A good friend recently described this time of the year as the “silly season.” So dubbed because of what is unfolding as the 2012 presidential election campaign kicks into high gear. While his comment makes me chuckle, especially in light of recent events, I see an ironic parallel between the election season, the countdown to the New Year and what inspires people to seek my (or any coach’s) help.

When people reach out to me, it is because they want help creating something different in their lives.

I’ve never – ever – met someone who said they wanted the year-to-come to be the same as the year that is – regardless of how wonderful the year-that-is, has been.

And when people vote it is presumably in alignment with their beliefs and values. Their vote is a simultaneous expression of both the solution/s that is “like” them and “different” from others.

So if wanting something to be different is fairly universal, why does it often feel and appear as though we are universally saying, “Oh, I’ll have the same”? This is fine when dining with a group and ordering the same menu item. But outside of food…not so much!

Yet, that is precisely what happens when the same goals keep appearing on the lists you and I create at the top of the year, year after year; or when you find yourself giving voice to the same problem/s over and over because things haven’t moved forward; or when your voting choices exemplify cognitive dissonance. Each time any of these (or something similar) happen, you are in effect saying, “The same will do.” A troublesome pattern that can rob you of every ounce of joy that is waiting for you.

With just four (powerful?) weeks left to 2011, here are some suggestions on what to do with the time you’ve carved out to get ready for 2012. Following some or all of these during the weeks that remain will help you usher in a new year that is truly different – presuming, of course, you’re willing to do the work “different” requires!

  • Create a T-Account

I know this practice is typically reserved for accounting related matters (assets|liabilities; credits|debits; income|expenses), but T-accounts work wonders beyond numbers. It is a great way to objectively list, see and quantify the variables of almost every single decision you must make. It makes it easy to see the pros|cons; what’s working|what isn’t, etc.

  • Know the vision

There’s a reason almost everyone recommends having a picture of what you are working to create in your head and on paper: It works! It’s a critical piece of your success puzzle. Plus, it helps drown out distractions – especially those that can sidetrack you into focusing prematurely on the “how.” The practice of looking at your vision frequently reminds you of your “why” and serves as the fuel you’ll need to move beyond the obstacles and challenges you will undoubtedly face.

  • Acknowledge the impact of your vision

Impact doesn’t get as much air-play as I think it should. (I know I didn’t begin paying attention to it until recently.) But when things don’t unfold exactly as you envisioned, recognizing and connecting with the impact you are making can help you reinterpret the signs that you may initially read as “abandon ship” when they are simply signals directing you to try another way. Focusing on impact often creates room for an awesome picture you probably never imagined!

  • Say yes to your greatness

The greatness of which I speak is not of an egotistical nature. Instead, the greatness I’m advocating comes from a very humble place – one that is an acknowledgement of your being a vessel to bless and serve others, coupled with an awareness of the role of grace in your success. When you don’t say “yes” to your greatness, you’re not the only one who loses out…

2012 is coming soon. Are you excited?! It is sure to be a year of change, challenges and a few surprises. But come what may, add the suggestions above to your ‘get ready for the New Year’ tool-box. They will help you make it an incredible one!

Want my help making 2012 incredible? Register for #OccupyU$treet!


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