Every year, I go through an exercise where we take three words and use them as the central focus of your goals and efforts for the year to come. Instead of saying “I want to lose 30 pounds” and then forgetting about the goal a day later, I might have something like “green” that reminds me to eat more plant-based foods at every meal, or similar.
The idea is that the words you choose will go past being a simple goal and will become part of the way you identify yourself, and thus, a guiding light for your efforts.
How to Choose Your Three Words
Lots of people pick words that remind them to take a certain action, or to be a certain way. Over the years, I’ve used both methods. Sometimes, my words are a verb. Other times, they’re a bit more complex. The idea is to use the words as triggers for actions you intend to take, and maybe other actions you seek to avoid.
Maybe you want to publish your first book in 2014. That might make one of your words “published.” But the question is, will that remind you DAILY to take an action? Maybe you make the word “300,” as in “write 300 words a day, every day, with no excuses.” See how that works?
Choose three words that reflect every aspect of your life, if you can. If you work too hard on work, your home life and/or your health might suffer. Can you be more holistic in your choices? Maybe the same “300” that reminds you to write your words will elicit the “300” movie, with Spartan warriors, more abs than you can count, and a strong reminder to hit the gym every day. See? Now you’re covering two bases with one word. Heck, maybe you can write your significant other and/or your kids 300 little notes throughout the year to show you love them. Wow! That means you’ve got three parts of your life covered!
And this is important: it has to mean something to you. Who cares if others don’t get it?
My 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
My Three Words for 2014
Lifestyle – I’m using this to cover my fitness/health efforts, my financial health, my choices in how I spend my time. It’s a big one covering much more than the word usually covers.
Monchu – The network is everything. I’m committed to doing even more for the people I serve in 2014. This is a huge focus for me, my business, my speeches, my pursuits. Oh wait, maybe you don’t know what the word Monchu means.
Black – As in “get in the black.” I don’t mean my finances (though I’ll be working on financial strengthening this coming year), but also my life choices, my ability to build the marketplace to achieve what I can help it accomplish. I mean to invest in my world and grow my capabilities. The general feeling when I say this word in my own head is “all is right with the world.” That’s the goal.
And Now, Your Turn
The very best part of writing this post is asking you for your three words. I’d love to know what YOU want to change in 2014, and how you’ll accomplish it. Feel free to share your three words below, or share a link to your own post about your three words (note: it takes me a while to approve any links in posts, so forgive me any delays). I’m so excited to hear what you come up with for YOUR three words.
And One More Thing
If you’re interested, over 300 really dedicated people have joined the Brave New Year project to expand upon their commitment to their three words, and to accomplish more of their goals in 2014. You won’t only learn all kinds of new actionable techniques for doing more of what you want to do, but you’ll meet 300 or more allies, all dedicated to helping you reach your goals. The friendships inside our little private community are starting to outweigh the value of the course.
Please consider checking out Brave New Year for that next level kind of success. But in any case, please share your three words. I’m eager to know!