As we complete the third week of 2017, it is a good time to take a few minutes to reflect on the progress of your New Year’s Resolutions. Oh, remember those. If you’re like most people the momentum is high when we make them and then it quickly dwindles. This year I made no resolutions. I was tired of that high/ low experience of feeling great when I make them, only to feel disappointed  when I realized I forgot about them completely. And to my surprise I am moving forward at a steady pace towards my goals without resolutions.

Here’s what I did instead. In the fourth quarter of 2016 I adopted the concept ofTHINK DIFFERENTLY”.  And I have been doing just that ever since. When faced with an opportunity or the next action step towards a goal I ask myself these questions:

  • Is what I am thinking or how I am thinking about this really going to create the result that I truly desire?
  • If Yes- then I move forward as planned.
  • If No- then I have the opportunity to look at it differently. Maybe there is a different approach I need to take? Maybe there is something else I need to learn? Maybe someone can help me?

Here’s what I have discovered with this process:

There is an ease about that word differently. It takes out the judgment of being right or wrong. It allows me to take more chances, knowing that I am learning in the process.

Let’s say you are offered the opportunity for new position at work. You are circling the opportunity that seems on the surface to be really great. You apply all your usual questions to the opportunity, and it seems to pass the test. Now you apply the Think Differently questions to see if it will truly meets all your needs and demands. Maybe in the past you were so career focused that you didn’t consider the impact a new position will have on your personal and family life. This time you think differently and add that to the equation. Will there be opportunities for career growth? Who will be mentoring you? Applying the think differently model creates a broader look at the opportunity. You may now have additional questions to ask of yourself and your new employer in order to make the best decision for your life and career.

As I continue this process of “Think Differently I am discovering:

  1. I feel more ease with saying Yes to actions and opportunities that align with my highest good.  I no longer second guess myself.
  2. I am learning to say No to those actions and opportunities that are not aligned with my highest good. It is a process.
  3. There are things on my goals list that I am not ready to fully commit to, and they no longer taunt me. I acknowledge that they are there. I check in on them from time to time and even take small steps towards their fulfillment without the judgment. And that feels good. And feeling good is fuel for all the other things that I am committed to achieving.

It is a bold step to think differently. At first it feels as though you are challenging all that you once thought and believed. With time that feeling fades and excitement dominates.

What are you willing to think differently about in your life and career to live your best year ever in 2017?