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Happenista blog: Making it happen

Janice St John Matthews

Three women standing together

In her second blog for inspire, Janice St John Matthews shares how she’s doing on the Happenista Project, the online coaching programme run by Jenny Garret

It is now three months since my first ILM inspire blog about my enrolment on the Online Coaching Programme, the Happenista Project.  My “not so new” leadership role is busy, as is my home life, and I continue to write once a month in my personal blog space which has now received over 1,000 hits.  However despite the flurry of activity around me I am pleased to say I have now reached module five of the programme.

Motivation high

When I first started out I did think that a regular weekly commitment to the Happenista Project would be reminiscent of previous expensive gym memberships. You know the type - you sign up for a year with the best of intentions only to go twice a month as the enthusiasm subsides and your business and home life takes over. As an academic I wondered if not having deadlines or assignments to complete would result in me losing focus and commitment. However having the freedom to work through weekly units at my own pace has proved liberating. Moreover the practice of engaging weekly has developed the muscles of habit, ritual and discipline which are proven to enable sustainable change to occur. This commitment has been further bolstered by the positive remarks from colleagues, friends and family who have seen the tangible results. Consequently I am more motivated than ever to work through the weekly actions.

My scary thing

While it is difficult in the word count of this entry to explore each of the 17 units I have completed to date, I have decided to concentrate on a unit in module 4, which has had a similar impact to the one described in my March ILM blog. Before starting the “Punching above Your Weight” module, I thought I had been stretching myself and, as noted above, seeing results. It wasn’t until I watched  “Yang May’s - Daring Greatly” video that I realised that the first three months of the programme were the prologue to something bigger. As part of the weekly challenge, Yang May tasks you to find your scary thing and make a small step towards it by publicly declaring it on the forum. How hard could it be to do this in the safety of a closed forum? Even though a number of the tasks prior to this had been moving towards this goal it took me almost a week to write mine.

I chose something that will help me break through a potential glass-ceiling in my future career. I don’t want to look back and know that I could have overcome an obstacle which could stand between me and a leadership role. Yet it is one thing declaring something publicly and quite another to make it happen.  Thus as per each of the weekly challenge guidelines I set myself a smaller disciplined objective which I am proud to say I have started.

The learning

I think that the women attending the Happenista Project are learning that only when you are open and honest can you be truly reflective and set meaningful actions, and only then can you achieve your goals.

Look out for my final ILM inspire blog in September, I am excited to see where future units take me having achieved more than I dreamt possible at the beginning of this year.

Join me

If you’d like to know what my ‘scary thing’ was and engage is a challenging learning experience, do join the Happenista Project, you can find out more on the website, and there is a limited offer of just £11.75 per month.

Tweet me @jstjohnmatthews


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