11 Steps to 2011

As promised, I want to share with you some thoughts and ideas over the next 11 days, as we approach the end of the old year and the beginning of the new.
The concept of this short series of blog posts arose from a conversation last month in Liverpool with Brendon MacDonald and Marita Kritzinger, who suggested a “Christmas series” for the sad people (like myself) who cannot resist checking the internet daily, even during a holiday season.
What I wanted to avoid, however, was yet another list of “to do’s” or resolutions – no doubt you are about to be bombarded with ezines, blog posts, tweets, status updates and vlogs that will ask you to make some sort of resolution in the next few days to become smarter at life:

  • get your cash flow sorted
  • pay off those debts
  • go on a diet
  • stop eating that crap
  • drink less alcohol
  • start some exercise
  • end or begin a relationship(s)
  • listen more
  • speak more
  • upgrade your web site
  • adopt a new brand
  • raise your prices
  • improve your leadership skills
  • build your managers
  • set goals
  • set targets
  • set boundaries
  • remove tolerations
  • tidy up
  • be nicer!

to summarise – stop being the less confident “you” and start being the all-singing, all-dancing shiny new “you”.
And, of course, there is a book, e-book, video, 12-step programme, form to fill in, on-line check in – for all of these worthy pursuits.
In fact – you could spend all year just getting coached and never go to work.
All of this advice is rather like laser tooth whitening.
It takes you up a few shades for a while – the shiny new look – and then quickly fades back to something like the original – sometimes with “zingers” along the way.
I personally have resolved to carry on being “me” in 2011.
You see, I’m pretty good already (well, most of the time – see below).
OK – I have got my trainers back on and committed to the London Marathon and Kilimanjaro (and the New York Marathon if I am spared) – but I DO NOT intend to significantly change my lifestyle along the way – because I’m a human being and its just not sustainable – especially when you run your own business and/or are raising a family.
Here’s what my 2011 will look like:

Things I’m going to spend 80% of my time doing
Things I’m going to spend 20% of my time doing
Eating and drinking in moderation Quaffing to excess
Handling money wisely Enjoying a bit of retail therapy
Acting sensibly Acting like a madman
Driving sensibly Going for a bit of a burn
Being politically correct Being bold, outrageous and provocative
Avoiding committees Tolerating committees until my tongue bleeds
Regular aerobic exercise Toast in bed, Dominos on the sofa
Managing my time carefully Letting it just happen
Being superbly organised Being astonishingly disorganised
Loving and adoring my partner Getting irritated with my partner
Watching very little TV Watching Strictly, X Factor, Movies and MUFC
Working hard Working way too hard
Orchestrating my timetable Running around with my hair on fire
Accepting myself for who I am Beating myself up for who I’m not
Accepting criticism gracefully Burning their effigies and getting personally hurt
Listening to advice Ignoring advice
Not singing or dancing in public The Practice Plan Club Weekend!
Talk sense Talk bollocks
Reading loads Too tired to read

So, starting tomorrow, I want to share with you 11 steps (one per day) to improving your self-esteem in 2011 – and there will not be a single “to do” list or self-examination in sight.
Just some simple ideas that might set you up nicely to be the perfect version of you in the next 12 months.
Join me tomorrow for Step 1.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.