At the end of each year I choose three words to guide me through the upcoming year. It’s a practice I learned from Chris Brogan and have found it to be more effective than any other New Year’s ritual I’ve ever undertaken. Resolutions don’t work. Choosing 3 words does.

In early December I start pondering my choices. I reflect on words from the past year, review goals for the upcoming year and look at what worked and what didn’t work so well.

In the past I’ve had words that have helped me establish daily habits like writing, working out and meditating. These activities are now so ingrained that I don’t I need to choose words to assist me in these parts of my life.

I turn to other aspects –

  • What are my business plans for the upcoming year and where do I feel I need support?
  • How is my personal life working? Is there a goal around this? 
  • What about my health? Am I staying committed to my healthy lifestyle?
  • Creativity – how’s that going?
  • Work/life balance?

I cast the net wide and usually start with 6 – 8 words that feel right. Then I contemplate each word and try to justify the choice. I often discuss my words with my family – my sons are really good at seeing my truths and don’t hesitate to bring them to me.

And I continue to write about the words, ponder them, and roll them about for a while. Until I have 3, and 3 only, that resonate, that feel right.

Last year my words were:

  • Resolve
  • Goddess
  • Creativity

These words guided me extremely well, perhaps the best ever, and I feel fortunate to have had the wisdom to make these choices.

In 2020 my words are:

Actualize: I have too many plans. I like researching and planning more than doing. I like making lists. I like using different apps to keep me organized. Perhaps it’s a Virgo trait, perhaps there’s a bit of fear about jumping into the unknown, I’m not sure. But I do know what I must do to move forward, the steps are outlined on my various lists, and now I need to take action. Nike said it best, just do it!

Declutter. I am committed to decluttering my house, dealing with paperwork, resolving some personal issues, and, most importantly, establishing better habits around all of the above. One of the greatest gifts I can give my family is to leave my affairs and my house in order. Although I am not planning on going anywhere in the near future, it’s time to declutter my life!

Value. I am valuable. I must put myself first. Every time. I don’t need to prove that I’m not selfish or self-centred, because I’m not. I must fully let my own light shine and make this ongoing commitment to myself. As I let my own light shine I unconsciously give others permission to do the same. (see below for full poem) I will let my light shine by valuing myself. If my light is too bright for others, they can put on sunglasses.

Now it’s your turn. What are your 3 words for 2020? Use the hashtag #my3words and share them on social media so we can all learn from each other. The process of choosing the words is remarkably helpful.

Once you’ve chosen your words, print them out and post them where you can see them every day. 

This is the beginning of a New Year and a new decade. It’s a great opportunity to make a difference and choosing 3 words will support all of your efforts in 2020 and beyond.