3 Ways to ROCK 2020!

Can you believe we are just a week in to this new decade? You may be firing on all cylinders or you may have not quite got started yet. 

Wherever you’re at, can I suggest you take half and hour with a cuppa, notebook and pen to pause and set yourself up for this new year and new decade…? 

1 JOURNAL

Looking ahead into this new decade 

What do you want to take with you? What are you already grateful for? It might be your health, your career and purpose or your relationships. It’s a universal law that what you focus on expands so take a minute to consider what you are grateful for. 

Now take yourself forward to New Year’s Eve 2020. What would you like to have accomplished? What will that look like? What will you be saying to yourself? How will you know that you have made a change? 

What is the WORD that will guide you this year. Choose a word that embodies your intentions for what you would like to Be, Do and Have. In the past my words have been love, peace, calm and focused. This year my word is intentional to really challenge myself to think carefully about the choices behind how I spend my time and energy. 

What new HABIT could you adopt on a daily basis that will support you in making progress? This might be a daily walk, going to sleep earlier, reducing time on social media etc. 

Who will SUPPORT you and cheer you on? Who are the people in your life who will encourage you? If you can’t think of anyone please come and join us in The Transformation Hub

Who or what might stop you or hold you back? How can you handle this? 

What is one ACTION you could commit to that you can take in the next 24 hours that will allow you to move one step closer to achieving your goal? 

2 CREATE A VISION BOARD

I spent the 2nd January with an amazing group of women creating my vision board for 2020. The energy and connection in the room was palpable and I came back fired up and ready to nail the new year. 

A vision board is a collage of words and images that inspires and motivates you. It’s a great tool to help you focus on what you want and to keep you on track on those days when you’re just not feeling it. 

All you need is some magazines, scissors and glue. You can do this alone, with friends or family or come and join us here

3 FIND GOOD STRATEGIES AND SUPPORT

A few months ago, I was fortunate to hear Professor Carol Dweck speak about her latest research on growth mindset. The learning that resonated most deeply was that mindset alone is not enough. We all need good strategies and excellent support. We can’t do it alone. 

In the last few years I’ve made a career change and built my business from scratch. But I haven’t done it alone: I’ve worked with coaches and mentors; I’ve invested in my learning and development and I’ve been so grateful for friends old and new who have believed in me and championed me. 

You don’t have to do it alone and that’s why I have created Your Best Life Group Coaching Programme to offer you the teaching and strategies you need to kickstart your personal development journey, along with a group of like minded and supportive people. 

So what will you do to get started? You don’t have to make a massive changes; it’s good to start small. What is your first step? 

Positive Mental Health

This week the mental health charity MIND have published the results of their research which shows that half of all employees have suffered with poor mental health and half of those who have suffered with stress, anxiety and low mood are reluctant to discuss it with their employers.

There is still stigma around mental health, particularly in the work place. We fear speaking out and being judged. According to the report, fear, shame and job insecurity are the reasons employees are reluctant to speak out.

In his brilliant book The Whole Brain Child– Daniel Siegal provides an image of mental health as a river: on one bank there is chaos and on the other rigidity. If we veer too close to one bank our mental health is put at risk. This image appeals to me as it suggests that we can take responsibility for creating positive mental health and start to recognise areas in which we are drawn towards the two extremes of chaos and rigidity.

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Image taken from Daniel Siegal The Whole Brain Child

In September and October I’ll be delivering Talk to Your Teen to parents of children and teens about the stigma around mental health and how we can use coaching tools and techniques to improve communication with our children. Boys are particularly vulnerable as they are still consciously and subconsciously given messages such as ‘Big boys don’t cry’, ‘Man up’ etc which mean that when they have a problem it’s very difficult to talk about it. Teach your children it’s ok to express emotion- both positive and negative. Help them to recognise their emotions by naming them. Boys in particular tend to have a very limited range of vocabulary to describe emotions which can limit their self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Talk about your feelings, emotions and mistakes and foster a resilient mindset by encouraging the belief: Mistakes make me stronger. 

We are beginning to realise that we need to look after our mental health in the same way we do our physical health. I like to think of well-being as being like a table with 4 legs. Each of those legs is a supporting pillar. For me those four pillars are:

  • Sleep- we can’t be resilient without sleep. It underpins everything else. See Arianna Huffington’s Thrive and Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep here
  • Exercise outdoors- the release of dopamine, seratonin and endorphins is increased when we exercise outside and we get a dose of Vitamin D which reduces depression.
  • Meditation- I’m a longstanding fan of Headspace. I’ve also heard great things about Calm and a new addition to my morning routine is Tony Robbins’ priming exercise which incorporates gratitude and visualisation too. 
  • Connection- we live in a hyper connected world- which is amazing but sometimes we get overwhelmed and miss the real face to face time with loved ones which we need for our emotional  wellbeing.

The added bonus of course is that many of these things support our physical health!

So what do you need to support your mental health? Is it something you need to give more of your attention?

NB Coaching is not suitable for those suffering with mental health issues. This requires advice from medical professionals who may direct you to other forms of support.

Let it Go!

Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to things and people that stress you out. Thema Davis

At this time of year, the trees are shedding their leaves to make room for new growth in the spring. We need to do the same so where do we start?

Firstly let go of negative relationships. Stop spending your precious time with people who put you down, don’t support you in your dreams or drain your time and energy. Make the choice to walk away and invest your time in people who support you and lift you up. Obviously, I’m not advocating walking away from friends or family members who are going through a hard time. I’m talking about walking away from toxic or one sided relationships that don’t serve you.

Secondly look at the media you’re consuming. Unfollow the whingers and the haters on Facebook. Unsubscribe from the e mail clutter and don’t watch the news just before you go to bed if it leaves you feeling upset and drained. Do we need to engage with what’s going on in the world and contribute as global citizens? Of course. But not just before bed, if that doesn’t work for you.

Let go of stories from the past. I failed that exam so I’ll never be able to… And, while you’re at it, let go of whatever rubbish you picked up from your teachers or parents as a kid- you’re selfish/ lazy/ disorganised. Change that to a new positive belief and start gathering evidence to support it.

We’ve talked before about the inner critic- that little voice that plays inside your head, holding you back and putting you down. Silence that critic right now, and as Tara Mohr, suggests in her brilliant book, Playing Big, get in touch with your inner mentor and let he or her guide you instead.

And finally, responsibilities- make a list of them and identify any you can let go. Where can you lower your standards to make more time for the people and things that really matter?

You have one precious life. Find what no longer serves you and let it go.

I’d love to hear from you. What do you want more of? What are you willing to let go to make space for that?

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