Maybe you’ve heard of this exercise, maybe you haven’t. It’s something that my friend Chris Brogan started several years ago as a way of replacing New Years Resolutions with words that would serve as guideposts to the various goals that he wanted to accomplish that year.
I use them similarly, in that they serve as reminders to stay grounded in my goals. They can serve to inspire me as well as smack me in the face when I need them to.
I have to say that I didn’t use last year’s Three Words as deliberately as I am setting out to do this year, thus one of my words speaks to that, speaks to not only the process of having and keeping goals, but the work that needs to be done to accomplish them.
One of the things that I like the most about this exercise, is that it’s not about choosing the best words or choosing something that sounds like something I want to happen in 2012. They also aren’t goals in and of themselves. These Three Words emerge from time spent reflecting on last year and setting clear goals (I have 100 for 2012) that I can measure and hold myself accountable to. These Three Words serve me and my goals as both a guide and reminder of what’s important.
So, without further ado; My Three Words for 2012
Reclaim – In 2012, I will be accomplishing goals that serve to reclaim various aspects of my life. I have several specific goals that are served by this word. For example, I want to reclaim my physical and financial health for myself and my family and I have specific goals in each of these areas. The word serves these goals, because it is a reminder that my health is mine to own, both financially and physically. It is something that is directly affected by personal choices and actions I make to create that health. The word Reclaim is also an acknowledgement that it is my fault for poor choices made in the past.
Set – Last year I read the book, “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor. In that book he shared a story where in order to accomplish the goal of learning to play the guitar, he literally put the guitar in between the couch and the television. This was to ensure that when he sat down after a long day, he didn’t create the excuse that his guitar was too far away to practice. I have come to call this “Putting Success In Your Way”.
The word Set will serve as a reminder that I must continue to set up the circumstances for my success. Again, it ties to Reclaim in that I have to own this. Set also requires an understanding of the goal and what it will take to accomplish it.
Do – As in, DO the work. I have some substantial goals for 2012. This is going to be an enormous year for me as you’ll likely learn if you continue to come by here. Everyone of my goals requires work to be done. I cannot accomplish them without this last word. I can’t run a 10K or more if I don’t log the miles ahead of time. I can’t publish anything if I don’t write or more than that, do the research on what I’m writing about. Do is a call to action that says, ‘it’s really great that you’re Reclaiming and Setting the stage and all that, but get moving and do the freaking work’
I’d love to hear what your Three Words are and don’t think it’s too late either.