Sunday, December 31, 2023

Sparking Change in the New Year: Ignite, Impact, Instigate

My 3 Words for 2024 by The Compelled Educator

Every year before 2014, I would select a "New Year's Resolution"  to start on January 1, and I would usually make a misstep and end up NOT reaching my goal. (In this study, less than half of participants reported success at sticking to their goals). 

It was a tradition that I knew I needed to ditch, and in 2014 I learned of a practice by Chris Brogan that has proven to be beneficial to me both personally and professionally.

Since 2014, I select three words at the beginning of the year that will set my intentions, drive my actions, and align my purpose throughout the year. 

For 2023, I chose Heal, Leap, and Sow. Little did I know how much I would lean into those words throughout the year, as it has been a year full of changes, big life events, and lots of joy. 

As I get back to blogging consistently in 2024, I will be sharing about those changes and hard right turns that I made in 2023.

As each year comes to a close, I reflect on the year with specific questions to help me prepare and build momentum for the next one. 

Here are five questions I ask myself as the end of the year approaches. (I don't think anything so far in my life has topped my answers for 2023!)

  1. What has had the greatest impact and how can I do more to amplify that?
  2. What am I most grateful for?
  3. What am I most proud of and why?
  4. What did I learn this year, and what do I need to dive deeper into?
  5. What challenged me this year?


Ignite: Lighting the Fire Within
The word "Ignite" embodies the spirit of beginnings. It's not just about the external flames but the internal spark waiting to be kindled. As we stand on the threshold of the new year, let's ignite the passion within us. Using "ignite" as a guidepost and reminder throughout the year, I will seek out the activities, pursuits, and relationships that set my soul on fire so that I may shine brightly for others.

Impact: Creating Ripples of Change
"In impact, there is meaning." In the coming year, I want to be mindful of the footprints I leave on the sands of time and on new pathways. Impact is not just about the grand gestures but the small, consistent acts that shape our world, and my desire it to be conscious of choices I make and recognize the potential impact they have on my life as well as the lives of others.

Instigate: Provoking Positive Change
Sometimes, change needs a nudge. "Instigate" isn’t about stirring up trouble; it's about being a catalyst for positive transformation. It's about asking the hard questions, sparking the necessary conversations, and instigating change where change is due. It's about being a force for good. In my new role as a high school principal, I will continue to provoke positive change.

While Chris says that we don't need to explain our words to anyone else, I find that posting them helps me with accountability as well as community. I learn a lot by reading about others' words, and over the years I've had others with common stories and goals to reach out to me. 

“The three words are a shorthand representation of your bigger story. It’s kind of like how an icon isn’t the software program. It’s just a way for you to mentally access all the work you’re doing.”
                                                                - Chris Brogan

May the flames of enthusiasm, the ripples of impact, and the sparks of positive change guide us through the uncharted territories of the coming year. Here's to a year of intention, growth, and making a difference -- one ignited moment, impactful choice, and instigated change at a time!

I hope these words have inspired you to create and share your own words for 2024. If so, please share them in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook

Past #My3Words Choices

2014 - Discipline. Intentional. Balance.
2015 - Rhythm. Bravery. Fitness.
2016 - Focus. Purpose. Do.
2017 - Pivot. Go. Grow.
2018 - Lift. Create. Relentless. 
2019 - Practice. Execute. Be.

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My 3 Words for 2024 by The Compelled Educator

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