How To Keep The Holiday Vibes Going

A beach scene recreated at home

When you’re on to a good thing, you want to keep it going, right?  But how can we keep the holiday vibes going?

I posted before the summer and asked about what memories you wanted to create, and hopefully you’ve got a few good ones to keep you going.

But the back to work/school routine and shorter days could well be starting to feel a drudge by now.

Here are a few ideas on how to relive the feel-good summer vibes, if the sunny memories are starting to fade.

Switch up your routine. 

Now we’re back in the old routine, you might need to inject a bit of novelty into your week to avoid things becoming same-y.  Try and think about how different your day to day routine looks when your on holiday….leisurely breakfasts or relaxing mealtimes, getting outside for walks, exploring new places.

Think about how you can incorporate this – even if it’s just planning a leisurely weekend brunch or walk, if the weekdays are too hectic.

Become a local tourist. 

Being restricted to our local areas during lockdown meant that we had to be a bit more creative about where we visit.  Perhaps there are some local attractions or activities that you’ve always meant to explore.  Or perhaps you’ve always fancied fruit or pumpkin picking?  Check out what’s happening in your local area and get some things in the diary.  Having fun things to look forward to can help when you’re having a dull week.

Dream on Dreamer. 

If your feet are itching to stuck into some warm sand, rather than trek around your local park in the rain, you can spend some time daydreaming of distant shores.  You might want to create a visualisation that you can use during meditation…you can imagine the palm trees rustling in the breeze as you’re swaying in a hammock, or feel the warm heat from the sun on your skin.  And if you want to make it a reality, why not start a vision board and plan your ideal break…sometimes planning an adventure can be just as much fun as going.

Immerse your senses. 

Recreate your favourite sounds, smells and flavours from your most memorable trips.  Make up a playlist of your favourite holiday tunes.  Buy a room fragrance or skincare scented with exotic florals or woody tones.  Research your favourite dishes and get cooking (or drinking, cheers!).

Some really simple little ideas like these can help to inject a little joy into the everyday, and can really give you a boost when you’re feeling a bit dull.

 

Photo credit: @lionel_gustave via Unsplash.com

Why not have a go this month?

Motorcycles with learner plates

Did you know that September is the Festival of Learning’s ‘Have A Go’ month?  In celebration of lifelong learning and self development, it’s encouraging people to try new things.

I have long been an advocate for lifelong learning and I believe that our education shouldn’t stop when we leave school.

And whether you consider learning to be education in the formal sense, such as gaining qualifications etc., or whether you are interested in learning more about yourself and how you can get the best out of life, education and evolving is key.

Just as the world around us evolves, so do we. So should we.  We’re not the same people we were when we were younger.   Situations and experiences shape us.  Sometimes for the better, sometimes not.

We are constantly evolving.

The positive side of that is that we have the opportunity to choose what we become.  Our resources may be limited at times and we may need support to do it, but ultimately, we have the power to change our experience.

And without learning, we stagnate.  Physically and mentally.  We lose motivation and desire quickly if we’re not stimulated and engaged with the world or the people around us.  And it can be difficult to get it back.

Trying new things brings novelty, and our brains love novelty.

Research has shown that we are much more likely to stick at a new habit or skill if it involves something new.

During lockdown, many people have struggled with motivation, and after months of being stuck at home without routine or structure, it can be hard to get yourself back out there again.  So trying something new could be one way to take small steps.

Whether it’s a new activity we’ve never tried before, or perhaps doing something familiar in a different way, we can build our interest back up.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to have a go at?  Perhaps a new skill or ambition, or just greater awareness of self?  Something to improve your health or wellbeing, or open doors to new opportunities?

Sign up for a class, join a group, try a taster event…you never know where it might lead!

Photo by The Ride Academy on Unsplash

What Is It Costing You To Remain Where You Are?

Woman sat in contemplation what is it costing you to remain where you are

Do you need to consider what it’s costing you to remain where you are?

I’ve been looking at the theme of living with purpose this month, and for the May newsletter I’ve created a mini guide with hints and tips of how you can live life with more purpose (click on the link here if you haven’t signed up yet!)

This week, I’m looking at what it is costing us to remain where we are.

It’s very easy to get lost in the ‘day to day’, especially with everything that’s been going on during the past year, and we can drift or lose focus.

And as the weeks roll into months, and roll into years, the time always passes quicker when we are head down, getting on with it.

Perhaps after months of lockdown, you’ve had lots of time for reflection and questions – I know I certainly have. And I don’t want to go back to how life was before.

If you recognise that you are feeling unmotivated, or lack confidence or inspiration, you may well be feeling stuck.   And it’s likely that you may have lost, or outgrown, your purpose.

By not having a purpose to work towards, we can lose focus. But it doesn’t matter how big or small that purpose is.  Purpose doesn’t need to be this huge achievement or ambition…it can mean being better than we were yesterday, or last week, or last year.

It’s recognising that we want different.  We want better.  We deserve better.

Often we don’t notice until we hit that wall, asking ‘Is this it?’.

The very act of recognising means that we are intentionally noticing what’s going on. Maybe you haven’t done that for a while either?

The first step in getting unstuck is noticing that you are stuck.  Because then you can create the vision of where you want to be instead.

Photo credit: by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

 

How You Can Get Unstuck

Car stuck in the mud representing inaction

 

 

 

 

Feeling stuck and unmotivated can be the worst, right?  Why does it happen, and what can we do about it?  Here are some tips on how you can get unstuck.  

Find your focus.

Often, the most difficult part of taking action is knowing where to start – if you recognise this, get clear on the end result that you’re seeking.

When we dream of winning the lottery, we don’t dream about piles of bank notes.  We dream of the home we’d live in, the holidays we’d have surrounded by friends and family having a great time, we imagine ourselves driving our dream car.

The same goes for any kind of success.  We envisage what the end product will be once we’ve achieved it.

Remembering what it is we want to gain, and how our lives could be improved, can help to keep us focused.

Accept that it might get uncomfortable.

Taking action means we want to change, and change can be hard.  When we want to move out of our comfort zone, we have to let go of what we know, and that means taking risks on the unknown or the uncertainty.

We come up against our subconscious barriers and fears.  Maybe we dread failure, or we compare ourselves to others and think we’re not doing, or being, ‘enough’.

When you feel stuck, recognise what it is exactly you feel stuck about.  Identifying what’s wrong will help you to get unstuck.  Is it the practicality of not knowing what to do, or is it more about your internal thoughts?

Be honest, and get unstuck quicker.

Inaction teaches us what we don’t want.  And maybe it’s telling us our heart isn’t really in it.

If you struggle to get going, or to keep going, ask yourself if you still want this.  Go back to your ‘why’.  Is this goal still important to you, or have your priorities changed?  Are you no longer sure that it’s worth the effort it will take, and do you need to realign or modify your goal, to fit where you are right now?

There is no shame in dropping something that no longer serves you, or changing your mind.  In fact, ploughing on with something when your heart is no longer in it, can be more harmful.  It can affect your self esteem if you’re continuing to put effort in, when you know you’re not getting the results you want.  This is a sure sign, something needs to change.

So, if you’re struggling with a particular goal and you’re feeling unmotivated, try some of these tips to get unstuck.  It will help to improve your confidence, and longer term chances of success when you deal with issues quickly, and will give you the momentum to keep going.

For more tips on self development, stay up to date with the monthly newsletter, which also contains a free downloadable resource every month.  Sign up here to receive the latest newsletter in your inbox.

Photo credit:  Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

5 Ways To Help You Take Action

Take a leap and take action

 

 

 

 

 

Getting started and keeping going are often the hardest things to master when we’re trying to achieve something.  Here are 5 ways to help you take action towards your goals.

  1. Be realistic about how far away you are now, from where you want to be. If you need a lot of work, it’s going to take a while to get there and it won’t happen overnight. And you may well encounter problems or disappointment on the way. Prepare yourself that this will take effort but recognise that it’s worth it.
  2. Write a short, achievable to do list and work through things one at a time.   It might help  to get the most niggly one out of the way first for a bigger sense of achievement afterwards.  Reward yourself positively with time off, your favourite leisure activity or some self care.
  3. Allocate non negotiable time slots into your calendar – even if it’s just 10-15 mins a day.  It’s much easier to stay committed to smaller chunks of time rather than a one off longer session.  Make sure it’s time that you will use to focus only on this task and nothing else.
  4. Act when you feel inspired to.  And notice when you feel most inspired to act, or when you come up with ideas. If you struggle to get motivated sat at your desk, get up and do something else, go for a walk, take a shower. Ideas are more likely to come when our brains are at rest and we’re switched off.  Notice when things work for you, so when you have an important task to do, you know what you need to do first, to get in the right mood.
  5. Check in regularly to make sure that your actions are taking you in the right direction, and make any changes quickly.  Also, remember to recognise the progress you’ve made, and give yourself credit for what you have done.

Making any change is an ongoing process.

Acting on tips like this can keep you on track, and will help you to take more consistent  action.

It’s really easy to talk ourselves out of something,  or beat ourselves up if we don’t feel we’re doing enough.  If you’re doing something regularly,  then you’re doing enough.  Have faith in yourself and keep accountable, and you will get there.

Next steps

And if you’re looking to make some big changes, check out my new digital guide ‘How To Find Your Spark – The Weekend Project’ – details available here.

Photo credit:  @kidcircus via Unsplash.com

Spring – the ideal time to take action

Green traffic light means time to take action

Spring always seems like the ideal time to take action.  With the start of a new season and the promise of warmer days on the horizon, we can start looking ahead to new ventures.

So this month’s blog theme will be ‘Spring into Action’.

Taking action seems like an obvious theme of self development and personal growth, and of course, it is. But it can also the one that causes the most difficulty.

Dreaming big, goal setting and visualising is all well and good. But without the crucial steps to take action and get started, our ambitions are futile.  And even worse, they turn into regrets of the things we valued, but didn’t pursue.

It might be the ideal time, but why is taking action so hard?

Taking action means change, and even when we know that it will be a positive or necessary change, it can still be difficult.

We get used to our comfort zone, and fear or insecurity of the unknown scares us.  And rightly so.  Fear warns us of potential danger and making a complete fool of ourselves (well, sometimes!).   So it’s good to make sure that when it’s time to take action, that it’s well planned and considered, to give it the best chance of working.

So this month, I’ll be looking at how we can take the most effective action, and how to address the things that hold us back. The questions such as ‘Am I doing enough?’, or ‘Where do I start?’ are among the most common, and can cause us to become so paralysed that we end up doing nothing.  So stayed tuned to the blog and podcast this month, if you recognise any of these blocks.

And if you’re all ready to make some big changes, make sure you’re signed up for this month’s newsletter too.  It contains a handy guide to goal planning, with a framework for setting yourself steps to achieving your goals.  Sign up to the newsletter here.

Photo credit: @eliobedsuarez via Unsplash.com

Is it all in the mindset?

When it comes to personal growth, our mindset is probably one of the most important tools that we have.  It affects the way we think, how we feel and therefore, how we act.   And we hear about mindset a lot these days.

You may have heard terms such as ‘fixed mindset’ or ‘growth mindset’, as these are now commonly used phrases to describe different ways of thinking (for more on these, read the brilliant book ‘Mindset’ by Dr Carol Dweck, where these terms were first discussed).

And the effect of mindset is also used to describe success or failure in specific areas of our lives, such as with the terms “scarcity mindset”, or “abundant mindset”.

Although these would seem to suggest that there are polar opposite modes of mindset, it doesn’t mean that we are one or the other.   We may have particular personality traits that lead us to be more prone to a fixed mindset, but there are other factors that affect this, such as our past experiences.   If we have had a number of setbacks, or if we feel unsupported or criticised when we get things wrong, then we will tend to have a lower level of confidence, which in turn affects how we think about new challenges.

But the good news is that we can learn skills and techniques that can help us have a more positive mindset, and which can lead to us being more likely to seek out new opportunities to learn and grow, and get out of our comfort zone.

My concern however is that a lot of the messages we hear right now are suggesting that this is a simple and instantaneous fix – we are surrounded by posts that say, “think positive” or “you can do anything you put your mind to”.

How often have you heard phrases like this and felt ‘ugh’.  If you’re in a place where you are feeling flat or uninspired, the thought of thinking positively can leave you frustrated. Or it may even make you feel worse, if you can’t seem to shift your mindset in that moment.

Undoubtedly, the way in which we approach any situation in our lives is affected by our mindset towards it.  If we go into a situation almost expecting it to be disappointing or that we may fail, then it becomes more difficult for us to be successful.   If we go into the same situation with a more open and relaxed mindset, we may not be any more likely to succeed, but we have less attachment to the outcome and can be more willing to learn from the experience, then we are more likely to give it another go the next time. And this is where we learn skills like resilience and strength – it isn’t about hitting the target first time, its about the journey we take to get there, and where that propels us on to next.

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking a deeper look into mindset – what does a fixed mindset look like and how does it affect our successes, how can we build a growth mindset, and also are there any other options around mindset – do we have to be going for growth all the time?

 

Photo by Júnior Ferreira on Unsplash