School Run Positivity

Has anyone ever tried positive thinking in coping with the school run? I’m giving it a go today and the rest of the week as it’s the first week back at school.

I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run.

Let’s see if it works or if I return to my soliloquy in B flat on my hatred of the school run.

*breathe in sharply* I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Lessons from 2015

Last year I shared what I’d learnt in 2014 and I’m doing this again with what I learned in 2015.

  1. A life without a vision is like an untethered goat – aimless
  2. Thinking time is as important as doing time
  3. Commitment to one’s dreams is essential to achievement
  4. Successful people aren’t those who don’t fail but those who push on in spite of failure
  5. Don’t compare your early days to someone else’s finished work
  6. The life you want is determined by the actions and risks you are willing to take
  7. You already know what you want to do.
  8. Fear is toothless bulldog. The minute you start advancing towards what was scary, you find an innate boldness and fear is distant
  9. The support of family and friends is invaluable
  10. Faith is the glue that sticks it all together.

What ten things did you learn?

 

Vision Boards

I like to think about the New Year way before it starts. Usually by mid-September, I’m scouring my mind and making way for thoughts of the New Year.

I’d heard of vision boards some years ago but never did one. I’m a visual person so I thought to try something different whilst I was feeling excited about the New Year.

I wanted to make sure I got it done last year so I emailed half a dozen friends to see if they were interested in a group activity. I got positive responses but in the end only three could make the date I had available. 50% is not bad eh?

I went onto google, as you do, to find out some information about creating Vision Boards and facilitating a group activity on them. Nothing major, I just skimmed through some articles and was ready to go.

Don’t be fooled by the terminology though. They are nothing more than mood boards for goals/ambitions. Interior and graphic designers have been employing them for years. I always marvel at how life coaches turn age-old wisdom into freshly developed pearls of wisdom but I digress. It is simply a pictorial view of something you want to achieve. Works particularly well for people who are quite visual.

I’m the sort a person that you would take to a dilapidated building site and would see nothing but rubble. I need to see designs, swatches, colours, walls and all for it to excite me. If you are that kind of person, this would work really well for you. However, at the end of the day, it’s just a tool.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if it would work, especially as I had other people with me on the journey but I’m always up for learning new things and pushing my boundaries. It’s not like we were going to the North Pole right? Just in case though I was ready with food, drink and good company.
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If you thinking of trying this out here’s what you need:

  1. Card: I went for A2 but I suppose you could stick together a few A4 cards to get the size you want.
  2. Scissors
  3. Glue
  4. Magazines: loads of different kinds. You can ask your GP or hair salon for copies they are throwing out as well.
  5. A quiet space to do it with some relaxing music helps

Step 1: Think about what you want to achieve. Could be what you want 2015 to bring, what you want the next ten years of your life to look like, a home renovation project – whatever. It’s whatever you want.

Step 2: Go through the magazines and without really thinking, pull out images or words that jump out at you. This could take about half an hour. Just keep pulling them out. Having a variety of different magazines helps as in our case I found out that having only two types was a bit limiting and it took more time to search through. So ensure you have a wide breadth of magazine choices
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Step 3: This is the fun part. Start cutting out images and sticking them on your card or board. You might find that you have some sort of theme running through your pictures and could arrange them according to that. Or there might be no common thread at all so just stick them wherever and however you want. Don’t fall into the trap of creating a board that people want to see. It’s your life, your board.

Step 4: Once you are done sticking, take a step back and look at your board and see if anything resonates with you. The key is to be open to whatever it may bring your way. One of my friends, discovered that whilst she was doing a lot of things and was mega busy, she had been spending time doing things that didn’t please her. The board helped her to realise this and I’ve already seen her make changes to her life.

Step 5: If the board worked for you i.e. it inspires, tells you something new about yourself, validates, etc. then stick it up on a wall where you can see it regularly as a reminder of what you want to achieve.

I’ll have to admit that one evening wasn’t enough for me. I ended up sticking my images and words by theme but I didn’t have enough pictures. However, once my themes were in place and I realised these were the things I wanted to accomplish in the next phase of my life, I went back to the magazines looking for images that matched my vision.

I’ve also gone a step further and done a vision board with my children which I’ll blog about soon. That was quite enlightening.

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After the vision board comes action without which this is just a pretty picture on your wall. However, I do get a boost each morning by looking at it so in that sense it brought clarity to me as well as motivation.

Enough of the 2015 Drivel – Less Talk, More Action

Someone tweeted this the other day and I had to laugh because I totally understood where she was coming from. As the end of one year draws nigh and the dawn of the new year rises, there is an inordinate amount of ‘motivational’ spiel all over cyberspace.

During the first couple of months of the year, I tend to avoid social media because undoubtedly, every friend, follower and his aunty will be posting motivational quotes,quips, sentences, memes – whatever you want to call them. And If I am honest, even humble-improve-yourself-me finds it a bit annoying.

Don’t get me wrong. I usually love such quotes and I believe 100% in personal development but at this time of the year you just want to yell SHUT UP and do something instead of talking about it or in this case, writing about it.

Lest we epitomise that old adage, ’empty vessels make the most noise’, lets make some clear and realistic choices and steadily get on with it. No one ever achieved anything by talking, wishing or dreaming – you knuckle down and get it done. (is that a quote???? 🙂 I might just get away with that one)

And so like the true, and smug, worshippers in the temple of the gym, we await the demise of fledgling resolutionaires and look forward to getting on with it in 2015.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what those in my life achieve this year and hope to feature some in the Redefining Wonder Woman series for 2015.  Can’t wait!

Take A Bow 2014

It’s been an incredibly tough year for members of my family and by extension me.

It’s been a challenging year for my family and I.

Yet we have accomplished much; loved much; progressed a bit further; cried together; prayed together; danced to the beat of life and survived it all.

Through it all we are grateful and welcome better and greater things in 2015.

I Don’t Do Resolutions

They make me depressed when I get to the end of the year and I haven’t accomplished them. So you ask, were they written down? Were they time bound? Were they blahdiblahdiblah? Yeah yeah. I know. Goals should be SMART and blah blah blah but resolutions don’t work for me.

I find that having a theme or a focus for the year works better for me and then I apply it to every area of my life. At the end of each year I’m able to see tangible changes and I don’t feel like a loo-oo-ser. My theme for 2012 was new beginnings; I left my job after 10 years, moved to a new city with no friends or family, made new friends, tried new recipes, got a new job, did new things. 2013 was about actions not words; I started this blog, started writing a book- ish 🙂 , became a school governor (which I had wanted to do for ages), turned a hobby into a business and generally applied integrity to the things I said I would do. 2014 is going to be a year of growth and I’m looking forward to stretching beyond my usual capacity.

It obviously doesn’t mean I don’t believe in plans. I just prefer not to be caught up in the emotional frenzy of a new year and make good choices for myself without the almighty resolution hanging over my head. I have accomplished so much more this way than the years when I ‘resolved’ to do something. In the words of John .C. Maxwell,

you can’t manage a decision you haven’t made.

The other thing I don’t like about resolutions is how it fragments life. Like a new year really means you can put the past behind you like it’s not a part of you. I appreciate the optimism of a better year ahead but life is a continuum and can’t really be fragmented into the ‘you’ of 2013, 2014, and so on. Rather than resolving to do something fantastically and radically new, why don’t we add to the progress or non-progress of the previous year. Acknowledging that change can’t happen without action. And honestly, there are some things we aren’t always ready to change. We’ll just have to accept that they’ll be there to be picked up in 2015, God willing, because life is a continuum.

Some people may use resolutions in the right way and kudos to them. I have simply made peace with the fact that they aren’t for me.

Twenty Things The Year 2013 Taught Me

Here are a few things I learnt this year which should keep me in check in 2014.
1. A little humility never hurt anyone.
2. It is better to be practical than go hungry.
3. There are many blessings on the pathway to achieving your goal.
4. In dark times you are motivated to discover what you really want to do with your life.
5. Good relationships with family and friends enrich your life.
6. Do what makes you happy today since there is no guarantee of tomorrow.
7. Even a dead-end job can be brought to life.
8. In time, things work out beautifully.
9. Learn from the mistakes of other people, there is really no need to go through their pain.
10. Treat people with respect and kindness. It is vital.
11. Never say you can’t do something because you can always learn.
12. Don’t compare yourself to others. Start where you are, keep at it and you’ll excel.
13. Never stop learning and don’t be too proud to learn from others.
14. Find a hobby that creates an oasis in times of frustration.
15. How people treat you is not a reflection of who you are.
16. Take risks and take them often. Stretch your capabilities and your faith.
17. Don’t try and save the world. Simply contribute your part.
18. Use your experience and your knowledge to create opportunities.
19. Do not limit yourself.
20. Never stop smiling. 🙂