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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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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slow living: what the heck is it all about?A couple of years ago I discovered two blogs that totally changed my way I live my life: Slow Your Home and  Hands Free Mama. Both blogs have a slightly different take on the slow movement but essentially the same message…

Slow your life and live more simply = a life filled with more peace and love.

We’ve been conditioned by society and the media to think that the busier we are, the better our lives are. We’re encouraged to fill our diaries to the brim, juggle priorities, have a massive to-do list, achieve more and consume more. I think it’s driven by our fear of failure and our constant urge to be ‘good enough’. I’ve seen it being referrred to as ‘The Glorification of Busyness’ which I think is a brilliant way to describe modern day life.

The problem is when we’re trying to have it all and do it all, we have little time to rest, recharge our batteries, look after ourselves, be present with our loved ones and appreciate life. Being busy and putting too much on our plates leads to stress, exhaustion, dissatisfaction and burn out.

Before I had kids I was pretty good at living a slow(ish) life. I had a 9-5 job which I could leave behind when I walked out of the door, plenty of free time for doing whatever I pleased and lots of lazy Sundays. When I had my son then my daughter and it all changed! I had a to-do list as long as my arm, a diary packed with the likes of  baby massage, toddler groups, playdates and playgyms. Plus the usual errands and chores to fit in between. I sometimes felt like my head was going to explode.

I said yes to everything I was invited to, feeling like I had to keep up with all the other mums while trying to make it look like I had my shit together (and feeling inferior because they had bigger houses therefore better lives than me… but that’s a whole other post!) I was mentally exhausted by it all and often ended up feeling stressed, rushing, shouting at the kids and feeling like I wasn’t good enough.

I kind of wish I knew then what I know now. I would have told myself to SLOW THE HECK DOWN! I would have slowed everything down, simplified our life, torn up my to-do list and spent more time being present with my babies.

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We all have the same 24 hours in a day so wouldn’t you rather spend those hours feeling calm, peaceful and grateful for what you already have in life, than feeling rushed, like you have to do it all and like there aren’t enough hours in the day?

When we slow things down and do less, we:

Make more time for meaningful experiences

Are truly present to each part of our day and can enjoy each moment more

Create time to stop, rest and breathe

Realise what’s important and how we want to live

Communicate and interact with others in a more meaningful and authentic way

Feel more calm and peace in all aspects of our day

Feel more connected with our loved ones and share more experiences together

Give ourselves the opportunity to relish and enjoy each day

If slow living sounds like something you’d like to bring into your life, here are a few things you can do to live a slower, more meaningful life.

1 / Just say no

It’s ok to say no to things. Realise that every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. The more we say no to things, the more time we have to do the things that are really important and meaningful to us. It can be hard as a parent when our kids want to do all the after school activities, swimming or dance lessons, whatever it may be, but it’s important to limit these for their sake as well as ours. The most joyful moments for me are when I’m at home with my son and daughter, reading, doing craft activities, baking, playing outside… and their ‘happiness journals’ say thats what makes them happy too.

2 / Don’t compare yourself to others

One of my favourite quotes is ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Social media is hugely to blame for this. We’re constantly seeing perfectly styled photos of people’s seemingly perfect lives. It’s a natural reaction to compare ourselves and assume we’re lacking somewhere. Which then leads us to fill our lives with more and more activities (and possessions) constantly striving for a life as wonderful as Miss Perfect. The thing is nobody’s life is perfect. All those photos on Instagram might look amazing but we know nothing of what goes on behind the scenes. When we stop comparing ourselves to others and striving for so-called perfection, we open ourselves up to being more grateful for what we do have. We give ourselves more time to look for happiness in the little everyday moments.

3 / Avoid multi-tasking

Instead of doing many things at half-effort, concentrate on your most important tasks… one at a time. It’s been proven that multi-tasking actually makes us less productive and more stressed. Multi-tasking causes more mistakes and takes us more time.  It might be a report you need to write for work, vaccuming the bedrooms or cooking a family meal, whatever it is be present and focus solely on that task without being distracted by emails, texts or looking on Pinterest! When we focus on one thing at a time, we give it our full attention and complete it faster… giving us more time for living that slower pace of life.

4 / Scrap the to-do list

To-do lists have long been considered a tool for helping us to keep track of important tasks and increasing productivity, but do they really serve this purpose? Some swear by them but they just leave me feeling overwhelmed and stressed. To-do lists make us focus on what we haven’t achieved, we tick things off then forget about them and continue stressing about the list of things still on there which gets longer by the hour. As a recovering control freak, scrapping my to-do list was a huge step but I can honestly say I don’t miss it at all. I really don’t need a list of every tiny little thing I need to do reminding me of what I haven’t achieved. Now I stay organised by putting the important thngs in my phone calendar and also my kitchen calendar. Do you know what? I sometimes forget things but so what!! It’s not the end of the world.!

5 / Disconnect

Hands up if you feel that you spend too much time on a screen of some sort. Yep me too! I’m not the greatest at disconnecting but I’m working on it and I’m slowly cutting down the time I spend on my phone. I used to spend far too much time of Facebook but realised it was affecting my relationships with my nearest and dearest. So I uninstalled the app and limited myself to checking in once a day. Now I hardly go on Facebook, usually only a couple of times a week. Disconnecting from screens is an essential part of slow living. Now I have more time to focus on the things that light me up, like spending quality time with my loved ones. I have time to rest and feel more calm and peace. Doesn’t that sound fantastic?!

Make the decision now to slow down, simplify life and make a little breathing space.

What are you going to do to live a slower life?

slow lving

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How a personality test changed my life

If you want to change and grow and make your life shine, I think you need to know yourself. Like really know yourself. I thought I really knew myself. I mean, I’m 40 years old, what could I possible not know about myself? One day abut six months ago, I came across a personality test called 16 Personalities. I think it’s fair to say this test changed my life! I’d never given much thought to my personality type but I thought I’d have a go for a bit of fun. What started out as something to pass the time turned out to be an incredibly enlightening piece of information.

The test is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which classifies us into sixteen different personality types. There are four possible pairs of personality traits:

Where do we get our source of energy? Introversion vs. Extraversion

How do we take in information? Intuition vs. Sensing

How do we make decisions? Thinking vs. Feeling

How we relate to the external world? Perceiving vs. Judging

Your test results will give you a 4 letter acronym like ESFP or INTP or ENSJ. There are 16 different combinations relating to each personality type. You can then read a pretty thorough description of your personality type. If you want to know how it all works in more detail, have a look at the 16Personalities theory page.

So which personality type am I?

I’m ISFJ which is also called The Defender or The Nurturer. In a nutshell this means…

Introvert / we get our energy from inside us, we’re reserved, unassuming, thoughtful, calm

Sensing / we take in infomation by sensing… we’re practical, observant, traditional, factual

Feeling / we make decisions based on our feelings… we’re devoted, kind, caring, principled

Judging / we organise our world based on our judgement… we’re organised, methodical, dedicated, persistant

Here’s a good summary that I found.

“ISFJs are industrious caretakers, loyal to traditions and organizations. They are practical, compassionate, and caring, and are motivated to provide for others and protect them from the perils of life. ISFJs are conventional and grounded, and enjoy contributing to established structures of society. They are steady and committed workers with a deep sense of responsibility to others. They focus on fulfilling their duties, particularly when they are taking care of the needs of other people. They want others to know that they are reliable and can be trusted to do what is expected of them. They are conscientious and methodical, and persist until the job is done.”

How did a personality test change my life?

ISFJ. A four letter combination linked to a description that fit me PERFECTLY. Reading through my report was like a revelation. It was uncannilly accurate, like it had been written just for me, in such a way that’s hard to describe. What I took from it wasn’t just a vague list of attributes but a completely accurate description of me. In my school reports, my teachers always described me as ‘quietly confident’. A few years ago at work, my manager used the exact same phrase to describe me. I’ve always liked that anolagy but now I know why they used it. It’s because I’m an ISFJ!

The bit that’s made the most impact on me is finding out about introverts. I always knew I was an introvert. Mainly because I knew I wasn’t an extrovert! But I didn’t really understand what introvert meant. I thought it kind of meant you were shy which I certainly am not! So I read everything online that I could find. And it all made perfect sense.

I’m now more aware of where I get my energy from. I know why I feel drained in busy social situations where I have to make small talk. I know why my head feels like it’s going to explode when there are loads of people talking at once or lots of noise. I know that I need quiet time alone to recharge my batteries. I know why I prefer to have a small group of close friends. Understanding this has really helped me to get to know myself a little more, which is a good place to start when you want to change and grow and life a happier, more peaceful life.

I hope those of you reading this learn something about yourselves too because I know how amazing that feels. Once you know your type, take the extra step and do some research. Find out more. Don’t limit yourself to whats listed on your report because there’s a whole world of information out there just waiting to be discovered!

Have you taken a personality test? What’s your personality type? Is it true to you?

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How to be happier

I’ve had my kitten Bob since he was 8 weeks old. He’s now 6 months old and I love him almost as much as my own children! He’s a wonderful cat, he has a lovely temperament, loves cuddles, plays with the kids and he basically rules the house. The thing with cats though is they don’t give much away. What I mean is, you can’t really tell how they’re feeling. The other day I found myself asking my fella ‘Do you think Bob is really happy?’ His answer was yeah of course he is!

That question really sums me up. All I want is for everyone to be happy. Not in a people-pleasing kind of way. But in a ‘finding true happiness in their soul’ kind of way. When I started journalling last year, I wrote my mission for the year as ‘To find true happiness and help others find true happiness’. So I’ve pulled together a list of all the things I’ve learned that will help your happiness levels soar.

Be grateful. At the end of a seriously crappy day, being grateful might be the last thing on your mind. But simply sitting down with a notepad and pen for a few minutes at the end of the day and writing down three things you’re grateful for is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Being thankful for what you have and you’ll end up having more amazing things in your life.

Get out in nature. Getting out in the fresh air is an amazing body and mind cleanser. Taking a walk or going for a run is a great way to help you think things through, reflect on life and ground yourself. Personally I love to walk barefoot on grass (yes I’m a secret hippy), I instantly feel calmer and more centred.

Journal.  Get yourself a lovely big notebook or something more structured like The Daily Greatness Journal that I use, and pour everything out. Let your mind empty itself onto that blank page to leave space for lots of positivity and loveliness.

Meditate. You don’t have to sit in the lotus position with your palms upturned for hours and hours! Meditating can take only 5-10 minutes a day. So find somewhere quiet and make yourself comfortable either sitting or laying down. If you’re new to meditating, try an app like Calm or Stop, Breathe and Think which provide free guided meditations. The benefits of regular meditation are immense and it’s been scientifically proven to help with depression, anxiety and stress.

Give. Life sometimes feels like you all you do is give give give. But making a conscious decision to give without expecting anything in return is life changing. Give to charity, give your time or just give your love. Even if you never wish for anything in return, it will come back to you in ways you can’t imagine.

Don’t compare yourself to to others. As the well known saying goes ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Social media is a huge culprit for making us compare ourselves to all those little people in our phone. It may look like they’ve got a perfect life but are their perfectly styled, sunlit, filtered photos a true picture of their lives? Take a break from social media and instead focus on being grateful for your beautiful imperfect life.

Live in the now. I know it’s a cliché but this is a big one. Dwelling on the past or constantly worrying about the future stops us from enjoying life here and now. The present moment is the only moment we have control over so let go of the rest, live in the now and decide make it amazing.

Just say no. Do you find yourself saying yes to everything then finding yourself so stretched that you feel like you’re going to snap? Saying no takes practice and must be done with respect and grace but if something doesn’t make your life more lovely don’t do it. My big tip for saying no is to go with your gut feeling. If we’re asked to do something, we usually have that initial reaction in our head of yes or no. This instinct is there for a reason, to make us slow down and live a slower, more peaceful, happier life.

Do what lights you up. Wouldn’t you rather spend your day doing something that really lights you up, rather than something you have absolutely no passion for? If you’re not sure what lights you up ask yourself these questions – What makes you feel whole? What would you do if you had all the money in the world? What makes you happy every single time you do it? If you love photography, take photos. If you love making things, get creative. If you love cuddles, hug someone. If you love dancing, get moving!

Self care. You can’t look after anyone else, if you don’t look after yourself first. So get enough sleep. Go for a run. Cook your favourite meal. Get a manicure. Dance to music you love. Snuggle up with a good book or your journal. Have a candle lit bath with some gorgeous bubble bath, listening to some soothing music. I could go on and on. The point is make time for yourself, do something that makes you happy.

I could go on forever about the many things you can do to be happier but these are my top ten tips. Start small and pick the one that stands out to you and really embrace it. Then introduce another, then another. Each little step adds up to big positive changes.

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my word for 2016

This is my first year of choosing a guiding word. At the start of 2015 I chose a word. Then I changed it. And changed it again. Then forgot about it. I can’t even remember what the words were now. So this year I’m determined to choose a guiding word and really live it. My word for 2016 is going to guide and insire me throughout the year.

First a little look back at last year. At the start of this year I did Susannah Conway’s “Unravelling the Year Ahead” workbook which starts by looking back over 2015. The words I chose to describe my 2015 were love, change and growth. I wasn’t very good at embracing change at the start of 2015. I’m still working on it actually but I’m getting better. I had to be, as last year was packed full of changes, the biggest of which was a long overdue (and very stressful) house move, but it was the best thing I ever did and I feel so happy and settled now. 2015 was also a year of huge personal growth and self-development for me and was filled with lots of love.

Why did I choose ‘Believe’? Well in early December when I started thinking about choosing my word for 2016, my overwhelming feeling was to choose ‘peace’. At the time I was feeling stressed about the run up to christmas, both my children’s birthdays and I was craving a peaceful life. I signed up for Susannah Conway’s ‘Find Your Word‘ e-course to double check if I’d chosen the right word and at the end was still happy with ‘Peace’.

However my stress passed and I started to question if ‘Peace’ felt right. I didn’t feel like it was enough. I didn’t feel like it would push me and take me out of my comfort zone, which I knew I needed to do. A few other words I considered were nourish, shine, grow and brave. All really amazing guiding words. When I looked up the definitions of the words though, they just didn’t feel right. Then on 30th December, the word ‘Believe’ popped into my head and I knew it was the one. It chose me!

How will I ‘Believe’ in 2016?

I believe I can do or be anything I want to.
I believe I am enough.
I believe everything happens for a reason at the right time.
I believe I love and nurture myself.
I believe I will achieve all my goals and dreams.
I believe I can help and inspire people to be the best they can be.

These words will be my mantras guiding me through the coming 12 months. To me ‘Believe’ is the opposite of ‘doubt’. I love the idea of being able to hold absolute confidence in anything I choose, without having proof of the outcome, without having to fully know why and without being filled with fear or doubt.

Have you chosen a guiding word for the year? What’s your word?

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