The Three Words for 2013

three words

By Mark Schaefer

I first saw Chris Brogan use this technique a few years ago — distill your annual goals into three focused words. C.C. Chapman explained this process in his nifty book Amazing Things Will Happen.

As I had some down time over the holiday, I reflected on where I needed to grow and it did seem to distill into three themes. Here are my words for 2013:


No, not the rock band (Although I do love “Wheels in the Sky”). What I mean by “Journey” is enjoying the trip as well as the destination. And I literally mean the trip!

I travel a lot for my job and life on the road wears me down — the crowded airports, the delays, the seemingly endless hours of wasted time. It’s stressful being away from my home and family.  Travel also disrupts my healthy eating and exercise habits. I dread it.

Yet travel is an unavoidable part of my career path right now. In 2013, I need to make changes to make travel less stressful, more productive, and more enjoyable. Any ideas?


I have worked really hard to make the content on this blog great.  But the bar is raising every year as the information density on the web explodes. How do I stay relevant and conversational?  If I provided excellent content in 2012, how do I really “WOW” my readers in 2013?  What would you like to see? How do I create a blog that people adore, posts that are creating conversations all over the web? How do I up my game in writing, public speaking, and teaching to get people talking?


This is very rewarding business but a really weird business. The more you succeed:

  • Your ability to connect, engage, and be helpful declines precipitously. Yet, these are the very traits that made you successful!
  • A mantle of “celebrity” is thrust upon you. This is extremely uncomfortable for me, yet unavoidable.
  • You are increasingly brought into petty fights and targeted by “haters.”

Once in a while I get caught up in the BS of social media.  I get knocked off center by attacks and can be irritable and even short with people who are fakes, spammers, and trolls.  I get weary from the unrelenting barrage of strangers who want to “pick my brain.”

These undesirable consequences will undoubtedly intensify as more people consume my blog, books, classes and speeches. I realize that I am a very blessed individual and that I need to handle the negatives with grace, kindness, and patience no matter what is coming at me. That is who I want to be under all circumstances.

I think if I focus on these three words I’ll have a happier and more productive year. What do you think? What are your words for 2013?

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

The link to Amazing Things is an affiliate link.

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