A Quick Fix – Are You Looking For One?

 Quick Fix Are You Looking for One?

A Quick Fix- Are You Looking For One?

A quick fix? We ALL want one don’t we? Whatever the problem.

And if you’re like me, you want it for a good price and a solution that lasts.

I don’t know about a quick fix, but that’s ONE BIG ASK.

The Definition of a Quick Fix

Out of interest I looked up the definition of a quick fix on good old Google.  I found this.

“Quick fix: an expedient usually temporary or inadequate solution to a problem”

Mmmm.  But I want long lasting results. Not a temporary solution.  More often than not, anyway.  Pinning up my flapping hem with a safety pin until I can sew it – that’s quick fix I’d go for to save me tripping over my own trousers and falling base over apex in the street. But I’d fix it properly as soon as I could.

 

 

Many of the women that send me questions or approach me to work with them want a quick fix.

And I totally get it. I’d love a quick fix to shed this menopausal extra 10lbs I’m carrying by tomorrow too. I really would.

But is there such a thing as a quick fix? When it comes to health, wellness, hormone balance and fertility, I mean.  Here’s what I think… as I embark on tackling my own meno muffin top!

 

Quick Fix Questions?

Many of the quick fix questions I’m asked are along the lines of “I’ve read that if I take X (insert some powder, potion, supplement, superfood) it will really help me with my Y (insert health condition, life stage, challenge, goal).

As an example “I’ve read that if I take maca powder it will boost my fertility”.

And that’s a good question. I get some really good questions. And I do love getting your questions. Keep them coming. Please.

 

Quick Fix Answers

My responses are usually structured in similar ways.

I give the skinny on the supplement, herb, remedy or superfood – what it is, what I’ve learned, how I use it (if I use it), what the benefits are, what risk factors I know.   I’m totally honest with women. All good you might think.

Then, I usually end by saying something like, BUT on it’s own it’s probably not going to help you greatly in the short term: combining that with a hormone/fertility friendly diet and lifestyle is probably a better option to reaching your goal. Quicker.

Because it’s often a combo of a lot of little things that make a difference.

And that’s the truth.

The women who have already made some changes to take control of their health and hormones get it.

Some women get curious and want to know more about how they can help themselves get healthier, have more balance and boost fertility.  No-one teaches us this stuff, remember? I’m back in my  “broken record” groove *winks*

Occasionally, some don’t. And that’s okay.  No judgement.

Some people want instant gratification. They want whatever it is fixed and right now. Without any effort.

And I get that. I’d love the muffin top to disappear overnight. With a wave of some magic muffin-top-marmalising wand. But I learned already that life isn’t like that. I’d have to go and have it hacked off or sucked out by a Plastic Surgeon if I wanted “magic wand”.

 

There ARE “Quick Fixes”

So plastic surgery would be my best quick fix.  Aha, there ARE quick fixes, Kathy!

Obviously there are situations where surgery is necessary. Life saving even.  And massive hurrah for that.

In many ways conventional medicine offers a quick fix.  Again, I’m not knocking ALL medications, procedures or treatments. Some are totally necessary. Sometimes they are the only option or every other possible option has been exhausted.

But they are not always the only option. And they are sometimes given when other options haven’t been explored fully.

And that’s when I feel a bit icky about the “quick fix”, personally.

But, it’s personal choice, as ever.

I’m NOT considering HRT  (Hormone Replacement Therapy) during menopause, because there are lots of steps I can take through food, supplements, lifestyle and complementary therapies that I’d much prefer to use.  HRT could be my quick fix, but I’m not going there.

And not just because I feel I’m managing my symptoms just fine.

 

The Potential Downsides of a Quick Fix

No.  I wouldn’t consider any quick fix without knowing the risks as well as potential benefits.

Let’s go back to my example of  HRT for my menopause symptoms.

Artificial hormones rob the body of nutrients …leading to other symptoms.  Side effects include bloating, breast tenderness, swelling, leg cramps, headaches, nausea. Not to mention increased cancer, blood clot and heart disease risks.

Plenty of possible downsides to weigh up.  It’s not for me.

And they tackle the symptoms not the cause.  It’s just my view, but in my example, it’s not even a disease; it’s a life transition.

Plus HRT can be made from pregnant mares’ urine. And I just plain don’t like the sound of that.

So my point isn’t don’t take medicines or have procedures, it’s make an informed choice based on info from different sources.

It’s that a quick fix might come with baggage.

 

The Long Quick Fix

So when is a quick fix, not a quick fix? But IS in fact a quick fix? Confused?

What I mean is, we often think something is too hard, too boring and will take too long, but is it really?

My 10lbs has crept on over about 18 months…sure partly menopausal, but also because I wasn’t very well at the start of 2016 and back, neck and shoulder problems meant exercise was off the agenda for a while. No excuses. I am where I am. And I’m tackling it.

So it crept on over 18 months: it won’t take 18 months to get rid of it with some persistent effort. I reckon that it will take 3 months maybe?

Now that seems like a pretty quick fix for a medium term challenge to me.

It’s kinda like when I speak to women about preconception care. I recommend getting baby-fit for at least 3-4 months before starting to try to conceive. Many look aghast.  I get that it seems ages if you have planned a baby later in life.  But it’s not long where time is on your side.

And that few months of improving health to boost fertility just might save months of peeing on sticks and negative tests later. We just don’t know. I’m all for stacking odds in our own favour.

 

The Voice of My Mother

As I’m here typing, I’m also hearing the voice of my Mother in my head.  And that’s a good thing. I think, anyway.

I’m hearing …

“Anything worth having is worth working for Kathleen”.  Er yes, Kathleen is my full on, Sunday, getting-a-disapproving-look name.

And “If something looks too good to be true, it probably is”.

Of course, whether you buy into those depends on your personal values. We know we INHERIT some of these from our parents and guardians.

Me? I believe in the first one.  In working towards what I desire. Taking responsibility.  Managing the things in my life I can control.  Doing the best I can at the time. Not making lame excuses for myself. That’s one of my values.

The second one is a bit trickier. I don’t believe there’s some miracle cure for my extra 10lbs.  But I DO believe there are miracles in the universe. I mean, I am one.  10lbs extra or not.

 

What do you think?   Is there such a thing as a quick fix? Tell me in a comment.

 

Love, Kathy x

 

How To FEEL Better About Menopause

How To FEEL Better About MENOPAUSE

How To FEEL Better About Menopause.

Or How To Have a Better Menopause Mindset.

(By Susanne Erricker, Head Girl at The Academy For Grown Up Girls).

 

Ok, I’m guessing you don’t believe it is possible to feel better about being Menopausal?  To have a better menopause mindset?

Just in case you think I might not understand, please be assured I DO.

I have been suffering from the side effects of perimenopause, the weight gain, hot flushes, mood swings. When it all started I really struggled with the thought of “that’s me done then’ I always thought that menopause happened to old women, but now I am there (I’m 49) and I don’t feel old at all.

As menopausal women we feel invisible, lack confidence, get lost in worry and anxiety about everything and anything, feel like our lives are over, right? Well, No! actually, absolutely not right! And this is why I have written this post for you today.

I am now going to make a statement that will probably cause you to ask …

“Who is this woman?”

‘What planet is she on?”

I’m actually hoping it will inspire you too and help you to look at things in a slightly different way… a slightly better menopause mindset…

 

‘As a Menopausal (or Perimenopausal) woman you are in the Prime of your Life’

Here are some reasons why…

  • You have oodles of life experience to draw upon
  • Due to changing hormone levels, you start to lose some of the all encompassing maternal instincts and you will find yourself starting to want to focus on what’s next for you (no guilty feelings here please!)
  • You are (or will be) mentally and emotionally stronger than you have ever been
  • If you are in midlife and beyond, as you move away from ‘hands on’ parenting/caring or other family issues, career building, home nesting you will have more time, freedom and choice as to what you want to do for the rest of your life

Yes, lovely lady – the REST of your life. In fact, if you are a similar age to me, you still have at least 25 quality years ahead of you – I am actually banking on more like 30 -35, but I thought I would be conservative with the numbers just there.

It never used to be this way.

In our grandmother’s day, once she reached the menopause it was time to reach for the knitting and the rocking chair and to a certain degree it is the same for our parents.

But for us, well it is different and so the menopause signals the start of embracing with open arms the next chapter of our lives.

So how do we do that? This is a big question that actually only requires a small shift in menopause mindset. Here are some pointers for you:

 

Work on changing your thinking style:

Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kinda girl? Do you focus on what you don’t want rather than what you do want?

If you are the glass half empty type and know what you don’t want more than what you do want, then you are not alone, but you may want to consider a change.

Research shows that negative thoughts programme your brain to do a specific action (like run from danger) but at the same time narrow your mind and focus your thoughts on that one thing. The brain will then start to believe that thing to be true and guess what, so will the rest of you and this is when you start to feel anxiety and worry all the more.

 

Try changing your attitude to age:

Do you feel old? Do you consider yourself ‘Past it’ ? Have you lost touch with the youthful you? Is it too late ‘to change’?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, it’s time to change your attitude to age and accept that age is a state of mind. Average life expectancy for women who are 50 now is 86, so you have a good 30 – 40 years of your life ahead of you. Time to start planning for the next act otherwise you’re going to have a long wait ahead of you before you hang up your handbag.

 

Be kind to yourself:

What would you think if your own best friend started putting you down and telling you that YOU are hopeless, that there’s no way YOU can do something, or worse be cruel about your body image? My guess is that you would go and find another friend who is more encouraging and supportive of you and ditch this one

So why is it then that we are so cruel to ourselves and continue to be so?

Try these 3 things instead and practise them on a daily basis

  • Be more aware of what you are thinking or saying to yourself, are you being self destructive rather than compassionate?
  • Be grateful to your body for allowing you to walk, see, hear………. and give it what it needs in the form of good nutrition and hydration when you can. (Kathy has some great tips in her own blogs, social media and courses)
  • Learn to be a little bit selfish and set aside some time each day just for you

 

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2nd half to your life!  With a marvellous menopause mindset.

Love, Susanne x

Susanne is Head Girl at ‘The Academy for Grown up Girls’ and a Personal Development and  NLP Coach for Women in Midlife. The Mission of ‘The Academy’ is to bring inspiration, motivation and confidence to the lives of women who have been or are going through a life event that has knocked them off track. Through online teaching and coaching programmes she helps women ‘reinvent’ themselves and adjust to new roles in their lives, giving them confidence, self belief and clarity to enjoy the next chapter.

Being Stuck Sucks

 Being STUCK Sucks

Being Stuck Sucks is a guest blog by the super-amazing teacher and coach on practical spirituality – Kate Spencer. Kate is also a highly successful author best known for the Twelve Lessons series.  Must reads!

I’m very grateful to have her write a piece especially for my crowd of wonderful women.

I hope you love it as much as I do.   Don’t stay stuck.

Love,

Kathy x

 

Being Stuck Sucks

Being stuck sucks because when you are stuck, you feel the stuckness in a big way.

Nothing you do gains traction or helps you to change direction. Things feel a bit pointless, and people around you seem to be so sorted and together and happy that it’s beyond irritating. Then you look back at your own life and wonder what happened. This is not what you signed up for, but it’s what you’ve got. And that makes you feel even worse!

The thing is that you are not alone.

Many of us feel this way from time to time, and no one really talks about it. We adopt the attitude of “getting on with it”, even though we crave an entire life upgrade or at the very least a change. And its so hard to see the wood for the proverbial trees because when you feel stuck, the Law of Attraction hears “I AM stuck!”. We know the result, and the irony of course but we just can’t seem to change anything.

I’ve felt this way recently and I have learned some things that might help you.

When you feel stuck it’s no good focusing on your big plan. It’s likely to feel impossible and like pissing in the wind!

Ask yourself instead what you could do today to help yourself to make progress. Pick one thing, or maybe two but definitely no more. Do this every day for a week, and make it something that will inch you out of the place you are in and move you one step closer to awesome. Even if it’s tiny.

Check your self talk. When you feel stuck and fed up you are likely to be beating up on yourself. This will make you feel worse and send more energy to the feeling of stuck. Become aware of your internal dialogue – what are you saying to yourself? And if you are saying things that are sabotaging or unhelpful then think of 3 affirmations that are the opposite and start to use them instead.

Change your state. Get happy – find something on You Tube that is hilarious and make yourself watch it. Suggestions include Simons Cat and Walmart Advert. Get a happy song on You Tube or your ipad and dance and sing. Moving around will change your physiology and you will feel better.

Help someone else. There is nothing like the feeling of gratitude for lifting your spirits and soothing the soul. When we focus on what is good we are telling the universe “My life is filled with great stuff”, and we get sent more experiences that align to this. What can you do today to help someone else? And know that by helping them you are also helping you.

Oh and read Twelve Lessons….just kidding!

I hope this helps and I send you lots of love.

Kate x

 

Kate Spencer

Practical Spirituality Coach and Author of the life-changing Twelve Lessons book series

www.kate-spencer.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/thelightworkersacademy

Twitter @RealKateSpencer

4 Things That Make for A Nourished Life

4 Things That Make For A Nourished lIfe-2

4 Things That Make for A Nourished Life.

In a recent blog I talked about creating the life you want, by getting all aspects in balance – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.  And how the food on your plate IS nourishment, but it doesn’t feed your soul.

So what do you need for a nourished life?   Here’s my take, based on the teachings of The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

 

Relationships for a Nourished Life

Form and build relationships that are healthy and support your needs and wants. I mean relationships with partners, family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and others in your community.

People thrive in communities or groups and with friends. And community is declining in the modern world. We’re much more likely to live in homes with locked doors, behind high fences watching TV or on computers. Looking for friendship and community online, ironically?

And love makes the world go round. We all need to give and receive it. Not just romantic love.

It’s been proven that touch and cuddles are healing. Again, not just romance or even sexual touch – massage, holding hands, an actual pat on the back.  All touch.   Many adults are touched starved.

But heck romance and sex are pretty good too, eh?

And communication. Good communication feels pretty good. I sometimes think we are also starved of listening.

It’s about the active listening as well as the talking. Trying to clarify what the other person is really saying before wading in with our answer.  And discussing more than just the “problems”.  Ever heard “we need to talk” and that feeling of dread spreads in the pit of your stomach?

How about giving compliments, heaping on praise, telling jokes and stories, sharing dreams?

There is no one-size fits all for relationships of any kind. I’m suggesting find and nurture relationship that are appropriate and nourishing for YOU. We’re all individuals.

 

Career or Calling for a Nourished Life

Many people spend over 8 hours a day at work and little time with family and friends.

That’s an awful long time, if you’re not enjoying it.

I know it’s not alway feasible to tell someone to stick their job right away.

But if you can’t stand your job for whatever reason, either try to change that job from within the organisation OR make an exit plan and  get out as soon as you can.  Life is literally too short to do something you hate, with people you don’t like, for that length of time every working day.

And the stress, is really bad for health, hormones and happiness in so many ways.

Modern working life is so different these days. People are expected to “job hop” more often. It’s more acceptable to engineer career change.  It’s also common for people to stay at home and be homemakers, parents, carers etc.

I used to do career coaching as part of my last corporate role. I found unhappy employees got “stuck” because they were in the mindset of finding a similar job in the same field at a different company.  That might be right for some but not all.

If you’re unhappy in your work, brainstorm all the things (not just work) you like to do and in there somewhere are clues to your ideal job.

It may not be possible overnight but everything IS possible. It’s a matter of what you are prepared to do to achieve it.

 

Physical Activity for a Nourished Life

People. We’re designed to move our butts, not sit in chairs or on sofas or to lie down all day.   We’re shaving years off our live with inactivity.

But you don’t have to go run a marathon or climb a mountain.  It can be walking for 30 minutes a  day. And blending more activity into your normal life by taking the stairs, playing with the kids in the park.  It’s about finding things that you’ll enjoy, blending them into your days and weeks and they will become good habits.

Personally, I think variety is great. Not just for preventing boredom.

Varying activities reaps physical benefits like fat burning or boosting flexibility or building muscle or supporting joint and bone health.   And mental and emotional benefits like calming, grounding and energising.

Pssst I’ll let you into some secrets.  If I’m feeling sluggish and unmotivated and bleurgh, I stick on some tunes and bust some moves in my kitchen.  It gets the blood pumping and energy flowing. It sets me up to get on with my work or chores.

If I’m feeling like I’m stuck in my head… busy brain, overthinking, confused and indecisive …I get out the dog leads and go for a walk to clear my head and feel more grounded.

When I’m tense, I like yoga for stretching body, calming breathing and stilling mind.

Your options are endless.  There is no right or wrong, just what’s right for you.

 

Spirituality for a Nourished Life

Stay with me.  This isn’t a load of old woo woo.  It’s not necessarily about organised religion either, unless that feeds your soul.

It is about finding meaning in life. Finding a sense of peace. It could be about a religious practice, it could be about Eastern spiritual practices or even New Age spirituality. It doesn’t matter.

For me, I recognise I’m a tiny speck in the cosmos.   And I know there are forces much more powerful than me, which turn the tides, which switch day to night and which make buds burst into life each Spring.

I like to meditate, practice yoga, walk on the beach and read books that expand my mind.  I like to plunge my hands into warm earth, plant seeds, nurture them and tend them as they grow and fruit. I like chopping, blending, cooking and presenting food to share with people I love. I like to spend time with other women, swapping stories, sharing experiences, laughing.

That’s my spiritual practice.   What’s yours?

 

So get out there. Reach out to people. Find your calling. Move your butt. Find peace.

Live a nourished life.

 

Love, Kathy x

Nourishment – It’s More Than The Food On Your Plate

Nourishment – It’s More Than The Food On Your Plate.

 

Nourishment - It's More Than The Food On Your Plate

 

Nourishment. What Nourishes You?

No, I don’t just mean tofu with a side of steamed kale. It’s not only the food on your plate that nourishes you.

I guess I’m looking wider at the words “nourish” and nourishment.

Sure, it’s…

1. To provide with food or other substances necessary for life and growth; feed.
But it also means…
2. To foster the development of; promote.   AND
3. To keep alive; maintain.

 

So what DOES nourish you?  What’s your nourishment?

What feeds you at much deeper level?

What makes your heart sing? And your eyes shine? Or the butterflies dance around your tummy?

The Idea of Primary Food

You may know that I studied with The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  Founder, Joshua Rosenthal, talks about the idea of “Primary Food”.

The idea that your hunger for life is satisfied by your personal relationships. Your career or calling.  Regular physical activity.  And spiritual practice.  All nourishment.

When all those aspects of life are in balance and fulfilling, your life feeds you. Which in turn means that what we eat is secondary …so our relationship with food become less important.  Less “comfort eating” maybe?  No “rewarding” ourselves with chocolate and wine?

I’m speaking from personal experience, but I’m much likely to reach for the chocolate/biscuit tin/cake when I’m bored by the project I’m working on. Sorry dear Accountant, you know I’m talking about my accounts.  Yep, my trips from desk to kitchen increase as my boredom rises. There must be a maths equation for that – I’ll ask my Accountant!

And I have done the comfort eating thing back when I was unhappy and frustrated and lost and lonely.  The more I ate the fatter and unhealthier I got, but I didn’t get any happier or feel less lost. In fact, I felt unhappy with myself for not taking better are of myself. And that I had to buy bigger jeans.

Contrast that with falling in love, for example. You can barely eat or sleep or carry on normal day-to-day stuff for sheer excitement and passion. The world is a bright, light, colourful, warm and fuzzy place.

Or when you’re child, hours pass in happy play.  You lose all track of time and mealtimes in your own little fantasy world.

I think quality of life is key to all-round good health.

So I ask again, what nourishes you?  Where are you getting nourishment?

 

Healthy Food Won’t Make You Happy

I know that there are links between mood and food. Heck, I even teach people about eating to balance blood sugar, energy and moods. I know a great Nutritional Therapist who has a special interest in the connection between food and mental health and brain function.

What I mean is that you could have the healthiest diet in the world on paper and still be unhappy.

Have you heard of “orthorexia”? It’s an eating disorder – the obsession with eating health foods. Healthy eating in the extreme that leads to a mental health issue. Read more here.

I’m not suggesting that you start eating hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, Haribo and ice cream and guzzling buckets of fizzy drinks, but you see happier people at the cinema having a laugh with family and friends and watching movies.

That’s partly why I believe in choosing healthy habits at least 80% of the time – for balance. For high days and holidays. For fun!

 

Holistic Health and Nourishment

Holistic health. What does that mean? To me, it means looking at the whole of your life, the whole of your health.   It means looking all aspects of life – physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. Getting these in happy balance to create the life you want.  To nourish you completely.

I talk a lot about the food on your plate for better health and happier hormones.

My thoughts about nourishment aside from the food on your plate can be found in part II of this blog.

Love, Kathy x

60 Ways To Boost Fertility – Article In Fertility Road

60 Ways To Boost Your Fertility- An Article in Fertility Road

60 Ways To Boost Your Fertility

It’s a bright and blustery day here at KPHQ.

A “normal” day – cracking on with work.  Walking the doodle duo.  Whipping up a storm in the kitchen.  Pottering about my chores.  For “chores” I mean cleaning dog snot from the french windows.

Anyhow …

 

An Article in Fertility Road

I was bumbling along, when an e mail dropped into my mail box. It reminded me that I’d been asked to contribute to an article called 60 Ways to Boost Your Fertility and Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.

AND IT’S PUBLISHED. NOW.

Excited much.

It’s in a well-respected print and online magazine called Fertility Road .  The mag is for those planning a baby or struggling to fall pregnant.  It’s a great resource.

The article is pretty useful too.  Several experts have contributed – including me.  But it’s not all about me. Or the others including Zita West and Emma Cannon. It’s a brilliant article. For YOU.

So take a read of the whole thing.

Help Along The Fertility Road

There are tips on eating for fertility.

On smart lifestyle choices to boost your chances of having a happy, healthy baby.

Some stuff on complementary therapies for fertility-  acupuncture, homeopathy and herbs.

Hints on stress busting.

I saw a few book suggestions.

There are tips on sexual health and gynae health.

Inspiration for dealing with your emotions on the journey to parenthood.

Encouragement to find practitioners who get you and you love them.  This is a subject close to my heart…

 

Working With Me Along Your Fertility Road

… choose the right person or team for you to support you on your journey.  With me? Well, you get my best guidance on food, lifestyle and natural therapies with hugs and handholding.  Have you checked out my philosophy on working with people?

You can find much more about my practice  and my VIP programmes right here on the website.

My Facebook page and other social media feeds have loads and loads of FREE tips

 

In case it passed you by, here is the Fertility Road article link again…

 

>>60 Ways to Boost Your Fertility and Your Chances of Getting Pregnant

 

Grab yourself a herbal brew, take some time out and have a read.

 

It’s well worth it on your own fertility road.

 

If you’re on a journey to parenthood, you’ll LURVE my FREE online programme of video as and notes called 7 Steps To Boost Fertility. 

It covers ALL the basics you need to know to get baby-fit and boost fertility.

It’s for you whether you’ve pee’ed on a gazillion sticks already or you’re just starting to get your head around getting baby fit.

It’s super easy to access and use.  It’s also totally private and discreet.

Love, Kathy x

Ten Top Tips For Changing Habits & Meeting Goals

Ten Top Tips For Changing Habits & Meeting GoalsChanging Habits

It’s that time of year.  January.  Full of hope and promise.

Many of us are full of good intentions after getting full of turkey, chocolates and too much booze in December.  And in some cases, maybe having a belly full of our nearest and dearest *winks*?

Intentions to improve ourselves, our lives, our health, our relationships, our careers, our impact on the world. Intentions to start changing habits.

Lots of us are making New Year’s Resolutions to start doing some things and stop doing others.

Have you ever made a New’s Years Resolution?

Ever stuck with it?

Has it ever become a new and improved way of life for ever and ever *ahem*?

 

MY OWN ATTEMPTS AT CHANGING HABITS

I have to admit to many failed attempts myself at losing weight, getting fit, keeping a journal, de-stressing, giving up all manner of vices and all that shizzle.

I used the word FAILED.  And that’s okay. I learned so much from those First Attempts In Learning (FAIL – geddit?).

And I’ve succeeded since. Lost weight, learned to eat for nutrition, taken up yoga, adopted a much more positive mindset and much much more. Habits that have stuck.

One of the first things I learned was don’t make a resolution in January, just because it’s January.  It might be a NEW YEAR, but if you’re not ready to be a NEW YOU, it’s just not going to happen. You’re not setting yourself up for success.

 

So what’s my advice to my clients and other lovely ladies who want to start changing habits?  Or have a big goal?

Here are my top tips.. …whether it’s losing that little bit of podge around the middle, protecting your bones, updating your image, improving your dull and dry skin, changing career or something else.

 

Top Ten Tips For Changing Habits and Meeting Goals

1. CHOOSE YOUR GOAL

Start with a blank page. The ideal outcome.  Dream big.  Don’t put obstacles in your way before you even start.

You can always scale back to what is practical and achievable for you right now.  BUT don’t be tempted to be too easy on yourself either.

Make your goal stretching. You are a resourceful, creative person and you can work out HOW to make things happen, when you put your mind right to it.

2. DITCH AIRY-FAIRY

Be specific. No airy-fairy, vague aims.

Vague aims are not our friends.

So your goal is to spend more quality time with your family?  What exactly does that look like? What precisely do you mean?

Eat dinner together every night? Help the children with their homework twice a week? Do a different family activity each Sunday? Get away for a short break together at least every  three months? Plan a “date night”with your partner once a month?

Get into the nitty gritty.

Which leads me nicely to …

3. KNOW YOUR ‘WHY’

How much do you really care about this goal?

Be clear WHY you are setting it.

Take, for example, losing weight.  WHY do you want to lose weight?

Improved health? Clothes fit better? Energy to run around playing with the kids? Reduce risk of chronic disease? For a big event?

They are moving you towards a big positive. If your goal is simply “Lose 20lbs” it’s moving away from a negative and sounds like torture… to me anyway.

Imagine what things will look like and feel like when you reach that goal. Really know, see, hear, touch, speak that WHY.

Don’t change because someone else thinks you should. You’re not going to be committed to that.  In fact, you may end up trying to have those helpful folk committed instead.

4. COMMIT

Commitment is a tricky one.  A step not to be missed.

Ask yourself how important the goal really is to you.  What sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve it?

Often, we have to make tough choices when setting goals.

For example, if you’re goal is to get fitter, are you really going to get up earlier/leave work earlier/compromise on family or social time etc to do it?

What actions can you take to make any compromises easier? Maybe exercising in your lunch break could work? Or doing an activity your family and friends could do with you?

Where there is a will, there is a way. Brainstorm your options. Discuss them with people affected.

And check in with yourself.  On a scale of 1-10 how committed am I really? Aim for a 10! If your motivation is at 2, you’re not going to be changing habits, are you?

You’re not setting up for success saying you’re going to eat spinach every night, if you loathe green leafy veggies with a passion.  Choose goals and actions you can commit to.

5. SET THE DATE

Another toughie.

So you’re going to finally write that book you’ve been banging on about for years?

BY WHEN? By the end of this year? Be reasonable and realistic, but be stretching.  Not many books are a lifetime in the writing. Not many are cranked out in a weekend either.

It is okay to revise target dates.  Sometimes things happen beyond your control.

Some actions towards your goal may be timed – daily/weekly/monthly etc.   Monitoring progress helps keep you on track and give you a  sense of achievement.

6. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL

Yep, simple as.

Writing it down makes it clear where you’re heading. It makes it real. It’s easier to make decisions because you have a clear destination. You’re much more likely to be successful changing habits.

Pin it on the fridge.  Have it as your screensaver.  Scribble it in your journal.  Places you can see it and other people can see it, if it helps keep you determined.

Make things happen

7. TAKE SMALL STEPS

If you’re anything like me you get totally OVERWHELMED by “all or nothing”. So break your goal down into small steps.

Heard of the hare and tortoise? Yes, slow and steady wins the race.  One small step at a time.  Do tortoises “step”? I digress.

So if you want to start eating for nutrition and health, start with ONE small change per week maybe?   Add in other small steps when you’re ready and able. It would be a big ask to turn from a “standard” diet to super dooper healthy overnight.

If you feel a little wobbly, focus on the current step rather than risk convincing yourself the overall goal is too big and too hairy.

It’s all a process.  Changing habits to reach your big goal.

8. FIND A CHEERLEADER/BUTTKICKER

I’m often the cheerleader/buttkicker with my clients.

As a Health Coach, I help them set goals, monitor progress, see and identify obstacles and smash their targets.

I spur people on and support them to challenge themselves.   Find out more about my health coaching packages HERE.

But if you’re not in a place to seek professional coaching, find a friend or accountability buddy.

Someone you can trust to share your goal and who will both encourage you to succeed and tell you the truth if you’re making excuses. A person who will help you see and overcome issues. Someone with no judgement.

9. MEASURE AND CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENT

You need to decide how you will know you’ve succeeded.  How will you measure your progress and success?

Measure trends towards goals – journalling, Lab test results, energy levels, new achievements, feedback from family and friends, whatever works for you and is relevant to your goal.

Celebrate success.

Even reward yourself with something special and appropriate. Better not to reward yourself with a double cheeseburger and large fries washed down with a gallon of cola if you’re trying to manage weight or adopt healthier eating habits.

Be creative with your rewards – they needn’t cost an arm and a leg.

10. Rinse and Repeat

You’ve got this. Practice goal setting, monitoring  and mastering your goals and you’re in the elite of the world’s population!  Yay.

You can use the process to change habits or change anything you want really.

You can even have more than one goal at a time. Just be careful that achieving one doesn’t come at the expense of another.  Going for a big promotion at work whilst spending more quality time with your family might need especially careful planning.

 

So you go girl.  Go NOW if you’re ready and steady to go.  Or gather your thoughts and make your goal and plans in good time.  Don’t be pressurised because it’s January.

Using these steps leaves less to chance and increases your chance of changing habits and smashing goals.

I wish you every success.

Love,

Kathy x

 

 

 

Love, Kathy x