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motivation

Habits Image

How To Build Great New Habits For 2017

1024 768 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

Habits Image

Yes, it’s that time of year: we’ve eaten too much, drunk too much, generally overindulged and done little exercise over the holiday period.

Whether you created one or more resolutions for this year or you decided to go ‘Dry’ in January, to stop smoking, lose weight or improve your career, what daily habits have you put in place to help you achieve them?

Perhaps you never make resolutions because, like many others, you know you’ll have given up by the end of the month.

Create a Daily Routine with a few great new habits for 2017 that will help you achieve your year’s goals to improve your career, health and wellbeing.

If you want to make a difference to your life and step out of your comfort zone use these tips when building your new habits for 2017.

“Write your goals for this year down and put them where you can review them daily to act as a reminder as you plan your day.”

1. Know what you want. Get really clear about what you want and why you want it.

  • What is your compelling reason for change?
  • What’s your overriding motivation?
  • What are the results you want?
  • How will you look and feel and where will you be in 12 months’ time?

2. Commit. Not only to yourself but tell someone what you’re doing and you’re more likely to stick with it. Write your goals for this year down and put them where you can review them daily to act as a reminder as you plan your day.

3. Create a plan to help you achieve them. Be realistic, set aside the time and space in which to do it. Develop your own routine for your success habits, whether it’s daily habits or a weekly activity. Link a new habit to something you already do without thinking or having to make time for it. E.g. Planning your day with your morning coffee or on your commute to work.

What are the daily habits that will support you in achieving your goals?

4. Start a chain – start logging your new daily habits or create a tracking checklist. If you can keep the chain going, you’ll be more inspired and motivated not to break it, especially as you see it grow.

Try one of the many apps that log and track habits or create a Habit Tracker in your diary or journal.

“Having established one good habit it can have a beneficial effect and an impact on two or three other daily habits.”

5. Team up with a buddy – you can keep each other motivated and keep going when it gets tough. Being motivated by a group or having other people go through the same thing with you spurs you on to keep going. It’s why people join slimming groups or work with a personal trainer.

Get yourself a coach. They’ll provide unconditional support and motivation and will not only help you identify your bad habits but help replace them with good ones.

6. Start small and build on your success. Having established one good habit it can have a beneficial effect and an impact on two or three other daily habits. Introduce additional habits as your new habits become automatic or part of your routine.

7. Modify, adjust, update. What works for one person, might not work for someone else. If you realise you’ve taken on too much too quickly or something’s not working for you, stop, take a step back. Refocus, adjust and modify. What can you change?

Pick one or two things to change at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed or disheartened. As one habit becomes ‘normal’ and part of your daily routine, add in a new one.

8. Keep going. Sometimes it’s hard to get started but once you gain momentum and start to see the results, it’s easier to keep going. If you stall, don’t give up. (See point 7).

Once you’ve dealt with the resistance or reluctance, taken the first step it’s easier to enjoy the challenge and feeling of achievement.

If it was always easy, we’d never get that sense of satisfaction or appreciate the effort we’ve made.

The most important thing is to start, keep moving forward, day by day.

If you’d like to get started, check your current habits with a free Time Audit. Get 50% off a personalised Time Audit feedback session in January and create your daily habits for success in 2017.

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Forget Your Inner Critic, Say Hello To Your Inner Personal Trainer

960 638 Caroline Flanagan

Inner Critic

Too busy to go the gym? This unconventional approach to exercising will bring more flexibility, energy and fitness into your life.

Why is it so hard?
It doesn’t make sense. I know an hour of yoga is life changing. I know it hurts and is difficult, but when I walk away from a yoga session I am rewarded 100 x over for the effort i put in. My spine is straighter, I feel a foot taller and when I walk it is as if I’m floating. The benefits don’t end there. When I come back to my work, I have a fresh mind and a can do attitude. Whenever I fit any form of exercise into my life, only good comes out of it. And yet it’s still so hard!

Lack of motivation
Being unable to motivate yourself to exercise is not such a big deal if it happens occasionally, but when it goes on for a prolonged period it’s a problem. Exercise is not just good for you, I believe it’s absolutely essential if you want to be on top of your game, ie. not just coping with your life, but performing at and feeling your best. I harp on and on about this in my book Babyproof Your Career, where I talk about the importance of looking after your Body, Mind and Spirit if you want to successfully balance life and work. Despite this, our body is the part we neglect because everything and everyone else screams louder and more frequently for our attention. Think about your boss, your inbox, social media and the ringtone on your phone. Do you react more immediately to their demands than you do to what your body needs?

The benefits of accountability
One way around this is accountability. That is, after all, how I justify seeing my personal trainer Holly Aldridge on a (mostly) weekly basis, and why I commit myself to a weekly Ashtanga Yoga class. But some weeks I just can’t make it and however much I don’t want to, I have to cancel. School holidays are a case in point. it is very difficult to hold those appointments sacred when we are away in Italy or when I have the kids at home. And in any event, I need to find some form of self motivation for a third piece of exercise – 3 being the number I have in my head for the minimum amount of exercise I feel my body needs.

What can you do?
So when there’s no motivation, and no accountability, what can you do? What’s the secret to finding the motivation to exercise when there aren’t enough hours in the day or when you just don’t feel like it? I don’t have the definitive answer, but I have stumbled upon a new idea that’s working for me right now and I’m excited to share it with you:

Say hello to your Inner Personal Trainer (your Inner PT)
One morning about two weeks ago while waiting for my daily coffee to start bubbling away a voice in my head said “10 press ups. Go on, just do it. 10 press ups now”. Now I know this sounds like a strange thing for your inner voice to say out of the blue like that but it hasn’t come from nowhere. It’s come from a place of frustration about all those runs I keep thinking of going on in the mornings before work and all those yoga sessions I keep hoping I’ll fit in to my busy weekends. So on hearing my inner voice, I hit the deck and struggle my way through 8 full pressups before collapsing to the floor. I got back on my feet, made my coffee, grabbed a glass of water and got on with my day. The next day, the same thing happens again, only this time I manage 10 press ups, and I do them again when I get up from my desk to go to the bathroom and once more before I go to bed. A week later I don’t bat an eyelid when my inner voice suggests I do 5 squats every time I get up from my desk.

How it works
So the thinking goes like this: if I’m failing so miserably at carving out a whole hour in my day to do a yoga session or go for a run, I need to make exercise an integral part of day, a part that is as natural and normal to me as eating, breathing or going to the loo. And the way I do that, is by tuning into my Inner Personal Trainer.

As I write this blog, there’s that voice again. “10 press ups. Now…..”

I am back at my desk. My shoulders ache, the blood rushes to my head, and I feel a massive surge of energy. The endorphins released from that 20 second burst of exercise race through my veins like my children when they are let out of school and run through the park to play: Hurray! we are free this is what we were born to do.

“Sun salutation right now. Oh, and don’t forget to breathe. Belly button towards the spine. Relax your facial muscles.”

It’s starting to work. I can feel the guilt of non activity starting to lift and my body is slowly loosening up. The more I listen to my Inner PT the less intimidated I feel, the less of a big deal it seems when the moment comes to do a whole hour of exercise. Somehow doing these little bits of exercise during my day bridges the gap between the woman I am when I’m too busy or too tired or too lazy to get myself out for a run, and the woman I aspire to be when I’m doing 3 rounds of warrior (a strenuous yoga sequence), running 8 miles or doing 10 variations of plank.

Try it yourself
While you’re busy waiting for the perfect opportunity to go to the gym to materialise, why don’t you give it a try? Tune into your Inner PT and see what happens. Here are a few pointers:

1. Start small and keep it simple: ie. short in number and small in size. Your inner PT should ask you to do something small and manageable that you can do in less than 30 seconds and is within your current level of health and fitness. Don’t even think about trying to do 50 burpees if you haven’t been to a gym in a decade. It is just as effective if your inner critic tells you to stand up and “touch your toes” if this is something you struggle with, or to do 5 squats.
2. Do it often: the more you can do this in the day the better. Everytime you feel an ache or a pain in your body, or the thought crosses your mind that you have to get fit or lose weight of go to the gym or go for a run, that’s an invitation to your inner PT. Don’t let the moment pass, act immediately. Like now for example, while you are reading this. What is your inner PT saying? Is it telling you to stand up and roll your shoulders back five times then forwards five times? Or perhaps it is telling you to jog on the spot for 20 seconds?
3. Start with one thing and repeat: to allow yourself to really experience the benefits, do the same thing each time. Only start to chop and change when you’ve established the habit.
4. What do you notice? It’s important to think about how this makes you feel. What do you notice? If you do the same thing over and over what happens? Do your press ups/squats/shoulder rolls get easier? Does it make you want to do more?

Our bodies are just crying out to be moved and used in the right way – not once, twice or even three times a week, but all of the time. However busy and demotivated you feel, remember fitness, flexibility and energy are more accessible than you think if only you would let them into your everyday life. Your Inner PT can help you do that.

Give it a try. I’d love to know how you get on.

 

Positive-thinking

Get Motivated – Think Positively

1024 777 Sara Taylor, Personal Trainer & Nutritionist

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Now is the time for you to start thinking about how you are going to shed those unwanted pounds,  but the big question is –  how will you get motivated to get fit and healthy and how will you think positively?Well it is out with the old year and in with new.  Happy New Year!

Most of us firstly need to adopt  positive lifestyle changes. We need to start the New Year with trying to change just one thing each week, the chocolate, cheese, wine.  Maybe some of you need to add something each day  – “Breakfast” , the most important meal of the day which kickstarts  your metabolism and keeps blood sugar levels from dipping. Whatever you do take it slowly and do not rush your new regime.  Make your new lifestyle changes a habit and here are some tips of how you can motivate yourself to do so:

 

All of our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our internal thoughts, both conscious and subconscious. We are in control, whether we know it or not. We can be positive or negative, enthusiastic or dull, active or passive.

The biggest difference between people is their attitudes towards fitness and health. For some, learning to change ones lifestyle can be enjoyable and exciting, others may find it challenging and difficult.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Our present attitudes are habits, built from the feedback of parents, friends and society, that form our self-image and our world-image.

 

These attitudes are maintained by the inner conversations we constantly have with ourselves, both consciously and subconsciously.  So the first step we need to do is change our attitude and get motivated and think positively.

One approach is called the three C’s: Commitment, Control and Challenge.

 

Commitment

Make a positive commitment to yourself, to eat more healthily, eat breakfast, get more fit and active, get more sleep, be organized with your shopping list, drink less alcohol. Praise yourself if you achieve any of these by having a small treat, or treating yourself to something. Book an appointment with yourself to fit in exercise or get the help of a Personal Trainer who will make the appointment for you. Dream of success and be enthusiastic!

 

Control

Keep your mind focused on the importance of keeping fit and eating well for health benefits.  You do not want to develop heart conditions or diabetes as a result of being overweight or unfit.  Keep control of your food portions.  Try to set goals and priorities for what you think and do. Visualize and practice your actions. Develop a strategy for dealing with problems. Learn to relax. Enjoy successes. Be honest with yourself.

 

Challenge

Be courageous. Change and improve each day. Do your best and don’t look back. You will see that making positive lifestyle changes gives you more opportunities. Try new things. Consider several options. Join slimming groups to meet new people, or book to see a local Nutritionist for advice on you eating plan and ask lots of questions. Keep a food diary and keep track of your mental and physical health. Be most of all be optimistic.

Studies show that people with these characteristics are winners in good times and survivors in hard times.

Research shows that,

“… people who begin consciously to modify their inner conversations and assumptions report an almost immediate improvement in their performance. Their energy increases and things seem to go better …”

Commitment, control and challenge help build self-esteem and promote positive thinking. Here are some other suggestions.

 

7 Suggestions for Building Positive Attitudes

•            In every class, look for positive people to associate with.

•            In every lecture, look for one more interesting idea.

•            In every chapter, find one more concept important to you.

•            With every friend, explain a new idea you’ve just learned.

•            With every teacher, ask a question.

•            With yourself, keep a list of your goals, positive thoughts and actions.

•            Remember, you are what you think, you feel what you want.

If you need any help with your 2014 goals and any nutritional or fitness advice,  then please contact Sara at SK-Life Fitness and I will be happy to help you.  I have a private studio for your comfort and to help build your self-esteem.

 

Yes you can

Improve Your Motivation

1024 682 Rachel Le Feuvre, Reset Button

Make things happen

Now holidays are over and the new school year started it is the perfect time to take stock and make some adjustments. After a period away from work becoming motivated again is often difficult. To help the team at The Reset Button have devised a useful action plan.

1. Stop Expecting Miracles

Aim for small incremental changes. Realistic and possible.

You can’t expect a one week boot camp or three day juice diet to change your life, other than the pain you go through the days you do it.

Improving your life and health happens in incremental pieces. You start with one little block of self love, you feel good about it, it encourages another little block. Slowly, over time, you’ve built up something that really makes a noticeable difference in you.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The best things in life take time.

 

2. Forget The Jones’s

It’s important to stop comparing yourself to others.

No matter what you do, you are not going to suddenly become someone else.

The most motivating thing you can do is to genuinely compare yourself to yourself.

Start a diary. If you are trying to move on from hurtful or negative feelings, compare this week to last week. Celebrate any small improvements. Were you less angry/upset? Did you achieve something you wanted to do? Did you not think about a problem for a day? Did you deal with something differently to how you normally do? Congratulate yourself.

Want to change how you look? Take pictures of yourself. There’s a free app Photo Vault where you can keep your pictures safe and private, download it. Motivate yourself by seeing the true and real changes within yourself. Compare yourself with you and you’ll find it much more inspiring. Don’t compare yourself with you ten years ago, it’s an impossible ask. You should be aiming for the present you to change, so use the body you have right now to inspire you. Rather than looking back at the distant past look to now and the future you.

3. Make Yourself Accountable

When you commit to doing something with a partner you will be much more likely to succeed.

Want to improve your fitness? Commit to tennis lessons with your friend. Join a gym with a colleague. Sign up to a fun run with a companion. You won’t want to let them down, so it will make you do it. You do want to do it after all, and it’s sociable too so double bonus points.

Trying to eat better? Elect a food buddy. Create a WhatsApp or email chain. Share what you are about to eat every single time you are about to eat it. I assure you will be thinking twice about some meal choices when you know you have to be honest about it all.

Most of all, be honest with yourself. Remind yourself of what you really want. You are the one in control of your body, so make sure you remember to think before you act. Try to make everything you do measured and controlled. Be aware, not on autopilot. Don’t use excuses. Take time for yourself. Sometimes you might have to say no to people. This happens. If they are your friends, they’ll understand, and soon they’ll enjoy the newer motivated you even more.

If you would like further help or advice please contact The Reset Button www.theresetbutton.co.uk

Why not try our Mindfulness Mini-Course : ‘Calm Your Mind’ available FREE on itunes: Calm Your Mind

Accountable

 

confidence-words

Is Your Lack Of Confidence Holding You Back?

1024 825 Susan Carr

LowConfidence

Lack of confidence may not be something that is usually linked with lawyers. However, there are many reasons and ways in which confidence can be knocked and even when you are confident in one area of your life, there may be other situations where you feel uncertain. Confidence can be fluid so there may be times in your life when you feel more or less confident.

Low confidence may be due to an underlying issue linked to low self-esteem, shyness or socially anxiety, or come about as the result of illness, depression or anxiety – it may also be in response to a particular situation, such as bullying or harassment.

As a lawyer, you may have been attracted to your career because you enjoyed the academic side of legal research, but you are now expected to attend networking events and promote client relationships, particularly as your career progresses. Furthermore, although legal training develops competence in analysis, reasoning and other technical skills, there is less emphasis on personal skills and so you may not have received any training in public speaking, confidence or assertiveness.

How can you tell if you struggle with self-confidence?

Some signs that you may have a lack of confidence are that:

• you avoid expressing your opinion or contributing to discussions

• you avoid public speaking

• you try to please people and find it difficult to say “no”

• you are afraid of trying new things or taking on challenges

• you doubt yourself and seek reassurance

• you engage in negative self-talk e.g. “I’m ugly”, “I’m useless”, “I’m a failure”

What can you do to increase confidence?

The first thing to remember is that it takes practice and also involves stepping outside your “comfort zone”. Initially you may not feel confident so it can be helpful to pretend, as this will give the appearance that you are (even if you don’t feel it on the inside!).

Some other tips for boosting confidence

• Accept that nerves are normal and that even the most confident person can feel nervous – it is just that they have learned to manage their nerves (e.g. an actor who is about to go on stage)

• Have faith in your own ability. Think about your past successes and that you wouldn’t be where you are unless you were competent and knowledgeable

• Eliminate negative self-talk – for example, if you make a mistake or receive some criticism, instead of referring to yourself as a “failure”, recognise that this is part of the process of learning and development.

• Practise positive self-talk. Try to find 3 positive things about yourself everyday and learn to accept compliments.

• Take the opportunity to join in conversations and discussions – remember that you have as much right as anyone else to express an opinion and that what you have to say may be helpful to others or open up debate.

• Consider your body language. Don’t slouch, but stand/sit up straight and make eye contact, as this will make you appear more confident.

• Avoid turning statements into questions. When you are unsure it is common to put an upward inflection at the end of a statement, which has the effect of turning it into a question. Simply by ensuring that you end sentences with a downward inflection will help you to sound more confident

• Use silence. When asked a question or are thinking of what to say it can be tempting to fill the silence with things like “um”, “like” and “you know”, but these can make you sound uncertain. However, silence can allow the listener to hear and absorb what has been said and also shows that you are thinking before speaking.

• Practise! Practise! Practise! If you have an important, meeting or court, then practise in front of a friend or colleague who may also be able to give you some positive feedback.

Confidence