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3 Words To Frame My Year (2012)

by Elizabeth Cottrell · 8 comments

in Connect with Self

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Chris Brogan is a highly sought-after speaker, motivator, and consultant who is on a mission is ensure humanity is not lost when marketing and technology intersect in corporations and organizations. I find his writing and teaching to be unusually compelling, and he was one of the first online experts I followed when I began my foray into online business several years ago.

“Imitation is the best form of Flattery” [1. Charles Caleb Colton]

Since about 2006, Chris has inspired thousands with his annual “3 words challenge,” and with all due respect and credit to him, I am going public with my own three words for 2012. He is very clear these words are not goals. Rather, they are beacons or a framework to guide, inform, and support your goals, decisions, and actions during the year. This is, of necessity, an extremely personal choice, and I hope you’ll consider choosing and committing to your own three. Here are my mine:

1. Focus

One of my inner demons is my propensity for getting easily distracted. I’ll blithely spend hours (not to mention dollars) on a new webinar, ebook, whitepaper, or course and get to the end of the day having accomplished nothing that gets me closer to my goals. Or worse, I have gone weeks at a time without clearly articulating what those goals are or why they’re important. This is the year when I will pare down, realize I can’t multi-task effectively, admit I know everything I need to know to take action and just do it! You’ll see evidence of my work on this as the year progresses. Heartspoken posts will be more regular and more targeted. I’ve asked my wonderful graphic designer, Lynne Crumpacker, to change the wording on my website header to say “How to Connect in a Disconnected World” instead of “Speaking from the Heart about the Power of Connection.” I certainly will continue to speak from the heart, but the new words will more directly convey why I feel there are important things to say about Connection.

2. Connect

Besides my obvious fascination with Connection, I chose this as one of my three words because I want to remember to connect my actions with my intentions. I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to make a connection with—or for—someone. I want to more actively connect with others who share my passion for understanding Connection, and I want to strengthen my own connections with Self, with Others, with God, and with Nature so I can share what I learn with you. These essential connections are woven into every aspect of our best-lived lives.

3. Play

I take myself entirely too seriously, and that’s got to stop. I intend to find ways to play and look at the world more playfully. I want to thank Dr. Cyndi Briggs and my fellow “Play in May” participants for reminding me I need more play in my life. I am convinced this will help me develop more balance, stimulate the other side of my brain (the side that wants to overthink everything), and open me up to more creativity and joy.

What are your 3 words?

I challenge you to pick three words that will help you get more out of the year to come. Please share in the Comments box below, or join the conversation at my Facebook Page.

Photo credit: “Year 2012 Growth Chart” by kizilkayaphotos, Istanbul, Turkey, via iStockPhoto

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ainslie

Hi Elizabeth

This year was the first time I thought of three words to guide my year. And to be honest, it took longer than I expected.

Here are mine

Bare-bones – I want to get back to basics. Get rid of all the clutter and noise in my life – (and that includes what I say and do) I want to stop waste, and stop being someone else. I want to bet back to basics and my unique self.
Beauty – I want to see the beauty in my world again – work and personal and me
Fulfil – I want to do what I say with love and joy. The word commit seemed like a chore, where fulfil seemed more positive.



2 Elizabeth Cottrell

These are wonderful, Ainslie! Yes, isn’t it surprising how hard it is to select three words. Thank you for also sharing why you selected those words. I think your reasons will resonate with many as they did with me. And I loved your thoughtfulness in selecting a positive word instead of one that carried baggage for you.

I have put my three words on an index card and taped them where I can see them every day. I’m hoping this will especially help me with FOCUS :-).

May Beauty fill your world, Ainslie!


3 Karen S. Elliott

Just three words…I like “connect.” That’s a good one. If I hyphenate, can I use pay-it-forward, too? 🙂
Karen S. Elliott recently posted…What do a madam, a racecar, and a kayak have in common?My Profile


4 Elizabeth Cottrell

You bet, Karen! The value is in the thinking…and in remembering throughout the year. Some people choose one word; others choose six, so you’re good to go.

Pay-it-forward is terrific, and you are a master at it. Everything you do is suffused with value and thoughtfulness for others.

May your year be filled with reflections of all the good things you put in it, Karen.


5 Dyane Bradley

OK, I’m going to do a “no no” and steal your first two words because they have been ringing in my ears since last Nov. I have spent/wasted so much time chasing bright shiny objects online and it has to stop. Webinars, Seminars, Teleclasses and Newsletters galore, I have listened, watched and read so many that I am feeling an information overload. In Nov, I started opting OUT! You don’t want to know how much stuff I had in my email inbox.
I have always been a believer in staying connected to people. Since I launched my new business in Aug and its my first Service-based business, it takes on a very different meaning. I have multiple customers to satisfy now. Not just my clients but their customers, as well.I have to make sure that I help my clients connect and stay connected to their customers. I have to make sure my clients understand the importance of connection.
My third word would be studious. I have a very bad habit of signing up for services without taking the time to learn how to use and leverage them properly. I have signed up for things that, on closer inspection, didn’t serve my purpose at all. I have deleted these accounts and am determined to make sure that the service will serve me and/or my customer well before I sign up, now. Dyane
Dyane Bradley recently posted…Is this Facebook symbol costing you $$$?~ Part #2My Profile


6 Elizabeth Cottrell

There’s not a thing wrong with choosing some of the same words, Dyane! (“Great minds run in the same track…”). As a matter of fact, Chris Brogan says that “Focus” was the most often-picked word in all the people who sent him their three words, so we’re in good company.

I applaud your thinking and your intention. Now let’s both come up with a reminder system so that when we slip back into our old ways, we’ll pull ourselves up and straighten out. We can do it!


7 Dyane Bradley

I’ve already started on mine, as I’m sure you have too! I’ve opted-out of most the information I was getting. A lot of it was different versions of the same thing anyway. Now, I can get through my emails quickly.
Unless I’m convinced that a Webinar will do me a lot of good or it is about a service I need to stay informed about, like Facebook. I let it go! There’s so much information out there and most of it is so useful. I’m tempted but I have to be less and less impulsive about those things.
I signed up for several services and apps in the last two days. I made sure they will suit my purpose before I signed up and I have started going through the info so I can use them effectively. I’ve started with one and when I’m ready, I will move on to the next one. No more “sort of knowing” how it works. I need to walk the talk. I teach others how to use their Social Media tools more effectively. I need to make sure mine are as sharp as can be.
I keep thinking about the story of the woodsman and the dull blade. 🙂


8 Elizabeth Cottrell

Dyane, I love the lesson of the story of the woodsman and the dull blade…

Sounds like you’re on the right track. Unsubscribing from things is one of my key activities right now. I’m planning to opt out of a lot of general marketing and social media “conversations” and opt in to ones where my potential readers will “hang out.”

Onward, ever onward…


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