I've already written about how I use habits rather than resolutions for the year. Resolutions are doomed to fail, but practices can be iteratively built on over the year and eventually form a set of good habits.

How do you stay focused on these habits though?

Well, one way I've been able to build on these habits over the last couple of years is using Chris Brogan's three words. It's a simple idea.

You pick three words for that will guide your actions through the year. Through the course of the year, your efforts should align with these three words so that anything that you do is working towards them. The words themselves are goals, but not specific ones. Just parts of your life that you want to make better.

Last year my words were habit, health and hustle. I'm chuffed to say that at the end of 2017 I had lost a bit of weight and I'm now more active through the work week to stop myself getting any more back pain.

This year's words are less of a focus on health and work and more about content and delivery.

Bootstrap - For too long I've had a little email product running that has been running quietly in the background. It's time to bring it to the masses and bootstrap it from being merely just a product that people use to one that people rave about. Of course, I'm talking about DailyMuse. I want to expand this product so that it becomes more of a featured revenue stream than something I merely allow to run. DailyMuse isn't the only product in the pipeline though. I'm intrigued about a numberless analytics idea, and I'm interested in exploring a niche market for my web development skills that could help end the feast and famine cycle that is always at the back of my mind as a freelancer.

Blog - I remember the great days of blogging every day. It didn't matter what day it was. I punted something out anyway. This single word over the last two weeks has prompted me to write and publish more often already this month and look set to complete one week with a post a day.

Budget - When it comes to time, we only have so much of it. For 2018 I want to budget my time and energy through the week so that I'm not idling away my time in front of the television or on my phone. This isn't a call to budget every minute of every day. Scheduling my day in this way doesn't work for me. The plan is to spread my time, focus and energy over the week, rather than blitz everything in the one day. One way of doing this is to theme each day around a particular product or project.

I wouldn't say that 2017 was a significant success using this technique, but I did make some gains. I'm aiming to do better with my three words for 2018.