I learned about the “My 3 Words” concept ( #my3words ) concept on Twitter in 2008. It’s a concept created by author, speaker and Chief of Staff at Appfire, Chris Brogan. I know that a lot of people choose just one word-of-the-year, But I find that a bit too limiting. You’ll find the three words I chose at the bottom of this post.

How the Process Works

The way Chris explains the process is that the 3 words you choose are there to guide your decisions in the coming year. According to Brogan, “The words should point to who you intend to be, what you want to focus on, and how you want to perceive the work of the year ahead.” It’s a “becoming” statement.

You’re looking for words that help you answer questions. For instance, my three words for 2021 were Decide, Design, Declutter. So when I went shopping and found something I didn’t really need, but kind of wanted, I let my word “declutter” help make my decision as to whether to buy it or not. Was the item just going to add to the clutter of my home or did I really love it?

Each year’s words must be new to that year. Some people like to hang on to a word once they find a good one, but Chris Brogan says that doing that makes that word stand out less for you, almost like it has become invisible.


A Couple of Tips

Simple words are better than complicated ones. Sometimes complicated words don’t help you to make decisions and you might even forget what the word was supposed to signify.

Don’t choose the word “Focus” as one of your words (although I did choose it one year) because as Chris says, it’s ineffective. It doesn’t help to make a decision. It’s more of a need as in “I need to focus”. He gives the example of a person who wants to write a book that year. Rather than “focus”, a better word might be “500” because with the intention of writing 500 words every day, you could ask yourself “should I go out shopping”? The decision would be “No, not until I write my 500 words.”

Make sure that the words are meaningful to you and that they resonate with your intentions for the year.

My 3 Words for 2024

Efficient – I have a lot planned this year and I also want to set aside time to do some line dancing and yoga classes, so being efficient will help me to make the most of my time and allow me to get it all done.

Worthy – I want to be sure that the work I’m doing for my clients is worthy, that the decisions I’m making about how I spend my time are worthy and that I am confident that I AM worthy too.

Balance – In this case balance means two things: one is work/life balance and the other is improving my physical balance, i.e. equilibrium. I have Ménière’s Disease and that causes some unsteadiness. That’s one reason I’ll be taking more yoga classes.

What are your three words for 2024? Or your one word?

I’d love to know! Have you tried this process before? Do you choose just one word? Let me know in the comments!




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