Chris is clear to point out that: “The three words idea is built so that you can have something to reflect upon.” Note: This is different from setting goals (which is done in addition to selecting 3 guiding words for the year).
Be sure to check out Chris Brogan’s “3 Words for 2011”, as well as a colleague of his, Justin Levy’s “3 Words for 2011”, both of which explain the purpose behind this 3 Word Exercise much better than I just have.
As Justin explains in his post referenced above, he worked backwards to get to his three words. I, also, over the past month or two, had already been jotting down some notes about my goals for the upcoming year, so now coming up with three words that tie the spirit of each together is a little easier than if I hadn’t already been thinking about this.
Either way, if you are just starting now, don’t feel like you are behind. Do take some soul-searching time to get to three words that are meaningful for you.
If it helps, the way I got to my goals started with planning for some future vacation time to look forward to. From there, I figured out how much money I wanted to spend on travel. That lead me to figure out how much money I wanted to save this year. From there, I figured out what else I wanted/needed to spend my time and money on. And, that’s when I came to deciding what I wanted to accomplish within those time and money parameters. For me, that included: losing weight (through exercising & eating better); writing more (via this blog); and generating some freelance income.
However, even if you don’t have clear goals yet, that’s okay. I was reminded of this when I read a quick post by my online friend, Cricket Walker, who reminded me how it feels to not have a plan or a direction to go, I realized that this is really the first year that my goals are coming together in a way that they aren’t just words on paper that I’d soon be forgetting about, but instead are something I truly believe I can stick to and achieve.
It’s been a gradual (and not all that intentional a) process for me to get to this point, i.e., where goals aren’t just something I’m forcing myself to create, but something that is more part of a checklist to keep myself organized and focused (i.e., to keep my goals top of mind.) That way, when I’m stuck or confused about what to do (or not do), I can go to the question of: “Will this get me to where I want to go, or will this get in the way?”
Who’d think that if you really wanted something you would still need to remind yourself about it? Time has taught me that you really do need to remind yourself. Part of that is reminding yourself to always be aware of what is and isn’t working, what’s getting in the way, and then tracking what’s measureable to keep you accountable to yourself (as well as remind yourself from where you started).
Anyway, that’s how I came to my “3 Words for 2011” to reflect upon: Focus, Awareness, and Accountability.
So, what are your thoughts on this 3 words exercise?