It’s been a while since I last shared my thoughts through the FosterRuns channel and a lot has happened in the intervening time. Not only have I not been writing here, but I’ve also been running a lot less, though more about that in a separate post, or two.
One of the important lessons about strategy is that you need to choose what you are not going to do while you close the gap between yourself and your goals. Allowing things to lapse of their own volition doesn’t count… it needs to be a more deliberate decision.
For example in 2009, at the point that I realised I had effectively lapsed in my mediocre playing of the guitar, I made a deliberate choice between giving up & gifting my guitars to a worthier home, or working hard over time to become a more accomplished guitar player. Whilst hard work & at times frustrating, the choice of the latter has proved to be a genuine source of joy, especially on those days (like yesterday, almost eight years post-decision), when I feel that I’m actually progressing. The key to making this decision work was about creating a sustainable habit… in this case a minimum of 5 minutes a day, 52 guitar lessons with the amazing Lucas Cook over the course of the first year (and countless pointers since), two new guitars along the way as rewards for my persistence etc.
I feel as if I am at one of those crossroads, where a choice needs to be taken, though in this case it’s a more complex recipe of choices. The original aim of FosterRuns, back in August 2007, was to encourage me to run, whilst also encouraging me to write… exercise for the body connected to exercise for the mind in a virtuous circle. The number of posts on the site now sits at 676, but take away the running and the impetus to write about it disappears.
I quickly figured this out with my earlier blogs, where the writing dried up for lack of a sustainable stimulus. Even my random musings about work, which I really enjoyed to start with, petered out within five years.
It’s not that I no longer want to run… on the contrary, it’s really important to me to maintain that ability, especially as I love going out for those brilliant occasional runs with friends. But I now allocate part of that finite ‘time’ resource to other things such as Yoga, which is a more all-encompassing workout.
It’s also not that I don’t want to write… the purpose of this journey was to give me the skills so that I could write. You need (at the very least) to write, in order to be able to write. My tally for this last year is a simple article (awaiting publication), one or two songs, quite a few workshops, numerous bespoke explanations for students or clients, a Fellowship application (gained 🙂 ) etc. I had hoped to be able to say that I had finished my first book, but my internal critic still has a finger on the pause button… I am taking steps to circumvent this though!
As a prelude to repainting my house, I spent last Sunday washing the gutters and soffit boards… this post is similarly preparing the ground for a next step, in this case a decision about whether or not this blog forms part of my forward strategy. Keep your eyes peeled for a few more posts in the near future before I finally take that decision. 🙂