Over the past few years, I quit making New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I’ve taken to choosing three words as guiding principles for my year. (A grateful nod to Chris Brogan who pioneered this concept.) I find that when I focus on three target words, I have a more fulfilling and successful work and home life.
2016 is no different.
Here are My Three Words from previous years:
Now here are My Three Words for 2016…
“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.” – Sallust
This is the most important of the three words for me because this year I want to align myself better. I want to create more harmony between work and life. I want to create a more harmonious company, where everything we focus on is aligned and congruent with everything else. I want to make things better, and then make more…but only if it fits within the tapestry of what’s already there.
Part of how I plan to do this is to focus on less (projects, products, etc.) so I can do my best work. As a result, I’ll have multiple months with the same overarching theme. I will be batching social media time and administrative work throughout the work week (the “shallow” work) so I can dive into deep work longer and better. After reading Cal Newport’s new book, Deep Work, I’m more committed than ever to doing this. And the only way to do this effectively is to promote harmony in my life.
Shawn Blanc and I dive into harmony in more detail in our joint effort, The Awareness Building Class. You can learn more about it here.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
I’ve not been consistent with living a healthy lifestyle over the years. I go in with the best of intentions, but then fail to give those intentions the attention they need to be effective over the long term. This year I pledge to make that change. I know that making Health one of My Three Words will go a long way in accomplishing that.
I put everything I take on up against My Three Words to see if it is aligned with them. So, if a project doesn’t at least align with two of My Three Words then I don’t take it on. As a result, I know that by making Health one of My Three Words, every choice I make will revolve around living a healthier lifestyle. And I’m not just talking physical health. I’m talking emotional, mental, and spiritual health too. The projects I take on and the things that I need and want to do will be guided partially by how healthy they are for me to work on. Two of my Monthly Themes alone have been devoted to physical well-being. I’ve never done that before. Let’s see how doing that works!
“By helping others, you will learn how to help yourselves.” – Aung San Suu Kyi
This final word ties in nicely with the ones I used in 2015 (Generosity, Gratitude, Growth). It’s also one that works alongside Harmony very well. Even Health is served by this word because in order for me to more helpful to others, I need to be in better health to do so.
I do this work to help people. I do it to help people that want a simple, durable, and flexible personal productivity approach. I do it to help my family have the freedom to spend more time doing what they really need and want to do. I do it to give myself the same privileges.
But I want to help better.
That will mean releasing less products so I can help people with existing ones even better. That will mean taking on less Productivityist Coaching clients myself so I can help my current clientele better. (But it will also mean bringing on more Productivityist Coaches so that I can still indirectly help more people at the same time.)
In the first of the Productivityist Films series, I offer up a two minute walkthrough of why choosing My Three Words is so valuable to me.
Ultimately, I’m proud of the words I’ve chosen for My Three Words for 2016. They match up well with who I am and who I want to be. They are better than resolutions or a mission statement. They are simple ways for me to make better decisions with what tasks I do and where I invest my time in the months ahead.
And that’s exactly what they are designed to do.
Choosing My Three Words is an integral part of The TimeCrafting Method, which is part of my annual planning process. Click here to learn more!