Say yes

saying yes .jpeg

As I write this, I am travelling many kilometres underground in a metal capsule hurtling along a track at tremendous speed, with the waters of the English Channel above me. I am sorry I have written that line now. It brings my focus immediately to the very thing I promised myself I would NOT think about while it was happening. Drat! 

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However, it is part of what I am reflecting on at the moment. How we are willing to do that which we had not considered a possibility for us when something we desire is at the other end. It can have some very unexpected results - saying yes. In this case, travelling in a tunnel below the ocean to enjoy a week in sunny Provence.

 

Being out of my depth and saying yes to things I have never done before has been at the forefront of my thinking latterly. Earlier this year I was thrown in the deep end by the belief of someone who signed me up to write a play. He did this by adding the prefix of playwright to my name in a grant application and suddenly, the world had to match the word. 

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Even though I had not written a play since grade six, which is a VERY long time ago... and even though the timeline seemed ridiculously short, I said yes. I trusted his trust in me, and I had my own motives that had nothing to do with wanting to be a playwright. My prize, in this case, was a ticket to London to attend my daughter's wedding. A once in a lifetime reward. 

 

In any other year, I may have said, No, I can’t. I don't know how. 

But I said yes, and found to my delight that playwriting was an exercise of creativity and joy. 

It certainly didn’t feel like work. The words seemed to come effortlessly; the scenes unfolded, the research lent itself to scenes that entertained and affected the audience beyond my expectations. 

 Photo by Lindy Fullarton 

Photo by Lindy Fullarton 

In short, I was suddenly in my element. Rather than seeking to be passionate about my work, being in the zone is what I look for and the search I encourage in others. We have a story that work ought to be hard. The more difficult it is, the more rewarding it will be. But I am getting to an age where I find this very questionable. The Protestant Work Ethic continues and supports that narrative, but when your work flows, when it feels seamless, smooth and satisfying all at once, then you know you are in the right space, tapping into the inner creative self that responds with zest. 

And it shows. I have had so many comments lately about how well and glowing I look - although my friends are hard put to explain precisely what is different about me. 

With those words, we are out of the Chunnel- on the other side- just like that. Well, that wasn't so scary after all. 

I wonder what you might say yes to, and find yourself surprised by what you discover? 

 

Three new things (for me) about goal setting

This time my letter is spoken. It's a short video- a webinar style presentation - my first. And it's not great production wise in my opinion. If you want to know why I think that, read on below the video to find out what I learned from making it. Onward and upward- next time will be better!

But content wise it's fab! (Also my opinion.) Don't take it from me, watch it and decide. Here's a summary of what's included. 

1. Making three levels of goals so as not to make a stick to beat yourself with 

2. A demonstration of the old rocks, stones sand analogy with real rocks stones and gravel

3. Being in the mood to carry out action

What I learned from recording a short webinar

Some of these are so obvious when I write them down that it's embarrassing. However, to help you out in case you would like to make one and avoid these pitfalls, and for my future reference, I am recording them here. While blushing.  

Don't have your script to the side

Right, so now I know why newsreaders and everybody except me have their running order BEHIND the camera, not to one side. It means that I am looking up and to the side all the time to remind myself where I am up to. I look decidedly shifty. 

Don't wear bangles 

Wondering what that clunky noise is? Me- being demonstrative and talking with my hands and therefore banging my bangles on the table right next to the microphone. Duh! 

Don't do Q&A on your first gig

Excellent though this was for the participants it made for an awkward back and forth on the recording. I had to edit it out as every time someone spoke the software went to their camera.  Some of them had a grey and white outline- some had a black screen and no one had given me permission to record them.  Several hints here. You can see them. I can see them. Now. With that extra clear hindsight we all have. 

One good thing

Using Zoom was excellent. I have a free account and can have up to 100 people at a meeting of this sort which is plenty at the moment, and it allows me to record it at a pretty good quality. It works well with low bandwidth internet (in semi-rural Australia always a consideration). I am using it for my coaching and thinking about moving to a paid account soon. 

Happy planning for your next webinar and  goal-setting and ask me any questions on either in the comments. 

turn big goals into stepping stones


Woman on bus: People ask me how did I lose 52kg in a year... and I say I didn't. 
Friend: But you did! 
Woman: No- I lost 10kg the 5 kg then another 5kg and so on. Cause big goals like that are way too hard, and if anyone had told me you are going to lose 52kg I would have said bullshit!
And not even started.
Small goals are achievable. 

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I know it sounds like I made this up to prove a point but no.   I have it scrawled in my writer’s notebook . (Which is why I carry my writer’s notebook with me everywhere by the way- people say the most beautiful things.) 


A big goal can be overwhelming. It feels and looks huge, like a mountain, a cliff, a wall.  Instead of your goal being a place you want to get to, it turns into a block that comes right up against your nose and stops you before you begin. 


Yet we need to be stretched by something. To be challenged without being daunted. 


So, here's what I do. And it's nothing you haven't heard before somewhere.

It’s called breaking it down, chunking it into pieces, eating the elephant ( eeeuch) one bite at a time. 


Here's my example.

And it's an easy one because it relates to fitness which lends itself to these types of things. It's also a real one, and as an approach can be transferred to just about anything. 


First off, I work in 90-day increments. Even with year-long projects or goals, I break them down to see where I need to be in 90 days. That's the length of time I can easily picture and work within. And there are four of them in a year. That works out nicely. 


My darling son recently challenged me to ride 30kms in a week on my bike. Now for some people this is no challenge at all but given I couldn't pump the tyres up without a serious attack of puffing and panting, it was for me. In fact, it seemed ridiculous. He kept encouraging me and believing in me though. Bless him. And I said I would give it a go. 


First off, I set the challenge at 90 days instead of the 30 days he had proposed. And then I broke the first 30 days down into weeks with a weekly target. 
Here's what that looks like in diagram form. 

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Then I transferred all my attention to Week One Day One. I am currently in Week Three and on target.

I venture to guess that starting at 5km twice a week or even 2.5 km every day would have proven too much too soon for poor unfit me and I would have given up.

But making baby steps for myself, (plus knowing DS was waiting for me to check in and report back which is the subject of another blog on having a Measurability Mate) got me out of bed and into the saddle. 


Have a look at your goals for the year. Which ones are enormous? Steep? Massive?

How might you with a stroke of the crayon, carve that mountain of rock into artistic stepping stones that you can dance lightly across?