What a year we have just had. So much to unpick, so much paused due to the pandemic, so much to look back on with gratitude. Sad times, happy times, moments of pure elation.
As I strive to consistently learn I believe it is important to reflect and capture lessons, both from mistakes and from the progress made. It is in this mindset that I discuss a select 21 lessons from the year twenty twenty one AD.
One year ago, almost to the day, I joined an accountability group to set out to achieve a personal goal in 100 days. I had a few ideas on what to commit to and under pressure to decide before the first call, I decided to focus on writing a children’s book ready for publication.
I had always had aspirations to do so. The accountability I felt from to the group, even before the first meeting, led me to make it a reality in June of 2020.
There are many lessons I have taken from my author journey to date. It has led me to setting up my own business and understanding the self publishing process from end to end. I am still early in this journey however here are some learnings and reaffirmations of lessons I have had previously, that I feel are relevant for everyone:
1.There are many paths and routes to get to your end goal. Be enthused by a closed door, you are one step closer to an open one.
2. There will be obstacles. Embrace them, face them, be thankful for them.
3. Make space to be creative. Block time daily – inspired by Artz by Sara
4. Action cures most ills. Make taking action on your highest priority item your guiding light and default operating model.
5. Focus on progress over perfection
6. Ship your work early and regularly. Valued feedback from your target audience is a gift.
7. You cannot control other peoples reactions or opinions
8. Tie your identity to your values and actions
9. Prioritise your time and respect other people’s time and recognise they likely have differing priorities to you
10. Do not underestimate how long things will take, especially if you are dependent on others.
I went into January 2021 off the back of another injury and having missed my goals of breaking through 90 mins for the half marathon and clocking 1,000 miles for the year. I was unhappy as I had tied my identity to these achievements and put my ego ahead of what was best for me.
Resolute to focus on enjoyment, mindfulness and gratitude just to be fit enough to run and having the freedom to do so, I set out to build a strong foundation to be the fittest and healthiest forty year old I could be when my birthday rolled around in October. I succeeded in setting new personal bests for 5k, 10k and the marathon (by over 2hrs), ran three marathons including London, and have good nutrition and sleeping habits.
One of the biggest influences on achieving these results was the decision I took in the summer to partner with a coach for the first time in my life. I had never had any formal running coaching up to that point. This was a game changer for me and I have learnt so much from Kevin (Koach at Hbodylab) over these past six months. I’ve also learnt a lot from being by myself in training for just under twelve hundred miles this year.
1. Get advice from experts, be open to reassessing any previously held convictions.
2. Go slow to go fast. It will reduce your injuries
3. Listen to your body, be flexible in your schedule, it is ok to skip a session once in a while
4. Do not return from injury too soon. Build up slowly
5. Strength and mobility training is as important as getting miles on the road
6. Improve your form to improve your times
7. Play the long game, incremental progress adds up, you cannot rush it.
8. Enjoy and be grateful for each and every run. It is a privilege.
9. Run free without tracking a time and in silence, when possible – the greatest mind cleanser
10. If you have something on your mind, go for a run, you’ll be amazed how many times you will finish with a clear answer on what to do.
11. When racing, enjoy it, smile, have fun. Believe in yourself and have confidence that you have done the training. Have realistic goals and execute!
I will be forever grateful for the lessons learned in 2021. It has been the catalyst for a lot of change in my life. I am now focused on humbly applying these lessons as we step into the opportunities and challenges of 2022.
P.S Goal Setting Post incoming!….