Word for 2012 and a Giveaway

A word to savor for a year.

Day 9 for the journaling practice group: What word will you choose to use as a guide, talisman, and meditation focal point for 2012?

*     *     *     *    *
Thank you to everyone who re-posted or re-Tweeted the original post on choosing a word for 2012. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to spend some time at the end of the year reminding yourself what your old word was, and seeing how it served you in 2011? It might also be a great time to warm up the new word, to see how it feels in your hands and heart.

To everyone who asked “how do I use the word?” here are some suggestions:

  • Write it in your journal and date it, just so you can remember what it is. You are going to commit to it for a year, so keep it close.
  • Write it on pieces of paper and leave it in places where you’ll find it–wrapped around your toothbrush, stuck to your cellphone, in a shoe you’ll wear this week. See what the word brings up in that moment you discover it anew.
  • Write it on your calendar for the middle of the month. See how you are living your word.
  • See how you can put your word into action, whether it is a verb or a noun.
  • Watch yourself to see how the word shows up in your daily life.
  • Do you use it as a shield or as a sword?

A great quote I heard watching the trailer for The Iron Lady. The words were put into the mouth of Margaret Thatcher, and while she may have never said them, they make a great quote about choosing your word:

““Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Rita Ackerman made and photographed these inner critics. I liked her photo better than mine, so I am shamelessly using it.

Now for the giveaway: Leave your word for 2011 in the comments, and share your new word as well. Readers will then get great ideas for their word of the year. Everyone who leaves a word will qualify to win an inner critic with a mouth that zips shut. I’ll give away two inner critics, handmade by Rita Ackerman. Our international clients seldom get to participate. This time, if one of the winner of the random draw is international, I’ll splurge for the postage.

The winner will be drawn by random selection on Friday, Dec. 23, at 9 p.m. Arizona Time (GMT -7), and announced on Saturday, Dec. 24.

–Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art. (You get free shipping till Dec 31.)

76 thoughts on “Word for 2012 and a Giveaway

  1. My word for 2012 is Delight. I am a self-employed workaholic artist, and I get so caught up in what has to be done that I forget to slow down and enjoy myself. I also forget how small acts steamroll into ballooning smiles and happiness. So my goal is to find delight in regular everyday chores and to share, through random acts of kindness, delight with others. Thanks, Quinn!! 🙂 Happy new year!!

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about my word for 2011 which was “connect.”
    I connected SO much online that I became over whelmed…I’ve had to completely re-think and stop the momentum.
    The words of Margaret T are very profound! We really should be careful what we wish for…
    Great post Quinn complete with fantastic prizes — those critics are so CUTE!

  3. My phrase for 2011 was “let it go” to help me just get over illness, injury and family problems and to get rid of art supplies and projects and ‘dreams’ I’d been hoarding but when examined, proved to be things and wishes I didn’t really want anymore.
    2012 will be diligence. I need to keep to the “let it go” of 2011 but also to taking care of myself and my family a little better (reaching out to a brother who is usually silent instead of treating him like a wheel–give him oil even when he isn’t squeaking); tending my house and garden and the dogs.

  4. My word for 2011 was ‘release’ – not sure how well it served me, or I it, but. . . My word for 2012 is FREE, and I plan to use your suggestions to keep it at the forefront of my mind.
    Thanks for all you do – you have made my 2011 better.

  5. My focus last year was “nest”. My word for 2011 is “grow” – I want to grow as an artist, grow my business, grow bolder in my travels, grow my savings, and grow healthier. This word works for everything!

  6. I have just discovered your blog and am enjoying it very much. I love the idea of a word for the year. I think I would have to choose 2 words. One being possibility- as looking at all the changes as possibities instead of something to be feared or endured. My othe word would be focus-focusing on what is important in life.

  7. Hi Quinn,
    I had to look back at last year’s post to see what word I chose. You see, it was stuck to my computer but got lost when the computer died about July and went away. My word for 2011 was “no excuses” and I know I got some mileage from focusing on that.
    My word for 2012 is Explore, which is a hopeful word; exploring new things, new places, new techniques, new direction, new possibilities.
    Thanks for the ideas to keep our word in front of us by various means.
    Vicky F

  8. I have never thought of a WORD for the year. The suggestion of a word for 2012 is appealing. My choice is HEART. It can be a noun or a verb. I have health issues with my heart and I want to make positive changes. Also, my own inner critic never HEARTS my lifestyle. So HEART is appropriate for me. I also like your suggestions for reminders throughout the house, my calendar, etc.

    Oh, and now that the book is published, will you be back teaching at Art Unraveled in 2012?

    Marrianna in Flagstaff AZ

    • Hi Marianna–I love how you use “heart” as a verb!
      I’ll be teaching at Jenny Doh’s new facility in the L.A. area in January, at Zinnia in South Pasadena in January, Valley Ridge in Wisconsin on May 3-5, but not at AU. I’ll be in Sedona on January 28 at the Well Red Coyote, too. For AZ artists the restrictions on teaching AU classes are too stringent for me. If I invent a class, I need to be able to teach it in other AZ locations and online. Teaching it just once in a year is not effective. I’ve been told to just change the name, and teach the course, but if I sign a contract, I honor it.

  9. I’ve had “words” now for a number of years. For 2011 my phrase was “No Excuse.” I have an excuse for everything so I tried to accept responsibility for my choices and actions (or inaction). It is still something I wish to be mindful of. My phrase for 2012 will be “Deliberation. Determination. Destination.”

    I’m listening to the Harry Potter books on my commute those are the things one needs to focus on in order to apparate–or move from one place to another. I like all three individually but combined–and with the apparation connotation–I think they are what I need. I want to move deliberately in a determined manner to my chosen destination.

    I share my word with a friend and print out a graphic of it twice and we hang them on our office walls. I like it best if mine is near my monitor.

    • Marjorie–isn’t is wonderful when we learn a big life lesson from a novel? It sounds like you are already focusing on Deliberation. I’ll have times next year where we can check in with our words. I hope you’ll check back!

  10. This is so much fun Quinn!
    Having just learned from you about this word for a year tactic, I had no word for 2011.
    My word for 2012 is “efficacious”
    If something is efficacious it is able to produce the desired result.
    My hubby chose “blessed.” I told him he is right. After all he has me to hang out with all the time. 🙂

  11. Well I didn’t have a word for last year, I’m trying this new. My word was going to be positivity but I am already pretty positive so I thought of the word that would make the biggest impact and it is Action.
    I need to take action in all parts of my life. Take action to get my house clean, action to bring in new clients, action to improve my art, action to spend more quality time with the kids. Here’s hoping

  12. I did not have a word for 2011, but if I were to pick one I would say it was retirement. I retired from teaching and I retired many habits, and things during the course of this year. In journaling last the word that kept coming to mind for me was “Celebrate.” So my word for 2012 is Celebrate. I plan to celebrate life, joy, friendship, peace, exercise, sunshine, you name it. I plan to celebrate it.

  13. My inner critic is actually a committee. A board of directors (or so they think). They stand out in the hall waiting for me to open the door and invite them in……sometimes I do but I try to never be fearful of tossing them out on their ear!!!! They are actually quite the muse-group. I’ve several pieces of art inspired by my “committee”. It is a love/hate relationship. But we always respect one another.

    My word for 2011 was actually a slogan “be nice and keep it simple”.

    My word for 2012 is FOCUS……in all caps. No namby pamby lower case for me…….I’m taking this one seriously……

  14. Quinn, my word for 2011 had to be survival. I was coming out of a 3 month major depression, and had to go back to work last year at this time. So surviving was paramount for 2011 and I made it!
    And, for whatever reason, contentment is the word that keeps popping up for 2012. We will see what we will see…..

  15. I didn’t actually have a word in 2011, but my journal was titled “Choosing Life” so that was a two word focus. The word that grabs me right now is “open,” a word that I used recently when doing a period of one word reviews of the day. I couldn’t find a word that matched my mood, but open popped into my head. And it also popped up when I read your post. What an amazing post – I love the ideas you have for keeping the word in focus, love the quote at the end, and really adore those inner critic softies. I want to make them with the kids I work with, so would love to win one to see how she did them. We’ve been doing drawings of the inner critic and voices, but I love the idea of a softie! Thanks and happy hollydaze.

  16. It’s so interesting to see the words that people are choosing…I sense a theme as well…verbs 🙂 They seem easier in so many ways. Like I mentioned in the other post, my word for ’11 was laugh and for 2012 it is (probably) going to be explore…I have big plans for that…

  17. My plan is to make a timeline of words and what I got or didn´t get out of them in my blog to close the year.
    My word for 2011: VOICE as in expression of. 🙂 I took painting lessons and made my voice heard (It was the logical consequence of 2010´s LISTEN)
    My word for 2012: expansive. My line: “Deeper than the ocean, higher than the sky” I got it in my opening iGoogle page. 🙂 Oh, the possibilities!

  18. I have been fortunate to already win an inner critic and use it more frequently than I’d like! I didn’t have a word in 2011 but the 2012 word is definitely, RELEASE. Feels good just to say it. Open hands, open heart.

    Thanks as usual, Quin for your inspiring blog!

    Val P

  19. Gratitude was this year’s word. It has been a very difficult year, but there is always so much to be grateful for. For 2012 my word will either be “focus” or “move”. I keep going back and forth between the two.

  20. My word for 2011 was “focus.” For 2012 I’m taking a different approach and have chosen “open.” Being open to ideas and experiences, open new doors, open like the petals of a flower or the leaves in spring.

    • There’s nothing like doing someting mindless, like ironing, to allow clarifications to rise to the surface.

      I thought my word for 2011 was accept. I was wrong; my word for the year was undoing. Not MY undoing – just undoing the effects of the life I have been living and facing it head on. It wasn’t easy but the year’s end sees me in a far better place.

      My word for 2012 is uncover.

  21. I didn’t choose a word for the year but looking back I can see that the word that fits would be accept. Next year? Their are several that present themselves: play, be, experiment, discover, involve, possibility, expand. They all seem to resonate and as you can see, there’s a bit of a theme going on.

  22. For 2011, my word/intention was “Art Every Day”. That didn’t mean I had to make art every day but do something with the artistic process, e.g. work on a specific piece of art, gather materials, experiment with new techniques, read an art book/magazine, attend an art retreat or workshop, peruse artist’s blogs for inspiration.

    Unfortunately, that didn’t work with the loss of my step-daughter from Cystic Fibrosis so my theme for 2012 is “Begin Again” to remind myself that sometimes life gets in the way. We have to give ourselves permission to take the time we need, for ourselves and our family, and when the difficult times pass, we can “begin again”. I am definitely ready for a new, uplifting, creative 2012!

  23. I didnt have a word for 2011, but my word for 2012 is unlock — unlock my heart, unlock my bravery, unlock my creativity, unlock me :0)

  24. 2011 – possibilities
    2012 – weave, as in keep weaving and get a project completed, or weave through a crowd of people and not be swayed by public opinion but by my inner commitments, or weave as in combine many different things while creating from raw materials. Or weave as in weaving protection around my heart, my soul, my thoughts. More. Always more ways to apply it.

    I do so love those inner critics.

    Thank you, Quinn, for all your offers of generosity.

  25. my words for 2010 were light, and coffee.(and oh oh, I just looked back on my blog post to see my other word was gratitude. oops. Clearly 3 words is too many!)
    For 2011 my word is ‘preparation.’ it sounds a bit utilitarian, but I want to be a better teacher, and with more preparation, I hope to do that. Also, my career is going very well, and I want to prepare for the wonderful opportunities ahead and be ready to step into the big leagues. (ha, and preparing a couple of dinners wouldn’t hurt either!)

  26. Look at all the wonderful word choices here! As I said on the other post about choosing words, my word for 2011 was ‘focus’, and my word for 2012 is ‘play’. In fact I just wrote a blog post about it yesterday if you want to read it. http://bluetwigstudio.wordpress.com/

    I have a new journal book that I made that is full of wonderful colorful pages that I am using to ‘play’ with this year. I am very excited about my new word, as I hope all of you are too!

    The inner critics are adorable. A group of us created some inner critics this year, everyone had different ideas about what they were, and we had a blast making them seem less critical and threatening.

  27. I love some of the words mentioned: heart, when, even though that is not my word I will refer to some of these other good choices throughout the year. I like the idea of writing the word on a calendar and seeing it every now and then. As I already picked my word “let it go”…. I will stick with that word as it seems to be what I need. In fact, I had
    to use it this morning…I already printed out the word (picture that says the word) and posted it in my bathroom to see every morning because that is how often I will need to use this word….daily. Hugs to All!

  28. I love Rita’s Inner Critics! I was fortunate enough to have won one of them from Rita herself, and I have made use of it frequently in the past few months!

    My word for 2011 was “Accept”. I selected the word and then only revisited it a few times during the year. In fact, I mostly forgot about it. In reflecting back over the year, it was so totally about my biggest lessons, it astounds me! In fact, it feels now rather prophetic! I learned to ACCEPT taking certain steps I had previously avoided that were necessary, and to ACCEPT the help and love I received from people in my life.

    My word for 2012 will be “Move” – one that occurred to me in an insight I had from the deep writing I am doing with Quinn and other followers in this effort. Having seen, now, how effective selecting a word for the year has been, I want to keep my awareness on the word and check in with it more regularly this coming year.

  29. I love those “inner critics”! A zippered mouth! What a great idea! I would love to join in on this word for the year and mine will be “grateful”. I have always loved making a “gratitude list” and sometimes life gets in the way and you forget. I know there is something in every day to be grateful for.

  30. Quinn
    My word for 2011 was “change”
    My word for 2012 is “kindness”

    Finding you, your blog has been one gift that just keeps on giving… you were part of my intentional change for 2011. Thank you!

  31. My word for 2012 is “necessity” as my intention is to spend less and save more, and give more thought to the distinction between need vs. want.

  32. The word that seemed to resonate for me in 2011 has been “surrender” ~ as in “surrender to Divinity”. That has led me on a wonderful journey, thus, “Namaste” is my 2012 word to remind me to honor the Divinity in me and in each of you.

  33. My word for 2011 was is create. My word for 2012 is intention.

    I love the idea of picking up my inner critic and throwing him into the wall – without risking damaging myself or the wall. Thanks Quinn for all you share.

  34. LOL! Who knew inner critics could be so cute? Now I’ll just have to let them come out and play with me more often. I didn’t have a word for 2011 (I did have 10.000 resolutions), and as I already told you in your other word-post: my word for 2012 wil be FUN!

  35. I had to go back in your blog comments to find my 2011 word: niche. Happily, I let it reside deep and nearly unconscious this year, but in hindsight have found it to be the year’s defining word nonetheless. (Be careful of what you wish for!!!!) Love that.
    For 2012 I need a word I speak daily: reach.
    (Love the zipmouth Inner Critic as well….need one to practice with. REACH for that zipper!)
    Fond wishes to all adopting a word for the coming year. It’s worth it.

  36. My word for 2012 is “heart” to remind me to follow my heart and to use my heart in everything I do and say.
    I didn’t have a word in 2011, either.

  37. I just love the inner critic puppets!

    I didn’t have a word in 2011.

    My word for 2012 is “when?”

    An abbreviation for me of “if not now, when?”

    Life is brief, and I intend to use the word to remind me to live in the now

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.