3 Words to Guide the Year

by Ray Reuter on January 7, 2016

words are seedsIn 2014 I adopted the annual exercise of coming up with Just 3 Words for the year — an idea inspired by Chris Brogan (See Chris’ 3 words for 2016) who challenges people to come up with their 3 Words that provide perspective and context to move forward. Just 3 Words will provide a compass, a way to keep yourself on the path of your choosing. And the start of a new year is a perfect time to set one’s focus and direction for living a life unfettered for the next 12 months.

This approach provides guideposts for our journey, flexibility for where and how they can be applied, and serve as quick reference points to be used when making decisions during the year. There is a Latin phrase that says “omne trium perfectum.” This means everything that comes in threes is perfect, every set of three is complete. By prayerfully discerning a set of only 3 trigger words for the year, they can be used to sharpen and “perfect” our life. For instance, if a project or opportunity does not align with at least two of my three words, then it is probably not good for me.

Consider Your 3 Words

No matter what words you choose for the year ahead, make sure they are ones that will help you tell the story of your life and the way you want to lead it. Pick words that will guide and influence choices and decisions you will encounter. Consider words that reinforce commitments and changes you will make. Identify words that encompass the big picture and the various roles in your life to expand their usefulness and impact. Use these words as the pillars of your decision-making and your choices.

My Past 3 Words …

  • In 2014, my words were “Embrace, Discipline, and Elastic.” EMBRACE was about fully embracing what God has entrusted to me. I wanted to more wholly accept and appreciate what I have in my life, and not what I have not. DISCIPLINE applied to multiple areas of my life. ELASTIC was being flexible and stretchy — trusting that things will bounce back when stretched.
  • In 2015, my words were “Delight, Vigilant, and Reduce.” DELIGHT was about taking great pleasure in what I have — to fully “delight” and relish my vocation of unfettering — in all my roles, without requiring perfection. VIGILANT was about paying attention, staying awake, being fully present and mindful and not allowing busyness, uncertainty, need for approval, discord drag me down. And REDUCE was centered on the “less is more” mindset. Simplify. Get smaller. Reduction = production!

Choose Your 3 Words …

Now it is your turn. Contemplate and proclaim the 3 words that can serve as a guiding light and anchor for you in 2016.

I will reveal My 3 Words next week.

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