And validation for the fact that, hey, I just need a little more time to process, thank you very much. And that’s okay. (Chris Guillebeau, how do you do it all by December 26?)
Seriously, if one has a goal of being more mindful throughout the year (and I do!), resting all one’s hopes and dreams on intentions set in late December feels a bit manic anyway, you know?
So let’s take a moment for some more reflecting and intentionizing, shall we?
3 Words for 2012
Every year since around 2006, superstar blogger Chris Brogan has been challenging people to come up with three words to help you define your goals and experiences for the coming year.
Last year, my then business partner, Heather, took this idea and assigned all of us working with her the task of choosing three words of our own for 2011. My words were Reach, Abundance, Serenity.
All well and good, except that I didn’t really do much to keep those words front-of-mind, and honestly forgot all about them until I re-read last year’s post…
Still, I like the idea of three words, and I’ve been thinking of what mine will be for 2012.
Self-compassion, for sure. But the others? Mull, mull, mull…
Then I happened to see Chris Brogan’s recent post, My 3 Words for 2012, and I had my answer. (More on that in a moment.)
First, Chris shared a link to Jacqueline’s post, 12 in 12, that got me all excited. What a brilliant idea!
In short: 12 month-long daily commitments, one for each month of the year. #12in12.
I like it!
As I mentioned in The Great Bedtime Experiment post, time-limited challenges seem to work very well for me. I may pick some goals with the intention of using the month-long challenge to make a habit permanent, or I may choose a month-long goal purely as an experiment, to see if I even want to incorporate this practice/thing/habit into my life in this way. Or I might use it as a way to accomplish a closed-ended project.
Whichever, it’s a great way to create an arc to my year, and hopefully make some awesomelicious transformation!
Wanna join me?
If you need some ideas for what to do daily for an entire month, try one of Jacqueline’s suggestions:
*Any physical fitness activity (pushups, running, yoga, pilates, weight training, boxing, crossfit, walking, biking…) It can be the same one for the month, or a mix.
*Read everyday for a specific length of time (15min, 30min, 1hr…)
*Give up something (TV, sugar, complaining, alcohol, the elevator, twitter/facebook, coffee, texting, Starbucks/Dunkins, eating out…)
*Write (Keep a journal, start a blog, hand write letters)
*Say hello/compliment a stranger
*Wake up 30-60min earlier
*Take one photo a day
*Meditate (if only for 5min/day and work your way up)
*Try one new food a day
*Learn one new word a day (or five!)
*Unplug by 7pm
*Cook all of your meals
*Look in the mirror and say “You are perfect. You matter. You can do achieve anything. I love you”
*Check your email only at set times of day
*Take public transportation
*Try a different eating philosophy (Vegan, Raw vegan, Paleo, Mediterranean, Vegetarian)
*Do cartwheels and handstands
My first commitment is The Great Bedtime Experiment: lights out by 11pm every night of January. (Quite a little band of “bedtime buddies” is forming around this commitment! Seems I’m not the only one who wants to change her relationship to sleep!)
I’ve also got some other commitments — including a top-secret pilot program I’m running with members of my Creative Ignition Club (one of the benefits of Club membership is getting to help me develop new programs and offerings). But I’ll keep those private for now…
Back to My 3 Words
To determine my goals for future months, I’m following Chris’s example and using my three words as a starting place.
I’ve already got Self-compassion, as I mentioned. Which means that I will treat myself with utmost care and compassion. This includes adequate sleep (Great Bedtime Experiment!), and it also means giving myself yoga, walks and other exercise. Eating well and mindfully. Being mindful of where I invest my time and energy, and what media I consume. And, of course, forgiveness, and humane (rather than Super-Human) expectations.
My other two words I’m stealing directly from Chris Brogan, because they captured so exactly what I want for this coming year:
Untangle — What a perfect word to express the desire I have to streamline, to create and build from a place of authenticity and groundedness. To unhook as best I can from my frozen need for external approval. To get rid of stuff I don’t need, both physical and mental. To (as Chris so aptly put it) “stop acting like I have ADD and focus on a few things and do those well, instead of a lot of things and just barely succeed.” Yes. Ahhhhh. Exactly. Thank you, Chris!
Practice — As Chris Brogan says, “the practice is the reward.” I discovered this viscerally when I embarked on my rediscovery of my art with my 15 Minutes-a-Day creative challenge. Hell, I’ve known it for a loooong time. Yet maintaining practice is hard for me! I fall off the wagon continually, and have to practice getting back on. My intention for 2012 is to keep coming back to practice — in my art, my business, my music, my writing, my physical practices. (Thank you again, Chris!)
Self-Compassion. Untangle. Practice.
Last year, my words felt like a patch. A last-minute scrambling to fulfill an assignment.
This year, my words feel true. Emerging from a place deep inside. These are the three major themes that I need right now. My intention is to use these words as a touchstone throughout this year. It’s hard to imagine I would ever choose any other 3 words, but we’ll see how I feel in another 360 days or so.
What 3 words will define you and/or your challenges and intentions for 2012? What is your commitment for January? Let’s talk about them in the comments, or blog your own 3 words post and leave links in the comments. Let’s make 2012 a year of amazing action and creative abundance!
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!