Thinking Ahead: Focusing on 2012

I know, I know.

I am deviating from my normal pattern. It’s Thursday. This is my “other” day to post something with the heading “Contemporary Romance Writer.” (The other-other day being Tuesday. What? You never noticed? Tsk. Now you know: MWF: quotes. T/Th: contemporary romance writer thoughts.)

Back to today, which should be contemporary romance day but isn’t.

I’m not thinking about today. I’m thinking about an entire year. 2012, to be exact. Every one of the 365 days of 2012.

What are you doing in 2012?

I am well aware it’s December and you are busy enough as it is. You have no time to think about 2012. But I know at least some of you are. Some of you have even started (gasp!) a list of New Year’s Resolutions.

Stop. Right. This. Minute. Tear that list up. Toss it in the trash. And consider this: one word.

One word.

I used to write loooong lists of resolutions each December-into-January. And then I’d promptly lose that list before February was even half over.

But for the past seven years, I’ve focused on one word for the year. Doing so has been so easy. But even more important, it’s been life changing.

(Some of you may have read about my passion for one word over resolutions over at the MBT Ponderers. But stay with me. I might say something here that prompts you to go for it!)

Some of my past words:

  • 2006: gratitude (I kept a gratitude journal and found my “glass-half-empty” attitude revolutionized.)
  • 2007: simplify (A severe illness turned this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.)
  • 2008: content — as in “be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5) (I bought a lot less that year!)
  • 2009 & 2010: forgiveness (I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness.)
  • 2011: hope (A word I clung to when life hurt or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. There were times I could have asked “Why?” Instead, I asked myself, “Are you going to abandon hope?” My answer: No.)

What’s the word for 2012? Trust.

Scary word, that. And then I remember Who I’m trusting in … and that changes things.


In Your Words: What resolutions have you made for 2012? If you chose to focus on a word for the upcoming year, what word would that be?



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  1. December 7, 2011, 10:54 pm   /  Reply

    My word for 2012 is stronger. I want to become stronger physically so I can arrest or even reverse my bone loss caused by osteoporosis. I want to become stronger emotionally so I can reach out and touch the lives of those around me without fear and timidity. I want to become stronger professionally so I can deal with the myriad emotions that accompany the release of one’s debut novel.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 8, 2011, 8:55 am   /  Reply

      You’ve shared your word for 2012 with me before. I love the word “stronger” — and I love how you are applying it to so many areas of your life.

  2. Patti Mallett
    December 8, 2011, 6:12 am   /  Reply

    2012 ? I’ve just gotten used to writing 2011 on my checks!

    Last night, after some nudges from you ladies of MBT, I chose my word for the coming year. It is “believe.” (Luke 1:45)

    Thanks for this good word, Beth, and for so many others!

    • Beth Vogt
      December 8, 2011, 8:56 am   /  Reply

      A most excellent word.
      Believe in yourself.
      Believe in your dreams.

  3. December 8, 2011, 6:53 am   /  Reply

    My biggest work-related goal for 2012 is to get my first novel edited and sent off to agents by mid-year.

    If I were to do the one-word resolution, I think it would be something like hope or anticipate, since I’m hoping for and anticipating good things to happen next year. 🙂 (Not trying to be a copycat; that’s just what really came to mind!)

    • Beth Vogt
      December 8, 2011, 8:57 am   /  Reply

      I like either of those words: hope or anticipate.

      And it’s often after listening to others that I become inspired.

  4. December 8, 2011, 7:18 am   /  Reply

    Surprise–2012 has 366 days. What are your plans for that extra day? (I know because my next-grand-dtr’s very anticipated arrival is projected as being Feb. 29th.)
    When I first asked the Lord a word for next year, I thought He said “Stretch.” After doing a fair bit of that and flinching, I asked again–to be sure I was hearing right, or hearing all He said. Today I get “Stand,” as in “and having done all, stand.” That’s a tall order, encompassing having “done all” first, but He’ll help me.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 8, 2011, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      … and having done all, stand.
      I love it.
      And thank you for pointing out that I have an extra day in 2012!

  5. Jeanne T
    December 8, 2011, 7:36 am   /  Reply

    Beth, fun post today. 🙂 Yes, I’ve heard you mention the concept of focusing on a word. I’m eager to discover what my word will be for 2012. Not sure what it is yet. I hope others will post their words here. I’ll share mine when I know what it is. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      December 8, 2011, 8:58 am   /  Reply

      It will be fun to hear what your word for 2012 is, Jeanne!

  6. December 8, 2011, 8:23 am   /  Reply

    I really like this idea Beth. I gave up resolutions a long time ago but one word – I can do that. I sure would like to know how you go about picking your one word. I once tried to pick scriptures verses but could never narrow it down.

    BTW, I once claimed the word ‘trust’ that has carried me several years now. I used to home school my kids when they were little. Then one year it appeared we were being ‘forced’ by outside sources to send our kids to school. I had to follow even though I hated the thought and it scared me greatly. But God reassured me that it was Him I needed to trust and nothing else. My kids are teenagers now and it has not been without its challenges being in public school. I find that I remind myself of his verse of trust whenever I “wish” things could be different.
    I like one word – I can do one word!

    Thanks for being such an encouragement to me.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 8, 2011, 9:00 am   /  Reply

      Read my MBT Ponderers’ post, it details a bit more of the process.
      I listen … and start hearing repeated refrains of the same word … through a song or repeated Scriptures … and ultimately I get a visual of some sort.
      It takes a bit of time, but always by January 1 I have one word for the year.

  7. Loree Huebner
    December 8, 2011, 8:49 am   /  Reply

    This year it was – trust.
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…
    ~ Proverbs 3:5

    2012 – rejoice.
    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~ Philippians 4:4

    Great post.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 8, 2011, 9:01 am   /  Reply

      Love it.
      I know of one guy who picked the word “fun” for his word for the year. Yeah, I tried that once, too. That was the year I went to the top of the high slide at the water park to have fun with my kiddos. I thought, “This is fun?!”
      But I did it.
      And the look my kiddos’ faces?
      Absolutely fun!

  8. Megan DiMaria
    December 8, 2011, 1:22 pm   /  Reply

    I’ve selected a word for the year in the past, but not recently. Perhaps I will again. How do you determine your word, Beth?

    • December 8, 2011, 5:29 pm   /  Reply

      Determining my word is a process of listening, Megan. I would say it’s life, i.e. circumstances, and listening. Usually around September I start mulling. Wondering what the word for the next year is going to be. And then, during the next few months, a word will rise to the surface of my reading (both in the Word and in other books I read.) Or songs might repeat it. And there is always, always a visual. A plaque or a photograph. This year, my visual for the word trust is going to be something from my Praying in Color time. (I posted that on the MBT Ponderers blog post about choosing a word.)

  9. December 9, 2011, 8:59 am   /  Reply

    Beth, what a great idea. One word. Your post kept reverberating in my mind over the past 24 hours until God settled me on one word: PERSEVERANCE. This coming year will be a year of wonderful firsts. My calendar is becoming intimidating. But I look ahead and stand amazed at how God is moving and working people, circumstances, and my heart.

    “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3

    I’m so very thankful for a God who loves enough to stretch my faith, challenge my thoughts, and provide for my every need so that I truly lack nothing. Thanks for this post, Beth. It cleared some lingering cobwebs in my brain. Blessings!

    • Beth Vogt
      December 9, 2011, 9:14 am   /  Reply

      So thankful you found a word — and what a word! May 2012 reveal unexpected blessings for you!

  10. December 9, 2011, 11:25 am   /  Reply

    My word(s) for 2012 ought to be “Quit Procrastinating” as in answering this timely challenge, or setting the “GodlyGoal” (yes, that’s one word, Ms. Editor) that is *gulp* my word for 2012.

    I heard a fantastic sermon from our new associate pastor this week on setting Godly Goals. You’d think that’s a little vague, but he laid it out so clearly in Philippians 3. What we all need, and what I especially need, is to get more like Jesus. Noble goal, but not doable without a plan. Philippians 3:8-21 (sorry Kyle, stealing your teaching) lists specific actions to bring us closer to God and being more like Jesus: Prayer (abiding in Him!), Study the Word (living & active, can I get an Amen?), Share in His Sufferings (can you say Woot!!Good Times! Seriously, are we Christlike enough to ever be persecuted for our faith?) and Focusing on Christ’s Return (perspective on eternity vs. the here & now)

    Or, in a word, Goal. It’s about time for this girl.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 9, 2011, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      GodlyGoal — absolutely one word, Camille.
      And thank you for explaining it so it is doable.
      Hhhm … I may have my 2013 word.

  11. December 9, 2011, 6:16 pm   /  Reply

    My word last year was “victory.” And we have had some serious victories this year. Woohoo! I start each year praying for a word and specific Scriptures to pray for my family members. The one for my youngest daughter was Malachi 4:2 about a healing coming and calf leaping from it’s stall. And that is exactly what’s happened to her this year. God is so AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to see what He tells me for 2012. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      December 9, 2011, 7:03 pm   /  Reply

      I like the idea of praying for specific verses for each family member.
      Hhhhmmm …

  12. December 10, 2011, 6:32 pm   /  Reply

    Hi Beth,
    I really like this. I’ve decided on ORGANIZE in hopes that it will make life easier and simpler.

    1 Corinthians 14:40
    New International Version (NIV)
    40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

    • Beth Vogt
      December 11, 2011, 9:04 am   /  Reply

      I may need to change my word.

  13. December 14, 2011, 10:02 pm   /  Reply

    […] repeating myself for those of you who have read my other blog posts about my now-seven year commitment to selecting one word for each new year. Pardon the re-run. I […]

  14. January 2, 2012, 12:23 am   /  Reply

    […] distill our “want tos” down to resolutions. Or a word. Our dos and don’ts for the next 12 […]

  15. February 13, 2012, 2:42 pm   /  Reply

    […] you’d like to read more from Edie and Beth: Edie’s blog Beth’s blog Share this:FacebookTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed under writing and […]

  16. December 3, 2012, 12:04 am   /  Reply

    […] In 2012, my word was trust.  It’s been a year of change for me, both in my personal life and my professional life. And looking back, I can see why God directed me to the word “trust.” I had to put my hope and confidence in him over and over again during the past twelve months. I faced doubting versus trusting — and ultimately chose trusting God. One thing I enjoyed doing this past year was posting daily trust quotes on my Facebook page. Doing so broadened my understanding of trust. […]

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