A Simple Way Forward in 2017

A Simple Way Forward in 2017

As I began 2017 I reconsidered all of my “start of the new year behaviors” and decided that “simpler is betterer.” (I know it isn’t a word, but it catches your attention)!

Resolutions are OUT, Goals too COMPLICATED

New Year’s resolutions have become passe. Most resolutions are “broken” by mid-month anyway, so why even pretend you are going to set one?

Although I am still a fan of goals, they are not actually simple. As something to give us longer-term, specific or big results, goals are awesome. But to help us make the consistent, sometimes small steps forward, they just are not as useful.

So the question I asked myself this year was: In addition to setting goals, what can I do that will help me stay focused on moving forward, but be so simple I won’t have to struggle with integrating it into my daily life and routine?


One Word

Several years ago my friend and former business partner Kellie shared with me that she picks a word for the year as her focus. She then adds a custom charm (pendant) to her always worn necklace (you can get some ideas here). I liked the concept but didn’t act on it then.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago and I was introduced to One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Jimmy Page, and Dan Britton. It is a quick read (or listen) and can help you discover a single word focus for the upcoming year. So I engaged in the process.

Three Words

At around the same time, Chris Brogan wrote about his process of identifying three words for the year. He finds that three words provides a bit more robust focus without over complicating the process. He is adamant that they just be three individual words, not a phrase.

Chris’s process is somewhat different than the One Word process outlined in the book, but I definitely see how it would provide insight and value. Particularly depending upon how your own mental, emotional, and spiritual processes work. Three has always been a favorite number of mine (possibly because I was born on the third).

Four Words

Chris says four words didn’t work for him, but I loved the Four-Word Poem concept I learned last spring from Marlon Hall. It really is more like a mantra, a catch-phrase, or possibly a purpose, but ultimately has some of the same objectives of simplifying focus to ensure forward direction.

As a “logic” person, I like structure, so the simple structure appeals to me. However, it does feel different than either of the two approaches above.

My Answer for Me

I have decided to try all three options out to see what makes the most impact and which, if any, seems to “stick.”

  • One Word: Results – I am often busy, but busy isn’t the same as effective and there are many areas in my life that could use some tangible results.
  • Three Words: Results, Simplify, Relax – To get results I am going to need to simplify in lots of areas (I have too much going on in too many different facets of my life). But I also need to remember and re-focus on relaxing. Not just “not working” but truly engaging in activities specifically for relaxation.
  • Four Words: Inspiring Ideas for Success – This applies not only to myself but also how I interact with others in all the many areas in which I am currently engaged.

Which option appeals to you? One, three, or four words? Or do you have a different option? Share your thoughts in the comments below.