Choosing my three words for this year was a bit easier than in the past.
The past six years I have been choosing three words to guide me through the year.
I place reminders of these words. By working with just three words, I have been able to change habits permanently.
I look back at the three words of previous years and some of them I apply almost every day. They became part of who I am.
The best thing about choosing these three words is that they should be easy to follow along.
Applying last year's (2015) three words was more challenging than other years. On another note they were great tools to make quick and precise decisions on certain issues.
Religious Traditions Behind Resolutions
There are religious traditions behind the New Year's Resolution concept.
As I found on Wikipedia here are a few:
- Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year. They would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
- The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
- In the Medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow." At the end of the Christmas season each year they reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry
Why three words?
I am not a fan of traditions much less religious ones. I want something practical that I can apply throughout the year.
My friend and colleague Chris Brogan introduced me to this exercise years ago. Chris publishes a blog post every year sharing what his three words for the new year will be.
Applying the 3 Words Every Day
It might seem hard to choose three words but even harder to stay on track throughout the year. In the past, I have used a daily software reminder. I have also used text on photographs I have taken around my work space.
Finding a way to remind yourself over the year will keep you on track with your three words. It will make it easier to commit to them.
"Remember that your day is your week is your month is your year. Your success comes from each choice you make along the path. And it’s always your choice." ~ Chris Brogan
My 3 Words Over The Years
My 3 Words for 2016
I believe every interaction we have should have depth. Everything we do we should dig in deeper.
Some of the best experiences I have had during my life have been thanks to how deep I have dug myself into things.
The best relationships I have are because depth. The fact that I make sure those important humans in my life know they matter.
That I try to check up on them often.
As the year starts, I will be focusing my energy more on the people that matter. Those loved ones that I care about and the few I can call real friends.
The past few months I have received many surprises. Individuals that decided to take their time and let me know I am important to them. I want to spread more of that out. I want to also remind close friends and family always of how important they are in my life.
The same with business relationships I want to keep. For new business relationships I want to make sure that if someone is going to do business with us, they understand the value we bring to the table.
That they also know how deep we go into the important issues. How our knowledge of business consultants and understanding technology can help them. How we rank based on experiences of working in diverse and forward-thinking environments.
Those who allow us to dig in deep and enable us to work our magic will receive the best benefits. They will also enable my team and me to feel a lot better about ourselves.
With understanding the depth of any issue or opportunity, I am sure I will be able to stand out from others. Even more importantly serve others with a lot of intention.
The results will be much better and the understanding of the complete picture a lot clearer.
The past six months we have reset many things at Limonade. I have also reset a few things myself on the personal side. They undoubtedly were challenging months, and we succeeded thanks to those changes.
There are bigger challenges for us to face in the next coming months. I want to make sure we can reset ourselves in a more efficient way.
By resetting I mean that every time we have a project we are able to complete the cycle . To get ready for the next project one in a more timely manner. To become a lot leaner in the way we manage all types of projects and daily operations.
WE run into an issue that we would rather leave behind. Make sure we reset quickly and move forward with the future opportunities in front of us. As a small business owner, we sometimes waste too much time on issues we know we can't fix.
The project management platform we use forces us to reset the week's goals and tasks every week. It gives us a perspective on how the week ahead is looking and how we performed. I might have to apply this to other things.
That reset aspect will allow me to logically get ready for the work ahead. It will keep me away from not beat myself up when I don't meet a goal or two. It is sometimes impossible to achieve very positive goals. Practical and smaller goals will allow us to reset and complete a higher percentage of them.
I also want to take a bit of time every morning to write and reset my thoughts by writing. I won't publish most of those writing.
I will be writing with the purpose to reset in a thoughtful way with my morning pages exercise.
A simple reset will allow us to ground ourselves. I help focus on the immediate challenges and objectives in front of us.
My first small business was a dog grooming service I named RJ Pet Service. I was around 14 years old when I started it. Reading every book I could making sure I knew how to groom each dog breed I had as a client.
When it came to dogs without a breed, I remember it gave you some tips on how to create the right look for the dog.
The main point was that you should visualize how your end product (the groomed dog.)
So many times we jump into things and we think that others are seeing what we see. Even worst is when you can't clearly put your ideas on a screen or paper. What you consider to be a solution might create more problems if not expressed in the right way.
When we build our websites we have a 5 step creative process to help our clients see what we are seeing. It brings our customers and partners along in the process. If we did not meet their expectations, we can work along with them to make sure we meet them.
I also have to do a better job of explaining how we work to our newest prospects.
I have to work hard on creating better visualizations on how we work. Creating a clear picture of what the experience will look like if they cooperate with us.
On the personal side, I have to improve my planning. I have to get into the habit to stop what I am doing to visualize if the route I am taking will get me to the outcome I am seeking.
These visualization exercises will be used for my short term goal setting be it financial to fitness goals.
The pause and visualization will help me get to the goal. It will also help me not lose intention of reaching that goal.
Why 3 Words Vs. New Year's Resolutions
For years I had failed at keeping resolutions as many of us do.
The most common reasons participants fail their New Years' Resolutions are:
- setting themselves unrealistic goals
- not keeping track of their progress
- forgetting about it
- too many resolutions
Instead of creating a long, overwhelming list of items I can't follow through with, I rather use this method that has guided me for the past six years.
Choosing three words will allow me not to forget about it and track my progress throughout the year.
Are you choosing three words or stacking the odds against you when following through with a New Year's resolution?
Feel free to share your three words and your approach at starting a new year.