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What are you paying attention to?

‘Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.’ Jose Ortega y Gassett

Have you ever caught yourself dwelling on something completely ridiculous or insignificant for WAY TOO LONG?

Maybe something happened during your day that caught you off guard or someone said something mildly offensive to you. Whatever it was, you knew that in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t a big deal YET you felt a need to mentally rehash it over and over in your head and heart all day long.

Sound familiar?

I’ve done this so many times! I know it’s draining and pointless but at the time, it seems like a good way to fix something that somehow felt wrong.

I suspect it’s also a way for me to reinforce the idea that I am right and didn’t deserve to be snubbed or whatever! I thrash over and over again the whole woulda, coulda, shoulda mentality of what I would do should that happen again!

But you know what I realised, every time I give power to the little things that might seem irritating, like when someone doesn’t let me change lanes in traffic or the bus doesn’t stop when I’ve got your hand out, or someone is a bit rude to me—I’m actually choosing to be that unproductive, irritated, anxious energy.

Every time I feel that I have been unfairly treated or ignored or whatever, even if it’s something slight- if I get caught up in that then I am choosing to bring that pointless emotion into my day.

The thoughts that we have and the emotion we feel as a result really does influences our state of being. It can alter our mood which then can impact on everything and everyone that we come into contact with during the day

As the Buddha said ‘what we think, we become.’

Now I’m not for one second suggesting we should repress our feelings when we feel pissed off or annoyed but I am suggesting that we question the thoughts that create our feelings so that we don’t let them consume us! (Especially when we’re creating drama and unease over something we won’t even remember in a few days’ time.)

You see, we tend to create ‘meaning’ for certain situations which may not be the case at all and can lead us down a slippery slope! For example, if your partner is a bit grumpy or out of sorts- we think ‘what have I done?… He/she must be pissed off with me etc’ If your hours get cut back in work, we think ‘They don’t think I do a good job… I’m not good enough…etc’. Then your happiness, confidence and self esteem takes a beating!

We spend so much of our time focusing our attention on things that don’t really serve us and on what we don’t want in our lives. This takes up a hell of a lot of our time and energy! Time and energy that would be better focused on proactively going after the things that we do want for ourselves in our lives!

But if we can observe and understand how our thoughts are impacting us, we can change how we are experiencing the world on a day to day basis. So try this as an experiment this week and have some fun with it!

If something happens that pisses you off or annoys you- try to catch yourself before it spirals and then challenge your initial reaction! Ask yourself:

1.Is thinking this way going to add to my day or take  away from my day?

2. Am I attaching my own created negative meaning to this situation?

3. Then choose to release the little worries that stand in the way of your happiness in any given moment!

Life will seem much sweeter when you do!

take thatHere’s a real life example of how this can help! Saturday night, myself and my two buddies had a yummy meal out and were all excited to relive our childhood and go see Take That! Got the tickets in February! We arrived at the venue only to find out that we actually had tickets for the night before! D’oh!!!!!!

Take That wasn’t happening! Our night that we’d been looking forward to for months wasn’t happening! What did we pay attention to??

We were together, it was early and we were gonna have fun regardless! We ended up in the laughter lounge (even though it was full, the staff went out and got another table and set it up especially for us- we did of course tell them the story and they had a good chuckle!). I was so proud of us that night. It could have been easy to spiral into pity and disappointment but we didn’t and life was much sweeter!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue of Progress!

P x

 

Why you need to have a vision for your life!

I’ve been spending the past week thinking about my life vision, well to be perfectly honest, I’ve been spending the past week thinking about upgrading my life vision! You see, a few years ago, I had a dream of how I wanted my life to look in the future – this dream was big, bold, outrageous and very happy!! I’d own a house, I’d have an amazing partner who respected me, I’d be doing something I loved doing, I’d have freedom and flexibility and I’d have money in the bank!

At the time of dreaming this dream, I was jobless with zero prospects because I had just realised I hated my chosen profession, I was completely broke and had recently been dumped via text message! But I held this vision of what I wanted in my mind and worked towards it over the past 4 years. In recent weeks I’ve realised that I need to upgrade my vision! Why? Because I’m already living my dream, I’m living the big, bold and outrageous dream that the Paula from 4 years ago was dreaming about!

The Paula from today has learnt a lot of lessons in the past few years- most importantly, whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve. So, over the next few weeks I’ll be putting together my bigger vision and you know what, I’m really excited about it! My life will be whatever I make it!

 So how about you! Do you have a vision for your life?

  A vision is how you want your life to look in a few years time. I’m talking 5, 10, 20 years time! You might be gasping thinking ‘I haven’t a clue where I want to be next week, let alone in 20 years time!!’ But when it comes to a life vision, you do need to go out that far because this is where you want to end up. If you don’t have any idea of how you want your life to look in 10, 15, 20 years time then how do you know if every day you’re moving further away or closer to your vision?

It’s like the analogy of driving around in a car without knowing where you’re going. We always get into the car with our destination in mind, or at least the general direction that we want to go in. This is what we’re trying to achieve with a life vision – a destination or direction.  If you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t know what success looks like, then how do you know when you get there?

What tends to happen is that we get caught up in our late teens and early twenties. We start to do things out of necessity, we do what everyone else is doing and what is expected of us! We go to college or get a job, work hard, progress in our career, meet a partner, save money, maybe talk about getting married, try to get a deposit together for a house. We’re just getting on with it though with our heads down.

We’re like busy worker bees, work, work, work, busy, busy, busy and we don’t look up, we just keep going. This was me; I was busy, busy, busy and trying to ignore the fact that I was so unhappy. I thought it was normal to be unhappy in your twenties, well normal for me anyway! But the problem was I had no vision, no direction. I was still just going with the flow and I wasn’t self-directing my life based on what I wanted.

What having a life vision will do for you is to give you some focus and direction as well as helping you gain clarity on whether the decision that you’re making will take you closer to your vision or further away.

It’s not very often that we spend time on ourselves. We tend to spend so much time living that we don’t actually make the time to raise our head, look to the future and say; ‘ok this is the big picture. This is how I want my life to look.’ But I want you to do exactly that! Now is your time! Put the brakes on for a few hours, take a step out of the madness and ask yourself ‘How do I want my life to look in 20 years time?’ ‘What will I need to do to make that happen?’ You see, the time is going to pass anyway so you might as well point yourself in a direction that you’ll be happy with! Think about it over the next few days and jot down any ideas that come to mind!

It has to make you think ‘Wow, I’d be floating on air if I had a life like that!’ Be big bold and outrageous. People over-estimate what they can accomplish in a year but they wildly, wildly under-estimate what they can accomplish in a 5 years or ten years! You need to be clear on what you want your life to look like by when? What does success look like to you? It’s a very simple concept but an incredibly powerful motivating tool! Think BIG!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you want to Kick-Start 2014 then check out my 30 day Be Your Own Fairy Godmother Programme starting on Friday 3rd January! Over 30 days, we’ll cover modules such as ‘Life Vision & Focus’, ‘Mindset & Confidence’, ‘Decision Making & Follow Through’ and ‘Making Magic in Your Own Life’!

You’ll have two live Q & A sessions with me where you can ask questions, get some coaching and make real progress in your life! Also, you’ll have access to a private facebook group offering 24/7 support so you can get a kick in the ass when needed! I’ll also dip in with thoughts, advice and insights throughout the month and you can compare notes on your workbooks and homework with the other women on the programme! Trust me, there’s no better way to set up the New Year! To find out more and secure your place, click here!

Until Next Time,

Think about where you’re going!

P x

fairy_godmother_package_image4

Is 2014 going to be the year you finally make the changes you’ve been putting off! Kick-Start your year with my 30 day ‘Fairy Godmother‘ programme starting on 3rd January 2014!

Over 30 days, we’ll cover modules like ‘Life Vision & Focus’, ‘Mindset & Confidence’, ‘Decision Making & Follow Through’ and ‘Making Magic in Your Own Life’!

You will be able to use what you learn forever and it’s only €99! Check out the link for more details!
http://myquarterlifecoach.com/the-fairy-godmother-programme/

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

When you just feel raw and exposed…….

I had an incident the other week which was a real struggle for me! I’m talking about a wallowing, spiral of negative emotions!! Of course, needless to say, this pit of despair is not where I like to spend my time! I lived there years ago, but I managed to move and get a place that was brighter with a view and I haven’t really gone back to visit the pit, except for this particular incident!

Now, when you’re working as a coach there is a bit of extra pressure to avoid the pit because you’re supposed to have it all together! Luckily ‘having it all together’ isn’t my unique selling point and never has been! Being me, being real and facing up to what’s not working so that I can change it is what I try to bring to my coaching relationships. Being authentic and true to myself is of the utmost importance to me, whether that means that I’m strong and supporting others or if that means I’m in tears on the kitchen floor cuddling the dog!

So, let me paint the scene… I’m self employed and I work from my  home office on my electric blue sony laptop for about 8-10 hours per day, nearly 7 days a week for the past 2 ½ years. I’m not techy; I don’t know much about ‘cloud’ computing, backing up etc! All I do know is that when a blue screen appears on my laptop that says Incorrectable hardware error’ that it is bad. It’s the blue screen of death and I completely lost my mind when it appeared! I turned into a lunatic!

I was able to re-start the laptop and it appeared to be fine but I still went into panic mode. I hopped into the car, drove to the shops and 5 minutes later I was talking laptops to the salesperson. They didn’t have any more electric blue sony ones which made me sad but there were two others that seemed pretty good, a different Sony and a Toshiba! I took down the spec numbers; details, prices etc and I went home to chat to my Dad- the computer genius! We chatted about the Toshiba, he did his research and mentioned words like benchmark, processor and RAM, it went over my head but bottom line was he gave it a thumbs up! He said to leave it with him and he would do a bit more research to see if he could find a better deal. That was 8pm. At 8.15pm I was back in the shop (I think I was possessed!)

I wanted the Toshiba laptop right then, I didn’t need a better deal; I needed security. The fear and panic had set in again. I had to try and control the situation, I had to make sure I was covered, this is my livelihood and I was a business owner, an entrepreneur, a home owner, I’m responsible etc. I felt raw, exposed, stupid for not backing up and very vulnerable at the thought of losing all of the work I had saved on my computer- we’re talking everything!

Of course, they were sold out of the Toshiba. The salesperson offered me the Sony laptop, said it was ‘much of a muchness’ between the two and knocked 50 quid off. Sold! With a smile on his face and a debt over €1000 on my credit card, I left the shop feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Hmm, what now? Well, of course I didn’t take a deep breath and calm down.

I got home, opened the box and attempted to set up the computer. I followed instructions and entered passwords, then I realised it was windows 8. Ooops, Dad said ‘Whatever you do, don’t get windows 8’. Crap, the panic was back and it was now mixed in with fear, shame, anxiety and regret!

I sent my Dad an email with the spec of the Sony (the one that was now sitting on my kitchen table) and I asked him to check what it was like. I did not tell him I had bought it, opened it and messed around with it. He replied shortly afterwards using words like ‘benchmark, lousy machine, not good value, not even half as good, don’t even go there’. Unfortunately those words didn’t go over my head, they sunk right in and I felt like the biggest gambeen on the planet.

I was wide awake for the whole night with a tight jaw and an anxiety ridden mind. ‘What was I going to do?’ ‘How can I HIDE this?’ ‘How can I pretend this never happened?’ ‘What was I going to say?’ ‘They won’t allow me bring it back, I’ve opened it and I don’t think there’s any legal comeback for impulse buying’ ‘Dad is going to think I’m an idiot’ ‘I am an idiot’. Talk about a shame spiral, plus the whole I just spent over a grand on something I regretted! Ugh, horrible horrible feeling!

At 6am, after pondering and tossing and turning all night I sent an email to my Dad with the subject line ‘I f*cked up’. That was probably the hardest email I’ve written in ages, acknowledging that I made a mistake and needed help. I could not believe how hard I found it!

His response was great, he said ‘Shit happens, sounds like the salesperson took your buying intent for the Toshiba and transferred it to the Sony. You trusted him; he said it was ‘much of a muchness’ between the two machines which wasn’t true……. Come over to me in the morning, we’ll go back to the shop together and we’ll talk to the manager and see if we can get your money back. Stop beating yourself up! Love Dad’

 As soon as I read it, I grew up a bit. There was a part of me that wanted to hide behind someone else, point the finger, blame the sales guy and let someone else protect me and fix my problems! I just started laughing that this was the situation I had created- it had to stop! There was no way that I would/could do that, blame someone else and hide. It would really go against everything I stand for, being real, being authentic and to be honest, even if I got the result I wanted- I knew I would be ashamed at how badly I handled it. It was time to be a big girl again and to be honest it didn’t feel good!

 I called over to my Dad a few hours later with sausie sandwiches and I thanked him for his support and explained that I had to deal with it myself. I told him that my approach was to go back to the shop, and be honest. Tell them I had been in a panic and that I had made a mistake by buying the Sony laptop on an impulse and that I was going to ask for their help. He was proud of me but also tried to prepare me for the fact that I was going to be turned away. “You’ve opened it, there’s nothing wrong with it; you’ve just changed your mind. Legally, they don’t have to do anything for you. So don’t be disappointed…..”

Back to the shop I went, I found the sales guy I had dealt with the night before and I told my truth. My face was roaring red, the anxiety was eating me up on the inside, I wanted the shop floor to open up and swallow me whole, and my jaw was getting tight.

‘Hi Trevor, I was here last night and I bought the Sony laptop. I wanted to get the Toshiba but you were sold out so I took the Sony instead’. He nodded remembering me. I gushed ‘Well, I made a huge mistake. I’ve opened it and messed around with it but I really don’t want it, I shouldn’t have bought it. I should have just waited for the Toshiba and I was in a panic and it was an impulse buy. I need your help; can I please bring it back?

‘Sure’ he said. ‘Come with me and we’ll get the manager Andy to get you sorted out.

 Just like that.

It was an incredible lesson for me. I had been riding a train of thought that had brought me to places where I felt weak, small and vulnerable. Where I wanted to hide my mistake so that no one knew, where I wanted to blame the sales guy, where I wanted to be protected and where I lay in bed wide awake for a full night listening to mind monkeys chattering in my head. All because I didn’t want to say ‘I made a mistake and I need help’. It was a valuable and very uncomfortable lesson for me! But in the end, being truthful and allowing myself to go into a situation where I could be rejected and denied was the course I chose and after that experience, I learned that it will be the course that I want to keep on choosing.

I know that it’s difficult for us to acknowledge that we make mistakes and it’s also difficult for many of us to ask for help. We don’t like being seen as wrong, weak or vulnerable (or an impulse buying crazy lunatic!) but it happens. Engaging in life fully means that there will be times when we need to deal with these emotions, even when we don’t want to!

So I just wanted to share my experience with you for a few reasons; firstly that hopefully you find it beneficial and you can take something useful from it and secondly, for you to get to know me a bit better. I’m not the coach who has it all figured out; I’m a Paula and I can be raw, weak and vulnerable- just like you. I get myself worked into states; I fret and worry often- just like you! I get mind monkey attacks with that voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough- just like you. What you see is what you get with me. I’m real, I’m tough, I go after my dreams and I don’t give up on myself (I might have a rocky start sometimes though!) I love my work, I love coaching and supporting others to be real, to be tough, to go after their dreams and to never give up on themselves. I love it because I get it.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s issue of Progress, slightly different yes but hopefully you enjoyed it! I’d love to hear your feedback so feel free to drop me a line!

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

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

How the real you says No!

I know that you’re reading this or following my work because you know that there’s something 484318_10151361617128460_1077609347_n else, something more that you are meant to do, have or be but you can’t put your finger on it right now. I know this because it’s exactly how I felt as well and how most of my clients describe their feelings.

It’s like there’s something inside you that is reaching out, longing and yearning and sometimes you feel like you could just explode! What I’ve learned is that there is something inside you. That something is YOU– also known as your authentic self. You see, through my own journey and exploration over the past number of years, I have come across many teachings, books and articles which talk about us having different ‘selves’. The concept that resonated most with me and with most other women in their 20s & 30s is the idea of the ‘authentic self’ and ‘the social self’. Let me introduce you:

 The social self is that part of you that has been influenced by your culture, your environment, your peers, your family and society as you have grown up and throughout your life. It has taught you to value the same or similar things to most other people in your circle such as stable job, being financially secure, owning your own home, meeting a partner, having a family, having a pension, looking after your parents – being a ‘good girl’ shall we say!

 The authentic self is the part of you that knows your preferences for everything; it knows what you enjoy, what you’re passionate about, what brings you joy and what you love to do. The authentic self knows that you want to order dessert in the restaurant whereas the social self will tell you not to be a piggy as no one else is having anything! The authentic self is that part of you that is spontaneous, curious, fascinated with the world and playful.

 Our authentic self is great because when we tap into it, we can use it a bit like a compass and it will let us know when we’re moving in a direction that is completely out of sync with the ‘real and authentic’ us. The key is to learn how to read the compass! The following examples are a few ways in which the authentic self says ‘No’ and this can tell you whether you’re truly happy with the path you are on.

1. Sick as a dog!

 When you are forcing yourself on a particular path, struggling to repeat exams, trying to fit in and basically saying yes to things when you really want to say no; you’re not happy. There’s a general unhappiness, tense and anxious state that after a while becomes even normal. Bottom line, you’re under stress but you’ve probably been under it so long you don’t even realise it. When you are suffering with stress, your immune system is affected and its functionality decreases leaving you open to all sorts of illnesses. People with an over developed social self who keep putting other things and other people ahead of the needs of their authentic self can be under immense stress for years without realising it. They never consciously and deliberately recognise what’s going on- they may not even get to the point where they can say that they they’re unhappy in their career or with something else in their life but the authentic self is very aware and the effect on the immune system is disastrous. The result is what clients describe as overwhelmed and burn out.

 2. Vibrancy Vampire

 This is a really interesting one and something I know you have experienced! It’s 3pm and you’re sitting at your desk wishing that you were back in school in the baby class when your teacher would say ‘Put your head on your desk and go to sleep’- How I wished for those moments when I was working in my last job. I would be staring at the screen like a zombie, zero energy, trying to shake myself every time I noticed I was nodding off and terrified that I would be caught! So, I’d reach for the coffee and biscuits to give me a pick-me- up but even being stuffed with caffeine and sugar it didn’t help.I’d put on two stone in my last job as well  ( I kept snacking because I was so bored and or unhappy!)

 I had dragged myself out of bed that morning, dragged myself through most of the day and as soon as 5.30pm came- I would be heading straight home and crashing on the couch forever if not longer (possibly getting a take away because I had no energy to cook). This is what I call the vibrancy vampire- when we are way off course it’s like there’s a vampire that sucks out all of our vibrancy and passion for life. This is really one of the best tell tale messages that your authentic self can give you! As yourself ‘when do I feel drained and when do I feel vibrant and alive?’

 3. Feeding the ‘Nothing’

 I don’t mean for this to be as scary as it sounds but when your authentic and social selves nothingare disconnected, you will feel a void. Everyone describes the feeling slightly different as everyone experiences it in their own unique way. Physically, I felt it in my chest and it was like an anxious clawing feeling. Some describe feeling it in the pit of their stomach and others describe it differently again! For me, it reminded me of the film The Never Ending Story and how their world was being threatened by the ‘Nothing’– that’s how it felt- like nothing. There was nothing really wrong but nothing really felt good either- everything was just bleh, -grey, dull and boring. The feeling of nothing or void or emptiness was always there and I tried so hard to feed it, fill it, and do anything to make it go away. When it was really intense, a cigarette helped for about 30 seconds! Some people, they’ll go out and have a few drinks to try and numb it, others will exercise excessively, others will sleep around, some will eat excessively, some will shop, and some will hide from the world.

 Everything that we do, we do because we’re trying to change how we feel and feed this nothing! If we did manage to find something that dulled the feeling, it easily became a habit and something we would do on a regular basis- we all know that some habits are good but others can actually ruin your life. For me, it was cigarettes amongst many other self destructive habits- I believed that they took the edge off the nothing or anxious feeling.They made me feel better but only temporarily, pretty soon afterwards I’d be feeling pretty lousy about myself again! The reason I behaved that way was to try and change the way I felt, and the reason why I wanted to change the way I felt was because I was so miserable and the reason I was so miserable was because I had gagged my authentic self! I wasn’t allowing myself to listen to what I truly wanted, I wasn’t trusting myself and I wasn’t being kind to myself.

 Over the years, I have learnt that it’s quite difficult to break free from bad habits and addictions until you start acting more loving towards yourself, until you feel that you are worthy and good enough. I could only do that once I aligned my two selves and came back to the path of my deepest sense of purpose.

 I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear your feedback so get in touch!

 Until next time, notice when no means no!

 P x

 To read more on this topic, check out

http://myquarterlifecoach.com/feeling-a-bit-disconnected/

Making some space…..

About 3 years ago, my sis, Lyn and I had to sell our family home- very quickly! I think it was about 4 months from being told it had to be sold to walking out the door for the last time. Needless to say, it was very stressful, especially for Lyn who was 6 months pregnant at the time! We moved in with my Dad for a while until we got ourselves together, refocused and were able to figure out the next step. Life goes on and the past is the past but last week, we were brought back there!

We had left boxes of our ‘stuff’ in my Dad’s house for the past 3 years. He had been very patient with us, but there were two whole rooms in his home taken up with boxes and he had started to remind us every time he saw either one of us! Anyway, we agreed and we set a date- we would tackle our stuff and get it sorted!

As I tore the brown tape off box after box, there were loads of ‘ooohhhhs and aaahhhhhs’ but mostly I was wondering why I still had all this stuff! I had boxes of notes from college courses I had done almost 10 years ago, I had clothes that I hadn’t worn in about ten years (it was a bit depressing to see how tiny the tops were and perhaps a bit embarrassing as well!). Basically, I had piles of crap and so did Lyn.

It was a great lesson for me in how much I have changed in the past few years. When we had to sell the house 3 years ago, we had been so reluctant to let anything go and we had packed up box after box, clinging to our ‘precious’ stuff. Scratched cd’s, old clothes, old cosmetics, broken ornaments & videos! Now, I will admit that I am sentimental and that I do have old shoe boxes with pictures, cards and keepsakes that mean something to me but what we found in those boxes was really pure shit!

But this day was to be a major overhaul and de-cluttering initiative. There would be no mercy and we had three options: Bin, Charity Shop or Keep.

It really got me thinking that when we embark on a major de-clutter, what we are actually engaging declutter_life_2in is a complete re-evaluation of our lives.  We’re letting go, paring down, purging, prioritising, re-evaluating, discovering, risk-taking by letting things go and even developing a new level of trust in ourselves. So this de-cluttering day actually became an extensive tour of our entire lives — past, present and future. 

Our mam died ten years ago and we had a lot of her clothes packed away. Clothes that we would never wear but 3 years ago, we had thought that if we threw it away or gave it to a charity shop, it would be like snipping the umbilical cord and letting her go, shoving her off into the cosmos saying ‘Thanks a mill, see ya around! Bye!’ There was so much guilt at the idea of getting rid of ‘stuff’- especially stuff that we feel connected to in some way.

But what we realised during that day was that we had fused together our mam and the jumper that she used to wear.  Putting her jumper into a bag for charity doesn’t mean we love her any less.  The emotional connection and sense of closeness we have is to our mam — not her old jumper with the holes in it! And of course, we have so many other keepsakes which we enjoy so much more than a bag of clothes gathering dust in the attic. We were ready to let a lot go and as I said, it was a great lesson for both of us in how much we had changed in the past few years. After the realisation I had with being able to let go of a lot my mams’ ‘stuff’, I was easily able to let go of my own stuff aka crap!

And on the other side of the clutter purge was…a wonderful sense of freedom.  I really think that the more we let go, the more space we open up for new stuff to grow in our lives.  At the end of the day, we only have so much emotional, psychological and physical space.  But clutter and holding onto ‘stuff’ represents so much more than just that — it’s symbolic and energetic too.  The ‘letting go’ forces us to trust that the unknown or the future will be ok.  We can’t let go of boxes of old college notes unless we trust in our own decision that we aren’t going to pursue that particular path. For example, last week I sent very expensive law books to a charity shop and recycled a huge box of notes. I had been holding onto them just in case I lost my mind and went back to law but this time, I was ready to acknowledge that there was no going back for me! Onwards and upwards! Consequently, each box I packed for charity was an exercise in deepening my confidence in myself and in my future.

Each time we choose to get rid of a possession, we are taking a symbolic pair of scissors and cutting the energetic connection we have with the item.  To do that, we have to make some choices in our life and examine who we were and what we were about in the past, who we are and what we’re about today and about who we want to be and what we want to be about in the future. The more we trim down all our stuff, the closer we get to living in the present moment and being comfortable in the current reality.  You see, the more we purge, the less we attach to the past and the less we attach to the future.  We’re making the decision to live in the present moment.  The past is over and can’t be changed, the future is ours to make of it what we will…and we trust ourselves to blossom without a backup supply of jeans that no longer fit you, broken suitcases, videos, scratched cds and 12 half used bottles of perfume!

We felt so energetic and lighter at the end of our de-cluttering day.  We really hadn’t realised how much we had changed in the past few years, but we were able to acknowledge it that evening over a bottle of wine! Now, we’re living more in the moment! We were able to let go of a bunch of stuff that represented old dreams, unfinished projects as well as stuff that caused guilty twinges from an impulse buyer’s heart! I actually felt much calmer and freer from clearing all that space in my Dad’s house that I’m already pondering tackling the junk room in my own place next week!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear your feedback so get in touch!

Until next time,

Make some space!

P x