Consistency seems so mundane.
Yet, achieving consistency — what some might see as daily drudgery — often creates amazing results.
The “My 3 Words” exercise, started by Chris Brogan in 2006, is for me an attempt to build some consistent practices into life. I wish I could say this has become an annual exercise for me, but, well, I’m not that consistent.
“My 3 Words” gives me a chance to think about how I need to approach the coming year. It’s not the same as goal-setting, although I hope my three words will keep me focused and help me accomplish some goals.
My three words for 2022 are “schedule,” “teach” and “push.”
One of my words for 2021 was “plan.” But it turned out that planning was too broad. Making a plan and outlining the steps to get there was not enough. Without a schedule for following the steps, I let myself fall into I-can-do-it-tomorrow mode.
Things did not get done.
Even though “schedule” is similar to “plan,” it’s an iteration that can provide a framework I need to get things accomplished.
I don’t expect to be employed as a teacher this year. Instead, I want to frame my interactions with people as teaching experiences. Even as I’m “selling” digital marketing, I want people to feel like they’ve learned something.
I need to be open to learning what others have to teach me, but learning isn’t necessarily the hard part for me. Teaching, however, requires empathy; understanding what the student / client needs; and finding the right way to satisfy that need.
I’ve always loved the teaching aspect of past jobs, but I need to work that into my current endeavors.
“Push” is to remind me to keep pushing, even when I feel tired, uninspired and unmotivated. While I was an employee, there was always a boss to push me. I relied on that too much.
When I look at my schedule (see above) or my to-do list, “push” will give me the kick in the butt I need to do the next thing, and then the next thing, and then the next thing. Some days, it might be just one more thing, but at least it will be a step ahead.
My three words will be in plain sight around my desk, in my journal and in my planner / scheduler. Brogan and others who participate in this process write out their words daily and even use them as meditation mantras. I’ll be trying that one.
Even though the “3 words” exercise is a New Year kind of thing, it’s something you can do anytime. Give it a chance to work, though. Changing your three words more than once a year might leave you open to inconsistency.
Mark Whittaker, a Pittsburgh-based online marketer, helps small businesses and start-ups find customers with search and social media advertising, content development and digital marketing strategy. Write to him at mark (at) markwhittaker.com and subscribe to his bi-weekly email.