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Jan 04

My Three Words for 2015

Three Words 2015 - Read-Write-ShareA few of my favorite thinkers take a different approach to New Year’s resolutions. Instead of listing things they hope to accomplish in the coming year, they select three one-word themes.

Author, marketer and business cheerleader Chris Brogan started the practice in 2006. By applying themes to his goal-setting process, Chris gives himself flexibility to add, delete or change his goals, as long they fit his annual themes. I’m also a fan of author, marketer and teacher Christopher S. Penn‘s approach to the Three Words process.

After four or five years of reading other people’s annual themes, it’s time to embark on my own Three Words journey. My themes for 2015 are simple: read, write and share.

Read: I grew up in love with reading — history and science fiction, mostly. As a kid, I often was the first one awake so I could read before school. I ruined my eyesight by relying on the hall light to see the print in my latest Hardy Boys or adventure. (My parents thought I was asleep.) In the last decade, maybe a little longer, I’ve let television replace my love of books. It’s time to get back to dedicating time each day to read books.

Write: Journalism was my first career. I wrote about local government, education, health, sports, business, Rotary meetings, community festivals, murder trials, and multi-million-dollar lawsuits. During my 30-year newspaper career I also was a copy editor, an assignment editor and an editorial writer. In my present marketing work, I still work with words by editing marketing and content plans and teaching writing tips to young Dream Local Digital marketers. It’s been a long time since I’ve written for myself. Writing used to be my self-therapy. After a long pause, I believe I have a few things to say, and I’m finally past caring (much) about what other people think.

Share: A couple of recent revelations led to “share,” the most important of my three words. Somehow, I’ve accumulated 330 Twitter followers, even though I don’t tweet often. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t think those Twitter folks are all eager for a daily tweet from Mark. But, I’ve reasoned, if they’ve made the effort to follow me, I should try to give them something — a link to an interesting article, a sarcastic witticism, even an opinion about the Pittsburgh Pirates. So, a daily presence on Twitter will be part of my sharing process.

It goes deeper, too. Writing will be another way of sharing more of myself. I have a bad habit of hoarding information. It’s my twisted mind’s way of protecting myself and preserving power. It’s a bad habit I intend to replace by becoming a funnel of information for others, especially in my work.

The last element of “sharing” is even more personal. Last year brought my first two grandchildren into the world. Although less than 2 months old, they’ve kindled a stronger desire to share my time with them, with my family and with my community.

My three words are pretty basic, but I know that by practicing all three, I’ll continue to grow. If I’m lucky, reading, writing and sharing will also result in worthwhile contributions to the world around me.

How about you? What three words will frame your 2015? Leave a comment or send me a note.

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