Cobblers Column: Steve Way and a new start

From the programme for the game vs Southend on 3rd Jan.

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Happy New Year! This time last year we were bottom of the league, with no permanent manager, and we hadn’t yet seen #DareToIvan on the scoresheet. And a year makes a big difference. Whilst our league position isn’t where we would like it to be, I think all of use would have taken this at the same point last year.

Managers often talk about their teams needing “the winning habit”, and this is the time of the year when many of us make resolutions and try to make changes to our lives.

Eight years ago, an overweight, heavy-drinking, kebab and curry-loving, computer programmer called Steve decided to change. He was in his mid-thirties and his lifestyle was starting to take its toll. He was unfit, and after a health scare he decided to do something about it, so he stopped smoking and started running. Initially this was to give him something to take his mind off the cigarettes and fast food, but it turned out, underneath his 16 stone frame, there was an international marathon runner in hiding. Last year, Steve Way finished 10th in the Commonwealth Games, being the first Englishman across the line and beating the British record for an over-40 year old in the process.

Of course, Steve is blessed with the physiology and genes that enabled him to become so good at this. But it would never have happened had he not decided to commit to changing in the first place.

There is a well-known saying that it takes 30 days for a new habit to stick. The encouraging thing is that it can be done. Whether we want to make a small change or a large one, to give up a particular bad habit, or take up a more healthy one, getting through January on target means we’re more likely to succeed.

There were two things Steve did to help him on his way. The first is that he set himself a goal by entering the London Marathon. Our goals certainly don’t need to be as big as his, but having a target to work towards helps keep us on track.

The second thing he did was to replace the aspect of his life that he wanted to change with something more healthy. The smoking and fast food didn’t leave a hole in his life as he filled it with something else. Running helped him over the fast-food cravings.

What physically, spiritually, or emotionally healthy habit are we going to introduce in 2015? Perhaps learn a new skill? Or eat less chocolate (I’m guilty as charged!)? Perhaps we may want to investigate our spiritual side during 2015? And what pattern of behaviour would we like it to replace?

It can be done! Take that first step! Good luck!

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