My 3 Words for 2017

I upped my game in 2016. I lived up to my three words for 2016—Mastery: Turning Pro. I felt a monumental shift in the way I approached my work and mastering the craft. At the beginning of 2016, I expected to apply my three words towards becoming a fiction author. Little did I know that I would apply those words to the craft of marketing. Midway through the year, I felt the shift. After doing Seth Godin’s altMBA program in August 2016, I knew I had turned pro and begun my journey to mastery.  

Now, it’s time to shift gears and build on the foundation I laid in 2016.


This brings me to my high-level vision for 2017. I’ve been following Chris Brogan’s work off-and-on for a few years, and I’ve always found his My 3 Words for the Year posts to be incredibly motivating. His method to annual planning is to approach your year (how you frame your goals, intentions and activities) through the lens of your three words. Before you start setting goals, choose your three words.


My three words for 2017 are:

Focus. Learning. Specialize.


Focus - No matter how much productivity hacking I do, there’s no way for me to do everything. I am being very intentional about what I will and will not do this year, as it applies to my personal goals and professional goals. Instead of trying to set too many goals in unrelated areas, I am setting sub-goals that support the two other words below.


Learning - I am committing to becoming an autodidact (self-learner) and creating my own "going back to school" curriculum. I will be learning/mastering 12 different skills by the end of the year. Learning is already a part of everything I do, but I realized there are some gaps when it comes to my keeping my edge as a marketer. It’s time to remedy them.


Specialize - Being a generalist is the name of the game when it comes to typical marketing jobs. I’ve been trying to fit nice-and-neatly into those categories by being a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. After taking Seth Godin’s Freelancer Course and going through the altMBA program, I realized it’s time for me to specialize. Stop worrying about everything I don’t do when it comes to marketing and amp what I do well in marketing.


Those are my three. They are how I will make decisions and determine which next action steps to take.



Your Turn: Have you ever tried using three words to plan your year? If so, how did that shape your annual planning process? I’d love to hear your stories and any tactics you’ve used to successfully plan your year and follow through on that plan!