Happy New Year everyone!
As I do each and every end of year, I ensured my 2020-2021 holiday traditions included some self-reflection on the year past and preparation for the year to come. The traditional ‘New Year’ Resolutions I find don’t work for me. New Year Resolutions seem too rigid and prescriptive, promoting a checklist of unrealistic changes which I beat myself up for never accomplishing come the end of the year. Resolutions also tend to isolate a deficit or improvement, denying the broader context from which the issue arose.
‘3 Words’ asks the simple question, which 3 words encompass your vision for the year ahead?
With that in mind, I shifted my thinking to a broader and more inclusive form of ‘resolutions’ termed ‘3 Words’. This concept asks the simple question, which 3 words encompass your vision for the year ahead?
3 Words celebrate the primary concepts you will explore and progress toward within the year and celebrate this progress at the end of the year too.
I love this way of approaching resolutions for so many reasons, the biggest being that it liberates me from having a perfect plan and set of objectives laid out and eliminates the rigid expectation of accomplishing them word for word. 3 Words recognizes that resolutions can be fluid and take time to realize in part let alone in full. 3 Words celebrates the primary concepts you will explore and progress toward within the year and celebrates this progress at the end of the year too.
I feel excited when I express my 3 words at the start of a year as exploring them feels attainable. I also feel excited when I reflect on my 3 words at the end of the year because I can always report some progress in realizing them.
This activity is also incredibly approachable. I have found it to be effective with children as young as 4, adolescents, couples, the elderly and families!
My 3 Words for 2021
Maternal Mentorship- this is actually an ‘extension’ of one of my words last year, namely, ‘Family Growth’. Family Growth had originally been listed to encompass our family’s growth through fostering or adoption of a child. However as 2020 progressed we discerned that it meant welcoming a mom and her 2-year-old daughter into our family wherein we spiritually, psychologically, financially and practically home and grow them until they are secure enough to ‘leave the nest’. This process of essentially ‘fostering’ a mother and her child I have termed Maternal Mentorship. It is a model for effectively caring for and equipping our nation’s mothers so that their children don’t have to be removed from them. I will be exploring this further in partnership with Embrace- A Movement for Mothers, through their Mamandla Fellowship so watch this space /https://www.embrace.org.za/
Community- I excitedly start 2021 as the New High School Wellness Coach at Generation School, Imhoff. This career shift feels quite drastic having come from the Non-Profit and Faith-Based Sector where relationship spoke louder than money, faith decisions were imperative and inclusive practice was foundational. Though an incredibly progressive school, it is still in its formative years so diversity and inclusivity still remain quite theoretical. Inclusivity is further challenged by the school’s private school status. I remain hopeful that in my new role, my voice will promote a culture of inclusion, foster relationships and prioritize mental and spiritual health. I have no doubt that the school with its vision to pioneer education like no other will be receptive to this!
Read- with each year of maturity, my book list becomes longer! And so this too is a re-occurring word year in and out! My desire this year is to read more about topics like Afrocentric Psychology and Vulnerability and to read more Black and Non-Western Authors. My first 3 books of 2021 include: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts: Brene Brown, The New Daughters of Africa: Margaret Busby and Present Over Perfect: Shauna Niequist. Any other book recommendations are welcome!
Make it a Tradition
To make the activity a bit of a tradition, we usually do it with friends and family around the campfire on New Year’s Eve. With our drink of choice, a warm blanket, good company, and this one question: What are your 3 words for the next year? The self-reflection and excitement for the New Year comes with ease, so much so that we often talk with one another well beyond midnight! What tradition will you attach to the ‘3 Words Activity’ in your circle?
Illustrating your Words- Our Gift to You!
Share your 3 words with us for 2021 on one of our social media platforms! 10 lucky ‘resolutionists’ will have their words beautifully and personally illustrated to frame on their desk or bedside table or to use as a cell phone screensaver or laptop wallpaper. In this way, participants see and engage with their words often reminding them to stay focused on their vision for the year despite the distractions the year may present them with.