My 3 Words for 2011

January 1, 2011

I awoke this morning to this post by Chris Brogan.  He likes to think about 3 words for the New Year that will serve as guidance for his actions and goals.  Not resolutions, but themes.  The concept made me think: What are my 3 words for 2011?

Ship.  The curse of a fertile mind is to create at the expense of execution.  Seth Godin in Linchpin uses ‘ship’ to refer to the final act of execution.  This book influenced me tremendously in 2010.  Scott Belsky in Making Ideas Happen helped me understand that killing some ideas is critical to helping the best ideas flourish and ship.  Killing ideas is a step to simplification.

Simplify.  The idea of the human feed (via David Armano) will continue to become important for me.  I want to work to minimize my inputs and this will involve minimizing distractions and compartmentalizing time on real-time spaces like Twitter.  I am progressively allocating my attention to fewer and fewer, high quality blogs.  Books will evolve as important sources of input.  I will continue to refine who I follow, friend, like and adore.

No.  Demands on my time are becoming greater.  And saying no can be hard because collaboration breeds relationships that can bear fruit.  This is a real temptation that has to be weighed against the urge to get things done and time with my kids.  I’ll be working on no in 2011.

So I’ll simplify and say no so that I can ship in 2011.  We’ll see how it goes.

This is a great exercise.  What are your 3 words?


Erin January 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

DrV, thanks for your insightful look into your goals for 2011. Thanks also for inspiring my first post of 2011.

Wishing you a happy new year! My post is here (, if you’re interested!

Jackie Fox January 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm

This is great! I like the theme idea and really liked your three words, especially “simplify” and “no.” And the idea of needing to kill some ideas is very intriguing. You’ve also added a couple of new books to my reading list, so thanks.

My three would have to be
1) Poetry–because I need to set aside time every day to read and write it. It means a lot to me and deserves more than the back burner. I may have to spend less time tweeting and posting.
2) Listen–a psychiatrist I used to work with called it the most underrated skill. I want to make sure I’m listening to people online as well as off. It’s almost harder online–so easy to get caught up in my book, my blog, my agenda, my blah blah blah. I don’t want to be like the guy on the blind date who talks about himself for 45 minutes and then says “but I’ve spent enough time talking about me. What do YOU think of me?” Offline–I need to get my face out of the computer when my husband is talking to me. That’s become an awful habit and fixing it is priority No. 1.
3) Gratitude–so much to be grateful for, especially the “small” things like doing nothing much with family and friends, or a great conversation with a stranger, or watching birds at the feeder. So easy to forget.

Thank you for this post! You’re right, this is a great exercise and a lot of fun! I retweeted this and am posting on facebook & I’m sure a lot of others did/will too. Wishing you all the best in 2011.

J.C. Burcham, DVM January 1, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Love it, thanks for sharing! My 3 words:
1) Learn
2) Inspire
3) Appreciate

Pam January 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

It took me four days to come with the words.

1. Priorities
2. Health
3. Relationships

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