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Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Love the Skin You're In Summer time

7 Questions to create your BEST summer yet

Ah, the smell of summer time in the air! Don’t you just love feeling the mornings getting lighter and the breeze getting warmer.

We all love summer and it’s definitely true that you can feel the collective mood of the nation rising as the sun starts to rise a little earlier each morning.

I have a new series for you today to inspire you to make Summer 2019/20 your best yet.

We all know summer’s going to be good…because…summer!!!…but I have 8 top tips for you over the next 8 weeks to amp it up to the max with your wellbeing in mind.

A little extra planning and reflection now go a really long way to making this your best summer to date.

So – today’s first tip

#1. Summer by design, not by default

If Summer 2019/20 is to be your most fun, most connected, most energising yet, then that’s unlikely to happen by accident.

We are far enough out on the run-up now that you can make some great decisions that will affect your level of ease and enjoyment the whole summer long.

So, spend a little time planning by using these 7 questions:

  1. What was great about previous summers that you absolutely want to do again this year?

  2. What would be the three things that would THRILL you to have happen this summer?

  3. What three new activities or occasions do you absolutely want to include this summer?

  4. What did you feel you might have missed out on last year? What could have been better?

  5. What, be honest now, is getting kinda boring doing summer after summer? What are you ready to stop or switch up?

  6. Where are you getting pulled into other people’s summer agendas in a way that really doesn’t work for you?

  7. What are your favourite summer traditions? Is there anyone additional you want to include, or a way you want to put a twist on or expand your summer tradition?

Making the most of our precious months of glorious weather and squeezing the maximum juice out of the summer means investing in a generous sprinkle of planning.

A little planning might not sound summer-sexy – but the results sure are.

When you get the summer you want and deserve by design – not by default.

Categories
Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress

Define Your Choices

We are lucky, lucky people. Lucky!

We live in a time and location of almost infinite abundance and choice. We have more choices at our disposal than any generation that came before us. We have the sum of all human knowledge accessible 24/7 in the palm of our hands. We live in the age of not just unlimited information, but of unlimited choice. It’s a great time to be on planet Earth.

Our choices define us. Who we are. The life we lead. The future that’s coming for us.

Our choices lay bare our priorities and our principles. Even when we think we have no choice we always have a choice. The only thing we HAVE to do is breathe, everything after that is a choice. Annoying, but true.

Our choices reveal our true priorities. Not what we say our priorities are – but what they REALLY are. Other people’s choices say the same about them – they are a literal demonstration of true priority in action.

We think we are not choosing when we are.

The truth of life is that in every moment that we say YES to one thing, we are saying NO to something else.

  • We say yes to being kind and patient to the supermarket checkout person and no to being irritable and rushed.
  • We say yes to Netflix and couch time and no to a walk before dinner.
  • We say yes to one form of income and no to another.
  • We say yes to letting someone go before us in the traffic and no to closing the gap and making them wait.
  • Or we say yes to playing with the kids and no to playing with our phone.

Life can sometimes get off course when we forget that every single moment we absolutely have a choice.

What and who are you saying yes to? What and who are you saying no to?

A million tiny sovereign choices, every hour, day, week are what comprise our life.

Your choices define you. Choose well.

 

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Energy Boosters Happiness Self Care and Self Love

Baby, it’s cold outside: 5 totally unusual tips to move that mood! #4

Winter Wellbeing #4: Intention and Impact

Winter is a great time for reflection. For being rather than doing. Pausing the boxset for an hour to sit by the fire and reflect with intent can be a great way to do a winter reset around your health, happiness and wellbeing.

If you ask some people what he/she “should be” doing for his/her wellbeing you will get hella long list.

Something like…

Must exercise before work every day. At least an hour. Drink a green juice every day. Eat more protein. Make sure drink enough water (in BPA safe bottle obvs). And lift heavy things for bone density (kettlebells?). Rest more. But, er, also do more. Bootcamp. Cook from scratch every meal. More pulses? Get in 5 a day. 7 really. Do squats whilst cleaning teeth. Oh teeth, must get organic toothpaste. And aluminium-free deodorant. Do not get stressed! Yes definitely be less stressed. Meditate. 20 mins a day. Every day….AND SO ON.

PHEW. IT’S FREAKING EXHAUSTING!

This is why we find it so hard to stick to wellbeing habits; total overwhelm. When you see it all written down like that it seems fairly crazy-pants that anyone could ever keep on top of a percentage of that regularly.

Know this: the BEST wellbeing actions you can choose are the ones that you:

a) Actually DO consistently
b) Create maximum IMPACT

You can’t do everything: FACT!

So, let’s stop putting ridiculous pressure and expectations on ourselves and look for IMPACT AND CONSISTENCY, and then focus on FEELING GOOD ABOUT IT! That’s wellbeing, yes?

So, reflect on this: what wellbeing habit (can be small or large) do you wish you HAD STARTED 5 YEARS AGO AND KEPT UP CONSISTENTLY?

Big question! Resist the urge to write 19 answers and batter your self-esteem – start working that DISCERNMENT MUSCLE – what’s the ONE THING that would have been the highest impact choice?

Make that ONE choice TODAY.

Want to read Tip One? Click here. Tip Two is here & Tip Three here.

Categories
Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Self Care and Self Love Winter Wellbeing

Baby, it’s cold outside: 5 totally unusual tips to move that mood! #3

Winter Wellbeing #3: Winter Projects

I love this as an energy booster in the winter.

Make a list of 5 of those jobs that you have been putting off and putting off (you know the ones).

Legitimately putting them off in the summer…because…summerrrrrrrrrrr! Why would you be doing anything but being at that family barbeque / out on the water SUP style / playing cricket with the kids? Of course, you wouldn’t. Summer trumps all.

However, as the nights draw in and we all hunker down this could be the perfect time to create those family photo albums that you have been promising yourself you would do for the last…argh!… 6 years. It could be the ideal time to teach your littlie to play chess with patience and thought as the rain hammers down outside. It could be the exact opportunity you have been waiting for to stop procrastinating on that online course you bought into and actually implement the principles you have been taught. That book club you have been putting off joining? Join it. Building that bike rack thing in the garage you have been banging on about forever? Build it.

Winter means now is your time.

Winter is an amazing opportunity for us to stop and take stock. Look at what we are normally  “too busy” for, or that we “will get round to” one day. And make that the now.

There are two big benefits to employing this strategy in the winter: firstly you get the obvious bang for your buck of the finished photo albums that you now have, or the kiddie you are proud of playing chess with…but secondly it’s a huge energy booster just at the time of the year when our energy reserves are generally lower.

Getting things off the eternal to list and into the pleasing category of “done”, not only means they are done, but it means they are not a silent energy sucker in the background. You will be amazed at how much of a sense of achievement you get from crossing off some of your “one day” projects whilst the temperatures drop outside.

Pick one thing and commit to it today.

Tip One can be read here, Tip Two here.

Categories
Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Relationships Self Care and Self Love

Sorry, Not Sorry.

Are you waiting for an apology that just hasn’t come? If so, you are not alone. It’s a state that many of my clients find themselves in and it keeps them stuck. Waiting for someone else (or an organisation) to own and apologise what we perceive as a major transgression, and their continued unwillingness to do so, ties us to the past hurt and stops us moving forwards.

There is also “contrition for show” where there is an apology of sorts, but it’s more for public perception. We can feel the difference between being publicly sorry about being caught, rather than privately remorseful for what actually happened.

When an apology is disingenuous it doesn’t give the relief or peace we seek and so it doesn’t count. Contrition for show feels very different to genuine apology and can actually add insult to injury.

Why don’t you get your apology?

Well, genuine contrition means the risk of genuine shame. Shame is one of the most uncomfortable emotions there is. Not everyone has the emotional chops to let themselves feel it. It’s far less about avoiding contrition to you and far more about avoiding the self-knowledge and it’s implications to them. They don’t want to live with the shame; so you live with the lack of contrition. And so holding out for genuine contrition – does it actually help?

It might feel right and fair and just and what “should” happen: but the fact is – you are not getting it and your need for it actually only damages you further and keeps you bound to the original injury.

Know that if someone has done the dirty on you, even if they don’t own their behaviour you can still own your future.

The fastest way to move past the hurt is to assert that not one element of your life depends on them apologising to you. That you want your future more than you want their contrition. Someone else’s contrition can be of far less value than you think.

Take back your power by dropping your need for it.

If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside!

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Private Life Coaching Resilience Self Care and Self Love

7 Things I Have Learned From Coaching Smart People.

The 7 things I have learned from coaching thousands of smart people.

1. Something bad has happened to pretty much everybody at some point. Everyone has a thing that will make you feel lucky to have not gone through it yourself, and will put some of your own stuff into sharp perspective. Even the “glidey girls” who look like they have life on lock have gone through tough stuff too. Everyone has a thing.

2. The ability of the human spirit to rise is almost limitless. The ability to go through and come out the other side is built in. We are programmed to transcend. Even if we think we are not, we are. If you are in a tough situation right now — keep going. You’ve got this.

3. Sticking in a job that sucks your soul is never worth it long-term. Short-term, yes, you sometimes have to be pragmatic. A lifetime? No.

4. Every problem has a solution. It might not be a solution you like or would wish for but there is a solution! If there is no solution, then you are not wresting with a problem, you are wresting with a fact. That means you are going to lose. Accept it and push forwards however you can.

5. We all spend far too much time worrying about what other people think about us, and it defines way too many of our choices. Your opinion about yourself is far more valuable than anyone else’s. Work on enhancing that first.

6. When you make positive choices in the right direction it’s astonishing how quickly all sorts of unanticipated magical assistance will start coming your way. Happens without fail. Courage gets rewarded.

7. The story you tell about yourself, to yourself, defines your life. Tell a good story. Make sure you are the hero or heroine who prevails and shines.

 

If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside! 

Categories
Dream and Goals Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress

Reflect and Recommit

Whoa…middle of May already?! 2019 is whizzing by.

Moving towards mid-year, it’s an excellent time to check in on how your year is going.

Here are a few handy review questions to get you thinking:

 

  1. What are you most proud of so far in 2019?

 

  1. What New Year’s Resolutions did you set this year?

 

  1. Which ones have you achieved? Why have you achieved them? How did you accomplish them?

 

  1. Which ones are nicely on track? Why are they going so well? What is it that you are doing that is keeping them on track?

 

  1. Which ones have, ahem, fallen by the wayside? Why is that, honestly? What did you prioritise instead? Are you good with that choice?

 

  1. Do you still want to achieve that thing? Is it still important to you?

 

  1. Is there something else you would like to create for yourself in 2019?

 

We are very good at waiting till Monday to restart the healthy eating plan, waiting till the first of the month to reset our spending, and waiting till the 1st of the year to set our big goals for our lives. Doesn’t have to be that way.

We can reset ourselves any time we choose.

We can start on a brand new adventure, goal or splendid plan at 4.34pm on a random Wednesday (TODAY!) in May if we choose to make it so. Every day is an opportunity to remake ourselves. To take a moment to look up from the hamster wheel of doing that is life and see in what overall direction we are headed. If all the tiny little decisions and choices we are making each day about how to prioritise our time, energy and attention are actually taking us in the direction, on the 1st of January, that we fully intended to go.

Now is the time as we hunker down to winter to reassess. See what has worked. Give ourselves a pat on the back where appropriate and double down on what we still want to move towards. Keeping up momentum as it gets colder and darker with that extra show of motivation to push through is vital. It is so much easier to commit to healthier eating, more exercise and so on when the sun is shining, fruit is falling off the trees in the garden and the nights are long.

So, what is the #1 thing you want to accomplish by the end of the year? What would make 2019 stand out as the year you always look back on? That you finally went to that amazing place you had on your bucket list or started that study programme that transformed your professional opportunities, set up your side hustle business, ran that off-road marathon, lost the 15kgs and kept it off.

Small tiny actions lead to huge long-term accomplishments.

It’s a general principle of how the human brain works that we tend to wildly overestimate what we can accomplish in a day (those To Do list’s that seem so doable at 8am but are almost unchanged at 4pm) and conversely also tend to habitually underestimate what we can accomplish in the long term. We can make so many more things that we think are too big or too time consuming to start, actually happen, if we just start small, but start.

The year is yet young. Reflect and recommit.

 

If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women.

Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to waitlist and I’ll let you know the moment the doors are open for new members! 

 

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Bring Your Brave.

I will decide not to be scared.

I have nearly half a dozen very sweet and very smart nieces; I am truly blessed with abundance in the niece department. I went to pick Anna up from school the other day; she is 6 and a proper poppet. As we set off for ice-cream, the park and a wander around the 2-dollar shop (yes yes, so I spoil her, sue me!), she was chattering on about her day in that way only 6-year-olds can. She was talking about how she had volunteered to stand up and talk the following week in front of the whole class about this project she was doing. She was very serious and earnest about it and how she wanted to do a good job in front of everyone. “That’s very brave,” I said.

“Well…it’s not brave”, Anna slurped thoughtfully through her hokey pokey. “You don’t need to be brave…if you decide not to be scared”.

Well BOOM, little girl. Good one. That is indeed true. You don’t need to be brave if you decide not to be scared. If you decide something is not inherently scary then no courage or bravery is required. You just do it. Maybe even relish and enjoy it.  You‘ve gotta love the irrefutable logic that comes out of the mouths of babes.

It’s a fabulous lesson to ponder, is it not?

How we define a situation dictates what we need to bring to it.

If we define a situation as boring, then we are going to need to bring persistence.

If we define a situation as hard, then we are required to pack our willpower.

If we define someone or something as scary, we need to muster our courage.

It gave me pause for thought and I hope it does for you today. I had a piece of Boomerang Admin I had been putting off (Boomerang Admin, you know the sort, you think you have sorted it, it’s DONE, you have thrown the task away forever but it keeps coming back. Form tick box is not ticked right. Payment has not gone through. Query on fulfilment. Code not selected. Yada Yada Yada. Boomerang Admin.) I’d filed this task mentally under the helpful category of TEDIOUS RED TAPE I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO WASTE MY TIME ON REPEATEDLY. It was requiring every drop of willpower, persistence and tenacity I could possibly marshal to overcome the overwhelming inertia to actually get it fixed.

Realising that if I stopped defining it as tedious I wouldn’t need to bring any of my willpower reserves was a game-changer. If I decide not to be bored then I don’t need to force myself to pay attention. Redefining the situation from tedious to an opportunity to get clarity and completion meant no persistence needed. Plus, I have to say I got it done in about a tenth of the time I thought I would.

We tend to have well-ingrained habits of definition around certain situations in our life.  Have a think. There is bound to be something or someone who is scaring or boring the pants off you requiring you to bring your willpower or bring your brave.

Have a look if a change of definition might help you; because you don’t need to be brave, if you decide not to be scared.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

Sleep Quality vs Quantity.

I will improve sleep quality (not just quantity).

Probably the most valuable currency of modern life is attention. The quality of attention that we bestow on another human being so they feel truly seen and heard is increasingly in short supply.

The second most valuable currency (okay, Top 5 for sure) would be sleep. Quality and quantity of sleep. It would be rare to meet anyone who wouldn’t give a big “Hell Yes” to the question, “Would you like 2-hours additional sleep a week?” or who is not carrying some sort of a sleep debt around beneath the artfully applied Touche Eclat.

Our bedtime is what sets us up for the quantity of sleep we are going to get – that’s just maths. You go to bed at x time; get up at y time; therefore possible maximum sleep is z hours. And that is what we all tend to focus on, the quantity of sleep. Trouble is, this is hard to move given how many responsibilities people are juggling.

The easier gains I am finding are to be had in the area of sleep quality. Here are a couple of tips for improving your sleep quality:

  1. Knock the booze on the head a few more nights of the week. I know, I know. Annoying, but I have to say I have been amazed at how well this works. I haven’t got the space here to go into all the ins and outs of it, but basically even a fairly small amount of alcohol disrupts your deep sleep / REM sleep quality in the second half of the night (we tend to drop off quicker, but the second half of sleep is more disrupted): hence feeling a bit slow and groggy in the morning. The “just one or two” glasses of wine / G & T’s DO make a difference. The clarity of waking up after consecutive booze-free days has blown away members of my Life Coaching Academy who have tried it as an experiment. This is not about cutting our parties and occasions, just the one or two small ones of an evening whilst cooking. Personally, I have found I am actually needing less quantity of sleep (about 45 mins less) as the quality of sleep is so much improved. If you want to improve sleep quality quickly, this is a remarkably easy fix.
  2. If you find it hard to drop off to sleep then improve your sleep quality by having a bath or a shower before bed. If you think about it we do this with babies and children as standard. The whole bath time routine that is the signal that it’s night time and to calm them down before hopefully a whole night’s unbroken sleep (it could happen, right?). That bath time effect works on adults too. A warm shower or bath before bed artificially raises your body temperature, which means it drops more quickly than usual when you slip between the sheets, telling your brain that it’s time to go to sleep now. It really works to improve your sleep quality. Try it and see how you feel in the morning.
  3. Final sleep tip for you is a quantity tip. Getting an extra hour’s sleep a night is hard for most adults: we are busy and there is stuff to do in the evenings, chores, social stuff, connecting with loved ones and so on. Going to bed a whole hour earlier when you might only get home from work or the gym at 8 pm is not an appealing thought and, frankly, it’s pretty hard to do (yep, we have experimented with that too)… but… going to bed just 15 minutes earlier? That’s easy. How do you do it? Where do you find the extra 15 minutes? You eliminate the “Faffing About Time”. The aimlessly checking Instagram for no reason in particular. The starting the new episode when you know you are not going to see it through to the end. The random tidying of stuff that doesn’t matter. The going up and down the stairs for different things rather than just cleaning your teeth and getting into bed. We all have 15 minutes of Faffing About Time we can cut out without feeling any pain. And, if you do that…. boom: you gain just under 2-hours of sleep a week. A hundred more sleep hours a year. The equivalent of 12 and a half extra full nights’ sleep a year! Just from cutting out your fifteen minutes of faff.

Twelve and a half extra nights sleep a year? You are welcome.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Two Simple Additions To Your Morning Routine.

Change Your World by Making Your Bed.

How we start and close the day has a huge impact on happiness and wellness levels. A few small tweaks can make a huge difference to how you feel about your day, your productivity levels and your mood. Taking a few minutes to review your morning and evening routine is a fast wellness booster. The key though I think is to be realistic about your LIFE.

So many of the articles and memes on this frankly exhaust me just reading them. You know the ones.  They trill something like, “Just 19 Simple Steps To Start Your Day RIGHT!”

It will go something like this: Journal for 15 minutes. Meditate for 20 minutes. Make a delicious fresh fruit breakfast with chia in it. Stretch with a simple 10-minute yoga routine. Take a moment to just breeeeeeathe (ahhhhh!). Read something meaningful that stretches your mind. Have a cold shower to invigorate the immune system. Do something nourishing with essential oils. Listen to a mind-expanding podcast. And so on.

I am sure I am not alone here hearing the voice in my head screaming “Yeah RIGHT!” Tui style. To make all that good stuff happen I’d need to get up at 3am to start my morning routine!

Those 96-point lists will foster nothing but feeling inadequate and guilty. The key is to work with your personal circumstances and personal body clock to optimise what is genuinely realistic to tweak for you. If the goal is not to reach instagramable levels of perfection, but to start and finish your day feeling a little calmer, a little less stressed, and with more appreciation and ease then keep it simple.

Here are two tiny tweaks you can incorporate without drama.

  1. Admiral William H. McRaven, a US Navy Seal, has a great 2-minute motivational talk on “changing the world by making your bed”. A simple but mundane task, it means you have accomplished the first task of the day early. It gives you a small sense of pride and creates the momentum to achieve the next task. As he so eloquently demonstrates, the little things in life matter: when we do the small things right we are more likely to do the big things right. Making your bed is a 2-minute investment (tops, unless you have a serious scatter cushion habit) that will start your day with purpose and discipline.

2. Use your teeth clean in the morning to anchor in some positivity. This takes exactly NO additional time, but will also set your day off on the right foot. Whilst you are brushing ask yourself the simple question, “What would I like to go RIGHT today?” Actively force your mind to start the day worry-free and focus on all the opportunities for connection and productivity you have coming up.

Take a moment to review your regular morning routine. It might (if you are honest with yourself) be “hit snooze 4 times (time investment 36-minutes) and “noodle on Facebook first thing” (12 minutes). In which case a quick refresh is in order.

These two tips, one physical, one mental, you can incorporate no matter how busy you are to start each day with purpose and positivity.

 

If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside! 

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