How many marbles
Badenoch + Clark Luxembourg

How many marbles

Now many of my friends would answer that question with ‘not many’ but as I rush headlong to my 60th birthday I am doing a lot of reflection so it is a serious question.

Twenty-nine days ago, I decided that I could not go into the next decade with my low energy levels. I seemed to have energy for just 60% of my day so I needed to stop thinking about doing something and just do it! But what?

The first thing I decided was to go back to a structured yoga practice. In January 2015 I began 30 days of yoga with Adrienne and have done yoga almost every day since. So why wasn’t I feeling the benefit anymore? I realised that for the last few months, although I was comforted in the knowledge that I ‘do yoga every day’ the fact was that I had begun to do my own thing.  And what did that involve? Well, it involved doing all the bits that I enjoyed doing for as long as I felt like it – which was sometimes as low as 5 minutes! - and as I have said before, a plan that relies on feeling like doing something is not a plan.

So I went back to the 30-day programme, thinking that it would be simple as I was bound to be more flexible than I had been at the beginning. Right? Wrong! When you are part of a structured programme you commit to doing whatever is in it that day, you do a variety of things that are not your favourites and you stay in poses and tweak them as long as the instructor tells you to. After the first session I was tired, shocked and miserable as the reality hit me that I had spent at least 6 months just pretending to do something.  But I had committed to 2 of my friends that I would text every morning to say I had done it so I had to keep going.

I have done lots of other things too like give up coffee (nearly killed me!), walking faster and intentionally not just meander with the dog twice a day, buy a monitor for my heart beat variability (HBV) and my sister bless her heart has bought me a ‘Fitbit’ for my birthday so that I can check my steps and sleep! (I will talk more about HBV and Alan Jenkins amazing book Coherence another time.)  And my new daily habits are compounding.

So what about the marbles? I heard John Maxwell say that when he was 67 he put a number of marbles in a jar that represented every Monday up to his 70th birthday and he told Mark Cole, the CEO of all his companies, that he had to make the most of having him around because once the marbles were out of the jar he would be gone. Retired. In fact, things happened and John realised that he could not put a time limit on his usefulness and told Mark that he would be around for as long as he needed him and he could add value.

And there you have it. If there is a jar of marbles representing all of the Mondays that I have left then I want to have the energy to add value for as long as I can. And that means that I have to be intentional about my growth in the fitness area.

So what is it that you need to grow in?

What would make a difference to your life?

What if you became just 5% better at it every day?

I challenge you to think about what you want to achieve between now and the end of 2016. 

Now I can almost hear your mind thinking ‘yes you are right Jill there are things I need to do and I think I will start next week, next month, in fact January probably better. You don’t understand, life is busy right now, I have lots of projects on the go, I don’t have the time, the money, the resources….’

And I say to you it is never the right time; life is always busy and messy and we always find money for something we really want to do so START TODAY.  Here are a few tips about growth to get you going.

Growth requires:

1 Responsibility - don’t abdicate from your responsibility to grow. Who else will grow you if not you? Great achievements do not happen by accident.

2 Clarity – what do you want to achieve? Visualise a day in your life 10/15/20 years from now.  What will you be doing?  Where do you want to go?

3 Intentionality – You know what you want to do so what is the plan? What resources do you need?

4 Accountability – Who else knows/needs to know your plan and what role do they have in helping you to achieve it?

So whether you are looking for work, climbing the ladder or at the top of your game GROWTH has to be your focus.

How many marbles do you have left?