© matt groening

Five Easy Ways to Screw Up 2020

Ugh, I know. It’s the start of another year and a billion bloggers around the world are telling you how amazing you can be. That this year (not any of the previous years) is your year and the only thing standing between you and greatness is, well, you.

All you have to do is to create new routines, cut out destructive habits, find your authentic voice and do work that lights you up and you’re all set for a fantastic year.

But… what if this year instead of starting off positive and fading fast (because that’s the reality if we’re being honest), you start by trying your hardest to screw it up and then look to improve slowly? I know that it’s not the normal way of things, but it can’t harm to try something different, right?

So here are five easy ways to screw this year up and for those of you who are looking for a more conventional start of year blog, I’ve added a positive alternative line for you too:

1) Don’t stay in control of your emotions

It’s time to let that little knot of anger you feel run free. Don’t keep it in any longer. Speak your mind regardless of who’s in the room and seek to upset and offend as many people as possible. Show disgust in meetings (if you even want to go at all — they’re all a waste of time anyway), roll your eyes or sigh when you disagree with the opinions of others or else just keep your headphones in and let the world revolve around you.

Positive alternative: Recognise the emotions that you have and develop strategies for dealing with them. Then try by looking to recognise and interpret the emotions of others and change your approach to them accordingly.

2) Don’t put a shift in

You know what, when you’re working at half-speed you’re still better than everyone else anyway, so why bother at all? Work at a pace and times that suits you, not anyone else. So what if the team depends on you to get something done to a level of quality that will make their life easier? So what if you promised to have something done by Friday? Grab your phone, head to the nearest toilet cubicle and check your social media feeds to your heart’s delight.

Positive alternative: Show up, do what needs to be done and pass on the knowledge you have to others so that they can improve.

3) Don’t be positive about change

In fact, don’t be positive about anything, least of all change. ‘The only constant is change’ they say, well, duh. The status quo is where mediocrity lies, so stay and fester there and bring as many people down with you as you can. Push back on everything because, as you know, it’ll only make things worse in the long run anyway. New process? Nope. New system? Nope. Contribute to a change program. Hell, nope.

Positive alternative: Find things that make you feel uncomfortable, take some responsibility and look to be a catalyst for working smarter.

4) Admit that you’re the smartest person in the room

It’s like you’re working with a team full of Homer Simpson’s sometimes, right? Incompetent idiots who don’t know how it works around here and routinely ignore your advice on how it should be done. Your opinion is the most important because of your [insert number of years] experience or else your [insert name of qualification]. They can bring in as many outsiders as they want, but you’re the only one that’ll ever be right, so remind everyone of that. All the time.

Positive alternative: Actively seek out differing viewpoints and cultural approaches and challenge the preconceived ideas that you have. If you need help — ask for it.

5) Don’t make time for new learning

It’s a massive waste of your time and you know it. It’s taken you this long to get to where you are, so why would you then relinquish all your hard earned free time by investing in anything new? Developing different skill sets, listening to podcasts, reading books and meeting new people are all time consuming activities that don’t come with a raise. So why bother? Once you’ve eaten, sit yourself down in front of the TV and binge watch something (anything!) until it’s time for bed.

Positive alternative: Invest an hour a night in reading or listening to something new. Make notes and think about how you can apply it in your working life.

Your life is defined by the choices that you make so by selecting the positive alternatives, you recognise that there’s always more that you can do to be the best version of yourself. You can never ever be perfect (no one can), but by selecting a way of acting and behaving that brings out the best in you, you won’t ever screw up this — or any other — year.

If you’re the positive alternative kind of person, then we have a place for you. The Culture Fix Community is an exclusive cohort of people dedicated to developing themselves, other people and the cultures within which they work. It’s free to become a member and we’d love you to join us and share what’s working (or not) for you. Simply click here to join now.