Moving forward into a clear vision for 2020

This is the time of year many people look back and review the year and/or decade and also look ahead to a clearer vision for 2020. Have you created space for yourself to reflect on 2019 and the last few years? Have you scheduled some time to look ahead, by yourself, with your family and for your business?

Looking back and learning

It’s great to reflect on the past. We can learn lots of lessons from our own experiences, as well as those from history.give yourself a gift create vision 2020 It’s very easy to think “that didn’t work”, and ditch the learning as to WHY it didn’t work. In fact, some of my biggest lessons have been from the things which didn’t work. You’ll find that repeated in the life stories of many successful business owner, sportsmen and women and celebrities.

It can also be freeing to look back knowing that the past is past. At one time I was stuck in a loop of my past failures. It was like I was stuck in the same spot not able to move forward and it felt like I was being tormented by decisions I’d made, or situations which had affected my life. The record in my head was stuck on the same words, going round and round. I couldn’t break free. It took a lot of tears, heartache and it felt like hard work to realise that I had a choice to move forward and away from the sticky mud which was holding me back.

Looking back doesn’t have to be a long process. It may feel scary, but you may have missed some great lessons that could be useful as you move into the new year and new decade.

Being scared v being scary

My 11 year old niece was diagnosed with, had removed, and needs no further treatment for a brain tumour in the space of three weeks this month. Yes, it was a scary time. It’s always the not knowing what’s going on that feels scary. Yet, I wasn’t scared. And for most of the time, she wasn’t either. She was incredibly calm and continued to be her bubbly self, entertaining others, talking to others and spreading joy in the children’s ward to children more poorly than her. My niece chose to accept this “thing in my brain that shouldn’t be there”, and carried on being herself. It was scary but she wasn’t scared.

I truly believe that her attitude of allowing things to be what they are and focus on staying positive and listening to her body has helped her recover well ahead of the average time for a situation like this. I’ve learnt lots from this experience. Different members of the family responded differently. There was nothing we as individuals could do apart from love and support my niece, and each other, and support the doctors and nurses who had the expertise to remove the tumour and help her back on her feet.

Looking back, I’m sure we’ll all see more things we can learn from this experience. I only hope that my niece and all the family remember that it’s OK to go through scary things in life. We have a choice whether to be scared by them, or put our trust in our own body and those experts who are supporting us.

Clear vision 2020 workshop series

None of us can know what lies ahead. But we can take control of our lives and put plans in place to make our dreams come true. Are you clear what your dreams are? What if all your dreams did come true? How would you feel?

“Peace of mind”, “Empowered to succeed”, “Experiencing love and connection”, “Feeling joy”, “Smashing my targets”, “I can see things clearly”, “Connected to my family again”, “Money flowing in like never before” are all words clients have used this year as we’ve worked together on one aspect of their life or business growth.

To help you learn from past experiences and move forwards into the new decade I’m working with Deborah Marie Isis, who I’ve known for about 4 years now. Deborah is a highly skilled coach. We’ve helped each other to grow ourselves and businesses, and suddenly had a light bulb moment a couple of months ago – why not work together to help others?

We’re putting our joint experience and expertise together to help you to do business differently as you move forward to create more personal and business success.

You can use the workshop series to either focus on your personal vision, or your vision for your business. Choose one for now. You can then use the replay to re-do the session for any other aspects of your life where you need a clear vision for success. Simply sign up for the fr£e workshops and get support through our online group. It’s truly amazing when you spend time looking at things differently – you see different things! 😉

As we all move into 2020, maybe with joy, often with trepidation about what lies ahead, I encourage you to spend time reflecting on what you’ve learnt this year. Take time out of the busy-ness to do things you love doing. For me, that’s reading and walking which isn’t easy when others around me just want to sit or there’s food preparation to do. Deborah and I are looking forward to help you reflect more deeply, and look forward with love to your future. I hope you can use our expertise to help you move from any stuckness you feel.

I wish you and your family health and happiness this festive season and a wealth of joy for the year ahead.

Have you created a clear vision 202o? Care to share how you’ve done this?

5 tips for being consistent to create success

being consistent is key to successConsistency is key to success.

Jack Hughes, age 15.

That’s what my son told me on the way home from run training on Thursday. He’d been discussing it with his running mates, and they agreed that when they were consistent they improved more. They could feel the difference in their performance. He told me it wasn’t about being quick or slow, or even completing the session that was set. It was about doing something every day.

He’s noticed that consistency in his school work helps too. He’s learnt that to do some French word revision every day helps him retain and grow in understanding the language.

Isn’t it fascinating that we can learn lessons from all parts of life and apply them to others?

What does your week look like when you’re consistent? What does it feel like?

And what does it look and feel like when you’re inconsistent?

Quite different I imagine! It is in my life!

Some people talk about “being in the flow” and feeling that nothing can go wrong when they’re in this state. I find that this state comes when I’m focused and am being consistent in my approach and work over the past few days.

5 tips for being consistent

That’s the big question isn’t it? HOW to do it. You know that it reaps results, but how do you get there?

  1. Know the result you’re aiming for.

For my son, he’s got a goal of being in his county team for national cross country championships, and doing well (he hasn’t defined that any further, but he will closer to the event). And he’s working towards some grade goals for his GCSEs next summer which he’s set himself. He’s clear what his goals are.

Every time he does a piece of work, some revision tests or reading, or goes for a run or does his pilates session, he knows why he’s doing it. Some days he doesn’t feel like doing it, so may not work at 100% effort. But that’s OK. Each step is a step however big or small it is, and he can see that each step is worth it towards his goals.


Do you know why you’re working towards something?

I often have clients say, “I have to create content on social media”. “Why?” Is my response. What purpose does sharing a post on social media have for you? How is it helping towards your long term goal?

If you’re clear about why you’re doing something, it makes it much easier to take small steps and do little things which help you achieve your goal. For example, if you’re trying to grow your online presence to share your expertise with a wider audience, then sharing social media posts consistently helps you be visible to your potential audience. If your audience doesn’t use social media channels, then it’s probably not the best thing you can do with your time to be continually posting online.

  1. Know what time you’ve got available to work towards your goal.

Life is busy, and we all have many responsibilities and interests which take our time. There may be fixed things you have to do, (sleep is one of them!) that you have to do every day. You may have some weekly activities you’re involved with. Put these in your diary or schedule first.

Once you’ve got your regular activities and commitments in your schedule you can see more easily what time you’ve got available for your work towards your goals. It may be that this month you’ve only got an hour a week. That’s fine. Use the time effectively and you’ll still be making progress. Remember, consistency is key.

  1. Work out what’s the most important next step

There’s lots of different ways to get to the top of the mountain. Once you know what you’re wanting to achieve, and you’ve identified the time you’ve got to work towards it, you need to know what your next step is.

There may be some things which have to happen first. For example, if you’re making a cake, you need to buy ingredients before you can weigh them out. You have to do some things in a certain order.

So what’s the most important thing for you right now?

  • Make connections?
  • Set up a structure or system?
  • Create some product?
  • Make some more space in your week to work on your ideas?

Whatever it is, think about the order you need to do things in.

  • Do you need to create a piece of art before you go to the gallery to ask for exhibition space?
  • Do you need to know how much your item will cost to produce before you set your pricing structure?
  • Do you need to have some product to sell before you meet an interested group of customers?
  • Do you need more training to grow in confidence about your service?
  1. Write your tasks in your schedule

My son has a revision timetable. He has scheduled time in his week to revise, and he’s set himself small tasks to do in those available times.

If you’ve got a list of things you want to do, and time available to do them, sometimes it’s matching the time to the task. Some tasks take longer than others, so you need to assign that time accordingly. Other tasks you may be able to fit in to smaller slots of time. Checking emails for example can be done in smaller chunks of time than creating a piece of artwork!

In our house we have a rule, “if it’s not in the diary it’s not happening”. In theory whatever goes in the diary first is what we commit to. The boys know that if they put things in the diary we’ll help them to do it, and they take this into their weekly planning now too.

  1. Take action

It’s all well and good having all these great plans, but if you don’t do anything nothing will happen. So follow your schedule, do the tasks and keep being consistent. If it’s one hour a week, or five hours a day, you’re making progress towards your goal.

Some days will be harder than others to do everything you’ve scheduled. Life happens. Phone calls interrupt you. New opportunities you didn’t expect show up. But what you’ll find is that if you stick as closely as you can to your scheduled tasks is that by being consistent you’ll see growth.

Growth could be personal growth. Learning how to do things better. Understanding what’s best for you and trying out new ways of doing things.

Business growth can also be seen well through being consistent. A client told me that when she posted daily on one of her social media accounts when she physically met people they’d talk to her about her posts. They weren’t necessarily turning into sales each day she posted, but by opening up the conversation just by being consistent in one area of her marketing it allowed her potential customers to know what she did and how she could help them. It made her more accessible to those people who were happy to talk about her posts, which led on to talking about her services.

Being consistent is about working towards your long term goals. Each step or task helps you move a little bit closer. Even if you find you need a slightly different path, you wouldn’t have discovered that without being consistent in your approach.

How will you find out how being consistent can help you?

You are most likely part way there, and feel like you’re falling off the wagon when your schedule gets disrupted. At least you’re on the wagon most of the time! It can feel frustrating when you have good weeks and bad weeks, high days and low days.

I’ve often found it helps if I have someone I’m accountable to apart from myself and my diary. When I work with my coaches I always set tasks and then write them in my diary. I check back in with them to update them on my progress. It helps to keep me focused.

The Action Learning Sets (or mastermind groups if you prefer that name) I’ve created also help you stay focused, and support you each step of the way. I currently have some spaces in the Lancashire meet up, 2nd Tuesday every month and the online group, 3rd Wednesday every month. If you’d like to learn more, book an explore call.

Do you have any tips for being consistent in your life? Please leave a comment below.

Listening, being creative and writing for your business

Thoughts from my week – I hope they inspire you to be creative, listen to yourself, and write. We all have talents and skills hidden away. I believe today is the day to start finding them and using them 🙂

Happy Friday & it’s a beautiful autumnal sunny day here for me right now. I hope it stays that way for the weekend ahead – eldest has his final athletics competition of the year in Lincolnshire, and it’s always a nicer weekend without the rain!

It’s been a strange start to September for me, with some clients moving away from needing support, (which is always fantastic to see), new ones asking for help, and some projects going live. It’s exciting and scary all at once. I’ve had the opportunity to explore new opportunities, and open my mind to my creativity, which is fascinating. Do you open your mind to creating new things each week? (new recipe, new idea, new textile, new exercise?) I highly recommend it. It’s very freeing.

Listen to yourself you have your best interests at heartI’ve delivered a Listening course this week as well, in a volunteer role for the One2One Listening project in Preston, Lancashire. Training takes so much out of you, as you try and share everything you know in such a way that others understand and can use that information in their own lives. This week we were focusing on listening to ourself, which can often be quite challenging. We often keep our ‘real’ selves hidden, especially from our clients or customers, which means we shy away from our self in every day life. We think it’s not important. But I’ve learnt over the last few years that spending time listening to myself has been the most important part of my personal and business development. This listening has helped me move away from the things (and people) who’ve hurt me, and allowed me to find my confidence to do the things I love – loving my family and supporting others.

This week, I finished the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. You may well know it very well. If so, why didn’t you tell me about it before? I’ll let you read my review rather than talk more about it here. However, I think that’s what I’m going to really focus on now – my Why. Everything I do will fit with my Why from now on. I may have seemed focused up until now, but it’s only these last few weeks that I’ve had my own lightbulb moment which is now helping me move forward with my own goals.

And then this came through this morning – The ebook of the 30 day blogging challenge. Today it’s FREE so go grab your copy. You can use the information in this book for all sorts of writing for yourself and/or your business. There’s support and information about how to make your blog/website better & if you want it, there’s a free support group to help you become a better writer/blogger/business owner. I’ve done the challenge a few times, and it’s always helped me move forward – personally and in my businesses. Whatever you want to achieve in your business, and your life, there’ll be some nuggets of advice in this book to help you along the way.

I hope you’ve had a positive start to the new school year, and are excited about the next few months for yourself and your business. I’d love to hear your plans, and what you’re creating with all your skills and talents. Let me know if you’re starting to write publicly for yourself or your business, and I’ll share your work with others.

Have a great weekend. I hope the sun shines on you and your family,

When things are better than expected

We all have them. Days, or things, that you’re not really looking forward to, and then they turn out to be better than expected. Why is that? What do we dread so much about certain things that then make our perceived ‘bad’ thing turn into ‘good’?

dandelion sunriseWhen things are better than expected

I’ve no idea why we sometimes think that something we have to do is going to be awful. We build it up in our head, or prepare for the worst, don’t we? We often just think that it’s going to be awful. So when we have a lovely time, or the thing goes better than expected, then we’re even more delighted with ourselves, or ‘it’ than we expected.

Bizarre? Or human nature?

If we think something is going to be awful, then more often than not, it will be. We believe, so it will happen. But we can also believe it will be alright, and still think it may be hard going, or not enjoyable, but it can be worse. Why is that?

I believe it’s down to our preparation, of ourselves, and the situation/job/our team. If we prepare ourselves for all eventualities, then everything is covered, isn’t it? We know we have contingencies in place for x, y or z happening. So even if it does happen, we’re in control and work through it.

Our plans for the event, if we think it may not be enjoyable, are often more thorough than if we think we’ll breeze through something. Surely this must teach us something?

Yes, planning is key to success. Even the things we’re not looking forward to, or not as skilled at. If we plan in advance, then we’ll make everything we touch a success. For ourselves and our teams.

You know that saying? “Fail to plan; Plan to fail”.

It’s very true, and we can make sure we don’t fail in anything. Even the things we’re not looking forward to.

Today, I’ve proved that to myself and my family. And I’m very proud of all of us 🙂

When have you experienced something that was better than expected?

How do you listen

How do you listen

I’ve had a wonderful day, delivering an Effective Listening Course, as part of my volunteering with One2One Listening Service in Preston. The course was written by Acorn, who I’ve trained with to deliver this training.

We had fun, we shared stories about being listened to well, and when we weren’t listened to. Everyone, even the two trainers who led the session, developed their listening skills during the day.

One of the most powerful sessions, today, was the session, called, “How do I listen?”. This section is starting to get people to think about themselves, and the effect they have on others. The trainer reads the following words, so as you read this, hear the words in your head, as if you were listening to them:

When I ask you to listen and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked. When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me – strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I ask of you is that you listen, not talk or do, just hear me. Advice is cheap.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do, for myself, you contributed to my fear and inadequacy; but when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel no matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get down to the business of understanding what’s behind them. And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Perhaps that’s why prayer is so important for some people – God listens and stays with us but doesn’t give advice all the time or try to fix things. God listens and gives us the power to work things through for ourselves, but I need you to be with me too. So please, just listen. If you want to talk, wait a few minutes for your turn and I’ll listen to you.

Anonymous writer

What are you immediate reactions when you ‘hear’ this? Do you think you could listen better tomorrow?

Acorn runs training and events for the facilitation of personal and community well-being for individuals and organisations, at their retreat centre in Bordon, Hampshire, and across the country.

Effective Listening Practice, is module 1 in a Listening Pathway to train professional Listeners to support those who need to be heard in their communities.

Listening is a recognised talking therapy, recognised by healthcare professionals.

Struggling with overwhelm

struggling with overwhelmOne of the many things which crops up in my support and mentoring sessions, is that people, particularly business owners are struggling with overwhelm. It’s perfectly normal to feel like this, and I’ve been there too.

A business owner I had a monthly call with today was apologetic about feeling like this. For her, she started a new business in September, alongside a full time job. She’s been caring for her elderly parents, her Dad recovering from some surgery, plus her dog has been very poorly, and looks like he won’t be around much longer. Yet, she felt the need to apologise.


Well, I’m sure some pyschoanalyst would help out here, but this isn’t my speciality, so I’ll leave that question there. To me, I don’t need to know why. I just want to help her turn it around. When you’re in this feeling of overwhelm, you can’t actually get much done. You see so many things you should be doing, that you can’t see which is most important to do first. Often these are really little things, but as there are so many of them, it all adds up to this struggling with that feeling of overwhelm.

How to stop struggling with overwhelm

  1. Breathe. Take some deep breaths and really let your shoulders relax. No, I’m not being funny, but we often forget to breathe, especially when we’re het up about something.
  2. Leave whatever it is your doing, and do something else. Often you’ll think this is procrastination, so you’ll try and complete something. However, that change of scenery, (I often sort the washing, or pair odd socks, or my favourite thing, going for a walk), can be just the thing you need to break the pattern of overwhelm and help your head get some space to do something different.
  3. Now you’ve got a little bit of space to think, write down everything, or talk to someone about the things that are most important to you at the moment. They may be big, or small, it really doesn’t matter. Share them all. If you write them down, can you now put them in order of priority? You often find that there’s a natural flow for them – if you do one thing, then the next step will flow out of it. Some things will be linked, others will look random.
  4. Make sure all your personal things are on the list as well. Just because you’re a business owner, or a busy person, doesn’t mean you should forget to book that dentist or optician appointment. Some of those ‘little’ things often get lost within our busyness, and that adds to our overwhelm, as we think we can’t fit everything in to our lives.
  5. Now, go back to your list. Can you do that first thing today or tomorrow? Is there anything else you need to complete that one thing? Don’t look at anything else, just that top priority. What will you feel like when that first task is done? Fantastic is my guess!
  6. Ok, so now add one task a day to your diary until all the other items are complete. If you don’t manage it one day, then shift them all along. Doing just one thing a day is possible isn’t it? It’s not a lot, and you’ll find that you’ll soon get through that list.

A little bit every day, of whatever ‘stuff’ you need to do, will get you there.

Remember, breathe, change your scenery, and then do that scary list. Writing it down, or telling someone will make it less of a scary monster, and something that you can achieve. Step by step.

If you want some help working things out, and getting rid of the scary monsters, get in touch and let’s arrange a coaching call. Talking to a stranger can really help put things in perspective.