Having just returned from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists annual conference I’m well aware of the energy that is created around a conference. You meet up with interesting people or attend a thought provoking presentations. Maybe you’ve had fabulous conversations which end with, ‘wouldn’t it be great if……’. The seeds of great intentions are sown.

You come away fuelled with fabulous ideas. There are things you want to do, no, things you have every good intention of doing. You may have had a conversations you want to follow up, ideas you are going to pitch to your manager, funding applications you are going to develop and then…. you get home. You arrive home and there is a pile of ‘stuff’ that demands your attention, the focus shifts a little. Your good intentions can wait another day. You go back to work and open a backlog of emails. Having been away for 3 days there’s an even longer ‘to do’ list and a diary full of competing demands.

What happens next? The business cards you were given go into the draw, your brilliant idea feels a little less sparky. You somehow never quite get around to sending that email to reconnect with a colleague. Does this sound familiar? If so, here’s the thing – it doesn’t have to be that way.

Nurturing the seed.

You have already done the hard bit. Cold calling someone we’ve never met is something a lot of us shy away from. Finding time and head space to think and talk with people with similar interests is hard to do. However, at a conference you may have had the opportunity to speak with that person or found time to sit down with a group of like-minded people to talk. So why let that energy go to waste by putting the next step on the back burner? There is a choice to be made here. You have taken a step forward are you going to stay where you are or take the next step? Are you going to make the most of or loose out on an opportunity you have opened up?


If the above resonates with you and you feel that you have stalled a little one way of getting the momentum back is to reconnect. Find somewhere quiet and take a few moments out to go back to the conversation you had or the presentation that excited you.

Where were you, who was there, what was being said? How did you feel? Were you excited, a bit scared, did your heart beat a little faster? Stay with those feelings for a few minutes and deepen the connection. From that place ask yourself, “what do I need to do to move this forward?”

Make an intention

To keep up momentum craft an intention around what you want to do next. Here are 3 useful questions to ask yourself, the first two are:

  • What is it that are you going to do? (be precise here – send an email to….. arrange to meet with…..)
  • When are you going to do it by?

An important aspect of an intention is accountability and therefore the final question is one that I ask as a coach:

  • how will I know that you’ve done it?

Think about who can support you with this. Putting it in your diary may be an option but it is even more powerful if there is someone you can share your intention with and ask them to check in with you at the agreed time.

If you have sown a seed at a conference you have attended recently don’t let it lie dormant and go to waste. Seeds are important and need to be feed and nurtured. It’s yours for the nurturing!

Photo by Jamie Street via Unsplash