My 3 Words for 2018

Condado Beach

I'm getting ready for the New Year without wasting my time with unachievable resolutions.

If there was a year that I was able to apply the many ingredients that life has given me it had to be this one. A few years ago at the First Misfit Conference, I met Pamela Slim who wrote the book "Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Togetherir?t=cis02-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1591846196 52 Books in 1 Year Challenge".

Pamela helped me understand how we acquire many talents and knowledge with our different life experiences. Pamela simplifies all these life lessons as ingredients.

The first 9 months of the year

The first 3/4ths of the year were filled with lots of experimentation and a failed attempt at building a different type of business from what I do know for a living.

I also tested out some new services such as offering an ideal WordPress environment for folks who want to build their own websites and managing Instagram accounts to drive business.

The first 9 months of the year were very challenging but we did a great job taking care of our existing clients. Many of them have been with us since we started our business. 

Puerto Rican Flag La Guancha

Hurricane Maria Changed our Direction and our Lives

Then as we started gaining some traction and landed a few new smaller projects, Hurricane Irma hit us and hindered our business operations for about a week. Less than two weeks later Hurricane Maria made landfall and changed the way I see life.

Although we prepared as much as we could, we ended up having to leave the island for 38 days to make sure we had communications with our clients, food, water, and other essential things.

Hurricane Maria tested me in many aspects of basic survival and business continuity. My years in the military coupled with an IT security background ( I helped businesses prepare for disasters) and the worst case scenarios, helped me out.

The life experiences of 2017 will bring us into 2018 a lot stronger and smarter.

My life experiences and the help of beautiful friends got us over the many hurdles that Hurricane Maria put in front of us fairly quickly. I am grateful for everyone including Chris Brogan, Nando Caban, Rahul Naroola, Joseph Harrell, Joe Sorge, Michael Bertrand, Lisa Horner, Lois Ardito, Noel Sepulveda, Nicko Karagiorgos, and the many who helped us in significant ways to overcome the setbacks we had after the Hurricane.

Getting Ready for the New Year 2018

To get ready for 2018 I have already chosen my three words that will guide me throughout the year.

I have been doing this exercise since 2010 when I prepared my first three words in what was a crucial year for me; it was the first year as a Dad.

This past year I can say that my three words for last year worked to help us get through the challenges of the year and those that arose after Hurricane Maria. 

So without delay here are my three words for 2018.

Apple and Pumpkin Picking

My 3 Words for The New Year 2018








Last year I went with the flow of things as they appeared. I did not plan as usual or much less have a direction towards every goal I set. I sort of approached everything I was faced with and dealt with it. 

This year I want to make sure I plan and map everything I have to accomplish. From the business side to some personal goals I am working on. 

Mapping out what the first 6 months will look like and then evaluate them will help me achieve more and also keep track of what is a priority at that particular moment. 

I will be mapping everything from every tool we use for personal and business projects to what places we want to visit, and some experiences we want to have in 2018. 

Having a direction with some specific details will definitely help us embrace the new year and cycle we are faced with. 

Daniela Watching the Morning Show at Magic Kingdom


Sometimes we are so focused on work and our regular routines we forget there is a world to see even just a few blocks from where we live. I remember living for 4 years near one of the only natural hot springs on the Island. I ran by it almost every day but never went in. 

I want to make sure 2018 gets me out and about to explore what my Island has to offer. I also want to leave the Island and make my first international trip. My last few international trips were with the Army in 2002. It's a different objective when you are a soldier in a host nation and are restricted to work than when you are a tourist. 

I want to get my first passport stamp and also have my daughter get her first one. 

The first few weeks of the year I will be focusing on Mapping out what we want to explore and make sure I make time for it. 

There is a lot to absorb when we are out and about. I need to get out more. 

Condado beach - photos of puerto rico


One thing we learned during 2017 based on feedback from those close to us and clients was how our approach towards many things is methodical and scientific. 

We incorporate creative projects and tie them into our processes to make sure we bring the results our clients expect of us or if we are lucky enough exceed their expectations. 

We also see that many of the skills we have acquired working with clients and partners who are the best at what they do have helped us get a better understanding and sharpen our skills. 

In 2017 I did not write or share as much as I wanted. 

I want to make sure I can transfer as much as I can to others so they can understand the value that I bring and also how easy life can be if you use the knowledge you have and apply it to your goals. 

Being able to transfer the knowledge in the experiences we have to those who are interested would be my overall goal of 2018. Only that way I can continue pursuing bigger and better projects. 

It also brings the right kind of people I want to work with and learn from. So the transfer of knowledge and other aspects goes both ways. 


I Prefer 3 Words Vs. New Year's Resolutions

I have failed at keeping resolutions.

The most common reasons participants fail their New Years' Resolutions are:

  • setting 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?


Religious Traditions Behind Resolutions

There are religious traditions behind the New Year's Resolution concept.

As I found on Wikipedia here are a few:

  1. Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year. They would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
  2. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
  3. 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 workspace.

Finding a way to remind yourself of 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

Condado Beach Sunset

My 3 Words Over The Years

  • 2011

    Renew, Focus, and Complete

  • 2012

    Sharing, Purpose, and Organic

  • 2013

    Brief, Fluid, and Control

  • 2014

    Observe, Release, and Substract

  • 2015

    Selfish, Sharpen, and Publish

  • 2016

    Depth, Reset, and Visualize

  • 2017

    Flow, Pause, and Repeat

Over the years I have realized that I can control most of the outcomes of what I plan and expect. 

As I embrace the new year, I want you to join me in building the courage to overcome the fears we might have of what is to come. 

Happy New Year!Raúl at Via Napoli


Share Your Three Words

Feel free to share your three words and your approach to starting a new year in the comments area or contact me directly. 

Comment Below



  1. Paul O'Mahony on January 2, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Raul – what a lovely way you’ve presented your 3 words – and your approach to this year.

  2. Lula Bon on January 6, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Love it! La palabra de Map 🗺 me tripea y me gustaría saber más de ella. Había dejado de hacer mis 3 palabras. I might like one to be Alpha! 😊 🤓 What you think my friend?