My 3 words for 2023

As each year comes to a close, I reflect on the year with specific questions to help me prepare and build momentum for the next one. 

Here are a few of the reflection questions I ask myself as the end of the year approaches:

What has had the greatest impact and how can I do more to amplify that?

What am I most grateful for?

What am I most proud of and why?

What did I learn this year, and what do I need to dive deeper into?

What challenged me this year?

The method

In preparing for the new year, I use a practice I learned from Chris Brogan and one that has proven to be beneficial to me both personally and professionally.

Since 2014, I select three words at the beginning of the year that will set my intentions, drive my actions, and align my purpose throughout the year. (Last year was an outlier year, and I only chose one word.)

Choosing three words is something Chris Brogan has been doing since 2006. He sums it this way: 

“The three words are a shorthand representation of your bigger story. It’s kind of like how an icon isn’t the software program. It’s just a way for you to mentally access all the work you’re doing.” 

As we go through the new year, it can be easy to get off-track from pursuing our goals and dreams, but I’ve found that having three words to use as a guide throughout the year is helpful. 

While Chris says that we don’t need to explain our words to anyone else, I find that posting them helps me with accountability as well as community. I learn a lot by reading about others’ words, and over the years I’ve had others with common stories and goals to reach out to me. 

We are all trying to have our own best lives, so reach out to me if I can help you in any way!


During 2021, I began to have some minor health issues, and they progressed and continued into 2022. This setback has been very hard to deal with emotionally, psychologically, and physically. I continue to be positive and see it as a setback and one that will be overcome. There have been many hours spent reading, researching, and learning what I can do to overcome these issues. It has meant many changes, trials (and errors), as well as pushing back against traditional medicine. I know I can’t pour from an empty cup, and 2023 is the year to fill it up!

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. 

The challenge is to silence the mind.”

– Caroline Myss

As an Enneagram 1, I tend to have extremely high standards for myself (I’m a recovering perfectionist), and my inner critic can be very loud at times. Sometimes, fear can get in the way and shorten my stride or even derail me on the path to my goals. This year, in 2023, LEAP will serve as a reminder to me that sometimes we have to go with faith. Sometimes our plans call for big leaps instead of small steps. Have you ever had a time when you had to take a leap and were met with success? I have, and I’ve had the opposite as well. I’ve got regrets from times where I should have leaped and didn’t. Can you relate?

“What’s important is that you make the leap. 

Jump high and hard with intention and heart.”

— Cheryl Strayed

According to Miriam-Webster, SOW means 


: to plant seed for growth especially by scattering

: to set something in motion : begin an enterprise

Both of my parents grew up on farms in rural Alabama, and several of my father’s relatives are still in the farming business. I have great respect for farmers who understand the climate, soil conditions, and care that is needed to sow seeds that turn into crops. Educators are often compared to gardeners since we “plant seeds” in young people, even when we know that the seeds may not bloom or grow until after the students are long gone from our care. 

I have some seeds to plant in 2023. They will have to be planted in fertile soil and nurtured in order to grow. This year will be about planting and tending to the seeds: seeds of wellness, business, finances, relationships, and more. I plan to “sow seeds” that will produce amazing outcomes during the year. 

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant” 

-Robert Louis Stevenson

I hope these words have inspired you to create and share your own words for 2023. If so, please share them in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook

Past #My3Words Choices

2014 – Discipline. Intentional. Balance.
2015 – Rhythm. Bravery. Fitness.
2016 – Focus. Purpose. Do.
2017 – Pivot. Go. Grow.
2018 – Lift. Create. Relentless. 
2019 – Practice. Execute. Be.

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Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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