I’ve been working with Chris Brogan‘s idea about three words that define what I want my upcoming year to be about (you can see his for 2011, 2010, and if you follow the links in those pages, back much further than that.)
Basically, you pick the three words that you’ll be building around for the year, and most of your work, ideally, will be congruent with one or more of them. It’s an alternative to goals, as I see it, and instead can become something closer to a magic spell (hey, words, right?) – at least, that’s the theory; I haven’t made a word list before.
I don’t know that I’ll share my words publicly when I do come up with them, so don’t expect me to reveal them in this post, but I wanted to take the opportunity to mention the concept and process before the year’s out so you have some time to give it some serious thought before choosing to participate. We’re talking about words that will shape an entire year here, so they’re not the kind of thing you should decide on New Year’s Eve while drinking.
I will discuss the process I’m using a little though. I won’t sugar coat it; this year, my first as a full time business owner, hasn’t been easy. One of the reasons I’m working on this now (besides the aforementioned part about it being important) is that I want to give time to for the words, and the initial plans that form from them, to sink in a bit, and so I can have a chance to decide if I’ve picked them to run towards something positive or away from some of the harder lessons from this year.
Because that’s the thing: we do pretty much everything to either get pleasure or eliminate pain, and there’s going to be pain in running a business. The challenge, to me, is to endure the short term pain in pursuit of the pleasure that’ll make it worth it. It’s vital to make sure my words are going to move me in the right direction at a good clip without involving fleeing in terror.