An Exercise in Finding Balance for your Life

First of all, it’s important to establish what’s realistic when aiming to improve your life. It isn’t realistic for every aspect of your life to be seeped in total happiness and success. Can you imagine how exhausting it would be to be over-achieving in every aspect of your life? Is there even enough time to fulfill every single area so fully and so perfectly? Just the pressure to aspire to that is enough to put you on a downward spiral of self-contempt. It just isn’t healthy.

But that isn’t to say that we must always be slightly disappointed in one area of our lives. Not at all. What we’re looking for is balance. We want a similar contentment across the board. When one thing is lacking you begin to feel something is missing from your life. You might feel discouraged, disenchanted or just generally unexcited by life.

Sometimes we know exactly what we need to work on and sometimes we do not. Either way, this exercise can help you!

STEP ONE

Welcome to the wheel of life!! I’ve drawn this out using my kids felt tips and a biro to show how easy it is to get down at home. You don’t need any fancy work sheet. It doesn’t need to be beautiful. You just need to draw eight equal(ish) lines to represent the eight main areas of life. BUSINESS/CAREER, FAMILY, POSSESSIONS, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS, SPIRITUALITY, FINANCIAL and HEALTH/FITNESS.

wheel of life

STEP TWO 

Rate out of ten how CONTENT you are with each area of your life. It’s important to look at how content you are and NOT how much you have of it. For example you might own absolutely nothing but be happy with that. We’re not striving to have an abundance of everything here, we’re striving to be content. Likewise, if you are someone who is not spiritual at all – don’t feel bad about that. It’s not important to be spiritual; its important that you’re happy with that. If you have a bit of a nagging sense that’s something you’d like to explore more of – then reflect that in your rating.

wheel of life co-ordinates

STEP THREE 

Join up the co-ordinates and color in the wheel. Look at how your wheel looks. Is it greatly unbalanced? Is there a general sense of balance? Is one area vividly out of place? Write down the areas that scored the lowest on your wheel. Now you know what you need to work on.

wheel of life filled in

STEP FOUR 

Now it’s time to do the work and that involves questions. As always.

  1. What would it feel like to raise the number of my lacking areas? This question is important because it builds your motivation to make changes. It helps you establish what it is your lacking in this area and what it is that will improve your contentment. In the photographed example, the person might say to raise the number in health & fitness and personal development would boost their self-esteem enabling them to get more out of life. It would feel happy, exciting and wonderful.
  2. How would it affect other life areas? This is really important as it sets up your priorities and could possibly alter your entire perspective. For example, suppose you rated your career at 2 and your family life at a solid 9. Would improving your work situation lower your family rating? Are you prepared for that? At this stage you could become more content with your career situation raising the number instantly . This would create balance via new perspective rather than change. Likewise, if you think the family situation may lower by only 1 mark, but your business and career would rise by 5 – perhaps creating a step up in career would be your next step creating a broader scale of balance.
  3. What do I need to do now? This is the big question. It’s a question of establishing where you are now, where you would like to be next and the steps in between. It’s all about goal setting and SMART goal setting is our post in the next fortnight. So if you’re struggling with this stage make sure you tune in for our next post. Alternatively you can comment and ask for help or contact me via e-mail.

Best Wishes.

HAPPINESS ADVICE FROM A FOUR YEAR OLD 

Being naughty makes you sad. Do the right thing to feel good.

MOTIVATIONAL SONG OF THE WEEK

 

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Being Responsible for your Life

This is always a tough one to dish out as it can be a really bitter pill to swallow.

It’s true though – so it must be discussed.

The only way to change your life is to accept the fact that you are responsible for the situation you are in.

Some people are instantly upset when they hear these words and it creates a flux of defensive statements. Hang on a minute – it isn’t my fault I lost my job… It’s not my fault my husband left me… I can’t help the fact that I have depression… etc. etc.

Of course, all of these statements are true. Sometimes you really can’t help what life throws at you. Life can throw some tricky and outright awful things at you. But these reactions are equating responsibility with blame.

Taking responsibility of your life is not a case of saying – “I got myself in this mess, it is my own fault.” Not at all. That is unproductive thinking and that’s not what we’re looking for here. Taking responsibility is accepting that you might not be able to control the circumstances life throws at you but are definitely able to RESPOND to every circumstance life throws at you and it’s these responses that create your situation.

Try thinking of the word like this: Response Able

Once you become response able (that is to say – once you become mindful of how you respond to your circumstances) you take control back of your life and create the future you want.

Sure, it’s not your fault you lost your job. But, it is in your power to now reroute and remap your future. You can take this as a break to find yourself, a period of time to pity yourself and go downhill or you can start seeking that career you always wanted. No, it isn’t your fault that your husband left you but again, it’s up to you what you do with this new found freedom.

I think you see what I’m getting at here. I will just clarify before I finish up – this does not at all mean you cannot have a period of time when you feel down. When you lose anything in your life – a person, a job or even just an idea – there is a period of grief. This grieving is vital to your healing and your assessment of the next move. Just don’t forget you are able to respond any way you wish.

THIS WEEKS UPLIFTING SONG 

HAPPINESS ADVICE FROM A FOUR YEAR OLD 

Don’t forget to cuddle and kiss the people you love.

 

REMOVE FEAR FROM YOUR LIFE

I’ve got a secret to tell you. It’s a simple secret that has entirely changed my life.

Fear is not real. 

Let that sink in. It might take some time and reflection to really take route in your life. But really think about it. I’ll repeat that.

Fear is not real. 

Fear is worrying about something that could potentially happen. It hasn’t happened. It’s not definitely going to happen. It just could happen.

But guess what? When you make any decision and/or action there are an infinite number of possible outcomes. Something brilliant could happen. Something not so great could happen. It doesn’t matter. Hypotheses are not certain or factual in any way.

Fear only has as much power as you allow it. After all, it’s your own creation. It’s something made up inside of you.

This might not be your type of music – but this video demonstrates my point so well. Possibly with a couple of laughs. Give it a go.

Get’s a bit ridiculous doesn’t it? This is an extreme example, but this is what we are doing when we let ‘fear’ rule our lives.

Absolutely every aspect of our lives hold some element of risk – even having teeth!!!!!

So the question is, what type of person are you going to be? The one who rejects this made-up fear and reaches for their dreams? Or the one who removes their teeth so they can’t bite their tongue?

HAPPINESS ADVICE FROM A FOUR YEAR OLD

Always get enough sleep. If you can’t sleep – keep trying.

WHY you should talk to yourself with respect and HOW to do it.

We’ve all heard it a million times. This isn’t groundbreaking advice, but it is vastly important all the same.

You must speak to yourself with respect if you are ever going to get anywhere in life. To demonstrate why this is so important I want you to do something for me.

Imagine you’re in a coffee shop. You’re sat at your own table not really thinking about anything when a mother and her child walks in. The mother looks at her child and says simply,

“No cakes today. It’s just been Easter and you’ve eaten a lot of rubbish the past few days. You can have a fruit pot.”

The child says that’s okay. They don’t kick up a fuss. However, they can’t stop themselves from staring at those cakes. They look delicious. The mother notices this. Ruffles her child’s hair and smiles,

“Go on then. Pick a cake, we’ll get you one.”

The child is thrilled. They pick a great big cinnamon roll and they gobble it down in perhaps ten minutes, full of joy.

The mother’s facial expression changes. She twists her mouth in disgust and looks down her nose.

“You are disgusting. You greedy pig. You couldn’t even go one morning with eating something sugary. You couldn’t be healthy for just one morning. Pathetic.”

Now, you’ve sat at your table and watched the whole thing. I bet you can’t believe what you have seen and heard. How do you feel about that mother? How do you feel for the child? The mother’s instructions were so inconsistent that I doubt her child had a single chance of doing the right thing. Her feedback was so cruel I doubt they have the respect for her to try and do the right thing.

We are all guilty of talking to ourselves like this from time to time. We set a goal – in this case to be healthy. We then give ourselves permission to break our plan – go on then, just one cake won’t matter. But then we abuse ourselves, making ourselves feel unworthy and unable to ever make goal. After all, if we can’t stay on track for one morning; what chance do we have of being on track for a life time?

So, how should we talk to ourselves if we are to achieve our goals and build the life we want?

  1. BE CLEAR – you must create for yourself a clear goal and a clear plan. You don’t need to know every step you are going to take but you need to know at least the next step. In the example above, the mother started well. She told her child that they had already eaten a lot of sugar and should have something healthy. To make it even better she should have given the child a good why. You need a motivator. If you are being healthy perhaps it’s to drop a dress size or to feel more confident.
  2. BE CONSISTENT – If you keep changing the rules, that’s going to cause a lot of confusion. It is very much like communicating with a child. If you change the house rules every five minutes, the child becomes demotivated. After all, how on earth can you ever get it right if the rules keep changing?
  3. BE KIND – If a parent is constantly verbally abusing a child, that child quickly loses respect for that parent. Why would you try to help someone when no matter how hard you try it still ends up in verbal abuse? If you verbally abuse yourself, you became demotivated. You feel unworthy. You feel unable. It is vital that you use positive language. Affirm to yourself that you CAN do this and you WILL do this.

Have you been guilty of changing the rules and then verbally abusing yourself? Start talking to yourself clearly, consistently and with kindness RIGHT NOW and watch how your life begins to change.

HAPPINESS ADVICE FROM A FOUR YEAR OLD

Go outside and enjoy the sun. I love my sunglasses.

How to Defeat Hurdles

Just a quick one from me!

On every journey there are hurdles to jump over and sometimes they trip us up and we fall down. But you know what, falling over does not disqualify you from the race. The only way you’re going to meet the absolute joy of the finish line is if you get up, brush yourself off and keep going.

Perhaps you’re on a weight loss journey and you just succumbed to a whole easter egg, ten biscuits and a kebab.

Maybe you quite smoking but just got through a whole packet in a moment of insanity.

You might be trying to get your anger in tact but have exploded in rage or fell into another anxiety attack.

It really does not matter.

Forget restarting ‘tomorrow’, brush yourself off, plaster your wounds quickly and take charge of this new second right now. Change happens this instance. Run up to the next hurdle growing in strength with every stride and then leap.

It doesn’t matter how many times you fall. With every trip you grow in resilliance. You learn. You improve your skill. Soon you’ll be leaping with ease and feeling the joy of bounding across the finish line.

Change happens NOW. Keep running. You’ll get there.

Three Ways People Deal with Rain

So, yesterday my daughter and I had two goals for the day: change the kiddo’s library books and nip to the shop for toothpaste. Not big goals by any means but goals all the same. But we had an issue – it was raining and I don’t drive.

I leaned back in my chair and sighed, “I don’t know if we should go out today, baby. It’s raining.”
My daughter just looked at me like I had four heads and asked, “why is that a problem?”

I had been entirely put in my place by a four year old… again. Why was I going to let something as insignificant as rain get in the way of me reaching my goals of the day? Since when did a little bit of rain hurt anybody?

It got me thinking about how we deal with problems in our lives and those ‘problems’ that get in the way of us reaching our aims. I wonder how many of these ‘problems’ actually are problems when we look at them. I wonder how many are just excuses.

There are three types of people when it comes to rain.

  1. Those who avoid the journey entirely, afraid of getting wet. They would rather miss out on what they were going to do, rather than endure the rain.
  2. Those who go out but walk around the puddles, or even get a bus or taxi.
  3. Those who embrace the rain, jumping in the puddles, kicking up a splash and having a journey even more interesting than they originally intended.

I know who my kiddo is – and this little girl has been a champion at getting what she wants since day one.

20180403_152327

Who do you want to be?

Someone who avoids the journey entirely and misses out on ever reaching their goal? Someone who skirts around the issues, possibly achieving their goals but with little growth? Or someone who embraces the ‘problems’ of life, conquering the puddles, growing and learning about their environment all the while enjoying the ride?

 

HAPPINESS ADVICE FROM A FOUR YEAR OLD:

Loving people makes me happy – being cross makes me sad.

 

The Three Ingredients for Success

In NLP, there are three main ‘attitudes’ that we believe are vital if you are going to succeed in achieving your goals. These attitudes are CURIOSITY, FLEXIBILITY and ACTING AS IF. Let’s break them down and look at them in more detail.

1) CURIOSITY 

This entails asking questions of yourself and answering them honestly. What are you real goals and desires. Not just what do you think you should do, but, what do you want to do? If your goals have been set for a while, what behaviors are stopping you from reaching your goals? What practical behaviour will help you to reach your goal? Once you’ve answered these questions and reflected – it’s time to set up a plan.

2) FLEXIBILITY 

Once you have a plan to achieve your goal, it’s vital you follow through with it. Plans without actions do not meet success. But here’s the downer, PLAN A is not always the exact road to success. Sometime’s, we get it wrong. But you MUSTN’T take this as failure. To throw in the towel because PLAN A did not work, would be a mistake. If Plan A doesn’t work jump back to CURIOSITY and let the questions unravel once more. Why didn’t PLAN A work? What would help improve the plan? What other steps can we try? It’s time for PLAN B. Perhaps PLAN B will meet your goal, perhaps you’ll get all the way to PLAN Z – it doesn’t matter as long as you get to goal. When you get to goal, you really wont care how many attempts it took to get there; you’ll just be revealing in success.

3) ACTING AS IF

For me, this is the most important ingredient for success and really, it’s just about feigning confidence. When following through with a plan – you must act as if you KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that you will get to your goal. It doesn’t matter if that particular plan does not meet goal, but if you hold back and tell yourself, “this isn’t going to work” then it’s really not likely to. It’s your confidence and your effort that really pays off with this. Besides, if you keep going, asking questions and trying different methods you will reach your goals. FOR SURE.

It’s like when you set off driving to a new location, you act as if (and are usually certain) you will definitely reach this new destination. You might set off using a map, but perhaps a road is closed for roadworks and you have to reroute and try again. Maybe you get a bit lost along the way and have to ask for directions. Perhaps your car even breaks down and you have to change a tire or call for assistance. Eventually though, if it’s important enough to you, you jump over the hurdles and you get to your destination.

Now time for my favorite element of my blog.

HAPPINESS ADVICE FROM A FOUR YEAR OLD

To be happy – smile at other people and watch them smile back.