One-Word Theme for 2012: Up

Up by gothick_matt on Flickr via CC license

Up by gothick_matt on Flickr via CC license

So here we are in 2012.

As you may or may not know, I lost one of my beloved goats on December 19th. I’m still recovering, slowly but surely, trying to remember all the good times and not feel guilty for not being able to save my Pinters. There were also some other disappointments and delusioni toward the end of the year as well, and all together, they’ve put me in a rather down mood — exactly where I hate being around Christmas, which I normally love so much.

I’m beyond grateful for all the love and support so many of you have shown — including sending surprise gifts in the mail — but time marches on. It’s time to look forward.

Once again I have decided to choose a one-word theme for 2012, just as I did last year when the word was “now.” NOW pushed me through plenty of difficult times when my instinct was to focus on anything but “now”; simply repeating that three-letter word in my mind truly aided my quest to be more mindful and live in the moment, appreciating each and every experience, even the challenging times.

In fact, I will tuck that word into my mind as my back-up one-word theme, because I know I still need to focus on the “now” in 2012. But it’s a new year, and that means it’s time for a new word.

When I started brainstorming a couple weeks ago, one word popped into my mind immediately. But was it good enough? Did it really say enough? Was it *really* what I wanted my 2012 to revolve around?

The more I thought about other words — focus, shine, do, and joy among them — the more I kept coming back to that first word. The one that has invaded my consciousness, particularly since I’ve been feeling so DOWN the past couple weeks.

That word is UP.

The ultimate optimistic word, UP will guide me through this year’s challenges and opportunities.

Looking UP and thinking positively.

Keeping UP positive changes I’ve made.

Giving UP old habits that don’t serve me well.

Finishing UP lingering projects and moving forward.

Movin’ on UP (figuratively) Γ  la The Jeffersons‘ theme song.

About six hours after I decided on UP, I opened an email that has already massively changed my direction for 2012 — a professional opportunity that involves a partnership and my entering into a field I’ve wanted to explore since, well, forever. Cannot wait to get started. Stay tuned for deets!

On January 23, we’ll also be entering the Year of the Dragon — and I’m a dragon, born in 1976. I had been envisioning the hot air balloon as my symbol of the year — UP, UP, and away! — but this morning while lying in bed, I realized just how appropriate that is. Every hot air balloon needs a heat source to keep it UP in the air.

Enter my fire-breathing dragon.

Fire Breathing Mythical Dragon by Beverly & Pack on Flickr

Image by Beverly & Pack on Flickr via CC license

I’m already feeling like things are looking UP, like I’m ready to meet 2012 head-on and move onward and UPward to new, never-before-experienced-by-me heights.

What’s your one-word theme for 2012?

63 Beans of Wisdom to “One-Word Theme for 2012: Up”
  1. 01.01.2012

    I think you’ve made an excellant choice Michelle; Up seems like a cue to keep you moving forward.
    In keeping with your prompt to choose a word for the year, I choose HOPE and if you pop under the microscope you can read my reasoning.

    Happy New Year Michelle.

    michelle Reply:

    Will do, rel; thanks for the link!

  2. What a great idea! All good things for a great 2012. Now, I’ll get UP and start thinking about my theme!

    michelle Reply:

    Looking forward to reading about your theme, Lisa πŸ™‚

  3. 01.01.2012

    Start flapping those wings and fly UP! It’s a perfect word, really.

    I kept wanting to choose other words as well, but in the end I simply couldn’t. Funny how that works.

    Congratulations on that new opportunity, can’t wait to hear more about it! xxxxx

    michelle Reply:

    Thx Annika; can’t wait to share more info πŸ™‚

  4. 01.01.2012

    Happy New Year’s, Michelle! *UP!* is perfect!!! xo

    michelle Reply:

    Same to you and Cliff, Pam! xx

  5. 01.01.2012

    Dang…forgot to mark the comment box…up up up! he he! xo

    michelle Reply:

    Haha…no worries. Two comments are always better than one πŸ˜‰ xx

  6. 01.01.2012

    how perfect your choice of UP!
    such a useful & positive totem*word!

    i tried and tried my best
    to select one Powerful Word
    to guide my heart
    finally did settle on one

    you may not know it
    but do pop in & see what you think
    you are out & about!

    oh happy 2012 to you, michelle!

    michelle Reply:

    Headed over now, SPF; buon anno to you! xx

  7. I like the idea of a one word theme for the new year, and I enjoyed reading about your intentions for 2012. My word is “blossom.” We have been replanted/ transplanted so many times in 2011, and now that we are “home” in our new country I am looking forward to digging in, laying roots down, and blossoming here. (I am definitely an imagery person!) Wishing you well in this new year!

    michelle Reply:

    The word blossom is lovely by itself — an awesome guiding word to boot! Auguri Ariana xx

  8. 01.01.2012

    Yay for the dragons! Happy 2012!

    michelle Reply:

    Woohoo! Look out world…..

  9. Imani

    Buon Anno, Michelle…

    I read about Pinta on your Goat Berries site and am saddened by your loss. But one thing I know for sure, you were a great goat maaaa to her and you did all you could.

    So, for 2012, UP! As for me, I think I need to stick to NOW. πŸ™‚

    Hugs and best wishes for the new year,

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Imani; I’m a big fan of NOW as you know πŸ˜€

  10. Ben Richey

    Our word for this year is “building” – setting foundations for many anticipated changes in our lives!

    michelle Reply:

    Awesome Ben; thanks for sharing!

  11. I think the idea of UP is an excellent one. It’s certainly a good word to start a new year on. My one word theme for 2012, since I’ve been asked to choose one, is MONEY.

    Yes, I know that might sound shallow, but really it’s not. It’s a way to secure our future. We have no debt (well, other than our truck, but that’ll be paid off in a few months – maybe weeks if we bust our ass), so we want to accumulate as much as we can to fund our IRAs, other investments and well, vacations. But mostly it’s for the future.

    My friend actually came up with the them for 2012, The Year Of Money she called it. We have similar paths, so I’ve stolen her idea. This year is definitely going to be more prosperous than last and to be able to be doing something we both currently love doing, and making money at it, is a good thing.

    So yeah, MONEY. That’s it in one word.

    michelle Reply:

    The Year of Money sounds just fine to me; sounds like SECURITY would work too πŸ™‚ Best of luck on a wonderfully happy, healthy prosperous year! xx

  12. 01.02.2012

    Great Choice. The only way is ‘up’!

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Pete!

  13. I’ve no doubt your year will be up – I like your theme and how it doesn’t translate directly to “more” but also moving on from things and reducing, too πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to hear more from you regarding your new opportunity! Yay. πŸ™‚

    michelle Reply:

    Thx Sara; can’t wait to be able to spill the full can o’ beans πŸ˜‰

  14. After reading this, I started to think about my One Word Theme and couldn’t come up with anything. Once I started writing my 2012 Resolutions, I realized my theme for this year is: ME. I’m going to focus more on myself and by doing so, it will ultimately benefit my little family. It’s a win-win!!

    michelle Reply:

    Woohoo! Sounds like a great plan to me πŸ™‚

  15. 01.02.2012

    Happy New Year! I definitely hope things are up for you!!!
    For me “CHANGE” is a good word for this year…so many changes at work not good! Therefore the homelife will “CHANGE” as well. I can only keep my fingers and toes crossed that I won’t sink into a deep dark hole…maybe it won’t be so bad but it’s definitely a CHANGE from 17 years of how life’s been. Hoping for the BEST but expecting the worst.

    michelle Reply:

    Change isn’t always good, but remember that you still control how you react…keep your head UP Lucy πŸ™‚ xx

  16. 01.02.2012

    I like your approach, Michelle. I like UP for you. But I could tell this word was not for me.

    The word that came for me is Attention. I have been living through a long period of extended family problems that has required my focus to be outward. This was necessary and right, but in the process I seem to have lost myself.

    This year I hope to pay attention to which activities, thoughts, and experiences speak to me, bring me back to myself. And to pay attention to where it is time to let go.

    michelle Reply:

    Good on you, Anne; paying more attention to yourself and your own needs is so very important. Buon 2012 xx

  17. 01.03.2012

    Hi Michelle, I’m new to the blog so, firstly, complimenti! This is such an elegant way to focus for the year. Intense too which I like. You have a great way with words already. The choice of ‘up’ seems more than inspired! Brava! Janine

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks and welcome, Janine; I was clipping things for my vision board today and chose “intense.” Ha! πŸ™‚

  18. Gil

    Up sounds real good for you in 2012! Considering how 2011 started and ended.

    michelle Reply:

    Thx Gil; hope your year is UP too πŸ™‚ xx

  19. Happy New Year, Michelle.

    So sorry to hear about Pinta.

    I love your One Word Theme for 2012. Mine is YES.

    Congrats on your new opportunity and I can’t wait to read more about it.


    michelle Reply:

    Thx cara…YES is an awesome word indeed. I think along after UP and NOW, YES is my third-string πŸ˜‰

  20. 01.03.2012

    An excellent and inspirational choice…. can’t wait to hear more about the upcoming opportunities!

    michelle Reply:

    Thx June; I’m looking forward to sharing more info!

  21. Congratulations Michelle, on whatever the new opportunity is. Love the idea of a one word theme, so much so, it took me only a few minutes to know that mine will be confident. And I’m going to post about it and link to you here. Great idea for my readers to consider. Easy to come back to as we move through the year. Happy New One to you – Happy Up, Up, Up to you.

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Barb; what a wonderful word you’ve chosen too πŸ™‚

  22. 01.03.2012

    As in caterpillar to butterfly – I’ve already started out my new year with a ton of butterfly sightings (not real ones, it is winter, after all…) so, all is good!

    Love this post & can’t wait to hear about your prof’l developmts!

  23. 01.03.2012

    I was just like you. I think …no wait…I cried every single day (multiple times) from Thursday to Tuesday during the Christmas holidays. I’m used to be surrounded by friends even if I was loney on the inside, but I was still having fun. This year, the weather was awful, plans got canceled and I couldn’t talk to my boyfriend as much. It hit me all at once and I couldn’t stop. I finally got myself together and picked myself UP so that I could salvage my New Years Eve.

    So, I’m sorry, but I’m stealing your one word theme for me, as well. It’s perfect for 2012. Of course, I will give you credit.

  24. Catherine

    I’m not big on New Year resolutions as this whole year has been busy with different kinds of effort, struggle, victory, loss, each one requiring maturity and application. If anything I would say ‘balance’ has to be my word and objective. No flying off the deep end or being too devoted to work. Equilibrium.

    I hope your New Year begins well and it sounds as though it has so far. Auguri and best wishes. Ciao cat

  25. 01.03.2012

    Love the “up.”. Mine is “conspire” though I am still contemplating what that might mean πŸ™‚

  26. 01.04.2012

    this year, my one-word theme is love. an obvious choice but very needed after the last couple of years. I’ll let you know how it goes…I love your choice of up!

  27. 01.04.2012

    I am so totally in for riding UP with you and that fire breathing dragon in your hot air balloon.

    Let’s GO!!! πŸ˜€

    This is going to be one of our best years yet, dang it. It IS.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  28. Paula

    You are just too clever Michelle !!

  29. “Up” is the only movie that made my husband cry like a child, Up is where my children always want to be lifted, Up is where my loved ones are, Up is such a beautifully simple word…perfect!

    I am already picturing you up up and away….I am another Dragon, so this is the year!


  30. 01.05.2012

    Inspiring! I’m working on my word for 2012 and looking forward to the unveiling of your new project. Happy New Year!

  31. Nell

    Of coarse your a Dragon , as am I , knew there was a reason for this instant like of all things espresso and Goat related , although I was born many many moons before you!
    Your choice of word is a good choice , it invokes moving forward on to new things .
    Look ahead , and live in the present , its a new adventure.

  32. 01.08.2012

    Cara Michelle, I wish you all good things in 2012. You have a lovely buoyant and optimistic spirit and I know you will soon be soaring once again. Up up and away! Un abbraccio! Melissa

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks so much, Melissa; tante belle cose to you and yours as well xx

  33. 01.10.2012

    Up is a wonderful one word theme. It is such a great word to push you forward and “Up” in 2012.

    And dragons are so cool! Another great reference and way to keep you up through the year.

    MJ Schrader

    michelle Reply:

    Thx MJ, and thx for coming by!

  34. William Kiaune

    Wonderful choice. Should inspire many.

    My word for this year is time. The older you get the faster it seems to go. Trying to make the most of it is my goal. Thats my word for this year.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. May this year be better than last.

    I love your site.

    michelle Reply:

    That’s a great word, William — ties in with my word from last year, “now.” Thanks for reading and for your kind words πŸ™‚

  35. 02.12.2012

    My word is forward. As in creating and keeping a forward momentum despite life’s obstacles.

    michelle Reply:

    Hope 2012 is treating you well, Shelagh!

  36. Maria Giovannoni

    This is one of my favorite posts you write each year! For SO many reasons, LOVE your “word”!!!! I can’t remember my word for this past year but I think it was appropriate! πŸ™‚ And, I recently thought over the past couple of weeks about picking a new “One Word”.

    Thank you again for writing this post every year … I JUST LOVE IT!

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Maria; it’s become one of my favorites too πŸ™‚ Buone feste to you and yours! xx



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