My Three Words for 2017

December 29, 2016

My 3 Words for 2017 | Fake Food Free


Overall, I can say that 2016 had all the makings of a great year.

Personally, after 3 years of rental living we purchased and moved into our 3rd home. My great-niece was born and I got to meet her. My favorite pug turned 14. We traveled to a few new places including the Channel Islands, Door County, WI, Yosemite, and Barbados. We visited a lot of new breweries and met new beer people. I got to hang out with quite a few goats, and you know how much I love goats. 

Professionally, I attended an outstanding food photography workshop, secured a cookbook contract, photographed my first cookbook for a publishing company, worked with four new food clients, and wrote articles for three new print publications. I now have an official studio and office in our home with quite an extensive collection of props. 

So why am I giving into this overwhelming social pressure that 2016 was such a crappy year?


I’m not one to focus on the negative, but I’ll admit I feel this general gloom towards the year with enjoyment that 2016 is ending. 


Chocolate | Lori Rice at Fake Food Free


Personally, several people close to me experienced tragedy in the form of untimely deaths of loved ones. On a less serious note, my health and fitness tanked this year. Our first Central Valley summer, sent my running into a downward spiral. I found a stamina and enthusiasm that I’ve been building for almost 10 years nearly disappear. I’ve returned to some processed eating habits and have gained weight. 


Roasted pink radishis with watercress and thyme | Lori Rice at Fake Food Free


Professionally, I lost all of my recurring contracts due to budgets, some which I’d had for four years. The summer was a struggle to the point where I was worried freelancing might not be able to continue for me. I repeatedly had people show interest in my work only to have those interested fall off the face of the earth after a few weeks. It happened over and over again to the point where I was ready to give up. (Fortunately, things picked up this fall, but I do not want to revisit this past summer. No thank you.) 


Mixed Citrus | Lori Rice at Fake Food Free


If you compare the good to the bad, there isn’t a whole lot for me to complain about. 


Sunset in Morro Bay, California | Fake Food Free


But I’m still saying good-bye to 2016 with a swift kick in the ass and some sips of a good bourbon. 


Door County Creamery Goats, Door Co., WI | Fake Food Free


I’m ready for 2017. There is no big reason why. I’m sure that it, too, will include good and bad. I am simply drawn to starting anew. The celebration of the New Year helps me refocus and relax for what lies ahead. 


Yosemite National Park


Since 2012, I’ve adopted Chris Brogan’s practice of selecting three words to reflect and focus on throughout the year. I usually don’t get around to thinking about them until after January 1, but this week has afforded me some time to consider what I want for 2017.

I’m not sure I did such a great job in 2016. I pursued some new things so I think do was covered, but stronger and reflect, I’m not so sure about. Although, I think I’ve grown a tougher skin as a freelancer so that, in a way, has made me stronger. But those words, those goals, are behind me now. Time to move on. 

My Three Words for 2017 | Fake Food Free

A little explanation about what my words for 2017 mean for me. 

Less.  I’ve found that doing less as a freelancer is extremely difficult. There is always fear that if an offer is there (the feast), you must take it for security when the inevitable famine arrives once again. But I will do my best to take on less, what I can comfortably handle, what reflects what I truly want to do, and what provides me with what I need. Which leads me the second meaning of less. I don’t need much. Less is going to spill over to what I use and what I buy. 

Renew.  I have a few professional and fitness goals that I’ve overlooked the past few years. I’m going to renew some of those and accomplish them in 2017. The first being to become a Certified Cicerone in the first half of the year. 

Wander.  I love to wander – through markets, in new towns, on trails, into new hobbies. I found I did a lot less of that in 2016 than I prefer. I will do a little less planning and a little more wandering in 2017. 


Macy Mae Rice | Pugs


With that I say cheers to a brand new year! If you choose 3 words, set goals, or have intentions for 2017, I would love to hear them!



If you choose your own 3 words and use Instagram, create a hashtag out of the words and use it for images that relate to you living your words. It will be a unique hashtag and at the end of the year it will be a way to reflect on your focus for the year. #LessRenewWander

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  • Rachel December 29, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I love this, and SO needed to see it today. 🙂 2016 can kiss off–Cheers to a fresh start come 2017!

    • Lori December 29, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks so much, Rachel! I’m glad it helped!

    • Judy Hinsdale December 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      As 2016 comes to a close, I too have seen wonderful things in my life and sadness beyond my understanding. With the years that I have accumulated the one thing I have learned is that is how this life is. Most of the time when there is a great blessing there is some challenge that parallels it. So my three words would be…….Faith, Joy and Strength!!!

      • Lori December 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        Those are excellent, Judy! Thanks so much for reading.

      • Judy Hinsdale December 30, 2016 at 11:23 am


  • Beth (OMG! Yummy) December 29, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    This is wonderful Lori – I have been so busy trying to relax and enjoy the holidays that I haven’t really reflected yet. Love your three words and think I need this idea to focus me in 2017. 2016 really did suck for us but as I write our annual new year’s poem to send out, I realize there was also a lot of good stuff too. But the bad, was pretty damn bad. I’m speaking off the cuff at the moment, but one of my words might be Collaborate. I’m very self-disciplined which makes me a good work at home consultant but I derive energy from others. Anyhow – I hope our paths cross in 2017 personally and professionally. Happy New Year Lori – may it bring you peace, happiness, and success.

    • Lori December 30, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Thanks so much for your comment, Beth! I love Collaborate. That is a great one. Wishing you a much better New Year!