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Planning Time

I have been working on a calendar for 2019, using pictures taken in 2018. Looking back on the year in this way, it is quite clear that is has been one of my most amazing years ever. Some of you will know that this has been my 50th year – but I started out back in late December 2017 really with no idea how the year was going to pan out – and whether I was going to celebrate my birthday in some significant way or not.

It is quite clear that the ‘planning walk’ that my husband and I did post Christmas (2017) had a very dramatic effect on how the year panned out. Pretty much everything we talked about my doing in 2018 came to pass. I have absolutely no doubt that if we hadn’t had that session then the year would have been very different. You see time flies by and without being purposeful about stuff (that includes absolutely anything and everything) before you know it, another year has flown by, and the things you might have dreamed doing, are still just that – dreams and not reality.

It is not too late to plan your 2019 and I would really encourage you to do that in the next week. Get together with a friend or family member and chat about what you want 2019 to look like. How do you want to spend your time, who do you want to spend time with, where do you want to go, are there any big changes you want to make to your life – or small ones even? Brain storm everything – and then start to plan it. I have seen this work very effectively with our Dating Academy this year too  – with a massive increase in dates and relationships – and it will work effectively for you too I promise – but you dohave to do it.

Now many of you may know that I have also been trying to buy a horse. Well anyone who has read previous editions of Cloud9 will know this. I have spent most of the year doing it and it’s been a very very frustrating time. So underpinning the amazing year I had, there have also been great disappointment and frustration – let alone wasted cost, time and effort. I still have not found the right horse as I write this. The whole experience really makes me think of members who go on lots of dates and yet still haven’t found what they are looking for. I know the emotional roller coaster you are on. I know about the frustration let alone the cost. I know how difficult it is to keep going. And yet in my case, every time I am disappointed I know I just have to pick myself up again, move on and keep trying. Keep looking at the ads, keep making the phone calls, and keep making the effort. Some friends are telling me to give up but I know this isn’t the right thing to do. It probably isn’t the right thing for you to do either. Yes take a break by all means, but don’t leave it too long to get going again towards finding that person you are seeking and making all the effort required to do so. I guess that’s also why it is important to plan your year as well. If all I had planned for the year was finding a new horse I think I would be one extremely unhappy lady at this point. Luckily although it was a top priority, it wasn’t my only priority and the year has been full of other blessings which I thank God for.

I had such an interesting experience recently. I went to a party where it was quite clear that most of the guests didn’t know each other. As a result I felt really comfortable going up to people and introducing myself and chatting to them. This is something I am normally not very comfortable doing – and although people think I am outgoing, inside I generally feel quite shy and not confident in groups of people I don’t know.  Anyway the results of my doing this at the party were quite astonishing. So many people commented on how friendly I was and how much they had liked the fact that I had introduced myself to them. I put it down to theirfriendliness – but the reality was – only one person was behaving differently – and that was me! I think there’s a really important lesson here. How people react and respond to you – is 99% influenced by how you are to them. Yes one or two people instantly won’t like you (and I have certainly experienced that recently) but so what!? Most other people will respond very favourably if you are outgoing, friendly, warm and interested in them. That is what you certainly want to be aiming for if you are searching for a soul mate.  Those of you who know my colleague Jo, who has hosted many of our events this year, will know this is a skill she has in bucket loads. I do not know what she feels inside but on the outside she is one of the most confident and sociable people I know. Not surprisingly Jo is always being asked out for dates and for her telephone number. So there’s something you could add into your planning for this year – being more approachable, warm, friendly and engaging. It truly is a skill and one definitely worth practising.

Lastly I have finally stopped putting off a piece of writing I have been planning for ages. It’s the A to Z of Christian Dating – an idea I nicked from someone else who has done it on a completely different topic. Well finally I have got just over half of it written and you can find the first letter A soon to follow. There will be another 25 articles to come – and I hope you’ll enjoy each and every one of them.

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