In 2011, my 3 words for the year were Create, Move, and Matter. In retrospect, 2011 was a great year and I did a lot to do my 3 words justice. 2012 came along, and I lost focus. Not on my work, or my family, but on what would put me on a path to getting what I wanted out of my personal and professional life. Looking back, 2012 was a great year, but am I any closer to where I want to be as a father, husband, friend, or even a marketer? Perhaps somewhat, but not nearly as close as I should be.
Thanks to Chris Brogan for introducing me to this concept back in 2011 and again this year, and to C.C. Chapman for his latest book “Amazing Things Will Happen” that inspired me to come up with my 3 words for 2013. I’m about half way through C.C.’s book, and heeding his advice, I had to spend some time reflecting, soul-searching, and planning for what I really want in 2013 an beyond.
So, I started making lists of all the things I want, the areas I know I need to improve, and what obstacles real and imagined that have served me not so well as excuses. What I came up with are my 3 words for 2013: Adventure, Celebrate, and Remodel.
If there is one thing I am not is a huge risk taker whether it’s in my personal life of professional life. The decisions I make, the actions I take have all been very calculated, almost over analyzed. I feel like Ben Stiller’s character in Along Came Polly – an overly cautious insurance analyst that constantly measures risk. No risk, no reward could not be more evident, but I’m not talking about huge risks here. I’m talking about trying new things like learning an instrument, a second language, a new sport or physical activity. Professionally, it’s about speaking up in meetings, shooting more video, public speaking. So don’t let laziness, fear, procrastination get in the way…seek and embrace the adventure.
All too often I limit celebration to the major milestones in life: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, promotions, victories, etc. I don’t stop an celebrate the little things. The 10 out of 10 on my daughter’s spelling test. The speech my daughter delivers to her class, the amount of money my wife helped raise for my kids’ school. Celebrate is a bit of a “stop and smell the roses” cliche, but one that can make a huge difference in being the father, husband, friend, co-worker I strive to be. Let’s face it, the digital world in which we live moves so fast, sometimes we don’t celebrate enough of the little wins that add up to make more of a difference in our lives than the big ones.
Just when I think everything is perfect, I realize it isn’t. There is no such thing. There is always the opportunity to remodel, to make it better, more functional, more rewarding. Whether it’s big remodeling projects like a new home, a new body through exercise, a new interest through study, or small remodeling projects like writing a blog post everyday, taking more photos, or watching less TV and reading a book or two every month. Remodeling is about embracing change, taking on something new, and the beauty of remodeling, it’s an adventure, and something to celebrate, which makes it all that much more rewarding.
So, if you haven’t gone through this exercise, I encourage you to try it. C.C. recommends keeping your 3 words visible as a constant reminder – posting on the fridge, in your office, as the wallpaper on your phone or laptop. Doing so will help stay on a path to doing amazing things in 2013.