Limits can set you free

The photographic exhibition that I stumbled on along the beachfront.   The cornflower blue sky bleeding into the sea.  Fresh air and exercise, basking in the early summer sunshine.

I would have missed it all if my budget had allowed for a return bus ride from my coffee date.

Instead, I spent the fare on another drink and took an hour to meander back along the seafront.  The whole morning was pure fun, with none of that queasy feeling you get when you spend more than you can afford.

Is there anything more joyful and freeing than knowing you have more than enough – money, time, energy, love, health?  Isn’t that what we are all striving for, really?

And yet, without limits, they are so easily squandered.

  • We spend money we don’t have, rather than stick to a budget or a list, feeling uneasy even as we spend it.
  • Tasks are allowed to take as long as they take.  Deadlines drift and bleed into others and into our free time.
  • Meetings are held and nothing is achieved.  No matter, we’ll just schedule another one, and another until our deadline is so close that we have to be productive.
  • Bedtimes flex and we pay the price in tiredness the next day.
  • We choose quantity over quality in our food and find ourselves fatter and hungrier than ever.
  • One glass of wine leads to another – and another and another.
  • And, of course, hours can disappear into social media binges which end only when we’re exhausted,  ratty and cross with ourselves for getting so little done.

Limits – like so many things which actually lead to happiness but are bad for consumer spending –  have become unfashionable.   We’ve been led to believe that limits are a curb on our possibilities, our choices, our very freedom.

But we can use limits to set us free – from work, debt, low energy, poor health, stress – to enjoy more time, money, joy, life.

Need some inspiration to get started?  Right this way.

Limit your spending

Set a monthly budget that allows you to save a regular amount – however small – and stick to it at all costs.   Challenge yourself to get what you need and do what you want for less.   Discover the joy of feeling in control of your money and knowing that you have more than enough for your needs.

Then, once you’ve got the savings habit, learn how to invest for far greater returns and earlier retirement.

It’s your money and your future financial security – put yourself in charge.

Limit the claims on your attention

Only read your mail and e-mail when you have the time to deal with it.

Challenge yourself to deal with each piece of mail one time only.   Scan it, and if it makes your heart leap or you have to act on it, then act on it – straight away.  If you don’t want, or have, to act then bin it, or unsubscribe from it, then and there.

Don’t save anything to consider later.  Don’t write half a reply and promise to reply more fully another time.   You are just adding to your to do list.  Just do it.

Limit your to dos

To mis-quote Bill Gates, we underestimate how much we can do in a year, and overestimate how much we can do in a day.   Pick just three things to achieve in any day and do them.   Repeat.

It all adds up and it builds your confidence in getting things done.  And the other things will still be there in the morning.

Limit your space, limit your stuff

You may not need a bigger house or more storage space, and all that that costs you.  You may just need less stuff, smaller stuff, stackable stuff, fold away stuff.

Stuff expands to fill the space available.  Limit the space, limit the stuff.  More inspiration here.

Limit the time it takes

Remember how productive you are at work right before you go on holiday?

Experiment with time limits and deadlines.  See how quickly you can get something done.  Let go of the need for it to be perfect and feel how good it feels to get it off your plate.

Or see if you can leave the office at the same time each day and still get your work done.

Then use the spare time for something fun.  Or better still, schedule the fun in first, then make your work fit around it.

Limit the distractions

Before you go online or pick up your phone, ask yourself why you are you doing it. To research something?  Make contact with friends?  Surf for inspiration and, if so, for what?

Do the task you intended to do.  Set a time limit for idle surfing or researching.  Then close your browser down or put your phone away.

Resist the temptation to keep checking in.  If anything’s critical, someone will ring you.  Anything else can wait until you have the time and energy to deal with it.

Limit what’s going in your mouth

If you can’t stop grazing and picking, then set limits on when you eat.  Go back to old fashioned mealtimes and only eat then.  Plan your meals so that you fill up on good quality, sustaining food then don’t eat until the next meal.

For those of us lucky enough to have more than enough to eat, there are worse things in the world than feeling a bit hungry.

Limit what’s going on in your head

When something pops into your head, treat it like email.  If it’s important and urgent, action it straight away.  If it’s important but not urgent, action it or write it down.

Anything else – worries, ruminations, criticisms, judgments, frustrations, imaginary conversations – let it go and get back to what you were meant to be doing.   More on all that here.

Like water, our time, money, attention and health are life-giving, precious resources.  We can waste them and be limited by their lack.  Or we can choose and use limits to serve us and set ourselves free.

What life-giving limits do you use – and what new ones could give you more?

A simple way to stop wallowing and feel better

So, this week, I failed.

I wanted something, I went for it, spent valuable time pursuing it, felt it was right – perfect for me even.

I didn’t get it.  I wasn’t even close.

It’s been a bumpy week going through all the emotions on the change curve: Shock (“No way, this was meant for me” – Tuesday); Denial (“There must be some mistake; maybe they got my email address wrong” – Wednesday); Anger (So.Much.Anger… – Thursday).

And Friday – Acceptance (breathes out) and Moving On (“Thank you so much for the opportunity…”).

I’ve been rinsed, spun and left creased and limp once again by the realisation that, just because I want something, it doesn’t mean I am going to get it. That, surprisingly, even after all these years, I still don’t have control over what happens (and believe me, I’ve tried).

I think many of us are feeling this way at the moment, perhaps more keenly than ever before, maybe even much of the time.

In this space it’s so easy to feel exhausted, helpless and down; to ruminate, worry; become bitter, moany, unproductive.

It’s important to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, of course; perhaps even give into them for a while and allow ourselves to wallow and rest if we can.

But it’s also important to know how to move on.  Before we build a mind maze with walls too high to climb; too deep and strong to break through; until it pens us in, blocks our view and keeps us circling for too long.

My gran’s generation didn’t believe in wallowing.  There wasn’t the time.  She would have been told to “Snap out of it”, or “There are plenty who are worse off than you” or any of the hundred other things people told themselves back then so they could “buck up” and get on with it.

My modern-day suggestion is to ask yourself: “What’s good?”

What’s good”?   Two simple words to pivot on and find your way back.

Your brain can’t help but respond.  It will immediately stop circling and start searching for things you can be glad about, grateful for, move towards.  You will feel happier, stronger, lighter, more creative.

Try it for yourself the next time you read the news or your friends’ despairing posts on social media – notice where your eyes go and feel the instant difference it makes.  Then move forwards.

So – what’s good?

In praise of doing nothing

DaisyIf I had weeded the patio last week as I’d planned, I wouldn’t have been delighted today by a daisy, peeping out between the cracks of our grey urban garden.

If I hadn’t given up on trying to write and gone to do the washing up, I wouldn’t have seen the daisy from my kitchen window and been inspired to write this post.

When we feel submerged by our to do lists, pressed upon by time and what other people deem important, we can remind ourselves that doing nothing is an option too.

Often, it’s the best choice.  For when you need to recharge and be re-inspired.  For when you are about to make a leap that doesn’t feel exactly right.  For when you don’t know what to do.  For when pushing forwards feels more like wading than gliding.

Just wait, watch, be amazed and inspired by what emerges.  Seize the moment then.  And notice how much easier and more joyful it all seems.

You could rush around the garden hunting for Easter eggs.  But sometimes it’s good to just sit idly in the middle of the grass and see if anything glittery catches your eye.

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You may be thinking: “That’s all very well, but I have deadlines to meet and bosses to please”.   No problem – you can just play with this on something low risk and see how it goes.

Sometimes it can take me a week to write a post.  This one was drafted in 10 minutes.  Inspired action doesn’t have to take longer than slogging through.  And it’s a lot more fun 🙂

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My story

Telling your own story can be enlightening, freeing and powerful, and a great way to get in touch with who you are and what you value.

This is my story – and the story behind this small piece of the online world.

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Both my parents grew up during the Second World War.  Both lost their fathers to the war when they were very young.  They were raised on rations by single mothers who were the very definition of strong and resourceful and who passed that on to their children.

As a family we weren’t poor, but we certainly weren’t wealthy.  My father worked in a high street bank.  There was no inherited wealth.  I went to State-funded schools.  We led a comfortable life largely thanks to Dad’s hard work and his ability to budget, save and be smart with money.

Through his work, he saw first-hand how debt ruined lives.  He taught me to pay my debts down quickly and to live within my means.  I learned about limits from him: that anything which costs more than you can afford does not bring you joy; that learning and doing things for yourself is more satisfying than outsourcing; and that I can live quite happily without having everything I want.

I also learned that it’s possible to hold down a responsible job and be home for dinner with your family every night.  Dad always said he could have done better in life, because if he’d worked harder he would have advanced further in the bank and earned more money.

But I think he had his priorities right.  Looking back, I think he was a success in every way that mattered.  He provided for his family and he was there.  I learned about “the world” from him: politics, economics, money; how to read, ride a bike and drive; basic car maintenance.

My mum says she’s “built for comfort, not speed”.  She was always around when I was growing up and from spending time with her I learned how to knit, sew and cook and the names of many flowers; how to be kind, generous and brave; to take pleasure in people, art, the outdoors; to live in the moment and not to worry too much about the cleaning.

I learned to love words from both my parents.  My dad taught me to read before I started school,  made up nonsense songs and played with words.  My mum loved to write.  Mum and I still do the cryptic crossword together when I visit.

Neither of my parents went to university, and neither placed any pressure on me to fly high.  But they were around; they loved me and grounded me; gave me confidence, support, and intellectual stimulation.  They made me curious.  They had no particular ambitions for me but they believed in me.  They never made me feel that anything was out of my reach.

I suppose that’s why I got myself to a leading University and became a lawyer in the City of London.   No-one in my family had ever done it, but it never occurred to me that I couldn’t.  I thought it would make me a “success”.  So I did it. I got the law degree, passed the professional exams, got the high flying lawyer job.

I was a lawyer for seven years.  I worked too hard, was permanently stressed, got married, got divorced a year later, had a string of unsuitable boyfriends who all worked too hard as well, drank too much, ate too much junk food, slept too little, had no life. I pretty much just existed.  It’s easy to gloss over those years; easier than reliving them.  I made a fair bit of money and I completely lost touch with what made me happy.  I was miserable.

When people learn that I used to be a “successful” lawyer, they often ask: “Would you ever go back to it?”. Nope.  Not for any price.  I still have nightmares sometimes that I have.

But looking back, I don’t regret any of that time.  It enabled me to buy a house and pay down a good chunk of the mortgage, completely on my own.  I was able to travel and see the world.  It bought me my freedom.  And it taught me that outward success has nothing to do with happiness; that, like my father before me, I wanted to find a balance between working and living.

After I left the law, I never had a “career” or life plan again.  I wanted to get back in touch with myself, to find out how I most wanted to live and work.

And so followed a series of fun experiments.  I worked in organisational development and training, copywriting, executive and life coaching and as a personal trainer.  I devoured self-help books, did numerous courses and had coaching myself.  I moved to Brighton to be by the sea.  I basically just did what I felt like doing or learning; worked when I needed the money and stopped when I stopped getting anything out of it.

I left my last full-time job in the City at the age of 37, because I wanted to have a life where I lived. I have worked part-time as a coach and writer ever since.

It wasn’t until I handed in my notice that I met my husband Paul.  I don’t think that was a coincidence.  By then, I’d rediscovered who I was and what I wanted out of life.  I’d made space for a life outside of work and finally I found one.  We got married, had our daughter, paid off the mortgage and all our debts and built a life together.

In many ways, I’ve come full circle from my childhood.  We now live much as our parents did before us:  simply, modestly, but well, so that we can have time for a life outside work and give our daughter the grounding we had as children.  We have time, space and love in our lives.  I feel unbelievably lucky for the start that I had, proud of what we’ve achieved, and I am grateful every day for what we have.

I have lived the life I thought I wanted and now I am living the life I really want.  It is my dearest wish to help and inspire others to do the same, so that they can experience for themselves the joy and peace which comes from living and working in harmony with who they really are.

What’s your story?  And what have you learned about yourself from telling it?

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There’s a little more about telling your own story at the end of this post.

Would you rather…

In my past working life, I have worked really, really hard.  Like working-through-the-night-for-three-nights-in-a-row-before-a-deal-closes hard.

But slowly, over time, I realised that:

I could be working but I’d rather be walking by the sea

I could be working but I’d rather cook and eat some tasty, healthy food

I could be working but I’d rather play with my family

I could be working but I’d rather work on my finances, so that I don’t have to work any more than I have to

I could be working but I’d rather be free to help someone who needs it

I could be working but I’d rather be exercising to stay fit and capable later in life

I could be working but I’d rather go where the fancy takes me

I could be working but I’d rather tidy up and pass along what we no longer use

I could be working but I’d rather do more things for myself instead of outsourcing them

I could be working but I’d rather be looking after the people who are close to me

I could be working but I’d rather be having a coffee and a catch up with a good friend

I could be working but I’d rather look through old memories and record new ones

I could be working but I’d rather be seeking and creating beauty around me

I could be working but I’d rather be learning a new skill

And after that, there’s not a whole lot of time left for working.

It wasn’t a lightning bolt, just a slow, growing realisation that I wasn’t living the life I was working for.   That I had to rebalance, reprioritise.  I’ll tell you more in another post [note: now here].

What would you rather be doing?  And how will you organise your life so that you can?

Mind the gap – between the Ideal World and the Real World

Does your life “measure up”?

It’s only since my daughter started learning maths that I’ve noticed how much our culture likes to count and measure things.  It’s so “normal” that I doubt we even realise we’re doing it much of the time.

2017. Not just “the year”, but a measure of years (and only one of many). Our ages and birthdays.  Time. Our weight.  Money in our bank account.  Number of Facebook friends/likes.  And, of course, it’s everywhere in the world of school and work – grades, sales targets, appraisal scores, KPIs.

We’re so obsessed that we even try to measure things that can’t sensibly be measured.  Who is the prettiest, the thinnest, the nicest?  Which drawing is deserving of an “A” grade?  Who is our “best” friend?  Which is the coolest brand to be wearing/driving right now?  Which is the “best” school in the area?  Am I a Helicopter Parent, a Slummy Mummy, a Hipster? Who is the most expert at a subject?  Whose views are worthy of being heard?  Whose life looks the best?  Am I “old”?  How happy am I?  Is my life “worthwhile”?  Am I “doing my best”?

(I got a bit carried away there – there’s so much material.  I bet you can think of a lot more.)

It matters because in life, as in the business world: “What gets measured gets managed”.   The more things we (or others) try to measure in our lives, the more things we feel the need to compete in, judge, “manage”, control, maybe even outright lie about.

And that comes with a high cost – in time, energy, money, wellbeing.

When we feel anxious, it’s more than likely because we are measuring.

  • Have I done enough work to get an A/ a Very Good at my appraisal/ a promotion?
  • Am I beautiful/handsome enough?
  • Do I have enough time to do all that I want?
  • Have I achieved all I wanted to by this birthday?
  • Will I achieve all I want to this year?
  • Is my house tidy/modern/clean enough?

And when we feel bad, it’s because we think that we don’t “measure up” (I’m not handsome enough/my clothes are not cool enough/my life is not exciting enough/ I wasn’t kind enough/I don’t have enough money).

But do we want to be always competing, measuring, feeling like we’re falling short?  What purpose does it serve? Is it inevitable?

Or is there another way?

Let’s look at what’s really going on here.  When we feel “less than” we are measuring ourselves against an Ideal World – beloved of lifestyle blogs, tv programmes, business managers, Instagram pages, advertisements and magazines, and other (also anxious) people who think they want to live there.

Compared to the Ideal World, we will never be beautiful enough, healthy enough, kind enough, smart enough, travelled enough, popular enough.  Because we live in the Real World.

The gap between the Ideal World and the Real World is how we define “enough”.  It’s the job of the people who want to sell us stuff or work us harder to “mind the gap”.  Keep it wide enough that we feel Not Good Enough – so we work more/ spend more to keep up, get help, or make ourselves feel better about our “shortcomings”.

The Ideal World will always be with us.  But how we respond is our choice, and we don’t have to buy it.

There are counter-measures we can use, to bring ourselves back to the real, imperfect, messy world, where we and all the other real people belong .  Where we can be more accepting, compassionate, creative, forgiving, kind and effective.

The next time you feel anxious or “less than”, pause for a moment and try one of these.  [*But first please see my comments in the footnotes.*]

Just let go

Just breathe and notice the thought or feeling passing through as you might notice someone walking by on the street.  Notice it come and go in a detached way, maybe smile at it, then get on with your life.  You can literally shrug your shoulders as you do.

Make your thoughts explicit and address them

If you have the time and space, say the thought out loud or write it down.  It might be specific and useful, like “Oh no I forgot the dry cleaning”.

Or it might be more general and unhelpful, like: “I don’t have enough time”, “I hate my job”, “I feel old”, “I’m too fat/ugly/boring”, “I have no friends” .  Many of these generalisations do not survive the light of day.  Just saying them out loud or writing them down tends to bring up counter-arguments and gets you working on what you want to change.

Change your focus

Find positives and things to appreciate when you feel like you’re falling short.  Be kind to yourself.  You may be getting older, but you are still healthy, for example.   You may have upset someone, but you didn’t do it on purpose.

You can also keep little mantras handy, to help you re-enter the real world and lift you up.  I like these:

  • “There’s the ideal world and then there’s the real world”;
  • “You’re as young today as you will ever be”;
  • “I’m only human”;
  • “It’s all good”.

Find and create what works for you.

Laugh at yourself

And, my personal favourite counter-measure: humour.   The next time you are feeling like you don’t “measure up”, say to yourself in a mock horrified voice: “OH MY GOD! (gasp) I’M NOT PERFECT!!!!” Guaranteed to bring you back to the real world in no time.

In the Real World, you measure up just fine.

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*Please note: The above examples are designed for people with fairly mild, sporadic anxiety.  If your anxiety causes you distress or feels crippling to you, or examining your thoughts only makes you feel worse, then please consider seeking professional help.

Happy New Year!

I’m easing myself back into work today and a new post will follow soon.  In the meantime, here are some quick links to resources from the blog if you’re thinking about making new year resolutions.

Firstly, some thoughts about goals (or resolutions – same thing really):

Goals: the enemy of joy (and what to do instead)

But if you want to go there:

How to make resolutions you’ll keep

10 questions you could ask yourself when you’re stuck

Dive on in and good luck!  Do let me know if I can help in any way.

Happy 2017!

Paula xx

Maybe you are “living the dream”

What if I told you that you are already living your dream?  Would you believe me?

A lucky few might.  Most of us might react along a range from rueful laughter to strong disagreement.

But for many of us it’s (partly) true.  Here’s why.

Even when we feel that much of our lives is controlled by others, we still exercise a lot of our own free will.  From a very young age, we make choices within the limits we have, based on our own desires, interests and preferences.

And, if we look back over the free choices we have made in our lives, we will find that they are linked by remarkably consistent themes.

For example, we might have chosen to:

  • work as little or as much as possible;
  • stay in one place, or move around often;
  • keep things quiet or busy;
  • work with visual media, words, or things;
  • be around people mostly, or mostly be alone;
  • celebrate with big parties, or intimate dinners;
  • be physically active or sedentary;
  • learn new things by taking classes, or by our own experiments;
  • dress ourselves to look nice or to feel comfortable, or both;
  • choose specific colours or styles in our shopping, dressing, decorating;

and on it goes.

We might stray from time to time: dabble with a new way of dressing, working, learning, living (out of boredom, or fear we are doing things wrong, or to please other people).  But we will yearn for, and usually return to, the themes which work for us in the end.

In a world that is always telling us there’s more and selling the new, it’s easy to think that we need to shake things up all the time; that choosing the same sort of things day after day is dull, boring, sad, instead of calming and comforting.  We fail to notice, let alone appreciate, that we are already choosing what suits us, what makes us uniquely ourselves.

So if we want to live our dream life, we don’t need to buy the latest style of sofa.  We just need to do this:

  • notice and appreciate what we already do that we love;
  • find the themes that link those things together (and maybe put them together to help create a vision for your life);
  • make more choices based on those themes.

There’s a good chance that you are living your dream life already, just not all the time.

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One of my favourite coaching questions for new clients is: “Tell me your story”.   You can learn so much about yourself from where you start your story, what you put in or leave out, the language you use and the themes that keep popping up throughout. 

You’ll get the best results from this if you do it with a skilled coach, but you can also write down your own story, or record it, if you want to do this for yourself.

Or try this question to help discover your themes:  “What did I love doing when I was seven years old?”. 

Goals: the enemy of joy (and what to do instead)

visionI’m not a big fan of goal-setting.   This is why.

Goals are often based on a flawed premise: if I achieve this (lose five pounds/get my degree/earn a certain sum of money/buy a house) then I will get that (happiness/love/admiration/friends).  So I must achieve this.  If I don’t achieve this, I won’t get that.

The goal becomes a high-stakes game in which there are only two possible outcomes: win (reach the goal and be loved, admired, happy) or lose (fail, be unhappy).

And even if we achieve our goal, we then wonder why we aren’t completely happy.  Relieved, maybe, probably exhausted, a bit happier perhaps.  Did achieving the goal bring you everything you hoped for?  Probably not.

From here, we either hold on too tightly to what we’ve achieved (because to lose it would be to lose what we have worked so hard for), become apathetic (I worked so hard for this and I’m no better off – what’s the point in trying again?) or garner our strength, set another goal, and press on again.

Stress, stress, stress.

Goal-setting also tends to kill creativity.  While we are ploughing on towards reaching our goal, we forget that there are many other ways to get to where we want to be.

And goals keep us focused on the future, not the present, where we can actually be happy.

Goal-setting seems attractive as a refuge from the uncertain, a bid to control what can’t be controlled – our life.  But life is lived in nuances, possibilities, options.  It’s a dance, not a route-march.

There is a better, easier, happier way.  And that’s to start with a vision.

A vision is a more general idea of the kind of life you want to lead; what your idea of a happy, fulfilling life looks like.  How do you want to spend your leisure time?  Do you want  a relationship or a family or neither?  How do you want to keep in touch with your family and friends?  Is there a particular religion or spiritual practice you would like to follow?  How do you want to eat and keep healthy?  What kind of work would you like to do and how/where/when would you like to do it?  How much rest do you want to have?

There are many ways to do this.  You can make a vision board using pictures and things that inspire you or remember the times when you were happiest and work from there.  You can also do this work with a coach if you don’t think you know, or if you think best out loud or with other people.

Whatever vision you come up with, it should inspire and excite you, energise you and carry you forward.   It will become your touchstone to remind you what you can do right now to realise your dreams, and your guide book to refer to when you feel out of sorts and realise that you have moved away from what you most want.

From here, it may feel natural to make some vision-fuelled plans, or even set some longer-term goals.   So go right ahead, if you want.  At least you know now why you are setting them.

Just remember to check in with your vision now and then to make sure that what you are working on will take you there.  If your goals stop serving your vision, find another way.  They are only a means to an end, not the end itself.

Or, you may prefer to just free-flow it.  Keep your vision in mind and just take what feels like the next best step.   Or just incorporate elements of your vision into your day to day life, do what makes you happy and see where it leads you.

Most of us work best with a mixture of the two – something to work towards (but not too much – one or two aims is enough), while also paying attention to happiness in the here and now.

Visions keep us light, playful, creative.

“You’ll never get it wrong and you’ll never get it done, so have fun, have fun, have fun!”*

What would you do differently if you believed that that was true?

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Incidentally, visions  work well in business too (and are a great  way to take some of the stress out of managing high performers).  This is one of my favourite mottos (paraphrased from a George S Patton quote): 

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what you need to see and then be amazed by how they achieve it.

* (paraphrased from Abraham-Hicks)

What lifts you up and carries you through?

balloons

Feeling sluggish?

Dull days, darker evenings and the slow creep of winter can leave us feeling drained and low. Our energy and enthusiasm can get squeezed out as the pressure to Get It All Done slowly builds towards the holiday season.

We may long for respite and rest, and sometimes that’s what’s needed.

But rest is only a pause.  It doesn’t energise, strengthen, inspire, bring joy.

Now, more than ever, we need to make time for the things that light us up and spur us on.

What gives you energy?  I don’t mean the quick hits of caffeine or sugar that just stave off a slump for the next hour or so.  Not just things you like doing.  Not crossing things off your to do list, so you feel a bit relieved.

I’m talking about the things that really lift your mood, open you up, brighten your day, leave you smiling, buzzing, raring to go.   The things that make you think: “That was so great, I would love to do that more often”.

For me, it’s bike rides along the beach, really helping someone who needs the help, a yoga session, country walks, daydreaming and doodling about my ideal life, running into a friend or neighbour for an unexpected chat, being playful: doing roly polys down hills, dancing in the living room, racing down big slides and playing “bundle” with my family after dinner.

Moments of connection, moments of exhilaration and silliness.  The more spontaneous, the better.  No amount of tv watching or sitting by the fire with a hot chocolate comes close.

Here’s a winter challenge for you.  Pay attention to find your energisers.  Find small ones you can do at work and at home.  Make it as easy as possible to do them and weave them into the fabric of your days.  Find bigger ones and plan them in for your down time.  When you feel stuck, bored, moany, sluggish or uninspired, pick one out of your menu and go do it.  If you can find ones that your family can do together, so much the better.

A happy life is just a series of happy moments.  Let’s create more of those and let them lift us and carry us through.

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Don’t think you have the time?  Consider this.