Forget the new year’s resolutions this year. Do something simpler. Do something that works. Do three words instead.
A clean slate.
I think a lot of us are ready to see 2016 die in a fire. 2017 is a clean slate; a chance a chance to start over fresh. That’s what we’re doing here at GBXM, right down to our business model. From ongoing, serialized project updates from our Alpha Team (details coming very soon), to how we’re looking to make money publishing a free car magazine—it’s all basically starting over.
If, like me, you’re excited at the prospects of a new year, you might be thinking about making some new year’s resolutions. Don’t. I bet less than 10% of us succeed at them. Instead, think about where you want to be a year from now. What’s your life look like? What do you want to have accomplished? Think about that for a minute.
Think about what it will take for you to achieve those goals. What will be most challenging? Now distill that down into just three words. That’s all. Three simple words you can remember all year. Then watch as they help you stay on track better than any forgotten-by-February new year’s resolution.
Three Words Past
I started doing this back in 2012, but I’ll tell you right now it didn’t actually click until this year (2016). Here’s a look back at #mythreewords over the years. (I had to google 2012-2014, and don’t think I did it in 2015, which goes to show what happens when the words don’t mean much to you.)
- 2012: responsibility, action, freedom
- 2013: support, drive, print
- 2014: print, process, non-profit
- 2015: ???
2016: intent, action, mindful
This was the first year it clicked for me. I made a point of memorizing these three back in January and they stuck with me all year. Intent was a reminder to have a reason for everything (or most things) I did this year. Action reminded me my crazy ideas were wasted if I didn’t do anything with them. And mindful was a year-long effort to be more present (and thus, more in control) in the moment.
Abbreviated, these three words spelled out “I AM,” and it was a fairly constant reminder to get my ish together and make things happen. We’ve only got so much time on this planet. We either spend our lives making our dreams come true—or working for others who are making theirs come true.
So what did my three words do for me this year? They kept me calm in an absolutely disastrous employment situation. They inspired me to work on my meditation habit, which helped me calm down considerably. They encouraged me to take those first steps toward relaunching GBXM back in August. And they lead me to my dream job in November.
2016, is bittersweet for me. It was the worst of times—worst company I’ve ever worked for, Ali, Prince, Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, walking away from Adventurist Life, that joke of a presidential election. But it was also the best of times—best company I’ve ever worked for (EVAR), a week-long family vacation in Kauai, quit smoking after 20 years, and an inspiring new start to GBXM.
Still, 2017 is a clean slate and I want to make the most of it. That’s why I’ve come up with three words again.
2017: time, health, example
The trick is picking three words that mean something to you. Last year, I wanted to be more intentional, action-oriented, and mindful enough to know when I wasn’t. This year, I’ve chosen time, health, and example. Here’s what they mean to me.
- Time. My alarm goes off at 5AM during the week. I’m pretty much tied up until after P goes to bed, typically between 8:30 and 9PM. That leaves me eight hours to work on GBXM or exercise—or sleep. I’m looking for this one to help me stay focused on the making the most of my time.
- Health. I am a big, fat, fatty. My doctor told me I should lose 100lbs. I don’t know that I want to go that far, but I’d really like to lose 50-70 this year. I’ve tried the paleo thing. Didn’t like it, but I know “abs are made in the kitchen.” I need to get a handle on my eating habits—and get my fat ass moving. (You can see how time plays into this one.)
- Example. P is 4 now. I need to be a positive role model for her. If I don’t want her to end up overweight, sitting on the couch, surfing Facebook in front of the TV with a drive-thru burger in front of her, punching a time clock every day, I need to lead by example. I think this one is the most powerful of the bunch, to be honest.
My three words for 2016 and 2017 have played—and will be playing—a major role in the GBXM reboot. I’m sharing them with you today because they hint at what’s to come in the months ahead. We’ll be focused on making progress, making things better, and leading by example this year.
I am the…
We’ll see how 2017 plays out, but I’m kind of excited at the way these two years’ words have come together. 2016 spelled out “I AM” and 2017 is spelling “THE.” I AM THE ___? We’ll see, right? What would your three words be for 2017?