Holidays. Despite not going nuts on food and drink, and spending hours walking about, the curse of a holiday reared its ugly head and I gained two pounds. Suffice to say, the original objective is now impossible unless I suddenly obtain the capacity to train like George Foreman (in his boxing, not grill days). 41 days to lose 31 pounds is not impossible but when I achieved something remotely near that (losing a stone in 2 weeks) I spent the 14th day in bed and I suspect that my 55-year-old metabolism is not the same as my 40-year-old metabolism. Do any readers have suggestions or experiences that might be fun for others to read?

Speaking of holidays, how do you do yours? As a coach/trainer I find that I spend a lot of ‘time-off’ thinking about ‘time-on’. For example, as I toured many book shops during my break I found myself gravitating to the self-help section, and then cursing myself because I want to focus all my energies on Principle-Centred Self-Leadership and the writings of Stephen Covey. I’d pick up a book and then put it back – I don’t need to read these things any more! Why?

This is a piece of advice I give any clients of my courses. Find the ONE philosophy and system that floats your boat – and stick with it.

Why do that? Why do that and not explore potentially better alternatives to improved living and personal development?

The reasons are two-fold.

1.       When looked at deeply, the teaching is basically the same, even if the terminology and examples differ slightly. In The 8th Habit, Covey touched on this very subject. He was at a big-name leadership shindig and during a discussion with other greats he made this point – that fundamentally, what they taught using different words was the same stuff. All agreed. (And this is why seeing a book on leadership with a ‘new, different, better, latest leadership teaching’ tagline leaves me cold.)

2.       Trying to apply one system is a lot easier than trying to jump between different ones. Canfield’s Focusing System, Ziglar’s Goals Method, Allen’s Getting Things Done, The Seven Habits and others – all great, but you can’t ‘do’ any of them consistently  – and effectively – when you’re trying to ‘do’ all of the others. Find and use one system – I prefer the 7 Habits version because I have been applying it for 22 years and it works. But you might like the others. Just find ‘one’ and stick with that – or you’ll fail while desperately trying not to because your time is spent trying to juggle alternative technologies.

Recap – the philosophies are generally the same; the methodology serves those philosophies, but in slightly different ways. And different strokes suit different folks.

Find one route, and stick with that.