Getting Into the Habit of Disruption – how small breaks in the routine can lead to big change

Well, it has been a little more than a month since the day when many people commit themselves to some kind of New Year’s resolution.

How’s it going?

If you are like most, not particularly well.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Why? It seems to me that pegging my commitment to some date on the calendar exposes the fact that I really am not serious. After all, if I really wanted to change something in my life, why not start the process on the very day I decided it would be a good idea? Because, I must still want to hang onto my status quo just a bit longer, that’s why. Let’s get honest, right?

Formulas for change most often include some combination of a profound dissatisfaction with your current condition, a clear sense of the future state, all lashed together with a plan of action, usually involving manageable, rewarding steps.

I think there is another, often missing element – changing your routines.

We are creatures of habit. Settling into a routine – consciously or unconsciously – reduces risks and uncertainties, arguably leaving our energies focused on the less-routine things in our lives. But being a little disruptive – just like there are disruptive technologies or products that can rock an industry – conditions us to embrace change, often in areas we never imagined. We struggle to change the big stuff, but we can change our circumstances by varyin g our routines.

I moved to a new office this week and plan (weather permitting) to walk to it each day, rather than drive. I dragged my bass guitar out of the closet and am starting to practice again. I set my alarm for a different time than normal. I have downloaded some new apps. I am reading two books I never got around to reading before. I also am forging some new friendships with people who were never in my comfortable little circle until now. No big resolutions, just a willingness to embrace something different, something new. Out of the routine.

I don’t know where all that will lead, but it is bound to lead somewhere. Very likely somewhere better. Without all the struggle.

Have you thought about doing something different today?

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About paulheagen

I am an executive coach, advisor and confidant who helps leaders better understand, refresh or redirect their purpose in their business and personal lives. Over my 35-year career as a corporate executive, communications consultant and trusted advisor, I have guided executives through “defining moments” – those unique times when the decisions they make, the words they speak, and the qualities they exhibit can influence not only the destiny of their organization but also their own lives and careers. When it comes to my clients and my life work, I am ferociously passionate and restlessly inquisitive about uncovering the unique dreams, vision and purpose that lead to exceptional leadership.
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One Response to Getting Into the Habit of Disruption – how small breaks in the routine can lead to big change

  1. gina says:

    i like your direction. i’ve never been one for the resolution thing as i ALWAYS have a list, of sorts, of my ‘direction’. i love that something as simple as setting your alarm clock for a different time will no doubt add something new to your day.
    here’s to many new things in your future!
    hope you had a great week.

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