Since 2006, I’ve been inviting people to shift how they approach their year and how they frame their goals and intentions. I created the “My 3 Words” exercise because most resolutions aren’t especially helpful. We decide something vague like “I’ve gotta get in shape” or “I’ve gotta quit smoking” or “I need to make more money” but while these are all great goals, they’re not really useful as ways to guide our activities throughout the year. I thought that maybe we could come up with something better, something more useful, something that would work within our thought process daily and not just for the first seven or eight days of the new year.
What Goes Into Your Three Words?
The first point I’d like to make is that it rarely works for you if you create a phrase. “Do the work,” for instance, is a great thing to think about, but it kind of wastes two words. If you just wrote “work,” you’d still get the gist of the intention. That frees up two words for something else.
Secondly, I’ve heard from people over the past 8 years who have told me that vague words rarely help. “Focus” is on a lot of people’s 3 words lists and people report back that it doesn’t help them. Why? Because the word “focus” is a bit too, well, unfocused. It’s a word in search of a problem.
Last, I believe with all my heart that negative words aren’t especially helpful. It’s really hard to rally to a word or mission that starts with “Don’t.”
So, if I were to give you some recommendations, pick three words that can be packed with depth. Pick words that will be your own.
Three Words of Years Past
2006 – Ask. Do. Share
2007 – Seek. Frame. Build. Bridge (yes, that was 4. It also was a less successful year.)
2008 – Believe. Loops.Farm
2009 – Equip. Armies. Needles
2010 – Ecosystems. Owners. Kings
2011 – Reinvest. Package. Flow
2012 – Temple. Untangle. Practice
2013 – Walt. Ender. Monchu
Lifestyle. Monchu. Black.
My 3 Words For 2015
Plan – Work the plan. And if there’s no plan, implement the plan. I chase a lot of “hey, what if” or “maybe this is a better way” and the like. You know how everyone likes to think outside the box? I need to make the box and stay in it.
Leverage – I can work on a million things, or I can work on those things that will change the world in big ways. I’ll die either way. Might as well go big. My goal is to help YOU by finding those parts of life and business will give you the most leverage in your days.
Fabric – In this case, I mean the essential structure of things. The fabric of connected people, the fabric of how my physical health improves my business world. Connective tissue. This one means the world to me. It’s my community-building goal, my family-building goal, my way to ensure that everything I’m doing is in alignment with my work and my life.
Those are my three. They are how I intend to live the rest of the year.
What should YOU do? SHARE your three words! Share them with the people in the community you frequent. Share them anywhere. Blog them! And if you want, feel free to link back to http://chrisbrogan.com/3-words-2015 so that people get the context of your project. I’d love to read yours. I hope you tweet them to me, share them where you can, etc.
Happy 2015, my friends and allies!