I started a practice back in 2012 called “pick three words.”
The practice is not unique to me. I learned it from a fellow blogger. The idea is to pick three words to build your focus around during the new year. Most people make “resolutions” which fail on average within eleven days. Others set goals, create a plan or make a wish.
Those don’t work for me because they feel like a map, and anytime I travel I think, “How far?” and “How fast?” If at some point I’m not going far or fast enough, then I get discouraged.
A three-words approach feels like a compass and that helps me think more about orientation, not far and fast. What I’m after is a mindset to frame my intentions, guide my choices and remind me of my direction.
My three words last year were “responsibility, journey, and consistency.” Responsibility reminded me to take ownership of decisions I have been putting off or waiting on others to make. Journey means I will journey “along side” not “ahead of” my family. I have a tendency to pre-decide family decisions, and then try to convince my family of those decisions. We’ve been on a journey together, and I am learning to include them. Consistency helped me write my thoughts weekly and incorporate them into this blog (thanks to the many who read those thoughts).
How did I do last year? Better in some areas than others, and that’s the key: direction NOT perfection.
The words serve to focus your intentions on three important areas for improvement during the new year. You make the first word about yourself, the second word about your loved ones and the third word about your work.
Here are my three words for this year:
Chart – There’s a lot of ocean out there, I can’t sail it all, I have to CHART my course. I often chase too many “what if’s” and as a result I cover a lot of ocean without reaching a destination. I’m going to chart 2 or 3 landmarks (efforts) and put my “back” into rowing towards them.
Now – I am passing a few life-markers this year including 24 years of marriage. I want to be present in the NOW for my wife and kids. I need to practice mindfulness during conversations and during those monologues in which one of my kids just wants me to pay attention.
Box – I want to contribute the kind of value that really helps an organization move forward. To do that, I need to narrow my services and clarify how those services add value. People talk about getting out-of-the box. I need to get back-in-the BOX, stay in it and create value.
So that’s my three. I’m sharing them with you and others in my community to help me move towards alignment with what’s important.
What about you? Do you have three words for this year?