It’s that time of year. You’re thinking: “how can I make this a better year than last?” Maybe you need a resolution. But no, I’ve found that New Years Resolutions rarely survive the first six or seven days of January. Which is why I started the My 3 Words practice back in 2006. Let me share it with you!
What is the My 3 Words Process?
Every year, at the beginning of the year, choose 3 words that have personal meaning to you that you will use as guideposts for your chosen path forward in the coming year. Make the words such that they influence your choice of actions, encourage you to decide in favor of your goals, and guide you towards lasting results that you want to experience throughout the year.
Write these words down. Post them everywhere. Schedule them to pop up in your calendar. And use these words as part of your decision-making process every day.
How do you Choose Your Words?
The words that you select for My 3 Words are meant to serve as lighthouses to guide you through foggy moments. To that end, it’s important to pick words that have enough meaning that you’ll snap your perspective into alignment with them and build out your days, weeks, months, and year accordingly.
What does that look like?
Let’s say you want to lose 30 pounds in 2018. Maybe one of your words is “green.” It reminds you to fill half your plate with nutritious green vegetables and fresh fruits at every meal, and to make your snacks more healthy, as well.
Maybe you need to focus on your creative projects, like that podcast you’ve been threatening to launch. The word “focus” isn’t bad, but maybe the word “voice” is better, as in “people will benefit from hearing your voice.”
No matter which words you select, make sure they have personal meaning to you that can guide your choices of how you spend your time and which efforts you focus on.
A Couple Quick No-Nos from Lessons Learned
This is just an exercise I created. I’m not some kind of word-warden. But I’ve got over a decade of experience in people’s reported-back results as well as my own. I can tell you some of what doesn’t work well.
- Can I pick two words? Four? – You can do whatever. I’ve found 3 works best.
- My 3 words are a phrase: stop the donkey – Phrases often waste one of 3 precious and powerful words. Why waste a year long focus by making “the” a word?
- Can I change my words mid-year? – You CAN, but most people who do this report having a less-than-successful year.
- I just want to repeat last year’s words – Are you planning on repeating last year’s results? Has the world changed at all? (Not recommended, but even I repeat sometimes.)
- I forced mine to be an acronym: BIG – Cool, if all three words work for you. Not as cool if you picked a word to sacrifice a space just so you could spell “big.”
Again, you do you, but that’s what I’ve experienced.
Previous 3 Words from Me
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
2014 – Lifestyle. Monchu. Black.
2015 – Plan. Leverage. Fabric.
2016 – Home. Shine. Win.
2017 – Move.Voice.Game
My 2017 wasn’t so great. It was a lot like 2016, if I squint. I refuse to let 2018 follow suit.
My 3 Words for 2018
And now, here are My 3 Words for 2018:
Ritual – I’ve fallen away from developing habits and operational tempo in my days. I need to build back rituals and make them the guts of how I structure my life and living. This also reminds me to place great strength and power into the simple matters of life, like choosing what I eat and drink, and ensuring that I treat my life as if I’m making moments instead of just clicking off hours.
Execute – Push the button. Make something happen. Take action. I’ve felt a bit sluggish in 2017. Time to power back up. Execute is a reminder to move and take action and do something instead of just think about it. Have the difficult conversations.
Value – Create value. Make sure my time is dedicated to creating value. Build more and more value for myself and others. Help companies see the value in the projects I intend to help them execute in 2018. That’s the big plan. Be clear that I value myself more.
So, those are my words. They’re personal to my challenges, my efforts, what I want from my family and my life and my business. Yours will be your own, of course.
Share YOUR 3 Words for 2018
I’d LOVE to see what you come up with for 2018. Use the hashtag #my3words and share links to your posts or just your Tweets, your IG posts, or whatever. Wherever you communicate with the world, share your #my3words with us, so we can see what each other comes up with!
I look forward to seeing yours!
This post first appeared on chrisbrogan.com.