How I face Life’s Challenges

My long weekend at the Calvert Trust has really given me a lot to think about.  On a daily basis I face challenges and sometimes when faced with challenges its easy to give up.  But last week at the Calvert Trust I got to try life in a wheelchair and it made me realise that when faced with certain things you simply have no choice but carry on.  If we applied that philosophy to everything we face in life, imagine what we COULD achieve…..

Brett Trafford Photography-8photo copyright www.bretttrafford.com

So what do you do when face with a challenge?

  • Do you give up and go home?
  • Do you tackle it for a little while until it gets really difficult and give up? Or
  • Do you never give in?

I know I could answer yes to all of these at some stages of my life.  So why give up sometimes and not others?  The answer is about how badly you want to succeed and if you want to succeed in everything you do, then you have to make yourself want that success.

I find it helps if I grab my notepad and write a list of everything that achieving  success will bring me.  Depending on what the criteria is, it could be anything from satisfaction of ticking off my to do list right through to earning enough money to take a dream holiday.

Add another column of all the things failure will bring one, and sure enough my first list looks a whole lot better.

I know one thing though, learning to use a wheel chair has really helped me get a better perspective and next time I feel like giving up on something, I’ll think again and question, has life really become that hard?

 

What would make the difference to you facing your challenges?

 

If you’re facing life’s challenges, coaching can give you the time and space you need to find solutions.  If you want to know if this could help YOU, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 for your free consultation to see what you could achieve.

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Personal Development – what does it really mean to you?

I take quite a simple definition, its about anything that you want to change in your work, home or personal life.

 It can be about:

 How you react in different situations

  • Controlling your stress levels
  • Your work/life balance
  • Achieving your dreams
  • Work aspirations
  • Dealing with other people
  • How you perform a task

I could go on, although I expect you have the general idea.

 Self development can take as little as 10 minutes a day.  In reality, we forget in our busy lives to set aside this time for ourselves.  We place a low priority on what we do for ourselves compared to helping and supporting other people.

 So if you’re to make just one small change this week, allow yourself just ten minutes a day to think about what you’d like to change in your life and how you’re going to do it.

If you’re not sure where to start with your own personal development, ring Carolyn today on 07714 216388 to book your free consultation.

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words and pictures copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)

How Do I stretch Myself?

Its an odd question isn’t it?  My job is to support individuals with their personal development.  Personal development is all about stretching yourself, but what exactly is a stretch?

Well a stretch is anything that you wouldn’t normally do.  If you are a regular reader, you’ll have read in November last year I took a huge comfort zone stretch into performing stand up comedy.  This has helped me immensely when I stand and present any talk or speech to a group audience.  Stretches can also be about skills and tasks.

I’ve taken on a challenge for the next month to take part in a 30 day writing romp.  I stumbled across it on Facebook.  I write regularly for this blog, yet rarely give any time to improve my skills.  My core drivers for the blog are to:

  • write from the heart
  • Share my knowledge and experiences for others self development

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So I have pledged that I will dedicate 20 minutes a day to working towards creating my first ebook and improving my writing skills.

Pledging as part of a group on Facebook has made me accountable to others for my goal, for me this is critical to support my personal motivation.

What skill set would you like to improve?

Part of my role as a personal development coach is to support individuals in theiir own self development.  If you need support in this area, then please  give me a call today on 07714 216388 to book your free consultation.

 

 

words & images copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)

Lets Take Some Time Out

I’ve just had a lovely slightly longer than average weekend.  A really good friend came to stay, a friend who I probably see 3 or 4 times a year.

I’m sharing this with you because, having my friend in the house meant that both myself and my hubby who also runs his own business, switched off our computers, and put down our tablets for 3 whole days.  I don’t know when this last happened other than over Christmas.  Even when we go on holiday we take a tablet each and seek out the wifi.  Its almost as though facebook would fail without us, let alone our businesses.

I don’t know if it’s the fear that if we don’t get back to someone straight away that a business lead will simply go cold, or our absence from social media means that we lose our presence. Either way those thoughts are unfounded.

The weekend is now over and there are no lost clients, just a bigger than average inbox to go through.  We have however had a lovely relaxed weekend that simply wouldn’t have been achieved had our guest not have stayed.  I even managed to try my hand at making crumpets, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

So the moral of this story?  Just once in a while, either with friends or on your own – switch off your social media – its one sure fire way of getting some balance back in your life.

If from time to time you find balancing home and work difficult, using a coach to help you make personal boundaries can make a huge difference. Give Carolyn a call on 07714 216388 today to make an appointment for your first free consultation – what do you have to lose?

 

Why Use A Coach or How Would You Tackle A Brick Wall?

As a coach, I’m often asked why, if my client always has the answer, do they need a coach?  This is where I always use my favourite metaphor:

When a client gets stuck around their particular challenge, and it doesn’t matter if they want to lose weight, gain confidence or change jobs, they get stuck for the same reason.  They encounter a blockage.  That blockage stems from their fight or flight response, their brain won’t allow them to think deeper and solve the issue because the answer may scare them.

A coach, will continue to question beyond the point where a client will naturally stop when challenging themselves.  A coach won’t accept “because I can’t” or “I don’t know” as an answer?

Let me explain:

You’re traveling on your normal daily journey to work.  Someone builds a brick wall across your route.  You have 2 choices, stop or turn back neither choice will get you to where you want to go.  Giving up can be the easiest option.

If I were then to say to you, “what else could you do?” you naturally think a little harder, a little deeper and that can be enough to allow yourself to think of other options, getting a ladder or a sledge hammer.  2 solutions that we didn’t have before.

If you’d like to know more about how coaching could help you resolve your personal challenges, drop Carolyn an email today on caro@reflectionscoaching.co.uk.

 

 

Why Do I Always Do My Tax Return Last Minute?

Well, last weekend saw me racing to get my tax returns sorted.  OK, so although it wasn’t completely eleventh hour, as I don’t like leaving things to the last minute I was feeling the pressure of it.  Every year I promise myself that I’ll be more organised, and every year I complete them in January.

I have no excuse, I’m an organised person.  I’m just an organised person with a tendency to procrastinate.  So this year I’m going to take these 3 simple steps to my accounting with a goal of having my tax return done by the end June.  Having the finalised accounts will help me with my business planning for the following year.

  • Schedule 30 minutes every week, this is to go through my diary and record my weekly miles and expenditure, number the receipts and record my earnings.
  • Place a diary entry end April to chase the additional information required.  I.e. getting tax certificates on my savings accounts, etc.  Check that I can log onto the system.  Check stock etc
  • Diarise a half day in June to pull together all missing information and enter onto system

The advantage of doing this is that all the information is fresher in my mind.  You can use this 3 step diary approach to any tasks that you keep putting off.

If you find yourself procrastinating over important tasks, get in touch with Carolyn today on 07714 216388 to take advantage of your free consultation.

P1080106copyright Carolyn Trafford (2014)

How Do I Make Time For Me?

How many times have you said that?  “I don’t have time to” or  “If only I had more time….”

Modern lifestyles, juggling jobs, businesses, family, friends, is there any time left for me?

The easy answer is “No”.  If we settle for “No” then we’re seriously selling ourselves short and under estimating our abilities to prioritise, juggle, organise….. whatever it takes to find some me time.

It is January and we’ve probably taken on some new goals and resolutions too.  Where do we find that extra time from to run, go the gym, spend more time with our partners, something has to give if we are to be successful.

Try these 3 steps, to making some time:

  1. Make a list, make it big,  Write down everything you need to do regularly or as a one off.  This is the biggest to do list you’ve ever made.  Don’t miss anything.
  2. Now divide it into 3.  Be ruthless in your decisions.  Separate your tasks into  “What really doesn’t matter”, “What could be given to someone else”, “What has to be done by you”
  3. Make it a priority to talk to others that can help you, whether this is your boss, colleagues, partner, children, parents or friends, ask for help.  Ditch the stuff that doesn’t matter.  But make a task of doing it.  By that I mean don’t ignore them, make a conscious decision to remove them from your mind and your physical to do list.  Remind yourself they don’t matter. In fact exterminate them!            What’s left needs to be scheduled, your online calendar, or a diary – either will do – its the physical act of getting the information out of your mind and onto paper that creates the space and time you need to think and get on with the tasks you need to do.

Perhaps you need a bit more help creating a perfect work/life balance for you.  Carolyn regularly coaches business owners and employees alike on achieving a low stress, healthy lifestyle to create more time for what YOU want to do.  Call Carolyn now on 07714 216388 to see how she can help you achieve the life YOU want.

 

Exterminate your to do list!

P1060741copyright Reflectionscoaching

 

 

How Can I Challenge Myself In 2014?

2013 saw so many challenges, it was a year that saw my business gain more direction and focus and at the same time diversify, adapt and change.  There was a 3 day expedition for charity in the Lake District in May and a second fundraiser performing stand up comedy for Gingerbread.

I’m now looking ahead to 2014, and thinking that my few humble goals are nothing special.  A few carefully constructed action plans and a bit of dedication and motivation will see me through.  What they are lacking is the real challenge, the excitement of 2013.

How do I make my goals exciting?  How do I really challenge myself in 2014?

I’ve thought about this long and hard and concluded that most of the excitement in a goal comes from the challenge.  My goals seem flat and uninteresting because they are task based i.e.

  • I will take on x new team members this year.
  • I will do y task by z date.

These are just stepping stones to enable something bigger.  So I’m going to shake them up a little.  I’m talking more about missions than goals.  My mission should be all encompassing, challenging and exciting.  It should put my business on a new level and the tasks based goals will become obvious.

The mission will take my business to a new level.  And will look more like this:

I will be known as………..

Of course this question still needs to be answered.  It affects my goals, my branding, my business planning and I need to take time out to do this.

What will you be known for in 2014?

If you can’t answer that question, taking some time out for you to think about it can be a useful process and a coach can help facilitate your thinking and provide challenge.  If you want to know more about how a coaching session could help you or your business then CALL CAROLYN TODAY on 07714 216388

P1070982content and photo copyright Carolyn Trafford (2014)

 

 

Why Does My New Year Resolution Fail?

Why do I so often fail with my new year resolution? Are Goals and Resolutions the same thing?

Setting New Years resolutions are a bit of a tradition. I’ve been waking up on the 1st January for as long as I can remember and setting resolutions. Its something my mum first encouraged me to do.

How many resolutions last the year? Not many and that’s probably the case for most people. In fact if you start to research the topic you’ll find that stats suggest that most will be broken by the middle Monday in January. Frequently dubbed Blue Monday, this day is the accumulation of long nights, back to work syndrome, arrival of credit card bills and little to look forward to. Add to that, the fact that most people’s resolutions are about giving something up or doing something we don’t want to, then it can become a difficult proposition to maintain.

Properly formulated goals can be a very different proposition. So why are goals so different?

So ask yourself the question – Do you want to lose weight or is it that you want to feel better about yourself? Do you want to give up alcohol or do you want to live a healthier lifestyle?

Once you understand what’s driving your resolution then working toward achieving that goal is about having  positive motivation, rather than moving away from something you don’t want.

Goals should be specific. They should identify exactly what it is you want to achieve, this way you will know when you’re achieved it. This should include a quantity if appropriate and a time by when you will have completed it.

So if your goal is about getting fit, how will you know when you feel fitter? Perhaps a measure might be being able to run for 5 minutes without stopping by the end of March OR being able to walk upstairs without being out of breath.

Goals are much easier to achieve in small steps. If your goal is to write a novel by the end of the year, that’s one big task that you may put off until November and then it becomes unrealistic. Break your goals into small manageable steps, which in this case might be to write the outline by the end of January, 1st chapter by end of February and get feedback in March. Celebrate each achievement as you reach it.
And remember, don’t be hard on yourself. We all lose our way from time to time. It’s like riding a bike, the trick is to get back on when you fall off. So don’t be hard on yourself, just resolve to start again.

What’s Your NY Resolution?

If you need help with your goals this year, then having some support can really make the difference.  Give me a call now on 07714 216388 to see how I can help you make a splash with your goals.

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copyright Reflections Coaching

 

 

Its Christmas………

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I sign out for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year Period as I believe its important for us all to take some time out and ensure that our work/life balance is restored.  After all, all those Christmas preparations can be stressful.

I’ll be back, bright and breezy and thinking about goals in the new year, but for now………

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