You know those lessons you just took stock of? I bet they inspired some of the changes you want to see in the year ahead.

I know this is true for me.

There are things in my business that I want to be different. There are things in my personal life that I want to be different. And sure, I am setting goals to help direct my actions so that I can do my part in manifesting what I want.

But, there’s something else I need to ponder, too. It’s this: How do I need to be different?

There is a mistake you and I can often make when it comes to this time of year.

We think of all the things we want to be different in the New Year, but not necessarily of how we need to be different. 

Blame it on human nature.

We love our comfort zones. We’re creatures of routines and habits (the good and bad ones). And as the Duke University study reminds us, “40% of how we live our day is on autopilot.”

However, making room for what you want is a multi-dimensional activity.

Invite Disruption

So, if you really want next year to be different, you need to interrupt some patterns. You need to disrupt some things.

The clues for what you need to disrupt can likely be found in the lessons you learned this year, coupled with how those lessons are shaping the goals you’ve declared for the year ahead. It’s a combination that will reveal the barriers you need to overcome. And, you can use the practice of disruptive thinking as your tool.​

You might need to disrupt your:

  • Mindset and perspective
  • Relationship with failure
  • Attachment to what others think (and maybe even your own sense of identity)
  • Unwitting tendency to be less than bold

When I think of my 2019 lessons and my 2020 goals, I certainly need to be a little disruptive in all of the above areas. Because as the saying goes, doing the same thing isn’t going to net different results.

And as I always say to my clients, “you can’t just think your way to the other side (of a problem or challenge), you have to take action.

So, when it comes to my 2020 goals, here’s how I plan to be disruptive and interrupt some of my current patterns of thinking and behaving. I invite you to join me, by adopting what resonates with you.

Side note: “Disruptive thinking” is often associated with businesses (large and small) in terms of what they do to innovate and reinvent products and services – even to overhaul brands. Typically, a process is followed to challenge how a business conventionally thinks about and does things. What I’m sharing below isn’t a “formal” process in that regard. But I believe challenging the status quo isn’t just an activity for a business; it is also relevant when it comes to our personal lives, too.

Ways to disrupt

First, dissect

When you think about your 2019 goals, do you know why you met some and failed at meeting others?

Referencing the list above, have you assessed what role your mindset played in your results; was there a similar mindset with the goals you met vs. the ones you didn’t; have you determined whether you played it too “safe,” took an appropriate amount of risk, or really pushed the envelope; what of your actions were done because of what you thought others would think; how bold (or not) were you – in both setting goals and going about achieving it?

Seriously, for each of your 2019 goals dissect it using these questions (or variations thereof). And when you set your 2020 goals, ask the same. But more from the standpoint of what mindset will you need; identifying what success and failure looks like; what level of risk are you comfortable with, etc.

What’s useful about this exercise is that it gets you out of your head so that you can more clearly see patterns of thought and behavior and determine what you’d benefit from interrupting.

Focus on one

Who the heck ever has just one goal – personally and professionally. For an entire year! Especially if they are type-A?! (You know I’m calling myself out here, right?)

The mere idea of focusing on one goal makes my body tense up. But my friend and colleague Jessica Abel, a cartoonist, author, and creative coach, has a different take. She’s a champion of having one goal (or project)…at a time. “At a time” being a key part of her process of helping clients reach their goals and get projects done.

In my personal life and with my business, inaction isn’t something from which I suffer. But in terms of switching things up a bit and doing things differently in 2020, I’m going to give her idea of focusing on one goal, for 45 days at a time, a shot. (See below for a special announcement.)

Making this type of commitment is not easy, which is why it’s a great example of interrupting old patterns and being disruptive.

A different daily list

By their nature, most to-do lists focus on present day tasks. But I am not talking about that sort of list, here. I am talking about making sure there’s at least one thing on your to-do list that’s connected to your long-game – and not just what needs to happen “today.” Can you imagine how quickly you’d make progress if you adopted this approach (assuming you don’t already do this)?

Pay attention to your habits

Goals are achieved through the practice of habits. And while it is certainly easier to focus on the habits you aren’t practicing, but perhaps should. Or those you are, but shouldn’t. It’s also useful to take stock of your good habits to determine if they need to be refreshed or adjusted.

In other words, don’t assume the “good” habits that helped you achieve your 2019 goals will automatically be the same that will help you achieve your 2020 goals.

Creating the fuel

At this time of the year, ideas and enthusiasm abound. But they need fuel, especially when you encounter resistance – whether the source of it is external or internal.

So, back to the beginning: When you think about all the things you want to be different in 2020, how will you be different? What are you willing to interrupt?

Because in the process of interrupting patterns and doing things differently, you evolve and become a different person, too.

p.s. I’m hosting a free, virtual workshop with Jessica Abel on Thursday, January 9 at 12:30pm ET – “One Goal to Rule Them All.” If you are interested in joining us, click here.

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