You may have heard about the “My Three Words” concept of setting intentions.

A few years ago, I learned of an approach called “My Three Words”. This concept was developed by Chris Brogan – CEO of Owner Media, author, speaker, business adviser and seemingly a nice guy. Chris has been using his My 3 Words” approach for over a decade with a great deal of success. Many folks have been following Chris’ lead and opting for 3 words to set intentions for the new year.

The concept is simple – replace resolutions with three words that, through the year, will guide your choices, challenge your motives and influence your decisions. Choose words which have meaning and depth – words which stand on their own, yet work together to create a triangulation to guide you through your year.

The three-word concept works best when the words are positive in spirit and when they are chosen to help with the larger picture.

Pick any three words that will guide you in the choices you intend to make for 2018. These 3 words will guide you to challenge yourself as to your motives, your lifestyle, and your work decisions. These are words that will help you guide your actions.

Three words…that you could do anything with. Three words that could help you in your personal and professional life. Three words that open up far more options than any limited resolutions could do.

Calm – – – –  Grounded – – – – Light

These are my three words going into 2018.

I will read them, write them, and consider them several times each day throughout the year.


I chose this word because the simple act of saying the word in my head seems to create calm in my body. I find that keeping the word “calm” close at hand reminds me to carefully consider any action at hand. I will take care to react in a way that is comfortable to me and to the person with whom I am interacting.

In the work I do, often, clients are frustrated, excited, confused about the technology and best practices for their online presence platforms. It’s been my experience that surrounding us both with ‘calm’ helps us to identify specific strategies to easily navigate a learning curve and to identify priorities and tactics for their own online engagement.


I chose this word because the simple act of saying the word in my head elicits an actual sense of strength – as though my body is connecting to the ground, similar to the “Power Pose” heralded by Amy Cuddy in her popular TED Talk or to ‘Mountain Pose’ (Tadasana) in yoga. ‘Grounded’ reminds me to stay steady and strong in how I intend to project myself in my personal and professional life. It reminds me to remember what is essential and important in whatever task or activity I am involved in, an in the conversations in which I engage.


I chose this word because it has two meanings that each resonate with me. At times, I focus on the aspect of feeling unencumbered by ‘stuff’ – Having recently purged when we finally moved from our home of 22 years (4+ kids grew up here, two barns- so. much. stuff.), the sense of having space – of dealing with less ‘stuff’ – has been amazing!  Other times – very, very often – I am focused on the way the light shows up where I am – whether waking in morning, walking on the beach, or from the candles in our home – I take a true and good look at the light and focus on the feeling it brings.  How does this translate to my professional work? I’d have to say that it would be that I prefer to focus on the light that each business owner brings to her own work, the truest reason that they are doing the work that they are doing. Recognizing that light allows us to direct her online messaging and engagement to reflect her “zone of genius”.  It also reminds me to keep the process ‘light’ for the client. When we take one step at a time, with focus and meaning, the process will seem less unwieldy and more meaningful.

Wondering how to choose your 3 words for 2018? Consider these tips from Chris Brogan:

“First, phrases aren’t recommended. If you choose “Be the Best,” for instance, the word “the” offers nothing but grammatical glue. I mean, you can do whatever you’d like. It’s just not recommended if you want to follow this concept.

Pick words that apply to your goals, and more so, that apply to how you might make choices. For instance, if you’re thinking you want to lose 30 pounds, a word like “lose” really isn’t going to help. Maybe the word “green” to remind you to eat more vegetables? Or the word “temple” as in “treat my body like a temple.” The word has to trigger a mental association that will prompt you to make a better choice.

Pick words that apply to more than one dimension of your life. Maybe you want to be the best accountant around, but you might also want to be the best mother or best uncle or best Spartan racer around, also. A word like “Here” is simple, but it reminds you to be present, a skill that you can use everywhere.”

I’d love to have a discussion with you on this topic.  What are your 3 words for the coming year?