Photo credit – Sally M via Flickr
What is a New Year’s resolution, really? Is it something that we hope to change; a desire that we long to fulfill; something that’s been nagging at us in the mirror; definitely something that we cannot live without? Maybe we can. What if we decided not to make a resolution? Would it be so bad? Would we not be considered human? Or would everyone think that we are too complacent?
It’s been a number of years now since I came across Chris Brogan. He’s a New York Times Bestselling author, among many other things. One of his blog posts has stuck with me over all this time. It’s possibly the best solution, in my opinion, to keeping your New Year’s resolutions – outside of not making any, of course.
The idea is to select three words that you can life by this year. These three words will remind you of other goals that you’ve set or will set for the year. Instead of setting overly ambitious goals for the whole year and disappointing yourself two weeks in when it’s clear your too far behind, give your year a word compass with these three words. You can read Chris Brogan’s description on how to pick your three words on his blog.
The Echo’s of Resolutions
I keep a file on the desktop of my computer titled: Goals. Some of my goals stare back at my mockingly while I thoroughly enjoy seeing others with the underused text decoration:
After reviewing my 2013, it was the first year of many that there are more goals crossed off than not. I really do believe that my three words for 2013 (Create, Ship, Communicate) were a key to making all this progress.
If you are anything like me, the reverberation of an incomplete goal or failed resolution can be quite disheartening. So, scrap the method of making a laundry list of resolutions. Shift your paradigm.
I recently finished Die Empty by Todd Henry. It’s a fantastic read and received rave reviews from many other authors that I respect – Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield and David Allen. One of the core parts to Henry’s method on finishing each day with an empty tank is, what he calls, “establishing a code of ethics.”
“This ‘code of ethics’ is a series of words that concretely defines how you will make decisions, interact with others, and make choices when things get difficult.”
A mirror image of Brogan’s exercise. Die Empty goes in to greater detail about how to become better at setting goals and accomplishing your life’s work. I highly recommend the book, especially for individuals in any of the creative fields.
My Three Words // Code of Ethics for 2014
What are your three words for 2014?