Categories
Chaos / Upheaval Fresh Start

5 Questions To Determine If A Change Is A Good Idea

Change is synonymous with living. It may come into your life out of the blue and take you by surprise. Other times you know it’s coming and you have time to prepare.

Yet even though change may be your choice, it still may feel scary and overwhelming. You may find yourself wondering: should I make the change or not?

To help you out, we put together a list of five questions to determine if a situation is something you can change. These questions are designed to make you feel more in control of your life. They can help you decide which situations you should change, and which aren’t worth your time or effort.

Let’s get started.

Will it Make Me Happy?

The first question you have to ask yourself before committing to any type of change is: will this change give my life meaning? Will it make me feel happy?

To answer that question, you have to know what it is you want from life. One way to do that is to create a vision board for your life.

You can include your beliefs and your core values. Don’t forget to add those dreams you had for your life when you were younger but forgot about when you got older.

Even if some seem too outlandish, at least you have a reminder of all the things that bring joy into your life. Plus, seeing your dreams in living color will help you focus your energy on what matters.

Can it Help Me Reach My Goals?

Now that you know what makes you happy, it’s time to take a look at your life goals. Start by making a list of all the realistic goals you want to achieve in life. Then, divide them into three categories: short-term, medium, and long-term goals.

The final step is to take action. This may force you to step out of your comfort zone, but if that’s what it takes to make a change for the better, why not? All it takes is a positive attitude, a bit of patience, and a whole lot of self-love.

Also, remember that your goals themselves may change. So, it’s important to stay flexible, especially when you’re setting new goals.

Is This Something I Want?

We’re programmed to try and always please as many people as we can. It can be exhausting. Plus, it takes up a large portion of your day wondering if this person likes what you’re doing or that person is satisfied with your work.

If you’re going to change any aspect of your life, make sure it’s for you and not to please other people. After all, it’s your life. No one can live your life for you.

Another thing you should remember is that the only person you should compare yourself to is you. There’ll always be someone who’s better than you or is more successful than you.

The best thing to do is to focus on your progress. Be proud of how much you’ve achieved and concentrate your energy on where you’re going next.

Will It Improve My Life?

Maybe you’re thinking of moving to a smaller house or changing your job. Change can also come on a smaller scale. You could be thinking of upgrading your security system, planting a garden, or buying new linens.

Whatever it is, think about all the ways it can improve the quality of your life. Any type of change you pursue must make your life easier, less stressful, and a whole more fun.

Am I Letting Fear Hold Me Back?

Being afraid is natural, but letting fear control you isn’t. We’re all afraid of failing, of uncertainty, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Yet, there’s one thing that successful people; they don’t let their fears take over their lives. They learn how to face whatever it is that’s giving those butterflies in their stomachs. Then, they take a deep breath and jump in.

Whether it’s fear of public speaking or fear of heights, you have to muster some courage and go through with it, no matter what the outcome is. Once you’re done, you’ll come out the other side a stronger, more experienced individual.

Conclusion

Everyone goes through a wide array of changes in their lifetime. You can either join in and embrace all the good that change has to offer, or you can stay behind.

If you choose the latter, you’ll always be standing on the sidelines of life, always discontent, never fulfilled. It was Gail Sheehy who said it best, “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

So, go on, in the words of Susan Jeffers “feel the fear and do it anyway”Take a big deep breath and jump right in! Who knows? You might even come to enjoy the ride!

Categories
Anxiety/Stress Chaos / Upheaval Mindset/Strenghts

A Beginner’s Guide to Inner Peace: Morning and Evening Habits that will Transform Your Life

Let’s talk about inner peace. How do you find it and what does it really mean?

Inner peace is a state of happiness, inner strength and confidence, along with emotional and mental poise. It eliminates fears, worries and anxieties. A state of inner peace also removes that feeling of lack of satisfaction with life and the negative thoughts that accompany dissatisfaction.

True inner peace is the ability to remain calm and in control of yourself, regardless of external conditions and circumstances. It means a peaceful mind that is able to stay calm in every situation, and it can be attained by ordinary people living an ordinary life. It is not reserved only for monks, yogis or hermits who spend all day praying or meditating.

However there are several misconceptions behind the idea of a tranquil and calm lifestyle, including that you have to endure lengthy, gruelling meditations every single day. Although I’m sure there are some people that choose to do this, it’s definitely not the majority. Although a Zen type lifestyle can mean many things, the basic idea behind it is to turn your attention inward and truly reflect on your life, your thoughts and your emotions.

It means slowing down and being mindful of the things you do. It means being at peace with your thoughts and your place within the universe. All of these things are fully obtainable for anyone, no matter how much of a newbie you are to the Zen lifestyle. To help guide you on your way, here are 5 morning and 5 evening habits that will help to transform your life and have you living a more peaceful and calm lifestyle in no time. Let’s dig in!

 

  1. Journaling Your Thoughts: A great way to kick off the first hour of the day is to journal your thoughts and reflect on the blessings in your life. It’s a wonderful way to clear your head and start your day on a positive note. It also helps to train your mind to actively seek out those moments, feelings, people or experiences that you’re grateful for. This will also help you gain more clarity on your goals and your intentions for the day. It not only puts your goals out there front and center, but keeps you motivated and focused on the direction you’re heading. It’s also a great way for you to look back and review those goals on a daily basis. It’s been said that writing down your goals will increase your chances of success by a huge percentage. It’s well worth a shot don’t you think? Make every effort to do this first thing in the morning and you’ll surprised at how much more productive and less chaotic your days start to become.
  1. Exercise: This is one of those habits that you might groan at, at first but it’s such an important one. Starting each day with a morning workout will help set your day up for success. Not only will you have more energy and mental clarity, but it also helps boost your productivity throughout your day. Exercise also lifts your mood and helps you kick off the day with optimism and a smile. Don’t think too much into it – you don’t have to run a marathon each morning or do a grueling, hour long workout. Simply get your body moving and your blood pumping. If you’re new to exercise, start by take a morning walk or try some yoga (this is also great for clearing your head). Look up a 20-minute workout video on YouTube or download a fitness app to help get you started like C25K, FitBod or Nike Training Club. Some are free and some are paid so be sure to check into that before you get going. Start slow and just be consistent. You’ll find that being active first thing in the morning also helps you make healthier food choices throughout the day and sleep better at night. That’s a win-win.
  1. Sit in Silence: Before you begin your day, take time to simply sit in silence for a short while. Before your phone starts beeping and horns start blaring, give yourself a moment to take in the quiet of the world. How often do you actually allow yourself to do this? If you’re like the majority of people, it’s probably not very often. It’s so easy to get preoccupied with the craziness of life and forget to stop and smell the roses. Make an effort to really notice the beauty around you – the clouds in the sky, the breeze blowing, and the birds chirping. Take note of your breathing. This can be a form of meditation within itself just focusing solely on taking one breath in, letting one breath out. Waking up before the world can be one of the best parts of your day because you can clear your head and simple just be. This also gives you an opportunity to take in a beautiful sunrise while the darkness of the night fades away into a brand new day.
  1. Visualize Your Future: When you start each day by visualizing what you want your future to look like, you automatically raise your frequency and set yourself up for success. Take 5-10 minutes each morning to picture something that you’re working towards. This can be a new job, a brand new jeep, a house on the beach or that trip to Hawaii you’ve always wanted to take. Pick one thing and envision yourself living that moment. Tap into your creativity. How do you feel making this dream a reality? What emotions are you going through? What are you wearing? Where do you live at the time? What does your life look like in that exact moment? Imagine yourself there and give visibility to your dreams through this process. A quick tip: Let go of the cursed “hows.” During your visualization, you don’t need to know how your dream is going to happen, simply that it does. This is a fun way to get to know yourself better. Plus, it gets you pumped and ready for the day ahead.
  1. Water Yourself: This may be one of the most obvious suggestions but it’s also one that many people don’t follow. One of the first things you want to do when you wake up is drink some water to rehydrate your body. Not only does this jump start your metabolism but it also assists in weight loss and increases your overall alertness during the day. Water helps to rid your body of toxins and can even give your skin a radiant glow. Need I say more? Those reasons alone make it so much more beneficial than reaching for a cup of coffee in the Starbucks drive thru or grabbing a can of soda at work. Plus, limiting all that caffeine and sugar will do wonders for your overall health. Make it your best effort to grab a glass of water each morning to give your mind and body the kickstart they need for a successful day.
  1. Read a book: After a long day, one of the best things you can do is curl up with a good book before bed. This not only relaxes your mind, but reading has also been known to reduce stress and anxiety levels and combat insomnia as well. It helps distract your mind from the daily chaos of life and redirects your focus to what is written on the page of the book. In other words, reading creates a brief escape from the world around us and there’s no better time than right before you drift off to dream. Reading is also a great way to broaden your perspective and open your mind to new possibilities – this is why it’s no surprise that it can give your creativity a boost. Adding this habit to your nightly ritual can make a huge impact on how you sleep as well as how you feel the next day.
  1. Self-Care: We often push self-care routines to the side because we don’t have time, life is too crazy, it doesn’t work anyway – the excuses go on and on.  However, developing a nighttime self-care routine is so important. You need to take time out for yourself, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes at a time. Try a nice, relaxing bubble bath on those nights when you have a little extra time – this is a great way to unwind after a long day and let the noise of the world fade away. Give yourself the spa treatment and try a facemask or a mani/pedi to pretty up those nails. Buy yourself some fresh flowers, go for a hike or watch funny videos on YouTube that make you laugh. Do something simply because you enjoy it. A nighttime self-care ritual is a great way to put you in a relaxed state and prep you for a good night’s sleep.
  1. Morning Prep: One way to makes sure the next morning isn’t super chaotic is to prep for it the night before. Depending on what your mornings usually look like, your night prep might be something as simple as getting your clothing laid out for work or deciding on 3 tasks you want to focus on for the next day. Think about what will help your mornings run more smoothly and do that. If you are constantly running late because you have to make the kids lunches, start making them up the night before to give you a head start to the day. Developing a routine each evening where you feel prepped and ready for the next day will not only reduce stress but keep life from becoming too crazy the minute you wake up.
  1. Limit Electronics Usage: Despite how wonderful technology can be, it can also greatly affect our ability to get a restful night’s sleep – or even fall asleep for that matter. From your smartphone to your TV to video gaming devices, you want to make every effort to reduce how much you use these electronics as the sun goes down. Instead of watching that last episode on Netflix or scrolling mindlessly through Facebook 30 minutes before bed, try journaling or find a good book to help you unwind (see number 6). It’s especially important to keep your bedroom free from digital distractions. Set boundaries where you recognize that your bedroom is a place of relaxation, not an in-home movie theatre or social media station. By establishing this nighttime ritual, it’s much more likely that a long, peaceful sleep is in your future.
  1. Guided Meditation: Right before bed is a great time to try your hand at meditation so you can calm your mind and prepare for a good night’s sleep. If you’re new to meditation or have trouble shutting off your thoughts at night, it might be overwhelming to even know where to start. This is where guided meditation comes in. This type of meditation can help you focus and get out of your own head while keeping those distracting thoughts at bay. There are several apps to help you get started including Insight Timer and Headspace. You don’t have to commit to an hour long meditation – who has time for that anyway? There are a ton of short and quick meditations to start with so just pick one and roll with it. Meditation takes practice (even the guided kind) so don’t give up if your mind should start to wander the first 12 times you try it. Be consistent and in just 5-10 minutes a day you can start to transform your life with little to no effort.

Daily life can be full of stress, craziness and a never-ending list of to-dos. For this reason, it’s super important that you commit to morning and evening rituals that allow you to find your Zen – a little calm inside all the chaos. Who doesn’t need that, right?  If you find yourself constantly on edge, overwhelmed by life and unable to sleep at night, that’s a good sign that your life could use this Zenlike transformation. You don’t have to commit a ton of time and effort. Simply be consistent and make these rituals a part of your everyday life. Start small and try one or two at a time just to ease yourself into the process. Don’t beat yourself up if your mind wanders during meditation or you don’t drink as much water as you should. It’s all part of the journey and you’re going to slip up a time or two. Give yourself patience and grace and keep at it. Finding your inner peace and Zen doesn’t happen overnight but with a few of these ideas you will be well on your way to a lifechanging transformation.

 

Categories
Chaos / Upheaval Fresh Start Mindset/Strenghts

What Can We Learn From Chaos and Crisis?

I still marvel at the incredible opportunities that are hiding inside chaos and crisis, although I was unable to see that at the incredibly emotionally painful time of my separation and divorce.

The most positive things I learned was to view a crisis as an opportunity, where lessons can be learned. It is an opening for change and improvement, and to view a situation through different eyes. 

As I began to pick up the pieces of my life and place them one by one into a new normal,  I increasingly sensed a strong desire to use the lessons I had learned to try and help others experiencing challenges and heartache. 
This led me down a completely new career path, from teaching – to gaining qualifications as a coach and counsellor. I will never forget one of my counselling clients – a special young woman I will call Amanda for privacy reasons. 

Amanda taught me about resilience, pain and purpose. Let me tell you about the incredible struggles she overcame…

Amanda was referred to me by her doctor as she was struggling with depression, bulimia, suicidal thoughts and addiction. We would meet each week, and for the first couple of months, Amanda would sit cross legged on the floor in my office, cuddling one of my teddy bears, sobbing her heart out as she talked about her life. 

close-up photography of brown teddy bear

My heart ached for her – her life had not been easy, she saw no reason to go on and her lifestyle was threatening her mental and physical health. 

But….. Amanda still had the tiniest flicker of fight left in her, so we developed strategies together to fuel the tiny flame inside of her. Each week I would be overjoyed to see the triumphant small positive changes Amanda was making.

After one year, Amanda had reinvented herself! After three years, she contacted me to invite me to her graduation…. and to meet the handsome man beside her who was now her fiance. 

This courageous young woman taught me about courage, and that there is always an opportunity in adversity, there is always a way through the storms in life and that we are stronger than we think. Sometimes we just need the support of others to get us through the storms. 

That is why my passion is walking alongside you to empower you on your journey and find the calm in the storms of life. 

What is a “storm” in life that you have overcome? What did it teach you about yourself?   I’d love to hear from you- please share below. 

I would love to help you if you are experiencing a ” storm in your life” or if you have weathered the storm but now needing some help to find the “real you” who may have got lost in the storm. I would love to chat, why not book a free clarity call with me now:)