My 3 Words For 2020

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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020. 2020? That blows my mind. Science fiction is now the present.

It’s day one of the new year. Have you set up your resolutions? Have you got your goals in place? Maybe you’ve even created a moodboard for your office to visualize, or you blocked off some time every day on your calendar to meditate, maybe you’re doing a Bullet Journal or working in Evernote to keep track of life? I did what I normally do: I put a little bit of time aside to choose my three words that will define my 2020.

Only three words?

Every year, Chris Brogan does an exercise he calls, My 3 Words For The Year. Chris explains it like this:

“In an effort to tell bigger stories, I’ve found that the concept of three words allows me to think in more dimensions about what I want to do with my life and it lets me apply lots of tangible goals instead of what most people do when they focus on just a finite task. It’s a bit like turbo-charged goal planning.”

Going public (again).

I’ve been doing this exercise ever since Chris first introduced it (I think it was back in 2006?). Each year, around December – without prompting – I find myself starting to think about my three words. The personal pressure is on. It’s a good pressure, but it’s pressure. All of us hope to do more, be more and achieve more. Nailing it down to three words is always a welcome challenge. Over the years, I have made only a few of these public. This year, I have decided to put it out there in the hopes that you will be encouraged to take this exercise on, and share it with the world as well. So, here’s goes everything…

My 3 Words For 2020:

  • Write. Words matter. I need, want and will write more this year. While audio was my one of My 3 Words for 2019 (and creating audio is still a massively important part of the content that I love to create)… writing is still my core. I’ve been blessed to build a very powerful (and private) Facebook Group for business and non-fiction authors, but I have not put in the same amount of time that I have in the past toiling over the words. That changes. Now… and forever.

  • Have. I have enough. I have more than enough. I have more than most. I am not bragging. Still, I am human. I still compare and try to figure out why (and how) others have more. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or in real life, I find myself trying to figure out how to achieve more. Is that the goal? Is that the metric? Especially when I have more than enough? Especially when I have accomplished so much? Success, wealth and happiness are funny words. They are deeply personal. They are deeply defined by our insecurities. Enough because I have enough… maybe even too much… of the good stuff. And, no, this is not about money and wealth… that’s only a fraction of the equation.

  • Personal. Private is personal. Public is personable. This has always been my approach to creating content for social media (good or bad). I try to be very personable on social media, but keep my life as private as possible (for a myriad of reasons, but look no further than how our data has been snatched over the past decade). But bigger than that, I’ve noticed how people have let narcissism and showing off fall under the context of “personal branding”. It’s not. Here’s what I posted recently on Facebook: It’s not marketing if all you do is try to demonstrate to the world how great you are. It’s not even personal branding. It’s just showing off (and inflating your own tires/puffing your chest). Marketing (and personal branding) is providing value to clients (and potential customers), and the creation/curation of content based on your domain of authority. Or: “how can I make this post/article/picture/podcast help you be better, based on the content and experience that I have?” Look, I get it, Facebook (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc…) are all places where we show the world the person that we want the world to know us as. It’s almost too easy. But, all of those posts – where people are quoting themselves with shots of them on a plane, in a hotel, at the gym, as a reflection in the mirror, bragging about some speaking event that they are ‘ eynoting’ – is not marketing. It’s not even personal branding. It’s just showing off… and it doesn’t make you an expert (or have a domain of authority) in anything but vanity and narcissism. Look, I’ve been guilty of doing a lot of the above in the past (the recent past). I’ve been changing (and thinking about it a lot), because I realize that bragging is not marketing or personal branding. I’m going to try to do a lot less showing off and much more showing up with value.

What three words will define your 2020?