It’s the second week of January, and by now you’ve probably hit your limit on reading “my 2012 year in review” and “my goals for 2013” blog posts. (I know I have.)
But before I get back to writing about online marketing stuff, I want to share one more piece of insight that I gained from my first ever planning-palooza. It’s an idea that was inspired by Chris Brogan and Alyssa Middleton, among others.
It’s call the Three Words concept, and like most great ideas, it’s pretty simple. When planning your new year business or personal goals, choose 3 words to act as touchstones to remind you of said goals.
Here’s how it works.
Why You Need More Than a Plan of Action
The steps for setting your 2013 business goals probably look like this:
- Your dream
- Your vision, aka how to get there
- Specific goals
- Specific methods
- Weekly schedule
Fairly standard, yes? I bet you’ve all used this system many times before. But have you noticed what’s not on this planning hierarchy?
There’s nothing here that says “Hey, you. I know it’s a disgusting, grey, cold morning, and all you want to do is stay in bed and read trashy novels, but you have to get up and work because of X.”
That’s where the Three Words concept comes in. If we were to add it to the hierarchy, it would be the last bullet point on the list. Not because it’s least important, but because choosing your words can only happen after you’ve done all the planning work.
Choosing and Using Your Three Words
So here’s the deal: your three words are a short summary of your entire plan for the year. Personally, I’d go for positive, action words like “rock star” instead of “successful,” or “sexy” instead of “not fat.”
And, since we’re talking about your entire year’s work, words that are bigger than single concept are better. For example: “Marie Forleo” would be better than “Rock Star” in terms of encapsulating what you want your year to look like.
In his recent blog post, Chris Brogan summed up the three words concept like this: “The three words are a shorthand representation of your bigger story. It’s kind of like how an icon isn’t the software program. It’s just a way for you to mentally access all the work you’re doing.”
My Previous Three Words
Having just stumbled across this concept, I can’t claim that I intentionally set words for previous years. But looking back, there were definitely a couple of words that sum up my yearly goals. They were:
2010 – Survive. Learn everything. Don’t panic.
2011 – Survive. Invest. Grow.
2012 – Focus. Better than 2011. Implement.
As you can see, some of these weren’t positive, and none of them are profound. But hey, it was a start, right?
All of which brings us up to . . .
My Three Words for 2013
Courage – to pursue my vision. As I wrote a couple of posts ago, I have big plans for 2013. But to make those plans a reality, I have to believe that they are possible, reachable, do-able. When I think of courage, I think of myself striding boldly over a horizon. That’s the kind of person I want to be, and that’s what will motivate me to get out of my bed in the mornings and turn on the computer, even when I’d rather not.
Bravery – to do the work that is required. One of my greatest flaws is inconsistency. I have weeks where I tear through my to-do list, and weeks where nothing seems to move at all. Being brave is about facing one’s fears, and my biggest fear is that I don’t have the work ethic it takes to make it big. So, to combat that fear, I’m going to be brave and do the work that’s required each day. When I picture being brave, I picture every action hero in every movie ever made. How’s that for motivation? 😉
Onward! – This is mostly for the weeks in which nothing seems to be moving. Being courageous and brave is great, but there’s still the danger of doing some work that is beneficial, but will not move me in the right direction. For example, cleaning out my inbox is work, but it’s not the kind of work that moves me closer to achieving my big dreams. When I picture onward!, I see either a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail, or Malthesar from Galaxy Quest saying “On, Teb, on!”
What Are Your Three Words?
Now that you too have been introduced to this simple, genius idea, I want to know: what are your three words for 2013? Were they easy to pick (as mine were), or did they require some serious mental contemplation? Either way, let me know in the comments below!
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