The End With a New Beginning

December 20, 2011
by Steve Lipton
Nonprofit and Government
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This will be a short one. First and most important: a happy and healthy holiday season and new year to all. This includes Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Joyous Kwanza (and anything else I may have missed).
This is one of my favorite times of year. Of course, there are great celebrations we attend and family we enjoy (and sometimes family we get to avoid). Personally, one thing I like to use this time of year for is to reflect a little on what I feel was achieved this past year and what I still need to work on. The reality is there is often plenty in both categories (and that's ok).
Last year, I shared an idea I read from Chris Brogan who discussed his process of creating three words. These three words are not goals. Rather, they are anchor points we can tie our goals to. They are also words we can reflect on and help answer whether what we are doing is moving us in the right direction. My three words were Innovate, Engage, and Connect. In my article to you, I also asked you to create your three words and I believe many of you did.
I found my three words personally very powerful as I was able to look at everything I was doing and ask myself if I was engaged in the right thing. I'm sure it saved me some missteps. Now I am reflecting on those words and pondering what was right and what I need to improve on. By the first week of January, I should have my new words and a renewed personal direction for the year to come.
Why is this important? As much as we don't like to admit it, our personal and work lives are knitted together. Our behaviors in one greatly influence our behaviors in the other. For me, getting focus on the behaviors I want to excel at helps achieve the positive things I want in my work and personal life, helping me move forward.
I promised this would be short and I will keep that promise. Now go and have a little fun (and find a little time to ponder your three words).