy and I will take every day as a new day. I will take each and every day as a new clean slate and I will make the most of that day to the best of my abilities. Thank you so much for sharing this. I know 2012 won’t be perfect, but it’ll be mine to do with as I wish.
    May your 2012 be full of God’s awesome blessings!


    • Thank you, Elizena! I hope your new year is blessed and abundant. I read something yesterday that really stuck with me: “Your talent is God’s gift to you – what you do with it is your gift back to God.” I’m going to let that guide me this year as I explore “the New.”

  7. That’s sort of like what I did – except I didn’t simplify down to one word, just a vague goal: to do something that will make me proud of myself. I think it’s a well enough goal. :] I really look forward to reading about all the new things you try this year!

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