Many of you know I love to swim. So much so, I get up at 05:30 to train with the local swim team. On Wednesday, a man appeared on the poolside, chatted to our coach for a few minutes and left. It transpires he just got off a night shift and wanted to enquire about joining the team. It sounds absolutely nuts to me but I guess if you are on a regular night shift schedule, it might be a very effective way to fit in exercise.
The only thing that niggled at me was the fact that it was Wednesday 3rd January. Is his enthusiasm just another New Year’s resolution that will fade by the end of January? For his sake, I hope not.
Personally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because they are often based on ‘away from’ motivation. Trying to get away from your current situation for example…
Exercising to get away from being overweight, as opposed to a towards motivation of being healthy, enjoying sports, and feeling full of energy. This is why I prefer to set my intentions in the five pillar areas of: health, wealth, relationships, career and personal development in November for the year ahead.
I’m often asked, “what’s your secret, how do you do it all?” The truth is, I don’t do it all – I have clear intentions and priorities and I show up towards them diligently and passionately every single day.
Because it’s not what you do in the next two weeks that will produce the results you are looking for. Think beyond New Year and instead towards long-term sustainable intentionality.
When setting intentions for the year, we often don’t dream big enough, but when executing those goals, we then don’t think small enough to form consistent habits. An interesting conundrum don’t you think?
The thing that has really had me pause today though was the realisation that we don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. A concept coined by James Clear author of Atomic Habits
According to Dr Edward Deming, 94% of failures are systems failures, whereas only 6% are people failures. So next time you start to question if you are the problem, reverse your thinking back to your system.
Every system is made up of a series of small, seemingly insignificant habits which over time compound to produce results. I personally have been reviewing my habits this week. Thinking about the 20% of actions that gets me the 80% of the result and ensuring that I’m optimising these habits into a system.
So, my question for you is…
Can your current habits carry you to your desired future? If not, what would a better system look like?
Keep opening up,
PS. If you have read my first book, Intentional Careers for STEM Women I would really appreciate a review on Amazon. I wrote Intentional Careers for STEM women so that I could have impact at scale and rating and reviewing the book is the single biggest differentiator. The rules of Amazon state that I can’t offer anything in return for your review so I am asking for an act of kindness instead.
PPS. I’m very excited to announce that I will be running a brand new 3-day live event, The Intentional Careers Accelerator in April and October 2024. To get yourself on the priority notification list to find out more, simply register your interest here.