Well known blogger, human business advocate and all around cool dude, Chris Brogan, shares with his community each year his three words for the upcoming year. They’re not resolutions or goals, but what he calls a lighthouse for his actions and efforts. You can read more about it from him here.
I dig the concept, as I’m not a huge resolution person, but rather someone who makes a few short and long term goals for myself. The lighthouse or road map concept works really well for me because as life happens it’s so easy to get way off track. Distractions, procrastination (in my case), and other factors tend to get in the way of desired plans I might have. Simplicity always reigns in my world, so having these three words to come back to as my intended direction and purpose is extremely helpful. The words don’t symbolize an unrealistic expectation I have for myself, or a big goal I’ve written that is obtainable but still overwhelming to think about. They’re just three small words that can put me back on the right track to achieving what it is that I’ve deemed important in order to grow (integrity, service and growth are my eternal words for living).
I did some significant reflection yesterday, which was really nice. I feel really good about what I accomplished in 2010, but also found that I rarely slow down long enough to truly enjoy it, or seek understanding in the process as it’s happening. The holiday provided me a bit of balance in that area. While I plan to dig a bit deeper, I thought a lot about what I’ve done well, but more about what I haven’t done well or would like to do better. More importantly, what is getting in the way of me accomplishing certain things that I really want to conquer. Out of this inventory came my three guide words, which will help shape my personal and professional goals in 2011.
Courageous: The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. I find that fear has the ability to hold me back from what it is I want to accomplish. More writing, public speaking, being more accountable to managing finances so that we can travel and so on. While logically I know how silly and unproductive fear is, it continues to hold me back from the things I would love to do because of the power I give it in my head. Identifying my fears and understanding why I’m allowing them to hold me back is something I need to dedicate more time to in 2011.
Thorough: Carried through to completion; executed without negligence or omissions. I have so many great thoughts, ideas and topics I’d like to explore across the ‘roles’ I fulfill in life. However, due to my tendency to procrastinate (due to fear, hence the courage), many of these things are never actualized, or I churn out average (or below) work. Organization of my thoughts in order to produce better work, writing, speaking and self in my relationships is paramount this year. I’m getting sick enough of myself in this area to make a commitment to change the behavior:-).
Act: A state of real existence rather than possibility; the doing of a thing. Yes, you see the theme in these words? I do:-). The preceding words are great, but not complete without this one. Act. It’s easy for me to make decisions or say I will do something, and then in the blink of an eye not do it because of the sloth factor, fear factor or the other ‘justifiable’ excuses I may drum up. 2011 is the year of sticking to my guns and really ‘acting’ on what I say in the areas that matter most.
So there you have it. My guide words for the new year. Nice to write them down publicly, as it holds me more accountable. Did you pick some? What are yours?