A few years ago, my friend Chris Brogan inspired me for the first time to create three words at the beginning of a new year. I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but “three words” is a practice that has developed into somewhat of a tradition for me.
My three words get posted in a prominent place in my office (usually my whiteboard) and stay there for the year. They are words I use to guide my work, life and spirit, and they serve as simple reminders, especially on those days when I am struggling and questioning my ways (and sometimes my sanity).
For 2011, my words were Intersections, Freedom, and Curiosity.
Intersections was about positioning – putting myself at the centre of things, instead of the sidelines, where I tend to be more comfortable. It was about finding opportunities and inserting myself in them when it felt right to do so. As a result I was able to do more professional speaking, increase my role in important education and technology projects at Algonquin College, and get involved in wonderful non profit events like Cracking Up the Capital.
Freedom was about continuing to develop projects that I cared about, in my business, my teaching and personal worlds. I learned that by focusing on the things my business partner and I cared about, we were able to attract and build relationships with the kinds of clients to which we can provide real value. We have the freedom to choose our projects and we have structured our company so we both also have the freedom to follow our other passions as well.
Curiosity was about not being afraid to ask more questions. I learned this year to speak up more when I don’t understand and to be less afraid to ask about things. As a result I found myself involved in more interesting conversations and projects. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat…it made her smarter.
So that brings us to 2012.
My three words took some time to develop this year, but I’m excited about them. They are: Simplify, Embrace, and Teach.
Simplify is about deciding for myself what is most important and getting rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. That includes clutter, tasks, projects, and in some cases relationships. (don’t freak out- when I say relationships I’m not talking about close friendships or my marriage! :) ) rather, relationships that just don’t serve me anymore…that could be a relationship with a vendor, or a service provider, etc). The objective is to scale back to only the essentials, which I think will save me time, stress and money in the end.
Embrace is about embracing everything life throws at me, warts and all. This is something I’ve typically been pretty terrible at in the past. As my Mom, my husband and my business partner will attest to, I am a chronic worrywart. I worry about not having enough to worry about. So for me, embracing is all about accepting everything that is thrown at me, and dealing with what comes without it throwing me into a tailspin of worry and stress. Stress and me do not get along in the long term, and usually it eventually takes me out in some physical way (like how I’ve spent the past three days flat out in bed with the stomach virus from hell). So for 2012, I’ll be learning to embrace and appreciate everything that comes my way. Bring on the good, the bad and the ugly!
Teach is about continuing to do something that I love in the biggest, boldest and best way I can. I’ve learned that for me, teaching is one of the most satisfying things I do. I have confidence now that I am capable of opening whole new worlds to people, and that makes me very excited. I love showing people new things, and most of all I love helping people realize their own talent and potential. I want to extend this ability I have to teach in 2012…to my clients and my students. I want to continue to open doors for people and find new ways to use technology to make learning more fun and engaging.
So there you have it…three words. I’m excited for all the possibilities the coming year holds. Happy new year and may you have abundant peace, love, joy and success in 2012!
And your three words are….