As we enter 2012, many of us engage in individual (and collective) plans for continued growth and ongoing improvement. This ritual of writing New Year’s resolutions – from my experience – can quickly turn into depressing, heavy albatrosses hanging around our necks by the second week…or even the second day of the new year!! There have been years where I will have 10-12 “resolutions” or goals very specifically listed, only to have missed the “all or nothing” mark of at least one of these by January 15th – if I am lucky! It can often go downhill from there!
While driving back from Arkansas this year, there was a wonderful suggestion on NPR which I want to offer as another approach for 2012. What if we simply chose one word which will become our focus area for 2012.
For example, instead of declaring we will lose the ever-abating 10 lbs or 5% body fat; what if we simply stated we want to become more healthy? Then, everything we think, say and do in 2012 is all about becoming more healthy: exercising, less fast food, vitamins, less toxins in our diet, etc. What if we chose the word open? This could mean living life with an open heart, being open to new ideas, being open to change, being open to acquisition, being open to a new position or relationship. What if we chose the word disciplined – which could mean frugal with our money, habitual about our workouts, or thoughtful to our obligations. You get the drift.
So, this year, instead of putting ourselves in a tactical gridlock of to-dos this year, perhaps we can put a theme around our overall goals for growth. I, for one, am going to give it a try – and this one word will become my “mantra word” for 2012.