Motivation – Where Does It Come From?

Motivation is a really big discussion point for me.  I present so often around goals, visions and confidence – yet rarely about motivation itself.  Yet it impacts on not only these 3 things but also on almost everything we do in life, from getting up in the morning to climbing mountains.

Motivation! Were we born with it?  I imagine there’s a whole psychological debate on that one.  I believe we were, what else made us try to crawl, walk and talk.  Everything we do has a driver behind it and that driver is motivation.

But if it comes so naturally to us, why do we lose motivation?  I don’t believe we ever lose motivation, I believe we just lose the driver for it.  Imagine wanting to lose weight.  We go on a diet.  Somewhere along the way we lose sight of the end goal.  The reason we wanted to lose weight whether that was to look good or feel healthier.  The motivation was still there but without the need, the desire to continue, motivation doesn’t have a need to kick in.

So next time you feel your motivation is beginning to flag, or you begin to lose sight of why you’re striving for something, take a small step away from the situation and revisit your goals.  It works every time.

Lost motivation can really get in the way of what you want to achieve, so if you feel your motivation is preventing you from getting where YOU want to be, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 for your free consultation to see what coaching could help you achieve.

 

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words and pictures copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)

 

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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)

 

 

Reclaim Your Mojo

Autumn has been and gone with Christmas now just around the corner.  Those lovely sunny days have faded into just memories.  Darker mornings can be a struggle.  Sometimes just small events can knock us off balance.  It’s time to get your MOJO back.

Look inside yourself

Take a few moments out to think about what may have thrown your emotions out of kilter.  Is it something that’s happened at work? or home?  Its good at this point to write down your thoughts.  Make a note of the facts e.g. a falling out with someone and also the emotions that go with it.  Having a visual record will help you deal with it.

Spring-clean

And I’m not talking about your house.  But just in the same way that you would clear out your cupboards, and hoover the carpet, you can make the choice to throw away the negative emotions.  Make a deliberate choice to throw out the negative emotions and draw a line under events OR take a positive action to resolve them. 

A great spring-clean leads to a trouble free mind, a sense of achievement and the buzz of a fresh start.

Do something different

Right now is a great time to make a change or do something new.  A trip to the hair dressers for a new style could make a real difference to how you feel.  OR try a new hobby, pick up a book for the first time in 10 yrs or try that new restaurantJust one small change can leave you feeling refreshed.

Do Something For Pure Pleasure

Ever wanted to go fly a kite? Or skip through a wood?  What’s stopping you.  Perhaps the simpler pleasure that you don’t get chance to do, like taking a mid week soak in the bath – allow your mind to be free of your pressures just for 30 minutes will help you get a real focus.

 

My 4 tips will help you restore that smile this autumn.  Keeping emotions and life balanced is important to leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  If you need more help keeping your life in kilter perhaps coaching could help.  Give Carolyn a call on 07714 216388 now to book your free taster session.

P1070226copyright Carolyn Trafford

Me Time, You Time, Us Time, All The Time

Less than 4 weeks ago, I was enjoying sunshine in Cornwall and now autumn has arrived with vengeance coupled with cold damp mornings.  I’ve suddenly realised that the normal organised me has done some of my Christmas shopping by now. 

I wonder how many people have been thrown by the long summer and are now in a period of being extra busy, Christmas is on its way, self assessments are looming, and what about those year end goals?

I’ve stopped for a moment to think about me time. I’m a firm believer in balancing my work and my life.  There are certain things that are important to me, getting to the gym at least a couple time a week, walking Ziggy the dog, crafting, spending time with friends and not least Brett and I having some quality time together.

I do like to make sure that there is enough time for a bit of everything in the week.  My top tips this week help to achieve that balance:

  • Promise yourself you’ll finish your work on time 1 or 2 days a week and follow it through.  You and your home life are important.
  • Me time.   Schedule in some time in the week for ‘Me’.  Me time could be your gym sessions, a trip to the spa, or just some time to knit, read a book and relax.
  • You Time.  I regularly take out a couple of hours in the week to meet a group of friends in the day time.  Being self employed is perhaps easier to manage, but even if you work for someone else its often possible to manage your hours more flexibly to ensure you’re around for the important people in your life.
  • Us Time.  Schedule some “us time” in the week.  Whether us is your partner, kids, family, friends or dog, its all important and the people around you will love you more for it.  Take the time out to do something special as a reward for working hard.
  • All The Time.  Make this a habit not a one off.  It’ll become easier with practice.

Change Clock

Whether in business or juggling a home life, a few simple time management techniques could be all that’s needed to make a difference.  Give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 to book your free consultation to see how I could help you reclaim some more me time.

Do You Lie To Yourself? Be “True to Me” instead

“The biggest lie I tell is the one I tell myself everyday – I am inferior to others” – Carolyn Trafford

Hands up if this rings true with you.  I’ve stopped for a moment to question why I do it.  What point does it serve to continually compare ourselves with others and then only conclude where we are inferior.  We were not born with a self destruct button!!

It is this type of negative, destructive action that if used repeatedly damages self confidence, self esteem and can leave us struggling to be someone else.  A role that we can not naturally fit into.

For years as I was growing up I have labelled myself “not as good as…..”, “not as pretty as…..” but never “better than” because we are taught that it is not nice to be conceited.  Yet these thoughts, once they are ingrained stay with us until we take conscious action to change our thinking.

Stop and think for a moment, what phrases you’re currently using to describe yourself.  Are they having a positive effect on you?  What terms would you prefer to use?

It is possible to change this type of negative thinking – it just takes practice.

So simply take 5 minutes now to think about yourself in positive terms.  What do you like about yourself?  What is your best feature?  What are you really good at?

  • Take time to write these down in a special notepad – I call it a “True to Me” journal
  • Take 5 minutes at the end of everyday and aim to note down 3 great things you’ve done or achieved.
  • Next time you find yourself comparing yourself less favourable to someone else, get out your “true to me” journal and choose something more positive to call yourself.

Keeping and using a “True to Me” journal is just one of the techniques I use with clients requiring some help to increase their confidence and can be a real boost.  If you need more help then please get in touch with me on 07714 216388 to discuss how I can help you further.

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copyright Carolyn Trafford

Why Is Goal Setting Like Getting Married

Those of you that know me personally will also know that I’m not adverse to getting out a camera at the weekend and tagging along with my husband Brett Trafford to photograph a wedding.  We were at a wedding last Friday and it started me thinking about how working with your goals is a bit like getting married, yet it so much easier to divorce our goals than our spouses.

My VVW approach to goal setting is simple and could help prevent you from divorcing your goals.

Vows – Make a commitment to yourself as you would your future spouse.  During the ceremony the couple promised so much to each other and are unlikely to break them.  Ask yourself why you find it so easy to break promises to yourself?

Value – When entering into a marriage we value the thoughts and opinions of our loved one.  Its equally important to value yourself.  Its only when you achieve this that you will place enough emphasis on achieving your goals.  Lets face it – you’re worth it aren’t you?

Witness – Tell others what you’ve set out to achieve.  Tell no-one and it becomes too easy to back out when things get tough.  If you’re going on a diet, tell people, the risk of guilt if caught stuffing that chocolate bar into your mouth might well just stop you sabotaging yourself.

 

I’m currently working towards a goal of losing a stone in weight.  I know from experience that I often set myself a goal and give in.  So I’ve made my vows to 80 witnesses in my facebook Thin From Within facebook group and now potentially another 2000 here on my blog.  All I need to do now, is know that I am worth it.

 

P1060885copyright Carolyn Trafford

 

 

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.

Why?

   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.

Seeking Some Calm On A Summer’s Day?

Crikey! Its Friday already, the sun is shining and promising to do so for the weekend, I have had a busy week of clients, business meetings, committee meetings, social media and updating my website and a meeting with my mentor!

It seems as though every meeting I attend – I come away with half a dozen actions, dump my notes on my desk and shoot out for the next meeting.  Its good to be busy however I’m simply not keeping on top of my admin AND I want to spend some time in the sun.

If I’m not careful I have a tendency to end up with to do lists for my to do list.

This is a typical example of how work/life balance can become difficult for many of us, particularly SMEs and sole traders.

I saw a great speaker this week as part of the Hay House Summit, his name is Greg Sherwood and you can listen to his talk here.  I’ve not included the name of the talk and you should only listen to it if you can handle a certain amount of bad language, however I liked the idea behind his approach.  The concept being to to write down everything that is causing you stress, score them on their importance and basically say “shove it” (my words – Greg’s are stronger) to the items scoring below a 7-8.

You can choose words that you are comfortable with, the stronger they are puts some weight behind the act of “shoving them” much more than simply crossing them off a to do list.  By vocalising the act, it somehow has more meaning.

I liked the concept and am adapting it for my own use.

What methods do you use to get rid of your stress?

 

This week’s photo was taken on the recent expedition in the Lake District.  For me it represents the kind of calm I am seeking in my working day.

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Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Does a healthy body really result in a healthy mind?

I’m not a scientist, I can’t say for sure, but its an ethos that I live by.  It started a couple of careers ago when I worked in a busy customer service environment and much that I hated going to the gym – I always found that a good session on the cross trainer helped to get rid of some of the stress and negative emotions that I was feeling. 

More recently, I found myself in a job that I was bored and demotivated in.  A good walk in the fresh air, even in the rain at lunchtime always made me feel better.  Although the problem didn’t really go away until I left the job, the lunchtime fresh air sessions were part of the catalyst for retraining.

Google the topic and you will find evidence to support this.  Recent studies by the  American Psychological Association (APA), have demonstrated that our mental, emotional, and physical health are closely linked.

Although technically not a value the principle of Healthy Body, Healthy Mind is firmly embedded in my business, particularly amongst my weight management clients, where we frequently have “walk and talk” sessions.

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I believe its important to nip negative feelings in the bud as longer lasting periods of stress can increase the risk of heart-related problems e.g. high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.

Depression can also be linked to a higher risk of developing high blood pressure,  heart attack.  But equally important is that a lack of excerise can also be the cause for stress and depression kicking in so its important that we manage and are aware of both.

So getting a balance is important, I’m not suggesting that anyone suddenly starts training for a marathon, but my one tip to anyone would be:

If you’re feeling the stresses and strains of your day, stop, take 5 and go for a short stroll.  You really will feel better for it.

 

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