I’ll wait until…

At this time of year, it’s tempting to just stick it out and wait for the light to reappear. It’s fast approaching winter and the shorter days and rainy weather do make it difficult to feel energised. It feels easier to sit back and wait for longer days and brighter mornings. Actually, there’s an element of sense in that – our ancestors used this time of year to celebrate the previous year and to sow seeds for the forthcoming year. Now we might do this metaphorically, by seeking inspiration and giving ourselves time to mull over ideas. This gives us the opportunity to let them mature and develop so that we don’t write them off immediately for being “not me” or “too hard”. It also helps us to avoid rushing into some thing that doesn’t quite feel right, just for the sake of doing something.

That said, there’s still a few weeks of the year left, and this is enough time to get started, or even to finish some ideas that you may have had during the year. To make it easy for yourself don’t set yourself a wild goal – if it’s something big, then break it down so that it feels manageable. It can act as a stepping stone to help you really get going in the spring.

Or make it something small, one of those things that you keep telling yourself you’ll get around to doing and you don’t do it because you know you can do it anytime. How about now is the time?

I’m not saying we should ignore our instinct to go into semi-hibernation, nor to ignore the fact that if you get outside and expend some energy you will feel more energetic but let’s find a balance. Block out some regular time in your diary and keep it protected for you. Fill that time with your project – you can get enough done in twenty minutes.

And when it’s done, congratulate and celebrate yourself. Check in with how you feel and figure out how you’re going to decide what to do next. You could wait until next year/Spring/when the time feels right; but why not give yourself a head start your future self will thank you.

There’s nothing to lose in doing not dreaming. Find a way to get started – taking action is the only way to get your dreams done.

If you are stuck with getting started, get in touch to chat about how I can help.

Photo by Daniel Frank from Pexels


The early hours of the morning are creeping up on me and I realise that I’ve had barely any sleep. I’m wearing all my clothes and several layers from other people and I’m still too cold to sleep. I had a mountain to climb and my fears about the quality of the porridge that had been deteriorating all week were about to come true. I was wishing I was anywhere else but where I was.

That’s one of my baselines. A point in time that is fixed in my mind as something not to repeat, but to hold close and know that I survived to tell the tale.

The route up the mountain

When we’re thinking about doing something new, we often find resistance to getting started. All too often, it’s the fear of what might happen – failure? Not enjoying it? Having people say, I told you so? Having a reference point, helps to keep things in perspective and can wipe out those excuses.

When we think about what’s the worst that can happen it can be difficult to come up with something really bad, that we really think will happen. Try it. Try answering the question “what’s the worst that can happen” for something that you’re itching to do, but are fighting against.

When we’ve been in a situation that was really bad we realise that we’ve got through it. It’s something to look back on and possibly not to return to, but it turned out OK in the end.

And so we have our baseline. A point in time, or a situation, that we can refer to  “if it was as bad as [insert baseline situation here], would I do it?” And this helps to make our decisions easier.  It takes away those excuses about what might happen if we do this new thing because we can to a certain extent quantify the risk. It’s already becoming real and that immediately reduces the fear generated by the imagination.

Yes, there’s always a risk that it might not turn out exactly how you want. There’s always a risk that something happens that’s worse that you can imagine.

And so you set a new baseline, because undoubtedly you will deal with whatever happens as it happens (it’s easier this way than thinking “what if?” before it happens). It’s called extending your comfort zone and creates a new reference point that lets you do bigger things. It allows you to face new challenges and brings with it the twists and turns of life that keep it full.

Have fun reflecting on your baselines and if you need help putting this into action, give me a shout tanyaboardman@hotmail.com

My baselines could well be extended in a couple of weeks when I travel to Uganda for a Cricket without Boundaries project. I’m raising funds for this charity to support cricket development and raising awareness of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. If you are able to donate a small amount, I would be hugely grateful. The easiest way to donate is online here.


I turn the corner and see someone coming towards me. I try and act normal, but I can feel a big grin spreading across my face. I’m visiting Avignon for the first time and the end of the street I’m staying on narrows and looks like a dead end. The map says otherwise so I stroll casually along, following the need to explore. There’s a corner and then another one and a choice of left or right. I choose right. It’s enchanting. It’s beautiful. I feel like Alice in my own, created Wonderland. For the man walking towards me, it’s his usual route.


Rue des Bains

I talk about Adventure, not in the sense of grand expeditions, but in the sense of doing something new. And I love the feeling of doing something new. Trace back the origin of the word adventure and you find it means “what must happen”; “to arrive”. Perhaps it’s always waiting for us to show up and notice it?

Too often I forget, I get stuck in a routine, in the comfort of the same. It’s not bad, it’s fine but it’s not exciting and doesn’t necessarily fill me with joy. But making a change, daring to do something different – no matter how big or small – makes me feel like a prancing pony dancing on my toes.

I could sit at a different table in my regular café, walk or run the opposite way on my usual route, or just explore a totally new path. You can take recommendations on different music to listen to, books to read or films to watch.

Whatever it is, it’s enough to shake things up and notice a change. To remind me I have a choice, to arrive and find out what must happen.

Do you want more adventure in your life? Look out for details of my next adventure course here and sign up for my newsletter for details and offers on working with me.

If you’re already creating adventure in your life, share what you’re doing in the comments – I’d love to hear about it.

My current adventure is walking, running or cycling a total of 3000 miles in a calendar year. This would take me as far as sub-Saharan Africa, where my chosen charity, Cricket Without Boundaries, works with children to deliver health and social education alongside cricket development, which gives children the chance to play. If you would like to support me in supporting them, you can donate here.


I could never…volunteer

Back in the day, my impression of volunteers was of elderly ladies with time on their hands being seen to be “doing good”. I hasten to add, this is not my impression now.  Having given my time for different causes from packing hampers to be delivered to those in need at Christmas, to project management in a conservation charity and latterly in a variety of roles at sporting events I’ve definitely gained as much as I’ve given.  I’ve got experience from working in different organisations, I’ve helped people to run distances from 5K to over 30 miles and met a great bunch of people and this has made my life richer.

Linda Cairns at the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014

I spoke to Linda Cairns, who I met at our local parkrun – an advert for the benefits of volunteering if one were needed – and we talked about her experience of volunteering, the London Olympics and how volunteering has led to her getting her perfect job.

Grab a cuppa and listen in to get motivated to find your place in your community.  We recorded this after a parkrun in a sports centre café, so there’s a little background noise, but that’s all part of the parkrun spirit.


Inspired but not sure where to start?

Firstly read Linda’s blog: http://poweredbyvolunteers.net/wp/ and then check out https://do-it.org/ ; and here https://www.joininuk.org/ or just get in touch the next time your see something going on and wonder how you can get involved.  I did just that to entertain a local lunch and activity club for the over 60s – they were delighted that I’d offered and I got an opportunity to practice my flute performance.

When I run, anything seems possible

I thought this was just me.  But apparently I’m not alone – does anyone else identify with this feeling.  Not just of being able to run [or swim or cycle or yoga] forever, but of all sorts of things being possible.  It seems that in the midst of exercise, once your mind has let go of the everyday worries and your body is dealing physiologically with the stress cycle, you inadvertently focus on your wildest dreams.

I can finish a run or a walk having generated an idea, clearly planned it out and be filled with enthusiasm to get started, even confident I can overcome any obstacles in my way including the naysayers’ attitudes.  This could be a big travel plan, my next career move or adopting a new lifestyle.  Everything seems so clear, so easy and, ultimately, possible and achievable.

If nothing else, this is one of the best reasons to do exercise.  As well as the well documented physical health benefits, there’s another side. Exercise takes you back to reality: to the wild, natural you.  Doing exercise gets you out of your mind and into your body.  Your mind is then free to tap into those things that you want to think about, not the things that you feel you should do and not the barriers that we create for ourselves.

I’ve been inspired by Anna Kessel’s book Eat, Sweat, Play and she touches on this. On how being able to do sport/exercise can empower women in so many ways.  From meeting new people to building physical strength and mental strength. She quotes Sarab, an Iraqi football coach working with girls in camps for displaced people and refugees, who explains:

“If you are shy to chase a ball, how can you achieve your dreams? Playing sport makes you feel free.  It makes you feel like you can achieve anything”

I don’t think this feeling is unique to women and if everyone exercised a little bit, the world would be a healthier and happier place.  I think sport can take us back to a baseline, a fresh start, where anything is possible.

I can’t answer the question of why or how. For me there’s a meditative aspect to running – a focus on breathing and rhythm and that’s all.  Mindfulness on the run. Literally.

Give it a try – step outside and get moving. Who knows where it might take you?

If you’re feeling stuck and want some help and encouragement to get that oomph back in your life then get in touch.

Ask questions

What’s going through your mind right now? If you’ve been randomly browsing the internet looking for something, anything, then Welcome. (If you’re deliberately here, then welcome too).  I expect you’ve been looking for ideas for something to do. Something that feels right, that answers the question, is this it? You have a quiet voice telling you that you want to do it and a louder voice telling you that you could never do it.  So you carry on reading  and dismissing ideas until you come to the next one.

But what if you give some power to that quiet voice? The one that says I’d like to try, I could just give it a go.

Ask questions, gather the evidence to convince yourself and anyone else who’s bothered. Ask why you’re/they’re bothered – do they want you stay exactly the same person, because if you can do it there’s no excuses for them not to do their thing and step out of their comfort zone too.

Ask yourself why you want to do it, and by the way, just for fun is OK.

Ask how to do it, ask someone who’s done it before, ask someone else who wants to do it, ask the internet (but I think real people are better).  Refine your ideas, be clear on what you want to do.

Ask questions.  If you do this, your idea becomes real.  It gets closer to happening and you can start to say you’re doing not dreaming.

If this sounds like you or anyone you know, struggling with where to start – too many choices and an overwhelm of possibilities, get in touch.  I can help you to simplify your options and get you started.

Be Inspired

We have just come to the end of an Olympic cycle with the closing ceremony from the Games in Rio.  For the last 3 weeks I have suspended my “no TV during the week” rule and been soaking up as much sporting activity as I can. I have been amazed, as usual, by the achievements of the athletes and can appreciate the hard work that has gone into being the best in each discipline, and this has inspired me to be the best I can be. I’ve been more aware than ever of a voice in my head saying “an Olympian wouldn’t slow down/stop/ not bother” for all sorts of things.

And this is my form of being inspired – one of the first steps to turning my dreams into my reality: forming ideas and letting myself dream.  It’s about finding people being the best that they can be on that day and knowing that if they can do it, so can I.

And what better example than the Olympics?  With Michael Phelps wining his 23rd gold medal in the pool contrasting with bronze medallist Edward Ling who had his return flight booked so that he could get back to his day job as a farmer and bring in the harvest.  Or perhaps there’s Usain Bolt who brings joy and fun to the track as well as fast times.  There were several examples of past Olympians having inspired current Olympians – of people daring to believe and being inspired by their heroes.

So go, find your inspiration and dare to dream and dream big.  Enjoy the process, but be prepared to work for it.  It might look easy, but as Michael Phelps said:

“My success is nothing out of the ordinary.  It’s goal setting, believing in myself and not giving up till I get there.”

Ordinary people. Extraordinary things.

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