I know, your inbox and social media is full of emails and posts about goal-setting and how to “plan your best 2019 ever!” right? Well, in this article I am going to be talking about 2019, but I’m actually going to be focusing on 2018. Why, you may be asking, when 2018 is essentially done and dusted? For one great reason – you achieve a hell of a lot in a year and I’m guessing that the majority of us don’t stop to acknowledge that! We just power right on through into the next year, scribbling down all our grandiose goals on New Year’s Day, without actually stopping to consider what actually went down this past year. Take a moment. What did you actually accomplish this year? What were the good bits, the hard bits, and the lessons you learned from both? What’s worth keeping and bringing into the new year, instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and starting all over again?

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Whilst I was completing my quarterly review a few weeks ago, I was struck by how much my life had changed in the space of a year, and consequently how different my goals are for this quarter and for 2018 overall. Let’s just say 2017 will be chalked up as a year of growth and learning for many reasons, not least of those being involved in the craziness of a start-up company in Europe, and eventually ending up living out of a suitcase for 6 months with various members of my family around the world. Needless to say, 2018 is looking decidedly more prosperous!

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I’ve had the absolute pleasure of attending the Supporting Champions conferences for the past couple of years, and as far as professional development opportunities go, these absolutely cannot be missed! In my opinion anyway. Innovative, inspiring, collaborative, out-of-the-box thinking – they are definitely not your average run-of-the-mill conferences and they will certainly give you a shake-up, and enlighten you in so many ways. I personally love the ability to learn from the best, be inspired by new ideas, personal insights, professional lessons and fantastic networking opportunities, as Steve from Supporting Champions has the enviable ability of attracting the world’s best scientists and high performance professionals from around the world.

I have written a guest blog for Steve and Supporting Champions summarising the conferences  – so if you’re keen to hear more, you can check out the full article here.

And to learn more about Steve and Supporting Champions, take a look at their website.

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This question may seem a bit out of the ordinary to some people, since our days are increasingly filled with productivity hacks to get the most out of our working hours and achieve all the tasks assigned to us and more. We have things to accomplish, right? A clear workload and jobs laid out that are our responsibility to get done. So we work hard, following the processes, and after hours of hard labour and focused attention–voilà!–task complete! Usually this is followed by a self-congratulatory back slap, feather ruffle, and a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

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A week later, and I am still living with the euphoric feeling of achieving a great accomplishment; in this case, my solo 6-day training camp that I completed last week. To others it may not seem like much–and to be honest I would have laughed at myself a few years ago at such an “easy” challenge–but right now this was a really special achievement, and I must say I am extremely proud of myself for accomplishing it! There can be no better feeling in the world than setting yourself a goal and then achieving it, and exceeding your own expectations in the process. Read More

Whether you are a practitioner working in a high performance sports institute or federation, or you’re a freelance consultant with your own business, your ability to flex your working style to adapt to your clients is almost certainly going to be the most relevant and important skill to have…or to develop (fast!). Because if we aren’t able to match our style to that of the coach to effectively meet their needs, then our careers are as good as over…probably quicker than they started. Read More

Yes, for the fans, I am about to reference the movie Shrek, that wonderful piece of cinematography. Honestly, who doesn’t love it? The life lessons to be learnt from these children’s movies can really be so insightful! And it was this one that struck me on Saturday night, as I rekindled my love for the film.

We are all just like onions. Read More

I listened to an excellent episode of the Virgin Disruptors podcast yesterday, and the closing remarks from the host Holly Ransom really got me thinking about the course of my own career. The episode was on the theme of Purpose, and listening to the panel of young entrepreneurial disruptors speak with Richard Branson about how they’re pushing the boundaries of their respective industries was incredibly inspiring. A very interesting point made by one disruptor was that if she had known in the beginning how much work it would be and the sacrifices she would have to make to float her business, she probably wouldn’t have started at all. And this is absolutely true. Read More

I’ll be honest with you straight up, I’m not even sure what possessed me to agree to an amateur boxing match. It certainly wasn’t my intention to fight when I signed up to the gym a year ago, I was actually just so bored running and cycling on my own for hours on end that I decided I wanted something a little more social (if joining a boxing club can be classed as social!). Another disclosure – I am prone to challenging myself in quite extreme ways and often things I consider highly entertaining and fun cause most of my friends to question my sanity. I guess this could be classed in the same category. Read More

As promised, my blog series on How To Support A Champion continues, with Part 2 bringing you the interview with the books’ author Dr Steve Ingham. Read More

If you are a sport scientist, applied practitioner, sports medicine professional, coach, athlete or any other human interested in sports and capable of using Twitter and LinkedIn, you would have been hard pressed to miss the hype surrounding the recent release of Dr Steve Ingham’s new (and first) book, “How To Support A Champion: The Art Of Applying Science To The Elite Athlete”. And for good reason. Read More

I had an interesting discussion with a very close friend and colleague in academia about managing high workloads and the expectations and pressure placed on work output. Both of these topics have been major issues for both of us for most of our short careers, so the current situation and ensuing discussion was nothing new; sadly, it was quite familiar. So here we were on a Sunday night, she was home working on her laptop (as she had been doing all weekend in a desperate attempt to “catch up”), and I was on Skype for moral support and to “workshop” the issue of reducing her workload to a more realistic level, and integrating some steps towards work-life balance. Read More

New Year, Same You

I have spent quite some time recently exploring the concept of professional identity and what it actually means. During this process I came across some really interesting concepts during the countless hours I spent poring over seminars, leadership summits, self-development readings and the rest, that made me take a closer look at myself and my philosophies. For starters, what were they?? Read More

New Year’s Intentions

The start of a new year – welcome! I admit I’m not actually sure what happened to 2015, but there you have it. 2016. It’s at this time that most of us sit down with notebooks, pens, iPads, iPhones, dictaphones, tape recorders and the like to list out our New Year’s Resolutions!” with such gusto and anticipation, only to have forgotten them by Easter. So this year, it is my resolution not to make resolutions, and to make intentions instead. Read More