The most important thing you can be doing to grow in 2020

My wife and I live in North Carolina where we get a pleasant taste of all nature’s seasons – winter, spring, summer and fall.

I especially love North Carolina in the Fall. The leaves begin to change color, the weather cools and, best of all, I light evening fires in our backyard fire pit!

In other areas of the country, it’s already snowing. In fact, I just returned from a speaking engagement in Nebraska where they received 8 inches of snow the day I arrived. (They are use to that weather so the conference went on. In North Carolina, they would have canceled school for a week!)

Fall is more than just the beginning of a new season though. It also signifies immediate opportunity for growth … and not only in nature, but also in our organizations, in ourselves, in our relationships … in anything.

In fact, our future success in any arena of life depends on our ability to motivate ourselves to envision possibility, take action, and influence others. There are specific things we can be doing now to maximize growth next Spring.

Think about it … in nature, the leaves fall for a reason. Those leaves provide needed nutrients for the soil which fertilize future growth. Without those nutrients, plant growth will be inhibited.

If you have a lawn, then you should know that NOW is the time to aerate your yard. I learned this lesson the hard way because I lived on a sailboat for several years – Why Knot?  I never had a lawn until my wife and I bought our house. I didn’t even know about lawn aeration which is why our grass always looked horrible.

An aerator machine spikes holes in the ground to loosen the soil and create an area where new seed can grow.  Point is, you cannot expect new grass to grow in Spring if you’re not aerating in the Fall. And Fall is now!

This is a law of nature. And laws of nature surround us to teach principles about life, leadership and how to optimize our growth.

Just as with aerating our lawn each Fall, we need to be aerating our minds to grow our personal goals, our organizations and our relationships next Spring.

“Organizations cannot grow unless their people do.”

The aerator spikes not only create holes in the ground where seed and fertilizer will take root, but those spikes also pull out plugs of soil from the ground to create room for the new seed to grow. More specifically, an aerator pulls out what’s not growing in order to make room for new growth.

Aerating is the best way to prepare for growth next Spring. Otherwise, don’t expect any change to take root in 2020 … and I’m not writing about your lawn anymore. I’m writing about you, your organization, your personal goals, your relationships … anything. You cannot expect new growth in the future if you’re not planting seed now.

“Life lives up to the expectations we set, and the decisions we make today.”

Urgency … you really can’t wait much longer to aerate this Fall. There is still time but you need to take action now. The first several months of the new 2020 decade will look exactly like 2019 has already been for you if you’re not preparing for growth now.

Below are a few tips that I share in my keynotes presentations and leadership workshops to help you begin the process of aerating now in order to grow in 2020 like never before:

(1) “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional … you can change without growth but you cannot grow without change.” 

I talk a lot about change in my presentations. It’s one of my most requested topics because it’s so difficult for most people to deal with. My focus on change though is about how to transform ourselves and lead through change rather than being a victim of it. In order to grow, we must adapt to change proactively rather than reactively. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t realize how reactive they are. Their cultures exude a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset.

Also, people don’t fear change. Rather, they fear the uncertainty that change represents. So regardless of your professional title or position, and whether you’re reading this and thinking about your personal goals, your career, or family, know that change is extraordinary when it’s growth-oriented. Change opens doors to new seasons of possibility. So your job is to create a new paradigm about change. Replace the word “change” with “growth” because that’s what it should be about.

(2) How committed are you to growth?

Intention is wonderful, but it doesn’t mean much just thinking or talking about it, respectfully. This is why over 90% of all New Years resolutions are dead by February each year. Your commitment to growth is paramount. Your growth begins by first making a commitment to it. And when you commit, the transformation will already have begun. You’ll feel it. Unfortunately though, most people don’t change until it’s too painful not to. Don’t let that happen to you … commit to being growth-oriented so that you don’t have to hit a melting point. Once you commit, everything changes.

(3) What specifically needs to grow?

Whether you desire growth in your career, your personal goals, your student organization, a specific relationship, your physical health, your mental health, etc … what’s crucial is for you to be very specific on what needs to grow. Don’t focus on “how” to grow it right now. Instead, just focus on what desires you have to grow.

One of of the interesting discoveries I’ve made in speaking to over 1,500 organizations and working with hundreds of extraordinary leaders, is that they envision new possibility constantly. They understand this principle of having a growth mindset and they are always seeking ways to motivate and influence others around them to do the same. I’ve also worked with companies who had cultures of a fixed mindset, who resisted change and wanted to keep the status quo. Unfortunately, these cultures were the result of low morale, high turnover, and decreasing performance.

(4) What steps do you need to take? 

Setting goals is easy. Filling that gap between where you are and where you want to be demands strategy and action. My philosophy is that it all begins with envisioning the end in mind and being very specific. So specific that is is measurable so you know what success looks like. Once you know specifically what change, then it’s all about identifying the steps to take and execution.

Perhaps you don’t know exactly the steps to take? That’s completely fine. Neither did the world’s most extraordinary inventors and leaders. But they didn’t let that stop them from figuring it out eventually.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.”  ~  Amelia Earhart

Dream BIG, but take small steps, strategically. Plants don’t bear fruit overnight and neither will success. Strategic action comes from planning, mentoring, asking questions, benchmarking, and applying ourselves to figure it out.

As Bill Nye “The Science Guy” once said, “Everyone in the world knows something you don’t.”

I truly believe 2020 can be the best year of your life, the best year for your business, the best year for your family, the best year for an intimate relationship. Whatever it is that you’d like to see grow is possible. It’s a process that times time.

All that is required right now is for you to reflect on what that looks like for you. More specifically, what does “aeration” mean for you?

What new seeds need to be planted in your life? 

What soil needs to pulled out? 

This is how you’ll maximize growth in 2020 for whatever you’d like to see different in your life.

It’s not what you know, it’s what you apply. And what you do with this information will impact whether or not you grow.

If growing your leadership or your organization is a priority, I’d love to help. Simply message me at or visit my website, I’d love to hear from you.

If my message about new growth in 2020 and envisioning new possibility is aligned with your company theme or conference event, my “E.D.G.E. Factor” or my “Think Differently to Achieve Success” keynote presentations are a perfect fit. Watch my newest speaking demo video below for a sample taste of how I can help you empower your people and foster a culture of growth.

You can also visit my website for more demo videos, sample program topics and a list of some of the 1,500 organizations I’ve already presented for …

** Added bonus … on my website, you also can download a FREE complimentary copy of my best-selling book, “Think Differently to Achieve Success!”

2020 success = aerate now!

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