[Final Update] The Year of Good Health...and Money
2 Years, 5 Months After Weight Loss Surgery

2013: Bombshell. Marathon. Pen Pals.


Last Year, instead of resolutions, I had two themes, and I called it the "Year of Good Health and Money." There were quite a few goals to accomplish in those areas, but my main focus for the year was getting my health in order and getting our family's finances under control. I give myself a B for Good Health. I worked out pretty regularly for six months and then came to a dead stop, but I got my supplementation worked out, got my anemia under control, found a new dentist, and lost 20 pounds. I give myself an A for Money. I cut expenses, took care of some scary tax stuff, eliminated our credit card debt, and created a budget for 2013 that allows me to continue to work for myself.


This year, as I was contemplating my themes (I was leaning toward Vanity and Business), I came across Chris Brogan's Brave New Year program. It takes my themes idea and goes so much deeper. I am going to accomplish big things this year and I am going to need guidance to do it. So, I joined up.

Similar to my themes, is Chris's idea of three words for the year. The three words you choose provide a framework for your goals and, ultimately, all of your actions throughout the year. As with last year, before making a big decision, or when I finding myself stuck, I will ask myself how does what I am doing right now align with my three words. If it doesn't, then I need to do something else.

My Three Words


There are two definitions of "bombshell." First is something that is sensational, shocking, surprising, or amazing. Second is a very attractive woman.

I hope that I am able to balance my vanity and narcissism with my intelligence, humor, and generosity, but that doesn't make me any less vain. The part of "Good Health" that I failed last year was physical fitness. Fitness is measurable, but it's impact on my overall health is not as apparent, so it was easier to focus on the things I could see measured with a simple blood test.

I know myself very well and I know that appealing to my sense of vanity is one way to get me to do something. (Now you know it, too.) Working out (to fit into a smaller size, to be more attractive, to have slimmer legs) and taking better care of my skin (so my face is prettier), and eating well (to slim down, to keep my hair shiny, to keep my skin clear) are going to be easier for me to do on a regular basis if I think about how it makes me look in the near term rather than how it affects my health in the long term. Is that messed up? Yes, but that's how I work.

Going back to the first definition. I intend to be the sort of person who makes an impact. I am going to be introducing my company and our products to many people this year. I am going to be asking a lot of people for their advice, or assistance, or money. I intend to leave those people amazed and impressed so that they want to do business with me.


This word is not about running, it is about continually moving and doing. I intend to accomplish big goals this year and the only way I am going to get that done is continue to take the next step, even when I don't want to, even when it hurts, even if I am pretty sure I am going to fall on my ass when I do.

If I let myself get overwhelmed by the size of my goals or the length of my task list, I freeze. I get stuck where I am and I do not move foward. This word is to remind me that I can't stop. Yes, the goal is big and the steps to get there are many, but I only need to take one at a time. When I am starting to feel overwhelmed, I need to pull back from the big goal for a bit and focus on the next step. A crucial piece to this is to have a well defined plan so that I always know what the next step is.

This word is also here to help me get through those tasks that I simply do not want to do. As co-founder of a bootstrapped startup, there are a lot of those tasks for me to do right now. We don't have the funds to hire someone else to do them.

Pen Pals

This word took the longest for me to decide. I was looking for something about developing deeper relationships with people in my network. I have built a broad network, but I tend to maintain only shallow relationships with the people in it. Sadly, this includes family and friends.

I rely on social media so much for communication because it is quick and easy, but it also allows me to continue on with shallow interactions. Writing real letters is something that I used to love to do, and it enabled me to get to know someone more personally, and share more of myself. I had a pen pal in Lithuania when I was in grade school. I remember so many details of her life, and I can still picture her unique style of printing.

This word is not about having literal pen pals. It is included in this list to remind me to go deeper with my communications. I intend to form deeper relationships with the people in my personal and business networks, no matter the method we use most to communicate.

Your Turn

Do you make resolutions for the year? Do you set goals? Have themes? Make vision boards? Want to try this three words thing? I'd love to hear about it.


Donna DeRosa

Great words.

Here are mine:

Speak - I've always been a great listener. It's time for me to speak up.

Essential - Sort out the things that really matter and work only on those.

Help - By helping others, we help ourselves. This word is the basis for any good business.

I could think about which words to use all day but these are the ones that came to me first. So, they must be on my mind. I'll write a proper blog post about them and go into more detail.

Peeved Michelle

Great words. You know I don't have a problem with Speak! I love Essential. That wasn't one of my words for last year, but it was definitely an underlying theme - for this year, too. I am so busy that I don't have time to spend on things that don't directly relate to my goals. This blog for instance. Posts here are going to be so rare in 2013

Best of luck, and I'll help you in any way I can!

laura k

I was just spending my first morning back at work reading about resolutions, whether to make them, don't make them, dream instead of resolve, don't waste time setting goal, blah blah blah. I like the three words idea and I especially love your Bombshell. Perfect for you.

I have one word so far - light. I want to be lighter, losing weight. I also need to be in the light instead of darkness and will choose my activities accordingly. It's very simple but I think it will work, as long as I don't get too Poltergeist ("move away from the light Carol Ann!")


I like your word, Laura. I think it is very appropriate. I've put up a post about my first word. It is basically a restatement of one of my goals for the new year but my first word is home.

Peeved Michelle

That's a great word! If it sums up what you want to do this year, don't pressure yourself to get to three.

As for the naysayers, screw them! No one makes a stink out of having annual goals on your review at work. How is this different?


Michelle, your words, and the words of the commenters here, are excellent. I like the three word concept, so I've come up with three of my own.

Improvement - I gave up resolutions, and the resultant pressure and guilt, years ago in favor of continual self-improvement. Learning new things, eating healthier, moving more (exercising or otherwise), trying new things -- all these have made my life incrementally better and more enjoyable.

Progress - This is mostly related to work, but there is some spillover into "real" life. This year I realized I'd been the old reliable for too long, pitching in wherever the need was greatest. This year I'm going to keep progress on my own goals foremost in mind when making decisions. If a task doesn't get me closer to what I want to be doing, then I'm not going to jump in to volunteer.

Connection - Long story short, I tend not to form friendships at work, so I have to pay particular attention to making friends outside of work. Not easy since I mostly read books and watch movies/TV. This word is to remind me to look out for new connections, as well as continue to connect with the people who are already in my life. At least until I change the word to "hermitage" and move into an Alaskan cabin with my dog and a lifetime supply of reading material. :)

Peeved Michelle

2014... HERMITAGE!


Hermitage may be winning.

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