Category Archives: 3 words

8 ways to prep for 2011

I’m tired of people saying, “here’s how I prep for the year” and other people saying, “that’s not necessary, just do this.” Last time I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see you, I saw me. (And wasn’t pleased, per one of my three words for 2010).

So, instead of THE way to succeed in 2011, here are 8 ways that might help you. And you can list the other 1,547,296,133 ways in the comments.

  1. Write three words that you want to use as guiding words for the year.  (How Chris Brogan does three words and my three words for 2010).
  2. Write a list of 100 goals you want to do in 2010 (Marc Pitman can send you this exercise.)
  3. Write one word for the year.
  4. Write a list of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound)  (Here’s a SMART goals worksheet)
  5. The letter N Pick a photo for the year, an image that reminds you of what matters or what direction you are going. A picture of a place you are dreaming or a relationship you want to mend.
  6. Describe how you want to be known in five years. Then identify specific actions to learn that will take you toward that reputation.
  7. Forget years. We can get paralyzed by thinking about annual goals and all that. So think about the next three hours. What’s one roadblock you can remove in the next three hours?
  8. Don’t set goals at all. Leo Babauta talks about finding something you are passionate about and then doing it. (The best goal is no goal).

But here’s the secret of these 8 ways. All of them are choosing to be intentional.

progress reflections halfway through January

I did my three words.

I’m keeping track of how much water I’m drinking, how often Nancy and I are walking. I’m working on a couple other things.

I’m trying. I’m really trying.

But I spent part of several hours of driving yesterday thinking about my three words and about what has felt like little progress.

I picked up a little thread that Chris Brogan included in “Wiring Yourself for Success.” He shows how to take three words and lay out a plan. As part of the planning process, he says to identify “Distractions to Avoid”.

So yesterday I made a list of distractions or barriers or obstacles for each of my words. I looked for what has been throwing me off track.

Cats cookiesFor example, I realized that when I am agitated, I snack. Having an open container of Cats Cookies from Trader Joe’s on the car seat next to me makes it very easy, when trying to focus, to take way more than the 16 that make up a serving.

On the other hand, if I have a bag with only 16 and can’t get to the rest, I’ll only eat those sixteen.

This is not, by the way, focusing on failure. It is looking at the places I get off track, identifying what happens, and making changes to avoid those behaviors.

Because, after all, I want to eliminate the distractions that are keeping me from accomplishing what is represented by my three words.

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Related posts:

Which weaknesses

Have a seat. Just for a minute or two.

a handout for presentation planners

You’ve got a presentation on Wednesday. You have two hours for teaching and discussion and brainstorming and planning. You have a simple subject: social media.

put out the fire of fearWhile the room is still empty, you need to think about what you can give the audience.

Some of you are thinking this sounds familiar. It is. I wrote back in October about 8 ways to get invited back. I talked about giving the audience a map, or a kit, or sandwiches or crack.  I was giving us a thinking tool to help us focus on what we want the audience to walk away with.

As I was working today on the project above, I went back to my categories in that post. I decided which metaphor I wanted to give the audience. It helped.

So I decided to turn the October post into a one page PDF you can hang on your bulletin board.

8 ways to get invited back (PDF)

I hope it helps you, too.

Share

3 words for 2010

I’ve done this before, in 2008 and 2009.

Picked three words, that is.

I identify three words that I want to shape what I do for the year. I got the idea from Chris. This year, he explained how to build plans on those words in a very helpful way (Wiring yourself for success).

Attuned.

As they went to Jerusalem every year, the Israelites sang travel songs. One of them, Psalm 123, tells us about a kind of focus:

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress…

This year, I want that kind of intense focus, the kind of focus that allows you to anticipate needs from the tiniest hint.

What I now know about focus, however, is that it isn’t an abstract thing. I’ve spent the last year with it as one of my words, after all. There must be an awareness of where you are going to direct that focus

The image of being tuned in applies both to music (being in tune with, in harmony with) and to a radio frequency. Being attuned means being lined up with, tuning other things out, eliminating other noises. If you have ever listened to a piano tuner work, you know that there needs to be some quiet.

I’m not going to tell you now to whom I’ll be attuned. (I need to get more than one post out of this, right?) But you get the idea, I’m guessing.

Jamaica.

jamaica shirt from hopeA couple years ago, Hope went to Jamaica on a missions trip. She brought me two souvenirs: a bag of coffee and a shirt. The bag of coffee is long gone. The shirt is hanging in my closet. It doesn’t fit.

It could be, of course, that “large” means something different in Jamaica than in the US. I’m pretty sure, however, that the size issue is not in the shirt.

I will wear that shirt this year.

Product.

I am a process person. I am an inductive thinker. I am constantly in draft mode. However, I have seen several times this year that when I stop and make a list or a video or some other concise, tangible, sharable product, other people can use it.

(The coolest one happened this week. I made a video about how we use time. I described how I made it. A Lutheran pastor in Estonia used the concept for his own video. In Estonian.  Sweet.)

I’ve started thinking about what I want to get done and make available once a week, once a month, once every three months. For person who is a starter, finishing is tough. It’s also helpful.

This post is, of course, mostly for me. It’s to be accountable, to invite others to know what I’m working on. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to trying to help you.

For now, happy new year.