Dear Reader,

What are your Big Rocks for 2014? During a coaching call with my wonderful Marketing Mentor, Chantal Cornelius ( during a busy time for me, she said, quoting back to me what I often say to my clients, ‘What are your big rocks for the month ahead?’!! Given that one of my Big Rocks was to write my January Inspire, I thought that is it, I’ll write it on the Big Rock Theory of Time Management.

More morsels of information at the end of this Inspire about ....

  • FREE Set Your Goals For 2014 webinar Friday 10 January 3 – 4pm GMT, open to all.
  • The 66 Day Challenge - transform difficult interactions into productive working relationships Just £66 inc. VAT. see here for details.
  • How could coaching help you to achieve your goals? Take one of my free Coaching Audits.

If you enjoy today’s edition of Inspire, please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues. They can sign up for free at

Best wishes

Melanie Greene

What are your Big Rocks for 2014?

What is the Big Rock Theory of Time Management? There are lots of tales as to who created the Big Rock Theory of Time Management (or BRTOTM for short!!) and I have mentioned it in previous Inspires but not written a whole edition on the topic.

The story I heard about the origins of the Big Rock Theory of Time Management is that there was a Harvard professor who was fed up with his MBA students complaining that they never had time to do all the reading they were given. He got a glass container, put in some big rocks up to the top and asked them if there was room for any more. They, of course, said, ‘No’. Then he put in smaller stones, which fitted around the big rocks and he asked if there was room for more. They still said, ‘No’ (they may be Harvard MBAs but not necessarily very bright :-)). He then put in sand and later water. The big rocks are the things which are really important to us both in and out of work. It is often said that our emails are like the sand, if we put them in first, i.e. deal with them first thing in the morning we can’t fit in the other things.

There are loads of YouTube videos demonstrating this – see here for one of them.

What Big Rock Dreams do you have for 2014? Usually the Big Rock Theory of Time Management is about managing your time on a daily or weekly basis but I think you can adapt it or use it in different ways. It is useful at the start of the year to not only create a list of ‘things to do’ or ‘things to achieve’ but to start thinking about your Big Dreams for your life. This might be about:

  • The work or job you really want to be doing – but perhaps you think you are too old, not qualified enough, not rich enough to have – all of these are things that coaching clients have said to me as reasons why they can’t pursue their dream job.
  • The holiday or travelling that you keep putting off because you don’t have the time, money, etc.
  • Learning something new – is there a musical instrument, something artistic or outdoors-y, which you keep on putting off learning or trying out.
  • The relationship that you keep on thinking will never happen or you think you don’t have time for, or are not attractive enough, but deep down you want it.
  • The four day week or early retirement that you have been promising yourself for years but somehow work, family commitments keep on getting in the way.

What Big Rock Challenges do you face in 2014? What challenges might you face in 2014 that you need to bear in mind when looking ahead? For example:

  • A couple of my clients have planned operations coming up, where rest and recuperation needs to be booked in, which will impact on their work and family life.
  • After a few years in famine mode with my business, I am now in the situation of ‘managing abundance’, which is great but it needs to be managed and those activities that support me need to become Big Rocks so that they still happen and help me to manage abundance.
  • Perhaps there is a particular relationship in or out of work that you have decided to challenge and change into a more productive or constructive one. Click here for more information about The 66 Day Challenge which is a new online programme starting on 10th January to support you in doing this.
  • Is there a change on the horizon which might throw up challenges: retirement, organisational change, children going off to university or leaving home for the first time, aging parents, new babies?

What Big Rock Goals do you want to achieve in 2014?What Big Rock Goals do you want to achieve in 2014? When thinking about your Big Rocks you might want to think about the following:

  • What are your top priorities?
    • Work: what do you want to achieve or focus on? What targets or goals do you need to hit? Are there new areas of work you want to move into? Are there key relationships with colleagues, clients or suppliers which need nurturing and improving? Click here for more information about The 66 Day Challenge.
    • Family and friends: are there key relationships you want to foster or that need attending to? Are there key people you want to meet up with this year? Is there a significant birthday or anniversary coming up in your family or with friends?
    • Home: are there key jobs around the house or new ventures which need to be planned out and booked in?
    • Fun: which might be covered by some of the above but what do you, as an individual or with your partner or friends, do that is fun for you on a weekly or monthly basis? What fun things can you do with your family?
  • What activities support you that you need to put in your plans on a daily or weekly basis? This might be exercise, meditation, writing in your journal, some quiet time on your own to think and ponder, spending fun times with your family and friends, getting a walk at lunchtime.

Break down your Big Rock Goals Once you have decided on your Big Rocks for 2014, which might include your Big Rock dreams, challenges, goals and supports, then break them down month by month, then week by week, and even what needs to be done on a daily basis.

  • Prioritise prioritising – as David Rock says in his book, ‘Your Brain At Work’, put in time in your diary so that you can work out what your key priorities are and make sure you plan out your week accordingly.
  • Book time in the diary now - for holidays, long weekends off and, if possible, book well ahead, so there is less chance of them becoming moveable feasts.
  • Under promise and over deliver – this is an expression that we often use in relationship to delivering services to clients. So, for example, if I do a free coaching audit with a prospective client on Monday, I would look at my diary and say, I’ll get it to them by the end of Wednesday, even if I know there is a good chance I will get it done earlier. Then I usually deliver earlier than that but, if something unexpected comes up, I know I have leeway. Perhaps we need to do it for ourselves. If you find yourself continuously planning your day or week and never achieving what you set out to achieve, perhaps under promise to yourself what you will get done and you might be rewarded with some spare time to complete other things. For more about my free Coaching Audits mail

Tales Of The Unexpected When I was growing up there was a drama series on TV called, ‘The Tales Of The Unexpected’, which we used to watch as a family and which, quite frankly, used to scare the heebie-jeebies out of me! But life can be like that as well, as none of us really know what the year ahead might bring. There may be unexpected opportunities which take you off on new exciting directions, unexpected joys in store for you, but there might also be unexpected challenges ahead. Of course, you can’t plan for them but what you can do is build up your resilience, your emotional intelligence to be able to rise to those challenges or seize those opportunities when they come along. My Free webinar on 10th January will give you ideas as to how to do this – see below.

Enjoy the journey and not just the destination If, once you have set your goals, you find yourself:

  • Setting off with great enthusiasm towards your goals and then falling at the first hurdle
  • Being at the mercy of your moods when it comes to your productivity and finding you don’t complete your daily or weekly to do lists
  • Ending the week, month or year feeling like you have not achieved anything
  • Delaying any sense of satisfaction or success until all your goals are achieved

… then join in my FREE ‘Your Goals For 2014: Enjoy the journey and the destination’ webinar on Friday 10 January, 3 – 4pm GMT. You will learn about how to manage your mind and mood in order to achieve your goals. Email to book your free space.

The 66 Day Challenge

Transform difficult interactions into productive working relationships see here for details. Just £66 inc. VAT.

If you say, ‘Yes’ to one or more of the following questions ….

  • Are you dealing with clients or colleagues who run rings around you?
  • When you communicate with some people do you feel like you’re speaking a different language?
  • Do you wonder how to handle sales conversations for fear of losing sales?
  • Are you struggling to manage staff or associates’ performance?
  • Do you deal with suppliers who do not seem to understand your needs?

…. then The 66 Day Challenge is for you. At £66 inc. VAT it will support you in transforming the difficult interactions you have in your life into more productive, constructive working relationships.


Do you want speakers for your business network event? 

I speak at a range of events, and always make sure that the talks are interactive and practical, with people learning something that they can directly apply back at work. Recent talks have included:

  • Managing Challenging Interactions
  • Mastering Your Inner Critic (based on my book)
  • Changing Habits of a Lifetime
  • Learning From Your Mistakes
  • Managing Your Mood and Motivation
  • Your Brain At Work


Free Coaching and Training Audits – helping you to decide what development you need

Free Coaching Audit If you are running your own business, working on your own or struggling with working within an organisation, then coaching can support you in tackling the day to day issues you face. The free Coaching Audit is designed for individuals who are wondering whether coaching will benefit them and wanting to think through what they want to focus on during a coaching programme. The Coaching Audit involves the following:

  • You complete a pre-coaching questionnaire and return it to me.
  • We have a 45 minute telephone conversation to discuss your needs and what coaching might be necessary to meet your needs. I make sure that you get something practical from the free audit.
  • I send a proposal of what training, coaching or counselling might be suitable.
  • You make the decision as to whether you wish to proceed.

Free Team Development Audit If you are a manager of a team, this is a new service to help you to review your team’s performance and think through what development they might need. The Team Development Audit works in the same way as the Coaching Audit above but with a questionnaire which is focused on you, as the manager, and your team.

Email or call me on 01865 377334 to discuss your coaching or team development needs.

‘You cannot teach people anything.

You can only help them to discover it within themselves’.



Why not share Inspire with colleagues and friends? 

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Melanie Greene
01865 377334