As the year begins to wind down and a fresh new one rises on the horizon, you’re likely to start reflecting on the year gone by and what you want to get out of the new one to come. Do you want to lose weight? Change careers? Work on your relationships? We all love a fresh start, and a new year gives us just that. A clean slate on which to build the life we truly want. Yet despite all this, so many of us end up failing at our New Year resolutions, quickly falling back on old routines and bad habits. Here are three reasons why…
1. You don’t really know what you want.
For many of us, the end of the year is a frantically busy time. Work commitments are juggled with holiday planning, family visits, an excess of functions and end of year social occasions, not to mention gift shopping for loved ones. Before we know it, the New Year is upon us and we find ourselves scrambling to put together our list of resolutions and goals for the year.
At this time of year, it’s difficult to know whether you’re coming or going, let along what you want for the next 12 months.
2. They’re vague and unspecific.
Whether you’re filled with the excitement and anticipation of New Year’s Eve, or dealing the after effects of late night celebrations on New Year’s Day, this time of year means that you’re unlikely to know what you need, want or can achieve. That’s why so often your resolutions reflect what you want now, instead of what you want in life.
Instead of putting time aside to reflect and set realistic and well thought out goals, you’re more likely to make a sweeping resolution based on something you’ve always dreamt of, regardless of whether it’s achievable. In addition, when your resolutions are vague it’s impossible for your brain to understand what you are trying to achieve and in short, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
3. You try to start too many new things at once.
With a new year comes fresh motivation and an optimistic outlook. You feel excited for what’s to come and are determined to take the new year by the horns. You’re going to change your old ways and bring out the new you.
All this may sound good and well, but the problem is, bringing too much change into your life at one time is going to be a real challenge to keep up. Before too long that newfound positive attitude is going to start to wear off as life continues as usual, and you begin to fall behind on your resolutions and plans.
Then question is then, what should you do to make 2020 your best year? Where you achieve want you want without the changes becoming overwhelming? Great news, we've created a mini-training that will tell you exactly what to do. You can access it here.
Shine on my friend.
The holidays should be a time for relaxation and rejuvenation. An opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and prepare for the new one to come, while enjoying special quality time with friends and family. Why then do so many of us fill with dread and anxiety at the thought of December rolling around again?
Many people find that the holiday season brings as much stress as it does joy. All the family gatherings and social occasions, although fun, can start to feel overwhelming, particularly if the brunt of the planning and organising is left up to you. Women are especially prone to feeling the holiday stress, as traditionally most of the planning, shopping, cooking, decorating and coordinating is left up to us.
This year, why not try practising a few new traditions, one’s that will help keep the holiday stress at bay and allow you the space to really enjoy all the fun and festivities! Here are our top four ways to create a stress-free December.
1. Dream big.
The first step is figuring out what type of December holiday you want. Perhaps you’re a social person and want to make the most of the opportunity to see people and spend time with the ones you love? Do you love cooking for people and hosting them in your space? Or do you simply want to carve out some time for yourself, where you can recharge your batteries for the new year ahead? Whatever your ideal holiday, make sure you spend time reflecting on what it is, to avoid being swept up in the busyness of the season and other people’s plans.
2. Create your ideal holiday.
Now that you know what type of holiday that you want, it’s time to figure out which activities fit into your vision. Reflect on what normally happens in December. What sort of activities tend to fill up your time or add extra stress to your life? What are the activities you do because you truly want to, and not because you feel obligated to do? What has worked (and not worked) for previous holidays? What are your best memories from holidays past, and what events were the most draining? Use your answers to help make healthy choices and important changes to reduce the amount of stress this year. If your new choices will affect your family and friends, make sure you speak to them about it now before they set schedules or make any plans on your behalf. Remember that you aren’t obligated to accept every invitation you get. Think about which ones you'll enjoy and then graciously decline the rest.
3. Plan ahead.
Sticking to a timetable can make the holidays a lot less chaotic. Plus, having a plan laid out in front of you of how you are going to achieve everything you want to in the time you have, will help lessen the feeling of last-minute stress that can easily crop up. Once you know the activities you will be doing this December, put them all into your diary. Now look at your schedule and ask yourself if it makes you feel like this will be your best December. If not, go back and change it until you feel truly excited for the month to come.
4. Get started early.
Leaving things to the last minute is a sure-fire way to take the fun out of any task. Don’t leave things for later that can be done now. Plan the dinners you will be hosting, organise your gift list, shop early (and online), and prepare your holiday cards in advance so they’re ready to be mailed. By tackling your list of things to do early, you can help remove stress and more importantly, make sure you end up using your time the way you want to when the holidays do roll around.
Being honest with others is something we’ve all been taught. It’s emphasised from a very young age and is a continuous theme throughout life. For many, it’s one of their core principles on which their personal code of ethics is based. Yet we rarely take the time to consider whether we’re being truly honest with ourselves.
Self-honesty begins with self-reflection; an objective inward look at our own truth. The problem is that our minds have a sneaky tendency to rationalise and create stories to justify certain behaviours and to avoid the discomfort that change can bring. On top this, our minds are programmed to manipulate our thinking to align with instant gratification, which rarely represents the truth.
Have you ever justified a bad food choice by making up an internal excuse about why you deserve the sugary treat? These types of misleading interpretations occur throughout our lives, as our mind busily tries to come up with reasons or excuses for the choices that are not serving us.
The thing is, the more we lie to ourselves the less inclined we are to move forward and overcome the difficulties that stand in our way. By accepting our internal justifications as truth, we’re more likely to be complacent in our unhappiness, unable to evolve and reach the lives we truly want.
It’s your life and you’re the only one who is going to live it. That’s why it’s worth taking a hard look at who you are and what is at the core of you. Don’t build your identity around public opinion or current trends. In life, everything else may change, but if you have a good understanding of your true and authentic self, then you will always have a firm grounding that you know you can rely on no matter where life may take you.
Being honest with yourself is vital if you want to understand what it is you want from life. It brings clarity and allows you the opportunity to reflect on the things you are doing. When you know what you want, then you can work to make the vision for your life a reality. Remember to ask yourself if the people and activities in your life are helping you achieve your goals. Be brutally honest and the answers will become clear, helping you make tough decisions when it comes to relationships and career.
Do you need some help clarifying what want from your life at this part of your life journey? Coaching can be a great help, book your free taster call to see how it can help you.
We all want to lead successful, balanced and fulfilling lives, yet somehow very few of us seem able to crack the code. As strange as it may sound, the key to success is no secret, nor does it require exceptional skills to achieve. When you really think about it, achieving success simply comes down to two key things; developing clear and actionable goals, and then working these into your daily routine.
A good place to start is to ask yourself what your goals are for the next twelve months. Remember to break these down into the different areas of your life; physical wellbeing, mental and emotional wellbeing, your work life, and finally the things that bring you connection and joy.
In setting your goals make sure to dream big! You want your goals to be difficult enough that they will be a real challenge to achieve, but when you do, it’s sure to feel amazing. It’s also vital that you make your goals as specific as possible, avoiding vague proclamations that will be difficult to hold yourself to or implement. Remember that you’re far more likely to keep motivated if your goals are based on positive actions instead of deprivations. So instead of saying, “I want to stop eating junk food”, rather say “I will start a healthy eating plan” and then plot out your actions to achieve this. Once you have your goals in mind, try writing down how much you want to achieve them and what it will feel like when you do. In the first few days after setting your goals, you’re likely to be driven by this enthusiasm to achieve results, but if you don’t put actions in place quickly it won’t be long before everyday life takes over and your goals start becoming a distant memory.
Routine gives a sense of structure and organisation to your life that not only helps you stick to your goals, but also makes it easier to do so by taking a lot of the guesswork and planning out of it. Once your routine is in place, you won’t have to think about scheduling activities, as these will simply be the same each and every day. In this way, you can be sure that you’re prioritising the important things, limiting your time spent procrastinating, and keeping yourself on track to achieve your goals.
Begin by looking at your weekly schedule and analysing where you can carve out some time, so that you know what you can realistically commit to? Setting up routines for mornings and evenings is a great way to make sure that life and work commitments don’t interfere. You can use these routines to make sure that the most important stuff gets done every day, whether it’s working out, spending time with friends and family, developing a business, or reading and other hobbies.
The next step is to write down the actions you’ll need to take - daily or weekly - to be able to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. Make sure that you track these actions, reviewing your progress on a weekly basis and analysing what is tripping you up. This way, you can tweak and improve your routines as you go. Remember that accountability is key. By sharing your goals and reporting your progress on a weekly basis, you ‘re 77% more likely to be successful in achieving them in the long run!
Now, decide on your goals and start creating the routines that will make them happen.
Let us know, what are your goals?
The advent of the internet has created a world of opportunities for those who prefer not to be tied down to an office. Nomads around the globe have found creative ways to take advantage of new technology by starting up businesses that can be run from anywhere doing almost anything. So, whether you dream of working from the comfort of your own home, having more flexibility in your life or simply to have a business you can take with you wherever you go or move, here are 4 creative ways to make these dreams come to life.
Go with your experience.
Perhaps the easiest and safest way to start a new business is to focus on what you’re already good at and what you know best. Look at your CV and evaluate where your strengths lie and what skills set you apart. Make sure you focus on the value that you’re able to offer, as this will be your competitive edge within your market. You can do this by simply asking yourself how your expertise will allow you to help people or improve their lives? The next step is to challenge yourself to look beyond the core activities of your most recent role and see how your skills can be applied in different ways. Is there the opportunity to use these skills to start your own consultancy? Or if you enjoy training people, perhaps you can focus on coaching people in your field as opposed to offering these services yourself.
Follow your passion.
To have a truly meaningful life, you need to be passionate about what you do, especially when it comes to starting your own business. Do you have a hobby or passion that could be turned into a business? Maybe you have a knack for writing funny slogans? Or spend all your free time making the most beautiful greeting cards for your friends and family? Whatever your passion, perhaps it’s time to consider making it into your paycheck. As the saying goes, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Meet a need.
Another good way to start a business is to identify a gap in the market, and find a way to fill it. This way you’re sure to build up a strong customer base quickly, taking some of the risk out of starting your own venture. Plus, it’s great to feel as though you are making people’s lives better with your product or service. Is it difficult to find a good tailor in your area? Are there no good coffee spots on peak morning traffic routes? Is there a global trend that is yet to find its way to your city? Whatever the need may be, if you’re able to offer a good solution, you’re in business!
Follow your dream.
Do you daydream of a life you wish you had? Start a business that is line with achieving that dream and you’ll be sure to stay dedicated, as every step you take will be a step towards achieving your ultimate goal. If you didn’t have to deal with the limitations of money, work permits or education, what would you do? If you could choose anything in the world to be remembered for, what would it be? By connecting with this long-term vision for the future and making a solid plan for today, you’ll be able to start moulding your life into exactly what you want it to be.
If you have an idea, but not quite sure how to make it happen, then maybe our Business Lab is for you. Book a free discovery call to find out.
Have an amazingly good day!
Just because your business is small, doesn’t mean that you should limit your entrepreneurial vision. In fact, often businesses will suffer not because your dreams are too big, but because your thinking is too small. That’s why it’s important to start developing bigger dreams, bigger goals and bigger visions if you want to achieve bigger in your life and in your business.
Goals are vital to keeping you on track. They push you to stretch yourself, and help motivate you to keep working hard to achieve them. But often, the goals we set for ourselves or our business are in fact too achievable. When setting your goals, your immediate thought should never be, “I can do this” or even “it’s a bit of a stretch but I can get there”. If this sounds like you, then chances are your dreams are too small and your goals too easy to achieve. A powerful and effective goal is one that leaves you thinking “I have to completely rethink how I do things to achieve this”. Of course, you may not achieve your goal right away, but by working towards it you can be sure that you’re headed in the right direction.
Thinking big should be something that filters down throughout all aspects of your business strategy. Even though you may start out being the only employee at your company, taking on all the tasks that need to be done, it’s important that you have a bigger picture in mind when it comes to people. Spend time thinking about all the roles you will need within the business and the tasks associated with each position. Perhaps even go as far as writing out the job descriptions for each position, so that you have a good idea of all the work that needs to happen in your business right now. An added bonus is that you can also start thinking about the type of person you would be looking for to eventually fill the job.
The next step is to figure out how these roles fit together by plotting out an organisational structure for your business. This will not only help you develop a clear vision of where your business is going, but will also allow you to prioritise how to expand by understanding who will help you reach your goals the quickest.
By thinking big, you’ll soon notice that you’re able to see big. And with this new perspective comes a newfound bravery that can help you take the necessary risks that you may have avoided in the past. This fresh understanding of what it takes to reach your dreams, will allow you to be more prepared to try new things that can help push you forward to achieve your goals.
Now tell us, are you setting those big brave goals or staying safe? If you are staying safe but would like to challenge yourself a bit more, to get your business growing faster. Then maybe our Business Lab is for you. Book a free discovery call to find out more about it. You can book it here.
Have a wonderful day!
We live in a time where the pressure is on to have it all. To have a thriving career, while still having time to bake homemade cookies and be an ever-present parent to your children. To have independent interests while nurturing a loving and supportive relationship, and all while keeping a perfect home. But is this even possible? If you’re feeling exhausted just reading this, don’t get overwhelmed just yet. The truth is that you can have it all, but first you need to figure out what this illusive ‘all’ means for you.
A good place to start is to break down your life into four bite-size portions; wellbeing, work, connection and play. Each of these plays a key role in your life, happiness and success. It’s important to understand how they all fit together and to know that at different points in your life, some parts may take preference over others. And that’s okay.
This one is perhaps the most important of all, as without it none of the other parts of your life can thrive. But despite its importance, health and wellbeing is often the first thing to be neglected when you’re busy or stressed. It’s also important to remember that looking after yourself is not only about taking care of your physical body, but your mental and spiritual health too. It’s vital that at least some attention is given to this area at all times, regardless of your current focus or priorities. Whether you’re training for a marathon, or just managing to squeeze in a weekly jog and morning stretch, taking care of yourself should be an integral part of your everyday life. The key is to ask yourself what wellness activities you have space for your life at the moment, and then stick to those as non-negotiables.
The next area to focus on is your work. Remember that this doesn’t necessarily just mean your career, but includes other areas of work such as taking care of your children, running a household or any other activity that takes up your time. It’s important to understand how some of your life choices can have an impact on your career. Although starting a family doesn’t mean that you need to put a hold on your career, the introduction of a new baby may lead you to rethink your priorities and that’s okay too. The most important thing is to find the right work scenario to suit the phase of life that you’re currently in and being happy with the choices you’ve made.
This one is all about the things that simply bring you joy and happiness! Whether it’s in the form of a hobby, a sport, or a relaxing pastime such as reading a book, or visiting an art gallery, living a well-rounded life is important. All too often life becomes so full of things you have to do, that there’s no space for the things you want to do. But by neglecting the activities that truly make you happy, you can quickly end up resenting other parts of your life. So, never feel guilty for focusing on you and sectioning out some time for your own ‘play’, as the rest of your life is sure to benefit from it too!
This one is all about relationships. What are the most important relationships in your life and how much time should you dedicate to nurturing each one? From a romantic relationship, to friends and family, the people that you choose to surround yourself with are vital to your happiness and development. But all too often we end up giving far too much time and energy to people who don’t add to our lives. That’s why it’s important to take the time to reflect on your relationships and to decide for yourself how much time you’re prepared to spend and on which people.
Once you have a good grasp on these four parts of your life, it’s time to figure out which part is most important to you right now. Then adjust the time you spend on each to align with your current priorities. Keep in mind that these priorities can and will change throughout your life depending on where you are and what is most important to you at the time. But as long as you allow yourself some time for reflection, you can always make sure that you’re having it all; just not in equal measures all of the time.
So, YES, you can have it all, now tell us what is 'having it all' for you? Share in the comments below.
Imagine working hard every day, only to wake up in five years’ time to realise you’re living a life you never really wanted; one that maybe you didn’t even choose. After all, if you have no destination in mind, who knows where you’ll end up?
In life, it’s easy to get bogged down by mundane duties and essential everyday tasks. Juggling your career, home life, relationships and health can be all-consuming, leaving you without a moment to step back and reflect on where you are, what you want, and which direction you’re going in. Although it’s important to work hard and keep your head down, it’s even more important that you don’t forget to look up every now and then to get a glimpse of the bigger picture.
Think of your big picture like a roadmap, one that can help guide you towards taking the right path and the right actions that will eventually take you to where you want to go. Having a clear vision for your future can help make you more productive and effective in the present. If you have a good understanding of where you’re going, impossibly big life decisions become far easier to navigate. Instead of asking if an opportunity is good or bad, you will be able to ask yourself if it will help move you towards the future you want; a far more specific question with a more definitive answer.
Having a big picture can also help you avoid giving into procrastination. By understanding how even the smallest of tasks ties into your ideal future, you’re able to give these activities more meaning. In this way, you’ll keep motivated to perform these tasks and everyday chores, no matter how trivial, with the knowledge that they’re taking you one step closer to your future goals.
Without a clear vision for the future you leave a lot up to chance, which can feel very unnerving and unsettling. Even worse, you’re often leaving your life in the hands of other people; people who may be looking after their interests first, and yours second. By taking responsibility for your life and the direction you’re going in, you essentially take control of your life. And by taking control of your life, you’re bound to grow in confidence and strength as well as getting to where you want to be.
In creating your vision for the future, the first thing you need to do is to figure out what you really want and what is most important to you. Always remember that it is you who should be the leading star in the movie of your life, so don’t build your visions around someone else, or other people’s expectations of you. Remember to focus on all aspects of your life, not just your career. Family, relationships and health are all vital to your overall happiness, so make sure your big picture includes a clear view of what these parts of your life will look like too.
Now you have the reasons as to why you need to have your big picture clear, next step is to define it. If you would like to know a way to easily do it, head over here to get all the steps.
Decision-making is tough at the best of times. But making a decision that goes against the norms of society, popular opinion, or the beliefs of those closest to you, can feel downright impossible. Whether you’re deciding to leave a successful career to follow your true passions, or choosing not to have children despite the pressures to start a family, there will always be people around you who will tell you that the choice you are making is wrong.
But just because your choices don’t fit the traditional mould, doesn’t mean that you should be too afraid to do what is right for you. Here’s four steps that can help you make those big decisions that go against the grain.
1. How does it make you feel?
Imagine making the difficult decision and taking the unpopular plunge. Picture yourself in the scenario and then ask yourself how it makes you feel. Make sure that when you do this self-reflection exercise you’re as honest with yourself as possible. You may be surprised by the feelings that come up.
2. What does your future look like?
When making any decision, it’s important to look forward and have a vision of what your life will be and also what the implications of that choice will be, as opposed to simply focusing on how the decision will impact you right now. Try to picture what your life will be like in five, even ten, years’ time. Where will you be financially, geographically, emotionally? Will the decision you make today have a positive or negative impact on your life?
3. What are your regrets?
Imagine yourself as an old person looking back on your life and reflecting on it. Will you have regrets later on about a decision you make today? Will you have bigger regrets if you don’t make the tough decision that goes against the norm. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in your feelings and emotions, but taking a reflective look on your life can help you to get some perspective.
4. Who is in control?
The most important thing to remember when making any decision that may go against the grain, is that it is you, and only you, that will have to live your life, so why should you allow others to control it? Make sure that you’re prioritising your own happiness and investing in a life that you want to live. And remember, that if people truly care about you, they will support you in your decision even if it means your life will be different to the one they imagined for you.
Hopefully these steps will make it a bit easier to make that decision that goes against the grain. If your decision is about starting a new career, then watch our free masterclass 'How To Create A New Career Where You Thrive'. It will outline the steps you need to take, and make your decision a little bit easier. You can watch it here.
Remember it is never too late to create a life you love!
Although rewarding and exciting, the journey to starting a successful business is often littered with potholes. And while there’s no fool-proof way to achieve start-up success, you can learn from the mistakes of myself and others to help make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
Here are our top five mistakes start-ups make that you should try to avoid.
1. Expecting success straight away
To develop a successful business takes time, hard work and a lot of perseverance. All too often new entrepreneurs get disheartened when they don’t achieve immediate success. Even worse, a lot of businesses crumble before they even begin, as they’re unable to deal with the challenges that come their way. By planning for the worst, you can make sure to put the necessary safety measures in place so that if the business takes longer than expected to get off the ground, you’re able to cope.
2. Creating the perfect product before your start selling
Why waste time perfecting a product that nobody wants to buy? Rather, focus your energy on developing a MVP (minimum viable product) that you can use to test the market. This way, you’re able to gain valuable insights from actual consumers, which you can then use to further develop and perfect your offering down the line. Trying to be perfect at everything from the get-go can be detrimental for a start-up, and can really slow down your momentum. That’s why it’s important to always consider the cost versus benefit, helping you prioritise what is essential to the core product.
3. Trying to do all at once
As an entrepreneur, time will always be your nemesis. With an endless list of things to do and only limited hours in a day (not to mention limited funds in the bank), it’s essential that you learn to prioritise the most important tasks that are actually going to earn you money. Focus on the crucial few tasks that bring the most rewards or add the most value to your business, and then let the rest of it take a backseat.
4. Not knowing who your ideal customer is
When it comes to marketing and selling your product, it’s vital that you have a good understanding of who your ideal customer is. In today’s world, it's not enough to simply try a broad approach to marketing, you need to understand your customers inside out. Take the time to do the necessary research to find out who you’re trying to reach and where you can communicate with them. Understanding your customer will also drive your marketing
strategy, playing a key role in helping you decide how best to engage with your target market, so that your efforts are well-received.
5. Not understanding social media for business
Gone are the days when your business could get by without making use of social media. But to get the most out of social media, you need to do more than simply have a presence. At the very least, you need a sound understanding of how each platform works, which ones to focus on, and how your business can use them to harness the marketing potential of the Internet. For example, running ads on social media is an easy and cost-effective way to get your business seen by you target market. Tackling something new may be intimidating and take time to learn, but if you’re not willing to adapt and embrace technological advances it can really hurt your business.
So, there you go a few mistakes to avoid when starting out. If you’d like some help in regards to what actually TO DO starting a business then grab your copy of our free Start A Business Toolkit, it outlines all the first steps you need to take to get your business off the ground. Get your toolkit here.
Have an amazing day and remember it is never too late to create a life you love!
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.