Your Three Words for 2010? Here Are Mine.

The first week of a new year is always one of my favorites . . .  there is something so hopeful and fresh about it. In addition to the typical resolutions about doing more of this and less of that, I also like to pick a theme for the new year. Sometimes it’s a few words, or a personal tagline, or even a song.

This year, I’ve picked three words that popped out at me when I read What Matters Now, a series of short essays each on a different word.  It’s a free ebook conceived by Seth Godin and edited by Ishita Gupta that includes Mark Rovner, a great friend to nonprofit marketers and one of my Lexulous pals.

Here are my three words for 2010:

ENOUGH. I have a too-long to-do list, waaaay too many feeds in my RSS reader, Twitter and Facebook friends whose updates I never see, and four racks of files sitting on my desk. ENOUGH. This year I pledge to only commit to what I can reasonably see, hear, and do without making myself crazy. I’m going to use the tools at my disposal, like lists in Twitter and Facebook, so I can see what’s most important — and ENOUGH — more quickly.

EASE. 2009 was a wonderful year in many ways. I wrote my first book. More than 2,500 nonprofit staff participated in our weekly webinar series. I traveled around the country speaking to some really great groups of nonprofits about nonprofit marketing. I love it all.  But I push myself hard, and while I can take it, it’s not always fair to those I love most of all. Our kitten Luna can fit in my inbox, but my kids can’t, and they shouldn’t have to try. So I’m going to EASE up on how tightly I schedule commitments so I have time for everything that’s important to me, rather than letting deadlines run (and sometimes ruin) my life.

LEAP. This word returns for an encore, although it’s taken the form of  “Just Do It”  in previous years. I do a lot of decision making by the seat of my pants. Most of the time, it works. LEAP stays on the list this year simply as a reminder to have faith in following my instincts, even when decisions aren’t as carefully considered as the more analytical parts of my personality might prefer.

Chris Brogan’s three words are Ecosystems, Owners and Kings. See what they mean to him. Chris’s blog post inspired many other people to pick three words too.

What are your three words for 2010? Leave a comment on this post or link back to it with your own post to share.

P.S. We are kicking off the new year on Thursday with an interactive conference call on Trends for 2010 and Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan for a New Year. I hope you’ll join us for an enlightening discussion. I’ll be asking participants to share their three words too.

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  • I’ve got one word on my list so far: average. For a poem and my thoughts on gratitude for average expectations, see my post at

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  • I’m leaning toward the following three words:

    1) Present
    2) Present
    3) Present.

    1) Present: as in, a gift. Life is a gift, my volunteers are each a unique gift, my own skills and talents are gifts, and our collective work in this river organization is our gift to our community. I seek to appreciate all of the above, share the presents of joy and recognition with my volunteers, and share in the gifts each of my volunteers brings to the table. There is a Gestalt at work here, as in most volunteer groups; I need to recognize it, celebrate it, and employ it’s dynamic synergy!

    2) Present: as in, stand and deliver. I need to solidify my mission, write it out, video record it, share it with my volunteers and with the community. Share our work with other river basins, to schools, to non-traditional groups and to the world. Show tangible results, take photographs, make display boards, speak at events, and be seen & heard. Maybe finally write that book I’ve been working on!

    3) Present: as in here and now. Time is fleeting and precious; I need to live in the moment as much as I plan for the future. I need to prioritize and delegate, share responsibilities with my volunteers and make sure that my kids and husband are well-attended and feel treasured like the miracles they are.

  • 1. Create — I gotta get back to this space.
    2. Plan — more planinng will ultimately lead me to less work overall and better evaluation of what’s really on my plate (along those lines of Kivi’s ENOUGH).
    3. Be — in the moment, engaged, enjoying life (work, place, weather, you name it).

  • These are AWESOME words. Really glad to see yours. I like “Enough.” That one really resonates with me. I’m just not smart enough to do it. : )

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