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a permission note for change

One of the common concerns I come across in my work helping my clients create successful changes in their lives and work is a requirement to be given permission to do whatever it is they are trying to do.

From their wife, husband or partner. From their parents. From their boss and team. From their friends. From me, as their coach or trainer.

Only one person needs to give permission. You. It’s your life and your choices that can lead to you being happier, healthier and more fulfilled. OK, it would be naive of me to suggest things don’t get easier if those nearest and dearest to you are onboard with your stretch plan and outcomes. They just don’t get to give you permission.

So here’s a little something I’d like you to read out loud to yourself, whenever you get triggered to seek permission.

Hey you,

You’d doing great things and the stretch you’re adding into your life, work and play are all for the better. I give you my wholehearted permission to become and be the new you:

  • Step into the right mindset
  • Dress to suit my end goal
  • State who I am going to be, loud and clear
  • Run like no-one is watching
  • Bend or break the rules holding me back
  • Play at work
  • Say yes to what my want
  • Listen to my gut and believe it
  • Question the norm
  • Invite positive people in
  • Take risks
  • To get it wrong on the way
  • To be perfectly imperfect
  • Hold fast to my why
  • Experiment in my how
  • Go outside my comfort zone
  • Serve others, in my work or volunteering
  • Ditch comparing myself to others
  • Give myself time
  • To define my own view of success
  • Spend time with people who light me up
  • Own the room
  • Worry less
  • Try it and see how I go
  • Make my own path
  • Wake up early and stay up late
  • Do the things I love
  • Enjoy my stretch
  • Be happy
  • Be extraordinary
  • Be at my best

You got this.

From me.

Print this out, delete, amend or add your own permission statements and then use this permission note whenever you need to move forward in achieving your goals.

Does the idea of seeking permission resonate with you? What permission statement do you need to give yourself? Share it below and give yourself permission here.

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20 ways to get started

One of my favourite things working on my own goals and plans or with clients’ is to generate a wide variety of options.

Sensible and safe ones. Weird and wonderful ones. Ones that make your tummy flip. Others that are just set your motivation on fire!

Then comes narrowing down to decisions. Which works for you? Your circumstances? Your preferences and talents? Your cashflow? Your timelines?

OK, so decision made. Actions planned out. It’s all there, ready to go and…….

You freeze.

No worries, start tomorrow. Or after you finish that chore. Or maybe after…….and so the distractions and excuses stack up.Finding how to get started can be really hard and really frustrating.

Here’s some ways my coachees and I have used – they work for us, so they might for you!

  1. Take the plunge (aka the JFDI approach) – stop thinking, stop dither and do it. This has what’s called the Zeigarnik effect, i.e. once we start something, we’re try to continue to see something through despite setbacks or interruptions.
  2. Create deadlines – a sense of pressure to complete can raise your motivation.
  3. Find an accountability partner – who can hold you responsible to your action (or inaction!).
  4. Make it public – create a poster of your goal, actions and success and hang it up for all to see.
  5. Prioritise your actions – both within your overall plan and with the rest of your commitments.
  6. Check your habits – are you playing out a “norm”? Is an unhelpful habitual behaviour, fear, thinking pattern blocking you? If so, address it.
  7. Get a cheerleader and a shoulder to cry on – change is often more positive and long lasting if you travel the road with friends.
  8. Check for overwhelm – too much at once. Chunk it up. You can’t eat an elephant in one sitting, start by a nibble on the ear and move on in chunks.
  9. Have an honesty check with yourself – do you truly want this change?
  10. Create space in your life – you’re busy, so when do you have time to focus on your actions? What stops or pauses to give your time for focus?
  11. Assess and reassess as you go – identifying what really works for you and what doesn’t can help you be more agile in your change actions.
  12. Seek clarity – can you reduce any uncertainty or ambiguity around your desired change?
  13. Stop the perfectionism – for getting started, being perfect first time is unrealistic and deflating. Go for 60% or 70% there.
  14. Mourn what you’re giving up – sometimes we have to let something go from our lives in order to change and that can be sad.
  15. Stop the “what if…” game – whilst the game can help you find potential potholes, it can also blow up fears, anxieties and stresses. Enough is enough.
  16. Task vs Outcome – which makes you confident to proceed? Lead out with that.
  17. Reflect on the alternatives – one of my favourite coaching questions is “what’s the benefits of doing nothing?” Your answers to that question could propel you into action.
  18. Reframe your blockers using opposites – my favourite example of this is “what if I fail?” being reframed with “but what if your fly darling?”.
  19. Record your plan and progress – a good ol’ to-do list or chart followed up with a crossing off as you go helps you recognise each step you complete.
  20. Ask for help – small or large, from a mate or a professional. Plenty of people will be ready and willing to support you.

Finally, I want to share two quotes to inspire and motivate your start:

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

The best view comes after the climb to the top.

Regardless of which method or approach gets you started on your change, don’t forget I’m here to help. Shout when you need me.

What’s are you going to do to get started? Mark that first action here and keep us updated on your progress in the comments.

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Start the week right – survive Sunday night blues

You’ve had a great weekend. Seen the people you care about. Done the things that make you smile. Cracked those errands and chores. Then it hits you. Tomorrow, you need to get up and go to work. Rather than enjoying your dinner, your mind is racing ahead preparing for that important meeting or reviewing your to-do list or re-planning your week to ensure you hit that deadline. That nagging sense of “here we go again” begins to sink in.

Welcome to Sunday night blues.

There is an alternative.

Welcome to Sunday night highs.

Whilst building your career or life change, it is likely you need to keep working in your current role. This enables you to cover the basics (roof over your head, repayments, food on the table and so on) and gives you a platform to grow from – regardless of whether you intend to seek a promotion, switch career paths or leap into a different lifestyle.

Here’s how to get your Sunday night highs:

  1. Eat a light meal – no heavy carbs or drab leftovers. Make a fuss about your evening meal.
  2. Get outside – walk round your neighbourhood. Aim for a brisk pace to bring out those endorphines
  3. Hydrate well – we’re 80%+ water, start the week topped up
  4. Practice a little mindfulness – bring a little calm and quiet to your headspace. (I like headspace and GPS4Soul apps)
  5. Focus on your why – revisit your change plans, inspirations and motivations. Simon Sinek says defining your golden circle of why, how, what can shape your approach to every day, activity and mindset. Inside out: start with why, not what.
  6. Download your thinking – grab a pen and paper, post-it, notebook and get it out of your head. Brain writing or journalling frees you from trying to remember everything
  7. Laugh out loud – comedy night or funny movie, laughing reoxygenates your body and mind as well as releasing happy hormones
  8. Get touchy feely – physical touch is a natural relaxer, so hug, hold hands, get a massage, have sex…. all good.
  9. Create midweek happy makers – diarise a favourite meal choice, after work drinks, a skill swap with a friend, something fun.
  10. Remove midweek stress makers – plan your wardrobe choices, polish your shoes, pack your bag, find your travel card, iron those shirts.
  11. Crank it up – dance and sing you way out of your funk. Bored of your music? I love Spotify’s “browse” and “discover” options to find new music, playlists and artists.
  12. Get crafty – bake bread, knit a snood, paint or draw. Occupy your mind with a creative release. (PS Amazon has loads of these)
  13. Write a Gratitude list – contemplating what you have and treasure and use this each morning to focus your mind on the good stuff.
  14. Indulge your sense of smell – lavender and vanilla both soothe your mind, whilst zesty citrus oils are uplifting and positive smells. Add to a bath, light a scented candle or flavour a meal with these to change your mood.
  15. Declutter a cubby hole – bin, recycle, repair, gift or tidy a messy area in your home. These simple acts also clear the mind.
  16. Find a clifftop – shout it out…..if you’re landlocked, play this as a video in your head….bonus points for creative language!
  17. Read a book – settle down with a brew and a good read before lights off
  18. Avoid blue light – switch off your devices, no sneaky emails or social media check-ins. Enjoy a mini tech detox.
  19. Do something for someone else – volunteering, formally or informally, is a great way to lift your heart and get that feel good feeling.
  20. Connect with someone important to you – I like to call my mum on Sunday evenings, hearing about her week, my Dad’s retirement plans, how my nan, aunts and uncles are helps me feel like I’m part of their lives, despite the distance.

If none of these work, perhaps it is now time to rethink your goals, explore your values and find your purpose. Stretch your life. Become a lifechanger or careerchanger. Want a hand? Download these and see where your thinking goes:


I’d love to hear how the downloads, links and suggestions help you shift your Sunday night blues.What do you do to make your Sunday night highs? Share your tactics below and inspire us.

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stop LinkedIn profile shame now – show us your face!

Are you on Linkedin? Would you be happy for your colleagues, friends or family to connect with you there? Moreover, what about the movers and shakers in your field?

If those questions give you a flippy tummy kinda sensation, you’d better read on.

Having a LinkedIn profile that truly represents our talents, values and personal style is something none of us can live without. Long gone are the days where jobs and projects were advertised in newspapers, journals and specialist jobs boards. Today, many people use LinkedIn to research who’s in the right field and can help out. Likewise, those publications aren’t the font of all new thinking and learning. LinkedIn’s shares, posts and influencers provide it in one ease to digest personal feed.

I’m going to go back to the fundamentals of the profile with this b-mail: starting with your purpose and then I want you to maximise your profile by walking down the page together.

Why are you on LinkedIn? I joined years ago to see what all the fuss was for and did little bar adding my job titles and employers. Now I use it to share great ideas, resources and a-has with my community and beyond through their engagement with it. I find new gurus and thinkers in my field, which gives me more to bring to my community. I seek to build a reputation as the change coach and trainer for anyone stuck in achieving the life and career they want.

What do you want your profile to do for you? For example, do you want to grow your network of peers, find out more about other organisations and roles or build a reputation in your field? Being sure of your response for this question means you have a benchmark to review against.

Got it? Good. Let’s take that walk.

Open your LinkedIn account and opt to view it as your connections do. (Later come back and review in public mode.)

The page starts with your business card, looking at each element:

  • your photo: make it a head and shoulders shot, with you smiling. Don’t leave it blank or use a funny photo of your pet dog.
  • your headline: make a descriptive concise statement of what you do
  • your summary paragraph: Add some flesh to the headline – this should include any “wow” moments or achievements,key facts and demonstrate your personality.
  • your employment history: list ’em out only, I’ll repeat that, ONLY if they are demonstrate relevant and transferrable skills, experiences, exposure and achievements for your future goals. I’d also keep it brief
  • your extras: use the volunteering, projects, languages and certifications with care – put what’s interesting to your audience
  • your public recommendations and skills endorsement: be bold and edit these down to a targeted list or you’ll end up with a random list chosen by others
  • your education: consider how far back you think is necessary to convince people of your credentials. For most people, I’d say your first or second degrees are sufficient.
  • your follows: make sure you are following the right movers and shakers, organisations that reinforce your brand and profile purpose – these need to inform your newsfeed and your readers of your interests and passions.

Phew, we made it to the bottom of your profile. One last thing, did you know you can reorder some of the segments? Put the most compelling and engaging segments higher up on your profile – don’t leave the jewels to the end, drag using the double headed arrows.

Don’t forget to ask someone else to proof your profile to avoid typo shame and to go back and check the public view for completeness.

How are you going to change your LinkedIn profile to build in your profile purpose? Link to your profile in the comments with your updates – show us your face 🙂 If you get stuck or you’d like a profile review, get in touch!

PS Are we connected on LinkedIn? I’m here.

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be the “real” you by living your values

When you embark upon any form of change – switching career paths, moving overseas, starting a new diet or what you are working on – it can feel hard to be truly yourself.

The good news is you have an internal rudder to guide you. Your values.

OK, so how do you find and align to your values? Waahhhoooo there, speedy. Let’s take a step back.

If I were to meet you today, I would be able to see, hear and feel your behaviours. Maybe you’d be polite, reserved, full of energy or overly dominating. Perhaps you would talk a lot, avoid eye contact or drink too much! (Or none of the above!!) But I wouldn’t know what is influencing and shaping your behaviours.

Sitting behind your behaviours are your beliefs – these are things that you hold to be true. You’ve learned them over time, by interacting with others and your environment as well as observing and learning from experience, either your own or other people’s. Your beliefs can drive you forward, empowering beliefs or hold you back, limiting beliefs.

Then deeper into you, behind behaviours and beliefs, sit your values. Values are the things you hold dear and important. They tend to be more conceptual than concrete and can come from your family and friends, religion or spirituality, the environment around you, your outlook on life and so on.

Finding your values is often done with others to give you positive challenge, sources of alternatives or inspiration and to refine your wording. You might work with your partner or a friend, or a coach. To start with, jot down a few words for a time, when:

  • you were your best self – what values were you living by?
  • you felt constrained or trapped – what values were being denied to you?
  • your blood has boiled with frustration or anger – what values were being violated?
  • you’ve felt entirely grateful – what values were being honoured?

Do use a few words to describe the concept or sentiment. Don’t worry about nuancing or wordsmithing your language. Give it time to percolate and brew towards perfection; you may find you need to walk away, sleep on it and come back to do a further iteration.

Next, list out any principles or morals that you hold dear. These could be where you draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable, right or wrong or perhaps forgivable and unforgivable.

Once you’re comfortable that you’ve created a list of values, put them on post-it notes and stack them on the wall from most important at the top to less important. This will give you a sense of how they play out in life – we use our values as our rudder depending on the situation in front of us – the more complex, the more values are drawn in to help us decide what we do or don’t do next.

Your internal rudder can lead you to being the real you. Why not try incorporating your values consciously into your change plans to honour them or bringing greater awareness to them everyday. Both can help you be the real you more of the time.

real you PIN imageLiving your values means having a life less complex, more aligned to your goals and greater happiness.

The added joy is finding others with the same values!

My core values are being genuine, living wholehearted and fairness and I try to sprinkle them through my day.

What are your values and how will you honour them by living your values to be the real you?

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