First published on Sporting Edge.
I started to draft this blog last week at the top of a terrifying piste in the Swiss Mountains. I hope that these four tips help you to attack your goals in 2015...
Lean into 2015
My dynamic, snake hipped ski instructor could sense the fear coursing through my body before I even touched the snow on day one. The cable car ascent was filled with thoughts of avoiding injury rather than embracing joy. As the lessons progressed I started grow in confidence and the mechanics became more natural until the slopes got steeper. My natural reaction was to lean back as I felt myself going too fast, this had cold and embarrassing consequences as I untangled my skis from around my neck before anyone noticed. My instructor’s repeated shouts of “lean forward” “lean forward” “lean forward down the mountain” eventually started to make sense. I learnt that when it gets scary, our instinct is to sit back or withdraw but by leaning in and confronting our fears, we actually regain control to the extent that we can actually enjoy ourselves. As things speed up for you in 2015, attack it as hanging back is more painful in the end.
Scare yourself occasionally
We were built for safety not high performance so left to our own devices we will choose to do something which we have done before. Mid way through a ‘comfortable’ blue run descent towards the end of our holiday, my ‘friend’ took me to a near vertical ‘red’ slope which petrified me. Without his support and challenge I would never have made it down the narrow icy slope, something which I am now proud of, so surround yourself with people better than you who will take you to the edge!
Stop to celebrate your success
Mastery of any skill is a long and challenging path. Often we just keep soldiering on and on without any time to reflect on how far we have come. Day one of my skiing holiday saw me tremble down an easy green slope at a frozen snail’s pace with all the ‘baby’ beginners. The slope consumed every brain cell and sinew in my body as I re-enacted the film ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ on the ski slope. Just five days later, I traversed the same piste on my way to intermediate slope and barely gave it a thought. Look back at the progress you made in 2014 to inspire you to take even bigger risks for the year ahead.
The festive season is synonymous with over indulgence. In order to balance the equation, New Year sees millions of people launching extreme diet and fitness regimes to fight the overload. For the remaining 50 weeks of the year it’s not the overload of food and drink which is the issue, it’s the overload of information. With emails, text messages and social media alerts buzzing all day it’s easy to feel like you are drinking from a fire hose. Our insights from the world’s leading neuroscientists remind us to judge ourselves on our effectiveness not our busyness. Contrary to the old saying, time isn’t money, it’s yours to use in the ways which deliver your financial, family and wellbeing goals for the year – so take the time to unplug, choose wisely and good luck.
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