It’s been 47 years since I entered into the world of work. Initially I delivered carpets and beds in my home town of Stockton-On-Tees followed by two careers; one of which I am still striving to achieve and develop myself within. I want to be better than I was the previous year, to be more and do more, for the people I support and my family.

So at the start of each year, 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 the New Year I put down ‘on paper’ what I intend to do this year and I couldn’t help but wonder if this is something that might help you- to have your best year too.

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

In 2019 believe in yourself:

  1. If you make mistakes (no one is perfect) accept that you will make them, 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 you are 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 bi-monthly)
  6. Record your successes and read them through before you start your new week.
  7. When you are facing a crisis and are coming under pressure, tell yourself two things: One. 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 2019:

  1. Physical exercise: Train twice a day: Make time to go for a run – 5 x sessions a week. Each morning do core strength training (sit-ups and press ups etc.). A programme that is: ‘viable and sustainable’ that focuses on quality not quantity.
  2. Objectives. Set myself 5 objectives (personal and work) to achieve before 11am (‘5 before 11’). That’s at least 35 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
    • (for the company I work for) Arrange a training session/workshop for the Dosh Team a quarter which I will take in
    • Publish a monthly leadership pack and a quarterly Dosh Newsletter
    • Deliver a leadership workshop or presentation in 2019 which will require me to research and prepare for.
    • Deliver at least four Money Awareness Workshops for Managers and deliver similar workshops for people with a learning disability and their families
    • Deliver on a Project Management Methodology for my parent organisation
    • Meet with my Mentees at least six times in 2018
  4. 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
    • Loose 10lbs in weight (according to my running magazines this will knock 1.5 minutes of my 5KM time!)
  5. 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 affect my performance and the difference I want to make in other people’s lives?

And not to forget to live my life well

Courtesy of Dosh Ltd

This was my ‘Big 5’in 2018 – I am going to stick with them again:






And I am going to add an additional Big 5 for 2019:


Dependable and Reliable




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

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

In 2019 I will take a step back and think about what I have in my life and be grateful for everything that comes my way. Wake up in gratitude every morning.

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 2019 I am going to read this again to see how I got on before I make a new set of commitments for 2020. Why? Because I want 2020 to be my best year yet!

“If you woke up this morning in a nice warm bed, if all your loved ones are safe and happy and you have food/water – why wouldn’t you be grateful?” Joyce Raw