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My 3 Words for 2013

3 words for 2013I recently completed reading the book, Amazing Things Will Happen by C.C. Chapman.  The book is filled with useful nuggets of wisdom and short bits of great advice from the author.  One of the ideas that struck a chord with me was about choosing 3 words to use as a mantra for guiding your actions throughout the year.  Having completed the book just before the new year, it seemed like an opportune time to put this suggestion to use in my life.  So, for 2013 I have chosen my 3 words.  They are Focus, Create, and Attack.

In today’s always connected world, the options for distractions are endless.  A big part of my job is spending time on social networks, following current events, engaging in conversations, and consuming content.  Still, there is a growing need for focus.  I am going to use tools like short daily meditations, better scheduling, time blocking, and written goals and objectives to keep me on track.  This may mean turning off the iPhone, resisting the urge to refresh that Twitter feed for an hour, or ignoring Facebook until I get my most important tasks done for the day.  It means a little less television and a few more books.  It means a few more actual conversations and few less email messages.  It means spending less time on the unimportant aspects of life and more time on the things that matter most.  Focus is something that requires a dedication to mindfulness.  The reward for focus is accomplishment, and I hope to accomplish quite a bit.  Word #1: Focus.

To create is to give life to something and to modify the universe in the process, if even ever so slightly.  What could be cooler than that?  I am at my happiest when I am creating – writing my morning pages, authoring blog posts and magazine columns, playing guitar, taking pictures, writing lyrics, recording songs, performing music, drawing pictures, painting, exploring big ideas, developing marketing strategies, solving problems, and producing that which has yet to exist in the universe.  Creativity is important both personally and professionally.  The mission of my company is to “Create the Future,” for our clients, so there is vocational value in focusing on the word create.  Personally, create is a value I want to instill in my children.  The future belongs to those who possess creativity and the best way to teach my children to create is to lead by example.  In 2013, I am going to worry less about creating the perfect and more about creating merely for the sake of creating.  I want to look back on 2013 and be able to say look at all the things that I made, and hopefully some of it will be good.  I look forward to sharing the things I create with the world.  Word #2: Create

I chose this word after thinking about something that my friend Todd Henry said at the SummitUp conference this past year.  His advice was to “die empty.”  I don’t want to look back on life and say “if only I would have,” and as 40 approaches I’ve got less time left on the planet to make my ideas happen.  Attack for me is about not just thinking up great things, but aggressively and rapidly pursuing them to their completion.  Attack is about recognizing that time is the ultimate scarce commodity, a finite resource that can be taken away at any moment.  I want to leave everything I have on the playing field of life in 2013.  To be clear, attack is not about me wanting to attack other people or being some sort of raving lunatic, but rather using my focus to choose the right things, my creativity to dream up big ideas, and then doing something, now.  Attack is about facing fear, apathy, and procrastination head on and kicking their collective asses.  In short attack equates to Carpe Diem, each and every Diem.  Making every day count.  Word #3: Attack

I plan to burn these words into my psyche, using them to guide my actions, inspire my thinking, and motivate me to accomplish bigger and better things.  If you see my walking down the street talking to myself, chances are you’ll hear me repeating these words – Focus, Create, Attack.

Although choosing the right 3 words out of the million or so that comprise the English language can be challenging, the exercise is a really simple way to put perspective on the year ahead.  I encourage you to give it a try and choose your 3 words for 2013 too.   What are your 3 words for 2013? Whatever they are, I wish you a wonderful 2013.