When I saw one of my closest friends, Cagey, cross the finishing line of the York Marathon this Autumn, knowing the hours and days she had invested in training, knowing she was in pain, and knowing she was raising money for a children's hospice, I was overwhelmed by pride for her. But I also thought "I want some of that." That sense of achievement, of purpose, of euphoria.
Cagey is a woman who sets herself challenges and thrives when she has a goal to achieve. Me? Not so much. I spent most of the first thirty years of my life achieving goals other people had set; so much so, that any ambitions I might have had began to dwindle in my teens.
To begin the Daily Greatness journal project, then, was a tough one for me. A different kind of marathon. This beautiful book with its bright cover, abstract illustrations, luxurious pages and ribbon bookmarks belies the challenges that are contained within. There's no quick fix and you have to actually take action, not just read about it. The idea is that it is used every day to help you focus on what you really want (something I find difficult to pinpoint), overcome negative thought patterns, build discipline and move from being "the victim of your life, to being the powerful creator of your life".
The first step is to forgive. So far, so Twelve Point Plan. But this is all on paper. "Others don't need to know that you're forgiving them for this to be effective. Forgiveness happens inside you." No shouting from the rooftops then. Keen to stop "holding the pain in (my) mind and body" and knowing that this was an integral part of claiming back my power, I completed the forgiveness section.
The weekly check-ins, and sections to complete on a daily basis, continually refer you back to what you are trying to change,and there is a strong focus on the positive. We're talking project management for health and body, emotional, spiritual and personal growth, intimate relationship,social and fun, in fact all aspects of life in the 21st Century. Since writing in the Journal every day for the past week, I have kick-started a number of good habits, such as daily guided meditation (a Paul McKenna CD), following the Motivated Moms' Chore Planner and charting my PMT symptoms again so that I know it's just my hormones and the world is, in fact, not ending. All too often mums like us devote no time at all to this kind of personal growth work, not when the the stove top needs sandblasting and there are previously unknown life-forms at the back of the fridge. The Daily Greatness Journal won't let you get away with self-neglect. It's not too late to start the good habits that really make a difference. Because our lives matter too.