Tuesday, January 03, 2012

One Little Word - My 2012 Theme

It's funny how things are interconnected online.  Andrea, who was one of the people behind Mondo Beyondo, blogged about her word of the year for 2011.  Turns out she was inspired by Ali Edwards, who does this One Little Word project each year and is a big name in the papercrafty/scrapbooking world. 

On a side note, Ali's OLW post has 880+ comments (!).  WOW.  I can't even imagine.

I was trying to figure out a theme for this year to guide my overall goals, rather than make (and break) specific resolutions.  As I mentioned in my last post, I thought of the word 'LESS'.  I need to simplify things - our house clutter, our schedules, projects, acquiring less "stuff".  I also need to weigh less.  Like, a lot less.  So I thought that would be a good word.

But after reading Andrea's post about being careful what word you choose, for what it invites into your life, I thought LESS might be too negative.  Or at least, open the door to negative things, like less money, less friendship, less fun.  Yikes!  Nobody wants that.

(And I'm telling you, I believe in the juju Andrea talks about, after taking her class!)

But SIMPLIFY doesn't quite describe what I want either, since I'm not simplifying my weight.  I thought a little more and came up with REDUCE.  That seems more conscious, like I'm getting rid of stuff I don't need, but still keeping what's important.

It also has that nice eco-friendly vibe, as in "Reduce Reuse Recycle", which thanks to Jack Johnson, I am now singing his cover of "3 is a Magic Number" from Schoolhouse Rock. Random, I know.

borrowed from wychavon.gov.uk recycling page

Yesterday I had a chat with Amy Kubal, one of the Whole 9 folks.  She's an R.D. who focuses on Paleo eating.  She's written up a plan for me, including some simple (short!) exercise I can do at home.  It's been 3 years since I went to the gym (!) and I haven't done much exercise at all since I got pregnant with T.  The eating plan will be focused around how to get set up once a week to make sure I've got enough food to get us through the whole week.  (TJ says the problem boils down to buying 6 days' worth of food every week - the 7th day is when it all goes bad.)

But obviously, where the rubber meets the road is whether I actually *stick* to the plan.  That's the hard part.  I feel cautiously optimistic, given past history.  But I know I do better on a Paleo diet - I FEEL better, I sleep better, and I'm NEVER ravenously hungry.  If I could just get a handle on stocking the house and cooking ahead of time, I'd WIN.  (Tips appreciated!)

So what's your word or theme for the year?  If you blog about it, leave me a link in the comments!  I love reading other peoples' goals and resolutions.


  1. I think you saw this:


    I did The Year Of More and it was MORE. But also more bad than ever. I didn't write about most of it. My best friend in Raleigh, her 9 year nephew died over Thanksgiving weekend. My mom's husband was in the hospital & had a procedure to shock his heart. My work wife had cancer. Not good.

  2. @LauraC - That sounds like a rough year. I don't know that we could ever choose a word that would guarantee against badness. Some things just are and we have to find a way to get through them.

  3. One year I decided to approach the year thinking about "less" in the same way you are. My theme that year was "Lighten Up." It fit my approach on life, my health, my overal feeling toward work, etc. But I love REDUCE. Great theme.

  4. I love this idea! I will give it some thought.

  5. @Jenn - I love Lighten Up, too :) Perfect.

    @Lynn - come back and tell me what you came up with!

  6. Okay, this might not take as long as I thought to come up with something. I read back through the comments on some of Ali's OLW posts. The word that seems to be sticking with me is FOCUS.

  7. @Di that's a good one. Are you going to write about it? Or maybe bake a cake with FOCUS iced into it? ;)

  8. I don't know if I have a word, but I am more and more attuned to the fact that I want to have LESS stuff. If you do a mass balance on your home, for everything you bring into it in Target bags, an equivalent amount needs to go out in trash and donations--and since that never happens, it accumulates, this stuff. And everything in your home is one more thing weighing down your list of responsibilities--to use it or clean it or put it away or dust it or check its expiration date or water it or simply find a place to put it, and soon you're the steward of thousands of little nagging things. I always feel so fresh and serene in a room that's totally tidy, and THAT feeling is what I want to work toward. Not just the tidiness, but the sense that the things around us are things we need and like, not just have, and that all of them have a place and a purpose.

  9. Back @Anandi - Yes, I think I will write about it, and of course there will have to be a baking tie-in. =) Haven't decided quite what yet. I was also wondering if you're taking custom orders at the moment--I was thinking I'd like to get a pendant or something with my word on it. Having mulled it over during the course of the afternoon, I'm definitely sticking with Focus.

  10. @Rachel - you have *perfectly* summed up how I feel about all of our STUFF. This especially -- "the steward of thousands of little nagging things".

    YES! I don't want to be a crazy minimalist with no furniture and blank walls, but I want *every single thing* in our house to be something we use and/or love.

  11. @Di - I would love to make something for you (and want one for myself!) but have to fix the broken belt on my tumble polisher. I've had a couple of inquiries lately, so I'll make it a priority for this weekend, and get back to you :) Thanks for asking!!

  12. I am another one that picked focus. I promise, I hadn't read all the comments first. ;)


    I would also be up for a pendant or key chain with my word on it.

  13. Hmm, I'm not sure what my word would be. Maybe BELIEVE or SUCCEED or YES? I don't know. I'll have to think on it more.

  14. Good post! It got me thinking, of course. I posted my results on my LJ.
    I left it public so you can go read it. :)


  15. @Shalini and @Divs - I love that you guys are thinking about this too! And everyone's is so different. I don't know why that always surprises me :)

    Rock on, and kick ass, everyone in 2012!

  16. Why yes, I did bake a cake and ice it with FOCUS! =)


  17. This is a great idea. I have to admit as I started reading the first word that came to mind was "less." I, too, am trying to rid our house of things that have piled up through the years, and I have more than a few pounds to lose.

    In the last few years, I feel like I've kind of lost the ability to really follow through on some things. I'm struggling with deciding between "complete" and "discipline." Hmmm... I'm going to sleep on it. I'll be bugging you for a pendant soon. :)

  18. I'm thinking maybe "streamline." I want my house, my schedule, my parenting strategy, my goals, and my body to be more lean and efficient, without extra bulk and without unnecessary things getting in the way and disrupting the flow. I want things, ideas, and plans to fall into place, flow easily together, and make sense where they are. I want to get rid of that which doesn't have meaning and purpose.

  19. @Di - I SO love the cake!!

    @Mel - awesome. I have a pendant that says 'discipline' that i bought years ago. I will say, that when I look at it, it sort of seems negative, rather than inspiring. So choose carefully :)

    @Rachel - I love it. That's a really good way to put it. Plus, it totally makes sense since you're an engineer :)

  20. I guess I needed a couple nights to sleep on it. :) I can't hear the word discipline without thinking about spanking, so I think I'll go with complete. :)


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