Best laid plans...
It's been a while since my last blog - my longest gap in a few years.
I ended up overbooked and overdone this summer, and I'm afraid this is one of the things that slipped...
So this week's blog is going to be all about how I am getting myself back on track!
We've got 3 precious months before the craziness of Christmas really kicks off.
I want to #Finish2021Strong!
Read on to find out how I plan to do this - and how you can too...
1️⃣ Accept and forgive
For me, things did not go to plan this summer.
Don't get me wrong, we had a lovely family time with lots of trips away - but my plans to maintain my business during this time went awry.
I've now got two choices:
❌ beat myself up about this
✅ or accept what happened, and forgive myself.
Guess which ones lays the best foundations for moving forward...
I'm now pretty good at accepting when things haven't gone to plan, without beating myself up about it forever - but I wasn't always.
And sometimes it can still be hard...
So one of the most useful techniques I've found to help with this is tapping (also known as EFT).
Take a quiet moment, and then say to yourself the following:
"Even though I [insert thing you regret], I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
And while you are repeating this, you tap some accupressure points on your head and heads, in a particular sequence.
You can do 3-10 taps per point, it doesn't have to be exact - and it doesn't matter which hand/ side of your head and face you tap:
karate chop point on the hand (in the middle of the outside edge)
middle of the forehead (third eye)
underneath the eye on the eye bone in the middle
middle of the top lip (on the dimple)
middle of the crease of the chin
middle of one collarbone
middle of the top of the head
This might be a bit more "woo woo" than you're used to, but I've found it really helpful, and so have my clients! So give it a go.
Then after you have accepted where you are, and forgiven yourself for any perceived shortcomings, it's time to move on to the next stage...
2️⃣ Lessons learned
I've written about one of my favourite coaching mantras before:
"There is no failure, only feedback."
So use this experience as an opportunity for learning.
What went wrong?
What went right?
What would you repeat or add?
What would you not do, or do differently?
It's so worth doing this, because the chances are you will be in a similar situation again in the future (I know this to be true when it comes to school holidays!).
Remember that definition of madness - taking the same action and expecting a different outcome...
So take this opportunity to identify those lessons, and learn from them.
(And if you start feeling regretful or guilty during this process, go back to step 1 - accept and forgive! "Why oh whys..." don't get you anywhere.)
Then it's time to put the past to bed, and focus on the future, my favourite bit!
3️⃣ Reignite the flame
I'll admit, I found it hard to get my brain back into gear those first few days.
Normally I spring out of bed before my alarm, eager to get into the day! But I wasn't even waking up on my first alarm...
So I took action to re-motivate myself:
a. I remembered my "WHY"
I am a career coach, trainer and business owner for very good reasons:
✅ I want to contribute financially to my family;
✅ I want to be a good role model for my daughter;
✅ I want the intellectual and emotional satisfaction it brings;
✅ and I want to make a positive difference in the world!
How lucky am I that I have a job where I get to achieve all that?!
So, what's your WHY...?
b. I identified my 10 year goals
One of my favourite axioms is:
"we overestimate how much we can achieve in one year, & underestimate how much we can achieve in ten years."
So I spent some time thinking about my ten year goals.
What do I want my personal and professional life to be like ten years from now?
How GREAT would that be to get there?
How far am I from that vision?
And what's going to make the biggest difference to me achieving it?
It's amazing how empowering this process is.
Some people get scared because they feel like they're pinning themselves down.
But you can always change them!
And if you DON'T have them, you have nowhere to aim for.
So if you don't have 10 year goals yet, what's stopping you...?
b. I did the Life Wheel
My overarching value in my life is BALANCE.
Having suffered for 17 years with Chronic Fatigue, I have paid the price of being out of balance, so this is now absolutely crucial to me.
And it applies in all parts of my life, plus across my life as a whole.
Which is where the Life Wheel comes in!
I use a career-focussed variation of this tool in my coaching, but the one I did was purely personal, with categories on mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, my business, intellectual stimulation, marriage, motherhood, family time, friends and fun etc (you choose whatever's important to you).
I scored them each as to how satisfied I was with them at the moment; and then prioritised to see which of them would benefit from more focus between now and Christmas.
Remember, you can’t focus on them all!
(My choices were physical wellbeing - getting back into yoga and running after the summer break, starting Pilates; my business; and family time, if you're interested.)
So thanks to this process, I had reignited my sense of purpose; and I had clarified my overarching goals and areas of focus.
Now it’s time to get granular…
4️⃣ Set specific goals with deadlines
I do love goal-setting - I get properly geeky about it.
So this bit was easy for me - a process of working through the following questions:
what, exactly, am I going to do by when, exactly, to achieve my goals?
What will it look like when I get there?
Of these actions, which are the priorities - which are going to make the biggest difference to moving me forward to my overall goals?
How do I fit that into my calendar?
The aim is to turn those overall goals into very specific time-bound, prioritised and targeted actions.
If you don't take this step, you’re continuing in a fog of confusion where you sort of know what you want to be doing, but haven’t made that bridge into the steps that are going to get you there.
When you've done this, it's a brilliant feeling - you have clarity of purpose, and confidence that what you are doing will take you to where you want to go.
So do it!
And then, last but not last…
5️⃣ Supporting habits
The thing I miss most during school holidays is a predictable routine.
I don’t know whether this is a symptom of getting older, or just recognition of its positive power - but routine is absolutely essential to me being as productive and efficient as possible.
I don't want to waste time scrambling around every day, not sure exactly what I want to be doing when.
And having to make micro-decisions all the time is very wearing on your willpower.
You wake up every day with a finite amount amount of willpower - so save it for this big stuff, don’t waste it on wondering what you're going to wear, or trying to remember whether your kids need their sports kit that day...
✅ So I have a very detailed schedule for the mornings, with time markers I want to hit to get me and my daughter out of the house, with the right stuff, on time, and calm.
✅ I have an evening routine that sets us up for success in the morning, including laying all clothes out.
✅ And I have a structure to my day and my week - I see clients at certain times, I do my Deep Work at others, working with the grain of what I know to be my energy and concentration levels.
And it really works!
I’m not suggesting you take on my routine - you have to find the one that works for you, that’s the secret to it being effective.
But it really is worth taking some time and energy to think about this - then give it a go.
Remember, this is a constant process of iteration and refinement - you will never be “done” with defining your optimum routine, because things change.
But if you have a foundation to work with, you will see the difference in your effectiveness - and calmness.
I am now at the end of my daughter's first full week of school, and I'm in a completely different mindset to her first day back.
I am once again springing out of bd, eager to get on with the day. And I can't wait to turn all my goals into reality!
Because I have the clarity, commitment and calm confidence that I need to make that happen.
What I call my Confident Career Plan.
If you’re suffering from Imposter Syndrome and struggling on without these, get in touch - I would love to help you.
Book a free Imposter Syndrome Breakthrough Call so that I can help you develop your own Confident Career Plan:
Wishing you a powerfully positive and productive week - see you again much sooner than the last time! 😁💪
with love and Naked Confidence 😊🔥💖