My 3 words for 2017 determinedly appeared a few days before Christmas (Dec. 22, to be exact): Pace, Pray, Pow! (Wow!)
Before expanding on my words, a brief review of the 3 Words initiative is in order. Colleague Hannah Morgan, nationally recognized author and speaker on all things job search, challenged me to participate in my first 3 words exercise in 2013. Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group’s originated the exercise; he described the how behind 3 words as follows:
Pick any three words that will guide you in the choices you intend to make for (the year). They should be words that let you challenge yourself as to motives and decisions. They should be words that help you guide your actions.
Further, he says, your words should be a “shorthand representation of your bigger story. It’s kind of like how an icon isn’t the software program. It’s just a way for you to mentally access all the work you’re doing.”
I love this! As one who tends to get waylaid by minutiae, having 3 easy-to-recall words emblazoned in my mind and on my whiteboard (and now this blog), enables at-a-glance grounding. I’ve also found that reflecting on the past year, and even the prior years to monitor and celebrate success, and to tweak (or in some cases overhaul) my word strategy for future years, is imperative to continued forward momentum.
Without further adieu, I’ll recap my 3 words for 2017, and expand a bit on what they mean to me:
1. Pace: When I think of pace, I visualize my “tempo” of acting and behaving.
Per Dictionary.com, “tempo” is the “rate, rhythm, or pattern of work or activity.”
A more calmly focused tempo intermittently amped up by the press of client and personal needs appeals to me. An occasional swell of endorphins and healthy stress is more manageable amid a generally well-paced schedule. Naturally, life surprises us from time to time, and I seek the bandwidth to handle crises and detours as they arise.
I love my clients, and have aspired to a more energized, closely collaborative and white glove approach over the past several years; maintaining this positive pace requires thinning distractions and energy depleters.
Chris Brogan wrote a pithy piece on how to stop “chewing up hours each day” on social media. This is a good starting point, describing why and how to actualize this goal, including chucking newsletter and other subscriptions that don’t make me think or help me to act.
I have a lot of work yet to do on thinning my subscription and other digital noise, but I will. Tamping down email was one of my prior years’ 3 Words, and not one of my success stories, unfortunately. I’m not giving up, though!
Moreover, I can immediately become more intentional about reducing social media noise using my Desktop Task Timer and Droid alarm to focus in on project chunks. (Note: the task timer was a tool I mentioned in an earlier 3 Words blog that has been instrumental in my focusing in on high-priority projects and goals.)
Finally, I must continue saying ‘no’ more and being increasingly present for my yeses – this applies to unnecessary or untimely requests for my energy (I’ve gotten much better at declining those in the past two years, but always have room for improvement).
I also want to keep my ‘yes’ door open to my inner circle of family and friends so when they reach out, I’m more present to their needs and tending to our relationships.
2. Pray. Simply put, I will employ a daily, repeatable prayer. I have winnowed down to a short list of options and am excited to choose one with which to open each day. I consider that initial prayer of the day spiritual traction, and hope that it spurs a deeper dive into the Word of God and other conversations, foundational to a holistic work and personal life.
3. Pow! I’m uncertain how to describe this word choice. It emanates from words one and two. By putting those two words into motion, I believe my life and relationships will be more Pow!-erful. I aspire to have a calm, energizing, inviting, centered, challenging and at times, difficult year, with an undercurrent of peace and hope. To me, this is a recipe for Pow!
John Jantsch, best selling author of of Duct Tape Marketing, published an article that I currently am digesting and acting upon. In What I Want for You Most in 2017, Jantsch speaks to our current mindset about what our business is or what we are capable of personally (and how this mindset can hold us back).
Declaratively, Jantsch drives the message theme home:
As the founder of this very important life of yours, you must decide to do less, to do your most important things.
What resonated with me so much about the article, and this line in particular, is my increasing awareness, now that I’ve reached a certain decade in my life, how really short our one life is! I want to maximize my time here on earth, in the most peaceful, harmonious, exhilarating and purposeful way possible.
The (most) important things I choose, of course, may on their own be defined by minuscule moments and actions and only impact a handful of people, the effects of which may not be widely recognized. However, I’m increasingly realizing it’s the soul-fulfilling single acts that we inhabit in our day-to-day quietude that, for me, have the most Pow!
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