My 3 Words for 2012

Chris Brogan’s writing appears pretty regularly in my “Mid-Week Balance” blog feature, and he has been an important public voice about the experience of depression and the need for treatment.  This year, one of my favorite psychologists, Dr. Susan Giurleo, introduced me to a blog exercise of Chris Brogan’s that I’m excited to try.

Here it is.  The exercise includes choosing three words that you wants to serve as a focus for your life and work throughout the year.  After determining your words, the next step is to share those words with your communities, so that you receive support in remaining connected to the goals.

I talk often with my clients about the importance and power of writing.  Part of my commitment as a psychologist is to make sure that I “walk the talk.”  So, I’m sharing my three words here, and I hope that you feel free to do so in the comments.

My three words for 2012 are: Health, Compassion, and Commitment


Health is a word that has multiple layers of meaning as I look ahead at the year.  For my practice, the word health means that I will continue to focus on providing services that meet the needs of those patients and caregivers who are affected by serious illness.  These services will include direct therapy, consultation with physicians and care teams, and blog articles.  I hope to expand those services to include e-book products and group therapy.

Personally, the word health means that I will remember to model healthy habits for my clients.  That includes bringing enough food to the office to nourish me on busy days, taking time to connect with friends and colleagues, savoring exercise, and increasing my personal meditation practice.  It also means reminding myself that I have to take time out for regular medical check-ups, and the connections that nourish my emotional health.


Compassion for others is at the heart of why I practice therapy.  When I work, I have the privilege of creating space to notice, name, and begin the healing of pain.  Throughout the year, I hope to challenge myself to find new ways to provide compassion and support by providing a variety of therapeutic products and services.

Compassion for myself means that I don’t spend a lot of time and energy beating myself up for things that I failed to do.  It means that if I don’t meet a goal exactly as I hoped I would, I respond gently.  I try to reassess, learn from what went wrong, and move forward.  For example, this is a post I hoped to share last week.  I got sick.  Instead of beating myself up about not posting “on time,” I opted to honor my intention to be compassionate.  I let my body heal, and took the time to write the post I wanted to write.


When I reflect on the word “connection” for my practice, I find myself thinking about networking.  As 2012 unfolds, I intend to connect with more of the medical community.  That way, I can support treatment teams that focus on whole person health, which I believe is the best care for my clients.

Personally, connection reminds me that building a business and a family at the same time has meant that my life got very focused.  This year, I am excited both about nurturing new friendships and re-engaging with important friends.

Now You

I’d love to have lots of links in the comments to other “3 Words” posts.  Whether you share your three words or not, I hope this inspires you to think about the year ahead in a way that is kind and hopeful.


Photo Credit: Abstract for 2012 by


9 thoughts on “My 3 Words for 2012

    1. JoAnn,

      Oh, I like the words already. I’m excited to read the full post! Thanks for stopping by, and being part of the community that will help me stay on track with these words.


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  2. Thanks for sharing this, Ann. This are all great words to live by. I especially resonate with compassion. As you say, it’s why we do the work we do. Practicing compassion for ourselves keeps us more healthy and allows us to give. I marvel at the way compassion melts anger and resentment.

  3. Hi Ann,
    I like how you applied your words to your professional and personal life. I happened to pick different words for each, but I like your approach. It is amazing to me the opportunity that we have as mental health providers to not only serve others, but change, heal and grow ourselves in the process. That never gets boring. 🙂 My three personal words are give, lead and grow.

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