Choosing Three Words for 2011

If you’ve followed my Twitter stream (@timage) you might have noticed that I don’t put much stock into New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s a few of my thoughts…

  • Why wait for 1/1/11 to make that change? Start today! Your resolution needs a bigger reason than the calendar.
  • 1/1/11 is not motivation enough to change. Decision + Discipline + Purpose = Daily Growth!
  • Please don’t tell me you’re making a New Year’s resolution! If you need to make a change, start TODAY!

I did give in a little bit as today (1.1.11) drew closer. I went ahead and offered my resolution:

to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

I’ll tell you one exercise that I really do like: Chris Brogan’s Three Words. Chris writes…

Every year, I come up with three words that will be my guiding pillars for what I will focus on in the coming year. Instead of resolutions, which don’t usually help me very much, I work hard on using these words as a lighthouse for my actions and efforts.

Now this is a helpful exercise. If you read the comments or subscribe to Chris’s newsletter, you’ll discover a lot of folks who have taken the time to consider three words that will guide them for the next year.

Here’s my three words: Encourage. Art. Ship.


I want to be a part of positive change, not only in my own life, but in the lives of others. I don’t think there’s enough encouraging voices out there. What a great theme. Part of the motivation for this word is the feeling I want people to have when they’ve interacted with me. When people walk away from our time together I want them to feel better about themselves and about what they’re doing.


The other two words I am choosing for this year were inspired by my favorite leadership book of 2010 – Linchpin by Seth Godin. I want to spend more time developing my unique contribution to the world. I want to carve out times to create and innovate. This will involve writing, speaking, designing, and maybe even some music.


I didn’t do a very good job of shipping in 2010. I developed a lot of ideas and started many projects. But I didn’t get as much out there as I had hoped. I’m looking ahead to some deadlines that will require me to produce, package, and ship. I battle some procrastination tendencies and will tweak a little too much. I want to work faster and ship quicker.

That’s my three words. What will your three words be for 2011?

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