planning

How to keep things simple when overwhelm creeps in...

03 09 2014

This week’s blog post is brought to you with a KISS: I’m Keeping It Short and Sweet.

You might remember that at the beginning of the year I chose a theme for the year for my business (and life) goals: simplicity.  Well, as I hurtled into March I took some time to reflect on my goals… and realised things had become far from simple.  So, with renewed determination, my theme of simplicity is back.

This means:

– As you know I like to plan my week ahead on a Sunday night so, this week, I’ll be thinking about what’s really important.  Yes, there are 101 things I should or could be doing but only a handful that really matter.  Have you heard of the 80/20 rule?  80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.  80% of your happiness comes from 20% of your activities.  As I think about my goals, I’m reminding myself of the precious 20% that really counts towards my ideal future, my goals and making the days count right now.

– I’m trying to get rid of some of the white noise.  Social media counts as a work activity for me.  I love the community that I’ve found in Facebook groups and contacts (and online friends) I’ve made on Twitter, but I too easily get drawn into discussions and attracted by new ideas that, for now, aren’t my priority.  First off, I’m imposing a limit on my social media time and I’m planning to use it with reason – not to consume more and more information but to connect with people with meaning.

– I’m adding in more quiet time.  I’m not sure where I heard this phrase a few years ago, but it really speaks to me: be still and listen to the whispers.  I know when I slow down the pace and have healthy doses of quiet time, everything becomes that little bit clearer.  I get flashes of inspiration and answers to questions… and I just feel so much calmer.  

If 80% of your results come from just 20% of your efforts, where will you focus your attention this week?  How can you listen to the whispers a little more?  

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Nesting for business and a baby... with a success mindset

03 02 2014

Our house has been upside down this past week.  We’ve been emptying and decorating our spare room to make room for our new little arrival in April. The teeny baby clothes are out of storage, washed and ready for their new home. All the kit and caboodle a newborn needs has been ordered.  Nesting season has officially started.  There are 7 weeks to go and I’m getting prepared.

Among the chaos, I realised something. We’re making room in our home and our lives for something we want to happen – welcoming the new addition to our family.  We’ve got total belief that, this springtime, we’ll be a family of four.  That belief has created action in the form of a big, pre-baby to-do list for me (and mostly for my husband).

Where in your life could you do with a bit more belief?  Where should you be ‘nesting’?

Think of a goal or vision you have for your career or business.  Do you believe 100% that you WILL make it happen, that you will bring that goal into the world?  And are you ‘nesting’ for it?  Imagine when you want to have achieved this goal.  If you knew it would absolutely be a reality on that date, would you be ready for it?  If it arrived into the world a little early – like today or tomorrow – would you be ready for it?

I realised I’d been ‘putting off’ a few things in my own business as I was waiting until I’d got ‘there’, achieved my big goal.  What my little nesting frenzy taught me is that, by waiting, I was keeping that goal just out of reach.  If, instead, I had total and utter belief that it will happen I’d be doing a few things differently.  When I asked myself “if I’d achieved this goal today, would I be ready?” I couldn’t honestly answer yes.  I needed to get my house in order.  I needed to ‘nest’ for my business.

So, over to you.  Think about your goal.  Imagine it’s here now, wrapped up in a big, red bow, ready for you to start living it – are you ready?  What actions can you take now to demonstrate your total belief that it will happen?  Share with us what 1-3 actions you will take to ‘nest’ for your goal in the Comments below.

p.s. Isn’t this little set of Matroyshka dolls cute?  I found it here

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New mum anxiety: one year on

02 09 2014

Let me give it to you straight.

I’m a lucky girl. I have a beautiful family. I’m doing work that I LOVE. My life is full of special people who support and encourage me. I know I’m blessed.

BUT…

Even with so much to be thankful for, this time last year was a low-point.

I’d quietly been struggling with new mum anxiety since Louis’ birth, unable to share with the happy mums I was meeting, and I’d isolated myself. I was negotiating a part-time return to my pre-maternity corporate role while my confidence was at rock-bottom. I felt removed from the true me. I motored through the routine of my day-to-day and had little interest in doing anything more.

My passion is encouraging women to discover and LIVE their sparkle… yet, my own sparkle was waning.

It turns out I wasn’t alone.

I needed role models. I needed mentors to look up to. I was looking for examples of women who’d made the adjustment into motherhood yet still had an identity that was authentic to them… Their sparkle.

I decided to extend an invitation to women I admired – I asked them to share their secrets, their tips and their honest accounts of the challenges they face.  I was inspired.

I began to share some of these inspiring accounts in my Secrets of my Success series.  And I have other gems lined up for this year.  The more I shared my story with women and, in return, they shared with me, the more I realised that there were common threads. Common challenges. Common worries. Common traits of success.

So I decided to put together a free “class” where I’ll be sharing The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.

If you’d like to learn the 4 “success sappers” to avoid, as well as the success traits of these women, click HERE to register for your spot.

The details:

Tuesday 11th February @ 7.30pm GMT

RESERVE MY SPOT NOW

 

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Join me for free webinar: The 4 secrets of successful working mummies

02 04 2014

Do you feel like you’re constantly ‘spinning your wheels’?  Are you striving to be the best mummy, employee/entrepreneur, wife/partner, friend and feel like you’re failing at every turn?  Are you struggling to make peace with being a working mummy?

When you’re living with the unpredictable demands of mummy-hood, there’s no such thing as “work/life balance”.  But then feeling frazzled, out of control and guilty isn’t much fun either.

There is another option…

Join me for the live webinar The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies where I’ll be sharing:

  • The 4 sappers of your success and energy!
  • The one big reminder that you’re not on your own
  • The 4 “secrets” that successful women swear by to design a style that fits their work and family

Reserve your place —> HERE

I know how it feels when you’re spending all your time and energy striving for your ideal yet missing the mark.  I know that it can get you down!  I also know that it IS possible to create the working lifestyle you desire so you can work on your terms and nurture your family too.  I’ve been learning the secrets of some really inspirational role models and can’t wait to share their insights with you!

Join me February 11th, 2014 @ 7.30pm GMT —> CLICK HERE

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I feel so guilty… And how to get over it

01 26 2014

A little pre-warning: this isn’t the most upbeat post you’ll have read for a while.  It is somewhat lacking sparkle, so I apologise.  It is, however, me sharing a truthful, from-the-heart account of this week’s mummy juggle…

I write this a little frayed around the edges.  Remember last week I talked about the importance of planning my week?  Well, as they say, ‘the best laid plans oft got astray’.  Louis has been poorly again – I’ve now logged a 3/4-weekly pattern of ‘off weeks’ (which I’ve shared with the GP!) which start a chain of events which go as follows: the sick days themselves, the week-plus of unsettled sleep that follows, a week of ‘normal’ routine and then round we go again.  All three of us are sleep-deprived, short-tempered and fed up.  For me, it comes with another tummy-punch: GUILT.

I feel so guilty…

I feel guilty because I feel I’m missing a trick or doing something wrong which is causing Louis’ immunity to be taking a bit of a battering.

I feel guilty because I am FED UP of surviving on 5-6 hours of broken sleep each night.

I feel guilty because I’m not giving my best during the daylight hours: I’m in survival mode and taking the easy options where I can.  Baby group?  Yes, that’s ready-made entertainment!  TV?  OK, just one more episode of Thomas and Friends while mummy takes a breather!

I feel guilty because this not-so-little pregnant belly is getting nowhere near the TLC it did the first time round.  Rest, relaxation and ideal baby-growing conditions are a pipe dream.

I feel guilty because I’ve done little more with my time this week than “getting through” the routine and then slump in a heap with a book and bed.

I feel guilty because I’ve not much left to be a good wife or friend….

I feel guilty because time is ticking ahead of Baby Two’s arrival and I’ve made very little progress this week.

The irony is, as a friend or a coach, my instinct on hearing this tirade from someone else would be to go into nurturer mode.  I’d listen, I’d ask questions, I’d shed a new light.  But, when it comes to being a friend or coach to myself I’m rrrrr-rubbish!  So, during nap-time today, I decided to get up close and personal with my guilty feelings and wanted to share the steps with you in case you’ve got a dose of the guilts too:

  • Let it all out: Don’t stew on the feelings, it’s a complete waste of energy.  Instead, let them out by writing them down or getting an understanding friend to listen.  Vent and then breathe.  Take a few deep breaths, breathing out the guilty feeling and let the emotion drift away.
  • Look for the clues: What is the guilty feeling really about?  Feeling guilty is usually a distress call from another emotion, such as sadness or anger or frustration.  You might wish you’d done something differently, done more.  For me, when I’ve looked back on the week, the guilt really was showing me that I wish I’d made other choices.  While I can’t change what’s been and gone, I can see that maybe I might do things a little differently next time.
  • Give yourself a break:  So, I wish I’d acted differently BUT I have to remind myself, I’m human.  I’m not a robot.  Putting yourself (at best) second starts to wear a little thin after a while.  Remember to be forgiving of yourself – you’re doing the best you can.
  • Do you want a hug?: What would make you feel better?  How can you give yourself a hug?  Is it a hot bath?  Is it a bar of chocolate?  Is it as simple as an early night?  Or, a night out with a friend?  Find a little thing that makes you feel loved and cared for … and make sure it happens.

Have you had the mummy guilts?  How do you deal with them?  I’d love to hear from you in the Comments below – as would all the other mummies out there!

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Tips to prepare your business for big life adjustments… like a baby!

01 15 2014

In the months leading up to the birth of my son, I read any book, blog or discussion forum that shared insights from other working mums on how to ‘babyproof’ a business.  I still have my scribbled notes and my hopeful and idealistic ‘plan’ of how I might manage the age-old work/family juggle.  Knowing what I know now, when it comes to newborns, the rules are: there aren’t any rules.  Now, with the arrival of Baby Two imminent, I am reminding myself of the lessons I learned the first-time round.  

This week I’m sharing my tips on preparing your business for big life adjustments over on Design Sponge:  click over to read my post here

If you’re preparing to take a break from your business, I’d love to know what steps you’re taking to ‘baby proof’!  Let me know in the Comments below…

 

 

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