Every year since 2012, I have engaged in a ritual I learned from Chris Brogan of selecting three words to guide my year.
The idea is that the three words serve as structural guideposts that keep you aligned with your core values and vision. They help frame daily decisions and actions.
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.
Past Years’ Words
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.
- 2014: Rituals. Relationships. Roar.
- 2015: Trust. Presence. Deep.
- 2016: Voice. Energy. Grace.
- 2017: Release. Open. Trust.
- 2018: Experiment. Engage. Enjoy.
- 2019: Elevate. Illuminate. Collaborate.
- 2020: Joy. Integrate. Share.
Here are my 3 words for 2021:
Create. Collaborate. Connect.
A couple of months ago I spent the weekend with my twin nieces. We made cookies and lemon squares and pizza. We had a picnic. We had dance parties and did yoga. Rather than being tired, I was energized the whole weekend.
I realized it was because I was creating things. I need to create to feel fulfilled. I’m a maker. I like to work with my hands, to patchke and tinker.
My dedicated focus on my healing journey, growing my business, and maintaining this blog have left me little time for creating of anything type, and especially the practice of what Todd Henry calls “unnecessary creating” — creating for no reason.
It’s that unnecessary creating that really fills my soul.
Art. Cooking. Baking. Videos. Collages. Scrapbooking. Even images for social media or templates and guides.
There’s something that comes alive in me when I’m creating, and I need that part back. 2021 will be a year for me to focus on my creative expression in all its forms.
I’m bringing this back because the signs keep pointing me to collaborate. Clearly I need a daily reminder.
Whether I’m working with my stager on a new listing, with an entrepreneur on their course or book launch strategy, helping a team leader implement better rituals to avoid costly drama, or volunteering at a Tony Robbins event (pre-pandemic), what the moments that really fuel me have in common is an element of collaboration: working together with other people in service of a common mission and fueled by the same purpose.
Collaboration comes up repeatedly in my journals as a recurring pattern in the moments when I feel most fulfilled.
Being a solopreneur is lonely and isolating. While I appreciate the support of community, it’s not the same as collaboration.
As I wrote in 2019:
There is something about working with a group of like-hearted individuals in service of a common mission and a shared outcome that elevates even the most mundane and otherwise dreary work.
I realize that one reason I’ve been stuck in my business over the last year has been an absence of collaboration. So this year I’m bringing a renewed focus on collaboration both with peers in service of our clients and in my client relationships themselves.
My feelings of isolation didn’t begin with the global pandemic. For me this really stretches back to 2015 when I started disconnecting from social media after my brain injury.
I had to learn how to connect with myself before I could open to truly connect with others. Now it’s time to reconnect with the world, both through social media and through personal interactions.
Finding the happy medium between giving myself the space I need to focus on my deep work and connecting online has been and will continue to be a challenge. I don’t have an easy answer for how I’ll navigate it. I’m sure it will take a bit of trial and error.
But this isn’t only about social media. It’s also about connecting more intentionally with the people in my life outside of social media, through FaceTime, Zoom, good old fashioned phone calls, and even face to face where possible.
The days when I have a call with a friend are all great days. Those conversations energize me, yet they’ve been too infrequent.
Beyond connecting personally with others I love to connect people I know with each other. I’ve been so insular that I’ve fallen out of this practice.
It’s time to place a renewed focus on nurturing and nourishing connections.
What Are Your 3 Words?
One way to elevate this ritual of My Three Words is by sharing your words. Please share them in the comments blow, or tag me on social media (@reneefishman) and use the hashtag #my3words.
I can’t wait to see what words you’ve chosen.