Susan Milstrey Wells

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My Three Words for 2017

wordcloudI have a confession to make. I began using My Three Words for 2017 in the last several weeks of 2016. After attending a webinar in early December led by Chris Brogan of Owner Media, I started trying on a few possibilities, much as I’m trying on new identities as a writer.

I began thinking about the words I would use to guide me in 2017—in business and in life—as I drifted off to sleep at night. I knew I had found the right words for me when they became my go-to guide for the day. Here, then, are My Three Words for 2017.

BREATHE. Even during the webinar, I sensed I needed to learn to step back from the excitement and fear of relaunching my freelance writing business. The first word that came to mind was “sit,” as in “Don’t just do something, sit there.” However, I’ve been writing about health care for far too long, and I know that, literally, sitting kills.

But breathing is good, and when the deadlines pile one on top of another, my breath becomes shallow. It’s difficult to find just the right word when you’re not pulling in enough oxygen! When I take one or two good, belly-filling breaths, I can move more easily to my second word.

FOCUS.  It’s so easy to get distracted—by emails, texts, and Twitter. It’s so easy to let worries about the project I haven’t started fill up the space I should be using to finish the piece that’s right in front of me. It’s so easy to imagine that I will never have enough clients; I will have too many clients; I will never, ever get all this work done.

This is when I need to put my blinders on. Turn off email. Remember that multitasking isn’t really possible. Put one word in front of the other. When I take a deep breath and focus, I am doing what I can to be successful. Then, I can rest a bit easier and lean into my third word.

TRUST.  Sure, I’ve made a few bad decisions in life—who hasn’t? But looking back, I can honestly say I have very few regrets. So, going into 2017, I will trust that I know how to make the decisions that are right for me. I will trust that if things don’t turn out the way I’d planned, I can make other decisions. I will trust that I can achieve my mission to “help people tell their stories” in ways I never imagined.

In 2017, I am going to breathe. I am going to focus. I am going to trust. When I feel my pulse racing, when I sense my attention starting to wander, when I begin second guessing myself, I will come back to My Three Words. I’m eager to see where they will lead me in the exciting year ahead!

A happy and productive New Year to all!

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