As ever I am spending these first few days of the year pottering about sorting at home, thinking and writing. I love this time hunkered down at home, the house is cosy and the dog walks are tranquil with the countryside sleeping (albeit it doing so underwater). This post is a check in on where I got to with last years intentions as well as setting out some for 2020. I wrote most of it on New Years Day which feels appropriate – though its not a set of resolutions – its intended as a bit of a North Star for the year.

How did 2019 go?
The main thing last year was that I set out some topics for my personal enquiry for the year – I’ll post about that separately but I have made some progress there. I’ve had less success than I hoped finding some collaborators for these – more on that in the other post.

On the specifics:

I started the year asking questions about the the Demsoc RBKC work which I wrote about here. On reflection I think it is adding value but its opened up a lot of questions for me which I am exploring here. I’ve not written about the public square work here – in truth I have not given this the time it deserved as other Demsoc work has pulled on my time.

  • One of my intentions was to work on my focus. 2020 is also going to need to be about focus but the combination of the enquiry thinking and also some excellent coaching I’ve been lucky to have this year I feel closer to that focus.
  • Mindful diary still eludes me but I have a few things planned on that front which may help (!)
  • A lot of my 2019 thinking has been about leadership in one way or another – though I think we need to consider that a work in progress but I can report I did get to the bottom of how I feel about the word digital and manage to declare that I am completely over it.
  • I started well with the 500 words but it dropped off – its something I want to reclaim this year with more time working from home

What about 2020?

I am deliberately not talking here about events in the wider world – this week is about more internal reflection – but I want to spend more time this year working and thinking about democratic change and reform. I’m going to focus on this in my personal enquiry.

  • Where I started last year thinking about focus I am going into 2020 thinking about balance – how to balance the different parts of my life. I want to do that in a way which allows me to get a better sense of flow in what I do and also takes into account what I need to thrive – parts of 2019 have felt more like surviving than thriving and I think better balance will help with that. Looking back on my posts over the last year so many of them start with me saying I need to take a breath, create some space or create a firebreak – it strikes me that more balance across all of my time would make this less of a theme
  • I’m also going to spend some time doing things I’m not brilliant at – the nearly finished sock in the image being a good example of this. I’m pretty sure I will never achieve the perfect sock – and a matching pair is definitely beyond me – but I enjoy doing it and its good to allow yourself to embrace some imperfection.
  • Leadership continues to be a focus for me – its something to practice and not perfect. This year I want to bring to bear some of the work I’ve been doing with my coach but I also want to think about system leadership and where I best apply myself in the wider system.
  • This next one has been a conundrum to me since I did my PHD – I really want to reawaken my reading habit. The PHD habit seemed to break my fiction habit completely and rather damage my non-fiction habit to mean that I exist on a diet of journal and other articles. This must end! 202 will be the year of the book with a monthly book review on here – hold me to this one!
  • And the 500 word ambition is definitely to be restated – I think I’m going to try time boxing it this year and see if that helps. I am definitely happiest when I am being productive and this intention is a big part of that

I’m going to think a bit about my support systems for these intentions – so don’t be surprised if I ask you for help with these. That’s it for now – lets see how we go

Original source – Catherine Howe

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