#lifelessons101 – Remember what you love to do in life and do it! (A little known ingredient of a successful life)

Sitting here very early on Mr T’s birthday drinking coffee with the cats, I can’t help thinking, wow I love my life! The past few days have been a whirl of cleaning, making food and preparing for the 32 friends and family who will be coming here to celebrate with us. I am exhausted (especially after waking up periodically through the night because I was too excited about giving Mr T his birthday presents!),  yet in my exhaustion I can say I am truly happy. I love doing this sort of thing, creating a big experience for lots of people, trying something new (we are going to do bow tag) and sharing good food with awesome people. It’s fun to create something like that, and it’s one of the things I love doing in my life.

And that got me thinking. How often do we think about the things we love to do in life? I mean we talk about it when it’s career related but what about the things we love to do purely for fun? I remember recently I had someone ask me what my interests are I listed a few, writing, harry potter, viking, belly dancing, drawing, gardening,making memories, tattooing as well as my pagan religion, and she looked at me surprised and said “well you have enough hobbies to keep you going full time!” And yes she is right. There are many things I know I love to do in life. And I am in the fortunate position right now where I can dedicate some time to those activities. What about you?

What do you love to do in life? Not just your hobbies, but the other little things, like taking a walk in the park in the autumn or sharing a cheesecake with your best friend. What is it that you love to do? And when did you last stop to ask yourself this question? I believe that these things that we love to do are some of the most important parts of life itself. Without them living would sure as heck be boring. I also believe that healthy people with healthy balanced lives make time to make doing things they love as important as doing all the things they have to do.

If you look at the world’s most successful business people right now they all have hobbies which they dedicate time to. Such as the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warran Buffet playing the ukulele, MArk Zukerberg hunting his own food or Meryl Streep’s knitting. Hobbies are ‘cross-training’ when you practise multiple things the benefits of your practice transfers to other areas of your life. Doing things you love gives you a feeling of success which also benefits every area of your life. So people being happy at our party and Mr T having a fantastic birthday will boost my confidence for the next few weeks. (This is not why I do it , it’s just a great bonus!)

So in order for you to make yourself feel great, no matter what is going on for you at the moment, you gotta remember what you love to do in life and make time to do it. It really is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your quality of life and is one we all have a tendency to overlook. Remember being happy is incredibly closely linked to success. So I want you to invest in your successful life by dedicating 10 minutes of your day to making yourself happy today.

First write a list of everything you love to do in life the big and the little things, try and find the ones you weren’t even aware of by probing your memory.

Then grab your diary and book sometime to do one of the bigger things you love to do in the next 14 days

Lastly choose something you love to do that you can do easily today in a short space of time and GO AND DO IT!

It really is that simple and will make your weekend and your life 10 times more wonderful!

Have a happy weekend!You do not finda happy life

 

How to get empowered and change your life in 4 steps

Are you stuck in a life that you don’t live and want to change but have no idea of how you can do that? Believe me I know it, I’ve been there. The world seems limited, you feel completely powerless and the biggest challenge is that when we are there, it is is so easy to play our victim role and believe we cannot change our lives. And what we believe of course comes true. We don’t believe we have the power so we don’t have the power. It sucks.

Now if you are in this particular situation and right now feel as useless as a chocolate fireguard, you will be ecstatic to know that there is a way out! There is a way of turning these beliefs around and empowering yourself to make the changes you want in your life. (See now you feel happier right!) Belief is the key here. Lynne Twist (author of “Soul Money”) says “what you appreciate, and the way you direct your attention, determines the quality of your life”. No, no don’t run away. I know if you are feeling helpless right now that appreciating where you are in your life might seem like the last thing you want to do. However consider this when you appreciate where you are it frees up your energy from focusing on where you are not, ergo you then have the energy to re-see the possibilities, create a vision, commit to it and then act to change. So by appreciating the now you actually empower yourself to change your life.

No matter how you want to change your life the first step is believing you can. I’ll never forget the moment when I decided I was going to be a life coach. I was washing up in Mr T’s flat feeling dissatisfied with my life.  Then the idea hit me that I would become a life coach, changing not only mine but many other peoples lives for the better, that I would create a community of people wanting to Re:Root their lives. In that moment I 100% believed I could do it. I was empowered and from that moment on I have been re seeing my possibilities, created my vision and have been committed and acting upon my dream ever since.

So if you want to change your life you need to begin the process of belief starting with appreciation, create your vision, commit and then act. Even if right now you are still thinking yeah, yeah, I can’t do that try following these 4 steps to empowering yourself to change your life, you will surprise yourself.

  1. Appreciation

So what are you assets? And I don’t mean just physical I mean your community, your support network, your talents and skills, your hopes and dreams, the resources you have to hand. Write all of this down. See how much you have, more than you thought.  Now on a new piece of paper name each person you have in your support network. Write by each person the qualities that they have told you that they appreciate about you. It can be anything, funny, good at making cheesecake whatever it is write it down.

How do you feel now? Still without power, I’ll put money on it you feel more confident and richer in your life right now that you did 10 mins ago. All that changed was your belief and appreciation.

  1. Vision

Now look into the future. I want you to imagine yourself 25 years from now having successfully made the change you want to make in your life. See it clearly and the surrounding life circumstances. So for example you want to be self employed imagine yourself there, successful, that your kids have grown up and you have paid for them to go to college. See your life 25 years from now how you want it to be. Are you there? Can you see it?

Now the difficult question ask yourself how did you get there? What were the possibilities and the opportunities that you found and created for you and your family? What got you through those first few years? What was the breakthrough? Tell yourself the story not just the events but the emotional shifts. Did you stop letting your fears rule your life, did you set boundaries?

  1. Commit

So now is the time to commit. You can see your previously unseen resources, maybe from your visualisation you have some ideas on how to manifest and create the changes you want to make. So you need to make a plan based on these two sources of inspiration. Your resources and your vision. Write down what actions you need to take to create your change? What resources do you need to use or source?  By making this action plan you are committing to being the kind of person, the empowered person who will make this change in their life.

  1. Act

A dream without action is just a wish. Take the plunge and do the first thing on your action plan as soon as you can. This is the step that puts you energetically on the path to making the change you want. For me I joined a spiritual fitness center, where mind body and spirit was in focus. I found like minded people and surrounded myself with people working on their lives, a few months later I was running my own workshops and writing my book. This first action is really important and so is the second and the third and so on. Before you know it you are on your way.

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SO how do you feel now? Hopefully more empowered with a clearer idea of how you can make a change in your life. This formula works for both big and small changes, For example right now I am going to use it to help me start eating healthier and I am still using it to create my community. The important thing to know is that this is the start. It is the moment when you consciously choose to empower yourself and cross over the fear and victim hurdle. Sometimes the feeling of being empowered and belief does go away and if you feel that then go back to step one and appreciate where you are, what you have and who is with you. Appreciation is the most powerful tool in the self empowerment tool kit. Remember wherever you send your attention and appreciation determines your life quality. It’s your choice, so choose what makes you happy and enjoy your journey!

Have a wonderful, empowering week 🙂

Put your future in good hands

Lifelessons101 – How to be a positive person in 6 easy steps

We all have that one person in our network. The complainer. The pessimist. The person you can spend 5 minutes around and feel stressed and worn out just by listening to them. There are people in this world who just live in the negative. I have one in my life and recently after a long conversation with them I felt like I was pulling my hair out due to wave after wave of negative stories. Honestly I felt like a washed out dishrag afterwards. And it got me wondering. Why is it that people find it so hard to be positive?

A few hours of google-fu later I found the answer. Apparently it’s a psychological phenomenon called negative bias. It’s a common human trait to fixate on the negative. It dates back to our stone age hunter gatherer days when we  had to constantly be vigilant for danger. Now that makes sense in a world full of predators, but it makes no sense as to why we still do it it today. We are now at the top of the food chain after all. Constant negativity today is harmful to ourselves and to the people round us. However luckily there is a way to override this genetic programming and choose a positive life much more suited and beneficial to our modern lives.

So here is my #101 guide on how to be a positive person, see if after a long week at the office you can implement some of these ideas into your life and see how much better your world can be.

Notice the good

Have you ever realised that it is easier to notice something bad than something good? For example; you might get a stream of compliments from a lover but one little less than perfect remark and that’s what you remember. (I know I have done this, Mr T is very good at pointing out when I do this). Try and notice the good things more. When you get a compliment notice it. Avidly focus on good things for 10 secs for example the sun is shining, you cats are playing. Notice the good and you will see more.

Turn the conversation around

When you can feel like you have been complaining in a conversation for a while or someone else has try and turn the conversation in a positive direction. Sometimes just asking someone if they have something they are looking forward to helps lift the mood. If in doubt try and pull a positive story from somewhere, even the last funny video on Facebook can be a great mood changer. I mean who doesn’t like cat videos right!

Choose your stimulus

What is it that you invest your time and energy on. Choosing where your stimulus and input comes from makes a huge difference in your outlook on life. 10 years ago I was watching the news and I realised how depressed and anxious it made me, the adverts inbetween tv shows bugged me and I decided to quit TV. I now haven’t had a television for 10 years and it is one of the best decisions I ever made. Of course we have Netflix and HBO and if there is something I hear about going on in the world I check it out online. The difference is I now choose what I watch and what I invite into my life. You can do this with your Facebook feed and un-follow negative feeds and yes you can do it with your social circle too. In fact that is probably one of the most important areas where you can choose your input. Surround yourself with positive people and your life will feel nicer. It’s not rocket science it’s just choice.

Slow down and enjoy your life

It’s easy to miss opportunities to be positive when you are rushing around like a headless chicken. In a fast paced world irritation runs rife. So slow down. Plan breaks and be mindful how you use and enjoy your time. Making enjoying your life the most important thing in your life will shift your focus from pessimistic to positive overnight. Don’t wait for your pension to slow down start savoring you life right now. (I mean it right now).

Sing and dance

Music has one of the most uplifting effects on our moods. If you are feeling low find a favorite tune, sing along and bop around in the kitchen. I used to find that listening to happy music on the way to work started my day so much better than just watching the other commuters on the platform. And I am pretty sure that I amused them when I forgot where I was due to the awesome music and danced a bit on the platform too!

Spread it around

Positivity breeds positivity. Think about it if you see someone smiling you smile too. Say hello to strangers, smile at the bus driver, compliment a colleague in the way they look. See if you can do at least five things to spread positivity each day. Making others feel happy makes you feel happy, it’s simply a win win situation.

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Of course there are many ways to be a positive person these are simply a few ideas to get you started. Adopting the attitude of gratitude is another powerful way to be positive which you can read about here. The most important part of being a positive person is choosing to be a positive person. You have to reprogram your genetics a little and take control. You want  positive life then you have to change your attitude to your life. However as you can see the smallest of change in your habits can and will turn you into a positive person. 

Have a happy weekend 🙂

Put your Positive pants on!.jpg

#Lifelessons101 -A guide to sleeping for your success. You can sleep your way to the top! (2 min read)

It is amazing how many people sleep less and less the older we get. I mean why? Our bodies don’t need less sleep, in fact as we get older we get tireder quicker and we indeed need more sleep. In the 1980s it became de rigueur to show people how little we sleep. Sleep was overrated, a waste of time.  But if you want to see the idiocies of the sleepless just look at Donald Trump who proudly advocates having a few hours and night. It OBVIOUSLY hasn’t helped his intellect.

Luckily today, sleep is back in fashion. Entrepreneurs everywhere are making the time for their zsss. Sleep is now an indication of success. People at the top sleep. In fact when you are properly rested it is possible to sleep your way to the top. And no I don’t mean biblicaly. I mean with the energy from being properly rested, you have the energy to succeed. When we sleep our blood pressure drops, our muscles relax, tissues grows and repairs and energy is restored. What’s not to like?

But where to find the time? Well entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people in the world (and that’s if they are successful or not) how the heck do they do it? Prioritizing and time management. If it’s important you make the time. You are important so you owe it to yourself to take care of you so that you can succeed.

So to make sure reach the top here’s my tip top guide to sleeping your way to success!

Get the right amount of sleep for you

The National Sleep Foundation gives a recommendation for every age group but we all have our own optimal pattern. Mine is 8 hours any less and i feel exhausted and weepy after a couple of days. So figure out what the best amount of sleep is for you. Too little and you are still exhausted, too much and you feel clogged up.

Plan your sleep

Know when you are going to sleep. Plan your bedtimes, Just until you get into the habit of going to bed in good time for you. Plan your lay ins too. We all need them from time to time so give yourself the opportunity to indulge in your duvet. Get into a regular bed and wake up times it helps your body to be in a continuous rhythm.

Get into an  optimal sleep cycle

With sleep becoming fashionable there are many new sleep fads popping up. One of the theories that has been proven to work is using our optimal sleep cycle. A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is normally repeated several times each night. Most of us need four or five cycles in a 24 hour period. So you need to work out how many sleep cycles you are going to get in a night. Work backwards from your wake up time and make sure you wake up at the end of a cycle. You can feel it if you wake up mid cycle, it’s feels a bit like being hungover.

Prepare yourself for sleep

Give yourself a proper wind down towards sleep. Get into a pre-sleep routine. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Set an alarm 30 mins before bed and get off the computer, telephone or tablet. Find an activity to help you wind down, meditating, reading, drawing, mindfulness. If you head is full of thoughts write them out, on paper. Whatever allows your body to get into a chill zone. These days I make it a priority to not work after dinner in the evenings. It actually makes me more productive and I am much more relaxed.

Cat nap

Spain is known for its siesta. What a great concept. Getting a boost in the middle of the day does wonders for the body, mind and soul.However keeping in mind sleep cycles you should aim for a 40 min cat nap to not wake up feeling groggier than you did before hand.

Plan your day and get into a rhythm

The key to having enough time to sleep and be successful is down to daily planning and getting into a rhythm. When we are in a rhythm it frees us. We form habits and daily tasks become efficient. There are many ways of planning and time management strategies. Here is an article on planning so you can find the strategy that works for you.


Sleep is the best retreat we have.  Arianna Huffington says “By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” Sleep is entirely a world of own and the one place where we can recharge no matter what. Make your sleep important, make entering that private world of yours important. The more you value yourself, the more you will succeed.

Enjoy your journey <3

Discover the great ideas that lie insideyou by discoveringthe power of sleep.jpg

#lifelessons101- Let frustration be the catalyst for whimsy and brighten your day! (1 min read)

Whimsy. It’s such a lovely word isn’t it. It means playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor or acting on a whim. And in this serious world of self development I feel we have more of a need for whimsy, in both of it’s meanings.

It was comedian James Vetch who said “Let frustration be the catalyst for whimsy” and I think this is genius. Frustration is something we all feel at times, if you are very unlucky it can be everyday. But what would the world be like if we took those frustrating periods in our lives and turned them into something playfully quaint and fanciful. Wouldn’t that be much more fun.

And honestly it would be healthier too. After all conscious living is about being in touch with yourself and choosing you reaction. Choosing whimsy over stress will make you both happier and more positive in your everyday.

Here are a few ideas on how to bring more whimsy into your life – enjoy

Planning

Ok, I know this might sound strange however when we are frustrated it can be challenging to be inspired. So write a list of whimsy ideas, random things you can do to make the day more fun. It could be starting a balloon bouncing competition in the canteen at lunchtime, eating cake for breakfast, sending silly memes to those stupid spam emails. Whatever you can think of. Big projects, small action. Just remember to keep it playful and light.

Get the whimsy bible

As you know I am an avid pupil of comedian Miranda Hart who not only is an amazingly talented person but also was a long term sufferer of anxiety. For Comic relief she wrote a book call “Miranda’s daily doses of such fun” and this can be interpreted as the whimsy  bible. For every day of the year Miranda suggests silly and amusing activities that are easy to do and hilarious. Guaranteed to lift anyone’s mood. I rarely say this but BUY IT. It will be the best present you have given yourself this year.

Do a good deed

Pack the person behind you in the queue at the supermarkets bags, or give a homeless person lunch or send a bunch a flowers to your Mum. Spread a little cheer and you will feel more cheerful. Its easy and makes life nicer

Dance in the kitchen

If nothing else when you are at home crank up your favorite tunes and dance around the kitchen like a mad thing for 5 minutes. Guaranteed to have you giggling and smiling in under 10 seconds!

BE spontaneous and have fun!

It’s actually that simple!

If you need more inspiration then check out some of James Vetch’s Ted talks. He is a complete whimsy master and his videos have the added bonus of making you laugh until your sides split- Have a whimsy weekend!

Enjoy your journey!

Some days You just have to create your ownSunshine.jpg

De stress before your summer holidays!

I don’t know about you but for years June has been one hectic, pressure pot waiting to explode, then at the end the glorious summer holidays arrived and I, would collapse. Worn out to the edges and totally over stretched when my body finally got told it was ok to crash, it did. Teachers I know especially can relate to this. Somehow as a teacher all the bugs you have been fighting off all year tend to hit you the first day of the holidays.

This year is going to be different. I have 2 and a half weeks until my summer starts so I am going into holiday mode now. This year instead of running on overdrive up until summer I intend to wind down slowly, consciously and get the most out of this precious time out as possible.

How to do it ? Well just follow these easy tips and slide gently into your summer chillax mode:

Know you have time

Yes you have deadlines. Whether it is the shopping for the summer holidays or the corporate merger meeting before your plane takes off to Bali. Know you only have a limited amount of time and that you will achieve what you CAN and NEED to achieve in that time.  make a list of your deadlines and then prioritize in the following way

A: What needs to be done now

B: What can someone else do – delegation

C; What can wait until I get back

Delegate and then focus on the A tasks.

Incorporate you time into your day

15 minutes you time a day will help with your wind down and will give you the energy to get the last things done. Try and take it midway throughout the day. 15 minutes meditation, yoga, nap, walk outside (in nature- it’s definitely the best) or reading will help your body and mind wind down,

For even better results plan a day off before the summer, and I mean a day off, no cleaning, no I have to I should dos. Nada! if you can’t manage a day try two evenings. Any break time you can give yourself do it, your body needs this.

Sleep

Get to bed earlier than you normally do. If you are over stretched then you need your sleep. It truly is one of the best healers in the world. Go to bed 30 mins earlier than usual. If you cannot sleep read or talk to your partner. I find doing mindfulness colouring books in bed (something I have done ever since childhood) is a great wind down. Just make sure you switch off all phones laptops, tvs and tablets. Make the last 30 mins to an hour of your day for you.

Plan your summer holidays

Motivation is what we need. So loosely planning your holidays and how you will use your free time will help your to get motivated and at the same time make sure your get the break you need when you get there. I plan to have the first two days of summer holidays to wind down. I have the usual cleaning, washing and a workshop to write but I am putting those on day 5 and 6. The first 4 days are for me. Then I am going to have a few days to enjoy being at home before packing and hitting the road. My wonderful friend once showed me her first day of summer holidays ritual. She made a poster with all of her things she wanted and had to do on it. She had a great time with it. Putting on glitter glue and drawing, her kid makes one too. With champagne in one hand and glitter in the other this is the start of her summer. However you plan your holidays just make sure there are some nothing days. Completely unadulterated days with no plans and complete freedom.

 

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Start your wind down to summer this week and feel the benefits of arriving on holiday stress free and ready to enjoy your freedom, however you choose to do it!

Relax Unwind

Need more time, just plan your day and free yourself!

Planning. I know, I know we hear it all the time. If you plan your day life is simpler. I used to rail at the idea. I was absolutely no-one is going to tell me what to do, even if it is me telling me what to do! I wanted spontaneity. And I got it. Things popped up sporadically constantly and eventually I got bogged down by the chaos. In fact I got trapped by it. Ironically by not structuring my life I lost the very freedom I had been fighting to maintain. And along came the opportunity to structure my life and my days. And voila within a month or two I had more time, more energy, more breaks and was 10 times more effective. I felt freer than I had done for years. And I felt, and still do feel; in charge of my life, what’s not to love!

So how do you take charge and start to make order of the chaos? Well there are many brilliant books out there that will help you do this. My personal favourite is Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy, an absolute master of planning. Not only does he offer effective and simple ways to organise your day, he advocates smart energy use which offers flexibility and the opportunity for spontaneity to come into one’s planning. And that really is the key to being organised is to be structured and flexible. I have used my system for at least 10 years now and I find it really helps keep me focused and has the added bonus of showing me my achievements every month. Here I outline the basic strategy I use. It sounds a lot at first but once you put this system in place it soon becomes a quick and easy habit and makes so much of a difference to your time and energy in the day.

My 3 part daily planning system

You might be thinking 3 parts wh, what! But don’t worry you don’t need to make 3 to do lists per day.  

Step 1 – The month list

The first part of the system comprises of making a monthly list of everything that you need to get done that month. And I am not just talking about what you have to do. I am also talking about the things you want to do. I have a notebook in which every month I use only 2 pages to fill out what I want and have to do that month. I divide it into sub headings of Work, Life (doctors etc), Me and Social. The Me part is really important it is sooo easy to forget ourselves in the planning so make you a focus.

Step 2 – The weekly list

The second part of my system is the weekly list. Every Monday with my morning barley coffee, I sit and make a week list from my month list.  Its actually really satisfying to cross off what I have achieved in my notebook and write a list for my desk for the whole week. I get to check in with my progress and remind myself how awesome I am for achieving so much!

Step 3 – The daily structure

The last and final part is the daily plan. I actually have a table I made in word and have printed off so I can fill it out ( I love the old fashioned pen and paper) however you could do this on the computer or via an app. I simply block out my day in time slots and fill in the appropriate actions using my week list.  The form I have made has areas pre-made for breaks and relaxation such as my 30 mins reading before bed or 15 mins in the massage chair when I get home.

After this I just follow my day’s plan. It really is as simple as that. Of course sometimes things go wrong or the unexpected happens so adjust. The important thing to remember is the 70% rule.

The 70% rule of planning

I got taught this by a danish pædagog. He said that it is almost impossible to achieve 100% of our goals per day, everyday. Expecting this is setting ourselves up for a fail and we eventually lose motivation. So his take on it is that by achieving 70% on our days wish list that is the same as achieving 100% of all our goals. It should be thought of as being the same accomplishment and having the same value as a 100%. By doing this it relaxes the mind. You feel less stressed by knowing its ok to achieve only 70% and after while you find that you are actually achieving much more than 70% but without stress.

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Taking 5 to 10 mins every day to know what you are going to do and when in your day makes life easier. It frees you from the task of remembering everything in your head and frees you from making decisions when you are tired later in the day. By using the 70% rule and checking off your lists you become more grounded and conscious of your achievements. And if you plan for it you find that you will free up your time so that you too can enjoy your journey, re-energise and relax when you need it. Take 5 minutes for you today and see how much easier it can be when you make a plan.

Plan your life like you will live foreverLive your life like it will end tomorrow