My friends CC Chapman and Chris Brogan started coming out with their #my3words many, many years ago. The three words you pick are intended to help guide your decisions and growth over the next year. My 3 words for the year are: Me, Do, Smile. If you want to find out more about #my3words, click on the Chris Brogan link above as he does a better job explaining it than I ever could.
For the last 5-however many years I have been doing things for other people, which is admirable. But, it also left me feeling used and unappreciated. It is a well-known saying that if you expect to be thanked for doing something, you will be disappointed. And, that has been me. While helping out and volunteering are rewarding and fulfill that feeling of a greater purpose, if taken to extreme it can create hostility and depression. Such was my case – I had been giving so much of myself, I became resentful that I didn’t have enough time to work on my own projects.
I had given so much time to working on someone else’s podcast, some else’s short film, someone else’s website, someone else’s – whatever – that it created an increasing hostility towards those people I was helping, even as I continued to help. This spilled over into all aspects of my life. All of these “other people’s stuff” was preventing me from realizing the completion of my own projects, and therefore my own sense of accomplishment.
This year is for me.
While I will continue volunteering and helping other people, there will be caps on the extent of that help. No longer will my time appear limitless. There was a saying a few years ago, which C.C. I think turned me onto – “Hell yeah or no.” Limits. It is not selfish to have limits any more than it is to say no to have time for yourself.
The flip-side of the “Me” word is “Do.” I intend to consequently have more time to complete my own projects. I have already started 2018 off with completing the audio version of Autograph Collecting Secrets (which I started last March, 2017) and I am inching towards finally releasing my first fiction novel this year – a NaNoWriMo novel I wrote over 10 years ago. I also paid a lot of money for a cover design back in 2011. This will be the year I do a final edit, get some advice on the ending/plot that I think is lacking, and get it out there.
In addition, I have been threatening to do more audiobooks. I have a good marketing plan to acquire more work, and I think I could easily book 5-10 audiobooks this year, at least, if I just put in the time. What this would mean, however, is treating my autograph collecting efforts as a hobby again, so I can concentrate on improving my narration skills, and getting more and more streams of income as a result.
So my goals for Do would include getting my non-fiction book into shape, getting it published (by a publisher or self-publishing again) and recording 5-10 audio books for audible.com. With January almost over, this is ambitious, but doable.
Over the past many years, I haven’t had a lot to smile about. I’m being honest. From my weight to frustrating jobs, losing friends without gaining any, isolation in a new town and picking up on all the ways I have been “wronged” … there just hasn’t been a lot to smile about. Consequently, I developed quite an impressive “resting bitch face.”
I was at a funeral for a high school friend and was overcome by despair when his friends recalled that he was always the first person who said hi to you when you walked in a room. He was always excited to see people, and the first to introduce people who didn’t know each other. The stories and recollections moved me to tears not only because he was indeed just a great person and friend, but because I perceive myself as the opposite. Nobody on this Earth would ever mention me as being the happiest and friendliest in a room – ever.
I want to change that – even a little. I want to appear (and be) more engaged with friends. Heck, I want to have more friends and spend more time with them. I want them to be happy to see me, instead of dreading it. I want people to even sub-consciously feel better if they see me around town and I smile and say hi.
For many reasons I just don’t smile much. I want to change that for myself and for others.
Want to participate in the #my3words goals for 2018? Think of your 3 words and tweet them to me, Chris and others using the hash tag #my3words. Or use the hashtag anywhere on social media, I think we are both following them practically everywhere.
My best wishes for you on a great 2018. Let’s do this.