I see a few friends who are setting their intentions for the year by choosing 3 words from Seth Godin’s new guide “What Matters Now.”  I thought I’d do the same.

There’s something powerful about setting an intention.  Whether it’s what you want from a meeting, a relationship, or this year, getting clear and declaring your desires will help you get them.

Instead of choosing 3 words for me, I thought I’d choose 3 things I want for you.  Here they are:

1. Focus.  There are so many distractions these days, from constant email to Twitter to hundreds of interruptions throughout the day.  I want you to be able to be crystal clear about your goals (both personally and professionally) and then give them your full attention and energy. Having clear focus about what you’re trying to achieve will help you say “yes” to those things that move you forward and “no” to those things that don’t.

2.  Gumption.  Initiative.  Resourcefulness. Spunk. It’s that thing that  force that moves you forward.  Believe that you can reach your goals and then go for it!

3.  Tough-mindedness. In Seth’s guide, it’s defined as “the ability to draw lines and boundaries  within which we  protect and preserve  the mental and emotional space to do our work and to be true to our selves. It’s about self-discipline and focus and perserverance.  And it will help you move forward in fulfilling your organization’s mission.

Think about what this year might hold if you grabbed these 3 words and took them to heart.  Think of how you could expand your fundraising efforts.  Think about how you might fulfill your organization’s mission.

Will you take on these 3 words for your year?  What do you think?



  1. I’m leaning toward the following three words:
    1) Present
    2) Present
    3) Present.

    1) Present: as in, a gift. Life is a gift, my volunteers are each a unique gift, my own skills and talents are gifts, and our collective work in this river organization is our gift to our community. I seek to appreciate all of the above, share the presents of joy and recognition with my volunteers, and share in the gifts each of my volunteers brings to the table. There is a Gestalt at work here, as in most volunteer groups; I need to recognize it, celebrate it, and employ it’s dynamic synergy!

    2) Present: as in, stand and deliver. I need to solidify my mission, write it out, video record it, share it with my volunteers and with the community. Share our work with other river basins, to schools, to non-traditional groups and to the world. Show tangible results, take photographs, make display boards, speak at events, and be seen & heard. Maybe finally write that book I’ve been working on!

    3) Present: as in here and now. Time is fleeting and precious; I need to live in the moment as much as I plan for the future. I need to prioritize and delegate, share responsibilities with my volunteers and make sure that my kids and husband are well-attended and feel treasured like the miracles they are.

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