Building the new.

The theme I’m adopting this year for my business and personal life is embodied in the Socrates Quote at the top of this post: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”.

It links with so much that we have been doing in schools and with businesses for the past 12 years but for a number of reasons we often forget to apply it to ourselves.

We’re also aligning the above with some practical habits and changes to ACTUALLY make sure the change happens – the ‘7 habits’ blog I wrote and published on 6th December is being updated with some specifics and also I’m going to link it to the #Teacher5aDay pledge for 2018.

This research was highlighted in the Adam Alter book ‘Irresistable’ which considers our internet dependence / addiction and the fact that it is based on the technology used by digital game designers to make us keep returning to the screen.

The 7 bad habits are below and I’m going to state what I’m going to do differently to make this year more productive:

  • Compulsively surfing the internet: – to help me focus and keep ‘flow’ when working on something I’m putting these things into place:
    • Maximum of two tweets a day (which will make sure they are focused and useful, not just noise)
    • Stop ‘unconsciously’ surfing apps (this includes NOT taking my phone to the loo!)

Hint: switch off notifications or leave your phone off if you need to focus.

  • Perfectionism: – I’m not a perfectionist but do tend to procrastinate. Reference to the Socrates quote will help me keep on track and reduce procrastination and maintain momentum


  • Meetings: – Aside from focused coaching sessions I’m going to avoid meetings if possible by having phone calls or Skype / Conference Calls. Hint: It’s a balance – sometimes a sales/business meeting will lead to increased opportunities, often it leads to more work so be choosy and particular.


  • Responding to emails as they arrive: – I managed to avoid dealing with the majority of my emails over the Festive break – so I’m continuing this now… I’ve decided that once in the morning, lunchtime and late afternoon. I will ensure I DON’T do emails at night.


  • Multitasking: – This is the enemy of efficiency. Your mind needs 15 minutes to get into flow and you’re flitting from one thing to another this isn’t efficient or effective. I’m already doing this – it takes focus and practice but without distraction the work gets done and the TTD list shrinks more quickly!.


  • Putting off Tough Tasks: – Just today I tackled a task that had been on my desk for 6 weeks…non-urgent but essential. It’s now done. Great glow of satisfaction. Where possible, don’t leave the tough stuff to build up – it’s like leaving all your homework until Sunday night as a child…its still there! Hint: Tackle the tough things first thing in the morning after your coffee and emails!


  • Using your tablet or phone in bed: – I haven’t done this for about 2 years! As you know, ‘blue light’ affects your sleep AND if you get a late night email with bad / tough / upsetting news it’s going to affect your sleep. Hint: plug your phone in downstairs and switch it off at 10pm.


I’m also proud to be a part of the amazing #Teacher5aDay movement of educators on Twitter and there are 5 keys to wellbeing – and happiness – that have been developed and promoted by Martyn Reah.

Below I’m going to take each one and with reference to the above quote and habits, outline my pledges for myself – and those which I will support others with:

#Exercise – more walks with Bob our Border Terrier and the family. Cycling every other day (outdoors or indoors) to increase fitness and help relaxation.

#Volunteer – I’ll continue to support CRMI Children of Hope the Ugandan educational and medical charity with donations and time, I’ll raise funds for Refuge and Orchid Cancer when delivering my keynotes and finally continue supporting National Careers Week #NCW2018 throughout the year.

#Notice – be more aware of my own wellbeing and thinking because I’ll be using my devices less. Stop and look at the sky and my surroundings more.

#Connect – I’ve joined a new mentoring and CEO support group which will challenge and support my growth in business and personally. I will make sure I learn to use the support and offer my support for the other members in my group.

#Learn – learn to accept support and help; learn to delegate more so that I can develop new skills and business areas. Learn to let go of stuff that clouds my head but which doesn’t support my development.

There you have it – what I’m committing to change in 2018 – all linked by a handy theme – BUILDING THE NEW!

What are you doing differently and what do you hope for?


Bernie. x