2012: the year of…

2009 was (unintentionally) the Year of Firsts. 2010 was the (undeclared) Year of Stability and Re-exploration. And 2011 was the Year of Intention.

When I got back from India at the end of November, I started thinking about what theme would sum up my goals for 2012. After I finished my 2011 annual review, I made a list of things I wanted to do this coming year (nothing too specific to start, just a general list of ideas). Here’s what I came up with:

  • I want to keep learning about intention, especially because I didn’t commit to the theme as well as I’d wanted to this past year. The idea of living with intention, of living everyday of your life, of being present in your own life––I want to keep these things at the forefront in 2012.
  • So many of my friends and family are scattered around the country, and increasingly the world. I want to find ways to be more present in their lives, even though we can’t be with each other in person.
  • I’ve lived in DC for 3 years now, and I’ve been pretty vocal about not loving it (I love my job, but DC as a city…not so much. Some call this Chicago-snobbery, but that is yet to be confirmed). Regardless, I’ve decided that I need to give DC a better chance. I need to learn more about it. Learn to love it. Learn to be where I am. Because it’s looking like we might be here a little while.
  • In college, when I was playing basketball, I was in the best shape of my life. And I’ve sort of let that….slip a little (or…a lot). I loved the presence and confidence that being fit gave me, and I want that back.
  • I want to commit to photography. I realized how much it means to me––how it centers and focuses me––when I was traveling this fall, so I really want to dive into it this year.
  • I want to watch less TV and read more books. Because TV is mindless, and I waste too much time with it (surprising, since we don’t even have cable…darn you, Hulu).
  • I want to volunteer in my community because we love the community we live in and we want to be an actual presence there, not just people who live there for a few years and move away without making an impact.

After I made the list, it was pretty clear what 2012 would be:

2012 is the Year of Presence.

It’s a year to explore my surroundings. To slow down and see what’s around me. To take advantage of opportunities, unexpected or untimely as they may be. To make more time for relationships and even for myself. To be present in my own life.

When I sat down to write out some of my specific goals for the year, I wrote “2012: The Year of Presence” at the top of the page. It was amazing how easily the goals came out after I’d established the focus. I’ve identified goals in nine categories (travel, health, financial, spiritual, family/friends, learning, service, work, and writing), as well as several potential goals. Many of them will help me work towards the stuff on my bucket list, though there are some new things in there too that feel appropriate for this season. Once the list is finalized, I’ll share it with all of you.

Cheers to a new year––it’s looking like it’s going to be pretty awesome.

Question: What’s your theme for the year?


8 thoughts on “2012: the year of…

  1. Hey have you read Well-Being- by Tom Rath? Its a synopsis of Gallup poll findings over the last 50-odd years describing what contributes to an overall sense of well-being in one’s life. You have some of their five major themes: social, physical, career, community, and financial. An excellent beginning of the year book. Happy to hear about the Year of Presence- good luck!


  2. read juxtaposition, too. Add, hug strangers, to the list. Ive been told its a midwestern thing. Might make u feel at home. 🙂 We are coming to grips w balancing accepting where we are at (physically our neighborhood and mentally etc) with how we want it to be. I think this year is going to be about understanding my limits. I’m hoping that will inevitably push me to grow & challenge. Maybe even be more resilient.

  3. Great stuff Erica! I thought I had saved my reply but apparently it didn’t stick. So . . . Add “Practicing the presence” by Brother Lawrence. Why? Because there is Rest – Ex 33:14, Refreshing – Acts 3:19, Joy- Ps 16:11, Place of Refuge – Ps 31:20, Guidance & Direction – Ex 13:21, Abundant Provision – Ps 132:15, Hearing His word – Ex 24:12-18, Healing – Mal 4:2, Strength and comfort – Ps 23:4, Liberty – 2 Cor 3:17, Transforming Power – 2 Cor 3:18, Boldness – Acts 4:13, Power & gifts – 1 Cor 12:7-11 & Salvation – 1 Cor 14:25 when we hang out in His presence.

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