I’ve been seeing a lot of people do something that’s pretty awesome: my three words.
Instead of posting New Year’s resolutions, people I really admire, like Jessica Lawlor, pick three words to define the big picture for the year ahead.
Started by Chris Brogan (someone else I mucho admire) in 2006, the “My Three Words” exercise focuses more on direction and theme for the next year’s activities. Where a resolution might be, “lose 15 pounds,” a corresponding word in the exercise might be “health.”
I have a long list of goals: some of them have deadlines, some of them are just things I want to do some day. I’ve picked out a few to make my “official” New Year’s resolutions, that I’ll put on the front page of my planner to remind myself of my goals, but others are just dreams.
I decided to look at that list and try to identify different themes that could be summed up in single words.
I decided to make my three words “simplify,” “move,” and “opportunity.”
I’m kind of all over the place as a person, but I’ve been making more of an effort to be organized. It’s weird how someone so Type A can also be so scatter-brained. I’m a fan of organized chaos, I guess.
Example: most of the clothes in my closet are in piles on the floor. However, each of those piles has its own category, and the clothes are laid flat, instead of balled up and wrinkled. So the clothes aren’t ruined by being there, and I know exactly where to go when I’m looking for my purple jeans.
So a ton of my goals all have to do with organizing and simplifying my life and my surroundings. I want to carry less stuff in my Mary Poppins bag (this feels more like a necessity after lugging it around NYC last week and having a sore shoulder for days). I want to get rid of the clutter in my apartment by regularly going through and putting together bags to sell and donate. I want to come up with a simpler way to organize my hard drive and inbox.
Some ideas I have so far:
- Every time I do laundry, pick out one or two things to donate once they’re clean.
- Get rid of a DVD if the movie is now on Netflix (except for Gilmore Girls and Friends, cause a girl’s gotta have those special features :P).
- If a DVD came with the code to download a digital copy, put that on an external hard drive and get rid of the DVD.
- Get rid of some of my paperbacks through giveaways on my book blog (bonus: giveaways will help grow my email list!).
- Turn all of my old sorority t-shirts into a quilt to make more room in my t-shirt drawer.
- Learn to say no to the offer of a free t-shirt at a trade show.
This one has a double meaning: I want to make moves in my life, and I also want to physically get moving more.
Like I mentioned in my Get Gutsy story, I’m a big thinker and a not-so-big doer. I tend to plan, plan, plan and then never do anything. Big dreams and all. In 2015, I want to actually do something with some of those plans.
Some ideas for this:
- Start drafting the short stories I spend all my time making notes for.
- Actually knit one of the blankets I’ve downloaded the pattern for.
- Install and customize the Tweak Me theme from Creative Whim I bought for this blog and my book blog.
I also want to live a more active lifestyle. I tend to live behind a screen – whether it’s of a TV, computer, or e-reader. It seems that every time I finally turn exercising into a habit, I get injured. The last time was in July when I sprained my “good” ankle and was on crutches for two weeks.
With each injury, going back to the gym gets a little scarier. Even though I’m not doing these intense workouts, I manage to seriously hurt myself just walking from my apartment to my car. I’ve had enough orthopedic surgeries to know how much I don’t want another one.
But I know that I need to be more active anyway. I think now that I’ve learned to accept my weight a little more, I can come up with ways to be active without focusing on target heart rates and calories and just enjoy moving around.
- Instead of reading a book at lunch, go for a walk and listen to an audiobook.
- Dance around my room in my underwear or silly pajamas (always a fun time) more often.
- When I only need to pick up one or two things at the grocery store, walk there.
Looking back, I probably should have picked something different, since it’s very similar to ‘move,’ the way I’m interpreting it for my goals. But I want to take advantage of more of the opportunities I see for myself.
For example, I’m always saying I want to guest blog more since I no longer write for my company’s blog, like, ever. And I really miss it, even though I’m always busy writing for my book blog. I just have ideas for posts that wouldn’t fit there.
And I know of blogs that I’ve either written for before, or have mentioned it, that would be happy to publish these ideas. But I don’t grab onto the opportunity, for one reason or another.
That’s got to stop.
So, those are my three words. What are yours?