2017 – #my3words (Thanks to Chris Brogan)

For a few years now I’ve been engaging in an exercise of whittling down my feelings and goals for the new year into three words. It’s a fun task and a good way to focus planning and action. During the year, I can frequently ask myself which of these three words are related to what I’m about to do. I am grateful to Chris Brogan for introducing me to this practice. Here are my three words and the why for 2017. What are yours?

battle include serve

Battle. I vow to battle and win the war against my own demons of adult nutrition and exercise. It’s well past time. I have work to do, and I want to ensure I live to see it progress. Sadly, I feel certain it will also be necessary to go to battle against powerful Americans that espouse hate and seek to further harm and marginalize people with the least power. I will study up on peaceful resistance and learn to use weapons of love, hope, and joy.

Include. I have a tendency to live in my own safe network, a practice that I believe has contributed to extremely severe consequences globally and locally exemplified by the successful election of the worst possible person as incoming President of the United States. In 2017, I will actively seek opinions and criticism from those I do not typically access or ask, and remain open to what I can learn from them. I will ensure that all learning designs that I support in my practice and all of my research takes a participant-informed view on diversity and the many variations of who is a learner, who is an educator and what support and encouragement they need for success.

Serve. Outside of improving my health and well-being (self-service), 2017 will be a year of service to others. I will seek to serve many people, in as many ways as possible. I will ask who is served by my actions, and ask those I’m attempting to serve how I might improve. I expect that continuous adjustment will be required. If you need someone to help you, and you think that my skills and abilities might be of use, please ask!

One of my favourite pieces of advice for the new year (I’ve seen it in a few different forms) is this:

We all have 365 blank pages in a new book, let’s collaborate and fill them with our best work ever.


  1. I love these three words. So far these are my favorite three from when I started to do the exercise in 2010 to prepare for 2011.

    I have to say 2016 brought for me lots of battles on the front of fighting for human rights. Little did I know that I would be standing very often in front of Riot Police looking for their first chance for me and others to slip up to hurt us and try to keep us away from peaceful protesting.

    I am glad much more and thinking of using peaceful demonstrations as a mean of creating awareness and putting in the work to make much-needed changes in our communities that will affect the world.

    1. My offer of service is always open. I have become much more informed and aware of global struggles in 2016 and the atrocities that the U.S. government is committing (and has been committing for decades) against the people of Puerto Rico, all of whom are natural born citizens of the U.S. My platform is open education and open courses, if there’s anyone you’d like to connect me with to support as they tell the real story and history of Puerto Rico, I’d love to do it.

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