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:
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.
- Resolution Revolution: Setting Intentions for a New Year (apartmenttherapy.com)
- My 2012 New Year’s Resolution (thethreadaffect.com)
- My Word of the Year for 2012 (Part 2) (kclanderson.com)