New Year, New Motto: Listen. Create. Share.

collage professionalOne of my favorite things has finally arrived: a New Year! A Clean Slate! A Fresh Start! Pondering and goal setting can happen every day you are alive, but it’s fun to have a socially-accepted excuse to nerd out on visioning exercises and create goals for the upcoming year.

Although I do have a few New Year’s Resolutions myself (do my devotionals every morning, get active for 20+ minutes a day, and take my vitamins), the thing I am most excited about this January are My 3 Words. This is a concept I learned about from entrepreneur and blogger Chris Brogan. He encourages readers to “pick any three words that will guide you in the choices you intend to make for 2016. They should be words that let you challenge yourself as to motives and decisions. They should be words that help you choose your actions wisely.” This concept is a little less strict than New Year’s Resolutions and more motivating because your 3 Words act as guideposts rather than hard and fast rules you can break (which I am great at doing). If you have an aversion to New Year’s Resolutions, this could be a fun exercise for you! Anyway, the words I chose for 2016 were: Listen. Create. Share.

Listen: To my body (eating and sleeping at regular times are not as easy to do as one might expect), to my spirit (recognizing when I need quiet time for prayer and reflection), to Paul (one word: marriage), to my friends (checking text messages while visiting with my friend is not really listening), to people who seem “different” than me (it’s through suspending judgement and actually listening that we begin to realize our connections and similarities to each other, which is a step towards love), to the beautiful sounds of the Earth (when’s the last time I really listened to a bird call?), and to my mind (paying attention to the fleeting thoughts that might someday morph into a song or an speech or a book, if I would only capture them on paper).

collage personalCreate: More s pace (choosing my commitments wisely and leaving time for transitions and rest; blank space is fertile ground for the best things in life), music (obviously), a manuscript or a blog (I plan to write a book someday, but unfortunately I cannot just imagine this into existence), a healthier planet (in the face of climate change I am realizing that I am woefully under-educated about the health of our environment; I plan to seek out information about global warming this year… I also want to use the earth’s resources conscientiously), more wealth through hard work and less waste (a dollar saved is two dollars earned), and more love, peace and trust (being present with others, practicing mindfulness, and doing devotionals).

Share: My music (I believe our songs can help heal each other – but we have to share them first!), my time (being present and not over-scheduled means that my time spent serving and loving others will have more impact), my resources (wasting less on myself and in my business means that I can donate more to people and organizations who badly need resources), my experience (sometimes I forget how little the topic of disability is discussed in our culture; I plan to speak up more often this year when faced with inequality), my love (indeed, the world needs each of us to share love).

What are YOUR 3 Words? If you feel inclined to share, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post… I would love to know what your plans and hopes are for the coming year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Author: violinscratches

Gaelynn Lea is a musician and public speaker from Duluth, MN. She is passionate about disability advocacy, personal growth, and authentic living. She was the winner of NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest in March 2016.

4 thoughts on “New Year, New Motto: Listen. Create. Share.

  1. svastra says:

    Hope. Love. Believe.

    As in, hope for the best, love hose around me, believe in myself.

    Gaelynn, it is amazing to read your thoughts about pursuing your dreams, when I have just discovered you because your dreams are coming true – you are becoming famous and you have certainly connected with me and those I have shared your tiny desk video with. You are an inspiration, not just because of the heart and soul you share through your music, but because of your attitude and the meaning and humility with which you live life to the fullest. Thank you.

  2. marsha maurer says:

    your music fills the air with joy. I love to hear you sing. So much beauty. Thank you.

  3. eva becker says:

    to take care of myself. lightness. fire the imaginaton by sharing creative processes with others. I need so much words because I’m translating from german. Happy about your music, found you at the tiny desk concerts and I’m overwhelmed. Thank you.


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