strength

The truth about designing your life

New Zealand Sky Dive

I recently set up the Facebook Group Design Your Life Global to start to build a community of like-minded people. I wanted to set up a positive environment for people to share ideas, tips and knowledge for designing a life that you want to live. A life where you are living each day to the full and not merely existing to pay the bills. I want to spread the happiness I have found in doing what I love to other people.

 

So, if you’re reading this, and you fancy joining in, please click “join” to be a part of the journey.

 

What does “Design Your Life” mean?

I realised that being part of a coaching community, I have quite an in depth knowledge and awareness for a lot of buzzwords that are trendy on the scene at the moment such as wellness, mindfulness, owning your life, peak performance and so on.

But I want to explore the meaning for anyone who doesn’t understand – it is a bit of an odd concept because it’s assuming you don’t already have some kind of ownership over your life, when of course, you do right?

Well, let’s put it this way. Do you want to be doing the job you are currently doing? Do you enjoy your daily commute? Do you socialise with people who bring you joy and give you energy? Are you in the best health that you can be at the moment? Are you working towards small, medium and large life focuses or goals to help improve your overall health and wellbeing? If you answered NO to any one of these questions. You have not designed your own life. This nicely brings me on to my next point…

 

How do I “design my life”?

Designing your life requires honesty, bravery, commitment and dedication from you. It’s hard, but the amazing reward is, it’s possible to live a fulfilling life that makes you truly happy. It isn’t always changing what you’re doing, it’s sometimes about changing your own mind-set towards what you’re doing and the way you’re doing it.

If you’re not in the best shape at the moment, it’s about thinking, what small steps can I, but also WILL I take to change that. If you hate going to the gym, but say to yourself, I need to go 5 times a week to get fitter. You’re not going to keep to those goals. So don’t set them, if you hate the gym and feel rubbish after going, don’t set that as a fitness goal. Focus on what you do enjoy, it may be going for a run in a local park, or doing a dance class, or maybe yoga or pilates. It may be meeting up and going dancing with friends, think about actions you WILL take.

If you’re not enjoying the career or job you’ve chosen to be in – why is that? When you’re in control of your own life, you make choices to do things don’t you? If you’re not happy, it’s simply because that’s the way you’ve designed your life.

Trust me, every single person in this world has commitments, has bills to pay, dependants, we all have the same amount of hours in a day as each other. So if you’re not happy in your job it’s because you’ve designed your life that way, let’s be accountable here. Life is HARD!!! But it’s hard for everyone, you’re no different!

You have to ignore the excuses, and take responsibility. Only then, will you start to make the necessary changes to impact your life and propel you from a life of existence to a life of living and abundance! Once you choose to be accountable for your own life and mood you become unstoppable.

What do I mean by a life of existence? I mean choosing to stay in a job that makes you unhappy to pay for an apartment that you don’t like in a city that you’re not enjoying. To drown your sorrows every weekend with a bunch of people you don’t care about to distract you from the fact you’re living a life that doesn’t make you happy.

What do I mean by a life of living? I mean enjoying your daily commute because you’ve been given an amazing opportunity that you’re happy to go and fulfil, I mean doing a job that inspires you to grow and energises you to be the best version of you that can exist. I mean you’re socialising with people who inspire and motivate you so that you grow and develop as a person.

You can find out more about techniques for helping you to achieve the above in 1:1 coaching sessions with me – you can find more information on the Coaching Page on my website.

What will “designing my life” give me?

Designing your own life will give you FREEDOM. Whether that be financial freedom, freedom from society, freedom from negativity – it will set you free.

It will empower you to see the beauty that life has to offer and to enjoy the five days in between weekend number one and weekend number two.

It will stop you from wasting that precious gift of life that so many people are so ungrateful for. We were all blessed with life, to enjoy it, to develop, to learn and to grow. Most of all we were blessed with the ability to enjoy our lives and be happy – both emotional choices, both can be impacted by the negative environments we put ourselves in if we let them.

Everyone has off days, or uncontrollable shifts in circumstances. But there’s a famous saying by Stephen Covey and that is “feel the feeling, choose the response” and he discusses this in detail with various different diagrams in his book The 7 habits of highly successful people if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. But the point is, we are in control of how we react to every circumstance we are faced with, we all have a choice.

It’s time to take back control, own the excuses and enjoy the life we are blessed with.

 

How do I know anything about “designing my life” at all?

I’ve actually designed my life for the better. A very interesting thing happened to me recently.

In January, I had already decided I wanted to go to the gym a minimum of 5 times a week for this entire New Year. I’ve always gone to the gym, but to improve my overall fitness and wellbeing, I had now upped this to a 5 days a week minimum workout (#maximumgains)!

I also wanted to face my fears of creating video content and videos to promote my business on social media. It is so important to not hide behind your logo as an entrepreneur. People want to connect with you – so you need to be visible right!

Finally, I wanted to spend time getting to know and investing in new clients which meant various meetings, groups, phone calls and so forth.

Also in the New Year I was offered a very nice freelance contract for a decent amount of money (a sizeable amount considering it was just after the Christmas period). But, this freelance contract would have meant I couldn’t achieve my business goals for January and it meant I wouldn’t have easily have been able to keep my fitness goals either due to long hours over 5 weekdays and a very long commute.

So what did I do? Despite the fact I really could have used that money, I stuck to living my own life that I designed and I took January for me. Yes I’ve still worked, but I’ve worked on my terms allowing me to meet my business and fitness goals for this month.

So, February, what’s next?!! LET’S DO THIS

'Tis the season...

Covent Garden Christmas

It’s the season of goodwill, the season to be jolly, the season of parties and joy? But Christmas can sometimes leave you feeling like you have no time for yourself or your loved ones, not to mention the ever decreasing bank balance.


So what can you do to manage the festive period without losing your mind?!

Where do you start with Christmas presents?

You’ve been invited to your new boyfriend’s Grandma’s house for Christmas and you have to buy her dog a present?!

Well, to prevent seeing your shiny new presents in the charity shop in the New Year as well as having to re-mortgage your house to pay for it all…why not shop ethically this Christmas. There are many ways to do this as below…

1)      Do a family Secret Santa using an online tool such as @drawnames https://www.drawnames.co.uk/  this means you only have to buy one person a present. It also has a great function of a wish list so that you can choose what you’d like with the budget in mind as well.

2)      Instead of spending hours writing out Christmas cards and wasting money and paper – why not send an e-card?  @smilebox have some great online cards  https://www.smilebox.com/maker/card-maker/

 

3)      Simply ask your friends/family/co-workers what they would like or what they actually need this Christmas. It sounds silly but I’m sure most people would prefer to receive something they really need for Christmas instead of something that will go to waste.

 

4)      There’s always the option of a charity present – have a look at money saving options below https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/charity-gifts/

 

How do you manage your time over Christmas?

It may feel like you’re juggling parties, dinners, work and family commitments with very little time to breathe over the festive period. Are you putting the shower gel in the fridge and the milk in the shower?!  

Below are some handy performance coaching tips that will help you to prioritise and keep your cool over this festive period. Performance coaching is all about performing the best you can and to the best of your ability.

Coaching Top Tips

1.       Write down everything you need to achieve for that day or week. Number them in order of priority and work through the list starting with number one.

 

2.       Decide if there is anything on the list that actually isn’t that important and can actually wait with little or no impact on anything else and maybe pick that up another month.

 

3.       Think about your ROIs. What are you getting from all the time you are putting in to a certain task? Is it worth it? Is there something that you can spend less time doing? If something is taking more time than something more pressing, how urgent is it and what is your return on investment? Is it worth the amount of time you are committing and investing?

 

4.       Do some self-analysis. Realise your personality type. For example, in DISC training, we learn that certain personality types respond better to certain styles of getting things done. For example, I came out as an ‘I’ on the DISC test. That means I mainly learn by finding the fun in a task so I can get something done when I find it fun. The D characteristic responds well to bullet points and to the point agendas. It might be worth finding out what personality type you lean most towards, so when it comes to getting things done, you can find the most efficient and effective way that you will achieve what you need to do and not procrastinate or feel overwhelmed. The Coaching Academy offer an Introduction to DISC if you are interested in finding out more.

 

Hope you find at least one thing on here helps with the Christmas period! Have a fabulous festive time folks!

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Continue in the fast lane

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How do you maintain the motivation and enthusiasm needed to achieve your dreams?

So you’ve got this great idea! You take all the practical steps, you get it off the ground and then slowly, slowly your interest waivers slightly…other people’s opinions and reservations overwhelm you. Challenges may feel too difficult to find a solution to.

It can be more than difficult to continue to find the motivation that you need to succeed.

One of the key motivations for me is that I want to succeed. There is an unstoppable drive within me to make a success of the business I have created (https://www.bethinkcoaching.com/about/). For me, the WANT to help other people be the best that they can be is so powerful that it counteracts the almost daily negativity that seeps into your inner chatter if you allow it to.

What holds you back?

There will always be reasons for you NOT TO do what you want to do. Your mission is to focus only on the reasons for you TO DO what you want to be doing.

People often have their own negative opinions of your entity, whatever that may be. This is for many different reasons. As humans, we find it far easier to focus on the negative rather than the positive. When someone else is doing worse than us it can make us feel better, more important, more successful. It’s far easier to be the friend that offers a shoulder to cry on than be the friend that shares your successes whether that is through social media or just over a coffee. Often when someone’s friend/associate/colleague is doing better than them, it can make them feel insecure.

It can be hard not to focus on other people’s negativity or lack of support but you need to be your own biggest fan and not let the negativity suppress or overwhelm you. EVERYONE has an opinion…and it’s your job to listen, but to focus on your own goals and not let other people’s fear/negativity/lack of knowledge obscure your direction.

There is a famous saying that is “do what you love and the money will follow” and it’s so true. If you love what you do, others will feed off that positive energy and success will, in turn, follow pursuit.

So how do you keep going?

There are some practical steps that you can take in order to stay on track and I’ve listed these below:

1. Check in with yourself. Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing and what you are looking to achieve – so your aim and the outcomes.

2. List your objectives for the next month in the form of a step by step process

3. Discover and acknowledge what inspires and motivates you and make sure that becomes a non-negotiable part of every day

4. Network with other people who are doing what you’re doing and have made a success of it

5. Acknowledge that going off track can be a part of the process but bringing yourself gently back on track is imperative.

Finally, I find it useful to find an inspirational leader who is already successful and aspire to them to help keep you motivated. For me, @WillSmith never fails to deliver. Check out his motivational speeches on @YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q__aQFmhig

Is it too late for a career change?

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‘Is it too late?’ The most common question I hear from my clients who want to change their career direction but have the ‘fear’. A lot of my clients fear that they are too old for a career change. They feel like they are too old to change what they have known for 10 -15 or more years.

Some of them have dependants and worry that it will be too difficult to change direction at this point in their lives. Other people are perhaps single parents. Maybe they are worried that they have learned a particular skill set and it will be hard to learn a new one. Maybe it has been 10 years or more since they last trained for a particular direction. Perhaps financial implications are blocking their vision.

You are never too old to do ANYTHING

The truth is, you are never too old to re-train and do something different. As human beings we are always learning, evolving and developing. The average employee spends a total of 82,068 hours working over their lifetime. That is a phenomenally large percentage of your life so it is important that you are doing something that you enjoy doing. It’s even better if you can do something that you are truly passionate about, that aligns with your own core values and beliefs.

@VeraWangGang Vera Wang did not design her first dress until age 40.

@SamuelLJackson landed his first big Hollywood part at age 43

@jk_rowling rose from a suicidal single parent at 28 to an internationally acclaimed bestselling author at 46.

There are many ways to achieve a new direction; from part-time courses, to home-study courses as well as bursaries and funding that may also be available. The resources are plentiful.

So where do you even start?

As a personal performance and career coach, this is the most important part for me. The start. It is a person identifying and acknowledging that they aren’t happy doing what they are currently doing in the way that they are doing it in order to make money and seeking help in order to make a positive change in their lives. It is TOO easy to be complacent in life. Do you want to reflect in 10 years’ time on a life where you hated 5 days a week but lived for the weekends and 20 days holiday?

I work with my clients in various ways. This may begin with a vision board of what a client is passionate about, or if they are not sure what they are passionate about it might be brainstorming ideas to help them find their passion that lies within them using a variety of different coaching tools.

We can then work together as coach and client to discover which career those values, passions and beliefs are most suited to so that a client is being fulfilled. For example if your passion is being precise and working with data and spreadsheets, you may not be happiest working in a job that is mainly people orientated or customer facing.

It is NEVER too late to make a change for the better. You are never too old to change your direction in order to improve your life. I’m not going to say that it won’t be challenging, because it will be. I’m not going to say it will be without its struggles and hard work. But there is always a solution to every single problem and block that we face. Problems and solutions are like Yin and Yang. They come as a pair like positive and negative magnetism. As humans, we just always find it easier to identify the problems. But, change your mind set, start looking at the solutions first. What can you do in order to facilitate a career that will not only pay your rent or your mortgage but will fulfil your hopes and dreams in life?

Start with Step 1. It sounds silly, but Step 1 is the start.

The strength to make a cup of tea

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I posted a post recently on my Instagram page about strength. It actually really resonated with me. It made me think about all the people who are silently suffering.

It also made me reflect upon the message I was trying to convey. I’m not sure if it was entirely clear from my Instagram post so I thought I would explore it further in my blog.

I don’t want my message to be misunderstood that I was glossing over tragedies and traumatic experiences and dancing the happy dance condoning pretending that everything is okay. Instead, what I was trying to say is that many people are going through horrific experiences, ones that you wouldn’t wish upon anyone and they are finding a way to keep going.

The inner strength and inner fire keeps burning within them and they use it to continue through their days.

I think it is all so very easy to become a victim to circumstance and to make excuses for why you cannot be what you wanted to be. The trauma or tragedy becomes the reason for our failure when instead, look how powerful that energy could be, if you turned that into a positive and made it part of your inner strength. Despite whatever has happened, you have still managed to turn it around, to be the best version of you that there can be. You have still managed to reach your version of success, whatever that may mean to you.

You may wonder why I’ve called this post “the strength to make a cup of tea”. It’s relevant because when a social worker tests an elderly person on independence and capability in their own home, one of the tasks that demonstrate their ability to be capable and independent, is whether they are able to take instructions to make a cup of tea, and successfully carry out the exercise. If they cannot, along with a few other factors, they may be required to leave their own home and go into residential care. So for an elderly person, suddenly making a cup of tea may require all the inner strength they have to prove that they can in fact remain independent.  

There are no limits in this world other than the ones we set ourselves. There are literally NO limits. When you think of it like that the world becomes an incredible place. I know the cynic out there will claim there are limits – what if they can’t afford it? Or they don’t have time, or it isn’t curable, or they’ve tried everything so far, or it’s genetic.

There is NOTHING stopping us, there is a solution to every single obstacle out there if you want to take the time, patience, energy, money to seek out that solution, I promise you it will be there. We are extremely powerful as a human race. If you don’t have the time…MAKE IT…every single being created on this earth has one thing in common 24 hours in EVERY SINGLE DAY. Find time. If you can’t afford it…find the money, generate more money. Think outside of the box. If you don’t have the skills, LEARN THEM, learn the craft. If you don’t have the energy – create it. Have you ever tried being miserable/lethargic whilst you are smiling, jogging on the spot with upbeat music on in the background? You can’t be lethargic, you have the power to change your own mental state. However, silly it may feel, give it a go…when you’re feeling low energy or low mood, go for a run and put some EDM music on at a volume that makes your heart sing and try to continue being in that low energy mood. You won’t be. Because you have physically changed your own mental state.

I think you may have got the message now that what I am saying is the only limiting factors are in our own minds. I’m not saying obstacles don’t exist, and I’m not saying we need to ignore our problems, I’m saying limitations we set ourselves get in the way of our solutions. Try turning the negatives into positives. Acknowledge the problem, feel the pain, find the solution. Yes, sometimes life sucks, but its sucks for everyone, you’re not special, it’s not always you, people have dealt with much worse and undoubtedly much better but it’s about using every single situation to help yourself grow. To help yourself evolve. To always be the best version of yourself that you can be NO MATTER WHAT.

To one person strength will be surviving cancer and to another person it will be being able to make a cup of tea. The subject matter is not as important as them being able to turn their personal traumas into undeniable, invincible and unbeatable inner strength.

NEVER. GIVE. UP.