I love you. Are there any words more powerful than those? When they’re backed with full intention, they can end wars and ignite flames. When they are not backed with full intention, they are a heart-wrenching lie. The stuff that starts wars.

I know some other pretty powerful three-word combos. YOUR three words for the New Year. You’ve heard Chris Brogan talk about them for a while now. They are like guideposts for your year to come. Touchstones of inspiration. Beams of clarity.

Being clear about what we want is the surest way to gain on it. And I’m with Martha Beck in my belief that knowing what we want has a lot less to do with outcomes than with feelings. So this year, in the year-end completion and new-year welcoming tool I share with clients (email me for it), I asked:

What three adjectives do you want to feel as you lay your head down on your pillow every single night of 2011?

_____________, ________________, and ________________.

Be with that a moment, will you?

How do I want to feel? Every night before I go to bed?

Me? Well, since you asked (thanks), I choose to feel: masterful, vital and nourished.

They may mean nothing to you, yet here's what these simple yet powerful words conjure for me:

Masterful - authority, immersion, depth, roots, refinement, elegance, enduring

Vital – energized, sensual, resonance, important, joyful, light, jubilation, laughter, wonder, connected

Nourished – satiated, serene, honoured, healthy, full, enough, quality

Hubba hubba whoo whoo!!!

These words have EVERYTHING to do with my personal and professional goals for the year. They will help inform every decision I make because every action moves me towards or away from these three words.

Will working on this new project lead me towards or away from mastery? Will working with this person make me feel more vital, or less so? Does this new book nourish my mind, body and/or spirit or is it the Kraft Dinner equivalent?

Of course, there is not absolute “right” answer. My intuition will be the Ultimate Guide here, as ever. But even the finest of Guides appreciate guideposts from which to orient the path.

And if I don’t feel nourished, masterful or vital as I lay my head on my pillow, I get to try again tomorrow.

Let’s find yours

If you didn’t land immediately on the three words to describe how you want to wish to FEEL every night, then you may choose to sink into some of your values that are begging to be honoured.

I notice that my words represent in part my Future Self. The person I am becoming, the one I know awaits me in 20 years. May be the same for you. They may also be traits of someone you admire.

Whatever you land on, please make sure they are steamy for you. That you LOVE them in that blushing, hot under the collar way that a well-intended “I love you” makes you feel. Please make sure they are resonant and truthful. Otherwise, they are impotent lies. And who needs that?

A final word about love.  Because really and truly, finding your words is a powerful exercise in self-love. Creating the year that YOU want. One decision at a time.