VisionI like the way Chris Brogan does his three words each year and posts them publicly. Resolutions always sounded kind of pompous and a bit like legalese to me. Let’s add in the fact that most people have broken their resolutions or not followed through by now. I found myself thinking that there must be a better way.

Resolutions just don’t work for a lot of people. SMART or SMARTER goals can be helpful for some people – but the failure rate, combined with the fact that many people kind of hate them, is a problem.

So I am trying something new this year.

I am deliberately creating a lens through which I will evaluate what I do and how I will spend my time. I have picked six verbs and then expanded a bit on them so I am clear, and also so I can tap into the visceral and emotional feeling of what I should be doing.

Here are my verbs:

New Years Verbs

My New Year’s Verbs seem to be something I can live with. When I look at this list I feel energized and inspired. There is an underlying sense of creativity and fun for me. If I want to dance, am I going to go to tango or salsa or tap? All of them would count. Should I sing, practice my guitar, or make a collage? Should I do yoga at home or go to a class? Should I read a book or blog or watch a video or webinar?

These verbs tap into all aspects of being a well-rounded entrepreneur for me. For the first two years in my business I did not carve out enough time for fun and for exercise. I fell victim to what I laughingly refer to as “fat entrepreneur syndrome” where I felt that I would miss out on money, knowledge, or clients if I stepped away from my laptop for too long.

I feel much differently now. Now I realize that stepping away often enables me to come back refreshed and super productive. It frequently takes me much less time to complete tasks after a brisk walk or whatever.

The same is true for creative activities, or meeting with friends and loved ones. Doing something creative or social can improve my happiness and productivity, and can recharge my battery and help me avoid burnout.

I find that I need to look at my personal health and my business with a longer-term view. I need to manage my energy and my time like the precious resources they are. I also need to indulge in a little dolce far niente.

So, instead of feeling hemmed in and kind of cranky about my plans for the New Year, I feel engaged and interested. I feel light. And I think my verbs might already be working their magic. The first working week I signed a new client on Monday, another on Tuesday, and spoke to a great group on Wednesday. Not a bad way to start off 2014!

So what do you think? Does this look interesting? Is this better or worse than the way you currently set goals or make resolutions? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.