I don’t do new year’s resolutions.

We’ve all heard resolutions almost always fail. Maybe because they’re so often based on outcomes instead of habit changes. Since 2012, I’ve skipped resolutions in favor of the three words approach.

The idea being I can simply remember my three words all year and keep myself at least thinking about my goals and maybe stand a better chance of seeing them through. After all…

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
― Lao Tzu

My 3 words over the years I’ve been doing this:

2012: responsibility, action, freedom
2013: support, drive, print
2014: print, process, non-profit
2015: (oops I forgot)
2016: intent, action, mindful
2017: time, health, example
2018: eat-less, do-more, stay-up

My 3 words for 2019 were organize, purpose, and profit.

I wanted to get my life better organized, using systems to automate decisions around little things so I wouldn’t have to spend any time thinking about them. Now I pretty much wear the same outfits each day of the week for the most part, and I put my EDC in the same locations everyday, too.

I also wanted more purpose in my life. I wanted to be more intentional about the things I do, and spend more time working on things that actually move the needle and get me closer to where I want to be in life. Time is precious. Going with the flow means going downhill.

Finally, I wanted to make money with my efforts online (for a change). Hell or high water, I wanted to find a way to both share my experience and skills with others and deliver enough value doing so that others would pay me for my time and effort.

Make sense?

Picking three words related to how I want to improve in the year ahead makes it easy to remember them on a daily basis. It’s almost like a casual mantra and it keeps me on track.

My 3 words for 2020: garage — growth — grit


I’m going to make my garage a place where things get done. Podcasts, projects, wrenchfests, just hanging out. It’s a 2-car garage. I should be able to fit at least one vehicle in it with room to close the door and get some work done—even if I’m mostly going to use the space for laundry and podcasting.


I’m going to grow TGP. And, like my garage, I want it to be a place where things get done. Podcast, projects, wrenchfests, startups, continuing gearhead education—the works.

I’m also looking to grow personally—emotionally, financially, physically. (Though that last one is more a matter of reverse growth where it’s not healthy—like the beer belly.)


Success takes more than just resilience and passion. It’s a reminder that things worth doing require effort and effort comes with friction. Life isn’t always smooth sailing. Undoing 20 years of poor choices is harder than not making poor choices in the first place

Project Opportunity

I turned 42 this year. It got me thinking. I’ve been chewing on a 10-year plan ever since. It’s not quite finalized yet, but let’s just say these three words are just what I need right now to see Project Opportunity through. I’ll be using them to develop new habits that will build character and chase destiny.

If you’re feeling motivated to take the wheel and change course in the year ahead, you’re welcome to join me and the rest of the crew in the TGP forum. We’re going to make 2020 the best year ever.

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  1. Great 2020 words ……I’ve not done mine yet … and think I missed out for 2019 however 2020 feels like a lot of long term goals will be realized …..

    May the next decade be all you hope for and more


    • The same to you Casudi! I look forward to seeing what you come up with in 2020 and beyond. Always a pleasure seeing what you’ve been up to and thinking about. 🙂

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