My 3 Words for 2023

  • Jeff Gibbard
  • 6 min read

I’ve been writing a My Three Words post every year since 2013.

If you don’t know what it is all about, go here 👉 about my three words

Here are my three words for 2023.

Sustainable

I’m ambitious and measure the value of my time here (my existence) by the impact I’m able to make. As a result, I have a habit of taking on too many things. Not only that but because I get excited by the prospect of every new idea, I tend to imagine the biggest possibility for every idea. I also have ADHD, so here’s the loop I get stuck in:

  1. Hyperfocus: Because of my ADHD, I get super excited about new ideas and spend 8 hours straight building out the entire strategy with everything required to do it to completion.
  2. Executive Dysfunction: Then, I get overwhelmed by the enormity of the project and my brain shuts off.
  3. Object Impermanence: Then, once the next idea comes along, it pushes that previous big idea out of sight and out of mind

I go through this loop over and over building up a backlog of projects that when combined with the reality of time constraints makes it obvious why I only complete most projects halfway.

This is unsustainable.

In order to accomplish my goals, release more projects, and help more people, I need to reconfigure things so my efforts, ambition, and output are sustainable.

Here’s how I plan to do this:

  1. Focus on Minimum Viable: Rather than structure every idea as something that will change the world, I’m going to reduce the scope of my projects to get the idea out the door and into the world instead of waiting for or working toward perfect. This means I will be streamlining all processes around simplicity first.
  2. Watch the waves: I know that my energy comes in peaks (hyperfocus) and valleys (executive dysfunction). Yet, I often plan as if my energy will be consistent. Instead, I’m going to plan around the reality of my energy so that I can sustain myself through the natural ups and downs.

In order to do this, I’m following the brilliant advice of Jeanette Bronée in her book The Self-Care Mindset beginning a practice of pausing on purpose. Before saying yes to anything, I’m going to slow down, breathe, and reflect.
3. Remember that saying yes means saying no: There’s a question in Michael Bungay Stanier’s book The Coaching Habit that I’ve willfully ignored for too long:

If you say yes to this, what are you saying no to?”

I am building out a priority tracker for myself that will have limited slots open for yes. This means that I will have to physically confront this question. In order to say yes to something new, it will require me to say no to something else.

169

This one is straightforward.

I want to get my weight under 170 lbs. That’s when I felt the healthiest in my life.

This is the first time I’ve chosen a word that is specifically related to health, weight, or fitness.

I’ve watched the scale as my weight has steadily crept upward over the last 8 years and have continued to put my health off to the side because I continued to tell myself that I’d start paying attention to my health…soon.

It’s time. We just welcomed our second child and I’m keenly aware that I have to take care of myself now if I’m going to be around for them later.

169 is EXTREMELY specific. It is an unavoidable reminder of what I’m after. It is tangible, and exactly what I need to see every day.

Audience

I have been blogging since 2008, podcasting since 2013, and (professionally) active on social media since 2008. Yet, I’ve never paid much attention to deliberately building my audience. I’ve mostly approached my various activities with passion and zeal for the activity itself and a very passive awareness or concern for how many people I reached.

Part of this has come from my own discomfort with actively seeking out followers or subscribers as I’ve often associated that behavior with people who seem more interested in boosting their ego or monetizing attention at all costs, than being genuinely committed to building a platform to make the world a better place.

But in recent years, that has changed as I’ve drifted further from the world of social media marketing. Over the past 3 years, I’ve started to associate with more people who are using marketing to advance their impact rather than measuring their impact by the success of their marketing. This is a profound shift and it’s helped me to realize that my impact is directly tied to BOTH the quality of what I do, and the number of people I’m able to affect.

I’m going to be making some pretty big and dramatic changes to my content strategy and process this year with an emphasis on creating more content, in more places, in a sustainable way, while trying to keep things simple. I plan to do more to grow the size of my various networks online in order to gain access to bigger opportunities that, in turn, give me the chance to inspire and educate more people on the process of becoming superhumans and lovable leaders.

So, this is what I’m focusing on this year.

If you’re reading this, I hope that you hold me accountable.

What are YOUR three words?

If you’ve never done this before, there’s no better time to start.

Pick your three words and write up something to post on your blog or on Medium. Share it on social media and add the hashtag #my3words so other people can find it.

Feeling shy? Don’t want to publish your own post to share with the world? Just post your three words in the comments of this post.

Thanks, as always, to Chris Brogan for the inspiration to do this every year.

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