With a new year, comes a lot of reflecting. Whether this describes you as an individual or as an organization, I’ve got one book, two questions and three words you need to read in 2010. These will help you identify your core values, focus your motivation and goals, and help translate all the above in your day-to-day activities. Let’s get reading.

1. One Book

I’m willing to bet you’ve never heard of this book. If you have, please comment. The book is titled five, and is across the board, a five-star book. So many books tell you what to do and think about your life. Stop reading those books. They take valuable time, and they often don’t provide any answers. Why? Because you have to provide the answers. The reason I like the book five is not because it’s simple, design-based and interactive, but because it forces you to reflect on your own life, your own goals and your thoughts. This is often the hardest part–but most rewarding. It provides prompts and questions, along with lines to pencil in your ideas. It’s a work book–but it’s not work. It uses creative design and textography throughout to draw you in and inspire. So, stop doing the easy part by reading what others think you should do, and focus on you.

2. Two Questions

These two simple questions could change your life. They are provided by author Daniel H. Pink, author of the book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, which looks at human motivation. These two questions are:

  • What is my sentence?
  • Was I better today, than I was yesterday?

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

3. Three Words

If you’ve quickly skimmed down here to read the three words, I’m sorry to say, it’s not that easy. You see: It’s not my three words you need to read. It’s your own. Beth Kanter clued me on to this as she was inspired by Chris Brogan. Kanter’s three words were: Networked, Generosity and Full of Life. For Brogan, his were Ecosystems, Owners and Kings. According to Brogan, your three words should:

“…help you the way a lighthouse helps a ship in a storm. Give yourself a word that guides you towards a powerful new opportunity, and that keeps you focused on what comes of this year. Use these words as starting points for tangible goals, SMART goals that can be measured and have dates to accomplish tasks by. These words sit above the actual goals, and set your guiding principles in place.”

What I like about the three words, is that they are your words. So, do what works for you. For me, my three words are: Simplify and Focus. I don’t have a third, because, well, re-read my first word. 😉


They say people who write down their goals are more successful. You can define success any way you want–as long as you define it for yourself. So, even if you aren’t sure what your goal is, start writing down something and logging your ideas. Eventually, something will come, and when it does, it’ll be powerful because it’ll be born from within.