Blog · Dec 15, 2017

Wouldn’t It Be Amazing If…

Harriet Beveridge is Head of Performance Programmes, key-note speaker and co-author of Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Harriet specialises in one-to-one and group executive coaching and is also a stand-up comic.


We’re almost at the end of 2017 – take a couple of minutes before you read the rest of this blog to reflect back on the last 12 months. Did you have a great year? Did you achieve the goals you set yourself at the start? Or did life get in the way, and unfortunately you aren’t any closer to the things you wish you’d done.

Too often we dismiss what our heart and mind truly want, because our goals don’t seem realistic to us. In fact, sometimes they seem so unrealistic that the thought of voicing them out loud is laughable!

Fast forward to Christmas 2018 and ask yourself the question: ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if…’ 

Identifying your goals

If you could achieve the goals you want to by Christmas 2018 – the things you normally just dream of – what would they be? Use the below categories as a starting point:

Think big, think crazy, think downright unachievable (you know people who achieve these things, but it certainly wouldn’t be you!). But also, don’t forget the smaller goals that you’ve been putting off – the ones that actually require minimal effort, but a change in current habits for it to be possible.

If you could be that much closer to your dreams, what would they be?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if…

…You joined a sports team
…You made home cooked meals rather than microwave meals
…You landed a job in your dream industry
…You went for an hour long walk four times a week
…You started an online course to gain a diploma

…You attended regular supper clubs to meet new people
…You started your own business
…You spent your weekends with your family, instead of working
…You read more books
…You landed a leadership role


Having the belief that you can do it

What was the voice in your head saying while you were doing it – was it…weird, great, challenging, exciting, invigorating, scary – how did it feel?

To have the belief that you can achieve the goals you’ve always dreamed of, you need to find evidence to prove to yourself that they are achievable. The evidence can come from things you’ve done before, that can help you with the challenges you might face ahead.

Write down your answers to the following questions:

  • What past experiences have you had that relate to what you want to achieve – things that you’ve probably forgotten about, stuff you’ve taken for granted
  • What role models can you think of, and relate to, who has achieved something similar?
  • What are you really good at, what could you could focus on that you already do really well, and how could you take advantage of that to take you towards your 2018 goals?

To help you to continue to build your beliefs you also need to have some really good bullsh*t filters! Ignore the negative interpretations from other people. Remind yourself of the evidence that proves to you, that YOU CAN DO THIS.

Use the marginal gains theory

For each of your goals, write them down and brainstorm the things you could be doing a little bit of each day – the small changes you can make starting tomorrow, that will take you in the right direction in 2018.

One example of a small change that you could make might be to set aside 10 minutes a day to focus on your goal. Swap the time you might spend on your phone, to do a short burst of research instead.

Make sure you schedule the time, set reminders on your phone and even better if the task doesn’t take you a long time to do, you will more likely do it!

No one does it alone

How often do we think we can do things alone? We don’t want to bother anyone in our network – and we would absolutely never ask for help – it’s a sign of weakness!

Start a new brainstorm for each goal – who do you need in your network to help you achieve the stuff you want to in 2018? Who are the people who will cheer you on, who can give you the technical advice, who’s done it before and who’s going to be really great at challenging you?

Time to take action…

So, what are the key things you’re going to do differently tomorrow as a result of your Christmas 2018 list? What’s going to take you in the direction of your goals? Often it is so much easier not to do anything, but what a shame to miss out on some of the opportunities that are staring us straight in the face!

There is research to suggest that when you write all of this stuff down, you have more of a chance succeeding in it. So often people talk themselves out of something before they’ve even started. You may feel silly as you write your goals down, that some of them are too crazy a goal for you – but when you do it, it will hopefully eliminate some of that fear and inspire you to do something.

Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Performance Principles

Our 3 Performance Principles underpin everything we do with our clients, whatever your goals may be, you can always refer back to them to reset your focus:

1) Focus on what’s important:

What are the things that are going to take you in the right direction by asking yourself the question – ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ – ‘If that’s the stuff I want in 2018, is it going to make my boat go faster if I focus on x or y?’.

2) Focus on performance, in order to get results:

What changes can you make, big or small – what things can you start doing right away that will contribute to your end goal?

3) Work together effectively:

Who are the people you already have in your network, and who could you reach out to, to help you to achieve your 2018 goals?



Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year from the Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Team!

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