As we turn the page on a new year, we are poised to take leaps ahead in our dreams and plans, or stagnate in the negativity and unhappiness we have built around us. I find that the best way to climb out of the vat of discontent is to disregard the practice of making resolutions, and instead, focus on three words for the year.
I learned this from Chris Brogan, New York Times bestselling author, publisher of Owner magazine and CEO of Human Business Works, who has promoted choosing three focus words since 2006 (read more here). I thought it was an interesting idea but didn’t try it until 2012. Boy was I sorry I waited that long!
I can only say that 2012 and 2013 have been the most satisfying, productive, developmentally explosive years ever for me. By focusing all my decisions and actions through my three words, I connected more in just a few months than imaginable (CONNECT was one of my 2012 words), and built lasting friendships and business networks.
In 2013, I have enriched my life by considering it a JOURNEY, and enjoying the trip itself, not just the destination (read more here).
So once again, drum roll please as I unveil my three words for 2014.
MOMENT – I will live in the moment this year, aware of what is happening now instead of always looking toward what is next. I catch myself halfway listening to a conversation because I’m planning what else I have to do, or missing things entirely because I’m busy pondering or multi-tasking.
No more. I want to relish what is happening at this very time. It is important to be alert and pay attention to the people, sights, scents, sounds and activities right now and not wonder later what I missed.
Even if I am less than comfortable, it’s important to pay attention. Take the good with the bad, the hot with the cold, the sadness with the joy. The contrasts are what make life richer, and the lows make us appreciate the highs even more.
BALANCE – I have workaholic tendencies and my life is very lopsided. There, I have said it. I have trouble taking time for myself, resting, and paying attention to all the areas of my life that I should. Finding a way to balance these things is going to be a key focus this year, making sure that I set boundaries for work, limits for exercise, and remember to take time off for me.
Changing my mindset is going to be a critical part of finding balance – allowing myself to take time away from responsibilities, planning time to read or watch a movie, making efforts to meet friends and family for activities. I also need to make sure I thoroughly study any new offers of activities or responsibilities to ensure I’m not overextending myself. I find it hard to say no, but I need to learn the word in the proper situations.
DIRECT – I am the director of my life. What an impactful statement. No longer will I be dragged along paths not to my liking, or made to feel like I have no control over a situation. By hustling and making strong decisions, I will create my own future and move toward my dreams. It’s not ok to settle for less than what makes me happy, so I will ensure that I set goals and move toward them. As with Balance, the word no will be important in making sure I can say yes to the right things. It’s not healthy to be so overwhelmed by the wrong activities that you have no energy left for the things you really want to do.
I am enthusiastic about 2014 because I can just feel it will be a year of great things, new people and exciting opportunities. My three words will be the key ingredients in my success.
What three words would change your life?