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The Percentage of Your Wellness = The Percentage of Your Success

The % of your Wellness = the % of Your Success

That statement hit me right in the stomach.

I was at a group coaching session with a coach I deeply admire and we had been working on goals. She was asking how committed we were to achieving them, the rest of the group were really enthusiastic shouting out ‘Hell yeah, 100%!’ ‘ I’m 120%, it’s gonna happen, I can’t wait to get started!’

Then it was my turn, ‘Eh, honestly, about 50%, no really actually about 40%’.

I so desperately wanted what I wanted but I just didn’t have the drive I needed to get really excited or passionate about putting in the work. It seemed like so much effort and it made me tired and overwhelmed even thinking about starting! (For a second, I thought I was going to be politely asked to leave!)

Then my coach said the magic sentence. She said ‘The percentage of your Wellness equals the percentage of your Success’ and then it clicked! She had me sussed! No wonder I was only about 40ish% committed to achieving what I wanted to do! I was exhausted, I was stressed, my sleeping pattern was all over the place and my recycling bin was brimming with takeaway Chinese and pizza boxes!

I realised that I had to change my goals drastically! I had wanted to grow my business, take on more clients, get more speaking gigs, create new programmes and make a bigger impact but when it dawned on me that I knew that there was no way that I could achieve these things. I had to slow it down and instead of focusing on the external things I wanted to do and achieve, I had to focus on me and my own wellness. The percentage of my wellness equaled the percentage of my success.

To me, wellness means:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Having fun and relaxing
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Daily gratitude practice
  • Spending quality time with the people I care about

At the time, sleep-wise I was probably averaging about 7 hours per night but I was going to bed at 3-4am. Sometimes I got 3 hours sleep, sometimes I crashed for 12 hours. I felt like I didn’t deserve to have fun or relax because there was so much to do and I hadn’t earned the right for time out. I was eating crap, getting no exercise, going to bed stressed and annoyed with myself and feeling guilty when I was with my family and friends because I wasn’t really present with them, my mind was distracted and on over-drive! I was almost always feeling ashamed of myself. I hadn’t even contemplated changing my lifestyle!

There’s a brilliant researcher and author called Brene Brown and in one of her books she described a conversation she had with her therapist, she said

‘I feel like a turtle without a shell in a briar patch. I need a shell, what can you give me? What do you suggest?‘ The therapist replied saying ‘I have an idea. Why don’t you get out of the briar patch? You’re getting poked and prodded and hurt, not because you don’t have a shell but because you’re living in a briar patch’.

That resonated with me so much! I wanted a shell. Something that I could just put on and get going, to keep on keeping on! But (reluctantly) I realised that I had to get out of the briar patch and change my lifestyle.

I’ve made a lot of changes and I still have a lot of changes to make but I’m definitely making progress! My goals are balanced now to ensure that self-care is as important, if not more important than external achievement and the difference that has made to my life is incredible! I may not be at 100% yet but I’m a hell of lot better than 40ish%

How about you? Are you trying to push yourself to do more, be more and achieve more when you’re operating at reduced wellness? Where are you at now? What is your wellness percentage? Have you ever thought about this concept before and does it resonate with you? I’d love to hear your feedback and get a discussion going so pop over the facebook page and drop me a line!

Also, check out my fab programme ‘30 days to be your own Fairy Godmother‘ starting on the 15th June!

Until next week, be well!

Paula 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

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

 

 

 

 

Do you tend to spiral?

It happens all the time, we’re floating around on a cloud of contentment, having a lovely day and suddenly, we’ve got worked up over something and we’re in a mess. Your mind begins to spiral bad-mooddownwards rapidly and you know that tears (or hulking out!) isn’t too far away! It could be anything- you can’t find your shoes or even worse – shoe, the bus never arrives, you forgot to turn the water on, the car won’t start, the milk is sour, someone didn’t thank you when you let them into your lane, plans are changed last minute- whatever!

I’m a spiraller (not sure if that’s a real word!) Actually, I used to live at the bottom of the spiral so I’m quite familiar with the scenery there! I’m sure you know that it’s not the happiest place to live so I worked really hard to get myself into a new, happier state of mind. I’ve visited the bottom of the spiral a few times but happily, it’s not my permanent place of residence anymore. But the past few weeks have brought me there a few times more often that I like to admit yet here I am admitting it! It’s a good reminder that the pattern of behaviour is still there. I’m conscious of it now so it’s a reminder that I still have a long way to go with myself! I know myself well enough at this stage to know exactly what I need to do to stop spiralling – so I need to detach just long enough to decide to stop it!

I was so relieved to hear one of my mentors, who I would consider to be so calm and centered, describe how she had totally lost it last week. Her laptop broke and she was on the phone, back and forth between the manufacturer and the supplier, both trying to pass it off to the other. She laughed describing how she was almost wailing down the phone, pleading for someone to just accept responsibility but to no avail. With tears streaming down her face, she grabbed the dog and headed out for a walk. (She lives in the countryside so no one would see her!) She walked to the top of the hill and then screamed, scaring the dog and a few sheep in the process! Unsurprisingly, she felt much better after! She had a hot shower, headed to PC world and was grateful that she could afford to treat herself to a brand new shiny laptop!

It happens all the time, doesn’t it? When it feels that you’re just going to burst if you don’t release the frustration or anger you are experiencing. Ideally, you want to catch yourself before you enter into the downward spiral but this is easier said than done. It takes a lot of practice but I guarantee you that if you get the hang of it, your life will flow a lot smoother.  I definitely need to get the hang of this again but I know that it works and it will just take some practice to regain control! Don’t sweat the small stuff as they say!

So this week, I want to share with you 3 tips that I have found useful in times of impending spiralling!

 1.      Take a deep breath and count to ten

Despite the age and simplicity of this advice, it does work! As soon as you feel yourself starting to spiral– take a deep breath and count to ten. Not only do these few seconds allow your stress to decrease, but it gives you an opportunity to think before you react. In addition, deep breathing stimulates oxygen circulation, which can increase energy and reduce anxiety.  If you can go outdoors and do this, even better!

2.      Get moving!

Listening to music is a great way to change your mood. What’s your favourite song? Play it loud and sing along. You’ll be surprised how good it makes you feel. Also, start dancing. Good music has a magical quality that makes us live in the moment. When we are feeling stressed and tense, we hold our bodies in a stiff, constricted way which adds to the tension. When we shake it off and move our bodies, we can change our emotional states. It works, I promise! (I was doing it earlier today!)

 3.      Acknowledge the emotion

Our emotions are amazing gifts because they convey messages to us about what’s going on in our world. But if you ignore the message, it can magnify and become overwhelming.

If you find yourself feeling frustrated with a project you’re working on- you have two choices. You can either acknowledge the frustration (message) and recognise that you’re feeling it because your brain knows you can do better- which is a positive thing OR  you can try to ignore it, spiral downwards and tell yourself things like ‘I can’t’, ‘I’m not able’, ‘I’m not good enough’ etc etc

There are so many strategies that you can use and you’ll find something that works for you! Remember that it takes practice to regain control and catch yourself before things go pear-shaped so persevere – it’s worth it.  (That’s what I keep telling myself anyway!)

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you have any strategies for keeping cool, calm and collected, then please share it on the facebook page! Hopefully we can get a collection going!

Until Next Time,

Take a deep breath!

P x