Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Three Words for 2012

It's 2012 -- an interesting year in many ways. It's a Leap Year, so we get one more day of February. For the Asian Lunar Year, this is the Year of the Dragon. And it's my second year of non-resolutions but rather choosing three words to guide me.

I suppose I should start by reviewing how last year's words worked. Last year I chose Caring, Integrity, and Joy. Although I didn't always think about the words, in looking back I can say I did reasonably well. I did cut back on my snarkiness, I did take time for happy things. I wasn't so good about getting myself back in shape -- talked about it a lot but wasn't as active as I'd hoped.

This year's words are related to last year's: Focus, Patience, and Gratitude. They actually build on last year by getting more specific as to what needs to be done.

Focus: this has two parts. First, finish things without getting distracted (oh, look, a new shiny thing!) But more importantly, figure out what is really important and only do those things. This leads back to an earlier blog on the importance of not only knowing when to say no but also when to say yes. Of course we can do everything, but should we? So I will be cutting back this year on some of my activities and really focusing on what I want and need to do.

Patience: this is an outgrowth of last year's Caring. Recognize that people are who they are and accept them. Not everyone does things the same way, that's okay.Don't waste energy on things that aren't important. I'm getting better at this. It goes along with "less snark" and "don't rush to judgment". Sometimes you just have to accept things the way they are.

Gratitude: I have learned a lot from my Rabbi this past year. Recently, she finished a CD called "Gratitude". One of the topics covered is complaining. She points out the greatest antidote to complaining is gratitude. And, most importantly, studies have shown that gratitude leads directly to happiness. She added that happy people aren't always grateful, but grateful people are always happy. (And I will be writing more on this topic.)