A New Year .. A New You..

Posted - January 3rd, 2012

Photo of Calender 1st day of January 2012

The Start of a New Year

Today on 1st January I am very conscious of writing a new years newsletter to you that will uplift you and give you lots of advice for the year ahead.

I got some of the answers I was looking for in tips to include this morning as I started the day wonderfully with a walk and enjoyed the lovely crisp morning with blue sky’s and enjoyed a feast of a breakfast afterwards that included a mouthwatering fresh croissant laced with butter and raspberry jam… but then I opened the newspaper …. and to add to the less than pleasant headlines I also overheard some rather depressing interviews on the radio.

After giving up on a pleasant read I closed the newspaper and switched to Lyric FM and my world revolved back to one of peace and bliss.

I am very aware that our economy gives plenty of ammunition for negativity, depression and fear but what will that do to improve things!

Instead of looking for things to …( dare I use the word)  ‘bitch’ about,    I myself am choosing to steer my thoughts in more pleasant directions because when I do that – I feel better, I sleep better, I am happier, my immune system strengthens, I am nicer to be around and I have better creativity.

So would you like to join me in spreading some cheer this new year?

Yes I know I hear some of you saying “But I am out of work or my marriage is on the rocks or I cant pay the bills or I am afraid I am going to lose my  job” and the list goes on and on .. there is nobody in this country who is not challenged on some level in their lives at this time, but putting a magnifying glass on what is wrong only makes it bigger and bigger and bigger until that is all that can be seen.

So lets close the door on that and instead look in the mirror and ask yourself a few questions like, what steps you can take to improve how you feel mentally and physically..  Let me help you here…

Step 1 .. Improve the Relationship you have with YOU!
Get a mirror in your hand..
In picking up the mirror you can begin by telling yourself that from now on you choose to

  • stop criticizing yourself .. yes you heard right!
  • forgive yourself for any mistakes big or small in the past.. learn from them and move on!
  • start praising yourself even for the smallest of changes that you adopt..

and now notice how much better you are beginning to feel already….

Step 2:  Let go of the Moan n Grown Society! 
So, you might ask me “How can I get away from Mrs O or Mr Mc,,, who is constantly giving out and moaning about everything from the state of the weather to the economy to traffic etc etc…   Well my advice is to just smile and don’t feed the conversation.. say something pleasant and move on.

Now I am not referring here to someone who is in terrible emotional pain and needs a shoulder to cry on or some help, now that is a different situation completely

Step 3: Take the Spotlight off your own troubles – Help someone out
And here is where taking the spotlight off your own troubles and helping someone else can also help you to forget about your own stuff.  There is nothing as rewarding as helping someone through a difficult time. The winter can be an important time to drop in to elderly neighbors who would love your company  or to do a shop etc. It is wonderful to feel useful. So if you have time on your hands maybe you could consider some volunteer work. I remember a number of years ago noticing how I got terribly self absorbed over my long summers when I had a lot of time and then I began doing a couple of mornings volunteer work and it was the icing on the cake that summer. I really loved it. I felt useful, knew I was making a difference and had some fun as well.. !!

Step 4: Fit Body, strong Mind! 
There is a link between staying strong and fit physically and feeling strong mentally. Yes you can overcome challenges in life easier when you are fit physically! Lately I have returned to swimming as a friend inspired me to do so. He told me how great he was feeling as he swam every morning before going to  work. So to counteract all my festive treats I have been swimming most days and already in as little as a week I am feeling great. I find it meditative, de-stressing physically and mentally, and I love how great my lungs feel after a swimming session, any little wheeze is gone! And despite all my treats in the last week I am toning up! I intend to continue with my new fitness regime and I recommend that you find one for 2012 that you enjoy.

Step 5: Cultivate your friendships 
Friends are so important in life. You can laugh, cry, have fun, share, inspire. I remember a time in my life after moving back to Cork from London when I had no close friends here and I felt like my life had a big empty hole in it. So what did I do? I wrote up an A3 sheet with the caption: Women’s  walking club starting next Monday night at 7.30. First meeting outside the local shop. I was delighted and amazed when i turned up to find 16 ladies waiting. I loved walking and talking and soon decided to buy a house in the area I was renting as I had made so many friends there.

If you would like to improve your relationships read about my upcoming one day workshop ‘Creating Better Relationships’ click here for more info

With the advent of Skype it is so easy to continue friendships even after friends move away.  Let them know this new year that you appreciate them.. The one excuse I get from people who don’t have many or any friends is often, but he said this or she did that and I didn’t’t want any more to do with them.  How sad is that! I hope my friends never expect perfection from me because I know I am ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ and I remind myself of that any time they do/say something I don’t agree with and choose to forgive them and forget about it. My life is a much nicer place with them in it. So for any of you reading this.. thank you, thank you, thank you x

Step 6:  Stop Scaring People… Smile
A smile can light up a room, attracts people to you and is even said to boost your immune system! You must have noticed how if you enter a room the one person that stands out to you is the one with the wonderful smile. Everyone wants to be happy and therefore we are all attracted to others who appear happier than we are. You want to know their secret. Often going around with a constant scowl can be just a habit and so with just a little conscious effort you could, if you really wanted to,  change that habit to one that will take ten years off you. Its better than any face lift and can even change your life, attracting a new partner even business opportunities… after all who wants to work looking at a scowling face! So why not do the Smile Test!!! Go on I dare you! For one week smile every where you go… a real smile, an open and friendly smile and notice the difference it makes with those you come into contact with.

Step 7:  Tune out of Fear Mongering
Yes its important to know what is going on in the world but rarely have I listened to a news bulletin to hear a balanced view of the good news and the not so good news. Have you ever heard it said or read a newspaper headline saying ‘Peace is breaking out all over the world’ ? If you only ever listen to the bad news stories then your view of the world and the people living in it will not be balanced. I remember once when my youngest son was in his early teens he lost a 50 euro note when he was out. I asked him had he asked the bus conductor if it had been handed up and he said to me “What’s the point Mom it will have been taken” It saddened me to think that was his view of the world. I said to him that there are good honest people out there and there are more of them than dishonest people and I believed there was a good chance it was handed up where ever he lost it. I remember he said he went in a supermarket so I drove over there and was delighted to hear that a lady handed the 50 euro note up to the manager of the store. I wanted to leave a thank you gift for her but she had not even left her name. My son was thrilled and amazed! I hope my son’s view of the world has changed since that time and become more balanced. There is more good than evil, more kind actions than selfish ones and more love than hate.

Taking responsibility for the books, papers, Internet stories you read, films you watch, people you spend time with does have an affect on your view of the world. Be aware of this. Read books that inspire you, watch films that make you feel good and be around kind and positive people, all this helps you be positive and tune out of the fear mongering than can take place in the media at times.

Step 8: Cultivate Self Belief
If you believe you can do it you are already more than half way there to making it happen!  Cultivating self belief is one of the most important things you can do to create a better, happier life for yourself. A person with self belief can never be bullied, a person with self belief will always have great energy to make things happen, will always feel as good as anyone else, will always have hope for a good future, will never spend their time with regrets about the past or feeling sorry for themselves.

As a Life Coach I consider it one of the most important areas to build with my new clients because I know its like sprinkling your life with a little magic!

How can you cultivate self belief  it you might ask? There are some great books you can read you only have to go to your nearest bookstore. Often this is where most people start. Second you could enlist a life coach like myself. Third spend more time around people who encourage, praise and see the best of who you are. Susan Jeffers in her wonderful book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway®’ calls these friends ‘Go for it’ friends rather than ‘Be Careful’ friends. Fourth you could attend inspiring workshops and I do my best to keep providing these for you e.g.

‘The Magic of Believing in Yourself’ my newest one day workshop that is taking place on 5th February.

Creating Better Relationships  another new one day workshop is taking place on 11th March and

Meditation & Creative Visualisation Workshop is taking place on 22nd April.

So you see there is lots of help out there to help you on your way through this new year.

A Special Thank You – I would like to take this opportunity now to thank all of my life coaching clients who I have coached in person in Cork and Dublin and/or through Skype in the last year. I would like to thank my Reflexology clients in Cork and Dublin for choosing me as their Reflexologist. And lastly a special thanks to those of you who have attended my workshops and courses over the last 13 years. An area that is especially close to my heart are the courses I facilitate for Matt Talbot Adolescent Services in Cork for the parents of teenagers there and I feel truly blessed for the sponsorship of these and other courses that have made it possible for people to learn and develop through challenging times in their lives.

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