My 3 Words for 2021

In 2006, Chris Brogan started the “my three words” concept. As he explained in his latest 3words article:

What is My 3 Words About?

The My Three Words idea is simple. Choose 3 words (not 1, not 4) that will help guide your choices and actions day to day. Think of them as lighthouses. “Should I say yes to this project?” “Well, does this align with my three words?”

Chris Brogan is president of Chris Brogan Media, offering business storytelling and marketing advisory help for mid to larger-sized companies. I found him on Twitter in 2008 when I was trying to understand this new thing called social media. I found his style of writing and his content compelling. I followed him to his blog and continued to read his content.

How do you choose my three words for 2021?

I like this exercise even though I have not been consistent. I jumped in with my three words multiple times over the years but not every year.

2020 – Focus. Write. Follow-up

2019 – Faith. Focus. Declutter

2014 – Consistency. Follow-up. Focus

I started thinking about my 3 words for 2021 in November but didn’t follow through. By now, you should be laughing. Focus appeared in all three prior posts and follow-up was in two of the three. I didn’t do it deliberately. Focus and follow-up are something I struggle with and this struggle is common with many people.

2020 was a year. I don’t even need to use a descriptor to define it. Everyone knows 2020 was a year like none other in recent history.

Choosing my three words for 2021 is harder

As I was writing this, we heard a crash. My husband and I live on a corner on a hill that is blind from one direction and hard to cross from the other three directions. As we checked the windows, sure enough, two cars collided on the corner. No one appeared hurt and with everyone carrying cell phones, the parties had it managed. It was the second crash in a week. The police are there as I write, sorting this one out.

This brings me to one of my words and ties in with 2020.


In 2020, our lives were disrupted by many things and it is how you handle the disruptions that matter. This year I connected with Nicky Verd, South African author of Disrupt Yourself or Be Disrupted, whose book is now featured in all three of my packages.

Disrupt Yourself or Be Disrupted provides answers that translate job anxiety and far-future thinking into insights to allow you to take a glimpse into the future of work, and to successfully navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution aka Industry 4.0. The book offers the most pragmatic view of the impact of emerging technologies on employment, the urgency to reinvent and upskill yourself as well as exploring opportunities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution to create your own employment.

I find that in 2020 we were disrupted in so many ways that it became the norm rather than the exception. My work with job seekers has been to coach through disruptions and use them to make yourself more valuable. Don’t be afraid of disruptions, rather use it as an opportunity to move forward.


2020 has made me more contemplative than in prior years. I always lean that way, analyzing and thinking about things more deeply. People who have known me since I was in school will often mention that I tended to be a loner, nose in a book, or thinking rather than jumping into multiple activities. This is still true today.

But in 2021, I would like to become even more contemplative. Look at the big picture and plan.

I tend to contemplate everything: planning our garden, finding new recipes to try, learning new organizational strategies, and expanding my resume writing (and design) skills.

I read a large amount of fiction. It relaxes me and takes me to a different place. But I want to use 2021 to contemplate via the many non-fiction books I own.


In theme with reading more nonfiction, I will be using the reading to strategize solutions for my business and life in general. I will analyze where the roadblocks are and find ways to reach my goals.

2020 taught me that I must be willing to pivot, look for opportunities, and keep moving forward. It is only when we get stuck that it is hard to make progress.

My three words for 2021 – Disrupt, Contemplate, Strategize

You will find others who do the My 3 words exercise. The hashtag #my3words will identify others on social media who have found this exercise worthwhile.

For example, my web developer and business advisor, Raul Colon, is also a fan of this process. He has written a very compelling article about his 3 words for the New Year 2021.

After this was published, I received the email from my friend, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Performance Coach Joe Jacobi with his 3 words for 2021 embedded in his article: Present Tense Interruption. Hint, those are his 3 words.

Stay tuned to see how I will manage my three words for 2021.

If you are ready to begin your career journey, learn more about how I work with job seekers here.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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