Archive for March, 2017

How to start saying ‘no’ to others

Are you someone who struggles to say no to others?  You’re certainly not alone! There was a time when I used to quickly say yes to pretty much everyone and everything! Even if it was something I didn’t want to do. I somehow felt by saying no I would be letting someone down, or worse, I’d miss out on something!

When we say yes to something that we really don’t want to do, we may be acting because we fear something. Fear that someone will judge us, react badly towards us, or may no longer like us. There may be a number of different reasons why we may not be willing to say no.

So consider these points:

Firstly, what happens to us when we say yes out of the fear of something happening?  We may become resentful, angry, stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted from always stretching ourselves too thinly and not putting ourselves first for a change.

Secondly, how might saying yes affect the other person? Are we empowering them to do it for themselves, and do we trust that they can do it alone? It may be that we are denying them the learning from trying something new. Or perhaps we are just not the right person to help them in the first place.

I believe it is possible to SAY NO to someone with kindness, knowing you are doing it in your own best interests and also in the interests of the person you are saying no to!

Start with this one simple question to yourself before saying yes or no to something:

“Do I really want to do this?” 
If the answer is NO then ask yourself:
“How will saying yes truly help the other person?”

When I ask myself this question I give myself the permission, and the strength, to say no. As a result I’m happier, more fulfilled and still saying yes to loads of things.  But I’m only saying yes to the things I love doing!!

As we start to help others from a place of willingness, commitment and joy, we can instead be assured that we are doing so in the best interests of everyone involved. I can be sure I’m happy and so are the people I’m saying yes to 🙂

Remember: start small, and build from there.
If saying no doesn’t feel comfortable yet, start to recognise how many things you are saying yes to! Saying no will follow soon……

Feel More Motivated to Start Your Day!

Do you struggle to get up in the morning and get motivated to start your day? Are you dreading the day ahead and would you rather wake up feeling more energised and raring to go?

I never used to like getting up in the mornings and I liked them even less over the winter months. Now that the days are getting a bit longer and the mornings are brighter it certainly helps me get motivated in the morning.

This winter I found that I didn’t dread getting up quite as much as I used to, even with the dark mornings.

I found that these 3 things I am going to share with you have really helped me to feel more positive and also to feel more motivated about my day. I practice these 3 things before I even get out of bed.

This is how I feel more ready to start my day:

1. Express Appreciation. I wake up each morning and express appreciation for something in my life… no matter how bleak the day ahead seems there’s always something to be grateful for. Perhaps it’s waking up in a warm bed, or your health, your partner or your work.

2. Feel Excited. You have no idea how the day will unfold. Repeat to yourself 3 times that you are excited about the day ahead. Something unexpected might happen that might make you smile. Be prepared to be surprised during your day.

3. Think Positive. Have one positive thought about something you will be doing today. Perhaps you’ll be speaking to or seeing someone later that you know will lift your mood.

Remember: Have some fun with …… Try out variations of things so that they feel easy for you. Make it your own!


How to Slow Down and Get More Done!

get more done

Do you sometimes arrive somewhere, and wonder ‘How on earth did I get here?’
I know I do and hardly remember anything at all about the journey. I was either distracted by what I had to do later, or I was lost in something I was doing earlier. We can sometimes go through life in this way: a little bit distracted or lost and wondering how we got to where we are today.

But when we stop, even just for a moment to notice our surroundings we create a little bit of space. In that space, things appear to slow down a little and we can see a little bit clearer. We start to recognise what might actually be going on in that very moment. We show up engaged and ready.

But how do I slow down, you ask? You are busy. You are really busy. You’re juggling many things: work, family, children and life in general. Surely there’s no time to slow down!?

What if I said that slowing down doesn’t mean you get less done, it can actually mean you get MORE done!

By introducing one (or more) of these 3 easy and simple tips to your daily routine, you will start to feel calmer and more relaxed in a matter of minutes. You will feel more in control and on top of things. You can spend as little as 2-3 minutes on each.

1. Take a few deep breaths
How deeply do you breathe? My guess is not very deeply at all. Mostly we breathe using only the top part of our lungs, which means that we rarely exchange the stale, older air in the bottom parts. Breathing properly improves our health, reduces stress and helps our organs to function optimally. This really is a simple way to feel better very quickly!

Take a few deep breaths. Is it easier to breathe in or out? Can you feel your body relaxing with each cycle? What else do you notice?

2. Write a daily gratitude list
What are you grateful for? Often it’s the really small things we are most grateful for – a kind word, the smell of coffee, birds singing. In becoming aware of the small things we realise how many great things that happen every single day!

Write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day for the next 7 days. What especially brought a smile to your face?

3. Listen and give your full attention
How often do you actually feel heard? In conversations with friends and colleagues, we sometimes only listen partly. We can quickly become distracted by our own thoughts, and we quickly claim we know exactly what they mean.  Sound familiar?

Next time you are having a chat with someone, notice how much you actually hear. Give them your full attention and be curious. Ask questions, rather than sharing your own thoughts and feelings about the situation. How differently does that person respond when you really hear them?

Remember: start small, and build from there. There’s no rush!
You only need to spend 2-3 minutes on each.