The last time I set my 3 words was in 2018, picking Imagine, Innovate, and Act. Led to Chris Brogan by Tom Hood, I was first inspired to do this in 2013. I appreciated the process of thinking about the year I had gone through and then considering the year ahead, and I liked the idea of having a theme song to guide my year. I am a runner and hills are my nemesis. Many years ago, I read that repeating a mantra such as “I love hills” as I soldiered up those slopes (and sometimes almost cliffs) would change my mindset and make things easier. I did find that coming to the hills with a predetermined script kept my mind and mouth from going to soliloquies that included, “When will this end?”, “My legs are dying”, and “Why doesn’t this get easier?” and throwing in a thumping rhythm did get me up and over those hills (it seems that mantra has set itself in my mindset. I talked about them in 2018 as well). If that works with the hills, I am finding that having my three words, putting them where I can see them, and referring to them often helps me reset and refocus. The title of my 2018 post about my three words included “We’ve Got This”, words in some form that I have whispered, muttered, and yelled to myself over the past couple of years and words that friends and family have encouraged me with often during that time. I love to dance and I am ready for my 2021 theme!
Gratitude: It is very easy to be grateful when you are at mile 10, on a hot day, and someone presents you with clean, cool water to drink. You don’t even have to think about the gratitude, your desiccated self defaults to waves of intense thankfulness. On cold, dark, rainy days when that alarm goes off and you have to drag yourself out of bed, finding a reason to be grateful is a challenge. Last year, I put a piece of paper on our fridge, with the heading “3 Good Things”. Every morning (that is the goal) my husband and I each write down 3 things that we are grateful for. Some days it is definitely more challenging to find those things but it is on those days that the 3 things are so vital.
The past year has been one filled with meditations on gratitude. Many of us have had to make unexpected, unplanned, and painful adjustments and it has been easy to lose sight of the silver linings. When gratitude hits me, it can touch me so deeply that it brings tears or it can excite and exhilarate me, like a shot of adrenaline. I intend to continue in prioritizing gratitude not only because of the many studies that tell us how important it is, but mostly because it reminds me of how amazing my life is due to the people, experiences, and things I am grateful for.
Purpose: This word danced its way into my 2021 brain. Purpose here is a many-layered word. I am constantly seeking purpose at the macro level, be it with my life or with my work. I am also thinking about purpose at the micro level. I have been practicing meditation for a bit now (and I have to remind myself it is a practice and a journey) and in addition to seeking a more mindful existence, I also seek purpose. Very little happens without purpose and intention and even more happens with it. So, not only am I asking myself, what is my purpose, I am also asking when I speak, think, or act, what is the purpose of this? I ask myself, what is the goal that I am trying to achieve here? When I get on my bike, I have a default happy flat places gear that it tends to be in. However, when things change – maybe I’m going up a hill, or maybe I want to accelerate – that default gear does not cut it, it takes me to a place full of effort and devoid of happiness. Pausing to think and adjust gets me to efficiently get back to my happy place. I am a person who always has a to do list longer than my arm, I am always trying to get things done and not be overwhelmed. I need that reminder to pause and find that purpose.
Evolve: I am all about evolution, even when I am dragged there, kicking and screaming. When I think about evolution, I imagine adjusting and growing to be better for now and the future. As inevitable as change is, generally humans are not very good at embracing it. I know I am not always good at it because, right now, I can hear my mother’s voice chastising me, “Rumbi, you have to be more open-minded”. But because there are so many wonderful things that have come out of my embrace of change, because there are also things that I now know are not for me because I embraced change and because, like it or not, everything is changing, I am looking to not just change but evolve. This evolution can be of my profession, of our workspaces, or of our relationships. At some point if you are not evolving, you are becoming a dinosaur and they didn’t live to tell the tale. Evolution is ultimately about being better, stronger, and all around more awesome. I’m in.
What were my words before?
2013 – Change, Discover & Motivate
2014 – Transform, Pursue & Collaborate
2015 – Receptive, Synergy & Service
2016 – Learn Fear & Community
2017 – Embrace, Persevere & Monchu
2018 – Imagine, Innovate, & Act
I hope that each of those themes are part of my evolution and journey.
Right now, I am grateful, and I am embracing evolution in my purpose. The sun is out. I made my first vision board. I have written my second blog post of 2021.
What are your 3 words? What are your gratitudes?