New month, new opportunities

3 words 2013It’s a new week, a new month, and a new chance to get things done and be productive.

Also this is a new chance to look back at the past month and review what worked, what didn’t, and make some plans to improve. Refocusing on my three words (read more here) helps get me back on the right track.

JOURNEY has continued to be the most critical of my focus words, as I remind myself daily that it is important to revel in the journey itself, and all its twists and turns, rather than stay focused only on the destination. What an eye-opener this concept has been!

In the past, I have stuck to the interstates of life and just seen the signposts – but this year, I’m taking back roads with all their scenery, local color and crazy characters. What a difference it makes in the richness of the experiences, the connections I have made, and the range of emotions I’ve felt. Because I slowed down, I have made friends in unexpected places, found new ways to learn, and become more of a noticer of the beauty of the hand of God around me.

Sadly, I have not been as diligent about focusing on my other words, APPRECIATE and DELIGHT. I won’t make excuses; I just need to remember that there are THREE focus words, not just the one!

Actually, by paying attention to both of these words, my journey would be even more enhanced, so it is important to remember to say thank you, write my thank you letters weekly, and be more attentive to what those around me have done or are doing that needs to be appreciated. Also, the appreciation is not for things people have done for me, although that might be the case, but more in looking at what people are doing in general for which I want to show appreciate.

For instance, the nonprofit where I work is highly dependent on volunteers to accomplish our mission. It is so important to thank these dedicated people for their service to the community and the people in need around us.

One thing I have been doing that helps me recognize moments of delight is considering “3 good things” at the end of each day (read more here). While that activity helps me look back at the day and notice the good that has happened, I also need to be more aware of those times of delight in the moment. It’s all part of the journey of learning.

The opportunity to regroup and relaunch my three words each month is so important, and part of why this process works for me better than making resolutions or setting wild goals. Looking at all parts of my life through the lens of my three words keeps me grounded and moving in the right direction, even though I might have to recalculate the route every once in a while.

How are you doing with your three words, or if you haven’t chosen them, what might your three words be?