It was while visiting Leslie last night that she shared a wonderful way to set up an approach to the new year, that she learned from Stephen Hurley (see his word for 2012). Rather than the usual concept of resolutions, which tend to be setups for failures by making one shot goals of things we probably don’t really want to do, she talked about her approach of choosing a word to be her guide for the year.

I like this because it is more open ended, and your success at it is really up to the way you frame and ultimately reflect on it, plus, it is less about failing or succeeding, but more about trying. I’ll leave it to her to share her own word (but maybe it is not a public thing anyhow), but gave some thought to it over the next 24 hours, and my 2012 word will be:

cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by anarchosyn

Now this is not Risk in the sense of doing daredevil feats:

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by postaletrice

or stupid acts of fire:

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Photoportunity

My concept of risk is being more deliberate about trying things outside my usual range of comforts, and they would eb small by notable examples. I have no idea what it might include right now, but really it is ultimately about the effort to Live Different, Try Different, Get Out of the Ruts. Yes, I have had a lot of that in 2011 with all the road travel, but really, once I was in the mode, it was pretty routine to be living on the road.

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Jithin Radhakrishnan

To me, you can never really achieve the ultimately level of risk in making new spaces in your life, it is incremental, it is like one of those mathematical limits that get closer but never reach that value. It leaves room to aim for.

So for me it is just something to keep thinking about in 2012. To me, this is more doable that resolutions.

Or maybe, all I need to to to achieve it all is the perfect sudo command:

xkcd sandwich sudo

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Leslie! yay!

    What struck me about this post is it’s in a very similar vein to mine: More of the same which I wrote on our new year’s day.

    The themes are so similar it’s almost freaking me out….on risk (mine was – let’s see what happens if I…), mathematical link (mine was abstraction), no to NY resolutions, and practically the same conclusion. BUT using different words.


  2. I love this idea. I’m sticking with my three words for 2012: purity, truth, beauty. (One is more zen, but after last year I didn’t want to take any chances.

  3. Alan! First – happy new year to ya! What a great word you’ve chosen for 2012. RISK. It is my word too. Your post was a real treat – as I sit watching the sunset – here in sunny Florida….Reflecting on my own year- and what is to come. Glad to have you included as part of my journey which I hope is full of risk and joy!

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