Posts Tagged dry january

Sunday Column (471)

One week into the New Year. So what are your New Year resolutions? Oh, and before I forget, Happy New Year to all my readers. It was nice to hear some positive feedback from a ‘Northern’ reader this week (shout out to you mate) which I much appreciate. I really enjoy getting feedback, so please reach out and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Socialmedia allows us to reach out to a mass of contacts easily on New Years’s Eve to wish people a Happy New Year. Less of a personal touch and a lot easier than trying to phone people when lines are busy. You remember that, trying to send a text message on NYE a few years back. And the network was down or you didn’t have reception? How times have changed, and technology too. However, it is nice to see what everyone is up to and reflects upon and of course, is looking forward to this year. More about networking below.

Next is my podcast, like an audio blog really. The website went live this week: Stories Of Success. I hope to have the first couple of recordings by this time next week and push out a first episode the week after. I am excited and scared at the same time. You will hear it in the first few episodes I am sure, but it is so much fun creating something, that in my mind, will add value to the listeners. Here is to 2018, to new opportunities and new ideas.

What are your plans? What are your Stories Of Success you want to write?

Btw, if you think you are successful or if you know of someone who is, and you think that person should be on my podcast, please come forward and let me know. Any help or referral is appreciated and paid for by beers….see more about that later. Another cry for feedback today, so yes, I’d love to hear from you.

I have been thinking hard to define my top three goals for the year. Actually, they are quite simple for 2018.

Firstly, I would like a new job. This could be on a contract basis, however my main focus is to settle in a more secure job for the next 3-5 years, a job I like and a job that takes my career forward. I started to speak to a couple companies within and outside my current industry and hope that soon I’ll find my new challenge for 2018 and beyond. After all, my main responsibility at the moment is my family, bills to pay, mortgage to pay and to provide security.
My ask to you: if you know of anyone looking for an experienced commercial person, please get in touch.

On that note, I reached out to recruiters and my network this week, and I appreciate that a lot of people aren’t really back at work until next week. However, the response I got so far was overwhelming. Not only did I get a lot of positive replies but people also offered their help. It is so nice to see that people care. And, if you are in a similar position and need help, you know that you can always reach out to me and ask me for advice, introductions etc. I love helping, and I appreciate help. Thank you all for your kindness.

Secondly, and aligning with the first goal, is focus. If I didn’t learn anything else from 2017 from my manager or from my 6 weeks brainstorming and reflection at the end of last year, but to have focus. My focus is clearer than ever, focusing on values around family, stability, security and a happy, healthy life. On the back of that, there are values like career advancement, progression and success. Those values will gain more focus in 2018 as I make them more of a priority than I have done in 2017. But matching my life style and career to the values is key.

Thirdly, my passion for personal development needs to have a clearer form and shape. What I mean by that is that launching my podcast is the beginning of a new journey. Once the first episode is uploaded, I will make sure to let you know. I am excited to interview people who have been successful and uncover their secrets for you to apply their ‘secret sauce’ to your life.

As every year, we were looking to have a dry January. And, similar to most years, I probably stopped it by the time you are reading this. Yes, I was planning 2 weeks really, but as the days are so dark and cold, and the fire is on… so don’t worry, I will be up for pints if you are 🙂

A week off the booze is enough to detox. The idea is more about having less booze overall. Having had plenty of conversations with people over the past few weeks, I don’t drink more than average (defined by my benchmark of course) and well within the norm. Moderation, as always, is key. This of course goes in line with a new exercise routine (less is more = moderation) and focus around a healthier life style. The amount of crisps and junk food I ate over the past six weeks has been fun but awful at the same time. Oh and don’t forget all that cheese 😉

So this concludes my thoughts for 2018.

I wish you and your family a healthy, prosperous and happy 2018.

All the best,

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Sunday Column (419)

I hope you enjoyed my new blog post on Thursday: THURSDAY FLASH, where I wrote about what I enjoy reading, and which information I found useful over the past week.

And a quick reminder, if you enjoy this blog, please don’t forget to share the content forward:

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Funny picture for my blog

What is next?

What is happening in 2017?

We had the Brexit, Trump takes office, the world hasn’t really moved since the New Year. So essentially, we are still in 2016.
No! This year has already been busy. At least it has been for me. Constructive, forward looking meetings, discussions and idea exchanges. I am buzzing after this week about opportunities out there, and changes to come within the industry. The world. Let’s embrace the change and let’s make 2017 a never to forget year, for the right, positive reasons.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of good will, help and support in the community. What ever happens next, I will never forget and pay back to the community whenever I can. Thank you and a shout out to friends, helpers and mentors out there. One of the best meetings this week was a discussion around ‘gut feeling’ and ‘you know what is right’ with a very experienced industry veteran. We are all the same, and we just need to trust our guts more, our instincts, our bodies, our minds. They already know what is right and what is wrong for us. Interesting isn’t it?

What about my New Year resolutions?

I don’t have any to be honest. Why? I will continue to work out, and try to reduce my weight again and trim up. Get in shape. Work on a new exercise routine. So if I talk about weight, this means more physique/circumference/body shape than absolute weight itself. Weight itself is not as relevant, key for me are measurements and fitness level. Back at the end of 2015 I was measured to have the metabolic age of a 23 year old. Did I mention I turn 40 this year? My aim is that by summer I shall have a similar fitness level, eat more healthy again, drink less etc. The usual. And I will do that, as I have done it before, particularly as I haven’t really slipped up too much. I need more of a constant reminder. Every now and then I get a cold or a temperature and stop doing weights, it gets colder etc, but I always keep my fitness up. I am actually thinking of buying some more equipment for body resistance exercises in order to increase fitness levels. We shall see. I also aim to do another 24 hour race which I couldn’t do last year. So things moving along nicely on that front.

Then, the other big thing this year is to focus on family. I think I realised that living where we are living, having the job I love and the career I want, I need to focus on the weekends to spend time with the boys and my wife. The week is just not feasible to calculate arrival times for trains, particularly with the train strikes, and calculate work commitments. The only other way is to move and we are not going to do that. So weekends are family time, Monday to Friday is all about exercise, work and commute, latter being me-time with lots of readings and podcasts and personal development. Maybe another book to write 😉

Overall, I just want to improve my life style even further, progress with my career and give my family the best life. All I want is to make life work – based on our expectations, values and commitments. Simple really. And this is more ambitious than it sounds. Just think about it for a bit. I am not thinking I am demanding a lot, but it is complex to align everything that is going on in your life to make it ‘perfect’ (or close to it).

I constantly improve myself by working and checking against my quarterly goals and objectives. I track my progress and make amendments to both expectations and execution to achieve those objectives. My resolution is changing daily/monthly/quarterly, as I constantly try to better myself. I try to freshen up my toolkit on a weekly basis to sharpen the saw, as Covey would put it in the “7 habits of highly successful people”. My daily exercise, both physically and mentally, is part of that. A new addition is a daily journal to recap of what I appreciate in life. I use “Gratitude Journal”, the top one on this list of Gratitude Journals, for it.

And Dry January? I still hadn’t decided when I started writing this blog but had a glass of wine on Thursday. It is good to take some time off alcohol, but it isn’t as if I drink excessively. I enjoy a drink, particularly over Christmas and New Year, but during a ‘normal’ week, it is good to just have a glass or two every now and then to relax, chill out, or chat with people, being social. Nothing wrong with that. So on to 2017.

So that’s my blurb for the week really. A quiet, yet intensive and fairly busy start in the year. You might have seen my Thursday Flash which is my newest bulletin about articles I think are worth reading each week. I started collecting them and publish about three or so articles, related or not, that I found a useful read each week. Please let me know what you think.

Picking up the earlier comment again: A lot of things feel right at the moment. Some feel wrong. Some feel like they are moving in the right direction. Trust your feelings, and trust you being you. Because you are the one that knows you best.

Enjoy yourself,

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Thursday Flash (1)

Happy New Year….again.

I have been thinking on how I can improve this blog – besides a new profile picture – to add content that you find useful. Since, for the time being, I have more time for writing, I have more time for reading and sharing. I finished writing and editing and reviewing my next productivity book, so please stay tuned for more news over the next few months. Each week I want to share my most interesting articles and findings besides my personal opinion. Let’s see how we get on. And, I figured an own post would do justice, just because my Sunday Columns are getting quite long already.

It is a bit like Tim Ferris’ 5 Bullet Friday, however I think it is more useful to publish it on a Thursday. So I called it the Thursday Flash.

Top 3 articles I read:

1 How to only work 40 hours a week – really? Yes, I believe with the right company culture and the right attitude of your manager, you can be as productive as you are now with only 40 hours a week. Or even less to be honest. We measure far too much on time spend on the job than results. Being a veteran sales guy, I always remember the one guy who spends his whole day playing golf, not being in the office. Some would argue he never worked but playing golf was his working day – making connections, building relationships and closing the deals. Quality over quantity.

See also:

Tony Schwartz Energy Project

Six Hour Work Day in Sweden

2 Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. This very topic is key to the future of adtech. I have been researching a bit for this article and you can find references in the article itself. No, I am not a scientist or data geek, not yet anyway, but the nature of machines taking over to do some of my work, would be amazing. Or wouldn’t it be? The application of more and more technology in the adtech space is giving us so much opportunity. Having been on the forefront of RTB (real time bidding), later programmatic, now machine learning is exciting. Something I am truly passionate about.

3 Exertion Headaches – yes, I agree, we all had too much booze, cheese, fun and little or too much sleep in my case over Christmas. I am just not used to sleeping more than 6-7 hours. Also I felt like I didn’t exercise enough. I kept running, but then had a massage and took it easy. Why wouldn’t I for a while. Now, January being January, I am back to my routine. The 5 am alarm and weight lifting, strength exercises. And as usual it comes with some headaches as the body isn’t used to it anymore. They should be gone in 1-2 weeks but we shall see. They did disappear last time when I took a break from strenuous exercises. Also, I am cutting some food intake again, so January should see me slimming down a bit. Not yet decided on the ‘Dry January’ or not. Probably not 😉

Hopefully those articles are useful for you too, and you enjoy reading it.

Thanks and see you next time.



I have a favour to ask as well. Could you please all do me a favour and share this blog with friends on social media. Thank you for your help!

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Sunday Column (368)

This week started with a surprise. Things that meant to happen will happen of course. After a very relaxing weekend things just wouldn’t stop. And this wasn’t even work related. Luckily it all worked out and to that point one needs to trust that things will be working out. The famous dots will connect in the future. Looking backwards.

connecting dots

Whether that is for work, career or personal things. One must trust the greater universe for what there is, what there will be and things work out in the future.

My biggest concern, besides money which will always be a concern, is health. For myself, my loved ones and friends. Hence I run, reduce drink, swim, exercise, meditate and try to eat well. But will that be enough given circumstances like work and the commute, stress and the environment? Are we having enough influence on our own well being?

I don’t know is the honest answer. Maybe we will develop enough new technology for healthcare that we don’t have to worry in the future. But I guess we cannot bank on it.

Work was busy this week, or intense seems to be the better expression. Good intense and it felt like we made a lot of progress. Signing a big deal is always a great fulfilment. Touching base with people that are pushing boundaries and move things forward is satisfying. This was a good week. There will be some things I hope to share soon, but I am in a very happy place.

Also I gave up on my dry January. Not because it is difficult, actually I could do with never drinking again. It’s not that difficult but I do like my wine. I didn’t drink for two weeks, it wasn’t a big deal but thinking of having a glass of wine, sitting by the warm fire, coming in from the cold…that is a piece of heaven. I can do without drink, don’t need to prove that to myself, and a detox of two weeks is enough. As a matter of fact, I would like to consider an alcohol free week every month. With 14 units being the limit, this will be a good idea. What would Donald Draper have said to that?!

On that note I am down to the last few episodes of Mad Men. I cannot wait to finish it, or not to finish it as I really enjoy watching it. It is escapism, yet within my industry.


We then test drove a car at the weekend. Looks like the only spacious saloon car out there big enough for us giants is the Ford Mondeo so we are thinking of getting one. The new car finance deals are tempting, yet we aren’t convinced whether we a) need a car just yet and b) whether a good used one might end up being the better deal. Or, we could wait until we can afford a SUV.

No rush, so we shall see. Still waiting to win the jackpot 😉 After two wins over the weekend of around 10 pounds, I am hopeful LOL

On the note of jackpot. My wife is running a half marathon on her 35th birthday and raises money for RISE. She really goes out of her comfort zone and pushes boundaries to achieve both the fundraising and the fitness. I am very proud of her and hope you spare a few pennies.

Last but not least the boys have been good lately with trying new food. We printed off food charts showing the different things they tried. It turns out to be a competition. We find it very important for them to be exposed to different foods, try things, go out of their comfort zone. Big steps for my little people. I am a very proud dad.

Guess that is enough of an update. Today we mainly enjoyed the snow, a long walk, some yummy hot chocolate and cake, another log fire …. a fun day!

Have a great week. Wrap yourself up warm. Winter is finally here.

Love and kindness from me.

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Sunday Column (367)

The first week back at work is always hard you might think. It started slowly but intensively. Long hours and lots of work but just the way I like it. Some great discussions about the future of the industry and future prospects.

And I seem to have so much more energy. Whether this is due to dry January, I am not sure. Things seem to happen.

I also pushed myself physically this week. Two 10K runs, a 1K swim and two kettle bell sessions topped up with some body resistance training. I am a bit knackered, really feeling it. Also, I went back to wear more formal shoes. I love my green trainers but thought maybe it is time to be a bit more smart, to step up the game again. Maybe it is just a fad. Maybe go back to the comfy trainers again soon. Then again I bought nice new winter ankle high boots (see Instagram). My wife seems to like it though.

This week I kept pushing myself. Going outside my comfort zone. Listening to podcast pushing boundaries. Is that my 2016 resolution? If you do what you have done, you will get what you got. Time to push. Outperform and go beyond of what you have. Maybe words but followed by actions. Demanding answers, making things work, pushing the needle, winning. Sometimes there is losing, re-negotiating, learning from set backs and pushing forward. Times are good and right to push forward. Standing still is not an option!


The goal of this week was to push forward with reading a book about negotiations. I did that and I love it. Some of the theories are not new, but yet very effective. Some are new theories and show new ways of getting agreements. Things are never the way they seem. Most thoughts and situations are in your head. Being able to quieten some of those voices, concentrate in the moment, listen and following up properly does help you in negotiations. Just being the human you are with the ability to connect, cross reference and understand. Seems simple yet there are only a few of us capable of doing this effectively. Confidence has something to do with that. Experience I suppose.

The beginning of the year. Time to still reflect on the old and looking forward to the new. Expectations. Values. Friends. Priorities. There are a lot of things to consider in life. Work, income, career prospects. Life is there to make the most of it, in which ever way YOU want to do that. What intangible value is the most important one for you?

I had this interest in HR and leadership ever since I got my MBA. That’s what I live and want to make sure people understand people. I am a people person, that’s what I do, I want people I deal with being happy and getting value from the exchange with me. Trading intangible values. Whether you read my blog here, at tidwows, my articles on LinkedIn, my book on productivity or you talk to me, negotiate with me, or buy from me. I am essentially a value proposition 😉

And in the meantime just be a good friend 🙂
That’s what I did at the weekend. Meeting friends. Letting go and just be myself. For what I am worth.

Sending you love for 2016. From my little corner of this ever exciting world.


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Sunday Column (366)

Happy New Year. To 2016. The year I have been in the UK for 15 years! I feel more British than German by now 😉

It is going to be an amazing year.

Why I am saying that? It is really simple. I spent the last year preparing myself, both physically and mentally, to grow personally. I have put mechanisms, routines, habits and structures in place to kick start 2016. Subtle changes, yet I am prepared to move beyond achievements of 2015, both professionally but also personally.

Last week I pushed myself. Over 40K in running in 4 days, concluding over 100K in December and 900K in 2015. I am really getting into my running and will add swimming to the balanced exercise plan as of tomorrow morning. I cannot wait to get fitter and establish a routine to run 100K regularly per month. Working towards my 24 hour relay challenge in July.

Upon us is January. Dry January. I did it last year and I will do it again. No alcohol for the month of January. It isn’t difficult, a lot of people are doing it and it is healthy. I mean most people are debating how healthy it is to go from excessive Christmas drinking to zero in January and then back to normal. A general moderate approach is surely healthier, yet a month without booze won’t harm my liver, mood or exercise routine, that’s for sure.

I am also thinking of logging off my Facebook. Using it half for work and half for pleasure, I think I keep on it once a day but on the desktop only. Constantly checking on the go is such a time waster and not efficient either. So that and some other email, social media and reading apps need to be removed or put in the background to work more effectively and efficient on the go – as some apps are just time wasters and the ease of access via a mobile is just to tempting. Notifications are stopped and more focus put on the work at hand.


Anyway, I don’t want to repeat what I write over at my tidwows productivity blog. That blog will cease in 2016 or get a new format. This will depend on the progress I am making with my new book and my ideas towards a new productivity guidelines and principles. I shall surprise you.

A New Year. New Year resolutions. Achieve your goals!

I am more prepared than ever to enter 2016. This has to do with the relentless learning I have done in 2015. The relentless working I have done and of course the ongoing work on my book and deep dive into productivity principles. Pair that with stamina, a good health and clear goal setting, I am ready to roll! This might sound like sales pitch, but that’s what it is really. Things will fall into place and things will happen in 2016. The industry is in a state to consolidate.

We wish you a Happy New Year. A healthy new year. May all your dreams and wishes come true.

May 2016 be the amazing year you look back upon in 12 months time and you might say that you lost that surplus weight, ran your first marathon or run your first 5K. You might have had your first baby, got married or moved on from a bad relationship. Whatever it is that 2016 holds in stock for you, it is your path, your life. Make the most of it.

All the best, and thanks for continuing to read my blog.

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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 🙂


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!


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Sunday Column (304)

The first post of 2015. Funny that. Happy New Year to all my readers! I hope you had a great start!

I will post some motivational and new year planning thoughts on Linkedin tomorrow, so watch out for another post. And, this year will see a lot more productivity and personal development thoughts over at tidWOWs.

We started off well, sound asleep by midnight, and a long walk with friends and kids in our woods around Hassocks. Afterwards we had coffees, good chats and lots of homemade chili. What a day to start the new year!

So what’s in stock for 2015? What are your plans?
We got our car repaired as it failed its MOT. That wasn’t the best start. Then, I decided, after losing all the fat around my waist, that I need to get rid of is my belly. Nothing better than starting the year with a “dry January“, e.g. giving up my beloved wine and any alcohol for that matter. Time to beat the belly. A better routine, some more physio to improve my running and a lot more focus on weight exercise to shed off the extra belly fat. Wish me luck!

Matt Cutts, ever since I was first introduced to him back in 2008, has a 30 day challenge every month. Maybe something I will consider this year. I keep thinking about it for 7 years now, gave up alcohol or meat for a month, but maybe this year I should look into doing something each month.

The idea is to let go or do something additional for a month. Whether this is giving up booze or writing a chapter of your book every day or just not checking Facebook for a month: it is entirely up to you. Making a difference to a fellow human for a month by helping someone on/off the train or across the road. We shall see what I am going to do this year and if I am working with those 30 day challenges or just add things to my motivation in order to lose weight. The other big aim is to get even happier, more engaged with my family.

The aim of all of my efforts in 2015 is to become a better family man whilst not losing out on my career. Balancing the ultimate home experience with the best work experience. Hope that makes sense. And part of that is to be more in the NOW, more engaged with the kids, be healthier and fitter (and setting an example). Actually, I just want to take the status quo to the next level. Modest as it might seem.

life life balance

So balance is the key word for 2015. I anticipate some exciting times in my job and career in 2015 which will challenge me to stabilise that with the family time. To balance the train journeys with todos on and off the main job. Having enough family time whilst also having me-time and wife-time, ensuring friends and family are catered for. Whilst I am not the most popular person in the world (or am I 😉 ) – I do like to be sociable and hence need to prioritise how to spend my spare time, and with whom. Due to these constraints I have decided to not continue as a Rotary member. Whilst it breaks my heart as I am strongly believing in the good that Rotary offers, it was a decision based on travel, work and home commitments, paired with the thought that Rotary will still be around in a few years. Maybe I join the local club post retirement.

All of that will lead to the decision on our holidays this year, and maybe a new car, some home improvement works but nothing like last year. Who knows what we can afford, needs doing and how to progress in 2015. Without a crystal ball it is difficult to see what is going to happen.

So there is to 2015. A year my gut tells me will be very exciting, very positive and it will lead to something bigger and better. In other words, I will progress in life this year. If that is work or private, or what it is, ….. make sure to stay tuned so I can tell you all about it.

Have a great 2015. A great start back to work.


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