New Year’s Resolutions – sensible settings, hopefully

I’m a coach with years of experience of helping others to set achievable goals, so I know how to do it. Tonight I decided to ensure I saw an average of 1 theatre show a week across the Scottish professional scene (excluding the EdFringe) for 2019. Easy. Just do it. Kath kindly challenged me and reminded me that my theatregoing has gone down the pan since settling into the new house, working UK and abroad, commuting London to Edinburgh, and enjoying sleeping too much. So success was a real stretch, and real stretches tend to lead to non-achievement. So I settled for 2 shows a month minimum. 26 professional productions across the year in Scottish Theatres. Job done. More realistic. And in good coaching language a) when are you going to start b) how likely are you to start and c) how will you reward yourself.  [Update – just booked for The Snow Queen, Dundee Rep, New Year’s Eve…I have started and “treat”…ice cream in the interval]

I have other challenges. Reacquainting myself with a swimming pool, and maybe stopping myself being surprised by my body shape.  I’ll work on that outwith the joys of blogging.

But I do need to do some work on myself and my calm arrival into a creative and business-like space for 2019.  In 2018 I handed over a job/project I loved at Mountview into strong hands for the future. I moved with family to a new Country – and it is wonderful to begin exploring Scotland again.  I began creating a new idea for UK/China. I worked on a new personal show project which has been a challenge for me. And I have re-awakened my coaching and surgery programme now that I have time post Mountview.  All change.

Here are a few of the things I’m going to do to think about 2019, and I thought I’d share.  Do shout if you want a CGO Surgery on skype or in person, pay what you can, anywhere in the world, if you’d like to explore these tool more:

  • I’m going to take a fresh piece of paper and do a Wheel of Life. Look at what 8 things would make for me a harmonious life and draw them as labels on 8 segments of a circle – things like enough money, time for self, health, a passion project to work on, time for me and Blackness, inspiring coaching/surgery clients to keep me on my toes, and 2 more for me to think about privately.  This list may change when I pick up the paper.   Now on a scale of 1 to 10, how much of this do I have at this moment?  You can download a Wheel by just googling, or reading about it in by book “Your Life in Theatre”.  Then I’m going to bring my attention to one segment of the wheel and ask “what do I need to do to move this 1/10th further on?”.  Then I’m going to wonder what goal I might set myself to get to that new better place.  That will help me set my New Year’s Resolution.
  • Then I’m going to do the Push-me-Pull-you exercise. Or in this case I’m going to think of myself slightly magnetised surrounded by some other magnets which are either pulling me to towards them (opposites attract) or pushing me away. I’m going to visualise what the magnets might represent, and wonder why one is attracting me and one is causing me to be pushed away. I’m going to wonder what work I might do on myself, by myself, or with a coach, to wonder why I get a pull towards something that isn’t helpful, or why I’m finding myself pushed away from something I’d like/I deserve/I could achieve.  Reflections which may lead me to think about my world.
  • Next I will look at money. I will have a think, as a freelancer, what I need to be banking each month. I will then look at what I know I have coming in from existing contracts. This may either calm me or freak me. But either way I will be looking at it and bringing my attention to it. I’m not a great planner. I tend to look 6 months ahead. If I can feel I know what the hole is that I have to fill in May, June, July from the point I am now looking into January, then that is enough.  I then wonder what I need to look for, or reach out for, to find a way to fill the gaps.  Remembering that I need time in those low income months to do new work. It may be that I am filling a month with voluntary or speculative work, and some of that will, have to be put on hold.
  • And finally I will do my 3 Advert Game. I will picture the adverts that I would love to see out there “Chris, Chris, call me, we have the perfect project for you, it needs X Y Z skills, it takes T time, it is in C country, it pays £ pounds, it fits your desire for this kind of work, life, creative, support balance. Etc etc. Call me, you know us, we are CIC and we are really wanting your help”  Shape the perfect advert.  Maybe shape 3 very different ones.  And then bring your attention to them and wonder who might be writing this advert, or having this thought of hiring. Maybe you could make them aware that you are available. Maybe you could just get on their mailing list. Or maybe, just by bringing this perfect opportunity to your own attention, it will in some mysterious way be heard by the Universe and the powers beyond your control will help manifest it for you.  Or maybe you will just go and buy The Stage and realise that you won’t see job opportunities unless you look in the paper or go on the website.

I have no idea whether those 4 tools are useful to you. I have done a Vision Board in the past and it looked wonderful – but maybe I just put too many visionary dream things on it. These steps are a bit more focussed, for me, on the now.

All coaches have different variations on relatively standard tools. They can be helpful to hold you/me to account. They can unpick a woolly brain and help quietly challenge us to come up with goals which have a date on them, a realistic amount to be achieved, and a reward.

So, dear reader, Happy New Year and may your Resolutions be lovely ones which lead you into a great 2019.

Let me know if I can help anytime




  1. Really interesting post Chris – given me food for thought. Best wishes for a great 2019.

  2. Thanks Chris. I ve just seen this. In a whirling pool of which thing do I do first, it is good to be reminded of some of these tools. I like the adbert one..that is new to me. Health and happiness to you and good luck in the swimming pool. Nicky x

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