Tag Archives: happy in your twenties

Who do you need to be?

Life’s not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernard Shaw

Some people say that your culture and environment determines your personality and character. Others believe that you are born with your character intact and your destiny is already sewn up. What do you think- does biology or the stars decide your fate? Are we purely the products of what we have been raised to be? What I believe anyway is that we always have free will. Who you are right now is of importance but what is paramount is who you will become.

Who you will become is who you need to become. It’s completely up to you how far you stretch yourself. If your life goals are non-existent, if you want to just ‘see what happens’, get by, be able to pay your bills and keep a roof over your head; then you will become someone who will strive towards that.

 If your life goals are vast and exciting, for example to pay off your mortgage within 10 years, have adventures, travel the world, swim with sharks, go in a hot air balloon, learn a foreign language, have a passionate relationship full of fun and excitement, be financially free; then you will become someone who will strive towards that. Even if you don’t hit the mark every time, your life will still be fuller and much richer than if you were just trying to get by.

 Stepping Up

A lesson I have learnt over the past few years is to step up. I was working with my own coach at the time and we were discussing my life goals – (what I wanted my life and my business to look like) and the fact that I wasn’t really getting anywhere with it! The issue was that I was scared; I was afraid of everything. Afraid it wouldn’t work, afraid of what people might think of me, afraid of putting myself out there and I was even afraid that it would work! Some of the excuses and reasoning I came up with included:

  • ‘I’m a bit shy’
  • ‘I’m too young’
  • ‘I’m too lazy to do this’
  • ‘I’ll get bored and distracted by something shiny’
  • ‘I couldn’t handle it if I failed’
  • ‘I’m just not the type of person who could actually do what I want to do!’
  • This is my dream and if I try and it doesn’t work then I’ll be devastated. What will I have to dream about then? It might be best to keep my dream as a dream and that way it’s safe!

 ‘Who do you need to be? she asked. The question hit me right between the eyes and stopped me in my tracks. This is what we coaches call an ‘Aha’ moment. I knew the answer.

I had to step up and be a better, stronger, more confident version of myself if I was to do the things I wanted to do and have the life I wanted to have. That was who I needed to be. I needed to be Paula 2.0!

 Who you are is who you have been – up until this moment. It is our choices, how we respond to our environment and the goals we set for ourselves that ultimately shapes our lives. Once the deck has been cut, you’re the one dealing the hand. It’s all up to you!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you want to set yourself up properly to STEP UP in 2014 in all areas of your life; relationships, career, health and fitness and financial then join me on December 29th at 2pm for a FREE live webinar that will teach you the four steps you need to turn your New Year resolutions into Real Results! (Click here to register now)

This webinar will walk you through the four steps that you need to have in place to make lasting change in your life and help you create the momentum that will you drive you to get there!

You’ll gain clarity about where you’ve been, where you are now and where you want to go! I want to help you create a simple plan to set up your 2014 so that it excites you, compels you and is finally Your Year!

Make sure you’ve got a pen and paper handy and I’ll chat to you on the call!

In the meantime, Step Up!

P x

Click the link below to sign up for your FREE spot on New Year, New You webinar on Sunday 29th December at 2pm!

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3180840215197156098

Where are you now?

An awful lot of women in their 20s and 30s will do absolutely anything to avoid stopping and taking stock of where they are at in their lives right now.

Why?

Because they know that they are a vast universe away from where they thought they would be at this stage.

We are the first generation of women who have been raised and told we can have it all. We can have the passionate relationship, we can have the nice house, we can have the college education, we can have the well paid secure job, we can have the family and we can have plenty of freedom, flexibility and fun. A few years ago, in your late teens or early twenties- that probably was the image that you held of your future. So, my question is again ‘Where are you now?’

For many of us, the image that we held of who we would be or where we would by a certain age, has faded away. That version of ourselves has moved into the shadows and an uneasiness and anxiety has taken its place. We start to tell ourselves that the reason why we didn’t get the life we had expected is because we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough- basically just not enough. After a while we start to really believe that we’re not good enough and it turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t – either way you’re right- Henry Ford

We don’t put ourselves out there, we don’t do the things that we could do to turn our situation around and take back control! We go with the flow and see what happens, hoping that things will just work out. Most of the time and for most people, things don’t just work out. We end up experiencing what is known as learned helplessness as we dramatically lower our expectations of life and abandon our dreams.

A bit morbid I know! But this is reality for so many women who don’t take stock, who are too afraid to face their own life and begin to self-direct. If you keep going with the flow, you will go over the waterfall or be washed out to sea. You need to take the oars and paddle. Every year, around the 1st January, we make wonderful plans to take control and begin  to self-direct which is brilliant BUT statistics have shown that by the 10th January, all of those wonderful plans fall by the wayside and we go back to our old habits and old patterns.

Come 31st December 2014, do you want to looking back over your year wondering where the time went and feeling frustrated because you’re still stuck in the same rut OR do you want to be celebrating the incredible progress that you’ve made in just 12 months?

If you want to set yourself up properly for a year of massive success and progress in all areas of your life; relationships, career, health and fitness and financial then join me on December 29th at 2pm for a FREE live webinar that will teach you the four steps you need to turn your New Year resolutions into Real Results! (Click on this link to register!)

This webinar will walk you through the four steps that you need to have in place to make lasting change in your life and help you create the momentum that will you drive you to get there!

You’ll gain clarity about where you’ve been, where you are now and where you want to go! I want to help you create a simple plan to set up your 2014 so that it excites you, compels you and is finally Your Year!

Make sure you’ve got a pen and paper handy and I’ll chat to you on the call!

P x

Please register for New Year, New You! on Dec 29, 2013 2:00 PM GMT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3180840215197156098

Let’s talk about Money

Money is a very personal topic and I know that many of us don’t like talking about it! Why? Cos we feel like we don’t have enough! It’s a major stressor for so many people and you know what, there’s even a name for it- Scarcity Mentality! I think we’re all guilty of having a scarcity mentality- it’s that feeling of not having enough and not being enough. Most of the time, I work with women who feel like they aren’t enough- not good enough, smart enough, brave enough etc but today I want to talk about scarcity mentality in relation to our finances.

January is a major month for money blues and scarcity mindset, there’s no denying that! Over the past few weeks, we’ve spent most of our cash on gifts, cards, food, going out, catching up with friends and we generally have had a good time. We look forward to the new year with high hopes and ambitions of what we’re going to change but then, January comes and we feel shit.

Why? Because it’s a long 4 weeks to payday so January can be like hell. We feel like we haven’t enough, we’re stressed and worried about our finances and we feel insecure. Money worries is one of the biggest reasons why New Year resolutions fall flat on their face before the end of January! It’s a major stress point and has an enormous impact on almost every aspect of our lives! When we’re stressed or worried in one area in our life, it can seep into other areas and then all of a sudden we’re comforting ourselves on the couch stuffing our faces with chocolate or alcohol to try and numb the feelings of anxiety.

So, what do we need to do? We need to get in control and confident with our finances. Now.

We will be dealing with money for the rest of our lives and if it’s a source of stress for you now and you continue to ignore it or avoid it, it’s not going to get better. Guaranteed.

So, let’s stop pretending we are ostriches and get our heads out of the sand! Here are a few top tips ostrichto break out of your scarcity mentality!

 1. Reality Check!

Do you know where you’re money is going? Do you have a budget? Do you need one? This is the first step in getting your head out of the sand, face up to reality! Look at your accounts, look at your savings, look at your income, look at your expenditure and budget for things (including fun). Once you know where you are right now, you immediately have more control and can make better decisions about your finances.

2. There’s always more

When you’re handing over money to buy something or pay a bill, say to yourself ‘there’s always more where that came from’. It might sound silly but there’s so much power in the words that we say to ourselves. It’s the truth. There is always more- you may not have it in your purse right now but you are capable of creating more, earning more. How much crap have you got in your house that you don’t use? Do a car boot sale! Clear out the mess and make a few bob!

3. Start a fun fund

We need to have fun, relax and treat ourselves. It’s vital and non-negotiable if you’re working with me! So, if you’re holding back and saying you can’t afford to go to the cinema or have a drink after work with friends, then you need to start a fun fund. It’s a savings account or piggy bank that has money set aside that is to be spent on fun and fun only! Having fun and treating yourself well is one of the key ways to break out of scarcity mentality!

4. Spread the wealth

Anytime you catch yourself worrying about money or stuck in scarcity mentality- I want you to give some money away. Donate to a charity or cause that you feel connected with! Another way to spread the wealth is to be generous with your friends and family. It’s a great feeling to say, ‘I’ll get this’ when you’re out with people you care about. Even if you just got a pot of tea and a cake to share!

5. Educate yourself

You probably know this already but almost half the world, over 3 billion people live on less than €2 per day. 80% of all of the people in the world live on less than €7 per day. That is the reality. Now, I’d be pretty confident given the fact that you’re reading this that you don’t fall into either one of those statistics. I get that you want more and that’s fine. If you have more money and resources, I know that you would spread the wealth and everyone would benefit! But we have to realise that true abundance starts with appreciating what we already have right now. You have a roof over your head, clean water, clothes and food. You are already financially abundant!

“Be thankful for what you have  and  you’ll end up having more. If you focus on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”- Oprah

I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue of Progress! I’m really curious as to what you think of this blog! Have you noticed that you have a scarcity mentality? Have you found a way to break out of it? Come over to the facebook page and share your story!

Chat soon,

P x

Stuck in a rut and can’t move forwards?

“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum.”  -Tony Robbins

Have you ever hesitated to take action and ended up stuck in a rut not knowing what to do? There are some common reasons why this happens.  Sometimes we are waiting for some kind of sign to indicate that it’s okay to move forward. We might be waiting until we feel more confident because we don’t really feel up to the challenge. Or, we could be thinking that if we just wait a bit longer than all the obstacles will disappear and our goals will be easier to achieve.

But how often do we use those reasons as excuses to avoid leaving our comfort zone? Let’s face it, if we are looking to justify procrastination there is no shortage of reasonable sounding excuses.

Procrastination is the equivalent of going nowhere!

The longer we wait to take action, the harder it is to get started. Circumstances will never be perfect and waiting until they are means that in the meantime, you’re going nowhere. The truth is, it will probably never get any easier to move forward and every moment that we hold back will just make things worse.

When we avoid taking action it’s often because we have created resistance in our own mind. We have convinced ourselves that what we want to do is exceedingly difficult. But is that really true or is it just an avoidance technique?

Create momentum, create confidence

Momentum is one of those rare, self-perpetuation phenomenon. That’s what makes it so powerful. The perfect example of momentum is a snowball rolling down a hill. What happens? It grows and picks up speed along the way, we all know this! But how can you use this power to achieve your goals and start living the life that you want to be living?

Instead of getting bogged down by excuses, we need to create some momentum as soon as possible. Trust me, this is not something that is hard to do! That huge, fast moving snowball started out small and slow. The reason it grew was because it kept moving. We don’t have to throw ourselves into action at warp speed, but we do need to start moving and to keep moving so we can build some momentum.

3 Ways to build momentum

Commit to taking the necessary action steps first. That’s what you really need to focus on. What do you need to do first? What’s the most important step at this point? It could even be finding out more information on what to do!

One of the main reasons why people don’t achieve the goals that they set for themselves is because they lack commitment. Commitment to following through on the actions that will bring us where we want to go. Why do we lack commitment? Because we don’t begin immediately! Early on, action needs to be our main concern. Obviously, we want to keep our goal in sight, but the majority of our attention should go toward taking consistent and purposeful action. That’s how we build start building momentum as well as commitment!

Break the process down into baby stepsTaking small, consistent steps toward a goal is generally much more effective than mammoth action every now and then! (Think about, if you’re goal is to become healthier then which is best; exercising a little every day and cutting down on sweets or a 7 day detox once a year?)

Also, it’s easier to get ourselves to act on smaller tasks. Even tiny actions will eventually begin to build momentum and produce results, as long as we are consistent.  Making it your mission to move forward consistently will make it much easier to overcome obstacles because with each step your confidence will grow.

Don’t give up too early!  So many goals have been abandoned because people do one thing, they wait to see what happens, and quit when they don’t see the results they wanted.  Sometimes we don’t even see the results for a long period of time but change is happening below the surface- we just can’t see it yet!

So focus on building momentum, focus on keeping the ball rolling, even if you’re not seeing the results you want just yet. If you get discouraged and quit, that’s it, game over and you lose.

Use momentum to overcome procrastination

Taking action leaves procrastination in the dust. If you do something every day that moves you toward your goals, you’ll be too busy to think about making excuses. Dale Carnegie made this point nicely when he said:

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

So, what are you going to do today?

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you have any strategies for keeping momentum or have any stories you’d like to share, just pop over to the facebook page and let us know!

Until Next Time,

Keep going!

P x

Are we ever done?

I don’t know about you but my ‘to-do’ list was never ever done. As soon as one job got ticked off the list; two more were added! It often got completely overwhelming, especially when I felt that everything was dependent on me– that I was the only one who could do the things on my list the ‘right way’!  I thought if I just work harder, smarter and faster; that someday, I would be on top of everything!’ Someday always seemed elusive so I decided I needed a bit of help!

A few weeks ago I enrolled myself in a time management workshop; between running a business full-time, meeting clients, organising a wedding, looking after a crazy puppy and spending time with family, I was struggling!. So a time management class seemed to be necessary, and it was!

60 minutes into the workshop, I learnt a valuable lesson. The facilitator, Joanna, stood up and said You cannot manage time. Well, my heart sunk and I thought, ‘Well, that’s great! You probably should have mentioned that in your ad!’ But she went on and said that We cannot manage time but we can manage our tasks, we can manage ourselves and we can manage other people’. It was a Homer Simpson ‘D’Oh’ moment for me!

Of course, it makes sense and it comes down to the basic principles of personal responsibility. I am responsible for my actions and I am responsible for what I choose to spend my time on. I cannot simply find time for anything, I have to make time and I can do that by managing my tasks, myself and other people with awareness. I can do it by being proactive rather than reactive.

I thought the whole workshop was quite intriguing because as a coach, I spend a lot of my time helping others manage this aspect of their life! ‘I can’t go after my dreams and do x,y,z because I don’t have the time’ is something I hear on a weekly if not daily basis and my immediate response to that is Bullshit!’ (in a gentler way of course!) After taking clients through the coaching process, we can almost always free up a few hours each day which they can then commit to doing something they love and designing their life the want they want it to be. So, I can do it for others no bother but when it came to doing it for myself; I was completely blinkered! It’s difficult to be objective with your own life! This is why I always work with a coach!

So, I thought I’d share with you a few tips of what I learnt from the workshop!

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

First of all, you need to know why you’re doing all the things that you’re doing. What are you aiming for? What’s the purpose? Is your to –do list actually benefiting you or bringing you towards something that you actually want? Think of 5 areas in your life that are important to you and write them down. These are things that you want to improve or that are currently a main focus for you. For example, for me it would be:

  •  My business
  • Relationships with family, friends and partner
  • Health and Fitness
  • Finances
  • Organising wedding

These are all things that are important to me at that moment and that I want to be spending time on however at the time of doing the time management course; my business was taking in excess of 70 hours per week of my time and health and fitness was lucky if it got 2 hours per week. I wanted to spend more time with family and friends without looking at my watch every few minutes, thinking of all the work I need to get done!

Managing Tasks:

So, all of these things were important to me, but they weren’t balanced at all! I had to start making smart decisions about my time and I adopted the 3D Strategy.

 3 D strategy

  • Do it
  • Delegate it
  • Dismiss it
  1. Plan and prioritise each day the evening before
  2. Break each task down into smaller, more manageable chunks
  3. Celebrate each chunk of a task that is completed! Be good to yourself as this will give you that sense of achievement that you need to keep going after the things that you want!
  4.  Make sure that what you have to do is actually going to help you get to where you want to be in life. If it is going to bring you where you want to go, then do it or delegate it. If it isn’t, then dismiss it or give it back to whoever delegated it to you!

 Managing Ourselves

This is all about taking on the role of leader in your own life. Remember you’re in charge of your attitude and your actions!

Attitude

  • Be realistic and honest with yourself about your time
  • Stay focused on your goals and priorities
  • Be prepared to make changes
  • Maintain your motivation and excitement by checking in on your progress towards your goals!

 Actions

  • Clean the mess– the first thing you need to do is sort out all the crap! An organised home is the first step in an organised life. If you spend ten minutes every morning looking for a hairbrush/your left shoe/car keys etc then you know what I’m talking about! Get your living space/handbag in order before you tackle your entire life! (It just makes things easier!)
  • Set deadlines for yourself
  • Know your idle time. Be honest with yourself- if you spend 2-3 hours every evening watching TV, and 5 hours at the weekend watching TV then acknowledge that and don’t bullshit yourself by saying you don’t have time.
  • Sleep, rest and take quality breaks. Make sure that you have down-time!  Do not beat yourself up! It’s such a waste of time and it does not make you work harder or more productively regardless of what you might think! Being hard on yourself wears you down and chips away at your confidence and self-esteem.

 Managing Others

  •  Learn to say yes to yourself and no to others
  • You choose your own priorities- it’s all about you!

Asking for help is a scary thought for many women. We’ve been raised and told that we can have it all and we can do it all– I personally don’t know anyone who has it all and does it all. The strongest women I know are able to ask for help, they are able to delegate and allow others to have responsibility and control. Ask for help not because you’re weak or incapable but because you’re strong and value yourself.

If colleagues always ask you to do them a ‘little favour’, it is within your rights to say no. If you take on extra work and are unhappy about it, take responsibility for it and decide not to do it again! If you do all the housework then delegate to your partner/ housemates or make an agreement to have everyone chip in and hire someone to help. Build up a support system for yourself!

 Time is the only thing we can’t get more of so it is incredibly precious. You want to ensure that your time is spent doing the things that you love and that you want to do!

 I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue of Progress and that you found it beneficial! I’d love to hear your stories/tips of what works for when you manage your time so get in touch on the facebook page!

Until next time, Do It, Delegate It or Dismiss It!

P x

Setting Better Boundaries

This is a work in progress for me! It’s something I’m much better at, but I still need major improvements. Every experience I have where I’m being polite and obliging when I feel frustrated, pissed off and a firey rage is slowly building on the inside is a ‘learning experience’.

 I had a ‘learning experience’ the other day!

 I pride myself on having a very free and flexible working life. I work from home and it’s fabulous. The problem is, sometimes it’s a bit too free and flexible. If I get a spur of the moment invitation for lunch, I would often say yes! A friend who has been away for a while was back home and text me to see if he could call over for lunch, I said yes; that I was working but was happy to stop for lunch with him. He said no problem, he’d be over in an hour for an hour. Great stuff!

He arrived anyway, 2 year old nephew in tow! We couldn’t really have a catch up, he was too busy running around after a 2 year old and I was running around after my puppy, Lilo, who was so liloexcited to have someone her own size to play with. (How cute is she!!!)

Ninety minutes into this one hour ‘pop in for lunch’ visit, we finally sat down and had a sandwich. At this stage, my shoulders were tense and I had that tightness in my chest where I could feel the rage rising in me.

The mind monkey chatter in my head was yapping away, having a great debate saying things like ‘Tell him to get lost, he’s totally disrespecting your working day’ ‘It would so rude to ask them to leave’ ‘what would he think of you if you behaved that way?’. ‘He’ll think you are a right bitch if you say that’ etc etc.

So, what was going on here? I was getting annoyed with myself because I was allowing my friend to disrespect me and my time. Oh yes of course, I wanted to blame him for the fact that he was hampering my working day and putting me under pressure. But it wasn’t his fault at all! It was all me. I was the one offering more tea, I was the one who wouldn’t speak up, I was the one who wasn’t setting clear boundaries, I was the one assuming that he would know that I was very busy. On the outside, I was a hospitable hostess. On the inside, I was a raging, irritated crazy psycho bitch!

As I said, I’m normally much better at this which is why I think today made such an impact. Because I hadn’t seen this particular friend for a while, I simply fell back into an old pattern of behaviour. I hadn’t clearly established my new boundaries.

I know this isn’t just me! I’ve had so many emails and questions from other women in their 20s and 30s asking ‘How do I say no without feeling guilty? or ‘How do I set clear boundaries and stop letting people take advantage?’

 So, why do we do this??

From the moment we are old enough to curl our hands and snatch toys from our fellow playschool companions, we are told not to be selfish. We’re told to ‘put others first and don’t be so greedy’ etc etc. It’s no wonder that we’re all so concerned about being perceived as selfish or mean; that we now feel terrible for ever having the audacity of putting ourselves first and saying no. We may win friends with our selflessness, but the damage this causes to our own self-respect is huge!

Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and a healthy life. Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us don’t learn! We might pick up pointers here and there from experience or through watching others. But for many of us, boundary-building is a relatively new concept and a challenging one.

Having healthy boundaries means ‘knowing, understanding and communicating what you will tolerate and what you will not.’ Here are a few tips on building better boundaries and maintaining them. (I’m reviewing my old lessons and journals to bring you these tips as I need them myself today!)

1. Tune into your feelings.

There are two key feelings that can be red flags that our boundaries are being crossed. They are: discomfort and resentment. If in any situation you are feeling strong feelings of resentment or discomfort, ask yourself ‘what is causing that feeling?’ ‘What is it about this situation or person that is bothering me?’

Resentment usually comes from being taken advantage of, disrespected or not appreciated. It’s often a sign that we’re pushing ourselves either beyond our own limits because we feel guilty or because someone else is imposing their expectations, views or values on us.  Women in general tend to have weaker boundaries than men due to our upbringing because we’ve been raised to be ‘good girls’, polite, respectful etc!

2. Give yourself permission.

Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls to setting boundaries. We might fear the other person’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member or friend. Many women believe that they should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because they’re a ‘good/nice person’, even though they “feel drained or taken advantage of.” Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them.

3. Make self-care a priority.

You need to make self-care a priority – this involves giving yourself permission to put yourself first. When we do this, our need and motivation to set boundaries become stronger. Self-care also means recognising the importance of your feelings and honoring them. These feelings serve as important cues about our wellbeing and about what makes us happy and unhappy.

Putting yourself first also gives you the energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them.” And when we’re in a better place, we can be a better partner, friend and co-worker.

4. Seek support.

If you’re having a hard time with boundaries, seek some support! A great thing to do with friends or family is to make it a priority with each other to practice setting boundaries together and hold each other accountable.

Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support. And remember that it’s a skill you can master.

I actually did decide to speak to my friend and explain how I had felt as a result of his visit. I took personal responsibility for my feelings and said that I hadn’t explained my boundaries to him but that it was really important to me that I honour my working day and structure even though I work from home. His response was

 ‘Awww, Paulie, I’m really sorry, I didn’t realise.

You should have just said!’

 

Do you treat yourself well?

I’ve just spent 4 blissful days in Connemara, completely disconnected from TV, phones and internet. I hate to admit it, but it did take a bit of adjusting!! (I hadn’t realised I had turned into one of those people who constantly checks her phone, who takes pictures and records videos rather than watching and experiencing for myself!) Lesson learned- for now anyway!

In my opinion, holidays are all about treating yourself but how to actually do that is another story! In fact I think that ‘treating ourselves well’ is a skill which we ladies desperately need to learn. What I’ve discovered from working with so many women in their 20s and 30s is that we don’t treat ourselves very well. We frequently put other people’s needs, wants and wishes ahead of our own. Yes of course, we will be good to ourselves occasionally- when we’re on holidays!

But honestly, how often have you denied yourself something you wanted because you felt like you didn’t deserve it, that you hadn’t earned it or that you weren’t good enough. I remember years ago, when I was going through a rough patch- I desperately wanted a massage. I needed it as I was so stressed at the time and just going around in circles. I booked in for a full body massage but in the hours leading up to the appointment time that inner voice started yapping! It said, ‘you haven’t done x,y,x, you’re a lazy bitch, you don’t deserve it, who do you think you are to spend €60 on yourself’. I cancelled the appointment.

Things like that happened so often, I’d see something I would like in Penny’s and feel like I haven’t earned it or deserved it so I wouldn’t allow myself to have it (or I’d buy it then return it). But if I knew that my partner, sister, friend wanted something, I would be the first person to go and get it for them. Interesting eh?

Because of who I work with on a daily basis, women in their 20s and 30s from around the world, I have seen that this is really common. We just don’t treat ourselves well. We feel that we need to have earned it, that we have to deserve it and the catch 22 is that the times when we need to treat ourselves well are the times that we’re feeling low, unworthy and deserving. Treating ourselves well and with compassion is the only way to lift ourselves up so that we can keep on keeping on!

Demanding more and more from yourself without ever giving yourself a break is unsustainable and will lead to complete burn-out. Often after the burn-out, you realise that you are a million miles away from where you thought you would be in life because you never stopped to give yourself a break or to check if you were actually happy!

What I found helps immensely is goal treats! So, without further ado, I have a 7 day treat challenge 7daytitlefor you!

Every day for the next 7 days, give yourself a really good treat: just because you are you. No excuses and no exceptions! If for some strange reason you actually enjoy being kind and compassionate with yourself then by all means continue!

It might seem strange or repellent at first but once you repeatedly associate treating yourself well, these treats will start to become comfortable and even indispensible. They have a very important function: they provide enough consistent short –term gratification to sustain trust and happiness when the going gets tough, the path to your vision looks scary or if you need to make a difficult decision. Giving yourself a treat a day is so crucial to making progress in your life. It’s all about treating yourself right!

Now, my definition of ‘treat’ is anything that makes you feel like smiling’. Some people think that’s a strange definition but I mean a real, genuine, heartfelt smile as opposed to the fake social smiles we put on which sometimes that makes us feel like we are violating our souls!

So, as an exercise I want you to compile a list of natural smile starters. You can start this simply by observing your behaviour for a day, what makes you smile? We know that every woman’s magazine on the planet will advertise things like massages, getting nails done, pedicures, hot baths, chocolate, candles etc and yes, they’re all lovely and great but I’m talking about a really custom made treat. Something that actually gives you joy, something that makes the smile start from the inside and you just can’t help but grin! Something that delights your senses!

I’m talking going to bed on a winter’s night with a hot chocolate, a great book and fresh sheets with the sound of the rain and wind banging against the window. That would be a treat that would actually get me excited! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or cost anything at all! Anything that indulges your senses is definitely a winner. Think about it! What do you love the smell of? What do you love the feel of? What do you love the sight of? What do you love the taste of?

Decide if you will take me up on the challenge and make out your list! Share your list of treats on the Quarter Life Coach facebook page and if you find yourself resisting this terrible treat regimen, tell us and we will hold you accountable and if needs be, give you permission to treat yourself well, every single day until you learn to do it for yourself!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress; that you got something valuable from it and could relate! Please get in touch on the facebook page and share your treat list!  I can’t wait to see!

Until next week,

P x

Do you know how to make yourself feel happy?

Do you remember when you were a child and you looked at life in total wonder and awe? Everything was magical and exciting and the tiniest things were so fascinating and thrilling! The crunch of an autumn leaf under your foot, bright shiny conkers, ladybirds, a pretty rock on the ground or even a cardboard box could fascinate you for hours. You would turn it into whatever it needed to be for you in that moment.

You were full of excitement when you lost a tooth and if you were like me, you’d try and stay awake all night to try and catch the tooth fairy! Don’t even get me started on Christmas, Santa Claus, flying reindeers and the magic that went with that!

 Do you remember? There were fairies and elves in the garden, pets were like people and kept all your secrets, your toys had personalities, they came to life when you were out of the room and they protected you when you were scared, wishes were made on the stars and dreams came true. Your heart was full of joy, your imagination knew no limits, and you firmly believed that could fly if you could just figure out the right jump and arm movement to get started – life was amazing and full of magic and awe. You felt good!

This is an exquisite feeling which most of had as children, even though we all had some bad times and bad experiences, we held onto the feeling that everything was good, that every day promised more adventure and wonder and that nothing would ever take away our joy of the magic of it all. But then we grew up! 🙁

As we grew older into teenagers, young adults and real life grown ups- responsibilities, problems and difficulties took their toll on us, we became disillusioned and the magic that we had believed in as children disappeared. I don’t know about you but I love hanging around kids, playing with them and I’m so fascinated with how fascinated they are. My 2 ½ year old nephew Jamie made a caterpillar out of an egg carton and I swear he delighted in it for hours! He named it, he talked to it, he played with it, he made it rawr and squealed with delight as we joined his games.

Obviously I wouldn’t be talking about all of this if it was never to be a part of your life again! The magic of life is real. You may not see reindeer fly or a bunny hopping over your wall but those feelings of fascination, wonder, awe, trust and magic are within you and you can let them all out to play again! When you do, life becomes magical!

We don’t see it, we feel it.

What I find so amazing is that we were taught this by our parents and society as well, but the real message got lost over the years. If you asked a child ‘What’s the magic words? He or she will easily say to you ‘please’ and after they have received, ‘What are the magic words?’ they will tell you ‘Thank You’.

That’s it! That’s how you bring forth magic into your life, you must say the magic words, ‘Thank you’. When we actually stop and acknowledge the wonder and abundance of the life we are living, when we are thankful for it, we shine. When we focus on the good stuff we have, we feel good, we feel happy and then it’s so much easier to trust ourselves and focus on the good stuff we’re headed for.

If you practice gratitude a little, your life will change a little. If you practice gratitude a lot every day, your life will change dramatically and in ways you can’t even begin to imagine! Try it for yourself, take a moment now and close your eyes. I want you to run through all of the wonderful things and people that you have in your life right now, feel thankful for what you have and smile. I honestly don’t know any better way to shift your energy and emotions from down and dull to happy and energised!

‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around’ Willie Nelson

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress; that you got something valuable from it and could relate! Please get in touch on the facebook page and share what you’re grateful for this week! Can’t wait to see!

Until next week,

P x

Who Are You in Your Relationships?

Myself and Colly were out walking the dog last weekend, chatting and reflecting on our relationship, 11218467_10153286501107893_778273589560183537_nour marriage, our daughter and our lives and how it’s incredible……….. and for both of us, that fact is still quite strange!

I do have to pinch myself every now and then to remind myself that I’m not dreaming! Personally, I know I have changed a lot in the past few years. I’m really me now, here and present in this relationship.

In previous relationships, I was who I thought my partner wanted me to be and I wasn’t even aware that I was adapting my behaviour to suit him. We would be watching a movie at home or at the cinema and I would keep glancing at his face to see whether he was enjoying it or not. If I had picked the movie and I could see from his facial expressions that he thought it was lousy, it would seriously take away from my enjoyment of the film.

It was all little things, his favourite food, his favourite hobbies, his favourite everything. His favourites that I had never really had any interest in; became a part of my life. All of a sudden I had sports jerseys as part of my wardrobe and I was shouting at the TV on a Saturday afternoon!

This was all good and fine and I’m not for a moment saying that it’s wrong to embrace your partner’s interests but what happened was that after 6 years of morphing into this person I thought I should be, I got dumped. By text message might I add!

Of course there was heart break and sadness and anger and all of those emotions but they weren’t a patch on ‘losing myself’. During the course of those 6 years, I had lost myself in the relationship or to the relationship. I had defined myself by it and by what we did together. Without that, I wasn’t sure who I was!

I don’t mean for that to sound as dramatic as it does, what I mean is that I really didn’t know what my own interests were, what I enjoyed doing, who I enjoyed spending time with, what I wanted for my future. I actually decided to start smoking again, an actual conscious decision because that’s what I did before that relationship! I had been a smoker! I was trying to find anything that would give me that sense of security within myself. Anything I could cling to that I could say ‘I am a ……..’

Just to top it all off as well, I was made redundant within a month or so of the dumping and then shortly after that my sister and I were told that we had to sell our home! So needless to say, I wasn’t in the best space!

I was absolutely broke in every sense of the word but with my redundancy cash, I invested in a life coaching course- for me. For a solid year, I worked so hard getting to know myself. It was difficult and uncomfortable at times but I got me back! I got a new zest of life and I was so happy being me again!

When myself and Colm started dating, I resisted so much because I was afraid of being hurt but most of all, I was afraid of forgetting all I had learnt. I was afraid I’d go back to my old ‘people pleaser’ ways! The question that I had to find the answer to was ‘how to be in a relationship and not lose myself?’ How to be part of a we without losing me?8dc683cfe1f05ea2c75ea144ad45bd27

The goal was to be close in the relationship but still maintain my own identity so I went out and found people who I thought had great relationships and I asked for their advice! Here are some of their strategies! Trust me- it’s good stuff!

Top 5 tips for a great relationship without losing yourself

1. Spend time with your friends.

It’s great when your partner and your friends get along, but your friends don’t want your other half all the time! The time spent with your friends is different when your boyfriend is there and it’s important that you still have your girls’ nights out, weekends away and giggles!

2. Identify the hobbies and interests that you don’t share

You and your partner aren’t going to share the same interests so it’s important to identify the things you don’t have in common and to continue doing it. If you love dancing but your partner has two left feet and would rather get a root canal done than go to a club, do not let that stop you. If he wants to go to support his team at an away game, you don’t need to tag along! Support each other’s interests.

 3. Express yourself.

 While committing to someone is a lovely thing, giving up your needs for that person absolutely isn’t. Never compromise or undermine your own desires just because you’re scared that you’ll lose him if you need something different. A healthy respectful relationship makes room for what both of you need, and your partner can’t know what you need if you don’t tell him directly (he’s not psychic!). If he walks away when you do make your needs known, that is a good thing. Trust me, better that than losing yourself to someone unwilling to listen to you and respect your feelings.

4. Don’t become too dependent.

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook when it comes to managing yourself and your own life. It’s easy to look to your partner to protect you from the big bad world when everything makes you want to crawl under the duvet and hide, but continue to fight your own battles. When you have a bad day and want to talk, it’s nice to have someone who wants to comfort you, but make it clear that you don’t want your partner to ‘fix’ anything!

5. Never hold back in your own life

 Don’t resist further education, making more money, success or a promotion because of your partner. You should never need to boost his ego or spare his feelings by playing small in your own life. Someone who truly loves you and who is worth loving is secure enough to cheer you on.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress, that you got something valuable from it and could relate!

Until next week,

P

P.S My best selling programme ‘30 Days to Be Your Own Fairy Godmother’ is starting on the 22nd February and you could WIN a place! Click here to enter now! Winner will be announced on the 21st at 9pm!

 

Growing Pains at 27?

I came across an old diary entry last week which I had forgotten I had. The entry was over 18 months old and at the time of writing it, I was in Australia meeting my partners family for the first time. We were there for 3 weeks and there was such much stuff going through my head at the time. I was quite emotional while we were there; it was really unnerving that I wasn’t able to put my finger on why I felt so raw and just not myself! I was able to blame jet-lag for a few days but after a week I knew that couldn’t be the reason anymore so I went off for a long walk on my own, took my diary and a pen, grabbed a coffee from a little coffee hut and I plonked myself down and began to write.

 Here’s what I wrote:

“I’m very aware that a change is taking place. I’m holding onto the past I suppose. I’m growing up and it’s quite bittersweet. I don’t really want to – but at 27 years old, I have to ask myself is it not about time? Am I being overdramatic? To be honest, I don’t think so. I think that this is another part of growing up. It’s the in-between-y stage.

Obviously I’m not a child anymore but I really don’t feel like an adult. I have a bank account, pay bills, live with a boy, drive a car and have my own business which is all very grown up but the next big milestones and major events of my life –the traditional markers of adulthood like buying a house, getting married and starting a family are coming soon. I wonder if everyone experiences these feelings of apprehension and uneaseiness?

It’s kind of scary and I find myself looking back an awful lot. Being carefree, having fun, playing with bubbles and going to amusement parks and parades has always been a big part of who I am and what makes me smile but it’s all very childish- I mean does that all get left behind now?? I think it’s scary because I don’t know who I’ll be as an adult.

But in saying all this, I know that something great is coming- I feel like a caterpillar entering a chrysalis- she may know that she’ll emerge as a butterfly and be able to fly but I bet the caterpillar is frightened of losing herself in the process! I think that’s where I’m at.

When I think back on how far I’ve come, all of the changes I have made in my life so far, how wonderful things have been- there really should be no reason to be frightened so why am I?

I think it’s because I’m not focused on the future, I keep looking back instead of forwards. I know if I look forwards and direct my focus on where I want to go, it will feel lot more secure. Who do I want to be? “

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 I find diaries really fascinating! I had no recollection of writing that until I actually read it again and immediately I was brought back to that moment! At the time, I really did feel nervous and anxious about growing up! I was having growing pains at 27 years old which may seem ridiculous, but at that particular time in my life, it was real and it felt scary! I had to accept it, embrace it and decide who I wanted to be as an adult! Interestingly, I got engaged less than 3 months after writing that diary entry and less than 12 months after writing it, I had bought my own house. Very grown up indeed! At some level, I must have been aware that is was on the horizon!

But anyway, I was very grateful to have stumbled across this last week and I thought I’d share it with you! I honestly would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Have you ever experienced anything like that? Can you relate to it? Please get in touch and share your thoughts and stories!

Until next week,

Look after you,

P x