Instead of traditional New Year’s resolutions, I prefer to choose three key words for the new year. This is a practice I have faithfully followed for years, and now it’s time to reveal my three words for 2024, as well as a little about how 2023 went.

What is the idea behind this?

It’s about choosing three words that will guide you through the year. These words serve as personal guidelines, and they don’t necessarily have to be understandable to anyone other than yourself.

For a deeper understanding, take a look at Chris Brogan’s article, who came up with the idea.

These words become even more powerful if you take the time to reflect on them regularly. Whether it’s keeping them in mind during important decisions, or when planning. You can also use them as a goal for the day when you write in your journal and ask yourself: “How did I live up to this word today?”

Below are my chosen words from the last few years:

2014 – Gold. Wesley. Give.
2020 – Identity. Voice. Rituals.
2021 – Leadership. Dedication. Sharing.
2022 – 10X. No. Invest.
2023 – Reodor. Commander. Wesley.

How did it go with my words in 2023?

I’ve had better years when it comes to focusing on my words, but they have actually manifested themselves well nevertheless. Reodor was about “coming up with original ideas and putting them into action,” and the ambition was 1095 ideas by New Year’s Eve 2023. I am far from that number, but I still got some good ideas in 2023, which I will put into action this year (so stay tuned). Commander was my second word, which is about taking ownership of decisions and seeing them through. There I feel that I have been able to try myself in projects that met resistance until they were realized. You have to believe in what you do, even if no one else does. My last word was Wesley. It’s about being methodical, among other things. Last year I implemented several methods, which have revolutionized the way I work, and which I have also used in coaching and consulting with clients.

How did my business go in 2023?

Many ask me how it’s going after I started on my own this year. I have to admit that I’m having a lot of fun, and I’m grateful to be able to work with businesses that are outstanding in their markets. Here are three assignments I’ve worked on this past year and some reflections you might find interesting:

⭐️ Company 1: I am the CMO of a market-leading Nordic company where we launched the industry’s first podcast in 2023, both in video and audio format. Podcasting is not a “get rich overnight” thing, but what is better suited to showcase all the knowledge and passion that resides in the people in the company? Like everything else, podcasting is a journey, where on episode 87 you will look back at episode 9 and wonder what in the world you were doing. Don’t let the illusion that it has to be ‘perfect’ stop you from taking the first step. If you know your stuff, show a little passion and the audio and light are in order, it can be a nice way to create visibility. And then you will have “food” for much other content too.

⭐️ Company 2: In this 3-month assignment, I coached a marketing department and was a sparring partner for the CMO on process, team/roles, and strategy. The company has over 100 employees, is market-leading in its segment, and was already very professional in their marketing when I came in. Therefore, it is extra fun to see that my short stay has borne fruit in the form of increased engagement and a new way of working with weekly follow-up of KPIs (scorecard), two-week sprints, and quarterly plans.

⭐️ Company 3: I am a ghostwriter for the company’s CEO and help them build a thought leadership position through top-quality content. I also help them to utilize the world’s best CRM platform, HubSpot, in a smart way. I have been working with HubSpot since 2014, and would say it is one of the best things that has happened to the marketing industry since sliced bread.

My Three Words for 2024

My three words for 2023 began to take shape just before Christmas, but they fell into place today, January 2nd:

  • Share: I want to share more this year… knowledge, methods, and tools that I have had success with in my 22 years within B2B marketing (and which work today, of course). I have been blogging since 2009, but due to full calendars with assignments, the blog has been deprioritized, also in 2023. Now that trend will be reversed and time will be set aside in the calendar.
  • Scale: What I mean by “scale” is to grow exponentially by using smarter ways to do more without losing quality. The keywords here are method, best practice, and technology (AI). The ability to scale is important both as a consultant for my clients and also to grow my own consulting business.
  • Balance: We humans are more than just work machines. We are complex beings consisting of spirit, soul, and body. If we give too little attention to one of these, it affects the others. We must be in balance and make room to nurture our spiritual and relational needs, as well as take care of our own body and health. Time must be set aside for this. Time for family, time to exercise, time for prayer, meditation, and reflection. Enough time to be a whole person, in balance.

P.S. The three words do not replace goals and plans. As a “bonus” to my three words, I also write a letter to myself today, to the 31/12-24 version of myself. There I describe how the year went, what I have achieved, and what the status is on New Year’s Eve in a year. A nice way to visualize your goals, and extra fun if something actually matches when you read it twelve months later.

Now It’s Your Turn

Choosing three words for the new year is an inspiring and effective way to set personal goals and intentions. Instead of traditional New Year’s resolutions, I invite you to explore this method by choosing three words that will help you achieve your goals and live up to your values in 2024. Let them be your guiding stars to navigate by, and see where this journey takes you. I wish you an excellent new year filled with growth, discoveries, and fulfillment.

About the author

Erlend Førsund
CMO i Førsund Consulting AS | 45400014 | | Web | More posts

Erlend helps B2B businesses grow as their hired Fractional CMO, consultant or copywriter. He has previously been the Chief Marketing Officer and a senior business consultant at Spring Agency, and the Marketing Manager at MarkedsPartner. He was educated at BI Norwegian Business School (BI) and Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and has been working with marketing since the turn of the millennium.