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Keeping your mind during times of change

With each step, leap and jump you take on your journey of change and growth, you’ll experience a mindset shift. Some will build your momentum and increase your confidence. Others will rock your certainty, create doubts and confusion in your mind.

I’ve done some serious pondering at the end of 2015 review. Life, work, relationships, wealth and health all changed for me and my closest people. Some stood tall and kept moving. Others stopped, licked their wounds and needed time out. Some switched directions. Some surprised us all! Stepping back has given me the chance to look at where their thinking, mindset and approach was and see what we can learn to keep our minds during times of change.

    1. Nothing is permanent – if you want it to be. Things can and will pass. Nothing has to stay forever; everything can evolve and change. And boy, that makes our journeys uniquely special and exciting.
    2. Know your desired outcomes and have a plan. Progress and success will always be subjective, but can only be defined by YOUR intentions – not others and their sticky beaks.
    3. Hold tight to your hopes and aspirations, but not so tight you suffocate them. Learn to be comfortable to shift and adapt them, as your become a better traveller on your path.
    4. Keep your opinions yours and be willing to really explore different ones. They may enhance or redefine yours for the better
    5. Down days are not lost days. Sometimes, it’s good for us to stop still and just be for a while, take stock and refresh our strengths. These help fuel your productive “in the flow” days. So enjoy them.
    6. Don’t measure the size of the step or action you’re taking. Just do it. Movement equals goal getting, not becoming a hero.
    7. Line up the right people around you. If you need an expert, get one. If you need a role model, find them. If you need a “kick me up the ar*e please” person, get one. You do not need Negative Nelly or Compare Claire. Only those who bring out your greatness need apply.
    8. Accept plans are not intended to survive the battle and you’ll sleep easier. Heck, just like the weather changes are out of your control, so will some elements of your plan. Roll with it, not under it.
    9. When something keeps popping up time and time again – physically or mentally – pay it attention. There could be a warning or a some brilliant spark of magic in it. Be willing to hear and see it.
    10. Put setbacks in the past, where they happened. You can’t change what was, only what is. Carrying them around just weighs you and those around you down.
    11. A smile always helps. No matter what. Crack one on your face. Not only will others follow your lead, it will fill your bodies and brains with the happy hormones and you’ll all feel more upbeat.
    12. Gripped by fear? Breath deep and dive in. Your maximum growth, potential and strength of character is revealed in those moments. Embrace your zone of discomfort and all it offers you as learning.
    13. Investing in your future may not require cash. It might be 10 minutes daily meditation, a stroll in the park, a drink with a friend. It might be using a skill swap or a generous gift horse. The return will always be more than any cash value.
    14. Don’t compromise to please others. Do it only if it moves you forward. A job in the team and organisation you want with the potential to move up is better than a job elsewhere in a different team and firm. A relationship that’s takes more than it gives, keeps you from the one, who will set you truly glowing.
    15. Admit you were wrong. Think deeply on it, share your understanding of the impacts your actions had and apologise. A genuine sorry with the intention to resolve a situation means you create the opportunity to move forward in harmony.
    16. Hard work pays off. It lays the ground for success. It paves the way for progress. It builds a resilience in you to navigate the rollercoaster turns and twists. Put the hours in.
    17. You’ll go farther if you don’t go alone. Asking for help and support is a sign of self-awareness and inner strength. It will propel you on in ways you couldn’t have found alone.
    18. Seek out the grain of truth in negative comments and criticisms. Ask yourself how can they improve your approach, style or behaviours; do not use them to question your purpose or being.
    19. The only person’s need for justification you need to satisfy is your own. Do the work. Fix your direction. You don’t need to explain yourself or your choices to others. Know your mind, but don’t force it upon others.
    20. At the end of the day, believe in yourself and others will too. It will be ok.

I hope these 20 refocusing reflections of my 2015 help you keep your mind in times of change. These are not rules to live by, or guidance to achieve your goals. More something to refer to when you find your mind is out of sync with what you need. What you’re feeling and seeing right now is just a snapshot in time. Tomorrow the photo and your outlook will be different, and the next day, and the next…..

Keep treading your own path to your vision of success and know you will make it.

I’d be keen to know your reflections on what you use to keep your heads? Do you have a quote to bring you peace, a favourite tool to clarify your thinking or perhaps a way to lift your soul? Add to my list below.

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we need you to be successful

As a b-mail reader, you will know I got your back. I’ve got faith and belief that you can and will achieve your goals, stretch your life or change your career. Small steps. Giant leaps. Shifts that require hard work. Talents shine without effort. Whatever your changes include, I know you can do it and I’ll be right by your side. Why?

We need you to be successful.

Research has shown time and time again that living and thriving in meaningful ways makes us happier and more successful. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, spotted this in his work on optimism and positivity. The recent World Happiness Report says our well-being and performance is affected by our environment, work and play and that this is a two-way street. Your success affects the world and people around you.

Whether you’re a brilliant photographer, dancer, surgeon or engineer. We need your talents in the world. Whether you’re switching paths to a more purposeful one. We need you. Whether your talents operate outside of the workplace as a volunteer, as a carer or as a sports team player. we need you.

But first you need to identify your what and how to achieve success. Grab a big empty page and a bunch of pens. Write down everything you want to do ever – a bit like a giant bucket list. Don’t censor your list, everything is valid. Include the fun stuff and the hard stuff, the things you want to learn, places you want to go, people you want to be with.

Now look at what you can start this week, next week and so on. Take a workshop. Revamp your online profile. Visit a role model. Read a book. Take a trip. Talk to someone, who can connect you. Seek advice. Be a customer at your ideal workplace. Book a retreat.

Keep playing and trying different items off your list; then when you get hit with goosebumps on your arms, shivers down your back and your tummy flips, you’ll know you’re onto something great. Record what it is in a journal or log.

Take this second list and seek out the synergies – these are your whats and your hows to success. You’ve found your direction of change and experienced a little of what the future could hold.

So don’t delay. Crack on. We need you to be successful and I know you can do this.

I’m intrigued – what’s on your playlist and where will you begin?

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are you New Year ready?

Another year draws to an end and a new year dawns. I hope these small b-mail blogs have been a source of inspiration, know-how and help.

Some of you have been readers for a number of years and some of you joined our b-mail community more recently. Regardless of when you joined, here’s my small thank you for your support, contributions, comments, likes and follows for me and b-elastic: meet your 2016 planner set by clicking on the sparklers…..

spark of inspiration

I really value your emails, posts, retweets and pins – in all my work, my intention is to help you along your #lifechanger or #careerchanger paths to more meaningful, joy-filled lives. Whether in coaching relationships, writing b-mails, sharing great people or resources on social media, delivering interactive training, or pushing you through the Pilates block of 5, I am privileged to be able to be part of your growth and achievements. Thank you!

If you know someone who’d love these planners or perhaps someone with an eye on achieving something new in 2016, please do share these with them.

Here’s wishing that your 2016 will bring you opportunities to move forward to your desired life and career changes with your head held high and a spring in your step!


Sarae xx

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Deck the halls, celebrate and pay it forward

The last two weeks of each year are busy. Whether you seek out religious occasions, family and friends or time out of your normal day to day. The streets are busier. The shop queues are longer. The “to-do” lists are packed with gifts to buy, dates to arrange and deadline to close off before you sign off.

So you might be wondering why I’m asking you to celebrate and pay it forward. Haven’t you enough on the go?

Well, yes you have. That I’m sure. But hang in here for a minute.

One of our basic human needs, in order to be happy, is to belong, to give serve and to be valued for our interactions with us. Yes, even the Grinch and the bah humbugs amongst us. If you’ve done any kind of training on motivation, you’ve probably come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – and right there in it’s middle is belonging. Health research has shown building and nurturing relationship can even protect us from illness, such as late onset diabetes, age-related cancers and more. From a brain perspective, our slow thinking logical brains get a hit of the good stuff (oxytocin) as a reward for bonding with others.

I’d love you to find a bit of extra happiness this festive season and close 2015 in style. Stuck for ideas? Try these:

  1. Grab some friends and carol sing at a home for the elderly – you’ll raise no end of smiles
  2. Make a food parcel for your local food bank
  3. Offer your time at a shelter, animal home or another charity
  4. Invite someone over who’d otherwise spend their days alone
  5. Arrange a video chat with a long-distance friend, family member or colleague instead of a paper card
  6. Take some bright pens, cut up some triangles and join the nearest kids to design Christmas bunting
  7. Give your mates a night off and babysit so they can drink mulled wine at the pub
  8. Donate your finished recent magazines and books to your nearest hospital or doctors waiting room
  9. Smile at a passersby and wish them a “Merry Christmas”
  10. Cheer someone up with a corny joke**
  11. Buy someone flowers for no reason, than just because.
  12. Compliment someone and watch them glow

Whatever, you’re doing to see out 2015 I’d love to know how you’ll be connecting with others and here’s sending you the happiest of festive wishes, fueled by laughter, mulled wine and sprouts….ok you can skip them if you really must 🙂 xx

** Here’s a couple of crackers – don’t judge me 🙂
Why does Santa have 3 gardens? So he can “ho ho ho”.
What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinselitis.
Why did no one bid for Rudolph or Blitzen on eBay? They were two deer.

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wrapping up 2015 – a year in review

Is it just me or has 2015 flown by? Was it really twelve months ago that we were here discussing our 2014s and hopes for 2015? Seriously, time has gone by in a flash! I’m pretty sure December is going to be fun filled, fast flowing month too.

I’m taking stock myself of my 2015 at home, at work, with family and with clients. Some things remain a pure positive in my life, some sad and some are a “kick in the butt” motivator for next year’s plans. The consistent feeling they evoke in me looking back is a sense of gratitude for those in my life, intense pride in what I’ve done and supported and real clarity about what I stand for.

This year has brought me challenges with projects, clients, relationships – as well as absolute joys with them too. I’ve worn myself out meeting them, had sleepless nights, shared successes and can look backwards knowing I gave my all. Let me give you a flavour of some of these:

  • with an inspirational collaborator, I’ve helped define and design a new way of delivering learning to accelerate career management skills (we’ll be flipping their classrooms in 2016!)
  • using neuroscience-based training, I’ve supported the development of leaders in various organisations
  • I’ve enabled 100s to go and meet others to enhance their lives, work and career opportunities, by creating certainty and confidence in their relationship building skills
  • in partnership with my coachees, we’ve crafted life principles to support life and career changes
  • at home, we’ve grown as a family and I’m bursting with love for how each day brings a new insight into what the kids’ future holds
  • my crafty side has been reawakened – sewing sock animals, cake decorating, sketching, word play. Who knew I was good at this stuff! I just needed a playmate

Next year’s clarity is about offering more for you to help push through your career dilemmas, your well-being questions and life stretch ambitions. My intention is to do this in ways that respect the time you’ve got available, give you pragmatic ways ahead and ongoing a-has, inspiration and motivation to see you over the line, whilst integrating family and friends in a more balanced way.

I’d love to create the same sort of looking back to look forward activity for you too – you might say a “your year in review” self-reflection piece. Do this and see what comes up for you. Grab a paper and pen, brew up a drink, find a comfortable spot and be honest, yet kind to yourself in your responses.

  1. list out the important areas in your life (career, family, me, etc.)
  2. in your mind, run through the months and jot down what happened in each area – small, large, important, emotion-generating, smile raising, tear jerking. All good.
  3. Reflect on your writings. What leaps out at you? Pick out the enlightening actions or moments and what drained you, your head, your heart and your body?
  4. craft your intentions for 2016. What will you stand for? What will drive you towards your future happiness?

I’m a big believer in using intentions to guide, define and support action planning, decision making and finding opportunities to thrive. For me, this is a visual process of gathering images, quotes and manifesto type words into one place and using this to generate mind maps of possibilities, checking them for ups and downs, resource and time planning. This externalisation allows me to really see what’s in my mind and to share it with others – to gain perspective, to drill deeper, to seek support.

I really hope this short ” year in review” exercise gives you some learning on how your 2015 has been and ignites your 2016. I’d love to be a part of your 2016, nurture your ambition and fuel your success. Either drop me an email or leave a comment on what you need, want or would value from me.

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