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ISSUE 061 | 15 June 2022

Return to the yellow brick road

Bank of four desks in a modern office
Co-working space at the Lamp House
Hello there

Have you missed me? There are a lot of Wednesdays in June so I shuffled around this month’s delivery dates. I started my group coaching pilot last week and didn’t want the pressure of also getting a newsletter out on time. It was the right decision and also means the end of month link round-up will actually come at the end of the month.

Since I last wrote to you I’ve seen my old co-working and office space razed to the ground and moved into a new space (pictured above). I’m enjoying the change of environment and ‘how was your weekend’ chat. I’m glad to have found somewhere that feels more like a community rather than just a room full of desks which is how some of the other spaces that I tried in the interim felt.

In other news, my co-facilitator and I have been shortlisted for a Freelancer Award for the accountability groups we run for Leapers. We’re in the Freelance Impact category — use the ‘This is us’ button to read our profile. Voting is open ahead of the awards ceremony on July 15th.

Enjoy today's Gathered Thoughts and as ever just hit reply to let me know what you think.
My current non-fiction reading is Madeleine Dore’s I Didn’t Do the Thing Today (affiliate link). Last week I read the chapter on ambition and came across a reference to Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech for the University of the Arts. In it he talks about using a mountain as the metaphor for his career goal:

Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be — an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words — was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal. And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain, I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain.

What I like about this is the idea of having something to symbolise your long-term goal to make it feel more real. Then using that image as a way to guide your decisions and check whether your day-to-day actions are taking you in the right direction.

I’ve been doing a lot of work around goal setting recently, both for myself and clients. More and more my thinking is returning to this idea of goals being a marker for our direction of travel. How we keep the top of the mountain in sight is a question I frequently return to and it was the subject of discussion at May’s plan with me session.

Personally, I’ve been adapting my weekly planning to include a reference to my goals. When I add a new task to my backlog I tag it with a keyword relating to one of my quarterly goals. This helps me to prioritise tasks and also know that the things I’m working on day-to-day are helping to move me towards the top of the mountain (to use Gaiman’s metaphor).

My own metaphor isn’t a mountain, however, it’s a yellow brick road. My long term goal is at the end of this road that I’m building brick by brick. It’s my path to create as I want, not following anyone else’s plans or pattern. Along the way are milestones that represent my short term goals that will help me get to the final destination… and when I get there, perhaps I’ll set my sights further into the distance and keep on building that road.

What metaphor do you / could you use for your long-term goals?
Instead of trying to build a brick wall, lay a brick everyday. Eventually you’ll look up and you’ll have a brick wall.
— Nipsey Hussle

What's on

My regular Plan with Me sessions run on the 4th Monday of the month. The next session is at midday on Monday 27th June. Come along to review what happened in June and preview what needs to be done in July.

Here’s some feedback from someone who joined us for the first time last month:
Really helpful format, so good to have some focused time.

Want to experience that focused time for yourself?

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