3 Words to Guide 2016

We should constantly re-evaluate our goals and set milestones, not only at the start of the year but throughout it. With that being said, can I please say?…

I New Years! It’s a fresh start, a new beginning. It’s a retrospective with myself on what went well in the past 12 months and what could be improved on.

Illustration depicts the writers sheer joy and excitement for the new year!

I getting a brand new calendar… it’s like a fresh canvas to paint all my greatest hopes and dreams on.

Illustration depicts the writer taking a selfie with her 12 month calendar #IloveNewYears #Excitement #NewYearNewYou

My 3 words to guide me through 2016 are:

Action, Health and Mindfulness

Illustration depicts the writer taking action, karate style.

Action: This word reminds me to take action on the ideas I have or the task that is at hand and that “done is better than perfect”. Action is about being proactive and taking the next step on my goals, projects, tasks or anything that will get me closer to my dreams. Writing this post is an example of taking action, instead of only thinking about it or worse… not posting it because it’s not perfect (shriek!).

Illustration depicts the writer eating an apple after reaching her goal of 10,000 steps on her predominator watch.

Health: This should be a priority every year, but this year I want to give it extra special attention. The reason I’ve chosen the word “Health” is because I’ve allowed myself get to an unhealthy weight… it’s time to take ACTION and focus on my HEALTH through improving my diet, sleep, exercise and mindset habits.

Illustration depicts the writer relaxing through meditation.

Mindfulness: Being mindful means listening to what my body is trying to tell me so I can make sure it’s happy! For example: If I’m getting flustered because I’ve taken on too much and am getting stressed out, I’ll need to make sure I take time out for myself.

Fortunately being mindful also means taking a moment to respond to requests. It means accepting the trade offs. If a request comes to me and it’s not aligned with my core values or if giving the time to complete the request will stress me out more than it will bring me joy, I’ll have to politely decline. The trade off here is my wellbeing/happiness vs disappointing the requester.

To me, mindfulness is about being present and engaged in the moment focusing on my words or actions and asking if they are inline with my core values and goals.

These are my words for the year, any support from you through encouragement is very much appreciated!

If you have 3 words to help guide you in 2016, please share them. If you aren’t familiar with the 3 word concept, I hope this post inspires you to write your own! If you do, please share them, I’d love to check them out.

Shout outs: To Chris Brogan who first came up with the 3 words concept. To Mike Vardy, who runs the Productivistyist Podcast, who is the person that introduced me to the 3 words concept and his own monthly/yearly theming concept. To Zachary Sexton who first introduced me to Mike Vardy through an interview on The Productivity Show.

More shout outs: To Erik Fisher, who, through his podcast Beyond the To-Do List introduced me to April Perry, who through her show Power of Moms Podcast reminded me about how important mindfulness truly is and who recommended I read the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown who through his book taught me about accepting trade offs!

I find it so fascinating how all these people have influenced my life over the past year and helped inspire my 3 words for this year!… yet I’ve never met them. I’m very thankful to them all, here’s to a great 2016!


Kathleen MacAinsh is an experienced Interaction designer, creating digital experiences professionally since 2006. Aside from her professional work, she enjoys researching and practicing methods for optimizing productivity, improving organization systems and living a balanced lifestyle. She’s a proud Canadian, currently living in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, two children and her fur baby, “Kobi”.