“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
If you haven’t worked out what the acronym is, it is “Happy New Year to You and Yours”. At this time of year, with the holiday period over and many people returning to work, it is a kind way, plus an interesting way, to wish someone a good year to come.
At this time of year, many people think of New Year’s resolutions:- losing weight; giving up smoking; stopping drinking; giving up meat; starting an exercise regime; learning a new language; starting a sport; travelling to new places; getting a new job; getting a new qualification; you name it. There are even lists of the more extreme and unusual resolutions, just try googling “unusual new year’s resolutions” to see some strange ones.
If you look at the list above, every activity is something physical. Now, take a moment and check out what was on your own New Year’s resolution list (if you have one that is)? I bet everything you have thought of or are putting in place are physical activities. Now, there is nothing wrong with physical activity, as you can track, measure and often see the results.
How about something more thought-provoking? Something within yourself?
What I have been practising for a number of years, was something that I was introduced to by a blogger and marketer, Chris Brogan. If you would like to check out Chris’s 3 words for 2019, check out his latest blog:-
I have been following him since 2008 and have been trying, sometimes successfully, and sometimes not, practice the “3-word model” as a way to focus my activities, thoughts and outcomes for a year. As Chris calls it, these are “… lighthouses. Should I say yes to this project? Well, does this align with my three words?”
Too often we get caught up in the complexity of life, rather than the simplicity that a word or a series of words can bring to your daily activities and world in general. These words are memory triggers, something that you will be able to remember quickly once you have chosen them. Some of the guidelines that I have followed include:
- Use a single word. Don’t make it a phrase. You won’t remember it and a single word is far more powerful.
- Stick with the 3 words all year. Consistency is key to making this memory trigger work. I write them in front of the new notebook that I start at the beginning of the year. Yes, a new notebook for the start of the year. It gives me a fresh start feeling.
- The word should be something that is actionable, rather than just trite (hackneyed and meaning nothing).
- The words should have meaning to you personally and not something you think other people would expect from you.
So what are my 3 words for this year?
They are, in no particular order:- Zoom, Pausing, Touch
For me, “Zoom” means zooming in to focus on a particular task, something that mindfulness gives you the ability to do. It also gives you the ability to zoom out and gain a broader perspective.
Secondly, “Pausing” means taking the time to pause, to reflect, not to jump into conversations, arguments or issues quickly. I have a phrase that I try to follow “Pause, Reflect, Act” and this lends itself to this. It is a doing word, so continues the theme of movement from zoom.
Finally, “Touch”. Take the time to touch the world and not just gloss over it, rushing from one moment to the next. Take the time to connect to nature and the world around me.
Before the world picks up speed as we return to non-holidays, why not take a moment to sit and think about the 3 words that hold meaning for you this year. Why not share them?
I leave you with the following quote which made me smile.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia