empowering excellence

There are many things that you will find empowering excellence in your life.  What I have learned over the years is the smallest of things that have the largest impact.  Sometimes you never know where it will come from.  Embarking on a new year offers a canvas of possibilities, a chance to set intentions and navigate the journey ahead with purpose. With the myriad of resolutions, affirmations, and goals, there’s a simple yet profound approach that has proven to be a guiding light for many — the concept of choosing three words.   I started doing this in 2015 thanks to Cris Brogan, and each year as I reflect on the prior year, I stand amazed.  This year, 2023 included.  More about that later…

Unveiling the Power of Three

In a world saturated with complexities, the simplicity of selecting three words as a guiding principle can be a game-changer. It’s not about crafting an exhaustive list of resolutions or setting unattainable goals; it’s about distilling your focus into three words that will serve as the lens through which you navigate daily decisions and actions.  In a simple way you are empowering excellence by the intent and selection of these words.

Clarity through Simplicity

Choosing three words may seem like a minimalist approach, but therein lies its brilliance. It forces you to identify and prioritize the core values and aspirations that truly matter. Think of it as a de-cluttering process for your goals, providing clarity and focus.   Every time you are confronted with an opportunity, look at your three words.  Does it enhance or detract from the objective?  It is a lot easier to make decisions this way.

Active Engagement in Your Journey

Imagine these words as dynamic companions, urging you into action. They are not static resolutions but active agents, guiding your choices and propelling you forward. Whether it’s ‘Explore,’ ‘Nurture,’ or ‘Elevate,’ each word serves as a catalyst for positive change.

Basically, you are harnessing the power of language.  Words have a profound impact on our mindset and actions. By consciously selecting three words, you’re not just setting intentions — you’re shaping your narrative. This intentional language becomes a source of motivation, a constant reminder of the direction you’ve chosen for yourself.

Crafting Your Trio of Words

The process of choosing your three words is both personal and empowering. Reflect on your values, aspirations, and the areas of your life that need attention. Is it time to ‘Innovate’ professionally, ‘Nurture’ your relationships, or ‘Elevate’ your overall well-being?

Navigating the Year Ahead

As you embark on this journey with your trio of words, anticipate the transformative impact they can have. They become your compass, providing direction when faced with decisions, challenges, or opportunities. The beauty lies in their adaptability — they can evolve with you as your journey unfolds.  Be open to how they evolve.  In 2019 I picked adventure, it was that — just not what I had intended.  [Talk about BRCA2, also, it’s on my website.]

This is a Personal Revolution

In a world filled with noise and distractions, the power of three words offers a refreshing alternative. It’s not about adding more to your plate; it’s about streamlining your focus and embarking on a personal revolution. So, as the new year dawns, consider the profound simplicity of three words — your allies in empowering excellence in your life.

Empowering Excellence in 2024

I am sure you are wondering what my words for 2024 are, but first let’s review how the 2023 words worked out for me.

Cultivate, within and untangle.   If you look at my post from when I selected them, you know that untangle was a word that kept coming at me and I had no real understanding why, but I trusted Spirit.  Those that know me know that this has been the year George and I moving George’s mother from New Jersey to Rochester.   And there was a lot to untangle.

Within had me digging deeper inside myself, I had some time to do that while temporarily living in NJ.  It has also been more recently with the passing of my Mentor, Jack Rudy.  I would always run to him to discuss things and generally follow his lead; with his failing health I couldn’t always talk with him.  This has resulted in my trusting myself even more.  I have to decide the direction and I am listening to my own heart more than ever.  As a result, I see how prior years words that I had selected and see how they build on each other.

Cultivate was a word that I had hoped to carry from the previous year’s word Manifest.  In many ways, I have cultivated my garden and to some extent the path forward for me spiritually.  But it wasn’t the one in the backyard, although we did take a few steps in that direction.  It was the word I had the most hope for and the one I was most disappointed in.  Weeds 1, Colleen 0, as George would say.

2024 Words – Nurture

I play with Artificial Intelligence and thought it would be fun to see what words it would suggest.  I asked for suggested three words, and in 13 (my grandmother’s favorite number and a number I love) queries, the word nurture came up each time with two different suggestions.  In fact, no word repeated other than it.  AI suggested Nurture: Focusing on the care or development of relationships, projects, personal growth and fostering a supportive and positive environment.  The last point is what I have been doing in the development circle I lead.  As my Mother-in-law’s dementia progresses, I am finding that I need to nurture her as well.

As I wrote about my experience above, I see the connection.  So, Nurture is my first word.  Just like a garden, things do not happen year one or two.  The story of the Fern and Bamboo immediately comes to mind.  Jack always reminded me that I need to have patience, so I think this year I will use nurture to guide me.  It has so many possible meanings, relationships, spirituality, career, and the list go on.


The other two words did not come from AI, they have been on a piece of paper that I had this year’s words on, where if a word caught my attention, I add them for thought for the future.  Sometimes the words are easy and this year that seems to be the case.  It also seems to be a tradition that I pick the words long before the new year starts.

The second word for 2024 is Action.  It was the first word I wrote down, so I trust there was a reason.  I feel that in my Spiritual practice I need more action and less reflection.  Everything needs to move forward after a year of putting it on the back burner.  Truth be told everything Spiritual has been on the back burner since 2019 with my surgery journey then COVID. This year’s distraction from my goal has been my Mother-in-law.  It emphasizes the importance of taking steps, no matter how small, toward the things I want to achieve.  Action after being paralyzed waiting for everything to be perfect.  I just need to start and see where Spirit takes me.


The last word was a little harder to select.  I wanted tarot or spirituality, but they just didn’t feel right, too narrow of a focus.  Then there was the list I kept, further down was the word Today.  I had to sit with the list and let my soul guide me.  Like the first word on the list, I just need to trust the power it will bring me.  I believe this word will focus me, ground me on my purpose.  It serves as a reminder to take action, appreciate the current moment, and not to procrastinate or dwell excessively on the past or future.  Today, how can I proactively take action to nurture and deepen my spiritual practice?

There you have it, my three words for 2024 that will be empowering excellence for me.

Full List of my Prior Three Words

Rev. Colleen Irwin
Reverend Colleen Irwin is a Spiritual being having a human experience as a Blogger, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Healer and Public Speaker living in Rochester New York. Colleen, a Natural Born Medium, teaches, lectures and serves Spirit when called upon. She remembers speaking with Spirit as a child and learning how to share this knowledge with others has been an adventure that she captured in her book “Discovering Your Stream”. Colleen has been mentored by Reverend Jack Rudy, and ordained as a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek by the Reverend Dan Chesboro through the Sanctuary of the Beloved. When she is not doing her Spiritual work she is a volunteer docent sharing Susan B. Anthony's history to visitors of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Her trust in Spirit gave her a new title – PREVIVOR. She now uses her platform to educate others about the BRCA genetic mutation and how one can take control of their health and well-being.
Previous post “My Grown-up Christmas List” by Natalie Cole
Photo by Kenzhar Sharap: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-little-boy-and-a-kitten-sitting-in-front-of-a-christmas-tree-19460468/ Next post Navigating Holiday Stress: Strategies for Healthy Family Dynamics