It is the last day of this round of 12 Week Year, and it has not gone at all to plan.
The goals for this round were run 5 miles in 35 minutes, do 25 Pomodoro’s a week, and post to my website.
I worked it all out and could not fail and then I did.
I learnt a lot this time around, probably the most ever. I wanted to do all these things; I did not feel lazy or not on the right track.
This year was going great.
At the end of last year, I’m stuck about where to position myself commercially, the leap from where I was to a consultant seemed ok, but I could not pull the trigger.
Then in January this year, I was playing table football with my son and our mate Maja in Shake Shake after swimming in the Olympic Park, and I casually asked, “read any good books lately?”
Her answers were ‘Living with a SEAL’ by Jessie Itzler and ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins, they’d been popping up in my Audible feed but they looked a bit ‘macho’ for my liking, how wrong I was, Living with a SEAL is hilarious and ridiculous at the same time.
Out of the 450+ books in my Audible account, this is the best one, just after this is 1984 by George Orwell, that is how good this is for me.
My son had started football practice with his Godfather on Saturdays, and I’d already decided to have a go at running around the football pitches while they played.
On Friday night, I started to listen to ‘Living with a SEAL’ and woke up pumped. Then from then on, I ran every day. I listen to the book a couple of times and then felt ready to dive into the more significant ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by Goggins.
My determination went up a few more gears, and the flab around my stomach was gone overnight.
The big take away from the Goggins book is his idea that we operate at 40% of our capability and are scared to push ourselves any further, so we end up settling for mediocrity.
I’ve read a lot of stuff in a similar thread, from Stephen Covey’s work to some super cheesy self-development books that I’m not going to tell you the name of here.
When Goggins and Adam, his co-author explain it I’m sold and making changes right away; my whimpering little white entitled arse is up and out the door.
On Friday night the Godfather calls me and says we have two spaces in the London Half Marathon and it is next week, I say ‘Roger that’.
The next day I run 11 miles to see if I can, I can. It’s on.
A week later on the 10th March, I’m running around Greenwich completing a half marathon in about two hours, I’m joyful and triumphant.
The last thing on my ‘let’s beat depression forever list’ was regular exercise, and now I’m addicted, inspired and energised by running.
Then on the 11th March, my sister calls me at about 10:30 am, I can hear here car speeding along the motorway as she talks and tells me that we need to get to the hospital, our Dad is dying.
We arrive at the hospital, and he’s lying dead in his bed, I feel his chest and his smashed rib cage after they tried to resuscitate him.
There is a significant dip in his chest, and I lay my hand on it to try and feel what had happened to him, I have never been so glad to miss something in my life.
I’m crying with my sister and keep imagining what had been happening in this area of the hospital half an hour ago, there are other people here, and they must have seen and heard.
No one says anything directly, but they all act gracefully and give gentle smiles of solidarity.
I wake up the next day and plug directly into my headspace app and head for the ‘grieving pack’ and listen, after buying the Goggins book I know in an instant this is the best thing I’ve done for my mind and body this year.
I’ve been using the Headspace since 2013 as I started to battle my way back to sanity, these days I can’t imagine not sitting still for a dedicated time every day.
Our kitchen where I am every morning before everyone wakes up and I write, meditate and read, getting up early and doing these things has got me my life back.
So when my Dad died, I’d built up the most fantastic resilience I’d never had. It meant I was able to acknowledge and embrace the pain, sorry and hurt of losing someone I loved so profoundly like no one else and still function.
There was no urge to smash things up, get drunk and be angry with the world, and I was delighted to be able to cry with my wife and son and be normal and healthy.
So today I’m ok with not getting my goals done.
At one point in the last 12 Weeks, I was on the Content Lab Sprint call run by my mate Cat Johnson.
We are sharing our sprint updates, and my block is that I can’t hit publish, it is like the evil superhero force of Kilgrave in Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
Iris gentle asks me to consider that I might be working out how to move on in my grief.
It had not even occurred to me.
As Iris calmly talks, I have a massive lump in my throat and tears in my eyes; I’m sitting in my kitchen and feel a wave of relief rise through my body.
Iris recommends this TED talk, and it gels well with what I’m following in Headspace when I meditate.
A week later, everything got super intense. Both the projects I’m working on seemed to go from ‘here we are’ to ‘code urgent’.
My preferred operating method is time boxing, strategic and planned, I lust for long periods of in-depth work on blogs, podcasts, email newsletters. And reading, researching to solve problems, look for connections and surface ideas for projects.
Of course, I can do urgent, but I don’t like to, I find it very hard to switch off if I have not finished something, Jessica Abel calls this an ‘Open Loop’ and it sucks my energy and kills my creativity.
But I do get some buzz.
Now I have a new page, July is a further 12 Weeks, I have a plan forming, and I move into the new Mainyard Studios in Mile End tomorrow.
This will have my travel time from home; I’m two to three tube stops away from everyone I need to meet; for example, Liverpool Street is two stops.
I’ve got three support systems for the next run, the 90 Day Challenge in the CMA where I have to post a blog on this website by midnight every Sunday.
The CMA masterclass which is peer to peer coaching group led by Chris, this whole gig last six months. The 12 Week WAM call which I always do with my friend Karen, every Monday at 10 am we have a call called a ‘weekly accountability meeting’ WAM.
I’ve also started a second write club on Thursdays in London, so we have Thursday and Friday from 10 am – 12 pm to sit still and get your words done.
So going forward I’ll be using that time instead of typing as fast as I can to make the midnight deadline on Sunday night.