I’ve been following the practice of choosing “My Three Words” at the beginning of the year for awhile now. The idea comes from Chris Brogan, who started in 2006 with “Ask. Do. Share” as his guiding words for the coming year. This is how he describes the process now:
The My Three Words idea is simple. Choose 3 words (not 1, not 4) that will help guide your choices and actions day to day. Think of them as lighthouses. “Should I say yes to this project?” “Well, does this align with my three words?”
Chris says that the words only need to have meaning for you and that there’s no need to define them. However, I like to write a few words about each one, just so that I don’t forget what I was thinking of at the time. As an example, you can check out my Three Words for 2019.
If you’re interested in trying your hand, here are a few more tips from Chris:
- Don’t make it a phrase. “Publish the book” is a terrible choice. “The” is wasted.
- Try to make the words actionable. “Expand” is better than “bigger.”
- The more utilitarian the word can be, the better. These words have to be your compass.
- Stick with the 3 words all year. Every time I’ve changed one a month or two later, the year mucks up. I can’t explain it. But I can report it.
- Years where I’ve tried “fancy” words with layers of meaning, I lost the thread. Use plain words, maybe.
- BUT the words don’t have to mean anything to anyone but you. Don’t worry about explaining them.
Making your 3 words public is good for one’s accountability and the feedback can be enlightening. So without further ado:
Because I can’t control events but I can control my response to them. I will probably never be a “everything happens for a purpose” person but I also don’t want to accept negativity as a default response. There is still much to be uplifted by in the world.
Care and feeding of my body may need to change in the coming year. I need to make sure that I continue (or return to) what has worked in the past, as well as maintaining awareness of my current physical state.
Provide and expand on the talents and skills that I can provide to others. There is value in applying past experience to current needs but sometimes new solutions are needed. In those cases, I can acquire new knowledge, or choose to refer to another resource.
If you have 3 words that you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments.
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