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).


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 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.


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.

18 responses to “3 words for 2010

  1. Jon, I LOVE Jamaica. What a great way to put reframe the health-and-fitness goals!

  2. Three cheers to your three words.
    I’ve not picked mine this year. Would have forgotten if not for you and Chris.

  3. Thanks for sharing these 3 words. Best of luck getting into that shirt. I know the feeling.

  4. Thank you for the excellence and simplicity with which you have shared these clear and inspiring ideas. I wish you joy and success as you pursue your three words this year.

  5. Thanks for the inspiration. I hope that shirt fits well before Dec 31, 2010!

  6. Very well written. Good luck with your goals!

  7. Pingback: 3 words for 2010 « Sanjay’s Blog

  8. Your three words are fantastic. My favorite choice was Jamaica. My husband made a similar goal for himself two years ago and has kept the weight off. Good luck with reaching that goal -health is crucial for so many other things. You deserve a healthy body. Happy new year and all the best in 2010.

  9. Kathleen Overby

    Three -all good. My favorite-attuned.

  10. thanks all of you for your comments and encouragement. I’ll keep you posted on success. (i did walk and climb steps and drink extra water today. All three part of getting into that shirt.)

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