Only a couple of weeks until I start my new role and to say I’m excited about the challenge ahead is somewhat of an understatement.
I’m relishing the opportunity to be creative and think a lot outside the box – willing to take risks and challenge convention – but not just in the work but also my own development as a person.
So far this year I’ve been looking at different aspects of my life and thought what does ‘much better’ look like and start aiming for that.
Last week after I had my yearly appraisal I felt that in 7-8 years’ time I should be managing learning and development in a company or organisation – that is what ‘much better’ looks like and I am formulating a fluid and evolving plan to make that happen.
In my training for the ultra-marathon I am not fixated on my finish time but am starting to look more and more closely at my training to see what ‘much better’ looks like – I currently run and do some core strength workouts. I’m looking at what other training I could be doing to improve my fitness, endurance, stamina, strength, and my mindset as well and am starting to challenge my normal conventional thinking and looking at other options for training as well.
Even entering the ultra-marathon fits into the take risks and challenge convention way of thinking. I’m not placing limits on myself by entering such an event – if I was I’d be content with running 5ks on a Saturday morning or completing another marathon or triathlon. I’ve taken my thinking outside the box by entering the event.
Dear reader I challenge you to look at one small area of your life and think what does ‘much better’ look like and how will it improve you as a person and how might it improve your life?
Another aspect of my life I had to take a long hard look at last week was whether I was happy going out dating – the dates were ok, decent conversation but it felt like something was missing and there was something niggling in the back of my mind both times.
I’ve always vowed never to go out with someone again if I’d split up with them. This evening I’m breaking my golden rule and am going out with the person I split up with last year.
I’ve no idea what will happen. It seems like a good idea as we still care a lot about each other and still have strong feelings for each other. It didn’t work out last time but that doesn’t mean it won’t this time – we have both developed in our own ways and hopefully that will make a huge difference this time around – I don’t know. Rather than having that niggling in the back of my mind I’ll take a risk and challenge my usual conventional way of thinking.
No matter what the outcome is at least I’ve not sat back, shied away and been left asking those ‘what if’ questions which I was always prone to do in the past. Maybe it was a lack of confidence that made me do that all the time or maybe it was being very rigid with my rules and not willing to step out of my comfort zone.
One of the things with taking risk and challenging convention is mistakes are going to be made – this is a good thing though. In the past I tended to see mistakes linked with failure and if I made mistakes would I see myself as a failure. Seeing myself as a failure was hardly conducive to my mental health and it would drag me down.
Making mistakes is part of a learning process, helps with improvement and helps someone to develop. It requires creative thinking, the ability to take stock and look at how things could be done differently. If we remain rigid in our thinking and approach this does not happen and we remain static.
When I woke up on New Year’s Day I made a promise to myself that I would make 2019 a year to remember (and for good reasons) and hit the ground running.
I had a call yesterday offering the role that I interviewed for – to say I’m delighted is a bit of an understatement. The role sounds a lot better than I originally anticipated with a lot of opportunity for development and allowing for creativity with learning design. That is something my current role doesn’t really offer so as you can probably imagine I’m absolutely chomping at the bit to get started. It is going to be a lot of hard work but I’m relishing that. I have a real passion and enthusiasm for developing people so they reach their full potential and beyond so this is going to be a brilliant role for me.
I’ve also been out on a couple of dates with someone and that has gone really well – we both have a passion for running and cycling which is fantastic.
The training is still going well (though I did miss my run yesterday due to heading to the pub to celebrate getting the new job) and the runs are getting longer each week now. I enjoy the long runs as they allow me to switch off and I’m just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
Although I feel that 2019 has got off to a good start there is still room for improvement and I also need to be mindful that there are still going to be some tough challenges and situations. I need to be careful that I have the resilience to cope with those dips and also to foresee them if I can.
There is still a long way to go on this journey and although I’ve made a good start to the year much of the hard graft is still in front of me and there are going to be times when I really need to dig deep and persevere in order to achieve better things. I know from past experiences I have the capability to do this.
10 days into 2019 and I already feel like I have achieved a few things already which is good.
I haven’t really pushed that hard but instead have taken a more concentrated approach.
It is going to be the next week that could define how the year may take shape – I say could because it may not but there is a very good chance it could.
I have a job interview tomorrow and have spent the last week preparing for that – I don’t think I have prepared so much for an interview ever. Rather than just walking in and hoping to answer the questions to the best of my ability (which I have done in the past and have always walked out reflecting on what I could have said rather than what I did say – though I guess everyone does this) I have made notes to take in with me so I have those excellent examples I can put across.
Looking at the role description I certainly have the ability to do the role and do it well but putting that across in interview is totally different and I do have a tendency of not selling myself fully in interviews.
Actually, I do it quite a lot in my life and have never been one to really shout from the roof-tops about my achievements and successes. I much prefer to get stuff done and let actions speak louder than words a lot of the time.
My life away from work and training is improving and on the up.
I’ve been getting a bit more varied in the kitchen with what I’m cooking as well instead of the usual pasta dishes every day.
Training has been going well since the start of the year and I’ve not missed one session and also completed my longest run since I started training for the ultra. The longest run went really well and I had no issues covering the distance or the time (despite having missed a few sessions over the Christmas period) and actually found my next run (which was much shorter in distance and time) much more of a slog (or it certainly felt like it was)!!!
Even though the weather has been favourable in terms of being dry it has become colder but this hasn’t stopped me getting out training at all – if anything I’ve enjoyed it.
It has felt a really good to start the year and I'm focused and determined. I hope that I can carry this good momentum on for the rest of the year.
Happy New Year and welcome to my first blog entry of 2019.
I tend not to make new year resolutions but I do look at what I can change in order to make improvements in my life.
I already feel that 2019 is going to bring a lot of change to my life and I am determined to get to the end of the year and feel I have given it my all. I feel that I am at a bit of a crossroads in my life and I have the opportunity to make quite a few changes for the better this year. I have a job interview next week which is a great chance for me to focus a bit more on career progression and development.
I need to change my mindset a lot this year – I’ve spent the last couple of years dragging myself down or being dragged down by others and have been left feeling that I am not good enough. That is going to change now and I am not going to place limitations on what is achievable or obtainable.
I feel over the last couple of years I’ve taken a bit of a kicking both mentally and emotionally and it has left me feeling a bit numb and very cautious of who I really trust in life. I need to remove the barriers I put in front of me at times – again this is probably due to feelings of not being good enough. I need to remove those things from my life I don’t need because they drag me down. The past is the past and I can do nothing to change that but I can learn from it – actually I can learn a lot from it and make sure I don’t make those mistakes or poor decisions I have in the past.
I need to change my mindset regarding training for the Ultra in August. The training will really ramp up in the next couple of months and I need to be prepared both mentally and physically. There will be times I will just want to throw the towel in and give up but I must learn to push through and keep going. There will also be times of self-doubt and I need to believe that I can achieve the targets and goals I set for myself.
With winter being here now it can sometimes be a bit of a chore to get out of the door to train with the option of staying indoors where it is warm and comfortable seeming more sensible – I need to tell myself I haven’t entered an ultra to feel warm and comfortable, I’ve entered to push my boundaries and to challenge myself.
Richard Guy, 47 years of age, born and grew up in London and have lived in Portsmouth since 2017.