Thanks for sitting down with me. I know that you're a great believer in planning ahead and I know that you've spent time recently setting a vision and actionable goals for the year ahead for both yourself and for London Speech Workshop. So I'd love to find out a little bit about how you go about this and what your vision is for 2020.
Q. Emma, how have you gone about setting your resolutions for the new year?
This year sitting down to plan my resolutions and vision for 2020 - well at first I drew a blank. So I went back to basics and used an old technique, a favourite of mine, by Tim Ferriss (of 4 Hour Work Week fame). You write down 5 things you want to be, do and have for the year ahead - and put actions alongside them. This really got me going. SO I have a long list which I am starting to action - today!
Q. Do you mind sharing a few of them?
I want to spend more regular time in nature - so my action is that I want to do more walking in the woods. In the book Time & How To Spend It (another great book filled with tips for how to me happy and productive in life) they call this Forest Bathing, which I love. So I've committed to 3 nature walks a week and I'm aiming to do a larger hike every 6 weeks. My first 'forest bath' of 2020 was this morning and it was just lovely! A great start to the first day back at work.
They say that to keep the brain nimble you should learn a new language, but I want to learn to play the piano, so that's it for me. I've already booked the piano teacher so I will be dusting off the keyboard next week for my first lesson.
And then there's being more organised (as a creative - this is something I continually work on) and I have a list of new habits I'm going to be embedding over the next three months. There's a really great book called The Power of Habit, which is a brilliant read if you're interested in this area.
And amidst all of this - there's of course self care. It's so easy to forget looking after ourselves in the midst of a mission of self improvement - so I have written out what that looks like for me too. That way I am more likely to make it happen.
There are a few more - but you get the picture!
Q. Do you have specific goals for London Speech Workshop?
Yes of course. In terms of resolutions for London Speech Workshop, I have three main goals.
Firstly, to make our work available to lots and lots of people, so adding to our way of delivering our courses through other mediums and forms.
Secondly, to deliver above and beyond quality and service through London Speech Workshop - so look for everything we can do to make every aspect of our clients journey with us even better. This includes having a few special discounts for people who really need our work but cant afford it. As well as finding ways to help some disadvantaged groups who will also benefit hugely from our work.
And finally to grow as a company bringing on more coaches this year and offering a range of more focused courses in different formats. For example, I am just finalising two new courses - Women In The Workplace and Social Communication - and there are more in the pipeline.
Q. What 3 ways are you going to #investinyourself this year?
A great way to decide where to invest in yourself is to do either the first exercise I mentioned (writing down the 5 things) or to connect with your values. For me, one of my values is leadership - and so I am committed to doing what I can to be a better leader and to learn more about mastering this art. That means investing time in reading books, listening to podcasts and going on courses.
Another is growth - and I have already booked to take my toddler to Mind Valley University in the Summer. If you haven't heard of it - it’s the best in cutting edge personal development. It's a ‘university’ for the Summer - well worth a Google or here's the link.
Finally there is adventure - which is absolutely one of my values. Whether that's adventuring into areas of work I find new and challenging - I am about to do far more public speaking than ever before - or adventuring in terms of countries and activities - I have just booked a ski-trip and will be researching some culinary experiences this weekend - or planning adventures with my son - there will definitely be adventures in 2020 for me!
Q. Any tips for people wanting to set their goals and vision for 2020 and beyond?
Carve out a few hours, at least 2 for yourself. And know that you have that as quiet time to focus, and make it an environment that is really lovely. I settled down in front of a fire, with candles and classical music in the background. Then make sure you have all you need. So you definitely need a notebook or two, and some cheeky refreshments if you are that way inclined - I certainly am!
Now you are ready to begin. You can either start with 5 things you want to be, do and have in 2020 or you can do an intention setting exercise - this is the one that I used for 2020. At some point, however you get there, you will have a list of good ideas. Now it is time to take steps to make them a reality. You need to turn all the ideas into concrete actions. For example, if you say you want to be fitter in 2020 - what does that actually look like? What will you do to achieve that - how many gyms, walks, healthy meals a week? Yep - get specific. That is the way to make this a stand out year.
When you know your actions, there are some that you just have to do - i.e. book that adventure holiday or hike. There are others that will take regular practice to become the lifestyle change that you want. For this I recommend turning them into habits. There are lots of ways to make an idea a habit - one is to put it into your diary or calendar. Another (and I am a great one for fads) is my newly discovered habit tracker. I bought one from here.
There needs to be a balance between the practical and the stuff that inspires you and sets your heart alight. So make sure among the knuckle-down resolutions you have beautiful life affirming ones too. I hope this helps make 2020 a truly outstanding year.
Good luck! And enjoy :)
Thank you Emma for sharing these insights.
What are your dreams you what are your dreams you want to make real this year? We would love to hear. And who knows, perhaps we can help 😊
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