I know you’ve been crying into your tissue sodden hand for the last week when this blog did not arrive.
Sorry, but, well, you know bloody Christmas happened so I took full advantage of the hysteria.
This year something was different.
I dread this time of year, I was bracing myself to plunge back into a God-forsaken pit of despair and depression and it never arrived.
Every day I have woken up and double checked I am in the right life, right family and right blog.
I love therapy and therapy loves me
I started to feel better in 2016 I was ready to give up therapy on Tuesday afternoons.
I had a couple of drab sessions and then BANG – we started talking about topics I’d thought about every day of my life.
Long ago thinking about these things had become a habit, routine, and unresolved like a dripping tap you can’t find in a very quiet house.
Now I am encouraged
In the second half of 2016, I looked forward to being with people for the first time in years.
My mouth, head, heart and physical location started to be synced for the first time since I was a child.
I could not wait to get up in the morning.
Who Has Time To Panic?
The anxiety, the panic, the dread, the idea of sticking one of our Argentine steak knives into my wrist, of jumping in front of the 66 bus as it thundered down the A-12 or leaping in front of a central line train at Liverpool Street just melted away sometime in 2016 and never came back.
So What Did I do?
Everyone asks this. “Bernie what was the one thing that made the difference?”
I hesitate, giving advice with a sense of “this will make the change you need” is an arsehole thing to do.
The good people who give direct advice will always take the time to highlight that “you need to do the work, not flick a switch.”
I am still doing the work and I would say the ONE THING I did was to work out HOW to do the work.
This WAS the hard bit.
Doing The Work – Never Ends.
In order to be able to do the work, which I might add will NEVER END, I had to find more time and the best way to find more time was to shut up.
I started asking questions rather than TELLING people.
(I Still TELL people – if you catch me doing it punch me.)
Please don’t tell anyone but the main reason I do a weekly newsletter and write blogs is so I talk less in real life.
I was more than a little horrified at how much of my conversation was me TELLING people what I had just read in a blog or book, followed shortly by an app recommendation.
There are things that I consider important, call them principles or values, and I repeat the words of others because I don’t feel I can make up my own version.
So I needed to get my own version.
Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Hit In The Mouth – Mike Tyson
In September, I started reading the “12 Week Year” book that advocates planning in 12 Week chunks.
So a week is worth a month and a day is worth a week.
Since September I have read part of this book every day, I did miss a couple of days!
There was my grand plan, I got hit in the face, had a couple of weeks of ‘Groundhog Day’ and-and-and-and “suddenly” time passed and everything was working.
So Are We Done Here?
No, we are not done. January 1st, 2017 is the first day of my third round of 12 Weeks.
If someone asks me what I do this year I will say “I am a freelance writer” – I’ve got clients, customers and everything.
I knew this earlier in 2016 and spent a few months dicking around and trying to run away from this “writer thing” I have always wanted to be.
I am addicted, inspired, I’ve found my grit and know what I am doing every hour of every day.
2016? This year something was different, I don’t know where it started but I know where it ended and I loved it.
Three things I stuck to this year that I recommend with cast iron confidence.
1. 12 Week Year- The Book
2. Rainmaker Platform – WordPress Website with a blog, email, podcast, and online course building. Also, includes ongoing training and tech support.
3. Fizzle – Online learning community for Indy workers, freelancers and micro businesses.
Also published on Medium.