My 3 words this year are: faith, become, and mindful. I first read about this approach from Chris Brogan and its simplicity and creativity resonate with me. It works for me to cut through all the clutter, noise and complexities of life and to guide my upcoming year personally and professionally. (I skipped 2018, as my father died 12/20/2017.)
I do have business goals and I do have things I want to focus on in my personal life, but those are the concrete things of life.
The 3 words are about how I show up as a person.
The 3 words approach is effective in its simplicity: Remember 3 words-easy. Three concepts. Three overriding themes to the year.
The 3 words approach helps me with clarity: It takes me awhile to decide as I filter out, reflect and get into the energy of the year.
3 Words Originator #my3words
Chris Brogan started this and writes about it here (excerpt below, but read his post for past years’ words and more on the idea):
“Choose any three words you feel will guide you forward. I can tell you a few things about this:
- 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.”
Although Chris suggests we not explain them, I’ll give you a sense of where mine came from, because ideally this may guide or inspire you in some way to your best year.
As in “Have faith.” I thought of this because the past year I’ve focused on letting things unfold, a step at a time. And then see or choose what’s next. The opposite would be to work through every possibility trying to somehow predict the future. I’m relaxing, settling into what is happening right now, and keeping my thoughts on “now.” I think ahead, but I don’t get attached to an outcome. I’ve done this for years in coaching, not getting attached to an outcome – because it’s the client’s results that count, so I go with their focus. I’ve not been as good with my world.
This is a word which I heard, heard again and heard again. Three times and it becomes important and I listen up. There was Michelle Obama’s book and wonderful journal I received as a birthday gift. There was the children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit suggested to me for reading and is about “becoming.” And the first time I heard the word was studying Carl Rogers, specifically his book “On Becoming a Person.” Magical. Life is about becoming yourself.
To be calm, to stay focused, to truly hear what someone is talking about, staying mindful, in the moment is the key. I can pay attention, but if I’m not mindful about it, I may be giving only half my attention, with thoughts swirling around in my mind.
At the end of this year, as usually happens with my three words, chances are that how I think these themes will unfold will be different or more or expanded.
I’ve found this to be true each year. Let go of the outcome.
What would your three words be for this year? Reflect on what’s important, how you want to “be,” and declutter the rest.
And if you’d like to read more people’s choices, the hashtag search is #my3words.