affirmations - positive words that transform your lifeA few weeks ago I shared my 5 step morning ritual with you. My morning ritual is a super important part of my day. If I start my day with a positive mindset, it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Personally, I think a positive mindset is THE most important thing you need to master if you want to change your life for the better, because otherwise you’re constantly doubting yourself and it’s so easy to fall into the trap of a case of the negatives.

We all keep saying self-defeating and/or negative things to ourselves, don’t we! At the same time, we keep wishing it could all change.

Over the years, we can get into negative thinking habits, and think negatively about ourselves and situations, generally due to our experiences. Well, it can change!

What is an affirmation?

An affirmation is a sentence or phrase that you repeat regularly to make a formal declaration to yourself and the universe of your intention for it to be the truth. They’re usually short, positive statements that target a specific area, behaviour, or belief that you’re struggling with. Put simply, it’s positive self-talk.

The power of affirmations is that they make us consciously aware of our thoughts and when repeated consistently they will soon overpower those negative thoughts weighing us down.

Using positive affirmations can help us develop a new attitude to ourselves and our situations. The more we focus on conscious positive thoughts, the more we become aware of our negative thoughts which means there is less chance of them threatening to take over.

So try looking at positive affirmations this way – many of us do repetitive exercises to improve our body’s physical health and condition. Affirmations are like exercises for our mind and beliefs. They’re positive mental repetitions which can reprogram our thinking patterns so that, over time, we begin to think, and act, in a new way.

How affirmations have helped me

If you asked me 2 years ago, I’d have told you there was no way I could move house. I would have told you I couldn’t afford a bigger mortgage. No one would want to buy my house. I wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage as a single parent with only a part-time work income. It was too much hassle. I was living in a tiny house that my family had outgrown long ago, but I was completely stuck in the negative belief that it would be impossible to move to a bigger house.

Then I discovered the power of affirmations and totally changed my beliefs and mindset. Using affirmations every day helped me believe it was possible. Just reading my affirmations instantly made me feel calmer, more in control of my life and made my self belief soar.

Fast forward to today and I’m living in my lovely new house! My old house sold within 4 weeks of being on the market. I got a mortgage without a single hitch. I organised the estate agent, solicitor, mortgage adviser all on my own.

Yes it was hard work and it wasn’t straight forward but affirming ‘I am calm, I am peaceful, I am patient’ was  something that helped my enormously through the stress and anxiety of it all.

Affirmations quote

I’d like to share with you my way of setting meaningful affirmations. Just follow these three steps:

1. Each day or each week, set one affirmation.

Choose one area of your self that you want to focus on or improve. Think of an area that you’re feeling negative about and want to change. If it helps, get a piece of paper or your journal and write a list of all the self-limiting statements you’ve been telling yourself. So if you are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out you could set your affirmation as ‘I am calm and peaceful.’ If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, you could affirm ‘I hold the power to change myself for the better’.

Use a statement that starts with ‘I’ and is in the present tense. Make it something broadly realistic, even if you don’t believe it right now. After all, if you can’t believe the affirmations you’re repeating to yourself, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll have any impact on your life.

Every affirmation you choose to repeat should be a phrase that’s meaningful to you. You need to want this change to happen.

2. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Say your affirmation consciously and preferably loudly (if the circumstance permits!) Write it in your journal 10 times. Write it on post-it notes and stick them around the house, in your car, in your wallet. Write it on your hand. Set an alarm in your phone with a reminder of your affirmation.  Set it as your desktop background. Set it as your phone wallpaper. If you’re anything like me, you’ll see that many times each day.

The more you affirm them, the more you will begin to shift the entrenched negative thought patterns in your head – practice and persistence will get you there.

3. Live your positive affirmations.

Make your new affirmation something that you think often, so that it becomes a shiny new belief. Affirmations are more effective when they’re thought or said with feeling. Visualise feeling the way you want to feel.

If you catch yourself thinking or saying any of your old negative beliefs, stop yourself. Transform it into the positive, right then and there.

Here are a few of my favourite affirmations. Plus you can find many more ideas on my Pinterest Affirmations board

  • I trust my inner wisdom and intuition
  • I matter and what I have to offer this world matters
  • I forgive myself for all the mistakes I have made
  • I trust myself to make the best decision for me
  • I am centred, I am balanced, I am at peace
  • I do not need to compare myself to others
  • I have all that I need to make today a great day
  • My mind is clear, focussed and energised
  • I hold the power to change myself for the better
  • I am free from all fear and worry
  • I breathe in confidence and breathe out fear
  • I am giving attention to what really matters
  • I love and appreciate myself
  • I am living in accordance with my higher purpose
  • I listen to and trust my deepest insights
  • I am grateful for the abundance in all areas of my life
  • I make time to noursh my mind, body and soul
  • I am a powerful force for good in the world
  • I am worthy of love and full of love for others

I’ve been using affirmations for a long time now. I promise that they’ve absolutely worked for me. They’ve helped me to change my beliefs and eased me through tough times. And if they worked for me, maybe they’ll work for you too.

If you haven’t used affirmations before, I challenge you to try it for a week and leave me a comment telling me what you think. You should see positive results even after a few days. The negative statements will gradually disappear from your mind and be replaced by positivity and self belief.

If you already use affrmations, I’d love to hear how they’ve helped you.
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101 random acts of kindnessA while ago I wrote about my revelation that life wasn’t about being happy all the time… it’s about noticing and savouring the little moments of joy. Something else I’ve come to realise is that probably 99% of my moments of joy are caused by someone else being happy. Tickling my children and watching them laughing uncontrollably. Being surrounded by my wonderful family. Laughing about something silly with my work friend. So that’s my conclusion… if you want to be happy, make someone else happy.

One way we can consciously create moments of joy each day is through spreading kindness. The dictionary defines kindness as:

“The quality of being friendly, generous and considerate”

Kindness comes from the heart, when you give to others without expecting anything in return. Kindness is the act of looking at the needs of others and filling those needs in ways that empower the receiver.

If every one of us chose to be kind to all others in this moment, can you imagine the shift that would happen in the world? If we all were to choose kindness in this moment, the impact would be felt throughout the universe.

While there are tons of little things we can do every day (like hold the door or smile at a stranger), there are other things we can do that may have never crossed our mind.

So here’s my carefully and lovingly curated list of 101 acts of kindness.

1 / Put change in a vending machine
2 / Write a thank you note for your postman
3 / Leave a letter in a library book
4 / Leave happy notes around town
5 / Compliment someone every day
6 / Hold the door open for someone
7 / Bake a cake for a neighbour
8 / Check in on an elderly neighbour
9 / Buy a coffee for a stranger
10 / Tell a manager how good your service was at a cafe or restaurant
11 / Give a lottery ticket to a stranger
12 / Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while to say hello
13 / Tell someone how much you love them
14 / Make a get well card for someone
15 / Take care of someone’s pet while they’re away
16 / Send dessert to another family at a restaurant
17 / Collect money or items for your favorite charity
18 / Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts
19 / Make a homemade gift for someone
20 / Smile at everybody. It’s contagious!
21 / Tweet or Facebook message a genuine compliment to three people right now
22 / Bring treats to work for no reason
23 / If you notice a child being well-behaved, compliment them and their parents
24 / When everyone around you is gossiping about someone, be the one to comment with something nice
25 / Cook a meal or do a load of laundry for a friend who just had a baby or is going through a difficult time
26 / Offer a homeless person your leftovers bag from the restaurant
27 / Each time you get a new piece of clothing, donate an old one to the charity shop
28 / Listen intently. Don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking
29 / Smile at someone on the street, just because
30 / Let someone into your lane. They’re probably in a rush just like you
31 / Talk to the new person at work and ask them about themselves
32 / Leave your newspaper or magazine behind for someone else to read at the coffeeshop, doctors or on public transport
33 / Help a mother with her pram
34 / Let the person behind you at the supermarket checkout with one or two items go ahead of you
35 / Write someone a letter. Like a real letter, on paper. And post it!
36 / Give away stuff for free on freecycle
37 / Be the person who puts a tip in the tip jar at the coffeeshop
38 / When you go somewhere to get or do something, ask the people around you if you can pick up anything they need
39 / Give someone a hug
40 / Call your grandparents. Call them now!
41 / Take the time to leave a nice comment on a blog you enjoyed
42 / Put sticky notes with positive slogans on the mirrors in ladies room
43 / Don’t give into road rage. Give up a parking spot or let someone pass in front of you on the road
44 / Relay an overheard compliment
45 / Bring your partner coffee in bed tomorrow
46 / Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included
47 / Stop to talk to a homeless person
48 / Answer that email you’ve been avoiding
49 / Send anonymous flowers to a friend or relative
50 / Write a nice comment on your friends facebook page

101 random acts of kindness

51 / Offer to house sit for a friend while they’re on holiday
52 / Babysit for a parent friend for free
53 / Adopt a rescue animal
54 / Compliment someone in front of others
55 / Write your partner a list of things you love about them
56 / Talk to someone at work who you haven’t talked to before
57 / Frame your friend’s favorite lyric or quote and give it to them with a nice note
58 / Send dessert to another table
59 / Text someone just to say good morning or good night
60 / Help your elderly neighbour take out their bins or mow their lawn
61 / Give up your seat to someone (anyone!) on public transport
62 / Tell your siblings how much you appreciate them
63 / If you’re a good photographer, take photos of your friends and make them into a digital album
64 / Smile when you feel like scowling
65 / Keep an extra umbrella at work and let someone borrow it on their way home if there’s a sudden downpour
66 / Make two lunches and give one away
67 / Help someone struggling with heavy bags
68 / Take all your change to Coinstar and donate your collection to charity
69 / Do the dishes even if it’s not your turn
70 / Every night before you go to bed, think of three things you’re grateful for
71 / Make plans with that person you’ve been putting off seeing
72 / Offer to return a shopping trolley to the supermarket for someone loading groceries in their car
73 / When you hear that negative, discouraging voice in your head, remember to forgive yourself — you deserve kindness too!
74 / Shovel the snow off a neighbour’s drive or path
75 / Leave a review for a restaurant/cafe/hotel you’ve enjoyed
76 / Leave a book you’ve finished on public transport
77 / Bake a cake or cupcakes for someone’s birthday
78 / Give blankets or a coat to a homeless person
79 / Donate blood
80 / Teach and remind your children to be kind, respectful, and considerate
81 / Gather any toys or clothes your children have outgrown and take threm to the charity shop together
82 / Treat a friend to the cinema, a concert, festival, etc
83 / Volunteer to be the designated driver and make sure your friends get home safely
84 / Be nice to someone you don’t necessarily like
85 / Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
86 / Write a note and put it in your child’s lunchbox
87 / Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give it to a colleague
88 / Give an umbrella to a homeless person
89 / Offer a ride to someone who doesn’t have a car
90 / Collect boxes for someone who is moving house
91 / At the supermarket, buy something extra to donate to a food bank
92 / Send paper thank you notes for gifts you receive
93 / After a party, wash the dishes for your host
94 / Leave a thank you note for your window cleaner
95 / Tidy up the staff kitchen at your office
96 / Talk to the checkout person at the shop about their day
97 / Praise someone at work for doing a good job
98 / Have good manners. Say ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’, and ‘excuse me’
99 / Give up complaining for 21 days
100 / Throw away your rubbish and someone else’s, after a movie, picnic or visit to a park
101 / Give your random acts of kindness ideas to a friend

If you are feeling inspired I encourage you to try an Act of Kindness, or tell me in the comments below what Acts of Kindness you have spread today.

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turn around a bad day with this powerful mantraBad days. We all have them.  The alarm didn’t go off, the kids are playing up and the cat’s thrown up in the kitchen. The day has only just started and already we want to chalk it up as a bad day. Or we might be having a great day and feeling really positive and motivated. Then out of the blue the car breaks down or we’re leave our wallet at home and bam! it’s instantly turned into a bad day.

I’ve had a couple of those days recently. This week both my dishwasher and fridge have stopped working. Yesterday I was looking after my nieces and all the kids were fighting, we had a headlice scare (thankfully we’re all nit-free!), my daughter banged her head and had a bump the size of an egg and to top it off my youngest niece fell out of our tree and broke her elbow! What a truly horrendous day. I know they’re not massive problems compared to what a lot of people are going through, but we’re all affected in different ways.

No matter how in touch and in control of our emotions we are, everyday obstacles and challenges can easily knock us for six. It would undoubtedly be easier to write the day off as a bad one and just try again tomorrow and hope for better results. However, now when I have a bad day, I have enough tools at my disposal to help me out of a downward spiral. So instead of giving up on the rest of the day, why not stop negativity in its tracks with this amazingly powerful mantra.

Stop, take a deep breath and say:

“SOFTEN [your name]”

Soften my body – my shoulders, my neck, my clenched jaw, my belly muscles

Soften my words – harsh words said in the heat of the moment, that I don’t really mean

Soften my heart – listen to my heart and refill it with love and kindness

Soften my thoughts – thoughts of fear, of not being good enough, of not being in control

Soften my judgement – of myself and of others

turn around a bad day with this powerful mantra

Soften is such a comforting, heart-warming word. As I say it I visualise being wrapped in a big, warm, soft blanket of love that dissolves away what I was mad/stressed/upset about.

Softening helps me to let go of stress and negativity and replace it with love and compassion. It reminds me that nothing is permanent. Whatever has happened to make me feel like I’m having a bad day, can disappear as easily as it arrived. I sometimes need to repeat this powerful mantra several times a day… or more if it’s a particularly stressful day. It brings me back to the present moment and can turn my bad day into a great one.

How do you turn around a bad day?

 

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how to find your life purpose

There’s a belief that only a few people know their life purpose right from the start, while the rest of us journey through life seeking to discover it. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I really believe every single one of us has a ‘why‘. Why we’re here and how we can make a difference. But I don’t believe we have to spend our whole lives searching for our life purpose. The answer is already inside each one of us. By asking the right questions, the answer might be closer than we think.

How I found my life purpose…

Some people never seek their life purpose. Many of us are so used to going through the motions of life that we don’t even realise we have a calling. I didn’t until about a year ago. As a child I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wasn’t one of those kids who knew for certain what I wanted to be. I think I changed my mind every week. I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I was at college doing A-levels. I felt like I was surrounded by friends who were all so sure what they wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted to go to university and study something business oriented.

Looking back I can see that I was heavily influenced by my parents. They were (and still are) the most amazing supportive parents, but I knew they wanted me to do something ‘corporate’ like law or management. I thought that’s what I wanted too and I didn’t want to disappoint them (I was always such a people pleaser!) So I ended up going to uni and studying marketing.

So I got my marketing degree and got a job in marketing but a year later I was made redundant. After that I kind of fell into the customer services area where I’ve stayed in various roles ever since.

I never felt it was my calling though. I never felt lit up by my job. I was happy enough but I just thought it was something to pay the bills. I thought that’s what people did.

However when I started my journey of self discovery, I soon realised that I did have a purpose. There was something out there that was meant for me. But what? I knew I was put on this earth for a certain reason but what the hell was it?! I wanted to know my ‘why’. What lights me up?

how to find your life purpose

I spent a good part of a year trying to work out what my life purpose was. For a long time I felt lost and frustrated. I spent a lot of time soul searching. Digging deep. Asking myself questions I’d never asked before. My journal helped me a lot. I wrote in it every day. I meditated every day. I kept searching.

My life purpose wasn’t something that hit me with a bang. I slowly began to realise I wanted to help people. Help them to find happiness and peace. Help them to feel whole. To share everything I’ve learned to help others live the best life they possibly can.

So here I am. With my own self development website. Writing about all the things I’ve learned (and am still learning) about how to live a happier, more peaceful, more meaningful life. I’m also training to be a life coach with the goal of making it my career.

Questions to help you find your purpose

Set aside a couple of hours when you won’t be disturbed. Get yourself cosy with a hot drink or even a glass of wine. Journal or notepad and pen by your side. You might want to meditate before you go through the questions, it will help you relax and open your mind to the answers inside.

The following prompts will help you discover your life purpose by evoking thoughts and images which are profoundly personal messages from your unconscious.

After you read each question, close your eyes and listen inwardly for an answer. Then, open your eyes and write down the first thought, symbol or picture that comes to mind. Just let your answers flow. Don’t think too much about what you’re writing, just get everything out of your head and onto the paper. Go with your gut instinct, your first thought. Stay open and curious. The words and images that result may surprise you.

1 /  What am I grateful for? Why am I grateful for those things?

2 / What am I really good at? What talent do I have?

3 / What makes me cry?

4 / What brings me joy? What makes me happiest?

5 / What message does my future self have for me?

6 / What do I really want in life?

7 / What makes me forget to eat and lose track of time?

8 / What would my perfect day look like? List everything in the perfect day from waking up to going to sleep.

9 / What are my family most proud of me for?

10 / What’s not working in my life?

11 / What makes me come alive? What lights me up?

12 / Who do I look up to? Who inspires me? Who are my mentors?

13 / What have I done in my life that hasn’t worked? What lesson did I learn from it?

14 / What did I love to do as a child? What did I love to do as a teenager?

15 / What do people thank me for? What have I been told I’m good at?

16 / Who’s my favorite person? How does that person make me feel?

17 / What will my legacy be? What do I want to be remembered for?

18 / How would I like to feel every day?

19 / What would I do if I knew you couldn’t fail?

20 / What am I curious about? If I had half an hour on the internet, what would I look for?

21 / What new skill would I love to learn if money/time/energy were no object?

22 / Out of all my current or past work roles, what would I happily do for free?

23 / If I could do anything in the world without worrying about time, money, or energy restrictions, what would I do?

These questions really helped me to look inside myself. I’m not saying you’ll go through the questions and boom! you’ll have your life purpose. The questions are there to guide you to look deeper inside yourself and dig down into your soul where your purpose lies. They will help you uncover some of the answers that may help you discover your purpose.

It’s taken me until the age of 40 to discover my life purpose and I’ll spend the next 40 years dedicated to fulfilling it and helping as many people as I can.

Are you searching for your life purpose? If you’ve found it what’s your life purpose?

 

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My monthly goals for AprilWelcome back to another installment of my monthly goals. In case you’re new here, I set myself three goals each month with the intention of making small steps towards my bigger goals and my overall self-development. Last month’s post was really popular with you guys so I’m going to make it a monthly feature!

So how was March for you? I absolutely loved March! Spring is defenitely here and it’s my favourite season. The buds and blossom are appearing on the trees, the days are getting longer and we’ve had a couple of really lovely sunny days. It was also a really happy month for me filled with lots of moments of joy.

March Recap

Work on my life coaching and CBT courses. Unfortunately I haven’t done any work on my courses. Well I got the folder out but that doesn’t count! I feel like there’s something holding me back from working on them. Fear of the future maybe? When I’ve completed them I’ll have to think about taking the plunge into a totally new career in the scary realm of the self employed! So I’m going to put this on hold for a month or so until I’ve worked through my fears (see April goal #2 below) and I can tackle it with more enthusiasm.

Spend less time on my mobile. I’ve not done too bad on this one. I’ve definitely cut down the time I’ve spent on my mobile, especially when my son and daughter are at home. I’ve failed miserably at turning all screens off by 9.30… but I’ll keep working on it!

Meditate more. I did ok with this goal. I’ve definitely meditated more than I was but not as much as I’d have liked. I found a really cool new meditation app called Welzen which I’m going to keep on using to help me stay on track.

April Goals

1 / Journal every day. I’m doing ‘April Love 2016‘ which is a daily journalling challenge by Susannah Conway. Each day in April, there is a daily journalling prompt starting with Dear ….. So the idea is to write a daily love letter to various parts of our selves and our world, with the intention of nurturing our self love. I’m looking forward to getting started on the 1st of April.

2 / Continue with ‘May Cause Miracles‘. I bought the book a few weeks ago and got to day 8 then hit a bit of a block. It’s all about acknowledging your fears and turning them into love, which can be pretty challenging and scary! I really need to get back on track as I know it’s going to be incredibly valuable to me. I know I might not do some every single day which I’m ok with so I’m setting myself to goal of getting to day 25 by the end of April.

3 / Do something with my house! We moved in August 2015 and I haven’t done a thing so far! It’s actually decorated pretty neutral but is still not to my taste and needs a freshen up. I wanted to settle in for a few months and get a feel for how I wanted to re-vamp things. I’ve got lots of ideas so now I just need to get started! I hope to report at the beginning of May that I’ve got a beautifully re-decorated living room at least!

What are your goals for the month?

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