So, I’m one quarter into the 2017 12 challenges in 12 months. So far, I’d give myself a 6/10 (It’s Friday and I’m drinking some wine so I’m feeling generous). I nailed it with 100% score in January. February was the email challenge (not to read work emails till after 10am and get stuff done with that time instead) and was about 75% on that….not reading email before 10am is harder than not drinking. Jaysus. Didn’t think that would be the case but the data doesn’t lie. And as for March, well….that was a bit of a strange month…had aimed to run 5km every day to achieve a much better stage of fitness….but the auld back isn’t what it once was :(. and the disc issues got in the way a wee bit. So, I had to adopt a different challenge. I opted for a bit of a muscle challenge. Putting to good use the Pull-up bar in my bedroom (picture illustrating same). The goal was to start with 5 pull-ups and increase by 5 every day for the month. In hindsight, this was ridiculous and overly optimistic. Doing the math (intentionally left out the s – sounds way better), it would have meant I’d be doing 155 today (it’s 31s March as I write this). I lost my way somewhere around the 10th March. Through a combination of laziness and will power, I just couldn’t keep going. And, having the dodgy back to start with probably didn’t help. Things also stuttered a bit around the time of the official launch of the podcast so maybe that’s another excuse. March was a 30% success. Must try harder!

Licking my wounds, I put my thinking cap on in mid-March to see what I will target for April that would actually have a positive impact on me if I adhered to it. When you start to put out good things into the world and open your awareness up, you start to notice good stuff coming back and that answers can be right in front of you. I’ve really started to see this in the last few months so I allowed the universe tell me what choose. This brought up my two challenges for April.

Share the Love 🙂 (not in that way!!) 

The first is to give gratitude, in a very honest and genuine way, to others. At least one person every day for April. Either an email, a call, a text, whatever. Just with intention and purpose. This one is not unique, nor does it have to be but it works. One of the many magnificently positive takeaways I have gleamed from the coaching diploma over the past six months is that, through a lot of good will and gratitude between the class, I feel better. Getting emails at 7am from a classmate, for helping them out with one thing or another, had a big impact on the day. I want to bring this more into my own behaviour. When you help out another person, the gratitude comes back and it feels great. Not only to receive it but to give it. So, that’s my main target for this month. If you’re reading this, know me personally and haven’t got anything yet, don’t feel left out :)! Instead, maybe give gratitude or say thanks to someone you know and see how it feels!! FYI – I’m not losing it….it’s true!

65% of the time,  Intuition is right, EVERY TIME! 

This one is a big one and is an area of research and interest for me for a while. As I write this, I’m reading a few books on this topic and learning how it all works (The power of intuition – Gary Klein is one that I’d recommend). Again, nothing overtly new with the idea of going with your gut but how often do we do this? How often do we even connect with our gut to see what it’s telling us? What’s really happening here is that our ‘gut’ is made up of our experience over the years and it’s trying to tell us what way to go based on that insight. We’re probably way to up in our heads to notice it. If you really want to know more about the power of our intuition, check out the Iowa Experiment detailed by Malcom Gladwell. It tells you more about the power of our senses.

Anyhew, I’m going all over the place here…what I’m saying is that for April, I’m going to try to and go with the gut a little bit more. Not every decision, every day. That would get me in trouble …big time I’d imagine but with go with it with a minor filter. It’s more to bring my attention out of my head and into my body. To take a second before reacting and sensing what’s going on inside. And if it’s feeling right and strong, then just go with it. See how it goes. I’ll try to keep a log daily to have some sort of measure of success. It’s a fun one.

So that’s April planned. Should be interesting. Love to hear if you found this interesting, or if you’re doing any challenges yourself.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

PS – This is not an April Fool! You maybe thinking I am however. Whatever 😉

PPS – More feedback on the podcast please!! They can’t be that good.

God, it’s March already. The first two months of this year have literally been a blur. Well not literally but it’s been hectic. But it has all been worth it. As I type this, I have 11 shows recorded and am days away from releasing the first few shows to the world!! It’s been such a great learning experience. Not only learning from each guest but the amount of stuff I’ve had to learn to produce a podcast to a half decent standard has been an eye opener. But 100% worth it.

Just an update on my 12 months, 12 challenges. After scoring a 10/10 for January with booze resistance, I have to report not reading email till 10am each day proved harder. Even writing that makes me feel ridiculous. But it’s true and a sign of the times I guess. I would give myself a solid 7/10 for the month. Started off really well but slipped into the habit a little bit towards the end of the month. I made excuses up for myself to make it seem better and more acceptable….to myself. How fucking stupid is that. Anyway, not to allow the negative talk win out, I’m relatively happy with a 7/10. Proved that I can do it and as i type this note, on a Friday morning in March, I have yet to look at email and it’s 9:34am. That said, I am on a half day from work so shouldn’t really be patting myself on the back!

Anyway, on to month three. What I had hoped for was to run 5km every day this month (at least) but with back spur issues currently making walking a victory, I’ve had to rethink things. Right now, I’ve started the month with 5 pull-ups on the pull-up bar on day one, increasing by 5 every day. So, today, it being the 3rd of March, I’m due to do 15. As of now, I’m still in my PJs but it will happen! We’re also currently in ‘lent’ so trying to give us stuff too. But not sure…I’ll stick to the pullies and see if I can achieve that one.

Last note – First shows will be launched in the next few days. Can’t wait to do this. I’ll blog later in the month about podcasts in General as I feel it’s still such a vague media form for so many so want to explore that a little bit more!

Have a great day.

Rob

12 Challenges in 12 Months

So, for 2017, entering into my 40th year on planet earth, I’ve decided to test my own resilience, will power, sanity and other dark dog like voices in my head and try to take on a challenge each month for 2017 to help me improve myself. Making myself 1% better one might say.

For January, I decided to go ‘dry’ and by ‘dry’ I mean not drinking any alcohol whatsoever. Not ‘dry’ as in drinking dry gin, wine or other booze of a dry nature. For 31 days (in fact it was 33 days), I didn’t touch a drop. Literally a drop. Not since I started drinking (at 18 of course) have I resisted for that long before. Truth be told, the weeks went by fast and it wasn’t that difficult overall. To my surprise. Other factors that made it easy:

•No birthday of any friends during this period

•Not replying to friend’s text messages

•Throwing myself into Podcast work at the weekend

•Going to bed very early on Friday and Saturday nights

So, Month One down. Successful. Good start.

At the time of writing this, I’m 10 days into the February Challenge which has me not reading work related email until after 10am daily. This has been tougher than the drink one. Honestly, the habit of reading and reply to email before even getting out of bed is one I really need to overcome. It can have an impact on the rest of your day negatively and stifle productivity for the rest of it. So far, I’ve found that focusing on real work (or deep work as Cal Newport calls it) is more easier and rewarding in the early hours of the morning/work day and I’m trying to make this a habit.

Hopefully I’ll be two for two by the end of the month. Thinking about what Month 3 has in store and have a few ideas but open to suggestions.

Feel free to leave a comment, feedback or anything else you might like to share!

Have a great day,

Rob

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