Three Words That Can Make Your 2012

Here is a guest post by Louise Thaxton. Louise is one of the top commenters on You can guest post as well! Read how to here.

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.

 DisciplineThe 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? 



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

58 thoughts on “Three Words That Can Make Your 2012”

  1. The idea of giving ourselves a compass to live by is huge. This is exactly why I encourage people to work to discover their why, their purpose, write it down as a personal mission statement and activate it with goal setting. On discipline, especially for exercise, I suggest writing down why exercise is a goal. Think hard about why you want to be healthier and write those reasons down. When you begin to stray or life happens, read the list. It will up your chances of getting back into the game. There’s a big difference between knowing why, keeping it in your brain and writing the reasons down. Great post, Louise!

  2. I love that quote by Rohn. He has a unique way about him. He’ll say things that are really in-your-face, but he does it in this likable way.

    I think this three words approach is a good way to really get you thinking about your core values. Restricting ourselves to a word limit like that really forces us to think deeply.

  3. Louise I love your three words and thank you for turning me onto this blog as an additional resource. The discipline is the biggest one of all. I watched Angie express the most discipline I have ever witnessed in her goal to lose weight in 2011. Discipline requires saying no and staying focused! Excellent post!

  4. Your description for margin reminds me of what I learned about overcommitment a few years ago.
    I was involved in a few different things… things that revolved around church or being a Christian, stuff that needed to be done in ministry. BUT they weren’t my strong suits/talent/calling. By committing myself to different things like that, I didn’t have time for what God really wanted me to do. When I thought about giving up my commitments, I initially felt bad. But after, I had no regrets…. It was a wonderful feeling to finally be able to commit my time toward the things God was calling me to 🙂
    My three words: God, Marriage, Write

    1. Oh I hear you! God is asking me, so I must say yes! They don’t have anybody else to do it, they could really use the help!! I’ll share what my spiritual Director said to me once: “Don’t guilt yourself into ministry. You have to do what gives you life”. I need to ask myself, is this the best use of my gifts and talents, or do they just need warm bodies?

      1. Lily – how many times do we say “well, no one else is going to do it, so I HAVE to do it….” As if God doesn’t already have someone in mind and maybe He is dealing with them to volunteer – and then we jump in and say “Ok, I’ll do it…”

      1. I’m glad 🙂
        I used to NEVER be able to say no.
        It is such a release though to have the confidence that the choice we make is in the direction of God’s plan.
        Yeah, things need to get done. BUT imagine how much greater our impact is for the kingdom of God when we’re spending time on what WE’RE supposed to be doing; not just what needs to get done by someone…

  5. Get lots of rest this weekend, I’m putting you on my prayer list for a great Entreleadership conference. I have entrusted 3 of my best to your care!

  6. How about “eat, pray, love”!?
    Truthfully, mine need to be “draw, draw, draw”. In that order. Okay, maybe “draw, learn (Adobe InDesign here I come!), listen (God, I know you can hear me, but I want to hear you back)” Or, “draw, listen, draw”.
    Um, Louise, this is too hard for me and I need to go draw now.

      1. Joel, after I wrote that I thought of another one (I mean three): “eat, shoot, leave”.

        And Louise forgive me. It sounds as if I am mocking your wonderful entry, and I am not. I am hiding behind buffoonery to avoid drawing and to avoid thinking too much.

        Oh-oh, here comes another one: “draw, confess, draw”.

        Back to the drawing board!

  7. Louise, I have the real three words now: Draw, Pray, Persist. Thank you for persisting with me on this. I bet you were praying while I was drawing.

    (But I still like “eat, pray, love”, even tho’ the movie was misguided!)

  8. Louise, my three words are Focus, Commitment and Goals! I have never thought of using a word trio as a GPS. Great idea and I will put these words where I read them everyday so I don’t lose track. Thank you for sharing this and I know it will bring much success!

  9. Louise, this is a wonderful post. I have been thinking of my three words since Friday when I first read this. I love the concept and will narrow my selection down. Thank you for inspiring this thinking process and for showing us we can live out our dreams in 2012!

  10. Great post Louise. Everyone below has these great words to compliment their goals for the year. I never have goals, words to direct me, etc. Between Louise, Joel & Chris, I feel like an outsider. You are all on track with your goals. I think about what tasks need to get done, but never have a long range goal. I’m working on this, but never having done it before it is very hard to get started. Thanks for helping give direction.

    1. Number 1 – you are NOT an outsider! And I can remember when I was not in the habit of setting goals and then pressing forward to achieve those goals. Once you do it the first time you realize the benefit of it – and will do it again. Thanks for your comments – I’ll be excited to see your results!

  11. Toying with a couple of them, Pray, Play, Plan, Adventure, Out-of-my-zone.

    Back to the drawing board.
    Great post – makes me think, a lot, a good thing i think?

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