….excuse me….with you in a minute…. just finishing tidying up the blog after a great Day 100 party…

Phew – done! Thanks so much for coming! Glad you enjoyed the cheese straws and honey-roasted cocktail sausages. Someone left their sober tiara on the bust of Churchill in the Chinese drawing room, and the person who drew a moustache on the portrait of Great Aunt Petunia in the minstrel’s gallery will not be asked again (you know who you are), but otherwise it went without a hitch. Unless you count the Lamborghini in the moat, that is.

So, what has been occupying my tiny mind as I try and remove the glitter juice stains from the bottom of a hundred virtual crystal goblets?

Just this: how did I get here? And, in an even more vital question, how do I keep going?

I’ve been reading about the concept of conation. Conation is the approach we instinctively prefer to solve problems (my definition!)

This is the best read on it I found. To summarise: according to Kathy Kolbe, a specialist in learning strategies, conation is the aspect of human consciousness that determines how we tackle any task. She has identified four conative styles:

  • “Quick start” adherents swing directly into action, making creative discoveries—and mistakes—through trial and error.
  • “Fact finders” need information; they’re the friends who’ll research every relevant factoid about any task they’re preparing to undertake.
  • “Follow through” people naturally use methodical systems: They set up files for every receipt and alphabetize their refrigerator contents.
  • “Implementers” focus on physical objects and environments; they figure out things by building models or grabbing the appropriate tools. They respond better to bricks and mortar than castles in the air.’

There’s more online on the Kolbe website which I found virtually impenetrable (sorry) and wouldn’t really recommend.

This is really just a long way of saying that we all have different ways of building a bookcase, as any of us could tell you who, together with a partner, have ever attempted to build one from that seventh circle of hell that is IKEA. They should hand out phone numbers of divorce lawyers with every over-priced plate of meat-balls.

I would say that based upon past performance, both personally and career-wise, I personally fall firmly in the ‘follow-through’ group with careful systems in place to monitor and improve performance. An example is my running, where you can hardly find the fridge behind colour-coded charts of runs planned and logged by time, distance, route, weather and what colour top I was wearing (ok maybe not quite that far but you get the idea). That is how I was trying to tackle my alcohol problem, by imposing various schemes for moderation. Those schemes DID NOT WORK. But I didn’t have anything in my armoury of how to deal with problems that did. So I kept drawing the same Eiffel Tower again, and again, to no avail. It makes me weep.

So part of what made the difference for me was taking a problem-solving path completely differently to the way I would usually address it. To jump off the cliff of saying, “I will just do this for 100 days. I don’t know how, yet. That doesn’t matter, I’ll work that out as I go along.”

If that approach of adopting a style different to that I would normally has worked for me, then it helps me to recognise that is what I am doing and to consciously continue to do that. To keep trusting that I will be able to walk the tightrope, even if I don’t know how I’m doing it.

Right. That’s enough chatting. Back to the glassware. I’ll wash, you dry 🙂

…am definitely getting one of these for my day 110 treat!