Dump Your To-Do List

Dump Your To-Do List

DAY 2: 10 DAYS OF WELLBEING

Today’s message won’t take you very long to read, but it will take you just a little longer to action…

But it’s worth it. It’s a really beneficial exercise to help stop your mind spinning with all those things you feel you ‘should’ be doing and letting go of some of the stress that creates.

 

DUMP YOUR TO-DO LIST

Don’t panic. I’m not suggesting that you bin it completely.

But let’s get your mental task list out of your head where it’s all spinning around with what feels like a million other things.

 

HOW DO I DO THAT?

By emptying your mind of all your things To-Do by putting them onto One List. That One List becomes your ‘Second Brain’.

Your Second Brain will hold your To-Do List safely, securely and all in one place. That way you can save your actual brain for having ideas and inspiration, not for desperately trying to store them all.

This time, before you start to collect your thoughts do have a think about what method works best for you to keep your list. There are many productivity, project management and To-Do Apps out there… Asana, Trello, ToDoist, Wrike… to name but a few. You might be a fan of a spreadsheet to keep track of lists or still prefer good old pen and paper. Just consider what will be the best way for you to get a list of everything into one place.

 

CAPTURE EVERYTHING

Then sit down, start your list and keep going. List EVERYTHING.

Grab that mail that you haven’t yet gotten around to sorting. Find those little scraps of paper with notes and reminders. If like me you use more than one notebook, get them all and put all the lists together. Everything. Appointments you need to remember, calls you need to make, things you need to buy, jobs you want to get done around the house, projects you’d like to get started, trips you’re planning on making. Capture it ALL.

I know this feels overwhelming, but once they’re in one place, you have already created some sort of order.

 

BUT I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!

How the BLEEP is this meant to help my Wellbeing?! It’s just reminded me of the 4,073 things I haven’t done yet!

Yes but now they’re not ‘nagging’ you constantly, pecking at your head causing a flurry of panic.

They’re all in one place. That way, you’ll know they’re safe, you haven’t lost anything. You do need to start putting them in some sort of order. But you don’t need to overtax your brain trying to remember everything.

 

GET YOUR LIST IN ORDER

There are a plethora of Productivity and Time Management Methods to choose from to help you prioritise and manage your To-Do List. But to get you started just ask yourself a few questions:
* Do I really need to / have to do this? If not, DELETE.
* Do I want to do this? If possible, DELETE. Or…
* Can I give it to someone else to do?
* It’s been on my list for months, am I really going to do this? If not, DELETE. Trust me, it will still be there in another 3 months, might as well delete it now.
* Is there anything URGENT (that’s urgent to you, not something that is on somebody else’s urgent list but not so important to you)? If so, take a couple of those and put them on your Daily To-Do List for tomorrow.


NOW WHAT?

Grab yourself a cuppa, a glass of wine, or take a break outside to get some time out. There’s nothing more to do today. Unless of course you want to…

 

OVERCOMING OVERWHELM

Read this if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. It will guide you through how to overcome that and take back control.

And let me know if you’d like any more tips. Not because I’m naturally organised. Quite the opposite. I’m the queen of procrastination, a constant ideas generator who’s not very good at actually getting things done and I have a serious dose of Shiny Object Syndrome. So I needed to find ways to help me control my out-of-controlness to actually get things done. And I’ve checked out a lot of books, courses and methods on my quest so I’m happy to recommend what’s helped me.

Tomorrow…. How to Still Your Mind…

10 Days of Wellbeing: Day 1: A Wellbeing Boost

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

Embracing imperfections helps you enjoy life more

While we’re all spending more time at home during lockdown and restrictions, most of us are probably spending even more hours scrolling on social media.

So you can’t have helped but notice how almost everyone online is striving to be perfect. Suddenly you can’t post a selfie without filters or enjoy your dinner before showing off your fabulously curated plate of food. I’ve even seen dogs who are better groomed and accessorized than I am!

Thankfully there seem to be a growing number of people online who refreshingly now show their before and after pics.

As in:

Photo #1:  This is what I look like on Instagram, in a pose that’s likely to put my back out any second now, with as many added filters and edits as my fancy app allows. BTW it took me 103 photos to get this perfect shot.

Photo #2:  And this is what I actually look like 5 seconds before or after the perfect photo with my very normal tummy roll, some cellulite and what looks like a double-chin because I wasn’t quite camera ready.

If only these people didn’t feel they still need to show off the ‘perfection’ images, but they’re taking a huge step in the right direction.

But what if you just decided to take a step away from all the competition, all that clamouring for likes, comments, shares and hearts?

Or even better, what if you chose to actually enjoy your life without sharing it with the world?

Here’s how you can start to reclaim your life and become happier.

 

Stop judging

You can decide right now to stop analysing other people, looking for what’s wrong with their face, their body, their outfit or their life choices. Refocus your attitude, so you stop seeing differences as flaws but merely as something that makes that person unique.

Just let go of the urge to criticise others, and you’ll notice a flow-on effect on how you see yourself and self-judge less.

 

Accept your imperfections

Wanting to be the best version of you isn’t the same as being a perfectionist.

A perfectionist is never happy with who they are, how they look, or how they’re doing.

Being your best means you work hard, you try, and you don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean you blame yourself when things aren’t perfect, and you don’t take failure personally.

 

Relax and enjoy the process

Perfectionists tend to trip over every little detail and allow imperfections to spoil their lives. When you embrace imperfection as a natural part of life, it frees you up to enjoy the ride.

Obstacles become challenges that make life more enjoyable. You can slow down and notice all the good things there are in your life.

 

Adopt imperfection as a way of life

Perfection implies stasis, something you achieve and have to tend. It’s fragile and vulnerable. It puts an end to growth. And then what? You don’t want to stop learning and growing and developing, do you?

Once you make peace with imperfection, you can be a lot more objective about life. Your perspectives changes, and what once seemed overwhelmingly important suddenly doesn’t matter so much.

Imperfection stops being something to avoid at all costs. All experiences become just another aspect of a life lived richly, that help build the person you are continually becoming.

Embracing imperfection means there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow and become a better person.

The best version of you.

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.
A bit more about me…

A bit more about me…

My previous life & career

For most of my career I was an HR Director. I moved from Belfast to Manchester, UK in 2013 and even back then I had hoped to change careers but I kept getting offers of HR roles which were difficult to turn down.

By early 2018 I was in total burnout, working 65-70 hours a week in a career I no longer wanted to do and the dissatisfaction with my job was affecting all parts of my life. I was investing all of my energy into work and, with my tank on empty, I didn’t have the energy to make a change. My “aha” moment was when I realised that it wasn’t organisations I was invested in, but the individual people at the core of the business. Although I was very successful, I wasn’t particularly suited to an HR Director role because I care so deeply about people and I was lacking the same level of commitment to the organisational strategy and success. I’d reached a point where it was financially rewarding but not in any way emotionally rewarding.

Mental Health

I have navigated anxiety and depression throughout my entire adult life however the heaviness and panic that swept over me at this period in my life started to take me under. I pushed through the panic attacks until I felt out of control and couldn’t take any more. Everything was failing in my wellbeing and, even when I left work to prioritise my health, I actually became even more unwell.

The entire time I was navigating this burnout, an entrepreneurial itch had been sitting with me. I’d worked for my entire life, from the age of 16, and had been involved in the glorification of busy for over 20 years! While my life looked beautiful and full from the outside, I was lost and wasn’t enjoying or appreciating with presence, any moments of here and now. My mind was always onto the next thing.

I was halfway through my life and I realised I couldn’t let the next half be the same. I needed to discover where I wanted to be which was difficult for me as I was passionate about so many topics.

Breakdown to breakthrough

My breakdown became my breakthrough. I quit my job and found the space and time that I needed to get better. I knew I needed to stop, to slow down and approach my entire life at a different pace. I stopped for six months and shed the items that didn’t serve me, my house, big car, so many clothes with labels still on that I didn’t even remember owning. My entire lifestyle shifted. I travelled to India for yoga teacher training and it was the next step in my spiritual journey. I started using my mindfulness practice to shift my awareness in how I approached everything in my life.

Five years before I had completed a coaching qualification, introduced a coaching programme in work and had always really enjoyed coaching people. I’m intrigued by their stories and goals and I’m passionate about helping them achieve them.

In trying to find my way out of my own burnout and mid-life crisis, I leaned on tools I’d trusted while coaching others and also sought additional resources online. None of them quite ‘fit’ so I developed my own toolkit and system to help others transform their lives too. My holistic approach to life coaching is combined with spiritual practices to help shift your mindset, shed your old practices and beliefs and create the life of your dreams.

I shed my old mindset, rooted into my spirituality, healed my heart and started coaching other women how to do the same. I watched them recover from burnout, feeling stuck in careers, lost in life’s path and helped them to develop a spiritual practice, adopt a self-care itinerary and start to prioritise themselves in their day-to-day lives.

In the past two years, I’ve ‘lost’ or released my job, career, home, relationship, income, lifestyle, limiting beliefs and a few bad habits. I’ve gained health, time, balance, happiness, fulfilment, appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, stronger friendships, a spiritual practice, a lust for life and an understanding of who I am and how I want my ‘new’ life to be. I’m not perfect but I’m learning how to be myself and the best part was discovering that my purpose is to dedicate my professional life to empower, motivate and inspire women to look at their lives from a different perspective.

Since then, I’ve worked with many private clients, spoken in front of countless groups, while earning an income on my online business and I have created the Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Purpose & Passion system, a series of important life evaluation and design steps that every woman who wants to get unstuck and design a fulfilling new life needs to apply to rewrite their stories and embrace more joy, freedom and wellbeing in their everyday lives.

In February 2020, I relocated to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and I’m living my dream life in a bright, light rooftop apartment with a little white foster dog for company. Everyone’s dreams are different. I can help you find and live yours.

15 Ways to Discover your Natural Skills & Talents

15 Ways to Discover your Natural Skills & Talents

  1. Reflect on yourself
  2. Look back on your past
  3. Think about what you enjoy
  4. Evaluate what you’re good at
  5. Think about times you were successful
  6. Write the story of your life
  7. Ask around – friends, family and colleagues
  8. Open up time for new things
  9. Make “your” time
  10. Build on your existing skills
  11. Try things you have never tried before
  12. Take classes in subjects that interest you
  13. Travel to expand your experiences
  14. Take on challenges
  15. Volunteer to help shift your perspective
Facing into mental illness

Facing into mental illness

Things don’t have to stay the same…

I met one of my closest friends when I interviewed her for a job, two and a half years ago. (Let’s just call her B, as her story isn’t mine to share). B got the job. Before she started, she asked me why I had such an interest in Mental Health. I shared that I had suffered with depression and anxiety, she shared her own experiences with mental illness. We bonded. And I can see now that before we even started working together, we had a more honest, authentic understanding of each other than most people will ever have.

That understanding has grown exponentially as we’ve supported each other through challenging work, life and personal experiences over the last few years. But we’ve shared them all with the same honesty and openness that created our friendship.

Mental Health in the Workplace

At the time, I was leading a mental health project in work. The company was introducing an amazing programme to actively support student residents with their mental health. I recognised that we couldn’t expect our people to deliver that support without giving them the necessary knowledge, tools, language and support to do so. We rolled out mental health first aid training, well-being initiatives and invited two well known mental illness charities to work in partnership with us.

But we had to find a way to start having conversations about mental health. Despite being so open about my mental illness with my immediate team, I had only recently shared my experiences with others on the executive team. I was asked if I would consider talking about my mental health on a video that would be shared at our annual staff conference event. I froze. I don’t do video. But I knew that this would be a powerful way to start conversations about mental health.

I didn’t realise just how powerful. The video was shown to almost 200 people in a darkened room, while I found an even darker spot to hide in the back of the room. That video opened so many conversations. In one evening, two older men spoke to me about their experiences of PTSD and eating disorders. Other people openly talked about self-harm and suicide attempts. It was as though, speaking openly about experience of mental illness had given others permission to share without fear of judgement.

It wasn’t one of my most enjoyable nights out! But it was liberating and really powerful for me personally. But still I kept some things back. In one-on-one conversations or in coaching, I would be very open. But more publicly, I kept parts back, just for me.

The impact on other people

But with my friend B, there is no filter. Never has been. And we’ve realised that’s been pretty powerful for other people. When I first met her now-husband, he had never, ever witnessed such a conversation. He was amazed at how we talked about mental health “as if you’re talking about a headache!” That threw the door wide open for him to start doing the same, which ultimately helped him in being much more proactive about his own mental healthcare and wellbeing.

Just last weekend, two lifelong friends visited me for a weekend and B came to meet them for the first time. Our story wouldn’t be complete without sharing how we’ve supported each other through major challenges over the past few years. I hope that we share the stories with a lot of humour, honesty, realism and compassion. But we share the stories warts and all.

When B left, my two friends commented on how open she had been (they know my story). They then spoke more openly than I have ever heard either be about their own mental health and challenges. It already sounded like they were adopting a more forward-thinking approach, both accepting that they didn’t have to settle for the current state and recognising that there were other options. These options wouldn’t be easy, they wouldn’t be certain to work, they might take time but both seemed to seriously consider that they didn’t have to ‘exist’ as they have been for another 20+ years.

Just one week later, they’ve both taken huge steps to make positive changes. One has already planned an extended career break to focus on herself and her family and work out what her future could look like if she considered part-time employment. The other has already been to counselling for the first time ever and has made an appointment with her GP to consider ceasing/changing medication (which isn’t working) and to work out if she might be perimenopausal.

Massive steps. Immediate action. Triggered by powerful conversations.

When I was leading the mental health project in work and filming the video, someone warmly joked that I was the “Face of the Mentals”. If finally having the courage to share my story, can help even one person feel brave enough to try to change their story, then I’m proud to be so.

I also realise through recent CBT that I emotionally detach when I talk about my periods of mental illness. It’s how I can get the words out without crumbling. But I’m working on that. Still I’m learning, still I’m growing.

Avoiding mental illness doesn’t help. You can’t run away from it, you carry it with you.

So lean in. Face in. Talk.

Get Out Of Your Own Way

Get Out Of Your Own Way

The biggest, scariest thoughts that are holding us back the most are deep in our own minds. I’ve experienced these thoughts myself and work with many women who feel lost, paralysed by fear, overwhelmed and spinning out of control. The past has created lots of toxic little gremlins who are holding us back by poisoning our experiences.

Take your power back and kick those gremlins to the kerb so they don’t keep you repeating past fears and patterns of behaviour.

 

Radical honesty exercise:

When your head is in a spin and you’re feeling frazzled, force yourself to stop. Sit down in a quiet space where you’ll not be interrupted and answer these questions HONESTLY. Take time to write it all out.

– What am I afraid of?
– What is really going on here, what am I worried about?
– What is the worst thing that can happen to me in this situation?
– And then what?
– And then what?

It’s important to take a deep look at your thoughts to acknowledge what’s playing out under your conscious mind.

When you ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that can happen to me? And then what? And then what?”, you’ll find at the end that it’s your EGO separating you from oneness by protecting you with fear. Fear of what? Ultimately fear of death.

E.g. You don’t make offers to sell your services or products to people because people may judge you, you will get ousted from your tribe, you’ll be all alone, your family will leave you, you could fail, lose your job, lose your business, not be able to pay your bills, be out on the street, homeless and then DIE.

If you really take it all the way to the end (and be honest here) you will see there is failure and the scare of death emanating from all these thoughts. Don’t do that again, you might fail and then die. It isn’t real, it’s just the ego protecting you with fear.

The problem is that it’s also protecting you from winning. You have take risks in life if you want to win and get ahead and change.

Next time: Finding the Gremlins

Pin It on Pinterest