Forget Resolutions, Choose Three Words for the New Year

Now that we’re in a new year, let’s forget about resolutions, which often end up being disappointments, and focus instead on goals–in three words. What are three things you want to be, do or attain this year?

A Little Background

Two years ago, I decided to start the year with three words that summed up goals I wanted to reach. My words were: healthy, secure and fulfilled.

I had no idea that Chris Brogan has been doing the same thing for even longer and has built a “Brave New Year” motivational program around the concept. (Not a surprise that Chris took this such a big step further. That’s what he does.) So, in the same spirit, I decided to share my three words.

Anyway, this year I wanted to go bolder, brighter even. And I encourage you to do the same.


My first word was inspired by this photo I saw the other day:

The earth without "art" is just "eh"

All my life, I’ve been a writer and an artist (of sorts). As a kid, I was always writing stories and poems and drawing pictures. The art eventually fell away while I was in college. I didn’t have the time to squeeze in studio classes. I write for a living, but there’s so much more I still want to do–and I haven’t been pursuing it.

What have you always wanted to do but aren’t taking any action toward? That could be your first word.


Fun at Longwood

One favorite trait of mine is that I remain a sort of child at heart. But I haven’t set aside enough time to play. I don’t take enough vacation, explore enough of the world or spend enough time with friends.

Instead of putting pressure on myself and framing this as a resolution, I’m opening up my options by simply saying I want to “enjoy.” Enjoy my work, enjoy my time, enjoy my hobbies, enjoy my friends, enjoy my family–the list goes on and on. And, as long as I’ve spent more time enjoying myself by the end of the year, I have succeeded.

What resolution of yours can you turn around and open up like this?


Boy and dog looking out window, with boy's hand on dog

This word is all about continuing to improve relationships and approaching every day and every person with love in my heart. I worked for a CEO once who used to say, “Always assume positive intent.” Sometimes in the stress of a hectic workweek, tempers can get short and relationships with coworkers and customers can be strained. It’s easy–too easy–to go negative and assume the worst.

Note, in the photo above, the simple gesture of caring. It’s often the smaller, simplest things that mean the most.

Making sure that I’m always acting from a good place takes the power away from any external negativity and gives me a better chance to improve outcomes. Those outcomes can include a better work product, stronger working relationships, more long-lasting relationships with customers. And, of course, it applies to my personal life as well.

You might not choose “love” as your word, but I’m guessing you could probably use more positivity in your world too. What word would that be for you?

Three words…that you could do anything with. Three words that could help you in your personal and professional life. Three words that open up far more options that any limited resolutions could do.

So, in 2013, what do you think? Are you going to cling to the same old resolutions or go for the power of three and choose three words?


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