As we kick off the 2015 calendar year, I don’t just look back at the twelve months gone by but I envision the twelve ahead. I’m not a big proponent of New Year’s Resolutions, but I have taken to choosing some trigger words to help me propel the year to come to great heights.
This practice isn’t a new one. In fact, it was Chris Brogan who originated the practice and my former podcasting partner and good friend Michael Schechter who introduced me to the annual tradition a couple of years ago. When I put together my NOW Year Action Plan in late October, I decided what My Three Words for the year ahead were going to be and I will be using them as driving forces for everything I do in 2015.
Before I dive into further detail as to why I choose these words, here’s a link that unveiled My Three Words for 2014.
Here are My Three Words for 2015, in alphabetical order:
”If I could change one thing about myself… I would try to control my generosity. – Jimmy Cliff”
I had been incredibly fortunate in 2014. I was asked to speak at several events. I co-created my first online course. The impact of what I did has been far-reaching. In 2015, I’d like to make that reach extend even further. I’m going to control my generosity…for the better.
I plan on spending more time helping others not just within my area of expertise but on other fronts as well. I want to research worthy causes and donate my time and energy to them. That’s something I haven’t really done in the past with much intent – which means I haven’t paid much attention to that fact either. I want to give more of my time away where I can, which will mean I need to make the most of the time I keep by maintaining an even more disciplined task-based mindset.
”Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. – Melody Beattie”
I was watching an interview that Marie Forleo conducted with Anthony Robbins and he brought up his morning routine. The only thing that we had in common was that we both spent time thinking about what we were grateful – which is something I haven’t done as consistently as I should have in the past few years.
I have a lot to be grateful for, and I don’t want to take it for granted. I have tremendous friends, a fabulous family, and a great career. I’m incredibly grateful for all of these things, and in 2015 I plan to not only reflect on them daily but also look to use gratitude as a way to push through some of the tasks I’ve struggled with in the past.
”Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Viktor E. Frankl”
Last – but certainly not least – is growth. I’m at a point where I need to focus on growth more than ever, not just professionally but personally. Productivityist will grow considerably in 2015 through the addition of more like-minded folks to work with and through the creation of more products and resources for people to use to help them take their productivity to the next level. By bringing more people on board to pitch in I’ll be able to spend more time on personal growth, which includes more reading (beyond using tools like Blinkist and Audible), more family time, and more “me” time.
I’m going to pay more attention on that “space” that Viktor Frankl mentions in the quote above. That’s not only where the growth and freedom happens, but it’s where the magic happens too.
How I Make My Three Words Last All Year Long
So, how am I going to keep My Three Words on top of mind throughout the year? First off, they are stationed in plain view at the top of my yearly calendar – which was recently transferred to The NOW Year Calendar I co-developed with Jesse Phillips of NeuYear. Secondly, I’m now using them as labels in Todoist. They will act as additional catalysts to help me move the right things forward every day. (You can do the same with whatever type of calendar and task management solution you use.) This practice will help me use My Three Words throughout the year, which is far longer than most new year’s resolutions last.
My Three Words aren’t resolutions…they are much more than that. They revolutionize my life well beyond the 365 days the initially represent.
The exercise of choosing three simple – yet personally powerful – words to help guide you in the months ahead is a worthwhile practice. They will help you when you’re stuck. They will help you when you plan. And they will help you craft a year that inspires action and delivers monumental results.
A version of this article appeared in The Productivityist Newsletter in early December 2014. To get a first look at content that may appear here at the blog – as well as exclusive content – every week, subscribe to the newsletter using this link. Do so, and you’ll also get a copy of my manifesto, The Way of The Productivityist, for free.