This morning I began my day with my new habit, 100 press-ups, it is day five of this new habit and I am beginning to feel very good indeed, I have been meaning to do this for ages but never got round to it. Its a great start to the day as it immediately releases those cheeky endorphins we crave so much. Even on a dull overcast Sheffield morning the sun came up in my head and a cockerel crowed metaphorically speaking. Then it was the usual large mugs of tea as I spent several hours fiddling with files as I reformatted last weeks work distracted only occasionally with little visits to Facebook, well I have not been on in nearly a week. So it is back to the same old same old is it? Well no, it is definitely not. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Today I will audit what I do, it is part of a strategic assessment and realignment of my activities. No, I have not swallowed a management dictionary, I have decided to begin to use my time more effectively. This morning was about tying up loose ends, this afternoon the assessment kicks in as I intend to create a spreadsheet that is my week and fill in the gaps. In his excellent book ‘The Para Fitness Guide‘, pages 72 and 73, Major Sam McGrath lays out his Fitness Training Battle Plan. It is a simple but effective concept where you identify how best to impliment your physical training and when. Obviously the Battle Plan can be extended to include all other activities including work and rest. Work can be subdivided into further smaller sections to identify particular tasks. The point for me is to identify slippage and waste. It is a kind of obsessive diary use really but an important one for me as I need to now shift my focus and work in a more time orientated way and take more opportunities to do different things.

It is kind of like my 100 press-ups each morning, I have been meaning to do it, to get round to it, for ages, it’s just that ‘things’ stopped me. ‘Things’ will always stop you if you let them, or more accurately, you want them to. I confess that I procrastinate, my wife has caught me doing it many times. My skill at finding reasons to procrastinate know no bounds and it is a skill, albeit a debilitating one. So it is time for the Battle Plan to be drawn up and put into action. Like all Battle Plans it will never be fixed and as many a foot soldier and general alike have discovered a battle plan is excellent until the first shot is fired. I had a conversation with an old mate recently, I did not know that he used to box, had indeed been Ulster Champion for several years running in his youth, and he told me that he could not box until the other guy hit him in the face, then he went to work. So I have realistic expectations of my Battle Plan, it will be a guide to what to do when but will need adapting.

Last night I was going to train but my daughter and grandson came around for tea and not having seen them for a week the training went out of the window. I was going to train on Saturday morning, but same daughter and the wife are going to have their nails done so Grandson and I are off to the playground, he insists, I cannot wait. So this afternoon I have one and a half hours set aside for circuits in my ‘room of doom’ and this evening its off to Ju Jitsu, jobs a good un. Work, play, family, friends, training, rest and sleep all vie for space plus some light relief, enjoy the vid:

So she has a battle plan to get her man, why would you have a battle plan? I will share why I have one.  Take a look at the Austria Album and read The Austria Files on this blog. That is why? Not clear, then I will explain. Several years ago the wife and I looked at retiring to Spain, not to some Brit colony but to a nice Spanish village, the pace of life, the culture and the sunshine appealed to us, it still does. Since then we have visited Austria on a number of occasions and fallen in love. I, we, want one of those beautiful chalet type houses on a green hillside somewhere like Oberau or Igls. I am going to make up some of those photographs to hang on my workspace wall in the same way General Montgomery hung a picture of Field Marshall Rommel, not to get inside his mind but as a motivational aid. Then any time I feel the urge to procrastinate I will look at those pictures and remember what it is that I want. The idea of the Battle Plan is to help foresee ways to win the battle, this blog is in effect the first shot being fired, slightly prematurely I agree, but the plan is in my mind and will start to appear on this screen in around 3 hours time.  Maybe not the best picture from the album but this  house is in my dreams.

Haus Smith?

OK, so I exaggerate a little, clearly something much more modest is the idea but there needs to be an idea. Yes it is going to take a hell of a lot of work to turn a dream into a reality as Douglas H Everett said:

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are others who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

So why not aim to be one of the latter, why not identify your dream, whatever that is, and draw up your Battle Plan too? I listen to too many people who accept reality, I prefer to dream but to dream whilst wide awake and fully aware that the turning of one into the other takes hard work and plenty of it. So that is why my Battle Plan is important, as important as my new early morning press-up habit because creating one new habit sets up the need to create more new habits. It is time to re-engineer my neurological pathways, to reprogram how I think and work in order to become the person capable of delivering the goods. I aim for victory and nothing less, what do you aim for? It is my firm belief that this life is not a rehearsal, this is it folks it is the one go we get. In the grand scheme of things I can accept my, our insignificance but do not let it bother me. Lets live the life we have, lets enjoy every aspect of it and feel that Joy De Vivre. This morning I listened to BBC Radio Sheffield and people were calling up to air their views on noise pollution, particularly from anti social neighbours, it was unpleasant and depressing and many of them were trapped in poor homes in poor areas but the real aspect of their poverty was not monetary. No, it was a poverty of the imagination to see other possible alternatives, sadly they see escape from their predicaments as impossible. Noise polution is what drove us from our former home to here 17 years ago, to a house people thought we were mad to buy, to an area my friends thought too posh. It wasn’t and it isn’t, but we drew up a plan and we brought it to fruition eventually despite numerous setbacks. We will do it again. It is not impossible,

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.

Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing”

Mohammed Ali, King of the Ring.

My Sensei describes those of us who practice Ju Jitsu as Jacks of all Trades, it is an apt description and one I agree with. I order to achieve the aims of my Battle Plan I will need to be a Jack of all Trades too, that is why I need the plan to keep it all together, to make impossible nothing. I will leave you with one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in recent years, take control of your life before others do, make your Battle Plan Now!