Coming towards the end of 1987 (I can’t believe that was 30 years ago) the Raw family had had a good year.  Our daughter Bettina had come into our lives, born in a military hospital, we had arrived on New Years Eve in Berlin for a two year tour and we were all having a great time enjoying all the opportunities this exciting city had to offer – both in the West and East (this was before the Wall came down).  I had made some resolutions at the beginning of the year that, despite my best intentions, I had not stuck to.  For 1988 I wanted to do something different.

I want to be better than the previous year, to be more and do more for the people I support, my organisation and my family.

So at the start of each year (since 1988), instead of making resolutions (who keeps those?), I make commitments.  The very word means that you are going to commit to a course of action (there is no going back!)

In the days leading up to this New Year, I have put down on paper what I am going to do and I thought it might be something that might help you to have your best year.

‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity” Amelia Earhart

In 2018 believe in yourself:

  1. If you make mistakes (no one is perfect) accept that you will make mistakes, learn from them and keep going. “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement” C S Lewis
  2. Don’t second guess yourself. You can only make the best judgement at the time with the facts in front of you but do make a decision (nobody likes a ditherer)
  3. It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. Back yourself to do the right thing and do it now.  (Nobody likes a procrastinator).
  4. No matter how busy or how much pressure you are under during your day, do one thing which you enjoy.
  5. Book yourself a coaching or mentoring session with your coach or mentor. Talk through your dreams and aspirations (try and fix up one of these meetings at least bi-monthly)
  6. Record your successes and read them through before you start your new week.
  7. When you are facing a crisis and you are coming under pressure, tell yourself two things: One: I have faced this before how did I deal with it then?  And Two: In 6 months’ time will this situation be such a big deal?  Probably not.
  8. Reward yourself. Something I picked up from running – if I had a good race I rewarded myself.  It could have been a new pair of running socks or an energy bar, it doesn’t have to be much, but it can make you feel a whole lot better.  Give yourself a pat on the back.
  9. Laugh whenever you can – it is cheap medicine
  10. Regularly (daily is best) go for a walk. Take a break- you only need to find 30 minutes in your day.  It will refresh you and it will give you the time to think.

My 5 commitments for 2018:

  1. Running: Make time to go for a run 6 times a week and at the very least 5 sessions.  I am             going to smash my Personal Bests (PBs) well my over 60 year old ones.
  2. Objectives. Set myself 5 objectives (personal and work) to achieve before 11am (5 before         11) Monday – Friday.  3 on a Saturday and taking it easy on a Sunday with 2.  That’s at least       30 achievements each week!
  3. Continued Professional Development (CPD) this year I am going to:
  • Watch five x leadership and or inspirational presentations from or YouTube per month
  • Listen to at least one management CD per car journey
  • Read at least 2 articles/essays from one of my management magazines per month
  • Take in at least one Webinar on a bi-monthly basis
  • Arrange a training session/workshop for the Dosh Team (the company I work for) per quarter which I will take part in
  • Publish a monthly leadership pack and a quarterly Dosh Newsletter
  • Deliver a leadership workshop or presentation in 2018 which will require me to research and prepare for
  • Deliver two Money Awareness Workshops for Managers
  • Deliver two Project Management Workshops for Managers within my parent organisation
  • Meet with my Mentors at least three times in 2018 and regularly meet up with those I mentor.
  1. Health and Well Being. This year I am going to:
  • Improve my sleep patterns – working towards getting at least seven hours sleep every night. (so no cups of tea for me after 7pm)
  • Drink at least one bottle of water every day
  • Stand up more instead of sitting down – especially when using my laptop
  • Practice balancing on one leg at a time at least once a day (I got that one from Joyce)
  • Practice Mindfulness at least once a day (I have learned this from Bettina)
  • Cut down on sugar (at least 25% this year) – cutting down on chocolate will help me with this one
  • Lose 10lbs in weight (according to my running magazines this will knock 1.5 minutes of my 5KM time!)
  1. Eliminate Waste. Look at every part of my professional and personal life and eliminate                waste – what am I wasting time on?  What am I duplicating?  What savings (financially) can I              make that will not effect my performance and the difference I want to make in other          peoples lives?

Courtesy of Dosh Ltd  this is going to be my ‘Big 5’ too

Smarter                Efficient               Up-to-date         Streamlined       Responsive


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant” Robert L Stevenson

In 2018 I will take a step back (often) and I will think about what I have in my life and be grateful for everything that comes my way. If it happens to be a failure I will see it as my first and second step towards my next success.  I will understand that failure is not permanent and neither is success, so I will prepare for both this year.

On 31 December 2018 I am going to read this piece again to see how I got on before I make a new set of commitments for 2019.  Why?  Because I want 2019 to be my best year yet!

“Expect the best, plan for the worst & prepare to be surprised” Denis Waitley