Though we’re already a month into the new year it is never too late to set goals and resolutions. A couple years ago I learned about a new way to jumpstart the year. It’s a practice called “My 3 Words.”
Created by business guru Chris Brogan, the idea is to pick three words to motivate and encourage you throughout the year. I first began this in 2018 and I’m carrying forth the tradition into 2019. I’m sharing the three words I’ve selected for the year and tips for how you can choose yours.
Choosing Three 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,” Brogan shares.
Since starting this in 2006, Brogan suggests that you stick to only three words. When he has tried fewer or more words, he had less successful years.
Here are some additional tips from Brogan’s 2019 “My 3 Words” blog:
- Don’t make it a phrase. Instead of saying “publish the book” remove the “the” from your statement
- Make the words actionable. “Expand” is better than “bigger.”
- The more utilitarian the word can be, the better. These words have to be your compass.
- Stick with the 3 words all year. Every time I’ve changed one a month or two later, the year mucks up. I can’t explain it, but I can report it.
- Use plain words. Years where I’ve tried “fancy” words with layers of meaning, I lost the thread.
- Personal meaning. The words don’t have to mean anything to anyone but you. Don’t worry about explaining them.
Here are tips from my personal experience:
- Keep a focus. Choose words from any aspect of your life that you’d like to focus on. Business and career are typical, but you may have important goals around health, relationships, or finances.
- Select words that provide growth opportunities. For example, if you want to continue your fitness goals, but you already have an established routine and plan, choose a different word that reflects a stretch goal.
Reviewing Your Words Daily
Sometimes we write down goals and within a few weeks to a month later we forget about them. Well, that won’t work here. Brogan recommends reviewing your words often. He includes the words in his daily activities, like going on a walk.
Examples of 3 Words
If you search Twitter using the hashtag #my3words, you’ll find many folks sharing their words for the year. Brogan encourages sharing through that hashtag, as well as through blog posts or social media.
Here are some of the three words posted on Twitter for 2019:
Discipline, Different, Dedication, Love, Persevere, Focus, Listen, Ask, Prioritize, Integrity, Optimism, Discipline, Strength, Skills
Brogan’s 3 Words for 2019
Station, Stacks, Movement
You can learn more about his words, here.
My 3 Words for 2019
This year my first two words came quickly, but I struggled to find my third word. After some serious brainstorming, this is what I finally came up with. . I wrote my words on my whiteboard for 2019:
This year I will elevate the conversations I have with others. In social situations, I will steer conversations toward inspiration, and away from gossip. I will focus on kindness in every interaction. And I will progress in every area of my life and business.
For business and personal happiness, I am building a community and deepening relationships.
Like Larry the Cable Guy, one of my mottos is “Git ‘Er Done.” I love checking things off my to-do list. In hindsight, I’ve realized that with some prior planning and organization, my activities would take less time and I could reap better results. This year I am focusing on some major projects that will benefit from less action and more forethought. I will focus on organizing my activities to achieve the best outcomes.
Your 3 Words
The three words exercise is a great way to set your year up for success. These tips should help guide you as you decide on your own 3 words. You’ll be on your way to a great 2019!