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Have a good stretch


Having a good stretch is wonderful, isn't it? It's relaxing, cathartic, restorative for mind and body...

OK, this email isn't about that kind of stretching. This email is about stretching yourself; to be a little bit better, happier and more intentional about where you're heading. Yes, THIS email is about "getting out of your comfort zone".

It's easy to drift through your life and career being content, if a little bored, with your lot. And that's OK. If that's where you want to be, I support you. But if you want a little bit more from your life and career, don't bury your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich*. I encourage you to plan for some habitual stretching in 2022. Let's look at how.

How I've stretched in 2021

You know I wouldn't be asking you to try something that I'm not actively doing myself. Being a coach, I encourage my clients to stretch every day, so I need to practise what I preach. Being a convert to planning and goals, I try to set goals that are "risky" and "exciting" (part of the Michael Hyatt SMARTER goals framework I use and teach). This roughly translates to "goals that are outside your comfort zone but exciting enough that you will stretch to reach them".

This year, I've properly stretched myself in two life domains: my business and personal life.

In the last 20 months, how I deliver my "create a career you love" work has completely changed, moving from 1-2-1 in person coaching to a blend of 1-2-1 and group coaching, online as well as in person, plus online training programmes and a membership community. This has stretched me in all sorts of ways - learning new tech, video recording and group coaching techniques. But the biggest stretch has been in selling these new products in a different way and massively upping my social media game - not in my comfort zone but important and I'm learning to enjoy it (using my energising strengths as a reframe on occasion)...

If my comfort was a piece of elastic, it's taut!

The other area that I have stretched myself this year has been in my music. I was a classically trained musician when I was younger (piano and trumpet). In recent years I've been learning the guitar - already out of my comfort zone because I've been learning to play by ear and memory for the first time. This year I have taken to performing (guitar and singing) at a monthly open mic night - sober! And then this week, I've embarked on a song-writing course where we are writing a song every few days and then performing it in a break-out room of other students - again, sober!!

If my comfort was a piece of elastic, it's nearly ready to snap!

Ready to stretch?

OK, so hopefully you're with me and believe that I've done a few things outside my comfort zone this year. Now it's your turn.

The first step is to analyse what you've achieved in 2021. Write down:

  • What are you most proud of?
  • Where did you feel stretch?
  • Where could you have stretched more?

The second step is to think about what you want to achieve next year. If you haven't already set your goals for 2022 (mine are still a WIP), take some time to do that first. Then, look at your goals for next year and, for each goal, write:

  • If your comfort about these goals were a piece of elastic, how taut is it?
  • What would a tiny bit tauter look like?
  • Where is your snap / ping point?

Now rewrite your goal somewhere between your tauter and snap point. Is this more risky? Is it exciting? How motivated are you to achieve it?

Example: This year I did Couch to 5K. Next year I thought I would do a 10K. But the elastic is not very taut there. So, the risky and exciting goal is to enter the Chichester Half Marathon and complete it in October next year, raising sponsorship for a charity at the same time.

I would LOVE to hear from you when you have set a risky and exciting goal. Please do let me know what it is and we can track them together.

If you need support in any way, just let me know.

It's a great time to take a look at my annual goals masterclass and use your special subscriber coupon code (SUBSCRIBER) to get 20% off

*FUN FACT: apparently ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand, they are digging out a nest for their eggs as they can't build nests in trees for obvious reasons...

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