Start as you mean to go on!

Home Start as you mean to go on!

One of my former managers once gave me advice in the form of this wonderful English expression: “Start as you mean to go on, Martijn.” This suggests beginning any new enterprise by acting and sounding as if it were already a success. And though I love the trick-your-mind-in-believing-you-are-already-there part, I also believe it can form a solid strategy to help incorporate any new goal into your life.

I see “Start as you mean to go on” as a process approach for mayor, new endeavors. Going much, much deeper then ensuring you have at least a draft plan in place – it focuses on continuous progress until that long term goal is accomplished. This long term view forces you to look ahead into the future – beyond all the fun and exciting energy that accompanies new beginnings – towards that point in time famously marked by Seth Godin as “the Dip”. It also helps to already come up with some strategies for overcoming inertia.

Since my nature is rather optimistic by default, this approach helps me to plan much more realistically – taking into account what can and can’t be done. It prevents me from falling for that fata morgana of a completely empty calendar. Those pages in my diary in May will for sure be (partly) filled with other commitments, meetings and projects as time proceeds. But at the same time it prevents me from procrastinating, staying in observation mode for too long. It also helps me set clear, congruent boundaries what the people around me can expect.

So when Steven and Dado asked me to feature here as guest blogger, I happily agreed because I want to help spread the word around the Conversation Manager. But I also knew I needed to come up with a baseline plan to which I could commit myself to. Looking at my project list, I decided that for me – realistically – this would come down to writing at least one post per month. So that is what you can expect from me.

As Steven’s theory states: everything can be a conversation starter. But I intend to put my focus on writing about skill development through personal experiences (like the Ben&Jerry’s case) and reviews of some of the books I read. (If you follow me on Twitter you already know I have set myself the goal of reading one book per week in 2011. Want to know how I do this?) I believe this should provide me with sufficient material and inspiration to keep blogging!