by Christine Kling
In 2013, I changed from the habit of making New Year’s resolutions to following Chris Brogan’s “My 3 Words” exercise. I found that my resolutions ended up being like the Christmas decorations. I trotted them out over the holidays and sometime around the end of that first week of January, I boxed them up and stuffed them in a cupboard and didn’t think about them at all the rest of the year.
To be honest, I don’t revisit my 3 words often enough throughout the rest of the year, either. But whenever I come across one of them in a book or an article, they resonate with me, and I am reminded of the path I chose back when the year was a newborn. Also, I’ve found that choosing the words is a way of thoughtfully reflecting on where I am and where I want to be in the coming year.
Here were my word choices for the last two years:
My 3 Words 2013 Intend, Treasure, Stretch
My 3 Words 2014 Awe, Tribe, Heart
My 3 Words For 2015
Star I chose this word after reading an end of year blog post by the amazing Chuck Wendig. His advice for writers is to be both big and small. He ends the piece with this lovely metaphor that I hope to think about every time I see the word star this year: “Be the writer you want to be, full of power and might and confidence, but one who also is gracious and nice and part of something larger. Earlier I mentioned the stars in the sky, and perhaps there is no greater metaphor, here: each star is impossibly large, a massive shape of fire and gas and light. And yet, when seen at a distance: tiny lights across the night, like sequins cast on the floor, like holes pricked in a dark blanket with a prodding pin. Big stars, but small stars, too. Be then like the star: both big and small at the same time.”
Brave I love the look of this word. It makes me picture the girl from that Pixar film Brave with her wild red hair and hunting bow in her hands. I want to be fierce. Some people think I am already brave because of some of the things I’ve done in my life, but at my core, I am still that elementary school girl who wants to please the teacher and never gets in trouble. I’m a pleaser now, but I want to be a warrior. I recently read a fascinating article in the Atlantic called The Confidence Gap. I could relate to all the ways in which I sabotage myself due to my lack of self-confidence. “Success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence… The good news is that with work, confidence can be acquired.”
Connect The concept of connection has always been a powerful one to me, and this year I want to live a life that focuses on connecting. Both my son and I are getting married in March, and that is a huge connection change in the structure of my family. I want to connect with more readers, too, on social media and through blogging, taking photos, and sharing videos. We plan to visit new islands, and I want to make authentic connections with people from other cultures. This word also means creativity to me. New ideas don’t pop out of the blue — they are born when the mind makes new connections. Invention is connecting elements that have never been connected before. I want to be more inventive, more original in my writing.
These are my 3 words for the new year. I hope some of you will share yours in the comments.
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