three words

Checking in on the Three Words of the Year

Did you choose three words (or one word) to live by this year?  Have you checked back to see how you're doing with these words?

Last December, in a post titled Three Powerful Words for An Amazing New Year, I announced my words and the thought behind them.  Since we're halfway (gasp) through the year, I thought it would be fun to revisit my words and see how I'm doing.  I'm wondering if you might think it is time to do the same thing with your words.

One reason I'm doing this is because I've written the words on a post-it note that is stuck to a cabinet above my desk, and my gaze falls upon them when I stare off into space.   Most of the time, I barely notice them, but once in awhile the words come into focus and I ponder them.   Yesterday, I pondered them so hard that I finally checked back to the original post to see how I'm doing.

The answer is that I'm doing okay.  Probably not great, but okay.

My three words for the year are creativity, faith, and inquiry. 

I'm going to talk about faith first, because its the word around which I'm doing the best.  In my post I wrote about my faith in God, which is important to me, but also faith in myself, what I'm doing, and that everything was going to be all right.  I wrote about having faith in my ability to go deep within and uncover the riches that are buried there.  And in the six months since I wrote that, I've been learning to do all of this on an ongoing basis–learning being the operative word.  What I'm learning is that faith of this nature responds to effort, maybe even requires effort, and that by making the effort you begin to create the faith.  One of the hallmarks of this year is that I've been consistently making the effort.

I'm doing fairly well with inquiry, too.  In the original post I wrote about not wanting to take things at face value, to dig a bit deeper mentally and form my own opinions.  I still leap to judgment, oh dear lord how I leap to judgment.  I can read a rant on the internet and be totally convinced of its truth, then read oppositional comments and switch to the other point of view immediately.  Such is the curse of the impressionable mind. One way I am using inquiry successfully is to turn off the internal blame machine, and this is a wonderful thing.  If I've eaten a piece of chocolate cake, for instance, or fallen down on my writing goals, I say to myself, "Hmmm, I wonder why that happened."  Or, "Wow, that's interesting.  Wonder what's going on?"  This allows me to observe myself more objectively.  The thought occurs I should turn this style of inquiry to the outside world as well.

And finally we get to creativity.  Falling down a bit here. I'm a lifelong knitter and I love the craft.  It soothes me, satisfies my need for beauty, and allows me to make useful things.    There's nothing I love more than spending an afternoon poking around yarn stores, then coming home with a new project and casting on.  But here's the deal: I don't do it enough.  One of the things I wrote in my year-end post was how I wanted to partake of this kind of creativity more regularly.  I've got opportunity: my pug Buster loves nothing better than for me to sit with him and watch TV in the evenings, and Buster is ancient old and so I figure I better humor him while I can.  This would be a perfect chance to indulge in this creative hobby of mine, but do I?  Sometimes.  And I can't figure out why I don't do it more.  Time to take advantage of that inquiry that is the other hallmark of this year.

Alrighty, then.  That is far more than enough about me.  What about you?  Did you choose three words for the year?  What were they?  How are you keeping up with them?


My Three Words for the New Year

In case you hadn't noticed, there's only one month left of this year.  And so I'm getting a jump on all the posts about goals and resolutions for 2011, because three words have been haunting me lately.

First let me explain something.  Lately, I've noticed a lot of marketers jumping on the three-word bandwagon.  Tonya Leigh, who does weight-loss stuff,says her programs are for the slim, chic, and savvy woman.  Danielle LaPorte, a kick-ass marketer, uses white hot truth.  Marie Forleo's tag line is rich, happy and hot. And then there is TED, which stands for technology, entertainment, and design and is the home of wonderful presentations which are often of great fascination. The godmother of the three word title is Elizabeth Gilbert herself, with her book titled, Eat, Pray, Love.


Somewhere along the line, this three word trend lodged in my brain.  Because all of a sudden, one at a time but in rapid succession, three words came to me.  And I knew intuitively that they were my words for the new year.  So here they are, in the order they came to me: radical, fierce, and profound.

According to, one definition of radical is: of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference. Another is: or thoroughgoing or extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company.  For fierce, we have: furiously eager or intense: fierce competition.  And then there is profound: penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding: a profound thinker.


Not bad words for a writer to adopt, eh? 


The funny thing is that they came to me out of the blue, unbidden, but welcome, like a message from the universe.  Marching orders, so to speak.  So these are the words I'll be striving to live and write by in 2011.  What about you?  What words will you be listening to for guidance?

Photo credits, top to bottom: ND The Wonder Boy, from Flickr, FreerangeStock, Matchstick, from Flickr.