Choosing three focus words each year helps me avoid the failure that inevitably accompanies the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions.
Following the lead of Chris Brogan, a few years ago I began choosing three focus words to take me through the year (Read about Chris’s three words for 2016 here).
What I have found is that the words keep me focused and on task, give me a lens through which to view my choices and decisions, and they make me more productive and thoughtful in how I live my life.
Past words have included “connect,” which opened me up to build a network of trusted friends and colleagues both online and in person. Words like “moment” and “journey” have helped me focus more on the present.
One practice that Chris Brogan recommends is to look at them daily – each morning – to start the day with the right focus. I made the mistake of not revisiting them frequently this past year and they slipped out of mind. I have made the graphic of the words the background of my laptop – so I will see them every time I turn it on!
My three words for 2017 are DO, FIRST-DOWN and SEE.
DO means more than just action – it’s making sure that my actions are authentic. It comes from a quote from University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban. He says, “What you DO speaks so loudly. It doesn’t matter what you say, it’s what you DO. Put more focus on the DO.” It’s easy to get caught up in the talk, but you must do what you say you will or people will realize you don’t mean it. There is also a tendency for a planner to spend so much time on the plans and the possibilities, that the work never gets done. Spend more time DOING.
FIRST-DOWN is another football reference, but it combats my perfectionist tendencies. Often, a quarterback will attempt a long pass for the touchdown, when all he needs to do is get the few yards for the first-down and then the team has more plays and more time to score. I don’t always have to have things perfect or have it finished, but it is important to move the project or the process forward. I often fail to start something because I am afraid I won’t finish, but it’s important to start and just move it forward a step at a time. Before long – it will be completed. SCORE!
SEE makes me more aware of my surroundings and of the present. I get so in a zone that I forget to notice the people I need to, the scenery going by, and the life that is whirling around me. I need to slow down, be more in the moment, and enjoy each day and all that it brings. I want to end the day with memories and no regrets – instead of not even knowing what I did all day except stay busy.
What are your three words for 2017?