Last year I did an activity suggested by Chris Brogan called 3 Words. Essentially the idea is to take your goals and attitudes for the year and narrow them down to 3 words. Your mission is to have most of what you do on a daily basis fall under one of the three words. Brogan takes his three words and breaks them down into more specific areas adding layers and layers of detail. He keeps this private, and I too reserve details for myself. But these general overviews give you a good idea of where I’m focusing my energy and workflow in 2011. Consider finding 3 Words for yourself.
I’m re-reading one of my favorite books this year called Four Pillars. It’s written by Stu Weber and it talks about the four pillars of a man’s heart. I’ve highlighted, underlines, and made notes all throughout this book. It’s so inspirational and educational, especially as I grow into this new role of a father. My idea here is that I want to be very intentional with how I”m growing as a man – how I become the father I want to be to Sorin and Norah, the husband I need to be for Katie, and the friend I want to be to those closest to our family.
Having a platform sounds like something for authors and public speakers. But God has given each of us a platform and thus a level of influence. Some are larger and more prominent than others, but we all are recognized according to who we are, what we do, what we talk about, what characterizes our lives. I’ve always been a very reflective person, and so I’ve always journaled a lot and read as much as I can find time for. To take this reflective quality a step further, I get a lot of value out of my time when I process these thoughts and write here on my blog as a public platform discussing things important to me (and important to a lot of my readers, too). It’s not about personal journaling and it’s not about starting a business. It’s about having an online presence where community and conversations can happen. Hopefully it’s helpful for both me and the reader.
(I know, it’s not one word.) In this last area of focus for me this year, I’m working towards the idea of “finish.” I thought “finish” was a little too straight forward for 3 Words, so I went a little deeper and I ended up with a football analogy – win! First Down reminds me that I want to be constantly moving forward, and not just one yard at a time. I want significant progress such that I get the first down. The goal is the end zone, but if I get a first down, I get to keep the ball, keep possession and I’m still on the offense. I need to finish. Not necessarily to the goal line, but enough to get me a first down.
These descriptions may not be fully explained for you, the reader. But they give you a good idea of my mindset for the year. This is the second year Katie and I have done this activity and I’m looking forward to processing it a few times throughout the year with her. For me it provides a great structure for compartmentalizing big areas of my life and gets my mind thinking proactively.
Might you consider Three Words that will frame your attitude and focus for 2011?