The Year of Choosing Wisely

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Spontaneous. Impulsive. Intuitive. Three words that I use to describe myself. I love these words because they provide me with the strength and the energy needed to take risks and to feed my creative and entrepreneurial spirit. These are core values that come to me naturally without practice. They are on autopilot and are my default mode. But as a coach, I want to model the way for building new areas of strength through the practice of new habits.

Accordingly, I have decided to make 2018 the Year of Choosing Wisely.  If you are reading this post, you probably know that Think Good is about igniting leadership potential. As I thought about the new year, I want to personally challenge my own thinking about some things particularly as they relate to growing my business. In the last edition of this blog, I did some reflecting on 2017 and shared my story of being inspired to start my business.

As I look ahead, I feel a different sense of accountability to you, my readers and my clients. So, rather than focusing on standard resolutions with which I will inevitably fail  (most of us do), I have been thinking about how I can make better choices about my business this year and how, in turn, those choices might lead to improved well-being in other areas of my life. Which leads me to this theme based concept. I want a mantra of sorts that will inspire me on a daily basis. Something I can put on my screensaver or post on my desk or wear on a bracelet. I thought about words like focus and discipline and then it came to me. 2018 needs to be the year of choosing wisely.

Thinking about the impact of these two words, I did what every writer does, I looked them up and looked at images associated with their meaning. What I found was that there are a couple of famous quotes around choosing wisely; here they are:

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1      Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

2.    You become the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Choose wisely.

3.      The things you do either give you energy or drain you. Choose wisely.

I relate to all three of these quotes but have decided that rather than focusing on all of these approaches, I need to “choose wisely” about the one that most resonates with me, forcing me to think a bit differently about decision making and life choices.

In some ways, I’ve already experienced and “live” quote number 1 already. I love change. I am comfortable with it and I see it as an opportunity for growth. It’s not much of a stretch to wrap my head around this concept, or to use it for a theme for 365 days.

Luckily, by the very nature of what I do, I tend to surround myself with some pretty inspiring people. I feel good about the people with whom I choose to spend time…they are community leaders impacting social change, making the world a better place. So, I think I’ve got quote number 2 fairly well under control.

So, I’ve decided that 2018 will be about quote number 3, focusing on things that that give me energy and not on things that drain me. This will take intent, practice and focus. Because I pride myself on having a strong entrepreneurial spirit, I can get distracted by bright shiny objects; the latest technology, podcast, author, offering, or big idea. I have a variety of academic interests in the leadership arena and they are all initially fascinating. I, however, can tend to be a big starter and not such a great finisher. Consequently, I think that taking on projects, people and programs which give me energy for a sustained period of time will help me make better decisions about my business and my life.

Let me give you an example of how I hope to use this “Choose Wisely” theme. I am always in pursuit of professional development opportunities. While working for an organization, such opportunities arose regularly. I loved attending the international Habitat for Humanity conferences that happened every other year and on the off year, I enjoyed participating in a state Habitat meeting. Now, however, I am overwhelmed with the variety of choices available to me on a plethora of subjects, mostly on-line. Do I focus on building my on-line presence or personal coaching and motivation?

As I look to 2018, I am thinking about this time investment differently. How can I choose wisely? Instead of enthusiastically picking one of my favorites or “go to” on-line experts, I have decided on to focus on two professional development opportunities specifically tied to two of my business goals; board training and group virtual training. After investigating lots of courses, because I want to think more deliberately and with more intent about Think Good Leadership, these are two areas of development that will most benefit my business and the clients and organizations I want to attract to my business.

As you look ahead to finding your own personal paradigm shift for 2018, consider utilizing a similar process:

1)    Think more broadly about your theme for 2018. Instead of focusing on dieting (an action) think about defining 2018 as the “The Year of Living Healthy”. Rather than focusing on decluttering, consider “A Year of Simplicity”.

2)    Do a google search on the key words in your intent theme. Look through images and quote pages. Pinterest is filled with these goodies ranging from leadership quotes to song lyrics.

3)    Pick three inspirational images that resonate with you and save them on your desktop. Sit with them for a day or two.

4)    Next, take the time to work through which of these philosophies most inspire and stretch you. Consider how you go beyond the doing and into the being.

5)    Share your intent with me and I will help get you on track in your first 30 days…think of me as your January accountability partner.