Updated: Aug 7
With August upon us, school holidays, summer holidays and weekend breaks away....this is either, the most stressful point of the year as you navigate child care and work for the next 6-8weeks or the most chilled out part of the year as everyone is seemingly in a pretty good mood along with the sunshine.
But actually what becomes quite apparent from speaking with friends, family and clients is that everyone is currently on what feels like a continual wave of emotions and finding some balance is precarious at best.
One of the biggest things I have been starting to work with clients on is, mindset.
How we talk to ourselves
How we can change the way we do that
How with changing our mindset, through daily habits, we can create a more robust response when things start to get difficult
Yes, exercise, sleep, nutrition are all important BUT changing your mindset truly can change your outlook and your application of yourself to those three key areas.
For me my biggest area for improvement, was sleep. I would struggle to get a good night's sleep (I blame it in part for being a mum and therefore a light sleeper but also worry/stress). I'm a night owl I can't escape that fact...I've tried early nights but it isn't my thing and I'd rather get 6 - 7 hours of really good sleep than 9 hours of crap restless sleep.
Every night now, I write a gratitude list. I write a "to do" list and sometimes I will also write affirmations for myself. The science behind doing this, being that when I go to sleep I am putting into my brain purely the life affirming stuff I only want and know whatever I might be concerned with is written down.
I am not by the way saying life is one continuous wave of happiness and light but, I certainly catch myself when I get into that negative self talk that we all do and I try and reword what I am saying.
Today has just been so shit and all I have done is yell at my kids and not get to the gym and I am such a crap parent
Today has not been shit, I just had a bit of a crappy morning, but the morning was productive in other ways and the weather was good. I know I love what I do so stop doubting yourself there are so many more opportunities out there just waiting for you! When you get home apologise to the kids and make sure you give them your time. Today is going to be a good day!
By the way this really did happen:
My morning routine had gone out the window, I lost my rag with my kids and then was running out of time to pick up some branded studio wear before a client. I often feel pulled between a job I love and making time for my kids especially when the holidays hit. And yes my day got better once I had a word with myself. Inmet an amazing new client. My other clients were contacting me with their wins of the week and I took my kids swimming, had food, watched a movie and there was for the most part very few arguments but a lot of smiles
"How do I apply this in other areas of my life and what does this have to do with the next 5months?"
Ask yourself this:
Have I set goals or made plans, only to scupper them because it was easier to talk myself out of what needed to be done than to follow through?
How many times have you said "I need to lose weight", "I want to gain muscle", "I need to exercise regularly" , "I need to learn to meditate/breathe deeply", "I need to get out of this job" ...only to be in the same position a month or a year later?
learning to say "no" instead of "yes" is the key to change.
Change in the way you move forward in your life. Change in the habits you set yourself. Making hard decisions now to benefit your future self.
The classic example of "I need to lose weight".
Why do you need to lose weight? Is it for you or someone else. Make sure the answer here is YOU! If it's someone else....you need to lose them.
If you are looking to improve your body shape, weight loss will be guided by your nutrition primarily. Exercise will allow you to do this in a controlled manner and allow the body to re-composition itself so you don't just look like a sack of spuds after only losing weight and not doing exercise.
How do i do this? I will have to start saying no to alcohol perhaps or saying no to regular takeaways. Start saying yes to eating more protein and colourful fruit and veg.
Start saying yes to more activity - i.e. introducing 30mins of exercise a day.
Why? Because I want to improve my health, I no longer want to be out of breath getting to the top of the stairs and I want to love how I feel.
When? In 3 months time I aim to have lost 14lbs/1 stone
If you do not know your why, how and when....simply saying "I need to lose weight" means nothing and will never be achieved....and so those "lovely fad diets" come along promising quick fixes.....only for you to be miserable being on a restricted diet and ultimately piling it all back on when you stop. So start saying no to the things you can control in your life, in order to say yes for what you actually want to achieve!
Maybe you want to change the job you loathe
What do I need to do to change jobs? Retrain, take a course, get online and learn
When do I have time to do this? Now. Now is the time to take action. Evenings instead of watching the TV, Weekends instead of going out. Mornings before everyone is up.
Why do I want to leave a job that "pays the bills" ? Because you are not a number filling a role and committing your life to a job you hate. You have passion, you have experience, you have the ability to do and be more. You have the chance to build a better life alongside the old life and then jump into the unknown which is far more interesting and fulfilling than the staid constant of the role you are in.
So the question is.....
What is it you want to change in your life?
What passion do you want to go after or evolve?
What are you continually saying to yourself, that is undermining you from making these changes?
No one else is responsible for your life, except you
No one can change your life, only you
No one is going to save you from your choices, your pain, your reality, except you
In these next 5 months you have the OPPORTUNITY to change your mindset and life.
Don't wait. Set a date. You are more CAPABLE and RESILIENT than you realise.
Do it in these 5 months. Don't leave it until next year.
BE THE CHANGE