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a blog by Chris Barrow

11 Steps to 2011

As promised, I want to share with you some thoughts and ideas over the next 11 days, as we approach the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. The concept of this short series of blog posts arose from a conversation last month in Liverpool with Brendon MacDonald and Marita Kritzinger, who suggested a “Christmas series” for the sad people (like myself) who cannot resist checking the internet daily, even during a holiday season. What I wanted to avoid, however, was yet another list of “to do’s” or resolutions – no doubt you are about to be bombarded with ezines, blog posts, tweets, status updates and vlogs that will ask you to make some sort of resolution in the next few days to become smarter at life:

  1. get your cash flow sorted

  2. pay off those debts

  3. go on a diet

  4. stop eating that crap

  5. drink less alcohol

  6. start some exercise

  7. end or begin a relationship(s)

  8. listen more

  9. speak more

  10. upgrade your web site

  11. adopt a new brand

  12. raise your prices

  13. improve your leadership skills

  14. build your managers

  15. set goals

  16. set targets

  17. set boundaries

  18. remove tolerations

  19. tidy up

  20. be nicer!

to summarise – stop being the less confident “you” and start being the all-singing, all-dancing shiny new “you”. And, of course, there is a book, e-book, video, 12-step programme, form to fill in, on-line check in – for all of these worthy pursuits. In fact – you could spend all year just getting coached and never go to work. All of this advice is rather like laser tooth whitening. It takes you up a few shades for a while – the shiny new look – and then quickly fades back to something like the original – sometimes with “zingers” along the way. I personally have resolved to carry on being “me” in 2011. You see, I’m pretty good already (well, most of the time – see below). OK – I have got my trainers back on and committed to the London Marathon and Kilimanjaro (and the New York Marathon if I am spared) – but I DO NOT intend to significantly change my lifestyle along the way – because I’m a human being and its just not sustainable – especially when you run your own business and/or are raising a family. Here’s what my 2011 will look like:Things I’m going to spend 80% of my time doing Things I’m going to spend 20% of my time doing Eating and drinking in moderationQuaffing to excessHandling money wiselyEnjoying a bit of retail therapyActing sensiblyActing like a madmanDriving sensiblyGoing for a bit of a burnBeing politically correctBeing bold, outrageous and provocativeAvoiding committeesTolerating committees until my tongue bleedsRegular aerobic exerciseToast in bed, Dominos on the sofaManaging my time carefullyLetting it just happenBeing superbly organisedBeing astonishingly disorganisedLoving and adoring my partnerGetting irritated with my partnerWatching very little TVWatching Strictly, X Factor, Movies and MUFCWorking hardWorking way too hardOrchestrating my timetableRunning around with my hair on fireAccepting myself for who I amBeating myself up for who I’m notAccepting criticism gracefullyBurning their effigies and getting personally hurtListening to adviceIgnoring adviceNot singing or dancing in publicThe Practice Plan Club Weekend!Talk senseTalk bollocksReading loadsToo tired to read

So, starting tomorrow, I want to share with you 11 steps (one per day) to improving your self-esteem in 2011 – and there will not be a single “to do” list or self-examination in sight. Just some simple ideas that might set you up nicely to be the perfect version of you in the next 12 months. Join me tomorrow for Step 1.

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