Start as You Mean to Go On!

pexels-photo

New Year resolutions seem so old-fashioned nowadays as many people don’t bother to set them because in their minds they already feel that they will not achieve them.

Even if we don’t name them “resolutions” it is important to have goals.  Human beings are very much task and goal orientated and we are setting goals unconsciously every single day.  What time we have to be at work, cleaning the house for visitors, buying birthday cards etc.  Research has shown that having goals and working towards them increases success, happiness and health.  If we don’t set goals for ourselves that maybe other people are doing it for us and we can drift along without feeling in charge of our own lives.

Goals can be big such as learning to drive or can be small like planting Spring bulbs.  It doesn’t matter what your goal is, as long as it is important to you.  90% of the goal is knowing why it is important to you and how it will benefit your life, 10% is how you go about achieving it.

Throughout our lives we have all succeeded at things so we know it can be done.  We need to be aware of our motivation strategy and make it work to our advantage.  Are you a person that sets a goal and can work towards, it visualising what the end result is?  This is TOWARDS motivation.

Are you someone that waits until things become so uncomfortable before you take action?  This is AWAY motivation.  Neither is better than the other, it is for you to use the strategy that works best for you.    If you are an away motivator perhaps increase the discomfort or focus on what you are putting up with or losing out on to kick start your motivation.

There are loads of suggested ways that help with achieving goals but here are a few that I still use:-

  • Write the goals down and place them where you can see them everyday
  • Write down why that goal is important, how it will affect your life, health, relationships, career etc
  • Share that goals with someone you trust who will be supportive – don’t keep it to yourself. Ask them to check in with you every week to see how you are doing
  • If the goal feels overwhelming break it down into small manageable chunks and focus on each step at a time
  • Reward yourself for each step you take towards your goal. Rewards can be treats such as a manicure, coffee out with a friend, time to read a magazine – make it meaningful for you
  • Every time you come up against a “block or obstacle” remind yourself why you are doing this and how important it is to you

 

If you still feel daunted by your goal and don’t know where to start seek help from others.  What you could achieve with support, guidance and encouragement could be priceless.

Currently I am offering two coaching packages to help people kick off their New Year with motivation and determination.  This can be online with weekly support and exercises or face to face sessions that will keep you on track.  Further details can be found here or on my website

I have set my goals for the year ahead- some small, some much bigger and slightly daunting!  They range from watching the British Lions in New Zealand to lowering my golf handicap to establishing a Reiki business. They are all important to me in so many aspects of my life that I would be foolish just to do nothing and hope that things happen.  I am not trusting to chance!

Good luck with yours and if you want to share them I would be delighted to hear from you.

 

Best wishes

Karen

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Essence of Time

It seems that nowadays that we have a scarcity of time although 24 hours has always been 24 hours!  I know when I worked for an organisation that had targets and outcomes to achieve that time felt as if it was rushing away and certainly at times there were not enough hours in the day.

Now being totally self-employed, time has taken on a different meaning.  I still have 7 days a week 24 hours in the day but my perception has changed.  I feel as if I have enough time to do whatever I need to do.  I recognize that I am setting my own targets which allow them to be realistic in the time frame I choose.  However, once again, it is our mind and thoughts that create scarcity of time.  If I believe that I have “enough time” then I will, if I think that I won’t have enough time then it’s likely I won’t!

There is a theory that as we get older if feels as if time is rushing by and speeding up but that may be because we have so many past reference points to compare on our continuum of time.  Children live in the present, they don’t look back and see what has been or they don’t look into the future – wanting time to hurry up.  As Andy Cope says in “The Art of Being Brilliant” don’t be a “destination addict” always wishing that it was the end of the week or that holidays would hurry up.  The more we slow down the more we are in tune with the reality of time.

Research has been done by Professor Phillip Zimbardo on time perspective and concluded that our attitude to time is defined by key personality traits such as optimism and sociability, visit  PsychCentral to take the test on your perspective of time.

We can use time management strategies and techniques that may help with organisation and avoidance of procrastination whether that is writing lists, setting only 3 tasks a day or applying the urgent/important time matrix.  It is vital that you find the strategies that work for you.  If you are not sure where to start contact me  but if we really want for time to be your friend stay in the present moment, appreciate each thing you are doing at that particular time and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the ever increasing cycle of pressure and scarcity of time.

What are your ways of managing your time?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

From NHS to Reiki

I have been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years working within mental health.  I worked very much using a social care model rather than a medical model which allowed me to look at the person’s whole needs in their lives.

I considered their ability to look after their personal care, how they related with others, their self-esteem, involvement with activities and interests as well as work performance.  I worked alongside the person through the use of therapeutic activities.

I was aware of the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of the person.

However many years later as a Reiki Master I added another dimension to my work – spiritual needs.  This is not about religion or faith but recognition of using and being aware of energy that is in us and around us “an innate human need to connect to something larger than ourselves”  Cindy Wigglesworth.

Quantum physics recognises life force/energy that makes up the Universe and us! These blogs explain how we are affected constantly by energy.  Click here and here to read more. We can sense energy from others, negative and draining or positive and energising.  We may sense things as our “gut reaction” and whether we choose to believe it or not is our choice!

My own process with Reiki has been quite rapid but probably there was always an awareness of our own ability to “heal” ourselves, of the ability we all had within us to create change.  I view change now in a much bigger context, not just as physical or emotional but with an additional “spiritual” presence and need.

One of the biggest changes in my practice now is not having outcomes.  As an NHS employee outcomes and targets were an integral part of my work with some being absolutely crucial and vital.  However I felt that some outcomes limited the extent of progress and reduced creativity and flexibility.

As a Reiki practitioner I now let go of outcomes and trust that the Reiki I deliver will manifest itself for that person’s good.  I trust that the body, mind and soul will receive what it needs. I heard someone once talk about Reiki using this example:-Take a piece of paper and write the word “sugar” on it.  Then lick the paper.  Does it taste like sugar? No.

Reiki has to be experienced as everyone’s experience will be different and unique to them.  We can talk and read about it but can never really get a sense of it until you receive it.

Reiki can be used alongside conventional treatment to enhance the healing process and also to ease pain and discomfort and reduce stress.

I have used Reiki for people with low mood, stress, anxiety and fibromyalgia.

I feel truly privileged to be able to offer Reiki in my work as a coach and therapist as I feel it brings that additional dimension to wellbeing and health.

For more information on Reiki go to my website or to book a session click here

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Art of Being Brilliant

 

Last month I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Andy Cope one of the authors of The Art of Being Brilliant” http://www.artofbrilliance.co.uk/

It was an absolute pleasure to be at the workshop as the focus was  about how we can all achieve happiness.  We may be living our lives faster but are we living them better?  The solutions and strategies he talked about were incredibly simply I wondered why we are not all using them!  So I’d liked to share a few with you:-

  • How many of us have “destination addiction?” Do we hear ourselves say “I can’t wait until Friday” or, “only 2 months, 3 weeks and 4 days to go before my holiday!” We are waiting for happiness to be in the future when in fact is starts in the PRESENT.  To quote Andy happiness is the STARTING point not the END point.

 

  • Happiness is a thought that creates a feeling so in fact we are only one thought away from happiness. A lot of the work I do with  clients is around challenging and changing thoughts. The more accomplished we become at choosing our thoughts the more control we have of how we want to feel.  Keep looking for the “ordinary beautiful” in life to promote inner feelings of happiness.

 

 

  • Apparently you only need 4 minutes for others to latch onto your emotions. This works both ways – negatively and positively.  If you go into work head down, moaning about what’s ahead, complaining about things that haven’t been done then, that will impact on others around you.  You only need 4 minutes of being brilliant to affect people and they in turn will start to affect others – apparently your mood could affect 27,000 people a day!!

 

  • Put in place the 10/5 principle – if anyone comes within 10 feet of you smile, if they come within 5 feet of you – make eye contact! Mental health studies have shown that connecting with others is a crucial part of mental wellbeing.

 

There was so much to take on board that I would encourage you to seek out any of the workshops that Andy runs or read the book.  I hope these few tips and suggestions will get you going on your path of brilliance!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Taking Risks

My job as a coach and therapist is to support, encourage and motivate my clients to take positive risks.  In order to move forward and make changes you have to step out of your comfort zone.
The risks may be big or small but are always significant to the person.  Taking risks may involve changing jobs, saying no to someone, going into a supermarket or learning to be kind to oneself.  Whatever it is it takes courage and a willingness to do something different.

Only recently I took a risk and signed up to go tandem hang gliding.  My first attempt resulted in getting 5 feet off the ground and crash landing in gorse!  Needless to say, months later for my second attempt, I was particularly anxious. However I had learnt from my previous attempt and knew what I had to do differently.
All harnessed up I just had to take one step forward – nothing else just that one step.  Then we were off – upto a 1000 foot in the air over Woolacombe beach.  The experience was amazing, scary and unique with a beautifully smooth and safe landing!

Dec-2014-012

Once we take that step forward, take that risk, the experience may still be uncomfortable or anxious but we can no longer go back.  We have moved forward into a new experience and whatever the outcome of that move it can only be positive.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Site for Blogs

You can now follow my blogs on http://www.redoakcoaching.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring!

spring-003

At last Spring is here even though it is being a bit contrary with the weather!  For me this is my favourite season with the longer evenings and the chance to get out into the garden.

As a Coach and Occupational Therapist I spend all my time being with people listening to their difficulties and supporting them in finding a way forward to change.  At times my head can feel like it is full to the brim!  A way for me to “empty” my head is to be back in touch with nature, whether that is gardening, walking or photography.  There is something about being in the present moment seeing, feeling and hearing what is around us.

Over the recent years a new form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has come to the fore front – Mindfulness    http://bemindful.co.uk/  http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/mindfulness.htm .  This may be done within formal sessions with trained practitioners but the principles can be applied to us all.

Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism but we can all practice bringing our attention and awareness to what we are doing in the current moment.  One definition is “bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis” (Wikipedia).

I am not a qualified practitioner in Mindfulness but for me just to stop and listen to the birds in the garden or look out over the sea and watch the colours of light change brings about a sense of peace and perspective.

There is increasing research on the positive benefits to being in green spaces known as ecotherapy http://www.mind.org.uk/campaigns_and_issues/report_and_resources/835_ecotherapy

It has been shown that if you can for some part of your day be in a green space whether a park or a garden then stress levels decrease and self esteem increases.  Even working in an office that looks out onto greenery has positive benefits.  If this is not possible put a landscape poster on the wall and look at it throughout the day.

So this Spring, wherever you work, take time out to be somewhere green and allow yourself time to just be in the present moment.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment