My 3 Words for 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Every year since around 2006, I’ve been challenging people to forego the idea of a resolution, and instead, to come up with 3 words that will help you define your goals and experiences for the coming year. Resolutions are often too vague, or too directed towards one goal. It might be “quit smoking” or “lose 20 pounds” or “get hired.” These are all fine aspirations, but I challenge you to dig deeper, to find three words that could be used as lighthouses to guide you through stormy seas, that can be used as flags on the battlefield of your challenges, words that will bolster you and give you a direction that goes beyond the goals you might attach as a result of these words.

This year, I’ve got a little something more, thanks to Jacqueline’s post. Now, not only will I stick to my three words, but I will use Jacq’s idea of #12in12 to execute on the meaning of those three words every month. I invite you to do the same. It really seems like the best way to stay very mindful of your 3 words and their place in your life.

My 3 Words for 2012

My three words for 2012 are:

Temple – I will treat my body like a temple, and in that, I have incorporated my fitness and nutrition goals, my sleep goals, my health goals, and all that I can do to improve my body so that I can be a much more successful person in 2012. My first #12in12 for this will be 31 days of yoga with Jacqueline, and also a return to 31 days of 80/20 paleo (I have a little bit of dairy). It will also impact what I consume for media, and how I spend my time.

Untangle – I will work from my own core. I will let neither praise nor criticism get in the way of my efforts. I will work from the strength of meditation and I will work from making sure that I’m driving my personal life, my business life, and all my other responsibilities from a clear and simple perspective. This also means that I will keep Human Business Works very sane and focused instead of all over the place. This also means I will stop acting like I have ADD, and I will focus on a few things and do those well, instead of a lot of things and just barely succeed.

Practice – The practice is the reward. The practice is the reward. Practice means that I will remember to do DAILY what needs doing. I will look at all of my larger efforts in life as the results of the work I accomplish through practice. I can’t be a sharp sword if I stay in the scabbard all the time. My days will be geared around practice. I refuse to just “wing it” in any aspects of my life any longer. And when I say that, I don’t mean that I’ll not allow for serendipity or leisure, but instead, that I will be much more mindful of how I can accomplish what needs doing, and that I will work towards those goals and interests in a way that affords me more success.

Temple. Untangle. Practice.

Compared to years past, this is a much more personal list of goals and words than before. But that’s what I need right now, and ultimately, it will be what drives me and my business (and my life) to success.

Some of YOUR 3 Words for 2012

These came from people who were willing to share their three words with me and you. See yourself in these? Oh, by the way, the #1 word was “Focus.”

Girish – Know, Live, Be.
Christopher – Story, Restoration, Compassion.
Nancy – Abundance, Love, Generosity.
Matt – Create, Motivate, Dominate.
Lara – Simplify, Inspire, Connect.
Alex- Focus, Create, Smile.
Juan – Lean, Zoom, Fear.less (great explanation on this one!)
Betsy – Connect, Grow, Excel.
Chris – Cross-border, Distance-collaboration, Knowledge-capture (hyphens RULE!)
Nick – Understand, connect, empower.
Chris – Build, Body, Write.
Chip – Family, Direction, Joy.
Farah – Learn, Grow, Live.
Sarah- Spearhead. (Just one. But a POWERFUL one, right?)
Barbara – Inspire, Ask, Receive.
John – Slowly, Clarify, Communicate.
Emiel – Packaging, Expansion, Clarity.
Deb – Passion, Focus, Delegate.
Joe – Innovation, Collaboration, Gratitude.
Peggy – Authenticity, Action, Amore.
Mat – Learn, Commit, Focus.
Meg – Focus, Creativity, Stories.
Rick – Communication, Courage, Trust.
Trilby – Embark, Focus, Manage.
Marilyn – Initiate, Finish, Deepen.
Valerie – Plan, Clear, Test.
John – Construct, Campfire, Celebrate.
Nick – Momentum, Ship, Scalability.
Christy – Love, Intuition, Congruence.
Jack – Grandchildren, Write, Expand.
Deborah – Optimism, Innovation, Action.
Marge- Perserverance, Well-being, Manifest.
Hashim – Collaborate, Ship, Test.
Terry – Ask, Listen, Reflect.
Art – Believe, Seek, Achieve.
Karen- Share, Enjoy.
Kevin – Collaborate, Stretch, Process.
Suzanne – Focus+Discipline= Expansion.
Brenda – Balance, Believe, Celebrate.
Robert – Study, Strengthen, Stretch.
Alan – Less, Travel, Publish.
Linda – Listen, Dare, Forgive. (I love these!)
Ed – Immersion, Passion, Focus.
Matt – Create, Motivate, Dominate.
Jesse – Love, Grow, Serve.
Ryan – Prepare, Pare, Pray.
Todd – Adapt, Change, Sustain.
Tito – Produce, Promote, Prosper.
Steven – Focus, Plan, Focus. (I think he wants to Focus!)
Dan – Ask, Listen, Move.
David – Invest, Create, Connect.
Steven – Story, Inspiration, Consistency.
Diane – Growth, Over-Deliver, Fun.
John – Revenue/Profit, Value, Results.
Patrick – Listen, Streamline, Profess. (I love “profess!”)
Joe – Productivity, Persistence, Prioritize.
Brent – Show Up, Engage, Encourage.
Jeff – Discipline, Give, Learn.
JJ – Connect, Collaborate, Co-Create.
LaTara – Focused, Ordered, Purposed.
Brian – Effort, Focus, Growth.
Martine – Perseverance, Balance, Action.
Carole – Think, Do, Review.
Ramon – Relationships, Content, Value.
Hannah – Ritual, Trust, Magic.
Michael – Listen, Smart, Create.
Wayne – Commit, Concentrate, Complete.
Mike – Plan, Focus, Follow-through.
John – Build, Recurring, Revenue.
Eduardo – Do, Learn, Share.
Colin – Learn, Write, Edify.
Jack – Create, Consistency, Call.
Lana – Question, Meditate, Respond.
Lisa – Empathize, Inspire, Empower.
Nat – Shape-up, Do, Limitations.
Kjell – Fearless, Invest, Presence.
JoAnn – Strengthening, Stretching, Sustaining.
Natasha – Authentic, Journal, Ice Wine.
Helena – Present, In-Person, Reclamation.
Cheryl – Learn, Teach, Grow.
John – Create, Collaborate, Challenge.
Pat – Focus, Create, Refine.
Mike – Focus, Calm, Sharing.
Mike – Listen, Smart, Create.
Lee – Likable, Ethical, Enhancing. (See what LEE did there?)
Laurie – Invite, Value, Ease.
Angela – Begin, Live, Grow.
Gordon – Refocus, Improve, Do.
Dan – Balance, Conclusion, Enlightenment.
Mary – Commit, Challenge, Triumph.
Diane – Listen, Follow-through, Self-Awareness.
Midge – Focus, Condense, Play.
Aimee – Dedication, Belief, Stretch.
Rosemary – Energy, Ownership, Delight.
Mike – Finish, Freaking, Strong.
Daniele – Challenge, Focus, Austerity.
Michael – Build, Ship, Disrupt.
Chantal – Produce, Flow, Collaborate.
Alla – Focus, Reach, Sleep.
Ad – Wonder, Discover, Serve.
Kevin – +200, Iterate, Reflect.
Prabu – Rebuild, Passoin, Family.
Pat – Write, Video, Ship.
Allen – Skill-sets, Help, Marriage.
CJ – Focused, Creative, Synchronicity.
Delia – Focus, Passion, Inspire.
Richard – Study, Practice, Flow.
Tisha – Create, Courage, Move.
Lori – Earn, Learn, Returns.
Dr Bob – Visible, Focus, Integrity.
Varadh – Everyday, Altruism, Learn.
Skip – Live, Work, Create.
Lee – Listen, Focus, Action.
Candice – Integrate, Explore, Inspirit (which I’d never heard of before, but hey!)
Ainslie – Bare-Bones, Beauty, Fulfill.
Laura – Connect, Healthy, Thrive.
Melanie – Write, Plan, Space.
Bob – Health, Teach, Connect.
Glenn – Connect, Create, Complete.
Maria – Stretch, Grow, Jump.
RJ – Prioritize, Leverage, Prepare.
Mary – Commit, Discipline, Present.
Mijail- Health, Reconstruct, Invest.
Shawn – Connect, Discipline, Graceful.
Rohana – Renew, Harmony, Promote.
Aprille – Initiative, Conversations, Discipline.
Ben – Others, Potential, Image.
Katherine – Accelerate, Delve, Bloom.
Gene – Focus, Learn, Thrive.

Share YOUR Three Words

What will the 3 words that define you and/or your challenges and goals for 2012? Share them with us? Let’s talk about them in the comments, or blog your own 3 words post and leave links in the comments. I’ll get them approved as soon as possible (everything with a URL gets held for manual approval).

And don’t forget to check out the 12 in 12 idea as a model for mapping your three words to actionable efforts every month. I think it’ll make a WORLD of difference! runs on the Genesis Framework

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  • Jason Durham

    My Three: Learn  Grow  Share

  • Doug Keefe

    Focus, Build, Deliver

  • Wendy BreakstoneLadd

    Chris, I LOVE THIS CONCEPT! My words: FAMILY  FOCUS  FIT (these words encompass my emotional, intellectual and physical “presence” in each moment. Happy New Year!  WendyB

  • Mike Kirkeberg

    My three words for the new year are simple -

    Practice, Polish, Publish

  • Stephanie Inge

    Body, Mind, Soul

  • Pingback: 2012 + 3 Words = Success « April Lynne Scott

  • tracileigh

    Passion. Move. Write.

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  • Suzanne Dameron

    Rethink. Simplify. Goals.

  • John Kai

    Routine – Visualize – Positivity

  • Henry Louis

    Hi Chris! I like your words and way of presentation. All the best to you and the readers for this new year 2012.

  • Pingback: My Own “3 Words” – for #NewYear2012 « Heinlein Group

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  • janice michalek

    Janice-connect, laugh, live.

  • Joe White

    I’ve just done mine Chris: 80:20 focus guitar

  • Cathy Presland

    Simplicity, connection, laughter… can’t wait ;)

  • Yoursacredpurpose

    Vision Power Destiny

  • Ayesha

    Love, Live, Nurture.

  • Gabriella

    Amazing stuff. Great way to start the new year off.

  • Cyndy Youker

    Focus, Flinch, Fitness

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  • Berni Xiong (sh-UNG)

    I picked mine out of my tarot card reading with my spiritual adviser.

    1. Focus
    2. Compassion
    3. Worry

    I’m intrigued to learn how I explore these this year!

  • Melinda Kim

    Push:  for excellence and boundaries
    Clarity:  be able to step back and evaluate through my own senses
    Balance:  be present for both work and family

  • Pingback: Three words for 2012 | Chris Van Patten versus The World

  • Kathleen Hoffman

    I have found this idea through #bcsm chat…was truly blown away by the participants 3 words…I’m going to blog on this and will link to you.  Thanks for sharing this!

  • Pingback: My 3 Words for 2012: Routine – Visualize – Positivity |

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  • Joy Bianchi Brown

    Courage:  Not to be afraid of new things, or new challenges in life.
    Engage: Be present and pay attention to what is going on around me.
    Discipline: Do the things I intend to do.  

  • Pingback: My 3 Words for 2012

  • DickR

    redemption, humbleness, clarity

  • Bright Spark Media

    Love this idea to create focus. In fact, I was so inspired that I created a Goal Setting Worksheet, and blogged about it. see attached photo :)

    Balance - making sure to spend enough quality time with my friends, and family. And taking the time to eat properly and exercise, and not be glued to the computer.

    Growth - ensuring that my business continues to grow, by setting achievable goals, by networking, by staying focused on tasks, and through connecting with other like-minded individuals to share ideas and support each other in a positive way.

    Sharing - in business, sharing my knowledge and my time. Personally, volunteering or helping with a charity.

  • Mark Villalovos

    Seek,  Practice,   and   Share
    SEEK: Seek is learning about things that scare me – new business opportunities, growing my personal brand, etc.
    PRACTICE: I have dabbled in writing and drawing and find great enjoyment whenever I force myself to sit down and engage in these activities, so for 2012 I will Practice these on a weekly basis
    SHARE: I consider Sharing a commitment to spending time coaching my daughter, assisting my son, and developing my relationship with my wife.  Sharing is also volunteering and remaining active in my Church, my Alma Mater, and my kid’s schools.  Finally, Sharing is being available as a thought partner for friends and business associates.Really enjoy reading about the 3 words!

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  • Conxa Rodà

    Focus – Connect – Do

    Have a great 2012!

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  • virtual server hosting


    Those  are my three words. Have a great and prosperous 2012 guys. 

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  • victorpan

    Realize. Do. Improve.

  • Pingback: My 6 Tips and 3 words for 2012! | Social Media Marketing Tips

  • Graham Lawrence

    Enterprising. Convey. Consolidate.

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  • Tom Webster

    Here are mine, Chris:  Impatient. Beacon. Keen.

    Good luck with yours, my friend.

  • Sean McGinnis

    Writing. Speaking. Unfiltered.

  • Tina Mammoser

    Stretch. Re-entry. Establish.