Instead of New Year’s resolutions, I practice Chris Brogan’s “My Three Words” exercise.
Rather than writing a list of unrealistic goals for the year, you think up three words that will guide every decision you make over the upcoming year.
The goal is to choose themes that cover every aspect of your personal and professional life. I try to find words to remind me what I need to do to correct a behavior that kept me from accomplishing my goals from the prior year.
I’ve been doing this for several years:
My 3 Words for 2019
Vanward means being near or moving towards the front, but not being the vanguard at the very front. I learned this word from an Alexa Word of the Day skill, and it stuck in my head.
For me, this means working on my personal brand to be better recognized as a leader. I don’t care if I’m an “A-lister” in the WordPress world, but I do want to be recognized as a leader and valuable member of the community.
It also is meant to drive me to always be moving forward and striving to achieve better results.
I ran my first ever 5k race in 2018. My goal was just to finish the race without walking at all. Of course I checked the results. My time fell just inside the bottom third of my age group. Not a bad result for my first 5k, but I will use “Vanward” to push myself to that top third!
A machine as something that performs with a high level of endurance while still maintaining high quality results.
I mentioned running already, and some people just seem like they are a machine when they run or workout. They get into a zone. I want to be able to get into that flow both physically and mentally.
Additionally, Machine Learning is the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. I want to learn more from experience and what I’ve already learned.
Obviously I don’t mean “machine” as being unfeeling or uncaring. It’s about performing at my best without distractions or doubt.
Back in 2013, the first time I ever did the My Three Words, I chose Create.
While that was a verb about creating content, here I mean Creative as a noun. Being a Creative.
It’s common (but not without a bit of controversy) to call artists and designers a creative. Many refer to themselves that way. Even though I don’t consider myself a designer, that doesn’t mean I can’t be a creative.
Creativity is the ability to produce an idea that is novel, good, and useful. A Creative is someone that does this consistently.
It also directs me to find creative outlets. I barely touched any of my guitars this past year, my puppets have been kept stored in a box, I have just a handful of partially written stories,, and obviously this blog has been badly neglected.
Being a Creative means I will allow my wind to wander in all aspects of my life.
Vanward, Machine, Creative.
Those are the guideposts that will influence every single decision I make this year and where I focus my energy to make 2019 my best year yet!