One of my favourite alternatives to the traditional new year’s resolution is #my3words, popularised by Chris Brogan who’s been doing them since 2006.

The concept is simple. Come up with three words that will help guide your choices and actions throughout the year. Of course, the finesse in this approach comes from how you go about deciding on those words. Chris has several tips of his own, including:

  • Don’t make it a phrase
  • Make the words actionable
  • Avoid “fancy” words
  • Choose 3 words ONLY

Some time ago I did #my3words and found it to be very useful. However, I also made some mistakes. I learned a few things too. For 2022 I’ve decided to revisit this exercise, and while I’m not ready to divulge all my three words right now (reason below), here are three tips instead:

Give yourself plenty of time. I decided in the middle of December I was going to do this again. As of the middle of January I’ve yet to settle on a third word. Not a big problem, but it’s something to bear in mind if you’re intending to give this some serious thought.

Don’t settle on the obvious. When I originally did #my3words, I always ended up dedicating one word to writing. But I was writing anyway, so it didn’t provide any extra motivation, other than to emphasise its importance. Great, if that’s all you want #my3words to achieve. But…

Think big. Choose words that hold a bigger picture meaning to you. Travel is a great word that I’m using this year. Not only does it refer to an intention to go on more journeys with my family, it also represents a desire to consume different cultures and history, to go to places in my own country I’ve never been to before.