The concept of New Year resolutions seems passé and most people I know haven’t made them in years. What they do, however, is set goals and plan out ways to achieve those goals. I do that too, but so very often get side tracked. A few years ago I was introduced to the ‘3 Words’ concept by Chris Brogan (clever guy, great mentor) and I’ve been riding that train ever since.

Here’s how it works (or at least my interpretation). Think about the year ahead and the types of things you want to achieve. Do some real brainstorming and navel gazing here. Dream and reflect. Take the TIME to actually give this some serious thought. As you noodle over the things you want to get done, there will be a few items that keep rising to the top of the list. It’s inevitable. Your subconscious will find a way to make you think about the things that you have already decided are most important. Write them down.

Next, explore what it will take to accomplish these things. Get creative here and think beyond the task list of things to do to reach your goal. Is there a particular mindset you have to adopt to get where you’re going? Are there behaviours you have (or need) to make your way to that destination? Is the journey really the whole point? What does that look like? In short, what do you NEED to get from here – January 1st – to there – December 31st? For me, it’s:


Wha..? That combo of words makes no sense. Well, it’s not supposed to make sense to you, but it is what I’ve come up with to drive me through this year. This is what those words mean to me.


I have a particular goal in mind this year that someone suggested I might be too nice to achieve. Lots of people would consider it a compliment to be called ‘too nice’ but in this particular case I took it as a challenge. No, I wasn’t ticked off but I did see how that person might summarize my personality in that way. It got me thinking about the many occasions during my work and personal life where being perceived as too nice is a disadvantage. I like being nice, it’s the ‘too’ that I will be ditching this year. Hence the choice of the word ‘tough’. I want to be tougher when making decisions. I want to be tougher on myself and push myself more. I want to challenge myself to do things that I perceive to be ‘tough’. And if someone doesn’t like it? Well, tough!


As I reflect on the last year, I remember times when I didn’t finish something or gave up too early. So many times we give up just before the big win so this year I will be stretching my persistence muscles a little more. There are definitely times when you need to call it quits, but this year I’m going to make a concerted effort to persist in the things that I’ve deemed important. This word might resonate with one or two of you.


To be honest, I feel like my life is one big quest. I like to try new things, particularly in business. I’ve chosen this word because I want to start putting energy into planning a dream trip to New Zealand. This is something I’ve wanted to do for at least a decade and now is the time to start planning it. The trip won’t happen for a few years, but the planning and anticipation (not to mention the saving up of funds) will take a while so I’m starting now.  In addition, when I think about what ‘quest’ means to me, I tap into that curious part of me that wants to know things. I need to explore. I want to try new tools and meet interesting people. What must I do and where must I go to achieve that? This is the quest for 2017.

So those are my 3 words for this year. I write them at the top of my notes each day and remember to incorporate their power into my daily actions. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But for now I’ll tough it out and persist on my quest.

What are your 3 words?