My new year starts with an exciting announcement! I will be a featured writer in Sibyl Magazine, an international magazine with a readership of over 35,000 women from around the globe.

With my passion for empowering women this is a huge opportunity. I want women to embrace their journey, enjoy life and thrive.

You can celebrate with me! As a gift my readers can start their month off by reading the magazine for free.

Click here to see me in print.

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Everybody is talking about them, and for some it’s a confusing path, lots of information, lots of methods, lots of how to’s.  But there are some very clear things that we need to look at before we get stuck into the methodology of, “How do we set a goal”.

One of things I discovered when I started using the Wellness model with clients, was the importance of checking the goals ecologically.  This meant asking – did the goals really fit where they wanted to be, did it fit with their life, their family, their values.  Most importantly, was it their goal or was it what someone else wanted for them.

We are unique, we’re not imprints of someone else.  We have to be sure that the goals we create fit us.

Do they look like us and the us we want to be come?  Ultimately, we are the ones who need to drive it, find energy for it, keep it alive, and if it’s to please someone else, it will lose energy and momentum.

Once we have established that it’s the goal we want for ourselves, there are some important things we need to do.

It’s only us who can change us – no one else can do that.

We need to focus on it, focus on the change, because nothing happens from a ‘should do’ – it needs to be a ‘must do’. Wherever our mind goes, be assured the rest of us will follow.

So, we make a choice to focus on the goal; build up our internal muscles, resist the negative by pushing against those negative urges.  If we actually start the day with our focus on the goal, we start in a strong position and we are better able to deal with what ever comes our way for the day.

Another important thing is to face your FEAR– get over it.  After all these years of working with people (counseling and coaching) I have learned that everyone has FEAR.  Fear has the capacity to stop us from doing things. We can be our worst enemy. We all put strategies in place to avoid fear. When instead we should recognize fear and learn to dance with it – instead of letting it rob us.

People will always get in your way and try to stop you achieving. Sometimes it comes from those who are closest to you who love you, because they don’t want to be left behind.  Sometimes our successes make others feel inferior or insecure and sometimes some people just don’t like you and don’t want you to succeed.

Problems are part of life, we have to get used to it.  At any moment we can be upset about anything.

You can’t always control the events of your life, but you can control what it means to you. You can’t always control what’s on the outside, but you can control the inside, how you respond.

I love working this through with people, especially our lovely members.  We can all reach out, stretch those muscles and grab hold of our future. Sometimes we just need to know how.

What do your goals look like?

If you would like help taking it further check out my life coaching Change by Design Model.

 

Over the years, I’ve heard it said so many times, ‘God, I hate Mondays’.

It’s the start of another week, the weekend’s over, my free time is over for another week, its too busy, I hope I can get through to the next weekend.  It takes you away from home, from your loved ones, etc.

It’s so common they even wrote a song about it, “I Don’t like Mondays”, penned by Sir Bob Geldoff, from the band The Boomtown Rats.  It was a song, quite a different song, written about a true story.  There was a shooting that took place where a woman shot a number of people and when she was asked why, the shooter said, “I don’t like Mondays”.

One of the facts we know with our brain, is that what we focus on becomes our reality.  If we are focusing in on all the negatives, then it becomes our reality.  And its much more than positive thinking.  It’s more about changing our belief systems, and what we believe to be the truth.

So the challenge is to change our focus.  What if we looked at the week in a different way?  Monday, it’s the start of a new week, the beginning of new opportunities, at work, at school, on the train, in the shops or the mall.  How many others could we meet and make an impact with, encourage, help.

Be grateful you are here to see another week.  Sadly, there are some who are not and there time to impact the world has now gone.  We have another week to serve others.

Great things are possible, and there is new knowledge to be gained.  We are alive, in anticipation of new things to do and new people to meet.

Be positive and have a positive attitude.  It does draw other positive, energetic people to you.  Ring home if you miss your kids and connect with them during the day.  Encourage them to do great things during the week.  Build ‘time out’ or ‘me time’ into your week, don’t wait for the weekend create balance during the week.

If life is too busy, then what can you do to change it?  I know we are all far too busy these days, but it is only us who can change it.  We can’t change anybody else.  We spend a lot of the time trying to change others, who don’t change, when we could be spending energy in changing us.  Enjoy what you do, if you don’t like your job, what can you do to change it?

Anthony Robbins, a Famous Life Coach, Author, Teacher and Mentor says the secret to Success in anything you do is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics.  Basically what he is saying is, what you believe is 80%, what you do about it is 20%.  As a Life Coach and working with the great people I work with, I have found this to be true.

So today, set your intention, think about and visualize what you want your Mondays to look like and take action.

 

Today, I am writing my blog from my car, as I wait outside of yet another doctor’s appointment for a member of my family, and just lately there have been a number of these appointments.  I was reflecting on the fact that so much of our time these days is spent on waiting, waiting for the doctor, dentist, and medical practitioner of all kinds, the nail shop, the shopping line at the mall, the beauty shop, picking up the kids.

All of us seem to have the time poor disease these days, and for lots of reasons we are running all the time. Working, running around with kids to various appointments, tutoring after school sports, after school care, the gym, – lots of running.  There is always something to do and somewhere to go.  I’m sure you can identify with something here.

A client I was working with the other day, said she was time poor and it didn’t matter how much she had written in her diary, and how well she was time managed, she was still time poor.  When we worked on her time schedule, she was extremely busy, but she didn’t use the time in between as constructively as she could have and that gave her a bit of playing room to maneuver.

So, I’m just wondering how you spend that time.  I use it as an opportunity to sit, and do what I call constructive waiting.  It’s a time to stop running and to pause a moment.  I always have a pen and writing pad in my bag, so that over the time I am sitting or waiting, I can write.  I write a blog, or add something that I thought about a training I was doing.  Sometimes I use it to write down all the things that I am grateful for at the moment or it might be time to just be quiet and reflect on where I am, to hear my heart and my thoughts towards myself – a kind of check in.

Sometimes our busyness is about running away from ourselves and its hard to reflect and to listen to our quiet inner voice if we are running, so this quiet time is a good opportunity for reflection.  We might learn something new about ourselves and with new learning’s always comes growth.

So today or for this week, try out some constructive waiting ideas of your own – you might be surprised at what comes us.

How many of us are happy with our bodies?  Are we always comparing ourselves with that woman over there, that girl on the beach, that hollywood starlet?

Maddeningly, the trends of how we should look, what size we should be, how our hair and makeup should look are changing all the time.

I cant keep up with it.  I often wonder how the socialites and the social media pages keep up with the latest trends on what we should look like and then the havoc that causes in the fashion and beauty industries as well.  And of course, there are all the groups that are affected by the roll on of that, weight loss groups so we can all be a perfect 8, fitness so we can all be perfectly toned no ‘flab’ and no ‘skinny fat’.  The magic bullet products for weightloss and creating a bigger bust.  And not surprisingly cosmetic surgery is at an all time high.

Well, at my very young age of 50 plus years, let me tell you I’ve seen a lot of changes and a lot of trends and it still amazes me how much power those trends have over us as women.  And unfortunately, a lot of these trends are neither healthy nor achievable.  As a life coach and counsellor for many years, I have worked with lots of women.  Most of us have the same dreams for ourselves, and so much of that is about self esteem and value.  But sadly for a lot of women that value seems to be more about how they look like rather than who they are and their intrinsic value.

Many of us are not in a position to afford costly cosmetic surgery.  Some of us will never be that size 10 or 8 or dare I say 6.  It’s just physically impossible.  And yet, every magazine you see, you are being told this is how you are supposed to look.  I know this is old news to all of you reading this article, and I am not the first to voice these opinions and wont be the last.  But these issues are very important to me.  As a life coach and founder of the What Women Want Network, I have the opportunity to speak into the lives of women and I want to climb on a chair and yell, “We are all unique, wonderfully made individuals.  There is something simply fabulous about all of you.”

Don’t get me wrong – I love to look fabulous, I love my bling and I want to wear clothes and makeup that make me look and feel great.  But more importantly I like to be happy in my own skin imperfections and all and to love who I am.  I’m not saying surgery is wrong, you might need breast reduction surgery due to back pain.  You might need that tummy tuck due to health implications.  Only you know what is right and what’s wrong for you.

I’m not saying all surgery is wrong, I’m just saying it shouldn’t be as prevalent.  Women shouldn’t feel so pressured to look a certain way.  I know a lot of us heard about the worrying trend of women having their genitals made smaller so they would look ‘more attractive’, like the women in mens magazines.  Food disorders are at an all time high with both men and women starving themselves and endangering their health to get into size 6 jeans.  Or women having their eyes reshaped to look ‘less Asian’.

A lot of women want to be healthy, fit and beautiful, there’s nothing wrong with that but lets love ourselves and be good to our selves.  It’s time we started to love being who we are.

In my previous article I looked at how we form our beliefs. Today, I’m going to take a look at how we can change them.  To read previous article click here.

Changing our thoughts and beliefs so that we can move forward, starts with becoming aware.  If you are continually stuck in the same patterns in your life, making the wrong choices, wishing you could do things differently, then there are some strong belief systems in place that are governing your choices.

Perhaps you are aware of them already and don’t know how to break the thought cycle.  ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m so fat’, ‘Nobody will ever love me’, ‘I’ll never have anything’, ‘I’ll always struggle with money’, etc.  Recognize any of these?  You may not be aware of these thought processes, you just know that things always seem to happen to you and you don’t know why.  If this is you, a little more work is required to delve into the deep recess of your mind and find out a few things about yourself.

Moving forward is about reforming those thoughts.  In order to change, we first need to become aware of our beliefs and why we do what we do.  In the previous article, I talked about the deep learning state, Theta brain wave.  This is where change happens.  We achieve this by going into deep meditation or a deeply relaxed Hypnotic state.  Take the time to sit with yourself for about 20 minutes, ask your unconscious mind to share your thoughts with you about what you believe.  Journal whatever comes up before you have time to ‘think’ yourself out of it.

Rewrite new messages next to the old ones, the things that you would like to believe, the new truth.

‘I’m not good enough’ becomes ‘I am good enough’.
‘I am worthwhile’, ‘I am beautiful’, ‘I am valuable’ etc.

Writing things down visually is good for the brain, it makes it harder to refute the evidence we can see.  Now spend some time in that deep meditative state and re-learn those new messages, over and over again.  Repetition is a necessary part of retraining your brain.  Remember that those old messages have had lots of practice often we’ve listened to them for years.  Accordingly we need to take the time to rewrite the new ones, over and over again.

Obviously, I have just given you some basic elements here, as there are a number of things we can do to retrain our brain including NLP and Brain Science, brain retraining and creating new pathways in the brain.  You can take this further by working with a qualified professional who is experienced in the field of brain retraining.

So today make a choice!

If you’re not where you want to be, gain awareness and clarity and choose to do, be and think differently.

Everyone has a past, issues, regrets, things that they wished hadn’t happened.  That’s the journey we’re on that’s life.

We made the best decisions we could at the time, based on the information we had available and they were the best ones for that moment.  Some decisions were made for us by others that we had no control over.  The reason I am saying all this is because we need to recognize that all these things create our beliefs and shape our thought processes and ultimately they become our truth.  Sadly, for many of us, these beliefs and processes are a poor reflection of the truth and we go through life being dictated to by them.

We Need to Let Go of it and Rethink and Re-Learn the Real Truth of Who We Are

A lot easier said than done.

I know you might be sitting there saying, ‘I’ve tried to change but I can’t, this is who I am, I’ve tried this and I’ve tried that and, well,  there’s just nothing I can do about it, nothing works’.  Let me tell you today, it’s not easy, I’ve been there.  Most of the people I know, know my story.  It’s been a tough road around abuse and addictions and I believed I had no value at all as a person.  But one day I made a decision, my past had robbed me of so much of my life, it wasn’t going to do it anymore.  I got help, I got perspective, I grew in understanding and have spent most of my adult life learning about the brain, how it works and why we believe the things we do that make us make the choices we make.

If you get in a room with me these days, you will hear about Brain Science 101, I am really passionate about it.  When you truly understand something, you can change it, if you choose to.  From the time we are young, are brain develops associations to its environment, so each memory we make around a thought, we associate it with feelings, emotion, other people, and other thoughts, so what we think about anything comes with a whole lot of attachments.  Our mind doesn’t know the difference between fantasy and reality, so all of the associations we have around the thought make up a truth.  It may only be what we have perceived to be the truth but for our brain, its the truth.  Therefore you cannot disagree with the truth.

Our brain also functions at different wave patterns.  For example, when we are doing our normal day to day activity, our brain is in Beta Wave.  When we are being creative our brain switches to Alpha wave, where daydreams and fantasy occur.  When our endorphins are going crazy and we get excited, our brain switches into Gamma wave.  In a deep meditative state our brain switches into Theta wave.  This is achieved during Hypnosis and deep meditation and also REM sleep.  It is in this time we have opportunity to start to rewrite some of those ingrained thought processes and belief systems.

So how do we retrain our brain, so we can let our past go?

Read my article Change Your Mind Change Your Life here.

 

In life, bad things can happen to everyone.  There is always an element of uncertainty, nothing is assured and life can change in a moment.  It is normal to think about the negatives, the “What could happen”.  We can think and worry, over and over again, about the same things, a constant fear of the unknown that goes around in circles taking up our headspace or we can work though our thought processes, accept that change is a constant and limit our negative thinking.

While research is undecided as to whether we are ‘predisposed’ to stinking thinking and worry, negative thinkers and those who tend to be overemotional, struggle daily with it.  It’s important to remember we can unlearn the learned behaviour patterns and develop better strategies around worry.

Tips for Reframing Your Thought Processes

 

Have a Set Time for Worry

This is a very helpful tool, I often give this to clients.  Set a time aside, make an appointment time for an hour and during that time process your worries and concerns.  It’s important to remind yourself throughout the day that the worry time is set and you can’t worry at other times.

 

Gain Perspective

Especially during the set worry time.  Worry provides us  with opportunity for problem solving and helps process information.  One method for doing this is thinking of all the worst possible scenarios, and then evaluating whether they are likely to really happen.

 

Get to the Root of the Problem

Often we worry more about everything surrounding the problem, rather than the problem itself.

 

Make Sure Your Expectations are Realistic

Look at solving the problem.  Are there different solutions to the problem?  Look at what might work and also what may not and aim to find a reasonable solution rather than a perfect one.

 

Be Confident That You Can Handle Whatever Comes Your Way

You’ve got through it before, you work well in crisis mode, draw on some of your previous experiences and know you can do it.

 

Look for the Positives

Learn to reframe situations, look at the positive sides of things, other meanings, turn it around.

 

Who’s Problem is it Anyway?

Is it your problem, your worry or someone else’s?  Establish right thinking.

 

Stop Anticipating Other Peoples Thoughts

What other people are thinking is none of your business, and for the most part, other people are focused on what difficulties they have, not on yours.

 

Learn to be Positive

Like everything you can learn new habits and behaviour.  Learn to love yourself, learn to think positively, learn to think confidently. Try doing daily affirmations about how well you can do rather than how badly you do.

 

Let Go of Toxic Thoughts and Toxic People

Say things that reflect who you are as a person and you will stop worrying about what others think of you.

 

Relax Unwind and Focus

Make a conscious effort to relax.  Use meditation and relaxation techniques to help yourself unwind.

 

Be Present

Stay in the present, don’t get stuck in future events that may not happen and in the, “What ifs”.  Mindfulness is a good technique to practice, it keeps you grounded in the here and now.

 

Challenge Your Thought Processes.

Use Cognitive behavioural techniques that break the cycle.  Look for evidence to the contrary.

 

Learn to be Flexible

Accept the uncertainty of your emotions, knowing that emotions come and go.  Let them help you make good decisions rather than being afraid of them.

 

You Have a Choice

Remember there is always a choice.  Choose to worry or choose to problem solve, it’s up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you sick of hearing ‘Do this’, ‘Do that’, ‘Do Something Else’ from everyone?  Is your inbox full of the ‘what to do’, ‘How to do it’, and ‘We will show you how’ emails, I know mine is.  Do you need a short sharp shiny version that gets you somewhere?  Well this article is for you.

The Short Sharp and Shiny Version:

 

Change something, doesn’t matter what, just change it.  Making a change, changes your state of mind, your emotion, you own it and it starts the ball rolling, then you can focus on something else.  Once you succeed with one change – Repeat Repeat Repeat.

The Version With a Little More Detail:

 

With the New Year well on the way, it is definitely time to move on with what it has to offer. Most people think about their new years resolutions, write them down, even commit them to memory.  Some write up vision boards and work out their goals.

All this is commendable and doable, but as we come to the end of January how many of us look at those resolutions as dirty words.  How many of us feel frustrated at having already fallen off the wagon.

Here are some simple tips to help you get motivated and back on track:

 

Declutter and Re-Organize

If everything around you is cluttered and disorganized, chances are, the inside of you is the same.  To regain some focus, start to organize around you.  Throw away or re-gift Christmas presents you don’t want – don’t just put them in a corner or drawer for later.  Pick a room, a desk, a wardrobe and go through things.  If you haven’t worn it in a while, bless someone else with it.  Clear your work space, file away papers, make some lists.  All of this will help to eliminate distractions and get you focused.

 

Create New Habits

Ever heard the old saying, it takes 21 days to form a habit.  It’s actually quite true.  Doing something regularly for 21 days starts growing a new neural pathway in the brain.  Start with one habit instead of trying to change all of them and you wont get overwhelmed.

 

Let Go of What No Longer Serves You

This is my favourite.  So many of us hang on to baggage that no longer serves us, and we carry it around like a suitcase or a backpack.  Find ways to let go and move on.

 

Learn to Get visual

Visualization is a great tool for getting present with your future goals.  Think about what the end of this year would look like.  How would I feel? Where would I be?  Learn to step into the visualization and really connect with it, then you can own it, become more energized by it and it will help you be more focused.

 

Be in Control of Your Mood

Happiness, joy and contentment come from within.  No one else on the planet can make you happy.  Become your own motivator, look for activities that make you feel good about who you are and make it part of your daily routine.  Make a decision and then take action to complete it and keep it in your focus.

 

Get Good Rest

Life is made moment to moment, don’t get so stuck in business that you forget to make memories of the moments.  Like the old saying says –don’t forget to smell the roses.  You can’t get back TIME, so spend it wisely.

Read my article on Goals here for more strategies.

We all have crazy households sometimes, I know I do and some of the people that I work with do as well. Sometimes its just learning a few basic things that help take away the overpowering situation and helps give us some perspective.

Hear are a few helpful tips that I find work for most overwhelming and crazy situations.

Visualize the “overwhelm” and push it away. – Its helpful to use your hands and do a pushing away action. Surprisingly, this action helps put space between all of the stuff going on and gives us space to look at things a bit better.

Mind map – I love mind maps. Just grab a big sheet of paper and draw a circle in the middle with you in it. Then draw a circle around the big one for each issue. In each circle write what’s happening and all the things you can think of that are being affected by that issue. It helps you get stuff out of your head and put it in front of you so you can see the whole picture.

Take first things first – prioritize what needs to be done today- use the mind map to work it out. Then look at it a bit at a time. When tomorrow comes look at that and so on. Helps you keep the priorities as priorities.

Know when to say no. Know when you are not in a position to help others, get your own house in order. Sometimes things get crazy because we commit to too many things

Be a healthy burden bearer. Know what’s your emotional stuff and what’s some one else’s. You can only deal with your own stuff.

Accept help – graciously accept the help that comes your way when it is offered. Pride isolates us and makes us carry burdens alone, unnecessarily.

Laugh or cry – Expect emotional turbulence. Tears of laughter or sadness can both wash away emotional storms. When in doubt, choose laughter

Imagine the possibilities – turn situations around, reframe them, look at them from a different angle. It gives you a chance to change things

Say thanks – Express gratitude for the people and the circumstances that are in your life. Keep a gratitude journal, to write things down. This helps you to remember the good stuff when you are having a bad day.

The Serenity prayer – good soul food – Accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can and have the courage to know the difference. There are things we cannot change, particularly other people. We can only change ourselves and the way we look or respond to things. Look at you, stop trying to change them.