“Make the words such that they influence your choice of actions, encourage you to decide in favor of your goals, and guide you towards lasting results that you want to experience throughout the year.” ~ Chris Brogan
Happy New Year!
I hope you’ve emerged from the holiday season refreshed and excited about new opportunities ahead.
Really, is there anyone who’s not happy to see 2020 end? While we know dramatic change won’t happen beginning January 1st, I think most of us are glad to metaphorically turn the page to a fresh year; focus on the future; and plan new accomplishments.
For the last seven years, one way I’ve looked forward is to choose three words to guide me through the coming year. I started this after reading Chris Brogan’s blog. Since 2006, Chris has encouraged people to choose three words to frame their goals and intentions for the year.
In 2020, my three words were: vision, clarity, empower. They inspired questions that drove my thinking and work throughout the year.
Vision — How is our vision of ourselves emerging for the year? How will it impact our progress over the next decade? Can we lay the foundation in 2020 for a sustained vision of success?
Clarity — Are we clear about our strengths and our value? Can we convey clear stories of how they show up? Are we clear on our vision and how to achieve it?
Empower — Are we empowered to achieve our vision? Do we have the strength to do so? Do we possess the resources (time, money, skills) to achieve our vision? How do I empower the people in my life–clients, colleagues, and family members–to achieve their visions?
Frankly, I really liked these three words. I even thought about keeping them around for 2021. However, a new year needs new words.
Three Words of Years Past
Here are some of the words I’ve used in the past:
2014: Client Collaborator Content
2015: Launch Convene Trimtab
2016: Focus Connect Launch (again)
2017: Serve Engage Partner
2018: Listen Inspire Actualize
2019: Stewardship Pivot Community
And for 2021…
Choosing my three words for 2021 was interesting. Usually, I begin the process in early December, and I post the results in the last newsletter of the year. However, I was a bit distracted with personal issues this past December and really didn’t put in the necessary effort.
It’s not that I didn’t think about it, I just didn’t devote the energy I usually do at that time of year.
And I fretted about that; knowing I needed to address it as I continued to procrastinate.
Finally, though, things quieted down, and amazingly, my three words emerged:
Trust: I read an article by George Schultz, the former Secretary of State and of the Treasury. On his 100th birthday, he wrote about how trust was so influential throughout his career. I’ve incorporated some of his thoughts around trust.
For me, trust is critical to my work with clients and with my relationships with my family. Embedded in trust is empathy — the ability to feel clients’ and family members’ emotions, which creates connection. Part of that connection is the creation of stories. Also, trust implies faith that commitments will be kept and will be reciprocal.
Local: I tend to be a strategic thinker and consider issues from a global perspective. Local reminds me to focus on the “non-global.” To focus on local/individual issues and concerns that I can impact — both for individuals and my community. If I focus my energy on local factors, I change the world. Kind of a think globally, act locally approach.
CTA: This is a bit of a hack — a cheat. It’s an acronym for three words: Call To Action. It’s a reminder to ensure action in every interaction. Action needs to be at the heart of every encounter. Sometimes that action is just listening; sometimes it’s asking questions that moves someone forward. Every action should leave the person feeling that they received value from the connection.
These words will frame the work I do in 2021 as I hone the tools and programs that help you achieve your goals for the year. Whether you’re a client or a collaborator, I look forward to continuing to do great work together. If you’re a friend, thanks for your support, it means a lot to me. I hope to continue to build on our relationship in 2021.
Can you see the value of using three words to frame your goals for 2021? If so, what three words can you come up with?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
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Image copyright: Chris Dorney