Happy New Year everybody!
What a year 2016 has been, not just for myself but for the people of this amazing world!
For me there has been disappointment but also amazing highs, the launch of my first book, “The Ultimate Triathlon,” is something I’ll never forget. The support and feedback has been brilliant, and I need to thank everyone for that. I often asked myself whilst writing the book, which took the best part of a year, “can I really do this?”. I had days where I literally couldn’t even string a sentence together, but I also had days where I would produce over five thousand words and everything just flowed effortlessly.
I guess all things we work on have their ups and downs. Looking back, it doesn’t seem so bad I guess, and I think 2017 will certainly see the start of my second book.
The lows have been pretty tough though: being rescued mid Atlantic Ocean was something I never expected to happen. I was feeling very confident about the crossing at the time and Anthony and I were making very good progress in our custom-made pedalo. When Anthony had a suspected heart problem, the priority changed to making sure he was OK and getting him to safety as quickly as possible.
I put this down to just bad luck and was grateful that nothing terrible happened during the transition from our small five-metre boat to a two hundred and fifty-metre bulk carrier that came to our aid. Unfortunately, the sea conditions were really quite rough at the time of our rescue, making the whole operation extremely hazardous to say the least.
I suppose it’s another story for around the dinner table or perhaps in forty years, if I ever find myself having grandchildren!
I put the disappointment behind me and focused on my project to row unsupported around the coast of Britain. No sooner than a week in, I picked up a kidney infection and found myself lying in hospital! I was absolutely numb with disappointment; it seemed everything I was doing was going wrong and nothing was going my way.
This really knocked me back and I quickly found myself in a downward spiral, completely fed up and massively demotivated. After weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I couldn’t sit around any longer and decided to cycle around Britain instead. I needed to do something to blow the cobwebs away and I felt that I represented more than just myself.
A month later, I had cycled over three thousand miles around Britain. There were no records broken or anything like that. It was more about responding to something with the right attitude. We cannot have 100% control over every outcome, but we do have 100% control over our attitudes and how we deal with things.
Looking back at 2016, I would have rather things had gone the way I wanted them to with the expeditions, but truthfully, I’m probably stronger now. Experiencing extreme, and I mean “extreme” disappointment is actually very powerful. Although not at the time, it can make you see things in a whole different way. Most of which is far more positive than you think.
Of course 2016 brought lots of wonderful people into my life – some are still around and some have moved on but that’s ok. People do come and do go, but as long as you treat everyone in a way that you would like to be treated, you’ll never go wrong.
So, “What are you doing next?”, I hear you cry. Well, I can confirm that 2017 is going to be a year of planning and preparation for a massive aviation-based project in 2018. I will be sharing the details later this year, and when I do, you’ll all agree this is going to be BIG! And a lot of fun.
For now, I’ll be continuing with my speaking which I enjoy so very much. Talking about something that you love and telling stories around your experiences is probably the best job I could ever have. If anyone is thinking about embarking on a new career or journey in 2017, I cannot urge you enough to take that first step, it gets easier and the only thing you’ll regret is not doing it sooner!
2017 will also see the start of something I’ve been interested in for quite some time, and that is Vlogging. Some of you will be familiar with this, but for those that are not, it’s using a camera to capture and document my life as I go about working on my various projects and adventures, all of which will be uploaded on to my Youtube channel every few days. Please do subscribe to my channel if you’d like to follow the vlogs. They will be travel, cycling, adventure, speaking, fitness and nutrition-based vlogs, also with some daily life stuff thrown in to the mix, as well as interviews with other people of interest.
I was recently asked if I could come up with ten top tips to stay motivated this year. So here they are…
My Top Ten Motivational Tips
1, Follow your dreams, they do come true if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort. Spend at least ten minutes every day thinking about your dream and how you’re going to achieve it.
2, Before you go to bed, write down a list of tasks that you want to complete the following day.
3, Break goals down into manageable tasks, that’s the only way to achieving any large goal.
4, Don’t beat yourself up if you have an unproductive day, we are all human and can’t be operating at 100% all the time.
5, Don’t ever worry about what other people are doing, you are only in competition with yourself!
6, Set time frames to your goals, by a certain date you must have made it happen.
7, Be willing to leave your comfort zone; only great things happen when you’re out of your comfort zone.
8, Choose to be happy and tell yourself every day that you’re happy. Happy people achieve far more than unhappy people. Being happy is about mindset and having the right attitude.
9, Live in and enjoy the present moment. Too many people are thinking about their past and how they wish they did or didn’t do something.
10, Read books or listen to audio books; this is one of the best forms of self-development.
I hope that this year is going to be the year that you remember for the right reasons. We all have the same 24 hours in a day so make them count and do what you need to do!
Out for now,