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My 3 words for 2023

It’s that time of year to choose 3 words that will help guide our choices and actions every day. #my3words.

If you’re like me, you may be getting many lively and good-hearted emails with everyone’s new year’s wishes and a barrage of self-help or other bits of advice to assist you in setting your plans for 2023. I had big plans to write such a message, but then things happened.

Our community fell under a spell of darkness due to some unfortunate events that basically knocked the wind out of my “Hope” sails. How could I write about a hopeful 2023 when many of the things I’ve worked so hard for were under attack? I felt like my loyalties and convictions were being pulled in many different directions.

If you’re from anywhere close to the community or media channels where I live, you know what I’m talking about. Some unfortunate incidents in our downtown have brought to the surface the divide amongst racial, social and economic classes that has always existed here – and that a small group of us are trying to close.

I’d prefer not to share the details in this space, just suffice to say, it’s had me giving a lot of thought to where I stand on some important issues. I’ve had to take many deep breaths, and do some serious self-talk to come to the decision I’d rather be, as a friend describes, a “brave fool” getting into “good trouble” than being “politically correct” or doing nothing at all. Hopefully, the cost for that won’t be too high.

And in that, for me at least, there is hope.

So, I was open and welcoming to a post I got on New Year’s Day from author Chris Brogan urging me to choose my “3 words” for 2023. This is a practice Chris has been doing for a long time and I started to follow a few years ago. He describes it this way: “3 words (not 1, not 4) that will help guide your choices and actions day to day. Think of them as lighthouses. “Should I say yes to this project?” “Well, does this align with my three words?” You can read more at

In light of what I described earlier, this felt like something I needed to do. Read on for where I landed and I’d love to hear if this prompt inspires you as well. Share in the comments or send me a note!

My 3 Words

Chris suggests you write these down and keep them near you, so they are close by when you need a daily reminder of how you want to move through the year. Also, you are allowed to change them if new things emerge. I bounced #my3words off my hub and he agreed they had promise to help guide some of the goals I have for 2023. Here goes!

1. Gather

I actually stole this one from Chris’ list as it’s too good to resist given some of my goals, which include more writing and community-building. I seek to gather like-minded people, ideas, research for my own writing, family and friends, and community,.

In this way, I hope to stay more focused on the here and now, and what matters. 

Writer Leanne Fournier posing for a photo with her children Ren and Everette and parents Glenn and Aggie Hibbert
A warm, welcome family gathering with my children Ren and Everette and parents Aggie and Glenn Hibbert.

2. Centre

I want to continue to focus on what matters to me and the world and what I want to put my energy into. This includes taking time everyday for some wellbeing to help centre on what’s important. My online yoga instructor, Adriene, talks about centring as part of a yoga practice in a way that resonates with me on many levels:

woman in a fur hat and face mask
This is how I showed up to help during a community Sacred Fire to raise awareness of our homelessnes/housing crisis.

“The most valuable part of a centering practice is the courageous act of showing up.”


She also says, “It is truly about learning and knowing who you are.”

Showing up is something that has always guided me. I hope I can centre on that to find the courage it takes, even when I feel uncertain or afraid. Adriene’s words also touch on something else I will be looking to more and more for focus and centring. It’s the words that inspire my social mission: “Know who you are and how you can help.”

3. Smile

Leanne Fournier snowshoeing on the ice with snow and trees
An energizing winter walk is often worth the effort for the pleasure it brings.

More and more – when I stay in the present – I feel the healing and energizing power of doing things that bring me pleasure. Yes, getting up from my desk and donning all the winter gear for a walk with the dogs takes some effort, but once I’m out on one of our bush trails or even along the forest-lined road, I breathe in deep and it feels good. Same when I pause for one of my fitness and wellness coach, Kelli Saunders, workouts or that blessed yoga. Of course making time for my wonderful friends and family is another source of joy.

Michael Fournier
My handsome and generous partner, Michael brings light, laughter and smiles to most days.

Most of all, I’d like more smiles with my partner Michael, my own unsung hero, for all he does for me and others. Sitting across from him in conversation brings many laughs and lots of love for each other but also our communities. We are definitely in all of this together and have discovered that in an even bigger way during the isolation of moving to a new community shortly before the pandemic.

I have many reasons to smile when I take the time for those small pleasures and things that bring me joy, peace, inspiration and energy.

Maybe these words inspire you to think of your own. Again, I’d love to hear them.

You can

Thanks for staying with me on this little ride into 2023.

My hope is that words like peace, kindness and goodwill find you throughout the new year and beyond.

We all need words like that.

I was also inspired by another New Year’s post to write my first ever “5 List’. You can read it here.

By Leanne

Leanne is MightyWrite’s lead writer. She believes in the power of stories that focus on our humanity and how what we bring to the world and each other is what really matters.

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