New year. Zero resolutions. Just three words.
Making a list of resolutions each year is setting yourself up for failure. We start out strong. We eat right. We work out. We sit down and start writing the book that’s been percolating in our brains.
One by one, our resolutions fall and we go back to the same old behaviors. I’m not even a fan of trying to start on the first of January.
Plan in Jan
I started doing my planning for the year every January. The craziness of the holiday season is over. It’s bitter cold where I am just west of Chicago. The perfect time to sit, think, and plan!
When I mentioned this to a friend, he asked if I was doing David Seah’s Groundhog Day Resolutions.
Apparently, I was without even knowing it! One new thing I’m starting this year is using his monthly goal review process. You use a month/day pairing to take stock on the third day of the third month, the fourth day of the fourth month, and so on.
For the last few years I’ve also replaced resolutions with Chris Brogan’s My 3 Words exercise.
If you want to give this a shot yourself, define what success means to you in 2017. Then, pick three words to guide how you’ll respond to any challenge or opportunity. The goal is to choose themes that cover every aspect of your personal and professional life.
I’ve been doing this as an exercise for a while now. Here are some of the words I’ve picked:
2013: Growth, Responsive, Create
2014: Flourish, Traction, Metrics
2015: Voice, Starter, Journeyman
2016: Producer, Cultivate, Flow
Keep them on a sticky-note where you’ll see them every day every day. Repeat them to yourself over your morning coffee. Do anything you need to do to keep these words present in your mind.
I asked my friend Rafal Tomal to create this print I put on the wall in my office.
My 3 Words for 2017
Since today is Groundhog Day, the day I begin to put my three words into practice, here they are!
We use questions to learn and dig deeper. We want an answer and explanation for everything. We also use questions to learn about each other and make connections.
I chose “Ask” as a reminder to make a point to actively listen to people (instead of chomping at the bit to speak next).
In 2016 I put a lot of effort and systems into place to be more productive.
To me, “Rhythm” is more about finding your groove than to get stuck in a rut or routine. It reminds me of the balance between spontaneity and distraction.
Hold your breath. Make a wish. count to three
~ Willy Wonka
“Breath” is about slowing down. Taking a calming breath before saying anything or taking any action. Shutting everything else off and focusing on my breath.
It’s also a reminder to make every single one of them count for something.