Declutter your life, declutter your mind; Part Two

Picture courtesy of www.weonlydothisonce.com

Picture courtesy of www.weonlydothisonce.com

As I discussed last week, having grown up in a somewhat cluttered environment I yearned for an organised, streamlined living environment where absolutely everything had its place. In my early twenties I was far from organised and, not having carved out a career for myself yet, earned relatively little which meant I lived in small rooms that served to make the task of streamlining my possessions that much harder. One of the first resources I came across was The Flylady. She made decluttering possible for me, a task which seemed huge at the time.

As part of last weeks exercises you made a list of all the rooms or spaces you wanted to declutter. If you found that you wanted to declutter almost all of your rooms when you made the list, I strongly recommend getting The Flylady’s book ‘Sink Reflections’. It tackles all of the issues most of us have with getting started, keeping on track and maintaining a streamlined living space. If you’re just too keen and want to get started now, here are the five essential decluttering tricks of the trade to lead you to the organised living environment you’ve always dreamed of! Continue reading

Declutter your life, declutter your mind; Part One

Picture courtesy of www.weonlydothisonce.com

Picture courtesy of www.weonlydothisonce.com

I grew up in a somewhat cluttered house and from a very early age I yearned for a super organised, decluttered environment. By the time I hit my early twenties, in line with the lack of discipline indicative of that decade, my attempts at creating a harmonious decluttered living environment left a lot to be desired. It was only really when I was older that I could effectively discipline myself to declutter my surroundings and implement organisational systems so that my living space was suitably streamlined.

 

Having lived in a cluttered environment I knew just how detrimental the effects of clutter could be. I knew that if my living space was cluttered my ability to focus and concentrate was greatly reduced. For years decluttering gurus have spoken of the adverse effects of clutter however recently science has proven what decluttering experts have long since known – that clutter directly impacts our ability to concentrate and focus and that it considerably reduces our creative ability. Once I achieved a decluttered and organised living environment my clarity of mind significantly increased and my productivity soared.

 

For many decluttering is one of those important but nevertheless non urgent tasks however when we look at the proven advantages to decluttering it is surprising it isn’t higher up on our list of priorities. After all, who doesn’t want to be more focussed, have higher levels of concentration and creativity? Continue reading

Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part Four

It is no exaggeration that Tony Robbins has mastered the science of change and self-empowerment. Keen to gain insight through Tony’s teachings I went to his Unleash The Power Within programme. Held over four days, Unleash The Power Within would help me to understand what motivated me, allow me to face my fears (often an obstacle to change) and change my life for the better. I completed my fire walk on the first day and the sense of achievement in having overcome the fear I felt was profound. What I didn’t expect was that in going to Unleash The Power Within I dealt with my biggest gear which had held me back – my fear of intimacy. Tony helped me to gain a crystal clear image of what this fear had cost me and as a result I was able to change my past behaviour by facing my fear (just as I had done in the fire walk) by telling a good friend that I liked him, something I otherwise would not have had the courage to do. If you want to face your fears and affect fundamental changes you want in your life I would recommend going to Unleash The Power Within, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience. Alternatively, Tony’s book Giant Steps reveals small changes we can all make that will lead to giant leaps forward in our quality of life.

 

Naturally when we make changes there will be set backs along the way but it is worth remembering that this is normal and does not equate to failing. When we realise we have gotten off track we simply need to revisit both the cost of not changing and the benefits of changing to boost our motivation, cement our resolve and review if we need to adapt our approach. After all, the more we practise something, the more likely it will become a habit and stick. It is also worth building in rewards for when you stick to your new changes, like going to the cinema or setting aside an evening off just for you. You could do this to celebrate your first, second or even six month anniversary of your new life since sticking to the changes you set yourself.

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Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part Three

Now we know our values it is time to make our resolutions and goals. Usually resolutions and goals are confused for one another however it is useful to remember that resolutions are based on habits and tend to be small whereas goals tend to focus on achievements and are likely to be bigger in scale. Please read Augusts series ‘How to turn your dreams into reality’ for an in-depth look into discovering and creating meaningful goals.

 

Ok, so our values, resolutions and goals are all aligned. What next? Continue reading

Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part Two

Just as critical to achieving lasting change is to focus on the benefits of changing our behaviour. Imagine the best case scenario in your mind’s eye and how much better your life would be if you kept to this resolution or goal. Imagine every detail of what your life would look like with your new changes in place. Take this time to list the benefits of achieving the change you desire and place this list somewhere you will see it every day, like your mirror or fridge. In visualising the value a change can make to our lives we reinforce the reason we desire to change. If you ever find yourself lacking drive re-read this list, visualising your new life as you go through it. This should serve to boost your motivation and resolve to continue to implement the change.

 

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Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part One

Tony Robbins, international bestselling author, world renowned life coach and motivational speaker once famously said “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” For many of us the start of the New Year represents a chance for a new beginning – a chance to make valuable changes that will improve our quality of life. Sadly our New Year resolutions are often discarded by the time February arrives as we remember just how difficult it can be to break old habits and form new ones.

 

It is a widely accepted fact that it takes twenty one days to form a new habit however this is usually contradictory to what we experience when trying to keep to our resolutions or new goals. Interestingly, a recent study by University College London has found that on average it actually takes sixty six days to fully embed a new habit into our daily regimes – that is nine and a half weeks! But is there any way to help speed up this process? Can we ever change quickly? According to Tony Robbins we can affect change in our lives faster if we focus on what our old habits are costing us and examine the benefits our new changes will bring.

 

Let me share my own experience of rapid change with you.

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New Year, New Life – How to Exercise Your Way to Well Being; Part Two

 

Picture courtesy of www.shetaxi.com

Picture courtesy of www.shetaxi.com

One of the main excuses I used in the past was that I simply did not have the time to exercise. In reality most of us lead hectic lives with busy schedules and even with the best of intensions we struggle to find time to exercise. If you find you can’t find the time to exercise try fitting it in to your daily routine by walking or running part or even all of the way to work. Another great strategy is to buy an exercise DVD that can fit into your schedule. Although DVD’s require you to have more motivation because you are in the comforts of our own home, you can help keep your motivation high by placing it in your diary and treating the entry as a deadline. It is helpful to then set an alarm to remind you when to begin your work out.

 

Thankfully, there are many forms of exercise. Whilst running may not be for you there are many other options.

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New Year, New Life – How to Exercise Your Way to Well Being; Part One

Picture courtesy of www.shetaxi.com

Picture courtesy of www.shetaxi.com

According to national statistics compiled by the Health and Social Care Information Centre around one in five British men and woman were obese in 2011. These figures rose sharply since 1993 and, if history is to be believed, are set to continue to rise. Although we all know that exercising is good, for most of us it stays low on our list of priorities. Often we have the intention to tackle exercise once our to do lists have been taken care of – an impossible task considering they are constantly being added to. The truth is that our inactive lives can lead to many health problems, both physically and mentally. Coronary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and poor mental health can all result from being inactive.

 

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‘Tis the season to be stressed – How to leave stress behind you for good; Part Three

Last week we looked at decreasing our demands. This week we focus on the fun bit – how we can increase our resources. This is just as essential when tackling stress, as it helps us to gain a more objective and balanced perspective. When our resources are high we are more likely to see the situation for what it is and this can reduce our tendency to enter into a heightened fight, flight or freeze response. There are many positive ways we can actively increase our resources. For instance, if I am stressed at work an early nights sleep will greatly increase my resistance to stress the following day. Unsurprisingly, lack of sleep can significantly increase our stress levels and so it is vital that we make sleep a priority when we are stressed. An early night or a lay in over the weekend can make a vast difference and improve our resources tenfold.

 

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‘Tis the season to be stressed – How to leave stress behind you for good; Part Two

The first and most important step is admitting to ourselves when we are stressed, hopefully last week’s exercises will have helped you to see more easily whether you are stressed. Admitting we are stressed can often be difficult in our society which promotes a busy lifestyle. How many programmes on TV have you seen featuring ‘essential’ festive events and activities we simply cannot, and should not, miss? When being busy is the norm, admitting we are stressed can seem like announcing we cannot cope with the demands of daily life, but this is not entirely the case. Usually those of us that suffer from stress have chosen to take on what others would not and, consequently, have been burdened with demands that are unmanageable given the resources available to us.

 

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