MY WHY: Why I Do What I Do

MY WHY: Why I Do What I Do

From the heart today: WHY I DO WHAT I DO
 

I’ve been through my own tough times personally, while battling with my mental health.

 

❤️ I do what I do so that someone else doesn’t have to go through that alone ❤️

If I can help one person overcome their personal struggles then this is all worth it.

3:43 Videobomb by a little white dog jumping out the window to join the ‘show’! 🐶
😄

The books I mentioned:

* Please note: these are affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you buy, but they won’t cost you any extra. And of course, I will never recommend anything to you that I haven’t tried and liked. Promise.

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live – Watch Here


Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Passion & Purpose


What is Love The Life You Live?

Love The Life You Life is a programme I developed after working with clients and recognising a strong repeating pattern in the processes that helped them.

The Roadmap is a step-by-step guide to assessing your life, finding purpose, making plans and how to take steps to achieve them.

Here’s a video talking you through the  exact process to help you to Love The Life You Live. 

You can also download a FREE copy of the Roadmap, and the Mind:Body:Life:Soul holistic framework (below). 

 I’d love if you could share your comments, particularly about anything you’d like to see more of. Happy to share anything that can help right now…🙏🌈💕

    FREE Downloads

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul – A Holistic Framework

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul Holistic Framework

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live
    Make Working From Home Work For You

    Make Working From Home Work For You

    WORKING FROM HOME – EFFECTIVELY

    Whether you are an entrepreneur, your company allows you to work remotely, or you’ve had no choice but to work from home during lockdown, more and more of us are working from home.

    There are lots of positives. No stressful commutes, fewer interruptions, and often, more flexibility with less structured work hours.

    But if there is one potential pitfall of working from home, it is overworking and never truly switching off from thinking about work. There’s just not the same closure of walking out of the office every evening and segueing into your home life.

    So how do you keep a balance between work and “you” time?

     

    1. Work regular hours. Set a start time, a finish time and break times and try to stick to those.
    • Allow yourself a little flexibility, things can come up and let’s face it, this is one of the perks of home-working.
    • Schedule in breaks too, and make sure you take them.
    1. Establish a morning routine – this is probably one of the most important, for me anyway. If my morning routine slips, the whole day slips. I walk the dog, come back and shower, do some yoga, make a coffee, sit on the balcony and write my journal, then make another coffee and it’s time to sit down to work.
    1. Productivity: Work out when you’re most productive so you know when you’ll get most done and plan your more difficult tasks for the time of day when you know you’re in the right headspace for them.
    1. Get dressed for work. I’m not talking dresses, power suits and heels but get out of your PJs, get out of your slouchies and get into work appropriate gear. You’ll be glad of this when you get an unexpected Zoom call, you’ll always be camera ready. 
    1. Set boundaries or rules with other people in your home so that they respect your space and time during your working hours.
    1. Remove distractions and try to structure your day with blocks of time where you will be uninterrupted. 
    1. Write a realistic To-Do list and try to complete it every day. Try to avoid procrastinating and don’t carry it forward to the next day as that just leads to a daunting start with even more to do. 
    1. Eat The Frog. If you haven’t heard of this Brian Tracy book, it’s simple yet genius. If you have a row of frogs that you have to eat, then you’re best just eating the biggest, ugliest one first. Then your day can only get better. So do what you’re dreading most. Then enjoy the rest of your day.
    1. Have a dedicated work area. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a spare room we can use as an office. But work in a space that you can assign solely to work and walk away from at the end of the day. If you have to work at your kitchen table or dining table, then clear all the work away at the end of the day so that you’re not looking at it when you should be switching off. 
    1. Get fresh air. Whether it’s a walk in the morning, a bit of exercise in your lunch break or a run when you finish for the day, try to get outside, get some natural light, fresh air and breathe. 
    1. Go work in a local coffee shop and get exercise while walking there, some fresh air and a change of scenery. The background noise can simulate your normal work environment. It also removes the chance of you being distracted by any household chores. My apartment is never cleaner than when I’m procrastinating on a work task! Two hours in a coffee shop can really help get stuff done! 
    1. Get a proper chair. During lockdown, many people started working from home with little or no notice so didn’t have the chance to get the right furniture and equipment. You need a chair that provides lumbar support, preferably adjustable to fit it to support you. Many employers will provide these. And a proper monitor will save you back ache too so that you’re not crouching down over a little laptop screen. 
    1. You’re going to miss the social interaction from the workplace and it can feel isolated and lonely at times. You could use Zoom or Skype to stay connected for meetings. Working from a café occasionally can provide some human interaction, but maybe you could to arrange to meet friends more outside of work hours, exercise together or end your work day with a coffee and a chat. 
    1. Find a way to end your day so that you can switch off from work mode to home mode. 
    1. No fighting over what music to listen to. You get to choose your own music. I enjoy slower vibes for writing, funkier vibes for inspiration and sometimes I really enjoy pure silence. 
    1. If you’re anything like me, sometimes it’s difficult to get in the flow or concentration and there are so many things at home you could be doing, should be doing. My house is never cleaner than when I’m procrastinating on work I don’t like doing. I use the Pomodoro Technique to keep me focussed for short periods.
      Set a 25 minute timer.
      Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break away from your screen or work.
      Repeat this 4 times then take a longer break.
      It works!
    1. Plan your meals. I quite often find myself deciding to make a nice meal for lunch then spending a lot of time prepping, cooking and cleaning up. Prepare your meals the night before, just like you would do if you were going to the office.

    18. Keep your weekends free. You need time off to recharge. You may need to work Saturdays and Sundays but try where possible to have 2 consecutive work free days to rest, reset and recharge.

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough… (part 2)

    Yesterday I told about the moment when I realised my life wasn’t working for me. When I started to make changes, even though these changes were positive, my burnout became a full-blown breakdown.

     

    How did I recover?

     

    1. I got off the hamster wheel. I LEFT MY JOB.
    That’s when the breakdown happened. And unlike my idol Brené Brown, this wasn’t a Breakdown / Spiritual Awakening, it was a breakdown. I’d been running on adrenaline for years and once that wasn’t needed to maintain the pace of life I’d been hammering through, it switched off completely and I was left in an exhausted, emotional mess. I felt like my world had imploded. I felt like my mind was imploding.

    2. I decided to take some TIME OUT to get a proper break.
    I know taking time out of work isn’t a luxury that everyone can afford but in my case I sold my house, which gave me the financial freedom to take some time out. I knew I was giving up my financial security/pension but I figured if I didn’t have my health, I didn’t have anything and I chose to prioritise that over money.

    3. I found YOGA
    Eventually. Initially I raced my way even through that, doing high intensity yoga shred workouts. It wasn’t until I almost broke my toe doing burpees – yeah, don’t worry, I get it. Burpees in yoga! – that I realised that what I needed to do was slow the feck down. Epiphany.

    4. I SLOWED DOWN.
    Properly. For first time ever.
    I took breaks away on my own in a friend’s caravan on a remote beach in Wales where I walked, wrote, read and rested. I booked a week away to Turkey in a location where there was absolutely nothing of interest to do or see so that it would force me to sit and lie still.

    5. I set BOUNDARIES
    I learned to say no. I choose how I spend my time. I don’t do things I don’t want to (where possible). And when I waiver, I remember that I made huge changes to my life to protect my mental and physical health and it’s vital that I don’t take backward steps to where I was before. I have difficult conversations. I explain to people how I feel, why I make choices and they’ve all been supportive and accepting. Mostly.

    6. I discovered SPIRITUALITY
    Or I finally opened up to spirituality. I’ve always been spiritually curious, possibly trying to find something I could grasp onto. But nothing connected. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. But an Ayurvedic consultation led me to a daily practice of spiritual reading, yoga, pranayama and journaling. I decided to go to India for yoga teacher training and spent a month in Rishikesh, the spiritual home of yoga. I spent another month in Goa and Karnataka and immersed myself in yoga and spirituality. Those of you who have been through a Spiritual Awakening will understand how I found myself stuck in the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, a dark, empty period of personal growth and transition that made me want to turn the clocks back and make it all stop! That led to breakdown number two. This one really was more of a Breakdown Spiritual Awakening but I didn’t know that at the time. I had five months where I experienced suicidal thoughts. But underlying it all, I knew I wasn’t depressed or suffering from anxiety. But when I had a few weeks of low mood, I was concerned that I couldn’t continue to fend away those thoughts and so I faced right into it and I reached out for medical support and counselling to try to finally uncover my thoughts, habits, behaviours, addictive personality and any other demons that were lurking. Medical support was poor but the counselling was transformative.

    7. READING
    I read and read and read and read and read. I read about spirituality, personal growth, the law of attraction, psychology, how the brain works. I also studied – Nutrition, Mindfulness, Yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Life Purpose – I just couldn’t get enough information.

    8. JOURNALLING
    I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.
    It’s why I’m still such an advocate for journaling. It clears your head, helps prioritise, helps recognise patterns of thought and behaviour. 

    9. I let go of my PERFECTIONISM
    I tried, okay I’m still trying, to let go of perfectionism. I put enormous pressure on myself for things to be ‘just so’ or how I think other people expect them. I’m trying to recognise when the perfectionist takes over and let her go pronto. It’s a work in progress.

    10. I distanced myself from NEGATIVE PEOPLE
    Life is hard. That’s a given. But it’s how we deal with it that matters.
    My way is with optimism and positivity, once I’ve allowed myself to deal with and process the emotions. Personally, I find negative, pessimistic, competitive and angry people exceptionally draining. So once I realise that someone has that impact on me, I limit my time with them, to protect my own energy.

    11. I spent time in NATURE
    I spent a lot of time in nature. I walked along a local river, drove to the mountains, stayed by the sea. Nature is grounding and I found stillness and balance when I inhaled fresh air.

    12. I dealt with an unhealthy relationship with ALCOHOL
    Even my counsellor commented that I didn’t drink that much. But it wasn’t the amount that I was drinking, I recognised that it was the ‘why’ I drank that was the problem. I was trying to numb things or take the edge off, escape from life or sometimes escape from me.

    13. I RELOCATED to a Mediterranean island
    I’ve always had a very clear vision of how I imagined my life someday. I imagined living by the sea, living simply, buying fresh food from the local market and spending lots of time outdoors. I always believed that vision would be achieved when I reached retirement, but suddenly I realised, why wait until retirement? Why not live that vision now when I’m young enough (ish), fit enough (ish) and strong enough to deal with a big move?

    So this February I did just that. I moved to Mallorca, to a gorgeous, light, bright, airy, spacious top floor apartment in Palma.

    It’s too big for me but I wanted space for friends and family to visit, to feel like they have a home here.

    I can walk to the sea in 15 minutes, I shop at the local market, I get out into the mountains, countryside and beaches regularly. I don’t have a car. I don’t buy much stuff (I already have too much stuff and I don’t want to clutter my lovely space) and I’ve adopted a little dog. I work from home and I get out into co-working spaces or cafes when I know I need company.

    My favourite social events are coffees and brunches. Okay, okay, I also love a glass of Verdejo in the sunshine but I’ve no interest in nights out, or even fancy dinners. I became vegetarian during my time in India so even my food choices are more simple now. Every morning I enjoy coffee, writing and reading on the balcony and pottering about with a few plants.

    I’m living the lifestyle I dreamed of. And I get to help other people find the lifestyle they dream of too. So really I guess I’m a lifestyle coach. Because I believe in a holistic approach to Mind, Body, Life and Soul. If anything is out of balance, everything is out of balance. 

    How long did it take? 

    At the risk of sounding like an absolute cop out I really don’t know.

    The perimenopause hit me at the same time as the burnout. And perimenopause is the gift that just keeps on giving. It can last for up to 10 years, symptoms fluctuate and come and go and I still have days where I feel low or anxious.

    The major difference is that any changes in mood now usually last only a day or two. And surely that’s to be expected in life?

    The books that got me through this difficult time

    *This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

    I know I said I read a lot but I read far too much to be able to recommend everything here so here’s a link to my reading list.

    But if I had to select just a few, these are the books that had the most profound impact on me were:

    The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

    Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

    Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

    Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor Maté

    The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

    Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

    Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Joe Dispenza, D.C.

    Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson, Mitch Albom

    Symptoms of Burnout

    Symptoms of Burnout

    If you think you may be suffering from or on the edge of burnout, here are a list of some symptoms you might be experiencing.

    But I’m not an expert in this, I can only share my own experiences so please make sure that you get the right support for you if you’re struggling.

    Symptoms of Burnout

    • Feeling tired and drained most of the time
    • Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses
    • Frequent headaches or muscle pain
    • Change in appetite or sleep habits
    • Sense of failure and self-doubt
    • Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
    • Detachment, feeling alone in the world
    • Loss of motivation
    • Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
    • Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
    • Withdrawing from responsibilities
    • Isolating yourself from others
    • Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
    • Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
    • Taking out your frustrations on others
    • Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early
    * from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm

    My Burnout Symptoms

    In my case my GP told me that I had severe physical symptoms of anxiety.

    I experienced:
    • Tightness in chest
    • A persistent tingling feeling in my right arm. This one really concerned me. I’m not one to worry excessively normally but I knew that with my stress levels, lack of sleep and pace of life, I was a prime example of someone at risk of a stroke. This is what made me seek medical advice and check-ups.
    • Mood swinging between periods of low mood and periods of anxiety
    • Panic attacks
    • No sleeping. I wasn’t overly worried about that as I hadn’t slept properly in years but I knew lack of sleep was exacerbating other symptoms.
    • Mouth ulcers. All the time.
    • Sense of failure and I just couldn’t see a way out
    • Tension headaches
    • Detachment. I felt very alone.
    • No enjoyment in anything
    • Isolating myself
    • Procrastinating. I’m the queen of procrastination anyway but I can see now that during this time I procrastinated on taking action that could have helped me sooner
    • Using food and alcohol to cope

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough… (part 1) tells of the moment when I realised I was completely BURNT OUT and realised that I needed to make serious changes.

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough… (part 2) shares my experiences of overcoming Burnout and finding peace, balance and a lifestyle that brings me health and happiness. 

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough…  (part 1)

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough… (part 1)

    I remember the moment when I realised that I was really stuck and living a life that just wasn’t working for me anymore.

    I was crazy busy on all the wrong things and it was draining me physically and emotionally.

    I was 45 at the time and figured I was already at least halfway through my life. I couldn’t let the other half be the same.

    It can be hard to see that there really is a way to find your way out when:

    * You’re overwhelmed
    * Burnt out
    * Feeling like life is passing you by
    * You want to change, but what and how? 
    * You don’t have time to stop and figure it out. You’ve things to do and bills to pay. 
    * You’re bursting with ideas for changing career or setting up your own business but that means leaving the career you worked so hard to build.
    * Everyone else thinks you’re crazy. Your life looks so good from the outside. 

    I eventually found my way…and my WHY. So I KNOW you can do this, because I’ve been there too.

    My own journey of discovering a way to balance a career I love with a much healthier lifestyle helped me discover a formula that really works.

    That’s when I knew. I have to share this!

    That’s what inspired me to leave my career in HR to start coaching women who also feel they’re stuck. 

    But way before I got to that point, my burn out became a breakdown. TWICE! But I overcame that and you can too.

    I’ll share more tomorrow on how I overcame burnout and overwhelm and found peace, balance and much more happiness and pleasure in life….

    How to lose weight & keep it off

    How to lose weight & keep it off

    Hands up who put on weight during lockdown?

    I know some people do lose their appetite through stressful times so this won’t affect everyone.

    But many of you will be more like me. My daily exercise was regular trips to the fridge! I often found myself standing at the fridge door, looking in blankly, hoping for inspiration and usually settling for more chocolate! Or cheese, or bread, or whatever was closest, but then I literally inhaled everything I ate and found myself back on the hunt just minutes later.

    So firstly, if you’ve been beating yourself up about the weight. Give yourself a break.

    There was a global crisis, our routines were upended, our lives full of fear and uncertainty and food was a brief, welcome, comforting respite.

    But enough is enough! Let’s get these stubborn pounds shifted…

    1. First, and most importantly, you have to actually want to lose the weight. So find your WHY. And at times when you’re struggling, remind yourself of WHY you want to lose weight to help you keep focus and motivation.

    2. Sorry to be the bearer of bad, boring news but there are no short cuts to losing weight. Get organised. Plan your meals, buy healthy and prep plenty.

    3. FAD or lose weight quick diets might help you kick-start the weight loss, but they’re not sustainable, often not healthy and you don’t break your old habits. To maintain your weight long term, you need to learn how to eat. Find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle.

    4. Move it. Find an exercise you enjoy and get moving. It’s great for endorphins too which will help you feel so much better. But bear in mind, you can’t exercise away a bad diet.

    5. Drink lots of water. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. And it’s important to stay hydrated, helps with digestion too. But stick mainly to water, even fruit juices can be packed with sugar.

    6. Write down what you eat. It’s sometimes surprising how much more you’ve eaten than you thought. You might also find patterns of when and what you eat. I’m a grazer and snack constantly and eat throughout the day. That all soon adds up.

    7. Food is fuel for our bodies. Would you put cheap, nasty fuel in your car? Let’s treat ourselves as carefully by trying to eat more fresh, nutritious, unprocessed ‘fuel’. Read the labels, avoid high saturated fats, hidden sugars, high salts, E numbers and names of ingredients you can’t even pronounce.

    8. Don’t call it a diet. It’s a way of eating that will enable you to lose weight and a new way of eating that will make sure you stay at a healthy weight you’re happy with. My diet is how I eat, I’m not on a diet.

    9. Learn to love (and trust) food. Your body needs carbs, your body needs fats. No food is bad, in small amounts. Chocolate is good for the soul. Just not in the vast quantities that saw me through lockdown!

    10. Try smaller plates or portions. I don’t know about you but I was brought up to clear my plate. Whatever the size! So maybe fill a smaller plate at first. Eat slowly, eat mindfully and stop when you’re full.

    11. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. That’s bulls*t. And whoever said that had clearly never tasted Lindt dark chocolate with sea-salt, or meringue with fresh cream, or cheesecake, or freshly baked bread with butter, or cheese, or… you get my drift. HOWEVER, when tempted by any of the above or your own tasty pleasure, just take a moment to reflect on your WHY. Do you want that chunk of cake more than you want to lose weight? If the answer right now is yes, which sometimes it might be then either try having a little, or eat it with unbridled pleasure and savour each mouthful. You’ve made a choice. Own it and enjoy it.

    12. When you eat something ‘bad’, ENJOY it! Stop whatever else you’re doing, sit still and enjoy every last morsel. Don’t ruin it by eating it with a huge side-serving of guilt. Savour it with intention and satisfaction. Otherwise it wasn’t worth it. So if you’re out for your friend’s birthday lunch and you had a nice healthy meal but find you can’t resist the dessert menu, just have the cake/cheesecake/tart/cream filled pastry and enjoy it. Maybe you’ll share it with someone, maybe you’ll eat the lot. But you’ve made a choice to have it, so give yourself permission to accept that decision, lean into that and enjoy it!

    13. But don’t let that de-rail you. Don’t decide you’ll start your ‘diet’ again tomorrow, or the next day or after the weekend or whenever… Eat the next meal as you had planned and prepped. You’re making mostly ‘healthy’ food choices and sometimes you have treats. That’s life.

    8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

    8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

    It might surprise you to hear that something as simple as walking can actually improve your brainpower.

    *This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

    It doesn’t even have to be full-on power walking! Even a twenty or thirty minute walk during your lunch break can have a positive impact on your brain.

    Here are eight ways science has proven that walking is excellent for your brain: 

    1. Walking helps lower your risk of depression
    Walking is an excellent way to improve your mental health. A 2018 study showed that any kind of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking can boost your brain health and lower your risk of developing depression by a third.

    2. Walking improves your cognitive function
    A number of studies have shown that the magic amount of twenty to thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise, such as walking, improves cognitive function and memory.

    3. Walking stimulates endorphins  
    Just ten minutes of walking is enough to start your brain releasing endorphins, the brain chemicals that lower stress, boost your mental health, and make you feel good. You’ve heard of the runner’s high? Well, you can get a similar positive rush from a brisk walk!

    4. Walking releases the brain’s Magic Protein    
    Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been dubbed the brain’s ‘magic protein’ as it helps to rewire and build new neural pathways. Scientists believe it can even help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And cardiovascular exercise is an easy way to stimulate the production of BDNF and keep your brain in peak condition.

    5. Walking lowers physical and mental fatigue
    A 2008 study by the University of Georgia found that just three sessions a week of a low-intensity exercise like walking can reduce fatigue levels by as much as 65 percent.

    6. Walking builds hippocampus strength
    Your hippocampus is the key part of the brain for forming and storing memories. Research has shown that even brief walks can actually increase the size and efficiency of your hippocampus.

    7. Walking Improves Creativity
    Artists, writers, and philosophers have long known the importance of walking for clearing blocked creativity and getting inspiration flowing again. Science can now back this up with a 2014 study by Stanford University showing that walking increases your creative output by up to sixty percent.

    8. Walking increases blood flow to the brain
    Blood is vital for every organ in your body, not least of all, your brain. That magic twenty minutes is all it takes to increase the blood flow to your brain to keep it active and healthy.

    What do you think? Not bad for 20 minutes exercise!

    I’ve long been a fan of walking and hiking and that’s before I realised it had just so many key benefits. Not to mention the added grounding and healing benefits of walking in nature. 

    Right, I’m off for a walk…

     

    Failing fast, failing forward

    Failing fast, failing forward

    *This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

    When I was younger I was afraid of failure. I avoided things that I thought I wouldn’t be good at it.

    Maybe that was the perfectionist in me, not wanting to fail. Or the introvert, not wanting others to see me fail.

    I don’t know when I managed to leave that fear or failure behind but I was lucky to have spent some time working with a dynamic company where I was really encouraged to set very ambitious goals then try to figure out how on earth I was going to achieve them.

    I rarely achieved these goals first time, certainly not completely but there were no repercussions. I was ‘allowed’ to try then encouraged to try again. Through these experiences I learned how to fail.

    Recently I’ve faced fear again in fairly straightforward scenarios and tasks.

    Fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, fear of visibility and fear of failure.

    Realising this has made me reflect and make new commitments to myself:

    ✨ I will fail

    ✨ I will learn

    ✨ I will try again

    ✨ I will fail faster

    ✨ I will fail forward

    ✨ I will embrace failure as a stepping-stone to success

    🌈🙏🏼🌟💫✨

    #mindbodylifesoul #lovethelifeyoulive #onelifeliveit #onelife #sayyestolife #mind #howtofail #failforward #failfast #successmindset

     

    How to read more books

    How to read more books

    This post includes some great tips to help you figure out how you can make sure that you read more. It also includes 3 actionable steps you can take right away and some suggested reading if you want even more information.

    *This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

     

    Top Tips 

    Reading is not only a wonderful way to relax, it is a great way to learn. In fact, one of the best steps you can take for self-improvement is to read more.

    Reading opens you up to a whole world of different skills, viewpoints and ideas that challenge you. Becoming an avid reader isn’t necessarily going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it once you get started.

    If you want to read more but have been struggling to make it happen, then try out some to these tips:

    Start with a topic you love
    If you’re trying to build a reading habit, then starting with something you love is a great choice. Starting a new habit is hard enough, why also battle against your personal preference? Choose a topic you’re really interested in and enjoy starting to read!

    Set goals to challenge yourself
    Are you the type of person that rises to a challenge? If so, then consider setting up your own reading challenges. You can focus on short-term goals such as trying to hit a certain number of pages each day. You can also look at the long term by challenging yourself to read X number of books in a year.

    Schedule reading time
    A lot of people claim that “lack of time” is their biggest hurdle when it comes to reading. You know how to fix that? Make time. Look at your schedule and figure out when you can pencil some reading time in. You will be surprised how easy it is to find some reading time each day.

    Try an audio book
    This might be a controversial suggestion in some circles, but don’t rule out audio books. Yes, it might not technically be “reading” but it is still a positive way to ingest exactly the same information. You can listen to an audio book while you’re driving or walking. It makes great use of this time and can open you up to new insights that you can actually read about later.

    Consider an eBook subscription
    Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your physical books! But an eBook subscription is another way to find interesting things to read. A massive benefit is the wide libraries you can get access to for a small subscription fee. Many libraries also lend eBooks for free. eBooks ensure you’ll always have something on hand to read when you find yourself with time to kill.

    Keep a reading log
    Tracking the books you read is a great way to stay motivated to keep reading. As your list builds, your confidence will build too. You’ll want to keep adding to your list. This reading log is also useful to help you keep track of what you have read, or what you want to read in the future. 

    Are you sitting comfortably?  
    When you’re ready to get in some serious reading time, make sure that you can get comfortable. Find a comfy position on a comfy seat and settle in. Make sure you have good lighting for reading, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a snack or drink within reach too.

    You don’t have to finish it!
    A lot of people have an overwhelming urge to finish anything they start. While this is an admirable trait, it isn’t always conducive to building a reading habit. If you are bored out of your mind, or simply disinterested by the time you get through 50 pages or more, consider starting something new. Otherwise you’ll just put off picking up that book again rather than eagerly reaching for something you can’t wait to pick up again.

    Join a Book Club
    Joining a book club is a great idea for people wanting to read more. There is added accountability knowing you have to discuss the book with others on a regular basis. Plus, you might enjoy the social aspect of it as well.

     

    Actionable steps

    1 2 3
    What book topics or genres excite you the most? Brainstorm a list of topics you’d like to read more about. Choose a single topic or genre from the list you just created. Google search for books about that topic. You can also search for “best of” lists or the Amazon best sellers’ lists. Make a list of the books that interest you. Choose one book that interests you and read the first 50 pages. If you like the book, continue. If it hasn’t caught your attention by then, stop reading and choose another book.
    Overcoming Overwhelm: Circle of Influence

    Overcoming Overwhelm: Circle of Influence

    Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Worried? Anxious?

     

    This FREE Circle of Influence workbook will help you identify what is within your control so that you can let go of what is not.

    There are certain times in your life when you can feel such overwhelm that it seems impossible to quieten your thoughts for long enough to be able to see a way through.

    Give yourself 20 minutes to complete this exercise to help you take back control.

    It’s short and simple but very effective. It will help you identify what is within your control so that you can let go of what is not.

     

    STEP 1: WHAT’S ON MY MIND?

    Calmly consider a list of all the things that are contributing to your worries and feelings of overwhelm.

    It could be worrying about running out of food, worry about someone you care about, what’s going to happen, the dentist appointment you cancelled but can’t reschedule yet, homeschooling, feeling tired, work issues, lack of work, financial worries, feelings of guilt etc.

    ACTION: Take the time to write EVERYTHING down no matter how small, irrational or ridiculous it might seem right now. Emptying this list onto paper is a very effective way of clearing that incessant chatter in your head.

    These are your WORRY ITEMS.


    STEP 2: EXERCISE

    In your workbook, on the Circle of Influence image (page 6) you’ll see a larger version of the 3 circles or sections pictured below.

    CONTROL, INFLUENCE OR CONCERN

    One by one assess each WORRY ITEM and decide if:

    – It is within my control (CONTROL)
    – I can influence (INFLUENCE)
    – Everything else (CONCERN)

    ACTION: Next, work through the list of WORRY ITEMS you prepared in STEP 1.

    1. Circle of Control:
    Do you have complete CONTROL over the worry item?
    Can you resolve it on their own without needing anyone else’s help or input?
    If so, write the Worry Item down within the first circle labelled “WITHIN MY CONTROL” and move onto the next item.

    2. Circle of Influence: 
    Do you have PARTIAL control or can you INFLUENCE the outcome of the worry item?
    Can you partly resolve the worry item or can you influence the outcome through their actions or behaviour?
    If so, write this item within the second circle labelled “I CAN INFLUENCE” and move onto the next worry on your list.

    3. Circle of Concern: Everything else…
    Is the worry item COMPLETELY OUTSIDE of your CONTROL INFLUENCE?
    Is there nothing you can do or say that could directly impact this worry?
    Write this item in the outside circle labelled EVERYTHING ELSE

    Write each of your WORRY ITEMS in the circle that represents if you can CONTROL it, INFLUENCE it or it’s everything else (CONCERN).

    S T E P 3 : T A K I N G  C O N T R O L

    Once you’ve placed all of your ‘Worry Items’ in the circles, take a few moments to review your Circles of Influence.

    ACTION: List the worry items you DO have CONTROL over and IDENTIFY an ACTION,however small, for each item.

    TIP: It’s helpful to action ONE of these today…or even RIGHT NOW, to help you instantly feel better.

    STEP 4: PLANNING TO INFLUENCE

    Now, let’s review the items you have INFLUENCE / PARTIAL control over:

    ACTION: Write down what steps you will take and exactly when you will do them – today or in the next few days.

    STEP 5: LETTING GO

    Finally…and most importantly…

     LET GO of EVERYTHING ELSE!

    QUESTION:  How does it FEEL to LET GO of things you have no CONTROL over?

    TIP: After striking out the Everything Else items, you could cut out around the edge of the grey INFLUENCE circle. Then keeping the CONTROL and INFLUENCE circles, scrunch or tear up the rest of the page and put Everything Else in the bin. This is a powerful way to LET GO.

    Grab the gorgeous free workbook here.

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