First wifi flight

This might be a small step for most of you but for me, Norwegian Airlines offers me my first in-flight wifi experience. 

Guess I will get used to that. So far I enjoyed disconnected time. 

   

 

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Sunday Column (315)

How has your week been?
How often did you hug your kids this week and tell them that you love them?
How often did you have the fire on, sat back and enjoyed the atmosphere in your living room – your home?

I did that a lot this week.
I also invested in a few new apps, optimising the set up of my MacBook Air. I am, after getting an external screen, now fully equipped to own a productivity machine at home rather than a ‘laptop’. New 2do app and SimpleMind mind-mapping will increase my productivity, making me less dependent on my iPad and having all tools in one place. I am pleased. My new post on productivity over at Linkedin is doing well. I got a lot done this week!

Also, this week started with great news. If the official confirmation will happen tomorrow, I was tested for some potential “illness” which of course I didn’t believe I had. Yet it had been a roller coaster ride, thinking “what if” and “what would happen to the family”. It makes you think, and gladly it came out this way. Maybe it was too premature to assume anything, but one has to check things out. I don’t think it was ever that dramatic, or I was ever really considering the option that anything bad would happen, but it was on my mind. It eats into your thoughts and it does affect your everyday thoughts. Yet it is over now, it is, and tomorrow I should get the official “all clear”. I am grateful.

And given all those videos on Facebook and elsewhere, showing how people don’t help other people that need help made me think too. I finished Anthony Robbins’ latest book on finance and investing and he finishes it off in terms of: ‘make a difference and help others if you can’. He started to pay for other people’s Thanksgiving dinners. Now he is paying for and helping millions of people get fed. Take a massive action to make this world a more positive place. Today. NOW!

Take massive action

What did I learn, thinking about the scenarios? I learned how to prioritise family. How to be with the family more. More intensive and giving them more attention. Putting my phone and distractions aside. How to cherish the moment, and how to enjoy life. Yet did I really? Yes, it made me think a whole lot and I am improving. I make sure I am. You know when you think of this lottery win, what you would buy and what you could do with the money? One is going on a similar “mind ride” yet less positive. And the lottery win as anything else might never happen, but you never know either.

I don’t think I am a better human because of it, and I don’t want to overdramatise things at all. Yet I like to think that the possibility of not being there in the future, so soon, gave me food for thought.

The rest of the week was less eventful. To be honest, I could do with a week that wasn’t. The first week for months without travel, without back to back meetings and a more relaxed atmosphere at work. It is nice to be able to take it easy-ish for a week ;-) More travel again next week.

My knee after some running two weeks ago is still sore. I had enough todo at work, attended lots of client meetings, a conference and followed up on a lot of stuff. Yet it was nice to not have to work 24/7 for a week and managing to see the family a lot.

At the weekend we had a spontaneous visit from the family: my cousin and husband were here. We also went for a forest educational walk organised by the friends of my oldest’ school. It is nice to be involved in the community and feel at home in the village. A new car tyre, a chat with the local Scots and pulled pork and wine was just what I needed. Not being able to run makes you sluggish but I hope to be back up and running (literally) very soon.

Next week is already the last week of March. This quarter, as aforementioned, really flew by. It is good, I love what I am doing and there are lots of prospects moving forward. 2015 is going to be amazing.

Take massive actions NOW. Don’t waste time thinking about doing good. Just do it. We are here to make a dent in the universe, start somewhere today.

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (314)

Is it Friday yet?

The week started with me wanting to order some shoes from Marks. After they apologised for their mistake, I got a voucher I wanted to put towards some new shoes. The order was marked as despatched and I was hoping to get it this week. An email, a call and a few more annoyed days later, no shoes as once of a sudden they were out of stock. After they were sent? Never mind, back in stock in a few weeks time….

Now, the official week started with work in Hamburg. The red eye to Hamburg on Monday morning, meetings, preparation, work, long evenings, a conference, more long hours in the hotel room, abrupt changes, more meetings, networking and so on. You get the picture. Just a normal business trip. Great to connect to the online industry in Germany again, meeting old and familiar faces. It has been a good and successful trip, and that is great. I arrived home rather tired on Wednesday night yet somewhat satisfied with the progress.

Travel is a lot at the moment and probably I am living through the busiest Q1 of my career. Not ever do I remember a quarter being that full on from Monday after Christmas to the end of March. It is a good sign. Recovery of the global crisis, an interest in TV Data and TV Sync. I am very excited about the space I am working in, gladly contributing to the strategy and direction for our product in Europe.

Hamburger Binnenalster

So things are good. The family is good too. Speaking to so many people that week I haven’t seen for a long time; it is good to connect, see what familiar faces are up to and how we can cooperate. It is a small industry, many friends and good camaraderie. I so enjoy the space I am working in and cannot repeat it often enough. This must be better than any other industry. It just has to be. And, I am allowed to be part of it too!

Enough about work, really ;-) Then again I saw the family too little this week. I miss them when I travel and I look forward to a week in London next week. It has been busy but Easter in sight, there is a break to look forward to. My camera lens from my iPhone broke a while ago. I figured something wasn’t right and then remembered my youngest throwing it down the stairs and me dropping it quite a few times. Luckily I am due an upgrade sometime soon…in July :-( And there was mother’s day. Hurray!

My weight training, physio and exercise along with my weight loss is going well. If we are connected on Facebook you know that I lost just over a stone (7 kg) since Christmas. How did I do that? I foremost started drinking less. I even managed the conferences and networking in Germany without alcohol as they kindly provide alcohol free beer. Not drinking when travelling is kind of hard but possible. I run 2 times 10K a week. This is to keep fit rather than losing weight. So the key are two things: one is to do weight training 4 times a week and then to eat less overall. No snacking on nuts and chocolate unless you have a bad day. Chocolate is a treat now really. Then no more nuts and seeds during the day but bananas. I eat up to 5 bananas a day. Whilst lunch is normal, yet no bread (another key to weight loss), I eat little at night: cracker-bread/Ryvita with humous, an egg or two, some olives or gherkins. That means I have enough energy during the day, I am not hungry at night and won’t put on weight. With less alcohol consumption one doesn’t have to worry about the amount of food one eats, as there isn’t the need to fill the stomach lining before a night out.

Let me know if you have any questions or need advice. I still need to learn to eat a bit more about food for when I am travelling or I am at conferences, to not fall over ;-) But overall I am doing well and will continue the above routine. It is all about habit and making it work, a bit of will power and consistency. But don’t beat yourself up, something I tend to do and get all fussy about what to eat. Particularly not eating bread is difficult.

Now that’s all for the week. May you have a fantastic week ahead. I am sure I will, only travelling my usual 3 hour commute per day. With Monday being my wfh day, so will be able to catch up of this rather eventful week.

Have a good one.

Cheers,
Volker

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Sunday Column (313)

Now it is March. I finished another 10K run outside last weekend, and probably by time of posting another one. As usual I am ahead of writing posts, and I have been travelling to Paris this week. Next week it is Hamburg again. Then one more trip before Easter. The finish of Q1 came around quickly. It also looks like spring is in the air. It is all good, but times are busier than usual in Q1. A new spring for the economy maybe?

I have been thinking at lot these past weeks. About life, life’s goals and all. I read the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Not a new book or new principles and it almost seems as if I have read it many years ago, but it gives you a kick in the butt.

For what do you want to be remembered?
Why do you put focus on where you put focus on?
Why do you procrastinate, or waste your time watching the news?
Give a 100%. Every Time.
Always strive to achieve your goals.
Work on your goals: what are they? What do you want to achieve in life?
Reduce the clutter, stop reading the news.

For me, to answer those questions, gets easier and easier, the older I get. Besides some recent developments that help me thinking and refining, I can say that I want to create a meaningful life. A life where I want to look at and say “it was good for me and others, I made a difference”. I aim to make a difference for others and help others to create a more meaningful life. Whether this is through subtle changes, leading by example, help by making a life changing decision or just being there when they need someone. Small or big.

habit

And foremost, I want to be that person for my family. For my kids. To makes sure they grow up with a desire to create a meaningful life for themselves. That might mean something else for them, then it does for me. Yet it is important to define those goals and work towards them. NOW. Not tomorrow.

One never knows how much time is left on the clock. No one knows how much time we have left on earth and whether it is over tomorrow or in 30 years time. I personally don’t want to go just yet. I am just at the beginning of figuring it all out, my kids are young and I am in full swing of my career. I love working and strive to be more successful and grow into a bigger role. I am keen on moving up. Yet at the same time I am keen on spending more time with the kids, help them grow and help them to help others or help their friends to figure out life’s priorities for themselves.

There is so much to do – probably one of the reasons why I always go 100 miles per hour and think I can fit 70 minutes into an hour. There is no time to waste or time to stop and hang around. Always give 100% to achieve your goals, take actions towards them and be inspired by your goals. Make them happen.

The Compound Effect gave me another kick in my butt, yet there is so much going on in life, that I realise that I have to appreciate more of what I have. Whilst I have it. And I do. You never know when you stop having it.

I am probably one of the luckiest men alive, why shouldn’t I be the happiest also, and share my happiness with others?

There is no reason not to.

Have a great week and life. Make the most of NOW!

Yours,
Volker

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Sunday Column (312)

Two months into the new year. It has been a busy start with an acceleration towards end of Q1. I just came back from a trip just to go on to another, then another, a bigger pitch and an exciting conference plus another trip. Wow, the next few weeks will be busy. Good busy. 

I enjoy the travel, and have written about it at lengths. They are a bit of an escape and an opportunity to carve out disconnected time. Disconnected time you usually don’t take, as I feel like I am constantly connected, 5 am to 8 pm. That is wrong, no question, and I will deal with that over the next few months. It affects my sleep and downtime, however I have big goals for self improvement this year. Losing weight, changing my diet, running up the South Downs are part of a bigger picture. And I started. 9.9K up the South Downs, down to almost 90kg from 95 at Christmas. Dropping chocolate, snacking and disconnecting more often is next. 

The main challenge I have at the moment is tiredness. Whether this is the 5 ams catching up with me or the vivid dreams, the disconnectedness or some other stressful things in the back of my mind, I am not sure. Getting 7 hours of sleep should surely be enough, yet the animated, vivid dreams are what seem to crack me up. No nightmares but processing things way down my past history. I believe there is a certain stress factor with challenging times across my life.

A computer generated image of a chain with a broken link.

What I mean by that is manifold. The above mentioned travel and associated business at work cause a strain of course. Don’t get me wrong, it is good and I enjoy it, but life is coming with some challenges. I have some challenges outside work I don’t want to discuss here, but it never pours, it rains. Life is good though, with those precious moments; and we should never forget that, I get reminded when going to bed and seeing the little ones’ blanket off, when you pull it back over their tiny bodies, hugging them, and enjoying the moment to feel so close to them. To be able to teach them gratitude and to challenge the status quo. To build their own vision yet pursue their dreams, regardless of money. I want to be able to support them to do that. 

Those moment you can perish. Enjoy the hugs, and hug them a bit more. Sharing the love. When you, out of the ordinary, take their warm milk to their bed in the morning. When they wake up and smile at you. The smile saying that, I love you dad, and thanks for me being able to stretch in bed and drink my warm milk whilst waking up. The love you feel. The satisfaction you get from them being able to have some special moments. Small things in life.

And when you set up the first computer profile for your son to use the computer. And you explain him what a profile is. And you ask him to find out about which games he plays in school, and what he likes to do at home on a computer. They are growing up so fast. My parents always said you have to be 12 to use the computer. But things change of course, technology and exposure to it accelerates dramatically. Mad.

The ever accelerating spiral of technology advancements. The connective-ness and strain, faster moving world, pressure to perform, reply to emails quicker and deal with more in shorter time.

That is it for the week. My WordPress doesn’t show me the visual editor, just the html one, so the post might look out of order.

Love and Kindness.

Volker

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Sunday Column (311)

I started my week with some travelling. Frankfurt this time, just in time for “Rosenmontag”, the night of carnival in Germany. Neither my client partner nor I had this on the radar yet we managed to get three great meetings out of it. I also flew with a small airplane from City Airport and enjoyed the more “elite style” flying experience. This wasn’t because it wasn’t Easyjet, I love my Easyjet, but more because it seemed to be more intimate, 2 seats each side of the gangway, closer to the sky somewhat and faster. The City….

Once I arrived in my hotel, I realised the higher standard leads to the hotel being a bit more complicated. The computer system, the room service, the housekeeping…..oh dear, I am just made for simpler things sometimes. That includes simply customer service, like Marks, but that is now all solved too. Just a shame you need to kick a fuss to get attention :-(

In the hotel, I got all those things for comfort I don’t need, and I miss those simple things I am used to, like decaf instant coffee. Working in start ups for most of my life, being brought up on modest pleasures. Yet it was a great stay for one night and I didn’t end up in a hotel in the red light district, so that’s a bonus. That’s what could happen when you are working with external booking agencies that don’t know the country ;-)

Carpe Diem

I enjoy travel, and believe that you should feel comfortable when you stay away from home. It is a burden to you and the family. However, I am still a big advocate of spending a night or two away from the family sometimes. It makes your heart grow fonder as they say, but it also gets you and your partner some ‘me time’. I usually get more work done and write more posts, work on presentations etc. Shutting off the screens when travelling seems to be harder than at home, as you are out of your routine. Your weight bench is replaced by “own resistance” exercises unless you got a gym in the hotel you are staying at. Soon, I am contemplating of taking my running shoes. All depends on the length of the stay.

This week I finished another book on Steve Jobs and Apple. Working off a Mac now on a daily basis for two years, I couldn’t go back to any other system. It just works. I am waiting to upgrade my iPhone as the battery life on mine is appalling, and I am contemplating of replacing my iPad sometime this year to upgrade after about three years. Hmm, we shall see. I used it mainly as a kindle and for mind mapping, then as a laptop replacement at home. I could do all I do there on my laptop but if you are in confined spaces on a plane or train, you end up preferring a smaller device. Decisions decisions.

Whilst this week has been a bit of a roller coaster ride too, I will write a more detailed post about some other developments later this month. All is well, and sometimes we just have to be very grateful for what we have. I have experienced a deeper connection to my loved ones recently and a an urge to spend more quality time with the boys. I feel like time becomes so precious if you start thinking about it.

Overall it was a good week. Work has been busy too. I have been thinking a lot, laughing a lot and continued with my framework of “no drinking days” and exercising despite travelling. Or at least in moderation, and that is a good thing Food wise, I managed to order a kid’s portion without chips to keep off the weight. No need to eat a big meal before bed, is there? Just by being more aware of what you drink and eat, you can keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle without the need to overeat, put on weight and ultimately being unhealthy and unfit.

I also managed my first 9.5K run outside (my calves and shins are still hurting from the hill up to the South Downs) in 54 minutes. For a first time this isn’t too bad. For me, 2015 is about positive change. Better healthy diet, better exercise, outside running, more quality time with the family, more balance at work. I am making progress on most points.

We need to enjoy life, yet in moderation and balancing the good and bad days, without beating ourselves up.

With these thoughts, have a great week.
Volker

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Dear Marks….

I have been a bit peeved recently with Marks and Spencer. Since we seem to be unable to communicate via phone or Twitter, here is a copy of the email I just sent.

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Hello,

I am fed up to put it outright. I tried helping you to help me but I came to the conclusion, that Marks and Spencer, once known for best customer service, just doesn’t seem to care.

It all started on Valentine’s Day. I got flowers ordered, as I normally do for every occasion, normally always do via Marks, but then I got an email at 7 am telling me that you aren’t sure whether you can deliver on the day? What is happening there, I thought.

Your customer service didn’t answer until 8 am, so finally I got through and the lady said that she could neither confirm or deny that the flowers will be delivered in time and if they haven’t arrived by 7 pm I should call back. I said that this is useless as I am not going to wait until 7 pm to find out that, potentially, the flowers won’t be delivered, as at that point I couldn’t go out and buy new ones. Whilst she clearly said that she got my point, there was nothing she could do, as the order was processed and she couldn’t stop it for a refund.

As she got my point and she then couldn’t do anything, I asked to speak to her superior who wasn’t available but according to her “would call me back soon”. I waited.

By 10 am I figured it would be good to double check. The rep on the phone said that the flowers are out for delivery and reassured me. Also, someone from the management team would call me back within 24 hours. So by 10 am Sunday 15th.

The flowers arrived. Beautiful flowers, wife loved them, great! Thanks. The quality and service I expected. But why the hassle and email misleading me, causing much aggravation?

I thought I can wait 24 hours. By Monday I hadn’t heard. I aired myself on twitter, and @marksandspencer got involved. I emailed my order number and email address and still no reply. Finally on Tuesday, so 72 hours later, I got this call from Fiona. Missed it as I was at work. Called her back as I was on the airport and she wasn’t available. Asked for her to call me on Wednesday.

Of course that wasn’t passed on and someone, I don’t think Fiona, called me when I was about to take off in a plane. I tried to be as polite as possible saying please call me back tomorrow. Your rep however insisted the account is in my wife’s name. NO, I said, we cleared that up on Saturday. The flowers and all orders go to my wife’s name, but I am the account holder, cc holder and so on. You must be calling because of my complaint, I said, so please call me back tomorrow.

It is now 8:30 pm on Wednesday. You could argue 108 hours past my first contact with Marks. The issue isn’t about the flowers anymore but that neither your twitter account (and I just aired my frustration to them again) nor the lady from yesterday or anyone has been in touch. You could have sent an email saying “when is good to call” or tried calling again.

I am now under the impression that Marks and Spencer quite frankly doesn’t care anymore. Yupp, that’s it, I think. My wife’s birthday coming up. Mothers day coming up. I spend on average probably around 30 GBP on flowers, 60 GBP spend elsewhere. Plus lost opportunities moving forward.

Shame?

Not for me. In this day and age it is so easy to change supplier. To move along and go elsewhere. Less guarantee on quality and less guarantee on … oh wait a second, the customer service aspect has not been true this time. Whilst for everything else I bought at Marks, my sofa and chairs (which we could argue about the quality), the customer service was outstanding. Returning my shoes in the past (and I wear shoes from Marks since 2006 I’d say), my underwear, jackets, my wife’s underwear, suits, jumpers and of course stuff for the kids…..why would you want to annoy me.

I guess you don’t. I guess you just having a bad week. We all do. Yet…..what are you going to do about it.

Likelihood when you try calling me again this week I won’t be able to answer. I am busy. So are you. So are we all.

Email me, let’s arrange a time to sit down and talk.

Aren’t we both grown ups?

Yours faithfully,
Volker Ballueder

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Sunday Column (310)

lk rohan colin rohan volker geenee nanee goodis ome oallp croopesh volker ule volerstela and stooit kasdon and rcaila rosee lilee

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I guess that is Colin’s first blog post. Can you spot your name, Judith, Michela, Krupesh, Oma, Opa, Karsten, Stuart, Stella, Rosie, Jenny, Lilly…..and Nanny of course. Not only did he win a prize in football this week, his brother turned 4 (officially), our neighbours got locked out, I had a doctor’s appointment I didn’t like and also I got a new filling, had to go to the dentist. And the dog went crazy, work was challenging, but overall as I am sitting down to start writing this blog on Friday night, I am content and happy.

Why? I keep asking myself what makes me happy and content?

I guess it is about accepting the challenge that you cannot change things. Things like life plays with you. Whether that is the wrong label from Amazon or the flower delivery on Valentine’s Day. The minor things or the major things.

It is the challenges in the job and the progress I make on a daily basis. Really enjoyable work. A great company, exciting space and of course it comes with challenges. And I love them. And next week I will be travelling again, then every week until Easter break. Will see the family less. Yet, I look forward to it, evangelising the world for 2nd screen TV Sync.

On top of that I have a fantastic, engaging family. I worked from home a day or two, was home for bathing, got lots of work done on the days as I got less disturbance and wasn’t held up in meetings, and can balance work life. Work is dominant, of course, after all that’s 8 hours a day, yet being able to relax for 10 minutes, tickling your youngest, or having a coffee with the wife makes life and work nicer. A great benefit of our company.

lifebalance

Being able to live where I am, and how I am. I am managing my early morning, exercise before work, breakfast with the kids, walks with the dogs and long extensive country walks with the dog at the weekend. How can’t you love that? Helping the neighbours to break into their own house (as they locked themselves out), being able to light a fire, have a glass of wine and just relax and feel at home. I am very content and happy, can’t you tell :-)

Now, all of above of course comes down to personal taste, personal development and feelings. And there are things that throw you off that balance sometime. But one has to believe that things are good, don’t we. Own circumstances, external influences, love and connectedness, contentedness and knowing what you want. Shared love, values and a strong partner, valuing my wife for Valentines of course. Life takes its course, good or bad, and will continue. Being able to stop, internally, put the screens aside, the disturbance and breathe in, breathe out, enjoy the moment with the dog and the fire, the taste of a good red wine, a good book or movie, the escape or the push forward….all that is key. To a balanced, healthier life.

I strongly believe I have the best framework in the world, receive the best love I can ask for, have the right job and challenges, and seem to balance it quite well, with being in the moment.

Yes, I am just lucky. Why wouldn’t I be?

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (309)

Early February and if there is no other event than family birthdays that determine February, I don’t know. My dad and my auntie have their birthday, my cousin one removed (?) and of course my wife. It is Valentine’s Day too.

But the biggest birthday, yet smallest in numbers yet, is my youngest son’s birthday, at the same day as my dad.

It is a date and birth-day I won’t forget in my lifetime. It was at the peak of my social media career, just when I moved from (search) agency to media provider, that Rohan was born. Well documented on Twitter and Facebook, he didn’t make an appearance until late at night or early morning to be precise. Quickly he came, and I thought I had all the guts to hold him, would be a confident dad having my second son.

Instead, I was numb, curious yet scared to hold him. Him who one day shall succeed me, be ‘king of the castle’ and carry on the family traditions and hopefully will have kids himself. How could I be scared? Have I not done it all before?

Yet, and most people who have more than one child might agree, the second one is always easier and within a few hours my non confidence was overcome by routine. Cuddles, nappies and calming him to sleep. The ones with more than two will most probably be laughing yet for me, two were enough (work). I am very proud of both of them. Started teaching the older one chess, and both how to behave.

Looking back this week, celebrating his birthday party this weekend with 20 kids, I am amazed how a four year old can be such a charmer, friend, clown and serious person at the same time. Cuddly yet stirn, curious yet determined, angry and pleasant.

Where has the time gone? Where will you be in a few years time? Will you be the monster truck driver, the police man, the fire fighter or just the charming little man I see today? You probably grow to be taller than your dad, smarter and more driven to achieve your goals. Coached by me, nurtured by your mother, I think you might turn into a superhero after all ;-) As long as you be yourself. I will ever only be guidance but you need to live your life and make your own decisions.

Whatever that means for you. Running away with 14, world travel with 16 or elite university with 17 – I don’t mind. As long as you are happy, content and value the right things, the ones we teach you and the ones you come up yourself. Things you value in your life. A healthy mix of traditional and new values, and we hope you retain your charm and openness. Your trust and caution.

Rohan, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your 4th “anniversary”. I cannot tell you how much I love you and how much it means to me to get those incredible hugs from you. Making up for the missed very first one. Every single day. Every single birthday. As long as I can guide you.

Love,
Dad

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Sunday Column (308)

Last weekend, we missed a birthday party of a dear friend, however had a lovely visit from a friend who was very keen on seeing Rosie. It reminded me of what I always thought would happen when you get older: people coming over for lunch, you have a hearty winter lunch on a Sunday, then you head out for a long walk with the dog, come home and put the fire on. Then of course you fall asleep on the couch. I think I always envisaged Sundays like that. But maybe the consume has taken over, the bargain hunts, the Tesco deliveries and the exercise schedules, kids’ birthday parties and doing all those things you don’t have time for during the week. The social pressure really.

I am busy, and try to stay busy between the hours of 5 am and 7 pm but then it is all ‘down time’. At least the couple of hours before I go to bed. I trimmed my beard down and I am not sure if I like it yet. I am not even sure I keep it. It is February too. We are getting out of the January blues and into the winter months leading to hopefully an awesome warm spring that will ignite the fire within us. My mood is changing between winter blues, midlife crisis and an utter urge to drive things forward in life. It is this inner urge a lot of people don’t understand. It is awesome really.

Dry January: I will published a post about dry January on Linkedin tomorrow. But I made it. Despite a client meeting on Wednesday, a conference on Thursday and drinks I had organised for Friday, it wasn’t until Saturday, 31st of January, that I had a glass of wine. With a small one on Friday to ease me in though ;-) Very determined. I kind of enjoyed it to be dry but it felt silly at times to give something up you enjoy and which gives you relaxation.

Having said that, I shed half a stone, which is also diet related, and listened to lots of podcast episodes in January. I had more time to do things, concentrate better and probably saved a small fortune. Moving forward I aim to have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as dry days. Which means it leave me with Thursday through to Saturday with drinking days. Maybe I can swap the odd day and keep Sunday a flexible one. Having said all that I am meeting a few friends for drinks on Tuesday ;-)

Never mind, unless you really want to give up drinking, it doesn’t really matter. Drink responsibly, have a few days off and avoid too high alcohol content as well as too fattening drinks if you want to keep off the weight. Red wine, however, is just fine :-)

janus

Also, in January, I managed to do a lot of blog planning for tidWOWs, my productivity blog. With the publication of my book chapters I am up to middle of the year for content. The aforementioned podcasts I am listening to about personal development, productivity and life hacks really encourage me to keep going and write more about those topics. I enjoy researching them and started looking more into nutrition, food and weight loss/gain too. There should be no topic one cannot learn if you put your head to it. And currently, understanding which foods are great for my body and which ones aren’t, which ones make me fat and which ones don’t, how to rightly train to gain muscles vs. how to train to get bulky, is a keen interest of mine.

January. There we are. Named after the god Janus, the god that could look into the future and the past at the same time. The month we look back to the old year and the month we look ahead into the new year. I used to be part of an environmental youth group called Janus, trying to look back what damage we had done to our environment, trying to predict what was in store to save it. Those were the days.

But before I get all sentimental, have a fantastic week, enjoy February and … I can now rise my glass to a fabulous 2015!

Cheers!
Volker

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