As 2011 is winding down and 2012 is just days away, many are beginning to consider their resolutions, goals, plans and dreams for the upcoming year. Chris Brogan suggests an alternative plan to achieving your 2012 goals.
Chris Brogan is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Trust Agents, and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine, who has shared an idea which he calls "My Three Words". Your three words are chosen for the year and your goals and plans center around those words. You can check out his (and several others) three words for last year HERE.
You should choose three words which will guide you through this year much like a lighthouse guides a ship in a storm. Use these words as the starting point for any new venture or goal you set for 2012. Each one of these three words should bring clarity and focus to your 2012 business or life plan when you feel you have lost your way.
I personally love this challenge and I wanted to share my Three Words for 2012 with you. These are the three words on which I base my 2012 goals, and on which will guide my life and my business for the next year:
Margin. Imagine reading a book without margins! It would be unsettling to say the least. This year I plan to widen the margins in my life. I want to live 2012 with my default answer being NO instead of YES. One of my biggest challenges is overcommitment. I always think I can do it all. But the truth is - I can't!
Does that mean that I will say NO to everything? No, it only means that before I automatically say YES and OVERCOMMIT (which is my propensity), using the default answer of "NO", I will first examine the "opportunity" or the "obligation" to see if I should commit to someone else's idea of how my time should be spent. When I say YES to someone's request, I am potentially saying NO to an important goal I have set.
I will consider the goals and plans I have written for the year and ask myself the question "If I say YES to this, to what must I say NO? Or if I do both, will I still have MARGIN?"
Discipline. The famous business philosopher, Jim Rohn, said "We must all suffer from one of two pains. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is that discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons."
One of the definitions of discipline is "....activity or regime that develops or improves a skill...." and "to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control....". While there are numerous areas of my life where I am wanting to improve and grow, it will require discipline on my part.
There are areas that I know need ORDER and CONTROL. One of those areas is physical exercise. Oh, I know this is the time many are thinking the same thing and we will join the gym, purchase the exercise DVD or the latest book on exercise. But it will take discipline to maintain the exercise program throughout the year - no matter how many goals you set.
Write. My first two words for the year are actually tied to this third word. I must allow "margin" in my life to have the time to write. And when the time is available, I must develop the "discipline" to write. Even when I am uninspired and full of writer's block. Write is what I must do in 2012.
This word or directive - WRITE - is at the core of several of my goals and dreams and projects for 2012. To WRITE a book. To WRITE for a national publication's blog site. To WRITE in my personal journal. To WRITE words of encouragement to those I mentor and lead. To WRITE for Active Rain!
Remember this - your three words are not your goals. They are the beginning point for your goals. In fact, these three words should be set above your goals. These are the words which will guide and inspire you for the entire year.
For example, one of my goals is to attend at least two sports events of my grandchildren (I have 16 and most are involved in sports!) each month. To do this, I will reflect on the word MARGIN and make the necessary adjustments in other areas of my business or personal life to allow the time needed to include these activities and reach my goal. Otherwise, the pages of my life will be as chaotic as a marginless book.
Consider this a challenge for you to go deeper than just making resolutions, setting goals or writing a business plan.
What about YOU? What will be your three words and how will those three words inspire your goals, plans and dreams for 2012? Let me hear from you!