Got Goals for 2012? Let ‘Three Words’ Be Your GPS
Many people take the first few weeks of the year to review and revise their personal and business goals for the next 12 months. This year, I plan to use an alternative method suggested by Chris Brogan.
Chris is the New York Times best-selling co-author of Trust Agents and a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur magazine. On a recent blog post, he shared an idea that he calls “My Three Words.” Each year, he chooses three words and then allows them to serve as a compass for his goals and plans. You can read his three words for 2012 HERE.
Why not give it a try? Choose a trio of words, and then allow them to guide you throughout this year, much like you use your GPS to direct your road trips. They will be the starting point for any new venture or goal you set for 2012. This method should bring much greater clarity and focus to your business or life plan.
I have accepted this challenge and here are my Three Words for 2012:
Margin – Imagine reading a book without margins! It would be unsettling to say the least. This year, I want to widen the margins in my life. One of my biggest challenges is over commitment. I always think I can do it all. But the truth is—I can’t! I want to live 2012 with my default answer being NO instead of YES.
Does this mean that I will ultimately say NO to everything? NO! It just means that before I automatically say YES and over commit, which is my propensity, I will first evaluate the “opportunity” or the “obligation” to see if it aligns with my goals for the year.
When I say YES to someone else’s request, I could potentially be saying NO to an important goal that I have set. Before obligating my time and resources, I vow to ask myself the following questions.
Will saying YES contribute to the achievement of my goals for this year?
If I say YES to this request, to what must I say NO?
If I say YES to BOTH requests, will I still have MARGIN?
Of course, we all have emergencies and life dramas that arise and trump the NO answer. Should one of my family or friends be in the emergency room with a life-threatening situation, margin is not a consideration.
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 “an activity or regime that develops or improves a skill.” Another is “to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.” Both work for me. There are numerous areas of my life that need to be developed and improved, but it will require discipline on my part.
There are also areas of my life that need order and control. One is exercise. It is at this time of year that many are thinking about getting into shape. We’ll join the gym, purchase the exercise DVD or the latest book on exercise. But it requires discipline to maintain an exercise program throughout the year—no matter how many goals we set.
Write – My first two words for the year are actually tied to this third one. I must make sure there is margin in my life to have the time to write. And when the time is available, I must implement the discipline to do it. And even when I am uninspired and suffering from writer’s block, I must write.
This word or directive—WRITE—is at the core of several of my goals, dreams and projects for 2012. I want to:
- WRITE a book.
- WRITE a monthly column for a national publication.
- WRITE an industry blog site.
- WRITE in my personal journal.
- WRITE words of encouragement to those I mentor and lead.
Remember that your three words are not your goals. They are the compass or GPS for your goals. These are the words that will lead, guide and inspire you for the entire year.
As an example, one of my personal goals is to attend at least two of my grandchildren’s sporting events each month. I have 16 grandkids and most are involved in sports, so it’s not an easy task. To keep this goal, I’ll reflect on the word MARGIN and make the necessary adjustments in other areas of my business or personal life. Otherwise, the pages of my life will be as chaotic as a margin-less book.
Questions: What will be the three words that take you deeper than merely setting goals or writing a business plan? How will those three words inspire your goals, dreams and plans for this next year?