new year do things differently

A New Year to Do Things Differently

Do things differentlyAt the start of a new year, I encourage my clients to follow a practice I do of reviewing the past year before setting intentions for the new one.  I find that a thorough review of the previous year can provide important guidance for growth and moving ahead.  I make a list of “successes, accomplishments, and breakthroughs” and another of “failures, disappointments, and breakdowns.”  After giving myself some time to celebrate the successes, I review my failures.  Try this process and see what it provides for you.

See Things Differently in New Year 

Look at each of your disappointments over the past year, ask yourself what went wrong in that area, and what you might be able to do differently.  Let’s say you didn’t receive the promotion to advance your career. What’s your take on what went wrong?

Perhaps you didn’t spend enough time growing your professional network of senior leaders or promoting your personal brand.  What you might do differently this year is put some emphasis on that.  Use that realization to create an intention, and make it a regular commitment you can schedule and keep track of.

An intention to build more relationships could spark a commitment to have one conversation each week with a senior-level colleague or seek out a mentor.  That’s an activity you can put on your weekly schedule. At the end of the week, you’ll know how well you are sticking to your goals.

This may sound a lot like making a New Year’s resolution.  But, in order for you to see a breakthrough in this area rather than another breakdown, you may need more help.  

Here’s what it will take to do things differently this time around:

Motivation – First you must have the desire for a new result.  Make sure you periodically remind yourself why you are putting effort on building your professional network and what you hope it will bring you.

Specific Intention – A generic intention like “advance my career” will help, but may not be enough to spur action.  Transform your intentions into specified commitments and tasks that include what you will, when you will do it, and how often it needs to happen.  

Triggers –  It’s easy to forget about your intentions, or push them aside when other priorities arise.  Set up triggers to remind you of what you intend.  For example:  stick a note on your computer, set reminders on your calendar or link a task to something you already do.

Accountability –  When you’re the only one who knows what you’ve committed to, it can be tempting to drop new commitments when it comes time to honor them.  Consider sharing your intentions with a person or group who will periodically ask how those intentions are going.  This could be a friend, colleague, or coach.

Make 2018 the year you do things differently.  Start getting what you want in your work and life!


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