What up 2012!

Wow, here we are already.  As we reflect on the past year of experiences, challenges, successes, failures, good people, and good places, it would be natural to call out some resolutions for the new year.  That can be a cathartic and inspiring self-reflection process.

After grappling with a couple of resolutions for this year, I spoke with a friend of mine about an approach that takes New Years resolutions to the next level.  You may remember the mention of self-affirmation statements in a previous blog post regarding finding “The Zone” in athletics.  This new approach that I was told about widens that strategy from athletic performance to seeking happiness, success and fulfillment in everyday life.

3 Words

Rather than committing to resolutions that can either be too specific or too vague to truly inspire throughout the year, the idea is to come up with three words that will guide you as you attack 2012.

These words run much deeper than the specific goals that fall by the wayside so quickly, and the more that you think about them, the more applications you will find for them in your life.  They can continue to guide and inspire you even after those short-term goals and resolutions have been achieved.

This is a very cool concept, and I think I’m going to give it a shot.  I certainly have a number of specific goals for myself this year, but I think the holistic application of a couple of key concepts will pay greater dividends in the long term than my resolutions ever would have.

So without further ado, here are my three words:


This means total commitment to whatever I am doing.  I would like to combine this word with the concept of balance in my life so that I am in the present moment at all times.  When I am spending time with my family or my girlfriend, THAT is my priority, not checking emails on my phone or surfing the web.  When I am working, I am working hard and doing as good a job as possible to create opportunities for myself and my co-workers.  When I am outside playing, I am 100% in the present, listening to my heartbeat, paying attention to the sights, sounds and smell of the trail, river, or forest.  I am not worrying about my student loan payment or a new scratch on my car.


This word represents two things: making the best of any situation, and giving people the benefit of the doubt.  There have been a number of situations that I found myself in in 2011 that I thought were complete disasters, but then miraculously worked out in an unexpected and very good way.  Things happen for a reason, and I know that embracing hardship with a positive attitude will only make my life better.   Also, although I do my best not to, I will admit to holding onto grudges on occasion.  This is going to stop in 2012; it does not do good for any party involved.  Note to self… this includes being nice to other drivers!


What can I say?  I come from a Dutch heritage!  I know how to stretch a penny, but it’s time to open up a bit and trust that it’s all going to work out.  This includes educational institutions that I believe in, humanitarian charity and environmental nonprofits.  This will manifest itself in my personal life and through my business.

Honorable mention- Sustainability.  I want to cut back on that petroleum IV drip as much as possible, and ride my bike and walk around town way more.  This means for work, groceries, social life, and as much else as possible.

Well, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out this year, but at least I’ve made myself accountable to the Blue Ridge Outdoors community!

Now I must ask… what are your three words?

Good Lines.
Chris Gragtmans

Places to Go, Things to See: