Since 2013, I’ve been writing a blog post for the New Year called My Three Words. Chris Brogan was the first person that I had seen to do this. Chris has been writing My Three Words since 2006. Naturally, I think Chris Brogan is the best person to define how to go about writing My Three Words.

How Chris Brogan Explains The Three Words Concept

Think of three words that sum up what you want to work actionably on changing/improving in the coming year. It works best when the words are positive in spirit and not negative. For instance: “Fat” isn’t exactly a great word, but “Fit” would be better. Think of words that give you more than just a simple goal. For instance, instead of “fit,” I’d look to go with “athlete” or “marathon runner” or some person that connects you to those goals.

The idea is to look deeper than a single goal and try to give you an entire mindset to contemplate. The Heath Brothers in their book, Switch, talked about needing three elements to bring about change: a rider (your plans and intents), the elephant (what your mood will do no matter what your plans say), and the path (the environment within which you intend to implement those changes). The concept of the three words is like the path. Think of a word that gives you the HUGE picture, not the small picture.

-From Chris Brogan’s My Three Words for 2013

How I relate to My Three Words

Every year I want to accomplish great things. But unlike New Year’s Resolutions, which we’ve mostly destroyed by early February, the Three Words are themes that goes through the entire year. It’s less about something I’ll change immediately and more like something I keep in mind to grow into.

I encourage everyone to go through this exercise. It has been immensely helpful for me in remembering what I want to take on and accomplish in each year of my life.

My Three Words Posts

2023: Audience, Sustainable, 169

2022: Author, Reduce, Delegate

2021: Movement, Pace, Preparation

2020: Embrace, Outspoken, Disciplined

2019: Leader, Helpful, Self-Care

2018: Appreciate, Adapt, Ahead

2017Moonshot, Known, and Ready

2016Production, Control, and No

2015 (Update): Expanded, Diligent, and Outbound

2015Urgency, Focused, and Outbound

2014Balance, Growth, and Love

2013: Hungry, Focused, and Breakout