Measurable goals have their place, but what matters most cannot be measured. Introducing the My 3 Words process to help you stay the course for what matters most in your life.
The “My 3 Words” Framework for Guiding Your Year
Every year since 2012, I have followed Chris Brogan‘s tradition of selecting three words to guide my year. The three words serve as structural guideposts that keep me aligned with my core values and vision for the year ahead. They help frame decisions and actions I take throughout the year.
My 3 Words creates structure around all of my goals, and especially my non-linear and non-metric goals.
My outcome in choosing my three words is to come up with a set of words that is both broad enough to hold my big vision, and specific enough to guide my daily actions.
The words are both the journey and the destination.
My 3 Words From Previous Years
Here’s a quick look back at my words from previous years.
2012: Empowerment. Relationships. Energy.
2013: Bravery. Consciousness. Action.
With that, at last I am excited to share my three words for 2018.
Experiment. Engage. Enjoy.
There are no rules, only experiments. — Verlyn Klinkenborg
A foundational element of creating long streaks in my daily rituals has been a mindset of that I call “the Lab of Me.” The Lab of Me is a reminder that I’m testing. My daily fitness, meditation, writing, blogging, and many others have come out of that Lab.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of “not knowing” the best way to achieve a result. Especially when people want to tell me the proven way.
The truth is that whatever people tell you works is based on what worked until today; there’s no guarantee that that it will work tomorrow.
People change. Algorithms change. The world changes.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of believing there is just one “right” way to do something. The reality is that we never know what will work.
Everything is an experiment.
In any moment when I start to feel stuck, overwhelmed by a myriad options, confused about which is the “best” way or the “best” practice, or uncertain about whether something will work, I will remember:
There are no rules, only experiments.
Full engagement implies a fundamental shift in the way we live our lives. — Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
We often use engage to mean “involving something or someone else.”
The meaning of the word originated with the self: to pledge oneself to do something or to enter into an activity. Everything external starts internally.
This is my intention: to fully engage. To pledge myself to my work, my clients, the results I want to achieve.
To be fully engaged requires effectively managing energy in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms.
Full engagement is the cornerstone of peak performance and productivity. It’s the essential factor in performing your best without sacrificing your health, happiness or passion for life.
In a world where most people seem to be only half-engaged, at best, I want to remember that life happens in the moments, and the moments are memorable only if I’m fully engaged.
I realized that I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life. — Kerry Washington
This is all about having fun. Fun is one of my core values, but somewhere along the way, I lost my connection to fun. Looking back on my planning notes from last year, I didn’t see much fun embedded into the dreams and plans I created. Even the process of planning itself wasn’t fun.
The past few years have been filled with a heaviness and a darkness from which I’m ready to emerge. And in that emergence I must reconnect to fun.
Life is filled with uncertainty. Deferring our enjoyment until we reach a certain point, or until we check off all the boxes on the to-do list, feels silly and counter-productive. I want to remind myself to enjoy the process. And if I’m not enjoying the process, I must find a path that I do enjoy.
This doesn’t mean that there isn’t hard work; rather, it’s about finding ways to do the work that are enjoyable to me.
Life is not just about getting to a destination, but about enjoying the journey.
Experiment. Engage. Enjoy.
I keep these words in front of me as daily reminders. I look forward to seeing how they shape my Year of Emergence.
Share YOUR Words
I’d love to hear your words.
If you haven’t done this before, know that it’s not too late. Your fresh start to the year can happen at any time.
- Please share your words, with a link to your blog post about them (if you wrote one) in the comments.
- Share your words on social media using #my3words.
I can’t wait to see your words!