Writers Block – A Thing Of The Past?

Last week I told you about my new challenge which has involved my joining an online writing challenge group.

Its yet again one of those things that I’ve chosen to do that suddenly becomes the catalyst for a number of events.

It’s sparked conversations about writing and publishing.

I’ve completed a number of tasks.

I’ve learned about speed writing and how useful this can be for kick starting those thought processes to overcome writers block.


The most important thing I’ve learned in this short week, is that starting out with a goal and allocating a small amount of time every day to progress it can work wonders.

What one thing to do you really want to achieve?   How much time each day would it take to make a difference to your goal?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and so would my readers, please take the time to let us know what you’re working towards by adding a comment to this page.



Words and picture copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)


Do You Take Painkillers For Toothache or Do You Visit The Dentist?

None of us like toothache, but a visit to the dentist will result in a filling or worse still.  The truth is, no matter what we do, the problem tooth isn’t going to mend itself.

So much of what we do today in our personal lives and in business is about glossing over a problem, fixing the symptom and not the cause.

Many of my clients approach me because they are struggling to lose weight, yet it is only when we start to scratch beneath the surface that the reality of the problem becomes apparent.


Reaching for food can fill a gap, caused by a plethora of realities.  Do we eat because we’ve had a bad day, what caused the bad day?  Have we reached for that snack because we’ve taken something that someone has said badly?

So before you reach for that bar of chocolate or hunk of cheese, ask yourself do you really want or need it?  And if the answer is no, then what is causing the stress that you’re trying to ignore.

I am frequently approached by people who turn to food rather than tackle the underlying problem.  If you see yourself doing this then  give me a call today on 07714 216388 to how we can tackle the cause together




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.



What Is Stopping You?

We all had so many good intentions at the beginning of January, for most of us now, we’ll be finding some of those goals a bit of a challenge, especially those of us with weight loss, or ‘giving up’ type of goals.  Even those of us with achievement goals, i.e. ‘I want to start a business’ may have found obstacles in the way.

So what is your biggest obstacle?

Have you ever considered the answer to that question could well be “Me”.  The one thing stopping you achieving your goals could actually be you.  Psychologically we do this all of the time.  Those voices in your head that say “I can’t because……”, and it may be about money, or time, or family life.  The truth is these are just excuses you have made up for yourself.  If you  truly wanted to achieve something you could, if you stepped out of the way.

SO push aside those negative thoughts and instead of thinking why you CAN’T do something.  Think about all the reasons why you CAN.

If there’s something you want to achieve and your thoughts of CAN’T are taking over, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 and book your free consultation.  Together we’ll get you thinking CAN.

P1080123copyright 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.


copyright Reflections Coaching



Get The Right Brain Into Gear

Its Monday as I write this.  I suffer Mondays just as much as everyone else  despite being fortunate enough to work from home.  Some Mondays I spring out of bed and get stuck in to my week, others I’m a little more sluggish in nature and am better off focusing on more admin based tasks than creative ones like writing my blog!

Yet here I am this morning – in slightly sluggish mode, slightly lacking inspiration, brew in one hand and the other I’m using to scratch my head in a metaphorical way.  I have a few rules about how I write my blog and run my business and top of the list is that it needs to be true to me and have an honest approach.  And that can mean admitting to being sluggish some Mondays (perhaps Tuesdays, maybe even Wednesdays…..)

So, I figure that lots of you, reading my blog struggle with inspiration from time to time and that’s OK – we all do.  I’m working hard to use my right brain more.  Right brained thinking is all about using our creative elements.  As a naturally left brained thinker, when it comes to problem solving I have a tendency to use the same problem solving techniques as I always do.  Brainstorming, list making etc.  Yes I sometimes use mind maps but they’re still very word based.

And you know what they say:

“If you always do, what you always did,

you’ll always get what you always got”

So now, when I become “stuck” I pull out my coloured pens, a blank sheet of paper and get to work.  Its amazing the difference it makes. I still use lists, but they’re lists in glorious Technicolor and my mind maps are pictures not words.  My favourite is when I’m creating notes for a presentation as these are made almost entirely of pictures and a few key words. Even if my artistic talent is sometimes lacking.


So, next time you find yourself lacking that all important inspiration, grab some coloured pens, a piece of paper and start drawing.  Let you mind go – you’ll be amazed what you come up with.

I Googled right brain for those of you that want to understand this more and this article seemed to sum it up nicely.  Click here for more info.

How To Create A Perfect Life/Work Balance

What does your life work balance look like?  How do you decide whether its working for you?

I’ve had a bit of a stressful week this week.  It started on Monday which tends to be the day I tackle my admin so that the rest of the week is clear to do what I really do for a living.  Something went wrong in the process and then suddenly I’m behind for the week, because I had a diary full of appointments and meetings.  By Friday I felt quite stressed.  With absolutely no plans for the weekend, one option would have been to clear my admin over the weekend, but actually I took the completely opposite choice to do absolutely nothing to do with work.


   P1060155        There’s nothing quite like a good hill walk and an appreciation for your surroundings to clear your mind.

……..because for me, my work life balance is one of the most valuable things I have.  It allows me to chill, refresh myself, prepare myself for the next busy week, take stock of everything and remember what is important.  My private life, spending time with my hubby and Ziggy dog and going to visit my Dad (and Mum) but it was father’s day after all.

My tip for this week is simple:

Whatever it is you do in life, whatever your routine, take some time out to work out what’s missing from your week and schedule it in.  It is as important as any meeting, client, social media, planning session etc etc

P1060493In clearing a bit of time, I managed to get Mum to show me a new crochet stitchfrom which I made this lovely flower. I’ve been knitting and crocheting for about 18 months now and find it very relaxing until I’m learning something new.  I have a goal to crochet a lovely summer top but have a few stitches and skills to learn first.

Is It OK To Always Be Right?


I’m always right at least according to hubby.  I’ve spent years educating him that way.  And proving it too.


If I look back it started when a teacher at school explained that he only ever placed a bet with someone when he knew he was right and would win.


I was quick to realise that if I only strongly stated my case when I knew I was right I would always be right and the competitive part of me like that idea. It meant I could win arguments more often and know when to walk away from them.


At what point this kind of thinking gets out of hand I’m not sure, but I now hold a much stronger desire to always be right, its built up over the years and now I feel as though I lose face if I’m wrong.


Accepting that its OK to be wrong is quite a change in thinking for me, however its one that I need to do.  Needing to always be right can put a huge amount of pressure on us, when we’re already in busy worlds leading busy lives.  And lets face it, if I’m wrong occasionally then someone is actually right in that instance and that’s OK – in fact its a bit of a win/win.


So have a bit of a think.  What is it that you do that just puts unnecessary pressure on you?  Please share your thoughts.

English: Cover of the 2009 print of Thinking a...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Actually in my role as a coach I have to put aside any feelings of being right or wrong and accept  my client’s views of their world. So I’ve had plenty of practice – its just a matter of transferring this to my personal life.  If you need help with something that holds you back, give me a call on 07714 216388 for a no obligation chat.



I Can’t Do That – A Case Study About Why You Can!

I’m a bit of a sucker for inspiring stories – so here’s a favourite one of mine.

One of my clients has been diagnosed with a disability that causes nerve dis-function, muscle wastage and severe pain.  Walking has become a daily challenge for someone who has led a previously active life, been a gymnast and fitness instructor.

Physical disabilities can have a dramatic impact on our mental ability to cope.  Formally positive people can start to ask themselves questions like “why me?” and feel that their only option is to give up.

Sandra has been fortunate in getting support, and through a process of understanding her disabilities and limitations and with that her abilities has been able to challenge her internal beliefs.  She has now set an extremely challenging goal of climbing a 3000 ft lake district mountain.  Quite a challenge when you consider that some days she struggles to get to the shop without using crutches.

Motivation is crucially important when setting goals, and Sandra has been able to increase hers by raising funds for an organisation called the Calvert Trust, who are a relatively small charitable organisation who challenge the limits of disability through outdoor adventure.

In a few weeks I hope to bring you good news of Sandra’s journey, however in the meantime I find it useful to reflect on my own challenges and goals.  Its all to easy to stop at the first hurdle.  As soon as we say “I can’t” we stop.  I think its was Henry Ford that said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”  So the next time you find yourself saying “I can’t do this” – turn it on its head and look at what you can achieve instead – its amazing what we’re capable of.

© Brett Trafford © Brett Trafford

If you wish to understand more about Sandra’s fundraising then she does have a justgiving page

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