Life is a continuum. However, often at this time of the year, we start considering our New Year’s resolutions in order to build a brighter future. But, how often do people follow through on these intentions?
While I wholeheartedly support developing carefully thought-out personal strategy, I believe that we often neglect plans for implementing and sustaining our goals. In addition, we tend to concentrate on what we need to start doing. For example, we may decide that we should start spending an hour at the gym five times a week. However, we might be doomed for failure because we do not have the capacity to start this new activity unless we stop doing something else.
In addition, complacency can be a stumbling block. While we plan what we wish to concurrently start and stop doing, we also need to remind ourselves to continue doing the things that energise us, bring us joy and help us to grow. These may include everyday experiences which are important to us. For example I was intrigued reflecting on the following glimpses of my life:
The above photo, taken by my daughter, Lara, in December 2018, shows me with my special Grand-dog, Harps. We were on one of my favourite walks in Manly, New South Wales, Australia. Here you can see us at a great coffee shop in one of the alleys. The backdrop is colourful street-art. Because there is pavement seating, Harps is allowed to be at the table with us. So this outing combined my love of family, dogs, walking, being next to the sea, vibrant colours, appreciation of creativity and beauty and interest in the world around me.
I was reminded of another similar joyous occasion many years ago. I smiled when I looked at the photo below as it brought back memories of one of the other many important dogs in our lives.
The above photo was taken in January 1969, fifty years ago. Let me set the scene: three days before our wedding, Ed’s brother Roy surprised us, knowing how much we love dogs. Our wedding gift was a miniature poodle puppy! Antoine Comte de Kintia (simply known as Toni) was precious. How could we not include him as the guest-of-honour at our wedding? Here, at the wedding ceremony, he is held by my father, Campbell.
Dogs are an integral part of our lives. Although we leave our own dogs at home when we travel, there are always opportunities where we can enjoy other people’s dogs. Above, in January 2018, my husband Ed is seen with Kevin and Gavin’s Bella at Hout Bay, Western Cape, South Africa where we were holidaying.
These are examples of incorporating experiences that bring out the best in me, energising me and enabling me to confidently pursue my personal strategy. I encourage you to do the same. Have a visible list of your ‘touchstones’, those sights, sounds, smells, tastes and experiences that help you to feel your best. Incorporating these on a regular basis will help you to feel good, be energised and enable you to stretch yourselves in working towards your vision.
My questions for you are:
- Just as dogs are a theme running through my life, what positive recurring themes are there in your life?
- In which ways do you consciously develop tactics for incorporating the sights, sounds, smells and experiences that bring out the best in you?
- What are you doing to ensure that you continue doing all the things that energise you?
- How can you use positive energy to build your confidence to tackle the more difficult aspects of your personal strategy?
For more information on personal strategy and executive coaching programmes, please contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org