In late December I read an interesting article by writer and speaker Chris Brogan regarding goal setting. Chris talked about his practice of choosing three words that represent goals that he wants to focus on in the coming year. Each word represents an area in his life that he wants to improve. I’ve included a link to Chris’s blog post explaining his technique at the end of this post.
Describing a goal with a single word sounds easy.
If you have set a financial goal to get out of debt you might choose debt-free as your word. According to Chris hyphenated words are okay for this exercise. If you are trying to build up your savings account you might choose the word save. Do the words debt-free and save actually reflect what you want? A result of being debt-free and having a healthy savings account is freedom. Would freedom be a better word?
Many of us set weight loss goals at the beginning of the year. What are some words that represent a healthy weight? Fit is an option or train, a word that I initially chose for my fitness goal.
If you have chosen to get better organized by clearing your clutter you might chose clutter-free as your word. Order and simplify could work too. Freedom might be a good word for this goal too.
I suspect that as you’re reading this you are already thinking about your three words for this year. Go ahead and write down all the words that come to you. It may take a few minutes or even days to isolate the words that most describe your goals. The temptation is to have more than three words but keeping it to three is best. Chris mentioned that simple words seem to be more effective too.
Imagine how much calmer the word cloud image would seem if it only contained three words.
Attach some images to your words
Consider taking this technique one step further by selecting images that represent your words and goals and pasting them to a vision board. This will be my first year using a vision board. A vision board is a collage of images of things you want in your life. It should represent what you want to do, be, or have. It can just be images or it can be a combination of words and images. You can cut out images from magazines or you can visit Google Images and instantly find photos and artwork based on a keyword search. If you are planning to make your vision board public you should do an advanced search and look for images that are not protected by copyright.
What are my three words for 2014?
Author – Originally I chose the words write and publish as two of my words. After some more in-depth analysis I decided that the word author represents the result of writing and publishing.
Lean – Originally I chose train as my word but decided to go with a word that represents the result of accomplishing my goal of shedding a few pounds and increasing my muscle mass. Lean can also apply to my filing cabinets. I can find anything that I have filed in about five seconds when I choose to. I’ve realized this past year that I don’t choose to find very much of the information that I have filed. I plan to make my files leaner this year.
Relax – I want to take more vacation time, have more family time, and more garden time. I am a task oriented person. Sometimes I forget that just doing nothing is okay. This photo represents my favorite vacation destination. I took this photo while walking on the beach last June.
What three words will represent your goals this year? I’d love for you to share them in the comments.
You can read Chris Brogan’s blog post that reveals his three words for 2014 and a little history behind his practice here. Would you like to make a word cloud like the one in this post? Check out this free tool.