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Are you a Life, Career or Design it yourself Changer?

Since launching my birthday competition last week, I’ve had a question from a b-mailer:

“I know I want a change in my life. Can you tell me more about Life Changers, Career Changers and Design it yourself Changers?”

Thank you for sending your question in! Let me take them in turn:

Life Changers are those of you looking to transform your attitude or mindset, shift your work/life balance, step up your confidence or self-belief. They might also be intrigued by their values, beliefs and their interactions with others. Life Changer clients have included mums returning to their workplaces to find their peers have moved on, people who have experienced a significant life episode (e.g. illness, bereavement or accident) and those who find themselves lacking energy and motivation as their lives are missing a sense of purpose. Within this type of coaching, I use various reflection techniques, assessment tools and psychometrics where appropriate.

Career Changers usually split into two distinct groups. Firstly, those who know which career path they are following and seeking to take the next step – perhaps a promotion or lateral move within their existing employer or alternatively, moving to a new employer, region or industry. The second group are people wanting to explore potential new career paths, more fulfilling roles or employers or ways of working such as freelancing or entrepreneurism. I’ve worked with these clients to uncover their signature talents and strengths, marry work with their values and ethics as well as building brand statements and marketing collateral (CVs, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, social media profiles, etc.)

Design it yourself Changers are focussed on very specific changes, so it’s super tricky to give you a “definitive” answer. Here’s two examples to give you a flavour:

  • Eric wanted to improve his business presentations to get more sales. However he recognised that at the front of those panelled conference rooms, he often lacked passion and animation in his delivery. This resulted in bored faces and Eric’s confidence being knocked. Together, we developed his verbal skills, his audience interactions AND ditched his soundtrack that professionals don’t share their emotions (aka in his mind, passion!). How? Coaching sessions, homework inquires and some unusual rehearsals and new learning (think Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and improv exercises).
  • Fiona was struggling to shift some old baggage from her childhood. A throwaway comment from a maths teacher was impacting Fiona’s adult life – in her head, she continued to hear “You’re not worth the effort”. She’d sidestepped projects, fallen out of love and struggled to share her opinion or thoughts. Having identified this script, we worked to re-evaluate its validity, the teacher’s importance and Fiona’s application of it in all circumstances. With my support, Fiona built a set of more supportive, helpful scripts allowing her to ask for new responsibilities at work, join an evening class and tell the waiter her starter wasn’t alright without blushing.

I hope those descriptions help you select which type of Changer programme you’d like to enter my competition to win. If you’ve got more questions, do give me a shout via Facebook or the get in touch page.

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make more of your time – 7 ways to get things done

One of the challenges I often hear is how to get everything done in the day. Wouldn’t it be great if there was one juicy thing you could do to make it all fit? Sadly, I don’t have one to offer you in this b-mail. Instead, I’ve got 7 ways to get more done in your week.

1. Manage your priorities

Know the story of the rocks, pebbles, gravel and water in a jar? (quick video here) Recognise your biggest priorities (rocks) and schedule them into your day or week, followed by the next most important (pebbles), next most (gravel) and finally the least important (water).

Are you clear on your priorities and do you stick to them? Or do you flex around others’ priorities? Do you skip the gym to meet a work deadline or go to bed late to fit in baking a cake for tomorrow’s outing? Flexing makes you a great person to be around, but you’ll end up with a jar full of water and no pebbles, rocks or gravel in it!

2.  Create your combo deal

Some things go well together – strawberries and cream, gin and tonic and more. Where does this apply in your life?

I encourage my physical rehab clients to double up on daily tasks and exercises, like doing their stretches or strength exercises whilst the kettle boils, the shower heats up or the adverts are on. I also combine time with my partner and getting out of the city – we ride our tandem past the lavender farm, up to a hilly lookout with a café and stop off for a chat over coffee (and cake 🙂 ).

3. Value your “me time”

Whether that’s a night out with friends or reading a good book – to be the best you possible, you need to recharge your batteries. It’s easy to skip these re-energising times to do other things. Try time-boxing them (set and diarise a specific time slot). I’d also encourage a spot of focussed breathing or meditation into your day to refresh your mind.

4. Eat your frogs first

Mark Twain once said:

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse

will happen to you the rest of the day.”

If you have something unpleasant, boring or complex to do, get it out the way first. Bookkeeping is my frog – if I don’t tackle it first, I find my motivation drops, I’m easily distracted and it seems to haunt my every move. Identify your frogs and gobble them up first. Yum. (Read Brian Tracy’s book / blog  or get the Eat that Frog app to learn more about this one.)

5. Go off-line

You all know I love my tech and gadgets, but from time to time, I have to admit that I do get more done if I turn off the wifi and phone. True, checking my social media feeds or my emails is necessary to running my business (and my social life too at times!). It is false to think that I “must” do it the instant that “ping” goes off.

Switch off notifications or sounds, download a distraction tool or find a signal deadzone.

6. Rack up some cheats

Ever watched Jamie’s 15-minute meals? Follow his lead and keep your cupboards or freezer stocked with your quick, healthy meal essentials. Create a basic shopping list on your online supermarket to quickly order the basics in one click.

You can also do this with work or exercise tasks. Create reusable templates (fill in the blanks ones work well) to help with repeated tasks and mix in online mini workouts to meet your fitness goals (check out HIIT Daily or Pilates On Demand).

Alternatively, split bigger tasks up into little short ones to spread across the week. Need to prepare your guest room for Friday night? Either spend a crazy hour on Friday running around before greeting your guests or split it into 10-15 minute tasks. (e.g. Monday: launder the bed linen, Tuesday: dust, Wednesday: hoover, Thursday: make the bed and put out towels, Friday: add fresh flowers and relax.)

7. Say no nicely

By saying “yes”, we’re often served a big portion of “feel good” – a positive affirmation of how wonderful we are – with a side serving of time hijack – the time we lose to do what we really want or need to do. Combine your “no” with “thank you”, explain the consequences or personal challenge of the request or invite and whenever possible offer an alternative (new time or date, different event or approach). This one definitely takes practice, but do perist. It’s golden.

Right that’s the lot. My final thought: All that said, sometimes we need to be able to breathe and accept that day has gotten away from us. The unexpected twists and turns some days take can bring you new learning, new opportunities and a heap of fun!

7 ways to get more done and 7 days to try them before the next b-mail is out. Shout out your success with them in the comments or tell us how you get more done than the average Joe.

If nothing is working and you are in overwhelm, needing help to identify your priorities, frogs or best you – drop me a line and I’d be delighted to help as these are common coaching issues, which I’ve helped clients to resolve.

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Get ready for your new year: Activate 2014

Yes the time is here – 2013 is nearly over and your final worksheet in your 4 part review, analyse, prioritise and action plan for your amazing year ahead is now available!

Take time to remove any possibility of overwhelm and manage out risk by chunking up in this worksheet. Then you’ll map out your methods for tackling challenges and hiccups before hitting your diary or my lovely planners to schedule your year as an action plan.

Download the full series here:

And 3 additional bonus downloads: a month, week and day planner to support you throughout 2014 in achieving and hopefully, exceeding your goals, dreams and expectations for the year. Obviously, they do “what they say on the can” – they let you plan out your goals across time plus they frame some useful additional questions to really give you a boost!

I’m so excited for you and your 2014 – I’d love to hear how using these worksheets has enabled you to gain clarity, understanding and drive for your new year’s goals and aspirations. Hold yourself to account in the comments – what are you going to do in 2014 and by when?

P.S. don’t forget to share the worksheets with others, use this clever little link for ease 🙂





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Get ready for your new year: Prioritise 2013

How are your Christmas preparations coming along? Here’s mine: decide what to bake for my family, go to the market, bake cookies, brownies, cheesy scones, yummy nutty mushroom loafs (2 of those) and Christmas muffins then wrap presents, do the laundry, change the beds, pack bags and if we get chance put up the tree! Oh the glamour! And fit in time with my girlfriend to get our nails done (aka gossip time) and birthday lunch with my boy! 🙂

Sound familiar? Lots to get done, yet not much time to do it? Prioritisation is the only way – but how? By chronology? By your level of desire? By ease? (or difficulty?). Hmmm tricky.

Worksheet 3 “Prioritise 2014” will help you do just that for your 2014 goals by developing your outputs in the first two worksheets (Say what? Not downloaded them? You can play catch up here: Goodbye 2013 and Decode 2013). Inside you’ll find exercises to playfully stretch your 2014 aspirations and a chance to layer on a spot of reality before working to building and aligning your goals to your values and beliefs. To wrap it all up, you’ll prioritise your goals.

Download your copy here: Get ready for your new year: Prioritise 2014

I’d love for you to share one of your goals in the comments and how you’re feeling about starting 2014? “Activate 2014” will be out on 26th December – b-mail subscribers get it first, so sign-up in the little green box (top right on browsers) to ensure it lands safely in your inbox!

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life’s lemons and self acceptance

You’re working away on adding that important stretch to your life, everything is going well. You’re moving towards your goal or new role or better fitness and then……BAM! You’re thrown a lemon that knocks you off track; maybe a request from a friend or boss, or an injury, or a big bill.

What do you do? How do you handle it? Hair pulling? Nail biting? Or perhaps you pull up your socks, push through and add that extra thing or bunch of tasks onto your chocker to-do list? Even when you know it’s going to exhaust you.

I love a motivated person as much as you and I’m always thrilled to hear how you’re heading forward to the great things you want. I’m equally saddened by seeing people drive themselves into the ground, making them sick and all out of energy to actually enjoy their successes.

So this week, a simple message: take it easy on yourself and add a bit of acceptance in your life.

I’m not saying give up or that you should just accept your “reality” as it is. Nope – you know me better than that: I’m all for adding change and stretch to create the life you want and I absolutely want you to enjoy it once you get there!

That means sometimes being a little patient with what’s been thrown at you in the moment and accepting you can’t be all things in all situations. You’re human, not super human and have just 24 hours in the day, a bunch of responsibilities on your shoulders and people you care for. Deal with whatever has come up, make sure you’ve fully sorted it and come back to your plans as soon as you’re able.

If life is throwing you a few lemons, choose to make something of them. Lemonade is always refreshing and best enjoyed after you complete a challenging task or action.

What lemons have you caught and how are you accepting yourself this week? I’d love to hear how you’re achieving a balance and keeping your focus on the real goals you have.

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