My 3 Words – New Year’s Revolutions


New Year’s Eve signals a helluva lot of reflection, hope, inner criticism and a magnified look at those things that pain us…especially bad habits. We swear we want different. We make intense proclamations of how all our ingrained lack-of-discipline will somehow disappear. But dammned if the tick-tock Cinderella stroke of midnight yields nada. 12:01 a.m. SURPRISE! I’m still the me that ate too much sugar. You’re still the you that lit up a cigarette.

Yet, I suppose now is as good as time as any for New Year’s ‘Revolutions.’ Can I even be honest with myself? Am I such a master of self-disguise can I wade through the bullshit and recognize what’s raw, or real or worthy of attention? Can the snapshot of my behavior, my goals, my pain, the truth of what perpetuates the avoidance in the first place somehow unveil itself, or is there some secret handshake I’ve not yet discovered? At nearly 50, why haven’t I learned?

Author, speaker and motivational educational business fella Chris Brogan offers one ‘non-resolution’ approach to New Year’s…and to life. He suggests picking My 3 Words that guide/inspire/describe/pronounce/proclaim all interconnected areas of one’s life. (For Chris Brogan’s explanation of why 3 words, what they should do/symbolize/mean click here). In short, the 3 Words are nouns and they are verbs. They are intention, they are outcome. They are reason and they are canon.

While we like to believe we are one way with business, or one way with our relationships, or another way with family, we are who we are, we show up how we show up. We all have hopes and dreams and goals. Yet, we all also have challenges and excuses and self-defeating behavior. We all get cozy with coming up short. Why not simplify all that?

So in this spirt, I have My 3 Words for 2017. I took a few weeks to identify them. They will be hand-written each day. They will be thought about. Interacted with. All my business actions and relationships will be intended to funnel towards and through them. Very briefly, here are they are explained:


This means so many things to me. This is about “realizing”—as in awareness/recognition AND as in manifestation/doing the work—of my own talent, worth, purpose. This is about not thinking or talking about what I want do do someday, but just doing it. REALIZING today is the moment. Today is the opportunity. Today is the gift. It’s about coming out from behind the curtain to greet myself, say hello, get to know myself and not be so matter-of-fact to myself. REALIZE as in self-realization; making the most of my gifts and being thankful for them as they are uniquely mine. It’s about not taking things for granted and seeing my life as it is. Not what it isn’t. REALIZE here is now. I love that the word “REAL” is in here too. Authentic. Honest. No bullshit.


This word conveys perseverance. It means daily and deliberate discipline. It means being part of something—a team, a mission, a cause, a belief—greater than myself and doing what’s necessary to achieve victory. It means strategy. It denotes every action has a consequence. It suggests fighting for values that matter: liberty and freedom (from oppression and for expression). It implies there is no room for self-pity and discomfort is required most of the time.


This word also have several definitions. “Process” as in the course of time and/or steps one takes in endeavors to achieve an outcome or end result; and “Process” as in reflection on the information and experiences of what’s transpiring. To me, this word signifies patience and recognition that things (success, relationships, goals) take time AND there are necessary steps that have to happen in sequential order to get stuff done. This suggests more thoughtful planning to ensure the right steps are identified and are followed for greater efficiency. If I want to achieve “E” what A, B, C and D needs to happen? The recognition of a PROCESS and attention to it gives room for self-compassion and patience. I may not get it right the first time, or even the second. Or maybe not even the third.

This word also reminds me about being brave enough to reflect on what is happening in life. Take in the moments of love and laughter. Allow the feelings to come—all of them—sadness, fear, joy, love—and greet them with an open heart. PROCESS the inner world which is sometimes so neglected and shoved aside. Be afraid but be courageous. Just be present to filter and let what life commands to flow through me.

Thank you Chris Brogan for this practice, your wisdom and desire to inspire others, including me. I will live with, contemplate, spar against, laugh at, cry beside and embrace My 3 Words as my New Year’s Revolutions.

(all photos: janna lopez)

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