At the start of each year, I follow Chris Brogan’s My Three Words exercise. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions that are doomed to fail, I choose three words to guide me through the entire year.
I’ve found that the concept of three words allows me to think in more dimensions about what I want to do with my life and it lets me apply lots of tangible goals instead of what most people do when they focus on just a finite task. ~ Chris Brogan
They work better than resolutions because they act as a reminder of how to consider every opportunity, challenge, and decision you’ll face in the upcoming year.
I’ve been doing this for several years. Here are some of the words I’ve used in the past:
2013: Growth, Responsive, Create
2014: Flourish, Traction, Metrics
2015: Voice, Starter, Journeyman
2016: Producer, Cultivate, Flow
2017: Ask, Rhythm, Breath
My 3 Words for 2018
A few years ago I started hiking the local forest preserves with a Meetup group to get in better shape. Feeling pretty confident, I went on a 10 mile, fast-paced hike. I was trucking along nicely until around mile six when I start falling farther and farther behind. Even though my legs and feet were killing me, I kept going. I pushed through the pain stayed at least within sight of the rest of the group until I finally hit mile 10.
So push means to push harder. Push further. Push code to production.
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for cooking competition shows. I’ve definitely upped my scrambled egg game as a result. One consistent theme is “elevating” a dish by thinking about every single ingredient and how they will work together. It’s the same with craft cocktails, turning mixing into an art.
I chose elevate to mean thinking about detail piece of what I do. Considering every line of code I write to make it more robust, elegant, and professional.
Distilling is purifying a liquid by successive evaporation and condensation. It extracts the essential meaning of something while removing anything that isn’t vital to the end product.
This year, distill means I will systematize everything I do. I will continuously refine every process I follow both in my business and in life.
So, those are my words!
They’re the guideposts for every decision I make this year. These three words will not let me forget about where I want to be or how I’m going to get there.