Learning something newFollowing a serious ski accident in 1983 my mobility and energy levels were seriously compromised.

I became the Head Teacher of Parklands School in 1984 and was determined that the school should succeed. Deteriorating mobility and two failed back surgeries left me wheelchair bound. I could not get past the classroom doors because of the wheelchair. My challenge was how to ensure excellence for pupils and staff?

 

The old saying that, “necessity is the mother of invention”, was never truer; over time I developed a structured, sequential professional staff development programme which involved everyone. Living proof of its success was our inclusion on the HMI “Best Schools” List twice during my headship. The approach I created for developing leadership was a significant gift arising out of my disability.

 

I believe every challenge in life has within it opportunities to learn and grow, I see them as the gifts.

 

The beliefs we have of ourselves and what we can do can either empower or limit us.

In 1996 I attended a fantastic course in London.  They offered a further course California.  I really wanted to go but thought how would I manage on my own in a wheelchair?  I dismissed the idea as it was too difficult.

 

The London course involved a Fire Walk. My mobility was limited to a few steps but with help I managed it.  I was ecstatic!!!.  I looked behind me to watch the next guy – a double amputee walk over the coals on his hands. I was gobsmacked!!!! 

 

In that moment I asked myself – if he could do that, how often did I allow limiting beliefs to hold me back?  I immediately booked to go on the course in America.  I travelled on my own and had a fabulous time.. I’ve been on many trips abroad on my own since.  I am so grateful to the nameless man who opened up my thinking and my world.

 

How often do you let your thinking diminish your world, limit your dreams or keep you small? 

Time To Move On

I’m sure you are all familiar with the old saying: “When at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again”.  In my time as a teacher I must have said it a million times without realising that I was doing the person involved a huge disservice.

How many times have you “tried” to lose weight, give up smoking, get fit, be more positive or assertive? How often have you failed?

Of course the word in itself has no power to keep us stuck but the reality is that when we think about trying it creates a sense of momentum and effort but it has the capacity to leave us wafting  about and going nowhere.

Let me demonstrate. Choose an item , a pen, mug anything that you can move will do.

Try and move it. Really try!!

You will find that you haven’t tried to move it you have either left it exactly where it is or you have actually moved it.

I use this simple exercise with clients who wish to achieve something but have so far failed. They often say I’ve tried this and that, may say they have tried everything.  My observation is that by using the word “tried” they have allowed themselves to feel powerless, stuck in the No Mans Land between wanting and achieving. It gives us permission to fail.

That may sound really harsh but I’ve noticed a consistent pattern where people have found it difficult to change something they say they really want to do. I’m not talking about one or two instances but in many hundreds of people I’ve helped over the years.  The good news is that when people realise they are caught in the “trying” trap and choose to look at things differently they are able to achieve far greater levels of success and do it consistently.  In the first instance the simple act of shifting their language changes things energetically. Their mindset is very different and as a result so is the outcome.

“I’ll try to …….. ” Feels very different to “I will ……”

In the first instance you don’t actually need to know exactly how you are going to create the success. Having the clear intention that you will succeed and that you are prepared to do what it takes to create that success is a very powerful starting point.

Maintain the belief that you will succeed even if it takes several attempts and you are firing up your levels of motivation and commitment in a fundamentally different way to the far more flabby “I’ll try”

Time and time again my clients have proved to themselves that they can succeed once they escape the trying trap and so can you!

 

The past, the present, the future. Where we choose to focus our attention has a profound effect on the quality of our lives.Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Future

Here you can read the 10 steps to stop the past spoiling relationships you have now.

Example 1: When what we have learned in the past is applied to the here and now we have the opportunity to develop new ways of behaving. Making the right choices in the present allows us to look forward to a future free of limiting beliefs and negative patterns of behaviours.

Example 2: If we fail to learn from the past, life has a habit of presenting the same lesson over and over again, until we actually learn and make a change for the better.

An example of this in a relationship: Some people choose the same sort of partners time and time again with disastrous consequences… A client had suffered through a string of terrible relationships. When we analysed what was going on she had always chosen her partner on criteria based on external characteristics, looks, lifestyle etc. When she began to think about the values she thought were important and likely to sustain a long term, loving relationship she realised that her ideal partner would need to be from a very different mould. A few weeks later she met such a man and they are now enjoying life together.

 

You can choose not to hold on to a negative past

Negative emotions are extremely expensive in energy terms and are corrosive to a sense of self worth and wellbeing. Holding on to anger, frustration, hate or a sense of rejection does nothing to get back at the person who has caused the initial hurt.

Understanding that you CAN choose for things to be different, giving yourself permission to express your feelings and then to forgive absolutely, gives you a sense of freedom, control and serenity.

By letting go of baggage many years after experiencing abuse or unhappiness, the clients I have worked with created a different and very positive present, and an exciting future for themselves.

Letting go does not mean forgetting all about the issue, it is about deciding to let go of the negative emotions surrounding the problem. Absolute forgiveness leaves the path clear for peace and space for growth.

When negative emotions have built up over a period of time, people have a tendency to interpret other people’s motives in a particular way. It is a default setting that causes the consideration of every action or lack of action, every word or lack of one from the person who we feel let down by, as being hurtful.

Lack of learning and continued negativity results in the continued interpretation of motives in a particular way so each situation becomes more proof that the negative thinking is right. The result is hurt piles on top of hurt with the potential to destroy the relationship.

Does your default setting take you to a negative place?

Think about the emotion you feel most commonly in the relationship that is causing you pain.

In the last week, which are the five emotions you have felt most commonly? List them:

1:

2:

3:

4:

5:

If you have spent a lot of time feeling negative emotions maybe it is time to break the pattern.

Your past does not have to dictate your future

We can actively choose to do things very differently. We can choose to create a set of empowering beliefs that support the very best future.

  • This is not about giving in or thinking about who is in the right and who is in the wrong.
  • It is about choosing whether you want your present and your future to be better.

Those who have suffered abuse as a child, been bullied or who have lived in unhappy circumstances have the choice to let their awful circumstances blight not only their childhood but their adult life too.

They can bring with them the sense of lack and a belief that they deserve no better, or they can let go of the past and the negative emotions created by their past.

Or

They can make a conscious decision to make adult life count for something else and if they have children, to ensure that their children’s childhood is very different.

 

You have that same choice. A useful place to start is to look at the way you interpret another person’s motive.

 

Step 1 – Identify your emotions.

Identify all the negative emotions you feel on a regular basis. Make a list.

 

Step 2 – What makes you feel this way?

Look at your list and identify what specifically makes you feel that way.

How much of the way you feel is actually based on something from your past? Does it remind you of the way you were treated by a parent or a previous partner? It is not uncommon for a tone of voice or specific actions to trigger powerful emotions from past situations. Have the two situations become confused? Do you need to deal with your baggage from this past relationship rather than let it spoil this one?

 

Step 3 – Change your physiology.

The way you stand, how you breathe, and your facial expressions all impact on the way you feel. If you are feeling sad, or angry or rejected change your physiology before you attempt to change your thinking.

You can do this by giving yourself a physical shake, by dancing round the room, gurning in the mirror, hopping on one leg or doing a silly walk. Dramatically changing your physiology will change your mood and emotional state.

 

Step 4 – Consider a different possibility.

Consider the possibility that the motive you have attached to the person and situation could be different in reality to the one you have assumed.

Is your partner doing and saying (or not doing or saying) something specifically to hurt or annoy you or could there be a different reason? Could it be that their behaviour is more about them?

 

Step 5 – Interpret the motive differently.

Consider how things would be different when you choose to interpret their motive as being less about you and more about them.

 

Step 6Change the trigger to the negative emotion.

People have a tendency to make conditions for feeling emotions. They often make the conditions for feeling positive emotions very difficult to achieve and those for feeling negative emotions very easy.

I will only feel happy when… I have the perfect partner, a top notch job, a huge house, children who never argue and always keep their room tidy, a holiday home on a desert island and.. and.. you get the picture. Even when they achieve all the conditions for achieving happiness the likelihood is that they will simply add more conditions.

I feel rejected… every time my partner is late home from work, or when they don’t have time to talk to me when I phone them at work, or when they respond to a phone call from work, or when they bring work home or when they don’t hear what I say or when they disagree with me or.. or …

You can choose to do it differently. Our emotional state is actually a choice we make!

Make it easy to feel positive emotions:

It is a new day, I choose to be happy. Every time I see someone smile, or I give or receive a hug or a kiss, or I see the beauty of nature or I focus on helping others or I ask for or accept help I will feel happy.

Make a decision to make it more difficult to feel negative emotions:

I will feel rejection only when they kick me in the shin, spit in my eye and tell me they reject me. Rejection only comes if I were to consistently believe in the illusion that it is all about me and when I consistently focus on what I don’t have rather than what I do. Instead I choose to take the opportunity to make the first smile, ask about them, lighten up and enjoy.

Create your own list of conditions for achieving positive and negative emotions.

 

Step 6 – Breaking the pattern.

Most partnerships have a pattern of behaviour and response. Eventually the responses within the relationship become automatic. This is particularly true of relationships where there is negative behaviour going on (including that of parent and child). Each person takes on a role and the initial trigger and response become automatic and an ongoing cycle of negative behaviour is created. There is little room for interpretation – it is as if each person is programmed to behave in that specific way and indeed that is exactly what is happening. Until someone breaks the pattern, the cycle of hurt and unhappiness will continue.

Think about how you have responded to your partner in the past.

Now think about how you might do things differently.

 

Step 7 – Identifying different responses

Think about how it feels to take an active choice to do things differently, to take control of the situation and to know that you have so many more options.

  • Identify the three situations in your relationship that currently give you the most pain.
  • Change your perception of the motive behind the actions that are the problem.
  • Think about how you might do things differently in each situation and create a list of as many possibilities as you can.

It is important that this comes from a positive place within you. This is about changing your responses to the situation not about trying to change them.

Rehearsing your new alternative in your head can be very helpful. Have several alternatives ready for the right circumstance when they happen so you feel prepared.

 

Step 8 – Trying out the non-judgmental response 

Be curious about how things are going to work and remember you are just trying things out, you may need to try the same thing several times or try several alternatives before finding ones which work for you. Remember too that trying something once is unlikely to be a magic bullet.

A small change consistently applied can make an enormous difference over time.

Remember step 3… the tone of voice, your body language and facial expression are all incredibly important. Simply saying words is not enough. See yourself as others see you, watch what is really going on.

 

Step 9Evaluate what is going on

If things work well – celebrate. If it doesn’t appear to work as well as you would like ask yourself “what can I learn from this?”. Think about whether you simply need to persevere with the same thing or whether things need to be done differently in the future.

Make yourself the focus, you are the only thing you can truly control. This is not about failure, it is about experimenting until you find which way works.

 

Step 10 – Get some support and help  

Dealing with your sense of self worth and identity makes an enormous difference to how you feel about life and relationships. Dealing with your own emotional baggage and learning to forgive others and yourself will give you the very best foundation to enjoy a wonderful present and an empowering future. Working with someone you trust and who can help you manage the process can be incredibly helpful.

 

You cannot change the past. What you can do is make sure it doesn’t spoil your present and your future.

 

What Motivates You In Life?What Motivates You

Motivation to live life to the full – where do you find yours? Do you even know what your motivation is? This blog explores the key motivators in life, so you can understand yourself better, and make informed choices to create the life you truly aspire to.

There are many different theories about what motivates us. In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms, the universal drivers are pain and pleasure.

  • Some people will be motivated by pleasure – they will be drawn towards things that give them a sense of pleasure and satisfaction.
  • Others will be driven by avoiding pain. Decisions will lead them away from those things which distress and hurt them emotionally.

Of course there are times when everyone will identify decisions based on both but without exception we will favour one over another. It is important to realise that it is not about one being better or worse, they are just different.

There are then a variety of other things that drive and motivate us to be who we are. Choices are made often at an entirely subconscious level, which has a significant impact on lifestyle.

Let’s look at the theory supported by Anthony Robbins…

He describes six different human needs. According to his theory everyone will have two dominant needs and will need all of the first four to some extent.

CERTAINTY

The need for certainty is powerful. People who favour this need often show great determination, courage and resolve. They need to know that things will be certain, that they have some sense of control even if it means putting up with things which are less than perfect.

UNCERTAINTY or VARIETY

Those who are driven by uncertainty crave adventure and variety. They love change and will often change things that are working well simply to get the buzz it creates. They are curious and often playful and adventurous. You will find explorers and extreme sports people at its most extreme edge.

SIGNIFICANCE

For people who are driven to succeed, attainment and success will be high on their list of personal values. They get a sense of self by doing things for others and being needed. They will push the boundaries to make a difference and to be seen as the one who has made a difference.

CONNECTION

Love is the most powerful in the range, and the thing which most people long for deep down. Connection of friends, family, work colleagues, acquaintances are all important to those who are driven for connection.

The last two needs may be present but not always. These are:

GROWTH

There are many who wish to grow and develop personally or constantly work on the growth of others. Learning intellectually, physically, emotionally and/or spiritually is all part of growth.

CONTRIBUTION

This can be contribution to one’s own development or that of others. It can be at the level of wanting to surprise or spoil the family or that of making an ongoing significant contribution to others through personal contact or charitable works to raise money to help others.

Recap: Everyone favours two out of the first four.

 

Case Study: What specifically do workaholics favour? 

Interestingly of those I have worked with, workaholics commonly favour certainty and significance. When I speak to clients they will often use phrases such as “I must succeed, failure is not an option” “I like to be in control”.

When you talk further to them about the life they would aspire to they will identify love as being most important to them. Of course some of them have created loving, stable relationships, yet many others dream of being in such a relationship but have failed to either create or sustain one.

 

Why?

I discovered that workaholics tend to spend a significant amount of energy on underpinning certainty and significance in their lives. This has left little time and energy to find and sustain true love. Moreover I found that they have concentrated on the area of their lives where they feel most comfortable and that is around achievement and success.

Unpick things even more and I often find that there is a profound belief that they are either unworthy or unable to be loved. They are driven to succeed so that they feel better about themselves and more worthy of being loved by others.

The same people often have great connection with others on a large scale, lots of friends and positive relationships with work colleagues. This means that the pain caused by the potential loss of the love of someone special is to some extent softened. As a result they live their lives dreaming of love but they are not quite uncomfortable enough because of the high levels of connection in the workplace to make a radical change.

In the end work takes on a disproportionate significance; there is no time or energy left to look for and to support a loving, passionate relationship. They have become a workaholic.

Consider your own needs… What drives you?

If you answer yes to these then you look for certainty:

Are you someone who likes to know what is what, you like to have routine and feel in control, and to know how things stand. Do you put up with things that are negative rather than rock the boat? Do you crave comfort and wish to avoid pain?

Maybe uncertainty is your crutch:

Are you an adrenalin junkie, do you run from commitment, or end relationships which appear to be getting too intense? Do you love new things but quickly lose interest once you have mastered the skills?

Is significance a need for you?

Do you want to be noticed? Do you feel the need to succeed to make up for a perceived failure in early life (failed 11+ or a school exam for example)? Do you feel at your best when you are doing things for others?

What do you really want out of connection?

Do you want to be loved? Are your relationships in life offering love or connection or both? How important are they to you?

If you have a perfect life, the things that drive you are obviously working well for you. If you feel a yearning for something different it is possible that the basic needs that drive you are not working at the optimum level for you.

To help find the right motivators in your life to meet with your goals of happiness, you can get in touch with me for 1-2-1 coaching or to join a group workshop.

 

Overcoming The Fear Of Failure in BusinessBe Brave

The difference between success and the fear of failure in a business is perspective. If you are worrying about surviving in your industry, and become focussed on a fear of failing, it will impact hugely on the way you think and how you operate. Instead, you need to change the way you view your situation to encourage a more positive outlook.

The non-virtuous cycle

At times of challenge it is all too easy to focus heavily on worrying about survival and fear of failure – the trouble is, it governs the questions we ask and impacts hugely on our motivation and energy levels. This leaves people feeling fearful and disempowered and this impedes the quality of thinking. In turn, the quality of our thinking has an enormous effect on our performance in every area of our lives. You only have to watch sportsmen and women who do brilliantly in training and in friendly matches, but fall apart when it really counts.

So what does that mean for you as a business owner?

You have the choice between focussing on failing, letting your mind dwell on all the implications, or you can choose a different way.

Focus on success as the only option and you start to ask a completely different set of questions.

  • What is it I need to do to ensure my business is a success?
  • How do I define success?

 

Kick-starting a positive outlook

I am amazed at how few people know what success is for them. They make plans without identifying their destination and how to get there. They become easily distracted and spend a great deal of time fire fighting. Strange given that very few of us would just get the car out of the garage and drive without some idea of where we were going.

Once you know where you are heading, it is so much easier to plan the journey step by step. Planning needs to be structured rather than rigid; strategic planning maximises the use of your time, energy, finances and makes the best use of the resources at your disposal. Breaking things down into bite size pieces avoids being overwhelmed – after all you wouldn’t attempt to eat a cow in one sitting but it is enjoyable meal by meal.

  • For starters am I really clear who my customer or client is?

Many clients I talk to are rather foggy about who their core customer is. Marketing then becomes much more challenging. Clients are afraid that by narrowing the customer/client group down too much they will lose potential income.

In reality the opposite is true. You can start to profile your customer base, where they can be found, how to reach them, what services or product they would spend money on.

  • What is it that my business can do which really adds value and makes me stand out from the crowd?

Today’s customers are spoilt for choice. Competing on price may be difficult so what else do you offer as added value? Is it the quality of service or product, your expertise, that you offer something unique, creative, quality of relationships or that you go the extra mile? Do your market research.

Ask your customers what they want and how you might make things even better. Not only are you able to target your efforts and buying more effectively but it makes them feel more valued, particularly when you listen to what they have to say.

  • How can we ensure that our customers and clients come back again and again?

Ensuring that you deliver what you promise is absolutely vital, as is communication and putting things right when something goes wrong. Relationships with customers are important if you want repeat business and if you want them to tell everyone else how wonderful you are.

Creating core messages throughout your business

It is here that training your staff to understand that EVERY interaction with a customer or client by phone, letter, email or face-to-face advertises your business is paramount. Team members have a vested interest in making your business successful as it provides job security, they should understand this. It also helps develop a sense of pride – not only do they enjoy work more but they become effective ambassadors. I have found this to be true whatever the business.

Creating rapport and effective communication are fundamental to good relationships and to healthy sales figures. Many organisations underestimate the value that training all staff in these skills can bring to their balance sheet.

A bird in the hand…

You know the old saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” yet so often businesses devote all their energy to finding new customers. They fail to see the benefits in staying in contact with those who have already.

Taking the time to create a database of customers so you can keep in contact is incredibly useful. Keep your business within customers’ consciousness so they naturally think of you when they need something. Follow contacts up not once but several times.

Instead of fearing failure, focus on success and see failure as an opportunity to learn… if something isn’t working, don’t fret about how your business might fail, instead find out what specifically needs to change to make things better. Sometimes it is just a numbers game; a sales person who gets one sale from every ten calls will get more sales simply from making more calls. Analysing what makes the difference in those successful calls so you can replicate it has the potential to boost sales enormously.

The difference between successful business people and those who fail is that whilst successful people feel fear – they do not dwell on it. Recognise that difficult times bring great opportunities and focus your energy on what you need to do to ensure your business is a success, and you will soon be part of your very own success story.

 

 

 

 

Is it possible that marriage is harder for the modern woman than it was for generations past?

Surely the freedoms women enjoy today, and the wealth of choice we have about our own future makes a modern marriage a happier marriage?

These are the concepts I contemplated and issues I addressed in an article published on Your Tango. To find out the answers to these questions, and to read a wealth of fix-it tips for the modern married woman, go to the full article http://www.yourtango.com/experts/miss-gina-gardiner/misgivings-modern-marriage

Why Over-Working Is The Same As Being Overweight

 In a quest to help workaholics understand how to create a better work/life balance I like to use losing weight as an example of how to move forward. Sound intriguing? Then read on!

Being a workaholic

If you are a workaholic, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that it becomes the default setting when life gets tricky or you stop focusing on the life you want. But do you also see that the problem with only using your ability to “focus” is that it requires constant effort and it fails to get to the underlying causes, which are usually about our beliefs?

To make this point clearer, let me use a different example, but one where there is a very close parallel – losing weight.

Here are some facts:

Our desire to lose weight drives a multi billion pound industry in the Western world.

  • There are thousands of different diets, books, exercise programs and videos all giving wonderful advice.
  • They are usually telling us what we already know.

Being a healthy weight is just an equation.

  • Take in more calories than you use in physical activity and you are guaranteed to put on weight.
  • Use more calories through physical activity than you eat and you will lose weight.
  • If it is so simple, why are so many people still significantly overweight?

Many people get as far as buying the product and by doing so feel good for a short while because they believe they have at least taken action.

The same principle is true of gym membership.

  • People sign on for a six month or year-long membership and buy all the right gear.
  • They go once, or a few times, find it hard or boring, maybe pull a muscle and then give up.

Specialised food is available in thousands of different guises.

  • So why are more people in the western world overweight or clinically obese than at any time in history?

We are bombarded with TV shows showing obese people fighting their flab or makeover programmes.

  • We see people having radical surgery to address the problem. Is it addressing the problem?

When I talk and work with people who are overweight and get to the heart of the matter, without exception they have a proven track record of being able to lose weight.

  • In fact, many of them have lost their body weight several times over in their lifetime.

The problem does not lie with their ability to lose the pounds.

  • It is about how they feel about themselves and the relationship they have created with food.
  • The issue is how to enjoy food and maintain a healthy weight whilst feeling good about yourself.

 

How many of you or your close family and friends would recognise the weight cycle below?

*I feel bad about how I look, I must lose weight!

*I need lots of will power – I’ll go on a diet

*On a diet – all I can think about is food, it takes over my waking thoughts and most of my conversation outside work

*Lose weight – feel better about me

*Life happens – I find the weight creeps back on as soon as I eat normally or I want to feel valued and happy but I don’t – I need comfort so I eat

*The metabolic rate has been altered by being on a diet so I actually put weight on more easily

*I’ve put weight on again – feel bad about me – what I really need is will power – I need to go on a different diet.

 

Does it have to be like that? No!

Once clients change their relationship with themselves and they learn to love and appreciate who they are – wobbly bits and all – they can start to create a very different relationship towards food and life.

The result is a healthy lifestyle that is easy to maintain in the long term, a better self-image and a healthy emotional approach to food. The weight loss might be somewhat slower but it doesn’t rely on will power in the same way. They are able to create a lifestyle change that is lasting and doesn’t require a huge investment of will power.

 

The principles about changing your work/life balance are no different!

If you want true fulfillment and a great work/life balance, where you feel in control, you need to look at why you are driven to work such long hours.

Think about the benefits of letting work take over your life.

Think of the costs to your health, your sense of wellbeing, your relationships with family and friends. What has it cost you?

Think about the balance between the costs and benefits of continuing with your present life.

Does it serve you in the short term? How about over your life as a whole?

How long are you prepared to keep paying the price?

Are you ready to take control of your life?

 

What Is Your Default Setting For Life?

Remember: If you always do what you have always done, you will always have what you’ve already got.

Take action now! You may find these related blogs helpful:

Do You Say Yes When You’d Rather Say No? 

Too Little Time? You Need To Create Personal Boundaries! 

Time Is A Finite Commodity – Do You Have Enough? 

  

Alternatively why not join me in a 1-2-1 personal development session, or attend a dedicated course. Please get in touch for more information!

 

Time Is A Finite Commodity – Do You Have Enough?

 Learn to spend your time wisely by completing a chart and answering a few short questions. You may never have realized quite how you choose to spend each passing day, but one thing’s for sure… you should find the time to read this blog and make the most of your most precious commodity!

Where does all the time go?

I am always struck by how often I hear about the same theme in different contexts. Lack of time and the negative impact this has on people’s lives. Ask most people about their lives and they will tell you that they never have enough time!

Isn’t modern technology meant to free up our time?

With labour-saving devices, computers, faster modes of transport and convenience foods, why do we seem to have less time than ever to spend with loved ones, to learn and read and simply to reflect? It is because we choose to use the time to pack even more tasks and activities in to our increasingly hectic lives!

How many hours do we have to spend in a lifetime?

During a course I was amazed when we were reminded that each day has 24 hours, which gives us 168 hours in a week, and 8736 hours in a year. In a lifetime of 70 years we have 613200 hours to use. Sounds quite a lot doesn’t it?

Then we were given a table of the number of hours in a lifetime of varying lengths. For example if you live to 100 you have 876,000 hours to spend. Each of these moments can be used once and once only. When you stop and think about it, shouldn’t they be spent wisely?

You might think that spend is a strange word to use but we all make choices about how we spend our time, for most of us these choices are made at an unconscious level and the result is not always as we would wish it to be. We also choose how to spend our money and expend our energy.

How have you have chosen to spend your time so far?

Have you truly made the most of your time? Do you want to go on using your time in the same way in the future?

You may find it useful to complete this chart – give a ball park figure rather than getting bogged down. I’ve put in some headings but use the ones you find appropriate and add any of your own.

 

Activity Hours per week Hours per year  Life time – assume 70 years for this exercise
Work
Sleep
Commuting
Eating
Food shopping
Cooking
Personal care
Laundry
Personal admin – phonecalls, letters, forms etc
Exercise
Family
Relationships
Fun
Learning
Watching TV

 

The chart can be adapted to audit how you spend your working hours. Identify each of the activities you do whilst at work. Consider which of them are helping you achieve your goals. Are you making the most use of your time? Are you busy being busy or really productive? What would make the difference?

  • What do you notice?
  • Was the result what you expected?
  • Do you actively choose how you spend your time?
  • Does the way you spend your time make you happy?
  • How would you like to spend your time in the future?
  • What needs to change if you are to spend your time doing the things you value most?
  • Look forward into the future to the end of your life. Look back over those years and consider how you would like to be remembered?

Managing your time more effectively

Managing time is about prioritising and making choices. It often requires us to create boundaries or to learn to say no – to others and maybe to ourselves.

Even a small change can make a significant difference to the quality of your life – what change could you make today which would make a difference to the quality of your life over time?