This annual period of endings and beginnings is a good time to adjust one’s outlook and expectations. I plan to do this with three words.

This is the strangest time of year. At the workplace, the year’s ending may spur a flurry of activity: orders to get out, jobs to ship, inventory to clear, paperwork and applications to file. Or there may be a lull because new business ventures and projects have been postponed until after the new year arrives. At home, it’s often a similar mix: the frantic preparations for the holidays, rushing to visit relatives out of town or struggling with family issues. But there are also happenings when tradition, customs, ancient bonds and deep connections suspend time, if only in a momentary pause.

When I find myself caught up in this seasonal flux, I know it is time to recalibrate my life. It’s a time for me to balance action with reflection, turn reflection into resolution and fulfill resolution by action. This is not a return loop, but a cyclical transition from the hectic to the healing.

Here’s how I intend to do this: At home, I am choosing three simple words to put on a card that will sit on my nightstand or be taped to the bathroom mirror. Likewise, at work, I am choosing three simple words to tack on my wall or post on my PC screen. I may even have three words for posting on the dashboard of my car. The words are meant to represent important values, goals or principles that I want to apply in their respective realms.

My words at home will be something like Faith, Family, Friends. At work, they might be Clarity, Honesty, Timely. (For the car, they should probably be Go Slo Mo.)

That’s all I’m going to do to get the transformation started. These daily reminders will have an effect, purposefully or unconsciously. I will let my state of mind and the circumstances of the day modulate their meaning and steer their application in the hours ahead.

The chosen words, I believe, ought to be personal. They will be my words—for me, to me, by me. The exercise is intended to keep things lined up and well-ordered in my inner being. In that sense, it’s truly a recalibration.

Other suggestions and observations come to mind for those who might want to follow this lead. For example, the combination of words doesn’t have to be original or clever, although rhyming words or words starting with the same letter makes them “stick” better. It doesn’t matter if they are nouns, verbs, adjectives or a mix. It’s good to keep them short, simple and clear. Three main words is the right number for me, but that’s my preference. For that matter, a series of numbers could be equally effective (for example, 8-8-8 for minimum hours of sleep, glasses of water to drink and times to say “Thank You” each day.)

If this attempt at recalibration succeeds, being mentally and psychically well-adjusted will be an advantage in the turbulent times ahead. Our national leadership has changed. Some say we are in the midst of another industrial revolution. A transition in generations is afoot. Making sound adjustments accordingly will test even the well-adjusted.