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It’s been one of those days. I had a plan, and I intended to keep to it. Then something ‘important and urgent’ came up, which justified the distracted attention that it received. Not to mention the urgent, new email thread that warranted immediate responses.

But then all those other things that were waiting for my focus started shouting at me, including responsibility for walking the dog I dearly love, which I didn’t want, and which I bought for the son who has now got full time work and studies.

Once that was done it really felt that the working day was over. I still had some things left on my ‘to do list’ – and the fresh, new recipe, updated and richly wrapped packet of ‘Excuso’ was nearly opened. I considered three helpings:

“There are only 8 hours left before bedtime and I need to rest.”

“That task can wait for tomorrow – it’ll still get completed ‘just in time’.”

“Another day without exercising won’t matter all that much, will it?”

Thank goodness for the ever-present, “in my planner, on my phone, secured to my wrist and wrapped around my neck” reminders that I have a Personal Mission Statement, one that requires and urges action towards completion those self-designed, values-driven responsibilities that I placed on myself.

I may never get everything done that needs to be done. But I am a lot closer to coming through on the commitments I make to myself (and often to others) because of that document, a document to which I regularly discover myself referring.

This week it even surprised me. I had a commitment to run, in keeping with my Running Programme. Owing to injury I have had to ease back to a level lower than that at which I ran the Baker2Vegas Relay (nearly 12 months ago!), and the programme said ’20 minutes’. That day I reviewed the PMS and came up with the new Latin heading and tagline you would now see on this page, as a result of which I popped out and ran 4.5 miles/40 minutes. Double the intention. And I did the same the next day, which was supposed to be a rest day.

The Personal Mission Statement. A document which occasionally inspires, always instructs, and occasionally brow-beats.

Whatever works.

It’s about time you had one, don’t you think?

For advice on how to write your PMS, buy The Three Resolutions at Amazon.

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