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a simple tool to explore your purpose

February is all about sharing the looooooovvvvvveee and I hope you are enjoy more love in your life with the tips from the Valentine’s inspired post.

Extra love coming your way in this b-mail with a free download with bonus inspiration! I’ve created just for you a “purpose on a page” worksheet to help you explore, ponder and reflect on the where, how and what your life and career could be.

Check out your free download - "purpose on page"

Download your copy of “purpose on a page” here.

Once, you’ve got your worksheet printed out, my suggestions for completing it are to go with your first thoughts or gut instinct. Get them on paper without “editing” or seeking to “validate” them. This is an iteration in a series of iterations. As you populate the page, your thinking will evolve and lightbulbs will switch on. No worries – erase, cross out, reprint and go again.

The second page is a selection from my Pinterest boards – are we connected there yet? No? Click here to go straight to my boards. I totally believe that if you can imagine and picture your goals alongside finding quotes or images that give me a boost when things aren’t quite going as I’d like and help my stretch myself to achieve more when things are going well.

Why not print this page out and pin up above your desk or on the back of your front door? Or create your own one from Pinterest? It’s really easy or if you have your own photo or favourite saying, why not use canva or picmonkey to make your own from scratch?

I’d love to see your inspiration page or Pinterest boards – drop a link into the comments or post them on my Facebook page

Now, go ahead and share “purpose on a page” with your friends and loved ones with the social media buttons – share the February love and enable they to explore their purpose too!

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say no to resolutions, say yes to achievable change

So it’s mid-January and you’ve had a few weeks to living with your New Year resolutions.

You had great intention and for a few days, you really had the energy and motivation to tackle them. Then life, work and other commitments kicked back in, bills started arriving, you packed away the Christmas decorations. Before you know it, you can’t remember when you last did anything towards cracking on with those resolutions.

Just a second, what were those resolutions you set?

You might want to hang your had in shame. You might want to reset your resolutions and give them a new start date. You might want to forget the whole dang thing.

And this is why I say no to resolutions. And why I want you to say yes to achievable change.

To build new habits, travel in new directions and change your life, work or relationships, takes real consideration, effort and energy before you start. It’s why I produce a whole workbook on setting goals and life rules that align with your values. I want you to achieve your desired changes, not hit hurdles and blocks.

(If you missed the workbook and planners in the festive season, here’s a link to part one and here for part two.)

So, what to do now? Follow these tips and stretch your life:

First off, go easy on yourself. Change is often difficult, even when we really badly want it. Acknowledge any feelings of fear, discomfort or stress. These are typical reactions to moving away from your current norm and into something new. Setbacks and mistakes are too. They are part of the change process.

Next step back, revisit the workbook or work through it now to ensure you’re creating goals that are grounded in your strengths and values. This is essential to making goals that you can live with and work towards in a sustainable way.

Do a reality check:

  • what other “must do’s” and “should do’s” form part of your diary?
  • These might be things like go to work, attend a class, take a fast walk around the park.

  • what deadlines are fixed in stone and what can vary?
  • Your friend’s birthday dinner or an important meeting are likely to be fixed, but which gym class you book this week is probably flexible.

  • what’s your cashflow like?
  • Your bank balance needs to be able to afford change. e.g. the fresh, organic ingredients for that yummy morning smoothie or the full price of your new kit or mentoring.

  • where can you get inspiration?
  • To both keep you motivated now and in the future. Do you need a change buddy? Or a source of new ideas? Maybe a collage speaking to why you’re making these changes?

    My final tip? Keep going. Little steps. Every day. Be bold and be brave. By bedtime, you’ll be a bit closer to achieving your change.

    I am intrigued, tell me how are you doing with your goals and life rules for 2015? What’s working and what’s driving you round in circles?

    Over the next few b-mails, I’m going to dig a little deeper into the key ways, tools and steps to life, career and fitness change – let me know what you’re puzzling over and I’ll include an answer in the b-mail.

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    Happy New Year!

    I’m raising a virtual glass to your health, career, life and business ambitions for 2015 and grinning at your gumption and drive to getting there! I hope throughout your stretches and changes, b-elastic and I will be there for you, providing help, insight and inspiration.

    And my first gift of the year, another little reminder to pin, post or share to keep you flying in 2015.

    Happy New Year! x

    Happy New Year!

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    Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Christmas!

    Wow! There won’t be many times that I actually get to deliver you a b-mail on 25th December – Christmas Day! 🙂

    I wish you and yours an amazing day with great company and wonderful fun. My gift to you is this cute, homemade post card – download, share with the buttons, pin it above your desk, …… it’s yours. Enjoy xx

    A small visual "Happy Christmas" from b-elastic

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    use your strengths

    In the first of this series, you identified your unique strengths and part 2 enabled you to focus on developing and growing them. (Been away? Here’s the links so you can catch up: part 1 and part 2).

    But knowing your strengths and growing them isn’t enough to sustain your motivation, build greater success and create the life or career you want.

    So to borrow another company’s slogan…..

    At work

    Actually even before you land your ideal job or promotion, you can utilise you strengths to demonstrate both the way in which you work and what you excel at. By creating a consistent personal brand, you can reinvigorate your online profiles and your personal introductions. Using a strengths based summary statement on LinkedIn gives a clear, easy to understand short review of your talents and aspirations. At events, you can rapidly and compellingly introduce yourself to new people.

    Whilst research roles, your strengths could be the search terms you use in job boards or in deciding whether your career switch is really for you.

    If you’re considering a career or job switch, I’d really encourage you to look at doing an internship – Escape the City offers a job and internship board of some of the most lovely and usual roles going all in one place (plus great blog and school) and keep your eyes’ peeled for internships being offered as part of competitions (Red Magazine runs “grown-up” internships for a range of organisational positions).

    Drafting your CV and applications can also draw from your strengths portfolio. They will run through each role or project and help illustrate how your achieved success or development in them. The “how” is a key indicator of future performance, not just the outcomes.

    Many firms are now using strengths interviewing – rather than focus on past experiences, you’ll be asked to describe how you would approach future or hypothetic scenarios based on your talents.

    At rest

    In coaching, we often refer to “signature strengths” – the ones that shine throughout all aspects of life. Let me give you an example, if you’re great at organising chaos into a way ahead then you’ll be the one who at home, as well as work, who tackles arranging holidays, family get-togethers and so on. If you’re naturally talented at making people feel at ease, you’ll do this at home too.

    The snag is you possibly don’t realise it.

    Take a moment to reflect on where your strengths show up at home. In what circumstances do you draw on them? And how could you use them to better effect? Or is it possible you over use your strengths and diminish your chance to try something new or push outside your comfort zones?

    At play

    Taking your strengths into volunteering, hobbies, sports or socialising can be a real joy to the soul. These “play” activities typically have some sort of pay-off – they make a difference to you or to others, they lift your spirits, they enhance your wellbeing.

    This application of your strengths can also require you to use them in a different way and in a different context to work or home. The pressures or boundaries may be removed or relaxed and you’re likely to be with a different group of people. How do your strengths show themselves in these times?

    Stepping back

    Looking across all 3 areas, when and how do you use your strengths? Are there any learning or observations that you can draw across into another area of your life to maximise their potential?

    Research into happiness, health and success all point to one common factor – knowing, developing and using your strengths consistently. I hope this short 3 part b-mail series has helped you begin the journey to the life and career you desire.

    Moving ahead, I’d love to know in the comments how you currently make the most of your strengths and how you’ll be using them in new or different ways in the future. Stuck for ideas? Drop that in the comments too and I’ll be happy to help.

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