My Three Words For 2016: Models. Relationships. Present.

Yes, it’s that time. It’s time to work out loud again and share with you my three words for 2016.


Reflecting back on my experiences in 2015 many books I read talked about mental models and the importance of being aware of how they impact my worldview and how I interact with those around me, so I’m aiming to be more aware of the mental models that drive my daily decision making, impact relationships, determine my career path and shape my worldview.

I learned that some mental models are helpful and some hold me back, so I’m simply aiming to first be aware of what my mental models are and then make the changes I need to. I’m excited to move ahead with this new perspective and see what I discover about myself and my mental models in 2016. To track this goal I’m doing some journaling and writing exercises.


One thing I became aware of in 2015 was that I didn’t have the relational breath and depth that I wanted. It wasn’t always easy and I struggled to make adjustments to having a second child and continue to work at being a dad, a husband and my own person. It was struggle to make sense of and figure out how to balance all those relationships, new experiences and new phases of life. Towards the end of the 2015, I felt a desire that I needed to be more intentional about making it a priority to spend time with people, both friends and family and making new friends and connections.

I know this: I’m the kind of person who enjoys spending time with myself. I treasure my alone time to recharge and find clarity. But I want to work on not giving in to my introverted tendencies too much. It’s a strange battle. I enjoy being around people and walking away from a social gathering knowing I just had a great one-on-one conversation or was able to make a deeper connection with someone.

But it’s never an easy thing for me. I often have to override my introverted tendencies to get to that wonderful relational connection. I still don’t fully understand that about myself, but what I do know is that I’m aiming to find more balance in 2016 because last year I felt as though I gave into my introverted tendencies a bit too much.

This may sound strange given that I love building communities and connecting people for a living and I love presenting thoughts, ideas and experiences at conferences. But, honestly, at times it’s a complex struggle. And in 2015 I felt as though there was more I could do and experience when it came to building relationships both in my work and personal relationships.

As 2015 came to a close, I felt a strong desire that I wanted to put the focus more on others. I’m not entirely sure why I feel this way and it wasn’t like I felt completely secluded. I just feel a sense that I need and want to redirect, recalibrate and re-shift my focus from an inner one and focus more on building deeper and stronger relationships with those around me and discover new relationships too. And what I enjoy about this “three words” goal setting process is that it can be connected and continued year after year. That said, and now that I think about it, I also see this relationship goal as an evolution of my give goal from last year. To track this goal I’m keeping a note of current relationships and new connections I’d like to make this year.


In 2014, I trained for my first marathon and through that training I developed a good foundation of meditation and mindfulness. But throughout 2015 I felt like I stayed in neutral and even fell back a bit in being present in my life. I felt many times that my mind was super busy and way to cluttered and I didn’t take a enough time to work at being present and because of this I didn’t get the most out of special moments and relationships.

That said, I’m excited about how my being present goal is connected to and can support my relationship goal. I know how important it is to be present when trying to build relationships so I’m excited to see how these two goals will work together. Speaking of integrating my goals, I’m also excited to use being present as a way to be more aware of my mental models. Integration is a beautiful thing!  To track this goal I’m mixing in daily mediation, in the momentum breathing and keeping track in my journal what I’m learning and through the experiences.

Okay, so that’s it. Plain and simple. Those are my three words and goals. What are yours for this year? And don’t be shy. I love to discuss these types of things.  Feel free to ask my about my goals and ask my how I’m doing and what I’m learning.

Thanks and I look forward to the conversation!

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