#Lifelessons101 –  Changing to a positive attitude (inspired by Gretchen Rubin)

Recently I got a wake-up call. And it wasn’t a nice one and kinda scary to admit in public. Ok here goes. I am in reality a pretty negative person. Not in my professional life, where I inspire others to see the bright side of life. Not even my public life, with friends or on social media. But at home behind closed doors, I can be, and regularly am a pessimistic, grumpy stress head. Not a great realisation. However, it is a constructive one as it’s a starting point for change.

I realised this at a recent Lammas workshop where we were talking about sacrifice and the concept that if you want to make something new in your life you have to let something go. (Or sacrifice it, just as the wheat gets cut down to become our bread and brandy) One of this year’s goals for me it to have a healthier, happier relationship with Mr T. Our communication has taken a downwards turn of late so I wanted to improve this. But as the year has gone and stress has been rising if anything my negativity and negative communication with the man I love has got worse. Definitely a glowing neon universal sign that something needs to change.

And of course, that change starts with me. In that workshop, I identified that one of the reasons I was being a snappy cow was because I had too much control and responsibility in our lives and that made me unconsciously resent Mr T (who bless him is sublimely oblivious to this fact). Secondly, I was having trouble letting go of frustrations, little niggling things, like the fact he can’t put the cardboard from a used toilet paper in the bin (WHY??), blind me to all the good and sweet things he does. So letting go was a big key to changing my negativity to positivity. But how? That’s the magic question.

Luckily one of my favourite author’s Gretchen Rubin came to my rescue in her wonderful book “The Happiness Project”. It seems Gretchen had exactly the same issue as me. Always jumping to the negative rather than the positive. In fact, it’s a common issue for many of us. To combat this Gretchen took a whole month to consciously work on her attitude, focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I love this idea, it really spoke to my structured loving mindset. So for the next four weeks, I am going to focus on my attitude.

And this is how I am going to do it:

Identify how you want to change

To not make this a sweeping declaration (a la Marshell Eriksen) I have made a plan. Firstly I have identified how I want to change :

  • I want to understand my negative reactions and use that to help me turn them into positivity.
  • I want to use positive language
  • I want to feel less angry and frustrated
  • I want to think positively even under stress

Make resolutions

Following the Gretchen recipe, the first step is to make resolutions. The idea is to find specific areas to focus on to reach your goal. So my 4 resolutions for this month are:

  • React positively
  • Use good manners
  • Let go of things that don’t serve me
  • Find my joy

The surreal thing is that as always the universe is listening. And lo and behold the moment I set these resolutions I began to find ways to keep them.

Catch the negativity, analyze it and find a positive way to react

If you find that like me you often react negatively, the first step to change is catching yourself at it. Ask yourself why you re reacting this way and then find a way you can react positively.

As I have been writing I could hear the annoying piercing scream of the hoover my Mr T is using. Immediately my first reaction was one of frustration. The noise is too loud. I can’t concentrate. Why the heck does he have to do this now! Normally I would let this spiral on until my next interaction with Mr T and then this frustration would be thrown at the poor unsuspecting man. However, in the spirit of reacting positively, I didn’t. Instead, I took myself outside away from the noise, caught my breath. And therein remembered that we have some neon green noise cancelling headphones. So now I am sitting here comfortable in the lack of wailing noise and appreciative that my lovely man has cleaned the house and I don’t have to do it. (Note to self: Be grateful and say thank you.)

Use good manners

Now this one is lifted straight from the book. As I read I could really relate to the fact that I don’t always use good manners in the way I speak to people. Well, correction, in the way I speak to Mr T. One of the curses of a coach is that you use a lot of energy helping others to feel good and grow, which can mean you don’t have much energy left. And often I find that manifests in me being rude to  Mr T. Well they do say “We hurt those we love the most” which is stupidity if ever I heard it. I didn’t want to hurt Mr T. I wanted to treat him best of all persons. So I have started to find ways I can use good manners towards him. Assuming less and asking more. Using please and thank you. Not rolling my eyes when he is annoying (one of his pet hates). Doing actions of love. Basically being nice.

If you want the world to feel nicer you can’t expect it to hand it to you on a plate if you aren’t willing to be nice too. Good manners are something we can all work on in every aspect of life. Ultimately it’s about being kind and the world is always better for a little kindness.

Let go of things that don’t serve me

Mr T is frustratingly good at this. In a situation, I recently found hella frustrating and a bad experience, Mr T simply focused on the positive things and found the same situation as a great experience. He let go of the bits that didn’t serve him and kept the bits that did. Oh to be able to do that in the blink of an eye! I seriously struggle with letting things go. Partly because I have an expectation of how things should be. And partly because it niggles inside me. So my work here is two-fold.

Firstly I need to use the five-minute rule. Give myself 5 minutes alone to be cross, frustrated, sad, whatever I feel. Then ask myself “can I do anything now?” If I can then do something. If I can’t I have to let it go. However in order to do that I have to find the positives from the challenge.

Secondly, I have to let go of my expectation of how something should play out and enjoy the moment. So what if a date night ended up being a discussion about our finances. At least we got that sorted. Simply looking for the positive here is going to help. Also letting Mr T know I have an expectation is a great way to make sure disappointment is avoided.

There are many different ways you can work on letting go of that which does not serve you. Ask Google for inspiration. As always Google knows!

Find my joy

When you are stressed it is easy to lash out at our nearest and dearest. It’s normal. But I hate it. I always feel like I am the worst version of myself when I do this. So to release the pressure I want to focus on finding my joy in the stressful times. Whether I need some time alone, to draw, to write, to have a walk, to dance, to laugh. Basically, instead of lashing out I want to find ways to make me feel good.

pollyannaGretchen had a great suggestion for this the Pollyanna week. If you haven’t seen the film or read the book, Pollyanna plays the glad game. Basically, whatever happens to her she finds a reason to be glad. Gretchen took a whole week of being glad. I used to play this game a lot as a child. As an adult, it has transpired into my golden rule, if you can learn from a situation it was a good situation. But to just be glad seems like a much simpler and joyful way.

Instead of expecting others to give us joy in the down times find ways you can lift your own spirits and connect with your joy. In times of stress connect with yourself and ask you what do I need right now? How can I feel my joy?

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In essence, the recipe to turn your negative attitude into a positive one is quite simple:

  • Identify how you want to change
  • Make resolutions
  • Find ways you can make those resolutions a reality
  • Follow your plan

I hope you find this as helpful as I did writing it. How do you guys turn your negativity into a positive attitude? Let me know in the comments below.

Have an amazing weekend <3

I am in charge of how i feel and today i am choosing happiness.jpg

Getting your life back on track after Summer

There probably isn’t anyone in the world who doesn’t love the summer holidays. However, if you are like me the end of summer might find you as the late lie in queen, binge-watching Netflix, eating junk and going to bed way later than usual.  It’s no wonder that the thought of the return to normal life and the humdrum rhythm makes me want to hide under the duvet and click the next episode button.

However, all good parties have to come to an end and after a busy summer, I can hear those hum drums calling me back. If you are a regular reader you will know that I LOVE routine.  But for me, those first few weeks back at work after the holidays are always challenging. The rhythm of the every day, so normal and flowing before the break is suddenly exhaustingly hard. It’s tough to focus. And if you, like me, have had such a busy summer that you need a break to get over your holiday, at the end of August I can end up an emotional, unproductive mess. It’s a rhythm I have been stuck in for years.

However, forewarned is forearmed. This year I decided that I am changing the pattern and I have found a way to get my life back on track after Summer. If you need a refocus after the holidays here is a surefire recipe for success that will bring you to the end of August as a productive and perky person!

Don’t beat yourself up:

So you ate 3 tons of ice cream/pizza/carb and drank half the cocktail bar alone on your hols? So what! In the holidays we all have binges be it food, laziness, lie-ins or overspending. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t need to play catch up with something after the holidays. And that’s OK. The important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. It was part of summer you – YeY for summer you!  Summer you has nothing to do with after summer you, so don’t beat yourself up for what you did. It’s time to think about what you are going to do.

Reconnect with yourself:

In the summer we have more interactions with other people, family and friends. We have all been having fun, just as we should. However all these experiences and socialising can take you away from yourself. To get back on track you need to reconnect with yourself. You need some time alone to become aware of what you want and need. So as soon as you can schedule in some Ḿe time. Not the Netflix duvet ‘me time’. Productive me time. Both journaling and meditation are a great way to connect with yourself and your energy.  Even a 1-minute meditation will give your body the opportunity to give you feedback on what it needs. Allow yourself to listen to your body.

Prioritise:

You will have less energy for the normal rhythm after summer. It takes a few weeks to get back into it. So you need to prioritise your energy. Chose 3 areas to focus on in the first week.  I came to a big pile of unforeseen financial poop. So that was my immediate priority. The second priority was the big pile of washing, (it is apparently necessary for Mr T to have clean underpants and he does not speak washing machine!) And the last was to get back into using to do lists after 18 days off. Having a limited number of things to focus on in your first weeks back to normality will slowly retrain you into your normal rhythm. Remember this applies to both home and work life. And keep in mind the mantra. ” It’s ok to put things on hold. It is better to focus and do one thing well”

Keep your battery charged up:

Cut out unnecessary social engagements. Plan your Me time. Take care of your personal energy and keeping it charged up. Back to work normally means the alarm clock comes back on. If you keep summer bedtimes and work getting up times you are going to get sick, quickly. Getting back into a reasonable bedtime, eating good food, drinking water are all the small things you can do to take care of you. Remember you are the most important thing in your life if your body doesn’t work nothing else does.

Planning and structure:

The quicker you can get back into normal routines the better. Personally, I love to have schedules and routines  I like to start the day with my me time, training time and eating healthy. I like to have a shower after dinner and prep clothes and work bag the day before. But this is a lot to throw me back into at once. So I have started back by using my weekly schedule. Now I am focusing on rebuilding my morning routine and have given myself 3 simple health goals. That’s enough for me. When it comes to getting back into the routine after summer I recommend going at a snail’s pace and taking baby steps.

Keep on at it:

Getting back on track is actually harder than starting a completely new habit. You will fail and forget. In my first week back I suddenly got ill and had to have 3 days in bed. All I really wanted to do was my morning routine and be productive at work and I couldn’t. When you don’t do the things you set yourself to do it can be easy to give up altogether. Don’t. So you didn’t do your journaling, meditation or the washing. Accept it. And do it as soon as possible.

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The most important part of getting life back on track is the decision to do it. Only you can say I need to do this and only you can do it. I personally find it an empowering (if albeit tiring to start with) process. I wish you luck with getting back on track. And if you feel so inspired write about your journey in the comments below. I love getting inspired by my readers 🙂

Have an amazing week <3
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How to feel like it’s summer every day on the inside!

Summer can be one of the most unprofitable times to be a life coach. Why? Well because the sun gives us an energy boost and we feel on top of the world. We are off work and therefore need less focus on life balance as we have loads of time for ourselves and what is important to us. Which means often people feel they no longer need a coach. Bad for me. Great for them. Here in Scandinavia, the Summer holiday season is drawing to a close as the schools prepare to reopen in August. The issue with that is that the high of being on summer holidays is also drawing to a close.

Have you ever noticed how in the summer holidays you feel like a different person? Your personality changes with the season. And the end of the summer holidays heralds the entry of your autumn personality. Now, unfortunately, our autumn and winter personalities tend to be less confident and less happy. I see it all the time in my customers. However, I believe there is a way to feel like it’s summer every day on the inside. With a little thought and effort, you can maintain that upbeat summer confident personality all year round.

As you return to work try this recipe to keep your spirits up and the summer sun shining inside you every day!

Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude makes us feel happier. So count your blessings once a day and you will feel an inner glow of contentment.

Blast out a summer playlist while you are working or commuting

Music uplifts the spirits better than anything else. Make a playlist of your favourite summer tunes (I recommend the Beach boys are in there) and play it while you are travelling to work or while you are working.

Reread your summer books

If you want to feel transported back to your holidays put on a beach or nature background music and re-read your summer books.

Play tourist at home

The autumn is a great time to discover your local tourist haunts. A day trip will make you feel like you are on holiday once more and you get the bonus of learning something new about where you live.

Go swimming or hiking

Most holidays in the summer involve a degree of being outside. You can recreate this by taking trips in the woods, having a bonfire in the garden or even just by going to your local swimming pool.

Boost up on Vitamin D and your favourite summer foods

Two of the biggest combis in summer is the sun’s boost of vitamin D and exotic foods. Begin taking your vitamin D in autumn it will help stabilise your mood over the darker months. Combine this with recreating your favourite foods from the summer (and drinks too). Invite your friends over for tapas or midnight margaritas!

Recycle your summer outfits for winter

Take your favourite summer outfit and alter it for winter. The boho gipsy dress lots great with a woolly jumper and high boots. Shorts can be worn with tights and a Hawaiian shirt is going to brighten the office. Wearing bright colours will also lift your mood. Due to the strength of the Scandinavian sun, I tend to wear sunglasses in the winter. But hey you don’t need an excuse!

Make time for bliss and relaxing

In the summer we prioritise doing things we love and relaxing. It’s even more important to do this in the winter. Heck, we often have more time to do it too. So dedicate at least one day or evening a month to blissing out in your favourite way.

Go camping indoors

Pop up your tent inside and have a sleepover in your front room! It’s great fun. The kids (big and small) love it. Put on music in the background, turn off the lights and burn some sausages and you will be right back at your festival experience once more!

Practise self-love

In the summer we do love ourselves more because we are happier in general. In the darker months, we need to boost our self-love more.

Wear a little sunscreen

I know it sounds strange but  smell is a great way to change your mood. Sunscreen is the ultimate summer smell (in my house followed by coconut and aloe vera) so dab a little on for those blue days and feel transported back to your holidays.

Take lots of photos

Our camera gets overused in the summer. Why not do the same in winter? Get snapping and make memories whenever you can!

If all else fails, book a trip

If you can’t hold it out then book a trip to a warm country. Sometimes there’s just no replacement for the sun!

 

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#lifelessons101 The 7 day summer self-confidence challenge

As a dedicated follower of the Buddha belly crew I am not feeling particularly body confident. Especially in light of my forthcoming holiday in a circle of my peers who love to gossip! In fact, I am dreading that short moment on the beach, where the t-shirt comes off, and the swimsuit/buddha belly is on full display as I walk to and from the water. It’s the hardest part of any holiday for a buddah belly initiate.

However, I am also an officiado of you feel how you think. And this Summer I am determined to not allow my inner judge ruin my holiday and lower my confidence. So this week I am going to challenge myself for 7 days to take an intense self-confidence booster week to get me feeling great before I go away.  This is the start of my 7 day summer self-confidence challenge.

Here is my 7 day plan. I challenge you to join me and feel fabulous together i

Day one:

I have for a long time wanted to restart my practice of Miracle Morning (See Hal Elrod’s amazing system here). However, with work being so busy and me feeling so tired I haven’t managed it. However, now I am on holiday this is the perfect time to restart. It gives me a great confidence boost as well as inspiring me and motivating me. I start the day with my wonder woman pants on and I can take on the world – HAH!

Day two:

This is going to be a day dedicated to self-love and pampering my body. I have booked a trip to the sauna, an hours massage and manicure. I have pre-stocked with facemasks foot masks and nommy healthy snacks. I plan to start the day by filling out my self-love journal and then following a day of completely pampering myself.

Day three:

Today is positive mental self image day. I am going to make a collage with positive I am statements on it. I am powerful. I am a wild free spirit. This will be placed in front of my bed so it’s the first and last thing I see every day. I am also going to take a photo and have it as my screensaver so when I am on holiday I can carry my mantras with me. To boost my feelings towards my body I am also going to do some yoga to energise my mind and body.

Day four:

A day of loving the rest of the world. Today is going to be the day where I compliment people, post positively on social media and try to do loving kind things for everyone I meet. Being nice makes you feel nice and today I will exude niceness!

Day five:

Dressing to impress is today’s motto. Firstly I am going to plan my holiday wardrobe making sure I have outfits that I feel fabulous in. Then I am going to put on something I love and waft around the house in my most glamorous of outfits. Luckily I have a family function to attend so I will go for gold and put on my most fantastic aren’t I amazing look for the event!

Day six:

This is the day to be daring cos’ I am going to try something new. Right now I am not sure what this will be. That’s why it’s on day six so I have time to plan it. But I am going to choose a fear and challenge myself. So I will be either throwing myself out of a plane, playing paintball or taking a pony trek in the woods. (Horses scare me a lot).

Day seven:

Time to look back over the last week and praise myself. Today is about feeling proud of myself. I will write a list of my accomplishments. Even post them on facebook. And in the evening I will do something fun to celebrate my awesomeness! I am thinking a night on the town, dinner at a restaurant or a trip to the local fun fair. Celebrating our achievements is equally important as actually achieving them. And a fabulous way to boost your confidence.

How will you boost your confidence in your  7 day summer self-confidence challenge ?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have an amazing week!

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Get a summer confidence boost

As much as we all love summer it can be a time where our self-confidence takes a plummet. Especially if you, like me, have been ignoring those “get you bikini body in 6 weeks” ads. The simple fact of the matter is that we show more of our body off in the summer. And I simply haven’t gotten to that stage where I fully love and accept my buddha belly. ( I am not entirely sure Mr T’s recent complements of you are so soft have helped that complex.)

I am pretty sure you like me don’t want to spend the summer in a spiral of self-doubt, body negativity and self-loathing. So, what we buddahrettes need is a boost of self-confidence to help us shine with the sun.

Here is my guide to giving yourself a summer confidence boost to guide you through the best summer ever, even without the bikini bod!

Be your best you online

We are in the age where we constantly put ourselves on display for others to see. Think about this the next time you post something on social media. Are you showing your best self? Not the physical self, there are filters for that, I mean your mental self. Are you inspiring others? Are you sharing and commenting on the best in someone else? Be conscious and confident in the positive effect you can have on others when you post online.

Compliment. Compliment. Compliment.

It’s easy to compliment others, but what about yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back when you accomplish something. I love to write 3 things down every day I am proud of. Each time I write the full sentence. “ I am proud of myself because……….”

Be Brave

When we step out of comfort zone and try something new we cannot help but feel a glow of achievement and a higher sense of self-confidence. So try something you have always wanted to do but never done. You can do it and you will love it when you do.

Self-love

Practise self-love. You can’t expect anyone else to do it if you don’t. The whole of May I wrote many articles on different self-love practices. Go and flick through them and find something you can try to boost your self-love. If nothing else remember how much your skin needs taking care of in the heat and make a point of pampering it after a day at the beach.

Dress for success

Dress for how you want to feel, not what you want to hide. I have a quote by the mirror in my dressing room. It says “ what thoughts am I wearing today?” What we put on shows the world how we feel about ourselves. Dress for you. Dress for how you want to feel. I have a pair of huge Audrey Hepburn sunglasses that practical do my walking for me. I first wore them on a red carpet at Cannes film festival (I was on holiday not at the festival) and I feel like a catwalk model in them. Find the clothes and accessories that you love and feel great in. Wear them all summer long!

Walk tall

Body posture can make you feel ill, powerful, beautiful or confident. It’s just a question of how you stand. When I am feeling unconfident I imagine how my favourite heroines in movies walk and move. I can channel (well in my head I can) the sensuality of Marilyn Monroe, take on the power walk of Julia Roberts and the Grace of Miss Hepburn by seeing them in my minds eye as I find a place on the beach, try to catch Mr T’s eye across a bonfire on the beach, or dance in the bar.  Watch some of your favourite screen goddesses or gods and see how they move. That way you are ready when you need your inner Clooney, or Angelina.

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Most importantly have fun this summer. Smiling boosts your confidence more than anything else. You keep smiling, walking tall and pushing your comfort zones not only will other people want to spend time with you, you will want to spend time with you. The more fun you have the less you are going to care about how you look and the more you will enjoy how you feel.

You have the sunshine within you.jpgHave a great week!

 

#lifelessons101 The best Summer book list to inspire your personal development

With all of the endless hours on the beach, travelling and time to yourself moments you may want to use these to inspire your personal growth. After all no point in time is better to create powerful new habits when you are feeling relaxed recharged and have time on your hands.

Here is my Summer book list for 2018 to inspire you in the sun:

The Happiness Project

– Gretchen Rubin’s year-long search for happiness. Great tips in an easily relatable emotional journey for anyone who has tried to change their life.

https://gretchenrubin.com/books/the-happiness-project/about-the-book/

Eat Pray Love

Prepare yourself for a roller coaster of emotions, insights, tears and laughter. A beautiful, brave and honest story.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19501.Eat_Pray_Love

The Celestine Prophecy

A spiritual quest chasing the 9 insights of the Celestine prophecies before they are destroyed forever. Thought provoking, prepare to think differently afterwards.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13103.The_Celestine_Prophecy

The Magic of Thinking Big

Powerful secrets of success. Accessible and easy to read. Lots of great ideas to take away for you to practice every day

https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Thinking-Big-David-Schwartz/dp/0671646788

The Miracle Morning

Hal Elrod created this powerful system which I can personally guarantee will make an insanely powerful difference in your life. What better time than summer to put new habits into practice that will change your life.

https://www.miraclemorning.com/

The Book of Joy

To of the worlds most inspirational me coming together to share stories of finding joy even in the darkest of times.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29496453-the-book-of-joy

Chicken soup for the soul

For feel-good factor, heartwarming inspiration this is the ultimate book. Prepare to love the world more after reading this

http://www.chickensoup.com/

Have a lovely summer <3

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Reinvent yourself this summer

One of the greatest gifts of life is the ability to evolve. Subtly each of our lives makes an impact on the next generation and the next changing humanity as a race. Our lives are the microcosm to that macrocosm. Throughout life, we grow. We adapt. We change. Our cells are replaced over a 7 year cycle. Our body moves through the ageing process. (Whether we like it or not.) Our personalities too evolve depending on our social circles, our jobs and our roles. Consciously, or unconsciously, we are always reinventing ourselves. In fact one of the only constants in life is change. And that means that there will always be times in our lives when we need to reinvent ourselves.

Reinventing yourself isn’t about creating an alternate personality; it’s about expanding and recreating what you already have and who you already are. Reinvention is about adapting and evolving, expressing our fullest potential.  There is no shame in casting off your past and your old self. There is no shame in leaving your old self behind and creating someone completely new.

Often people connect reinventing themselves after a crisis a breakup, a divorce, a career failure, or by a change in external circumstances such as moving, changing schools. However, a reinvention of ourselves can be made at any time in our life. And a summer without the weighty responsibility and the luxury of more time is a perfect time to do a personality MOT.

Reinventing yourself is an empowering process when done consciously. And let me stress that reinventing yourself is a gift from you to you. It is you stepping into your own power. Respecting yourself and generating respect from others. Reinventing yourself is a form of levelling up in your life for you. Reinventing yourself should never be done for someone else. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and that the person you are becoming is continually gaining respect.

The druids believed that every 7 years we go through a transformation of mind and spirit. (Interesting when you think that our physical body regenerates every 7 years too). Now this year I am going to be 40. 2 years away from my next mind, body and spirit transformation. So I want to do some groundwork whilst I am in a happy and powerful space to reinvent myself again. Are you with me? Let’s grasp this summertime of opportunity together and take these 5 steps to begin our path to reinventing ourselves in the sun!!

Look at you now

In order to reinvent yourself, you have to start with an acceptance of who you are. With the flaw and your qualities.  Make a list of the strength and abilities you have in your life now. An brainstorm on what kind of person could use those qualities to the max if they were enhanced a little.

New Self image

Now take that brainstorm further and create a new self-image to serve as your guide to your new goal. Concentrate on actually pulling yourself away from your old comfort zones, habits, roles and self-perceptions. It doesn’t mean you have to drop the bits of your life that you love, just tweak you now into a new mental image. A new self-image will always remind you of why you’re trying to change. I love the idea of making a vision board of this new self-image combining the best of the old with the inspiration of the new.

Plan

Now down to the nitty-gritty. How are you going to make this reinvention come about?What actions will you take? What do you need to do? Are there books you might need to read? Or are there habits you need to form. Brainstorm a humongous list of ideas. Now look at this list and choose 2 or 3 that you can begin with straight away. Remember the summer is a great time to begin cultivating new habits. If you have ever read “The happiness project! by Jenna James (and if you haven’t GO NOW and get it -it’s seriously a summer inspiration book), you will know how she dedicated a year of her life to reinventing herself systematically through a yearly plane. Find ways to do this for you. It might be theming each week or following a checklist.

Try new things

Nothing helps reinvention than trying new things. If something challenges me I know I have to do it. I have to take that leap and cross my comfort zone to grow. So do you! It the same with your plans. Sometimes we don’t know if solutions actually work until we try them out.  So now you are on holidays throw yourself into something new, something challenging to kick-start the launch of the new you!

Remind yourself every day of your commitment.

Write your goals in different-sized cards and scatter them at home and at work in places where you can easily see them. This way, you will constantly be reminded of where you want to be. You have to be your own team coach. It’s okay to fail but you also have to get back on the horse and try again. When you fail, simply recognize it, learn from it and move on. Remember to acknowledge your successes as much as your failures. Celebrate them. Praise yourself and treat yourself. After all, if you can’t treat you and celebrate you how can you expect anyone else to. So claim your moments of success as you move forward and evolve.

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There is nothing holding you back from being the person you always imagined you could be. There is nothing stopping you but yourself. So, decide who you are going to be, which version of yourself is going to command attention and respect, and mould yourself into that image. Empower yourself with this process. Feel the inspiration of the summer sun and recharge yourself a new this holidays.

Have an amazing week <3

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#lifelessons101- Use your summer to learn to be in the now

 

We all know that either being overly focused on the next thing we have to do or obsessing over past events is bad for our mental health. It makes for a busy mind, a lack of focus, stress and generally makes life less enjoyable for us and our loved ones. There is a lot of talk these days about being in the now, being fully in the present moment as the cure, the ultimate medicine for stress. I have even read on author’s statement that “You can’t reach your full potential until you learn to live your life in the present”.  Being in the now means to live consciously, to fully experience ourselves and our surroundings without redundant thoughts and other distractions. It brings to mind a life of mindful practice, meditation and balanced harmony.

 

Sounds great in principle. However, for me in the busy whirlwind of my life, I have found it increasingly difficult to embrace mindfulness when I am running from meeting to meeting, trying to remember the shopping list and call my mother-in-law simultaneously. I resemble less the peaceful Buddha more the headless chicken on a treadmill. Being in the now centres around habit forming and reprogramming the brain. And despite all of my good intentions, I don’t seem to be able to tune in to that inner calm in the middle of Bilka when I have a train to catch.

But now the summer holidays loom. The usual treadmill of my brain is slowing down and the outside pressures trickle away. This (I believe) is the perfect time for me to truly bring into practice the art of living in the now. It may seem like cheating. After all living in the now is supposed to be most useful in times of inherent stress. But I say balls to that! For me when I am relaxed connecting with the present moment is simply easier. Without the constant pressure of work or school trying out new practices and reflecting becomes 10 times more achievable.

The summer holidays brings ample opportunity to learn new habits and behaviours. And what could be better than returning to work armed with a pocket full of habits that you can draw on whenever you need them. So if you want to return after the summer with a stronger sense of inner peace and equipped to deal with pressure take the chance this summer to appreciate your now. And if you are not sure how here are 5 tips to get you started

Breathing

Taking time to close your eyes and breath is a wonderful way to centre yourself. To notice what is going on both within and around you. There are lots and lots of techniques out there. For example, the ‘mindfulness body scan is a classic. Personally, I prefer The easiest and shortest meditation technique as described by author Sherri Melwani:

Here’s the technique:

“1. Right here, right now, bring all your awareness to your breath. Shift your focus down to the belly and allow the belly to soften as you deepen your breath.

  1. Now mentally repeat to yourself, “Breathing In, I calm myself. Breathing out, I smile.” Say this like a mantra as many times as you need until you feel the shift.
  2. Notice the corners of your mouth begin to curl, even if just a tiny little bit, even if you have to pretend. Notice how your breath becomes a bit more even and deep. The subtle smile brings relaxation and carries the message “all will be OK” to your mind and body.
  3. That’s it! So simple and quick. Try it and feel free.”

Don’t try to quiet your mind

The hardest thing to do when living in the moment is, or trying to simply witness life, is to not have the urge to try to quiet your mind. When we try to quiet the mind, we just disturb it all the more. Witness your thoughts as if they are pure sound. Don’t try to judge your thoughts, there are no good thoughts or bad thoughts. Just notice what is there and what you are thinking.

Walk in nature

Go for a walk in nature and just observe. See, smell, listen. I highly recommend walking in bare feet or simply stopping and sitting. Nothing can be more peaceful than watching the ripples on water or the light dancing between the leaves of a tree’s canopy.

Disconnect for 1 hour a day

Get away from your phone, your computer and immerse yourself in something else. Reading is a great way to be present. As is being creative. Another great way is to have a shower and be conscious of the feeling. Choose an activity and really focus on that experience.

Slow down -actively listen and observe

How often do you truly listen when someone talks to you? How often do you see what is really in front of you? Try to hyper-focus in the moment. Slow down time in your mind. Take a breath before you respond in a conversation. Take a moment to drink in your surroundings. Give yourself the opportunity to feel alive.

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You and ICherish the Moment (1).jpg have this amazing gift called life. The present moment is the only real moment we can experience. Connect with that this summer and you will find not only do you feel more peaceful but your experience of contentment in your life will increase tenfold. Give yourself the gift of experiencing the now this summer

 

HAve an amazing week <3

 

Make your own 7 day Summer  Challenge!

Summer holidays huzzah!! The perfect time to relax, kick back and challenge yourself! I can hear you saying “yes, yes and whhaaat!’ to that sentence. Normally Summer holidays are not associated with challenging yourself. The primary focus is self-care. And I completely agree we need this time to wind down and enjoy yourselves. However, the summer holidays are also the perfect time to try something new. And without the usual outside pressure factors on your schedule such as work or school the summer holidays is the most optimal time to start a new habit.

I love challenges. Especially in the summer as I am more carefree and less busy so I can indulge myself in them. At the same time, I don’t want my summer holidays to turn in to work so I have created the concept of the 7 day Summer Challenge. 7 days is not a long time but it is a time where you can begin something new and indulge in it without it becoming work. I have done all sorts of different 7-day summer challenges. They can be serious or silly. Last year I really wanted to change and expand my diet repertoire at the same time I wanted to sleep in. So I created the 7 days of brunch challenge. Quite simply I had to try a new recipe for brunch every day. Armed with my newly made Pin full of recipe ideas, each day I made my brunch and posted a pic on Fb to celebrate my achievements. It went down a storm and I had so much fun. This small 7-day challenge opened up new taste and culinary experiences and made me feel fantabulous. A wonderful way to celebrate my life and my holidays. (And yes I am doing it again this summer!)

There are billions of small challenges you can make into a 7-day summer challenge. So grab one of these ideas, make your own hashtag and throw yourself into celebrating the moment in a fun and inspiring way!  

 

7 days of brunch

– Seriously this one is so fun here is my Pin to give you some ideas

https://www.pinterest.dk/rerootyourlife/brunch-ideas-detox-and-vegetarian/

7 dates in 7 days

– Take yourself on 7 crazy dates (You can invite other people if you like). You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great date here are some ideas to get you started.

http://stylecaster.com/free-date-ideas/

 

7 days of amazing mornings

– Hal Elrod’s inspiring concept of The Miracle Morning one hour dedicated to your personal growth every day is even easier to start in the holidays. Of course, I recommend to do it every day but as a quick start, boost give yourself the 7-day challenge to start your day amazingly.

www.miraclemorning.com
7 days of something new-

What haven’t you done that you have always wanted to try? NOw is the time to do it. Choose a week and do something new every day

7 days of meditation

– Meditation we know feeds body and soul. Been having trouble keeping up your practice then use the summer downtime to cultivate the habit.

https://www.yogawakeup.com/single-post/2017/04/29/What-you%E2%80%99ll-notice-after-7-days-of-Meditation

7 days of self-care

– Invest in you and do something amazing for yourself every day for 7 days. This is pure pampering and you will feel sooo good and loved by the end of this challenge.

https://awesomealice.com/self-care-challenge/

7 days of a sustainable lifestyle

– Want a greener lifestyle and don’t know where to start? Try this challenge.  Basically for 7 days Eat. Move and Live Sustainably. This idea comes from the sustainability project 7 Days Challenge. Here is some info to inspire you:

http://sevendayschallenge.com/about

7 days of kindness

– Use your 7 days to make the world a nicer place by actively seeking and creating oppertunties to be kind.

https://chopra.com/articles/7-random-acts-of-kindness-in-7-days

7 days of exercise

– Take part in a different type of exercise everyday!

https://www.marieclaire.co.za/lifestyle/health-fitness/mc-tries-7-different-workouts-7-days

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The sky is your limit! What would you love to do for 7 days? Choose it.  Plan it. Do it. And share it! Remember to post your pics here and on the fb group of your #7daysummerchallenge 🙂

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Make sure you have the best summer ever by making Summer Goals !!

Summer holidays are nearly here! In fact, for me, they are only 5 days away! I don’t know about you but this time always feels slightly like torture for me. On the one hand, I want to get stuff wrapped up and yet work is insanely hard to concentrate on because my mind is buzzing with all the things I want to be doing when I am on my holiday. Years ago I would half burn out before the holidays. Sleep for the first week and then end up going back to work having done half of everything I had wanted to do. Which of course meant starting back at work resentful and unhappy. Not a healthy or productive state to be in after a holiday.

Luckily for me (and now for you guys) around 15 ish years ago I met someone who changed all this.  I met a wonderful inspiring woman who will always be known to me as the Blue Faery. This amazing woman was one of the first to introduce me to planning, goal setting and evaluating progress. (You might be thinking what the heck has that got to do with enjoying my summer holidays, just bear with me and I promise it makes sense!) Now all of that is normally considered very focused, concentrated work, in other words, adulting with a capital A. However when it came to holidays the Blue Faery threw all of that grown-up stuff out of the window and used the techniques in a completely different way.

Now you see she had a very Adult job, you know the practically 75- 80 hour a week job. Her five weeks of summer holidays were very precious. She understandably viewed them as the reward for all of her hard work throughout the rest of the year.  So she devised the simple system of the Summer Goals Poster! Every year on the first day of her holidays she would make an A3 poster with her summer goals. The rules are concise. 90% of the things you put up here have to be fun and things you want to do. You can have 10% of have too’s, if you really must. But NO more than 10%. And then you decorate your poster, drawings, glitter you name it. This poster is to focus on fun and you having a good time. In a way a mini bucket list to guide you through and create an amazing summer!

I will never forget the first time the Blue Faery and I made them together. Our posters spread across the floor as we returned to the age of 5 laughing, drawing, cutting, sticking and glueing. With a cold glass of wine and good company, I felt jubilant. The poster went up in my house and I did everything on there that year. When the summer was over I went to work feeling refreshed and satisfied. And I have done it every summer since.

It is amazing how powerful taking the time to focus on our the things we really want to do makes such a powerful shift in our energy. My Summer Goals Poster helps me to really invest in me each year and makes certain I remember to have fun. (Something very important to a self-employed workaholic!) I have never felt I have wasted my summers since the year I began doing this. Making my plans clear in a fun and childish way always sets the tone of a fun and free summer.

As a regular feature of my summer making my Summer Goals Poster marks the start of the holidays. The putting away of grown-up responsibility and signals me stepping into the time where  I decided when and where I do things. I have done this alone, with my family, I believe the Blue Faery makes them with her daughter every year and this year I will be making them with Mr T. I honestly cannot put into words how empowering this process is. I can just recommend you try it. And I know if you do this and make crossing off these goals important you will have the best ever summer every year!

So to make your own summer goals poster

  • Find an A3 piece of paper or card.
  • Gather felt tips, glitter, magazines glue and scissors and anything else you want to decorate your poster with.
  • Find a friend and grab a glass of something that you love.
  • Write SUMMER 2018 at the top of your paper and write out your summer goals.
  • Decorate like crazy
  • Put it up somewhere you will see it every day
  • Follow your goals and tick them off as you go along.
  • Have an amazing summer!!!!

Share pics of your summer goals posters to inspire us all to have the best summer ever <3

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