Almost every year since 2012 I’ve been choosing 3 words to guide my year. So by now a person might expect to be well into exotic words and concepts. But I’m realizing that after a ‘lost year’ in 2021 that back to basics is huge.
In 2022 my three words are: Fundamentals, Stack, Engage.
Fundamentals – I need to get the fundamentals in place in all areas. Do the basics well, do them repeatedly, do them predictably. It doesn’t seem too exciting. However, with strong fundamentals in place I have some place to stand on while pursuing my goals for this year.
Stack – Once those fundamentals are in place, then I want to pile the fundamentals on top of one another to get the progress I’m looking for. This also has an ‘action stack’ meaning. Action Stacks are like little recipes you follow when you’re doing a regular function so you don’t need to make it up each time you do it. This word encourages me to document more rigourously. It also reminds me to gather up my standard operating procedures (SOP) and ensure they are all working well with the fundamentals.
Engage – This is the word that is most anxiety producing personally. I need to be an active participant in my communities. Being actively engaged with a bunch of people rarely calls my name in any substantive way! However, I know that I need some people around me in order for me to make a real difference. My lifelong issue is that I tend to think of engagement as very binary, all = overwhelming and hateful, or nothing = unhealthy physically, socially, spiritually and financially!
Engage, encourages me to participate at various levels and intensities. It doesn’t have to be “until I can’t stand it”, and really should never come to that. However, I’m also more social than the story I tell myself. I do enjoy being around people! I like to help. I love being with my family. All these things involve engaging with other humans.
So there you have it. 3 words to rule all the unhelpful words that I can tell myself and make 2022 the best year so far!
A recap of the 3 words method
If you haven’t ever heard of the “3 Words method”, it’s simple. Rather than making New Year’s resolutions, with all the ensuing discouragement and failure, you pick three words that will help you organize and focus your activities. The process was invented by Chris Brogan and you can read a fuller explanation of the 3 word process on his site. The briefest of overviews in Chris’ own words:
Pick any three words that will guide you in the choices you intend to make for 2016. They should be words that let you challenge yourself as to motives and decisions. They should be words that help you guide your actions. The idea behind there being three words (and not five or seven or one) is that you can create a kind of “triangulation” between three words, such that they can stand alone and work together.Chris Brogan
I’ve been doing this myself for a few years now. Over those years my words have been:
- 2012: Foc.us, Peace.full, Fear.less
- 2013: Competence, Courage, Completion
- 2014: Relationship, Retirement, Rest
- 2015: I tried a different system of goal setting and was disappointed by my results
- 2016: Focus, Finish, Fun
- 2017: Priority, Pursue, Ship
- 2018: Create, Grow, Center
- 2019: Leap, Rest, Ship
- 2020: Focus, Complete, Repeat
- 2021: 2021 was kind of a lost year in many ways for me, so no 3 words.
- 2022: Fundamentals, Stack, Engage