The formula for success

It is widely understood that there is no such thing as an overnight success.

There is no such thing as a fairy godmother or a magic wand…   There is also no such thing as luck… although many like to use that as an excuse as to why they are where they are.


Personally, I believe you make your own luck by the choices you make, the decisions you stand by and the brand, the energy that you put out….


Although today, the penny dropped.




The penny dropped, that there may just be a formula.


Based on some training I attended, some further research and a conversation, a brainstorm with a friend this morning over a herbal tea… there may well be a formula.


It isn’t a secret formula… but as I said, the penny just dropped. For me anyway.


And now I can’t decide whether to blog about it… or whether I just need to mull it over a bit more…


But this is where I have got to…



If (M + V) + (H + E) = F


Then F = P + A


Therefore  (P + A ) + (2T + C)= S….


It’s actually quite simple.




In other news, I had a crash course in negotiation this morning. Willy refused to eat breakfast, do his homework, to get dressed, to put on his shoes, to go to school..   He called me ‘Dirk’… and screamed and shouted and slammed doors.


There are some moments, I think that I am not cut out for this mothering thing…   and that I want to cry and scream back… and go back to bed.


But when the peace descends and our face off has run its course, snuggled in the kitchen chair, together, listening to him read his school book … I remember that there is no better job than that of being a parent.






The secrets of getting stuff done…


If there is any day or any night, that I wish I hadn’t given myself this daily blog challenge for a year… it’s today. I am sure it won’t be the last…. But it is the first.

Weird week…   and I am clearly unsettled as I haven’t really slept for two nights. You know those nights when you lie on your back and you think you are awake.. until something really does wake you up? I have had two of those.

I usually sleep like a dead person. I have been woken up by James before… his panic stricken face, right in my face, nose nearly to nose… as he shakes me violent… ‘Ali! Are you alive?’… well I nearly die from the shock.. but yes – I wake up and say ‘I am alive, but moments from a heart attack!’ ….. I don’t move when I sleep. I know that because while James isn’t here in the week, I wake up in the same position as I fall asleep in, the covers not moved… his side of the bed still made perfectly, throw cushions in tact. If I lie in my favourite position, on my back, hands on my chest… I can see why he would think I am dead. We were clearly made for each other – I sleep like the dead. Only a dead person could sleep through his snoring. The house shakes! Literally…

So yes… today is the day that I really feel like not writing…   However, I am not that kind of person. I don’t like to let myself down.

And it kind of ties in with a question I have had from a few people recently… ‘how do you fit it all in?’.

There really is no secret. I don’t possess magic or a magic wand.

It’s called commitment.

Simply that.

Oh and a few friends called, planning, prioritizing and delegation.

My tools are my lists; they are on note pad (I have 2 usually on the go) and multiple in my iphone list app.

I learnt this through a methodology we applied and had fantastic success with when developing code for the Asda Direct website – an agile methodology. And you work to the principle of the ‘Minimal Viable Product’.   Basically get the minimum done as quickly as you need in the time you need it to be done… work with that until you know you need to add more to it, to improve it. If what you have done isn’t working, you can scrap it without being too hard on yourself for having spent too much time or money on it.

So you have you lists (in agile terms – your backlog of tasks). You then prioritise these tasks, putting the one that will give you your biggest bang for your buck at the top. This could be the job you want to do least, but you know you need to get it done. It is also called ‘eating the frog’ (great book – Brian Tracy). Once you have done it, you free up so much headspace, rather than worrying all day about not getting it done. Everything else after that feels easy! Effortless! And you can check off item by item… and that feels amazing! What a great day!

Then you delegate.

I delegate to myself first and choose the top 6 or so things that need to get done and I plan them through my day – around daily commitments (ie. Kids drop off, eating (need fuel!), kids bed time, pick up, appointments, gym/ spin, walking the dog etc).

I then scan through the list to see who I can ask for help. I am a big believer in asking for help.. especially, if someone is better at something than me – for example, gardening – I am seriously brown fingered and kill everything.

Anything else isn’t a priority, it can stay on the backlog until it becomes a priority or I have lots of time. Like my accounts. Which I am a) rubbish at b) bored by doing c) the more James tells me to do it, the more I dig my heels in… he would be better at doing them than me anyway!

So nearly 20 years of learning in consulting, technology, project management, professional career, now continues to pay off… and I didn’t realize that until now.

In fact, I can’t believe I have just written a blog about agile methodology…   but at least I blogged.

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you would do, long after the mood you said it in has left you. (Unknown)

Commitment is the glue which bonds you to your goals. (Jill Koenig)

Commitment leads to action;   Action brings your dreams closer. (Marcia Wieder).

Commitment: there is but one degree of commitment: total (Arnie Sherr).

Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality (Abraham Lincoln).

And my favourite:

Commitment is an act, not a word (Jean-Paul Sartre).