How Focused Do You Want To Be?

Today is going to be different! I will be more organised from tomorrow! I WILL focus and not be side-tracked! Do one or more of these statements ring true for you? Have you been guilty of saying exactly that or similar? Well you are not alone, but why? Why is it so hard to be focused and just get things done? We can all be full of good intentions but for some reason as the day goes on they wane. So how can we fight being unfocused? Here’s some helpful tips to help you be and stay focused: Define and write down your daily goals – be really clear what those daily goals are and by writing them down you are committing to them – score them off one by one as you complete them to gain that feeling of accomplishment Organise your breaks – sometimes when we get going

The Only Way Is Up!

I don’t know if you remember the song ‘The Only Way is Up’ by Yazz from 1988, but those words have resonated with me and some of my family for various reasons. The words are quite poignant “We’ve been broken down to the lowest turn, being on the bottom line, sure ain’t fun”; other lyrics talk about holding on! It’s not that easy sometimes to hold on and sometimes we feel we just want to run away and move somewhere else, just doing something else or being somewhere else will somehow make it better – but does it? We need to focus on moving onwards and upwards and take active steps in replacing unhealthy coping strategies with healthy ones. Easier said than done – perhaps, but avoidance and procrastination doesn’t make things go away, it makes things fester and grow bigger! It allows the stress to build up, which is

Imagine Stress Being the Same as a Fall

As children, we have no fear. We fall over and think nothing of it, the hurt is brushed away like the dirt and grit from a graze on our knee. As we get older, we don’t ‘bounce’ the same. When we fall it shakes us and our confidence and hurts us when we land, often breaking bones, pulling muscles or tearing ligaments. But the fall isn’t the end, is it? It’s all the stuff afterwards that ‘hurts’ us, the pain and strain of managing the aches and pains, a continual reminder of the ‘hurt’ reminding us we fell and hurt ourselves. I recently had a fall and the aftermath as above. This made me think of the parallels of how we get stressed and how stress affects us in the same painful way a fall can. Stress can hurt us, just like a fall. It hurts us mentally, emotionally and

Are you in control of your life or is your life controlling you?

If I was to say to you that managing stress is about you taking control of your life, would you agree, or would you say you can’t do anything about it – that stress can happen to any of us, like catching the flu? We can all manage stress, we just have to identify where it comes from, what has caused it and why it’s affecting us in the way it does, and then look at how we can best manage it. Stress has many guises and is different for us all, it affects all of us in different ways and so doesn’t it figure that managing stress needs to be different for us too? One size doesn’t fit all! Let’s start by identifying typical sources of stress in our lives. We know that chronic stress can be caused by big changes in our lives, e.g. changing jobs, moving house,

Do you have the ‘S’ Word?

Stress!  What is it? What does it look like? How does it manifest itself? How do I know I have it? How can I manage it? We sometimes recognise others are stressed and then don’t recognise this in ourselves. Whether you feel stressed or not, prevention is just as important. Let me ask you this question. Do you make time for fun and relaxation every day? YES – NO If you answered no then here are some tips I would like to share with you which you might find useful. Set aside relaxation and leisure time – this can include time just to rest, either our body or our mind, or both. We often leave ‘us’ to the end, but this is about putting ‘us’ first. We need to nurture ourselves, recharge our batteries – this is a necessity and not a luxury, and sometimes we need to convince ourselves

Facing Old Issues with New Insights

Are you a creature of habit? Are your habits good or bad? Do you keep approaching things in the same way expecting a different outcome? We can talk about positive thinking and positive self-talk until the cows come home but the reality is, for most, it appears easier said than done. We often develop habits that are not helpful and when bad or negative experiences happen in our lives they become bigger and turn into an issue! This issue is something we don’t want to face because we fear it, feel dealing with it hasn’t worked in the past, or perhaps we’ve just buried our heads in the sand hoping it will go away! The trouble is, issues don’t go away and won’t change until we approach them differently. Let’s look at how we can all make positive changes in our lives, either personally or professionally. Think about an old

Is your worry as painful as toothache?

I was reminded of this when I had a tooth infection resulting in one of the worst pains anyone can experience – toothache! For those of you who have experienced this you will know what I’m talking about. During this constant, nagging, throbbing pain, I tried SO hard to focus on something other than the pain, but it was impossible! I was paralysed with pain, focusing on that one thing, almost unable to think about anything else, let alone do anything else, only wanting to go into a quiet room and feel sorry for myself. And in a way, that’s what I did, but only for a short while. I realised hiding away, doing nothing, and focusing on the pain wasn’t going to make it any better. I drew upon my coaching skills to think positively and practically about how I could help my situation. I started planning my day.

What was I thinking?

I recently climbed Mount Culverden. Whilst this mountain isn’t the biggest I’ve climbed at 586m, nor the hardest, it was my self-talking I wanted to share with you! The initial climb was moderate and continuous, and very slippery underfoot. My focus was looking down where I was walking, frequently looking ahead and upwards where I was heading. When we reached the summit of the first peak, 100m from the highest point of Mount Culverden, I looked towards our destination and saw the task that lay ahead! It began with a rock face we had to climb down first, before climbing the three peaks you can see in the photo before reaching our destination! My first thought was how far away the summit was, with slight trepidation seeing three peaks we had to climb before reaching Mount Culverden summit, which in fact was only 100m higher than where we stood! What

Just Find the Entrance Door and go Through It!

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning." Mahatma Gandhi This quote made me realise that there are times when I know when I feel I can really achieve something I can do it, but sometimes when my positive self-talking has abandoned me, I feel my confidence waning, or feel overwhelmed at the thought of just getting started. I remember when I started my MBA. I felt scared, apprehensive and that I had been an idiot to even think that I could even consider studying at that level. I felt everyone else in the room was much more able than I was. I doubted myself and my abilities, and was daunted at the prospect of the huge challenges ahead. I had to believe that I could do it, and

Making Your Own Magic!

Pull yourself together! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Just move on and get over it! I’m sure you’ve heard all these expressions before and perhaps even had these said to you! I know I have! I want to focus on the importance of positive self-talking and how using this technique can, will and does help. We all go through periods of time when we doubt our abilities and question our judgement often telling ourselves we can’t do this or handle that. I have found that when I do things that are new to me and outside my comfort zone then the doubts creep in which start changing my persona from a confident person to a person with self-doubt and self-belief. What happens to our thinking to make us start to feel so negative and overwhelmed? Well apart from the physical symptoms that we can all feel when we