“My 3 Words” is my favorite – and the most helpful – year-end exercise I do. I love Chris Brogan’s process and strongly encourage my colleagues and clients to do it as well. (#My3Words)

How can three words shape what you do personally and professionally? Well, like most things, the simpler it is, the more likely it is to work. 

Here’s how Brogan describes the process in his “My 3 Words for 2024” post:

Select three meaningful words with which to guide any decisions you may need to make in the coming year. The words should point to who you intend to be, what you want to focus on, and how you want to perceive the work of the year ahead. It sounds like a lot, but my first year, the words were “Ask. Do. Share,” and those were very powerful for me. It was one of my best years ever.

The words work well if they help you decide and guide yourself towards your intentions. Not your goals, exactly, but intentions. So, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds, maybe your intention is to eat better foods. Maybe you’ll use a word like “temple” to point out that your body is a temple. Or that you’re building towards something important.

The very very very key word is “Decision.” You’re looking for words that answer questions for you. “Oh, what should I do? I just got a job offer from a crazy new opportunity, but I feel so safe here at work.” If your word is “Adventure,” then maybe this is your year.

I recommend reading the whole post to learn how this process has worked for him over the years.

Last year, I published my first book and I knew that much of my time would be spent promoting it. My 3 Words for 2023 were: Align. Discern. Amplify. 

Align – I needed to make sure my time, energy, and resources were aligned so that I could make an impact. 

Discern – There are a lot of shiny objects and rabbit-hole opportunities for publicity and service offerings in my business. I needed to be smart and focus on the ones that were more likely to be successful, and avoid the ones that would merely stroke my ego. (See also Carol Roth’s ROE vs. ROI – return on ego vs. return on investment.)

Amplify – If you think you are doing too much promotion, that generally means that you are just at the minimum and still have a long way to go to cut through the noise. And the cadence you need to adhere to can be exhausting. Trust me on this. 

So, what have I picked for 2024?

While it might seem like I went in a completely different direction, I feel this is just a more sustainable expression of my previous words. My 3 Words for 2024 are: Ease. Joy. Abundance. 

I am planning on continuing to promote my business and my book in 2024, but I am going to have fun with it. Instead of feeling like I am constantly pushing a boulder up a hill, I am going to do things that seem fun and get me into flow, even though they may not be easy. 

Ease, for me, is following the market trends and technology shifts, not fighting them. 

Joy, for me, is available everywhere and I am committed to looking for it, even in the frustration I know I will be facing with some of the new technology I will have to learn this year. 

Abundance of energy, creative ideas, insights, and financial success is what I hope to create for myself. 

And here’s a bonus suggestion! My co-coach, Angie Rome Gonzalez, suggests that you give your year a name. I named 2024 “The Year of Amplification.”

Now that I have my lens through which I will evaluate opportunities, I feel ready to face the new year. 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash