My 3 Words for 2012

I just finished reading about Ricardo Bueno's 3 Words for 2012, the three words that will define his goals for the coming year (based on something Chris Brogan does each year), and it made me think a little harder about my own goals for 2012. While Chris takes things beyond just goals and resolutions, I tend to be a little more literal - so here are my three words: Grow, Publish, Speak.

1. Grow

Both my horticultural and digital strategy businesses have been growing steadily over the past few years, thanks mostly to referrals and word-of-mouth. I'm fortunate to have loyal clients who stay with me for the long-term and happily refer me to their friends and business contacts. However, I've come to a point where I need to focus one just one business if I'm ever going to get any sleep or be able to spend time with friends and family (perhaps 'Focus' should've been my first word!).

This year, as I shift my focus away from my horticulture business and more towards digital strategy, my goal is to take on 12 new digital strategy clients. I've always limited the number of new clients I take on to ensure that I'm able to give each one the full attention they deserve, and 2012 is no exception. It's not so much about me making money (although that's always nice - after all, this is a business!), but about doing right for my clients.

My second growth goal is to double the number of subscribers to this blog.

2. Publish

When I was in academia, I often heard the phrase "Publish or perish" - and as an Industrial Psychologist, I published regularly in peer-reviewed, scientific journals. Now, my focus is on other types of publishing - blogs, e-books, and books.

My goals for 2012 are to publish the following:

  • Website Blueprint for Business Owners - A practical guide on how to create and maintain a website that helps grow your business (e-book). This will be offered for free to all blog subscribers (I'll send a copy to all current subscribers as well). Look for it March 1.
  • Digital Strategies for the Green Industry - An e-book describing the online/digital strategies and tactics you can use to increase revenue and build your business. Coming April 1.
  • Butterfly Gardens for New England - How to design, plant, and maintain a garden that attracts and supports butterflies. Focused on New England, but applicable to many parts of the country. Soft cover. Due May 1.

And, of course, I'll keep up with publishing a weekly post here on the blog.

3. Speak

I love public speaking. I've spoken to audiences ranging from 5-person workshops to a packed, 1,500-person auditorium. My most interesting experience was giving the keynote address at a conference in Japan - to a Japanese audience listening to my presentation on headphones via simultaneous translation!

This Wednesday (January 4th) I'll be speaking at the Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association (CNLA) Winter Symposium. The topic is 'Online Strategies to Grow Your Business' (you'll see parts of it in upcoming posts on this blog). I'm looking forward to it - drop by and see me if you're there!

I also have a couple of other engagements lined up (more on that in a later post) that get me part way to my goal of 6 speaking engagements at events for professional and/or industry organizations. That may not seem like much, but limiting it to six allows me to keep my focus on my clients instead of bouncing all over the country giving talks.

What Are Your 3 Words?

Let us know what 3 words you'll be focusing on this year!


  1. Ricardo Bueno on January 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I like the words you’ve chosen Monica and it looks like you’re pretty specific/clear on what you want to accomplish.

    For my goals, I wrote down a number, and worked backwards on what i need to do in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and a year to hit that number. This works great for each of the areas that you’ve outlined.

    Good luck on the speaking and writing! Cheers to a great 2012!

    • Monica Hemingway on January 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Your post a few weeks ago inspired me to really start thinking about goals so, yes, I got specific this year! 🙂

      I like your idea of thinking backwards from the end goal – makes it easier to set monthly or quarterly goals to keep you on track to the end.

      Thanks for sharing, and all the best for 2012!!

  2. Morris May on January 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Launch… website
    Deliver… value to the industry and in some small (or even better, large) way strengthen it
    Cooperate… though perhaps a little naive, I believe that the industry is stronger when as many as possible share and cooperate

    On a small note, re: Butterfly Gardens, I hope people someday realise that is a small sacrifice to have ‘pests’ like catepillars in the garden. Not only do we all love to see butterflies, but it also brings so many songbirds to our little patches. Nature is very good at balancing things, and just wish some were not so keen to have pristine but ‘dead’ gardens.

    Have a great 2012, Monica

    • Monica Hemingway on January 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

      I like your words, Morris. Very clear and direct. And I agree with the ‘Cooperate’ goal – we each get further by working together – and we all of so much to share that we could all learn from. Good for you for making that a goal – and I hope you find others willing to reciprocate!

      As for caterpillars – it always amazes me that people thing butterflies just appear, that somehow the adult stage is the only stage. If more people would grow host/food plants for caterpillars (either in a separate area of their garden, or intermixed with other plants), not only would we have more butterflies, but the caterpillar ‘damage’ would be less noticeable. I hope that my book will help educate people about butterflies at ALL stages of development – and show them that if you want butterflies in your garden, you need to provide for their needs at the egg, caterpillar, and chrysalis stages too.

      Wishing you a very happy and productive 2012 in which you achieve all of your goals!

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