Allow. Sparkle. Inspire.

Three words to focus on for 2012.

Last year I used the three words strategy (Breathe. Balance. Grow.) and did great focusing on it until we moved half way through the year and I forgot to put the words back up on my bulletin board.  But when I looked back over the year, I realized I did continue to create around those three words, which is pretty cool.

2011 was a big “personal growth” year for me in many ways.  I feel like I’m coming out of a tunnel and blinking my eyes in a bright light that’s been waiting for me to step forward and find it… beginning to see what I need to be doing and how to make it happen.  Many moments this past year I had to remind myself to just breathe and embrace growth.  So the words really worked well as a focal point.

This year my words are:

Allow.  I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this area.  This year I’m making a conscious effort to allow.  Allow good to happen.  Accept opportunities and praise.  Acknowledge my talents and skills.  Allow what comes to come, and deal with it one moment at a time.  All of that wraps into the word “allow” for me.  Permission to believe in the wonderful aspects of the world and of myself.

Sparkle.  I thought about “shine” but that felt too scary.  I’m not quite ready for that kind of spotlight.  So I chose “sparkle” instead.  Sparkle brings to mind a twinkling little star in the night sky (instead of the intense sunshine).  I think I can do that.

Inspire.  I want the overarching goal of everything I do in my business to be to inspire you.  To encourage you to create businesses to support yourself and your family.  To offer guidance and support through the technical challenges that so often get in the way.  To inspire you to keep believing in yourself and the possibilities as you travel along the journey.  And to help inspire and create change in the world around me, in all the little ways that are within my reach.

So how about you?  Did you choose three words for the year?  One word?  Write resolutions?

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  1. I love your choice of words for this year. I particularly like “Sparkle” and your reasons for using this word rather than shine. As for “Inspire” you are doing it already :)

    1. Thanks, Kama. And yeah, sparkle just fit better for me. :)

  2. Hi Michelle,

    What a wonderful and inspiring post.
    I’m still refining my resolutions – I like the 3-word idea. One of my main resolutions for 2012 is to really step forward with authenticity and integrity to share what I know and help people and animals – to do my part in creating a more caring and magical world.

    1. If more people would embrace that idea, Marianne, it’d be a better world. You expressed it beautifully.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  3. Great idea to have three words that set the personal theme for the year.
    Mine will be: Flow, Free, Believe.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Shar. Those are really peaceful words.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  4. Thanks for sharing, Michelle. I recently wrote a post on one word resolutions where I summed up my new year’s resolution in one word. I chose patience but if I were to pick two more words I would choose focus (so that I can finish writing my debut novel instead of being pulled away by other activities) and strength (both emotional and physical strength to overcome any obstacles that may pop up on the road to becoming a published author).

    1. Chris Brogan featured a list of people who did three words on his blog and focus was one of the most popular — so you’re in good company, Rena. :) Patience, focus and strength go well together.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Allow. Sparkle. Inspire.My Profile

  5. Lovely article, I like last years words and your new ones, will pin them all up, after a very tough year last year, they all represent the direction I will be taking, thank you!

    1. Thanks, Nikki, we’ll have matching bulletin boards! ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Posts You Loved in 2011 (And My Favorites, Too!)My Profile

  6. What an interesting idea….now this I need to think of…what words for my new year….I don’t really do new year resolutions….I get fed up with never carrying through….for either aiming too high or unrealistic…or just being plain boring…but this gives me something to think about

    1. Yeah, me too, Katrina. I don’t stick to them past about Feburary… this feels less like a failure waiting to happen for me so it works nicely. Less pressure!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  7. I really like your choice of words and the strategy of choosing 3 words to remember. I think my 3 words will be 1) CONSISTENT – because being consistent in all of my marketing & business efforts is my main goal right now, 2) CONNECT – because I want to connect with more people this year in a meaningful way, and 3) FAITH – because making the conscious choice of faith over fear is a life goal and an ongoing theme of mine. :) Blessings to you!

    1. Awesome, Mikayla. That consciousness is so important–being in control of our decisions and responding instead of reacting. Faith really is a choice we have to actively make. Thank you for sharing that.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… If Google+ or Publishing a Book is on Your 2012 Goals List…My Profile

  8. Allow is definitely on my list of words for 2012. I intend to acknowledge my talents and gifts and be more visible.

    1. Woo hoo! Go for it! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  9. I could certainly do with pinching “Allow” from you – I’ve come to realise that I’m my own worst enemy at times – lacking the confidence to believe I can achieve something, I put obstacles in the way so if I fail it’s not my fault. Or something.

    So, my words shall be:


    I shall endeavour to allow myself to sparkle, and believe that I can.
    Barefoot Mahala recently posted… Did You Remember to Switch Off?My Profile

    1. You are SO not alone! Many of us struggle with that one. And yes, you can sparkle!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  10. Like minds. I use one word every year! LOL this year my word is “inspired.” I want every single thing I do to come from a place of inspiration. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing or if others disagree with my plan of action. If I’m inspired, I’m doing it! Enjoyed your post!

    1. I like that, Martha! I was thinking of inspire the other way, but doing things from a place of inner inspiration, that’s the way to do it. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  11. I don’t really have a word for 2012…but my mantra would be ” just do it”.. 2011 was spent too much on thinking and not really taking action.
    Dominique recently posted… Visit to Maritime Experiential Museum & AquariumMy Profile

    1. That’s always a good mantra to live by. Just get it done.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Find the Right Image, FasterMy Profile

  12. I so agree with you about the words and using them as a point of focus for the year…or longer! In fact, about 3 years ago I had a friend, who creates beautiful, energy infused fine silver jewelry make a pendant for me that has the words inspire and create on the front and a special message for my heart on the back of the pendant! And then as a bonus for me, she put a tag on the back where it fastens that says believe. I wear it frequently but when I’m not wearing it, I keep it on my desk so I can see it. There’s such a difference in the emotions that are created when we think about our special words vs. thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Thanks for your great post.
    Pat Altvater recently posted… Year’s Resolutions, Bucket Lists, and DreamsMy Profile

    1. What a beautiful idea. Sounds like that friend is a definite keeper, Pat. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

    2. Pat

      That sounds like a gorgeous gift! If your friend does this as a business for other people I’d love to have her contact details …
      Chrissy recently posted… Test 4My Profile

  13. I love the word “sparkle.” It’s a good description of wanting to be and do better. My word is “risk.” I’m going to take more chances, get out of my comfort zone and stretch myself to do everything I’ve wanted to do but have feared doing. That applies to both my personal and business life. Thanks for the great reminder to focus and to keep the words in front of us.
    Lisa Kanarek recently posted… How to Help Others Have an Organized New YearMy Profile

    1. Oh, you’re brave, Lisa! I’m not ready for “risk”… maybe next year… or the year after that. :D
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Ready to Make Blogging a Habit?My Profile

  14. Michelle, girl, you have INSPIRED me to do the same. I hope you don’t mind, but Inspire is one of my words as well ;-)

    Thanks so much for the inspiration and here’s to an awesome and fantabulous 2012!!

    Kesha Brown recently posted… Stop Trying and Just Do It Already!My Profile

    1. Everyone should use that word. :)

      Thanks, and back at ya on the fantabulous 2012 wishes!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s an Every Day DecisionMy Profile

  15. My 3 words for this year are:

    Thanks, Michelle, for getting me to think about this!

  16. My words for 2012 are: Connect, Glow and Fit.

    CONNECT is for my quest to be in relationship with others (too shy here!) and to live more in community by asking for help, giving freely, seeking out others and reaching out.

    GLOW is a suburb of sparkle. :) I want to reach deep down into the places where I sell myself short or are too critical and perfectionistic and instead employ the quiet confidence that I really am fabulous. :):) I love the Marianne Williamson quote: “Your playing small does not serve the world.” I want to live that this year.

    FIT: I weigh 30 lbs more than my ideal weight. I wear it well “enough,” but in the back of my mind, it’s always an issue.and I don’t feel confident when I’m up in front of an audience. I want to spend more time public speaking, so that’s a barrier right there. Exercise helps my mood, disposition and outlook- so that’s a no-brainer. :)

    Michelle- you ALREADY inspire and sparkle! After taking your blogging class, I am a huge fan. Woot Woot!

  17. I love the word “sparkle.” It’s a word that doesn’t get used in inspirational posts as often. My word for 2012 would be “overcome,” as in overcome my fears. Sometimes the fear is just of hitting the Publish button.

    Good luck with your challenge of posting every day in January – I am happy with a good post once per week.
    Leora Wenger recently posted… Case Study: Suggestions for a Website StrategyMy Profile

  18. I love your idea of three words instead of the typical resolutions. Your words are inspiring! After an unbelievably intense two months, I am not quite ready to define my New Year, so I’m taking a few days to regroup. I’ll think of your strategy as I ponder my direction for 2012. Thank you!
    Bonnie Anderson recently posted… The Conversation Heard ‘Round the World (reposted from April 26, 2011)My Profile

  19. Three great things to focus on. There’s an interesting paradox that exists with allowing. You can work hard and plan and prepare and hold your intentions, but sometimes when you step back from trying and allow events to unfold naturally, everything you were trying for before just comes to you.
    Jon Anscher recently posted… The Four Pillars of SEO: An Approach to Content StrategyMy Profile

  20. As always, Michelle, you already INSPIRE! I know I’ve said a hundred different times to you and about you! LOL I love the idea of 3 words rather than 1 word. I chose my one word “Happy” but after thinking about it and with the 3 word concept … this is much better for me. The funny thing, for many eyes one of my mantra’s has always been “Dream ~ Believe ~ Inspire” — it was even on my business cards LOL And I take it with me everywhere I go and in everything that I do.

    so changing “happy” to my 3 words ….
    Optimistic: I am, by nature the eternal optimist, but this year I am focusing more on staying optimistic even when others are pessimistic. In other words, I am ignoring all ((insert name, situation, etc.))’s toxic drama and I am being OPTIMISTIC about it ;)

    Inspire: I have to keep it ;) I want to inspire others, to share with others what I can, to help others build their dreams and to inspire others to dream … hehe dream ~ believe ~ inspire — It’s like a circle really. OMG I am really a dork LOL

    Breathe: I’m am the worst at being patient. I feel like I have 1200 (not 12) pokers in the fire and I just don’t get things done like I want to. Then I get burnt and walk away. I am focusing more on slowing down, breathing, focusing on the task at hand and getting my “to-do” lists done in all aspects of my life ;)

    thanks, AGAIN, Michelle, for the being the Sparkling Inspiration that you are!!!
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy recently posted… Thank You!My Profile

  21. Love your 3 words, Michelle – and sparkle really makes me smile!

    On New Year’s Eve, I choose 3 words for 2012 using my Flashcards for the Soul™ card deck. I like to randomly draw cards and always know the universe always provides just the guidance for growth!

    I’m totally excited with my 3 words and on a mission to inspire with: “Magic, Abundance, and Energy!”

    All the best to you in 2012!!

    MaryAnn D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.
    MaryAnn D’Ambrosio recently posted… Anonymous ExtraordinariesMy Profile

  22. Your comments on allow really resonated for me. Accepting praise it hard. It comes from the same place as criticism. I used to feel fear as I wonder what the comment was going to be. Good or bad. Longer story on that one for sure.

    Great post. Thanks
    Nick Kellet recently posted… music queueMy Profile

  23. Michelle,

    Those 3 words certainly fit you. You are so generous in sharing tips and information throughout the year, you sparkle right through your emails! Thank you for creating this post.

    I had 3 words and 1 theme last year, I picked the theme and the 3 words came through the soul coaching card deck.

    this year I’m going to pick all of them :)

    My words are: Spotlight, Twin Flame, Sexy

    My theme is: Claim

    Spotlight: This is who I am meant to be, in hand analysis my life purpose is Artist in the Spotlight. I spent far too long putting it off!

    Twin Flame: My work, my business, my passion, and one way I express my purpose is to help women allow this wonderful kind of love into their lives, as well as enjoying my own unfolding story.

    Sexy: I’m an Aphrodite archetype FFS and I’m tired of the message that women have to chain up and hide away their sensuality in order to be taken seriously. Feminine sexual power is healthy, wholesome and strong and it’s time it was integrated. That too is part of my work, to show women how to accept that part of themselves and love it and manifest from there.

    Claim as a theme … to say YES! to all the above and to all good in the Universe.

    It was so much fun to write this out, Michelle!

    Chrissy x

  24. My three words for 2012 are balance, glory, and focus. Thanks for a great blog!!

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