Word of the Year — 2012

It’s a new year, so you know what that means: New Years’ resolutions! A lot of people are skipping those resolutions this year in favor of setting an intention of a single word to represent what they want to embody for the upcoming year.

I’m not sure where this idea originated, but I first heard about it from Christine Kane back in 2007. As soon as I read her post, I knew this was a practice I could get behind because New Year’s resolutions simply don’t work for me. As much as I crave structure and routine, traditional resolutions are just too stifling for me. They are completely uninspiring. They are too full of shoulds and guilt.

My word for 2010 was EMERGE, and it was a good word. 2011’s THRIVE was a natural extension of that energy. Unfortunately, I got lost somewhere along the way and it didn’t serve me as I had hoped it would. I did very little thriving last year.

Very little.

So, as I head into 2012, I am not the happy, healthy, successful, growing/thriving artist and writer that I imagined myself being at this point in my life. I need to backtrack and rethink how I’m approaching my life. Not just from an action point-of-view, but from an idea point-of-view, too. How I think about my life, how I belly up to life’s bar.

I need to make some changes — a lot of changes! I need to think differently and act differently. I’m not sure how to do it, as my habits are pretty deeply ingrained in my personality. I’m not sure how to proceed, but I’m convinced that I need to make some changes.

Given this need, it seemed that CHANGE might be the ideal word for me, and I seriously considered it for several days. It seemed almost right. Then someone mentioned that her word for 2012 was DELIBERATE, and it suddenly occurred to me: DELIBERATE is the perfect word!

There are many changes that I want to make in my life in 2012: I want to take better care of my health, make more art. Write more. I want to share my art with others more. I want to learn some new creative skills and make new friends.

What do all these changes have in common? I want to be more proactive and less reactive. I want to be more present in my life. I want to make more decisions about my life and do less blundering along.

The unifying theme is that I want to live more deliberately, more on purpose.

I’m excited about 2012. I feel better than I’ve felt in several months. I’m inspired. I’m happy. And I’m looking forward to what 2012 has in store for me.

Did you make any resolutions, or did you choose a word? What are your goals for the New Year?

This post is part of  WordHop 2012, a blog hop sponsored by FlyTribe, a creative support group born out of the 2011 Summer Session of Kelly Rae Roberts‘ online class (Flying Lessons). For more inspiration, visit other Flyers for their thoughts on their words for 2012.


26 Responses to Word of the Year — 2012
  1. Lola
    January 9, 2012 | 6:33 AM

    I’ve seen the word of the year around on blogs. I like the idea but I like resolutions too. If I DID a word I think it would be happy…just be happy and the way to be happy is do the things that make me happy. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? I’m happy that you’re feeling happier:) Let’s talk soon! Love you kiddo!

  2. Sofia
    January 9, 2012 | 8:49 AM

    I love your word DELIBERATE! To live on purpose is one of my goals too! I wish you the best this 2012!

  3. Janet Forrest
    January 9, 2012 | 8:57 AM

    I’m so happy for you, Cindy! I’m glad things are looking up and that you are going to be deliberate in your approach to life!

  4. Sherry Richert Belul
    January 9, 2012 | 11:37 AM

    I love this: “I want to live more deliberately, more on purpose.” Woo hoo. I can feel the energy of change in your post. May 2012 support you in every way! 🙂

  5. Kathy
    January 9, 2012 | 12:40 PM

    Hi Cindy, Great post and “deliberate” is a perfect word! So glad things are looking up for you and glad you’re back amongst your fellow flyers!!! Best Wishes for an incredible 2012!!! Kathy

  6. Jamie Burchc
    January 9, 2012 | 1:50 PM

    Love,love,love your word choice! I could relate to your post in so many ways, Cindy. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me, too.

    I hope this year brings all the positive changes you seek! Happy wishes to you…:)

  7. Amy Hillenbrand
    January 9, 2012 | 2:02 PM

    Hi Cindy, I hope you are able to let go of your past and move into the future knowing you can be different. Cause you can. I now this is a one word idea, but I would add I AM in front of your word as I AM deliberate. Adding those to little words adds so much power to your intention. Blessings from a fellow flyer…

  8. Tinachicky
    January 9, 2012 | 3:08 PM

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep going! Keep moving forward! Keep flying!!

  9. Mary
    January 9, 2012 | 5:32 PM

    Deliberate is a powerful word. Hoping many good things come your way in 2012 as you live a deliberate life. Happy to be flying with you!

  10. Ursula
    January 9, 2012 | 6:14 PM

    Cindy, what a wonderful post. I really feel the energy of change for you! It is going to be a great year for you, and I am glad I get to fly along with you to watch you soar!

  11. Ann Marie
    January 9, 2012 | 7:18 PM

    Great word. Haven’t thought of this one before. I love your honesty about how last year’s word didn’t really turn out like you thought it would. But you know, that’s ok. Sometimes just exploring our desires and wants, even when we don’t get what we thought we would, serves us in a wonderful way. 🙂

  12. Linda
    January 9, 2012 | 7:37 PM

    I think you and I are on a parallel path. Time to live life on Purpose — Delibrate!

  13. chelle
    January 10, 2012 | 4:26 AM

    You chose a really great word for 2012, hoping your year of deliberate living brings you many great blessings.

  14. Katharina
    January 10, 2012 | 7:34 AM

    Great word, Cindy! Thank you for sharing this, it was really inspiring and very relatable. I hope these positive changes come your way and much more! Wishing you the best throughout 2012!

  15. Jill
    January 10, 2012 | 3:53 PM


    Great word to get yourself back on track. I see our words as sort of similar–deliberate and commit. Best wishes on your year of being deliberate and living with purpose.


  16. edustory
    January 10, 2012 | 4:17 PM

    I’m right there with you! Your not the only one with those hopes and dreams..glad to be along for the journey 🙂

  17. Lori Moon
    January 10, 2012 | 5:45 PM

    I love your word choice. Your post is so heartfelt and touching. I wish for you all the best in 2012 – may your dreams become your life. xoxo

  18. Melanie Douthit
    January 10, 2012 | 6:22 PM

    Thrive is a wonderful word and I think you will thrive most splendidly this year. :). Have a happy creative 2012!! Happy Flying!

  19. Kelly
    January 10, 2012 | 8:35 PM

    Cindy, this post is so full of goodness and honesty. Even though thrive didn’t come out as you had pictured, I suspect there may have been some good foundation formed in your thriving year for you to spring into 2012 and live with lots of deliberate-ness. I look forward to following you and seeing what you bring to 2012!

  20. Carol
    January 11, 2012 | 10:25 AM

    Cindy, this was a wonderful post that you wrote. I love how you mentioned about being more proactive than reactive. We all should practice this. Looking forward to meeting up with you in CA where you’ll learn new creative skills and you’ll meet a new best friend, ME!

  21. Mary
    January 11, 2012 | 6:18 PM

    I like the word deliberate very much – it implies thinking about what you are doing and making conscious steps towards change. We could all use more of that. May you live deliberately in the new year!

  22. Kathleen Conard
    January 11, 2012 | 10:11 PM

    It sounds like you know where you are going this year! It will be interesting to see how 2011 played into 2012 – I don’t think anything happens by accident. I am excited for all that is in store for you in 2012!

  23. Lori
    January 13, 2012 | 5:45 AM

    So glad you are back and ready to go for 2012! So looking forward to seeing more of you and your art this year.

    xoxo L

  24. Carmen Patti
    January 13, 2012 | 8:49 AM

    I love the honesty of this post…. You chose a word that I think resonates with all of us… good luck to you in the year ahead.

  25. Suki
    January 20, 2012 | 2:45 AM

    I can identify with a lot of what you say here! I think most of us could stand to be a bit more deliberate in the way we live our lives, and conscious of the decisions we are making all the time (even when choosing NOT to do something). It’s not an easy path but it’s certainly a productive and inspiring one! Wishing you all the best for 2012 (and hoping that you thrive along the way, of course!)

  26. Claire M
    January 20, 2012 | 7:38 AM

    Glad you stopped by my Word of the Year for 2012 post. I just had to wander over here and see your post for the year. I can really relate to what you’ve said about what you hope and plan for in 2012 for yourself. I think ‘Deliberate’ is a great choice for you and I wish you a wonderful year in 2012!!