Chasing Inspiration

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 In A Word

In January, a couple of fellow bloggers posted theme words for 2012. I loved the idea and set out on a month long journey to find my word for 2012. I wanted a word that would sum up what I want to focus on this year. A word that would both challenge and inspire me.

After much thought and reflection, my word for 2012 found me. It felt like this word, gratitude, was chasing me around the internet, popping up in blog posts, on websites, in the news. Gratitude even had the audacity to show up in books I was reading and be the topic of a podcast or two. I was looking for something flashier, something that appeared more of a challenge, so I ignored gratitude. It's concept is deceptively simple, surely this wasn't the word for me.

But gratitude would not be ignored. I did what I usually do when a concept niggles at me long enough - I take a good, hard look at it. And at myself.

I was challenged several times in 2011 to remember all the things in my life that I am truly grateful for instead of focusing on the things in my life that aren't quite so...wonderful. It's not that I lived under a dismal cloud or was faced with overwhelming hardships. It's more that over the year sI tend to find that negative headspace, hang pictures on the walls, dust off the furniture , and move on in.

It's one thing to be realistic. It's another to focus so completely on the thorns you forget the beauty of the rose. That was me - focusing so intently on each individual thorn and how I was going to attack it that I forgot just how amazing the roses of my life really are. Yes, as corny as it sounds, I stopped smelling the roses.

This weekend I stopped fighting it. Gratitude is my word for 2012. Gratitude is as much a discipline as it is a mindset. I'm not all that great with discipline (if you work with me, ignore that sentence. I'm wonderful with discipline at work!). As gratitude was pursuing me, I ran across this blog post  and zeroed in on the happiness equation.

Chip Conley encourages readers to do two key things:
  • show your gratitude daily in a manner that is meaningful to the recipeint
  • write a gratitude journal and/or have a gratitude buddy and answer thse two questions: "What gifts do you have in your life that are easy to take for granted?" "What was a recent gift that may have been wrapped up as a pain or punishment?"
I don't know if I'll go so far as to answer those questions every day on my blog, but my blog is a quasi-public way for me to chronicle my journey toward gratitude. My goal, since I need goals to keep focused, is to blog daily for the remainder of February if for no other reason than to record my gratitudes. I did this a little last year, but I wasn't committed to the journey. This time, I am.

Gratitude is my word for 2012. I wonder what changes I'll see when 2013 arrives.


  1. I'm going to have to go with FAST. Seriously, where did the year go?

  2. Indeed. It's hard to believe it's already the middle of February.