Chris Brogan does this every year — comes up with three words that will be his themes or mantras for the year. There’s something to be said for this approach, as opposed to setting resolutions. Among other things, it helps you to think thematically about things that are important to you — a positive attitude, for example — rather than getting stuck in the technicalities (and attendant frustrations) of a particular goal, such as losing 30 pounds.
Here are my three words for 2011, with explanations:
CALM. For all the good things that 2010 brought me, it was a year in which I spent way too much time ridden with angst. So I’m working to prevent a repeat of that. “Calm” will help me in my work, in my play, in my relationships, and — definitely not least — in controlling my hateful thoughts toward the motorists on Loop 360 every weekday morning. (You think I’m kidding, but my road not-quite-rage is an indicator to me that I need to let some things go.)
What I’m doing about it: Many things, starting (seriously) with taking deep breaths. I’ve also started reading meditative and spiritual books regularly. I’d like to resume — after a years-long hiatus — the practice of meditating in the mornings as well, though I’m not ready to commit to that yet. (Experience teaches that meaningful Zen-style meditation is something to approach with real resolve.) Exercise certainly helps to keep me calm, which is just one more reason I’ll pursue fitness seriously. I’m also working on getting . . .
CLEAN. To me, this word combines several other concepts, including “honest,” “simple,” “effective,” “focused,” and “clutterproof.” I’ve already detailed some of my efforts to eliminate clutter from my life, and many posts on this blog over the years have talked about effectiveness and focus. More simplicity is something I crave; so far I haven’t been brave enough to get as simple as I would like to be. As for honesty, I hope to say I’m already a person who doesn’t lie, but this is also about candor and forthrightness. Telling the literal truth is one thing; getting right to the pith of the matter — for myself and with others — goes well beyond that.
What I’m doing about it: Eliminating clutter. Doing more jobs from beginning to end. Picking the few things that are really important to me and focusing on just those things. Not opening cans of worms that will complicate my life needlessly. Being deep-down honest with myself and everybody around me.
BODACIOUS. I’ve picked a silly word here on purpose. It came to me this weekend when my family sat down to watch Kung-Fu Panda again. I was going to go with “Huge,” in the sense of making huge efforts, going big in everything, reaping huge results, etc. But to me that invites a sort of scorekeeping that I don’t like. I’d rather focus on quality and boldness, but injected with a sense of fun and not taking myself too seriously. That’s what I mean when I use this over-the-top word.
What I’m doing about it: Looking for answers and actions that are big, nifty, and fun.
So those are my three words for 2011. Do you have three words to share? Or what do you think about mine?