The Back to School – Back to ME Challenge

The Back to School – Back to ME Challenge

September is the new January for busy mothers.

The kids are back in school, you’ve got a ton of catching up to do after the summer break and you’re ready and raring to go!

You want to eat healthier, start meal planning, organise the clutter that’s been accumulating and get a handle on the chaos. Maybe you need some fresh rules for the kids around homework, screen time and bedtime.

You’d also like to find a fitness groove, catch up with friends, check out the new season shopping and maybe even get your hair done.

You might be tempted to just dive in headfirst, making a start on everything at once…

But you know what’ll happen?

You’ll soon be back in that headless-chicken state with a to-do list a mile long –  feeling fed up that once again you’ve fallen to the bottom of the heap.

Are you ready to try something different?

I’ve got a game plan that’ll help you make time for YOU.

Sound good?

Then sharpen your pencils and join me for the Back to School – Back to ME Challenge.

Every Monday throughout September I’ll send you a fill-in-the-blanks Action Sheet that’ll inspire and motivate you. Soon you’ll have a fresh perspective on what makes you tick (and what ticks you off!) and some strategies in place to be your best self a lot more often.

We’ll also take a look at where you can carve out some essential ME time no matter how busy you are.

If you struggle with this or feel selfish doing something for you when there’s so much else that needs doing for your family [more]

My Child Loves Spinach For Breakfast (And Yours Will Too!)

My Child Loves Spinach For Breakfast (And Yours Will Too!)

Can you imagine your kid slurping spinach as an after-school snack? Or enjoying kale and broccoli for breakfast?

I certainly never dreamed of it, yet my 12 year old is now one of the many kids jumping on the green smoothie bandwagon. Blending up some leafy greens + fruit + a liquid base = a delicious smoothie.

Who doesn’t want their child to have a strong immune system and loads of energy when they set off for school each morning?

If yours hasn’t tried it yet, here are my top tips for turning your child into a green smoothie junkie.

[more]

 5 Signs You’re Drifting Apart in Your Marriage and What To Do About It

 5 Signs You’re Drifting Apart in Your Marriage and What To Do About It

You’re a busy wife and mother. Juggling all the balls – the consummate multi-tasker. You keep them all in the air, most of the time.

The home. The kids. The husband. Friends. Parents. Work. Social activities. And on it goes. You appear to have a happy, successful family life – on the surface.

Happy kids. Happy home. Happy marriage.

But that’s not quite the whole picture.

How you feel on the inside doesn’t reflect what’s portrayed on the outside. Something feels ‘off’ in your marriage.

You have a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Inside, you feel increasingly frustrated and resentful. Somehow you’ve become emotionally disconnected from your husband.[more]

4 Ways To Form Meaningful Friendships

4 Ways To Form Meaningful Friendships

Are you lacking meaningful friendships? Do you miss having friends you can confide in? Or ones you can let your hair down with and just have a good laugh?

Maybe you’ve moved somewhere new and are starting all over again with making new local friends?

Did great friendships feel easier to come by when you were younger?

Back then, those crucial ingredients for making close friends were all in place: proximity, repeated, unplanned interactions, and a setting that encourages you to let your guard down and show your true self. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends at university. (There’s nothing like a keg party to bring people close together!)

Once you get married and have kids it’s easy to get caught up in family life and let old friendships take a back seat. In many cases jobs take us away and replant us in new places where the process of making local friends means starting over from scratch.

Meaningful friendships are vitally important. Experts say that friendship has an even greater effect on health than a spouse or family member. Having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness and those with who have supportive friends are more likely to lose weight, get a new job or pursue their goals.

Friendship expert Shasta Nelson thinks too many of us are making excuses, waiting for our new BFF to just turn up. And when that doesn’t happen, we silently suffer. In her book, ‘Friendships Don’t Just Happen: Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends’, she says:

‘If there’s a first step to making friends, it is being open to possibilities beyond what we can see with our limited judgments. It’s recognising that we’re making judgments about someone without yet loving them, forgetting that it’s love in the end that makes all the difference. If we want to meet friendly people, we have to be one first.

We should see the new acquaintance sitting across from us as someone more than the person we’re interviewing from a specific checklist of what we think we’re looking for in a friend. We don’t yet love her because we don’t yet know her. The obstacles we percieve may prove to be only imagined. The differences we think divide us may become the bonds that bind us together. We just don’t know yet.

I invite you to cast your net wider, not narrower. Don’t doubt someone’s potential just because you don’t instantly see it.’

It’s not just a matter of waiting long enough until you discover the right person. You need to get proactive.[more]

How To Get Your Child To Listen To You

How To Get Your Child To Listen To You

Do you feel a broken record – repeating the same instruction to your child over and over? Not sure whether to book them in for a hearing test or yourself into the looney bin?

How can you get your child to listen to you the first time you say it?

I used to go nuts over my boys’ inability to hear me. I got louder and louder until I’d morphed into a crazed chronic shoutaholic. Things got really out of control.

I became a parenting book junkie, eating up anything that would help me get a handle on the chaos and stress of raising two boisterous little boys.

It wasn’t until I did a series of Parenting Skills classes at The Parent Practice that I finally cracked the secret to getting my kids to listen to me the first time I say it.

Kids have selective hearing. They tune out the sound of your voice unless it’s something they want to hear. You may have noticed husbands suffer this same affliction…

So what do we do? We repeat.

‘Jack, I told you to put on your shoes. We’re leaving now.’

And we repeat again, louder and more annoyed. And again, this time with exasperation, then anger.

We’ve inadvertently trained our child to only really pay attention once we’ve said it a few times or have begun shouting.

To gain better cooperation with your child you’re [more]

Become Your Own Body Whisperer

Become Your Own Body Whisperer

Do you have aches and pains? Digestive issues? Bad eating habits, poor sleep? Does your monthly cycle flatten you? Do you catch every bug going around?

Your body is just trying to get your attention. Symptoms and sensations are the language of the body. Are you listening – or just carrying on, hoping it gets better on it’s own?

Just like your car has little warning lights to tell you what’s wrong, your body sends you signals.

But when life gets busy and you have so much else on your plate –  you override these symptoms, and then they get bigger, then they start YELLING!

Your pains become chronic, your sleep is a mess, unwanted eating habits feel out of control. It’s hard to be a happy mama when you’re just not feeling good.

But what if there’s a better way?

What if you didn’t have to wait for your body to start hollering.

What if you actually knew your body’s language so well that you could understand and respond to it, even when it whispers

Some people are excellent body whisperers. Have you ever been with someone who has a severe allergy – and as soon as they smell or taste even the tiniest bit of their allergen – their body reacts? They stop right away. They are listening to the whispers of their body, because they know they can’t afford to wait ’til their body starts yelling.

The reality is that none of us can afford to wait until our body starts yelling. We may not be faced with an immediate life-and-death issue like an extreme allergy, but every day we are facing the choice of living fully, or going numb to our body’s needs.

So, how do you become a body whisperer?

How do you ‘tune into your body’ to hear what it has to say?[more]

Learn To Speak Your Partner’s Love Language

Learn To Speak Your Partner’s Love Language

Does your partner text while you’re talking? Fail to notice when you’ve had your hair done? Does say he loves you, but you’d feel like he meant it if he helped out around the house more?

Or maybe a kind gesture on your part didn’t get the desired reaction from him. You’re left wondering why you even bothered at all.

Ever feel like you’re speaking completely different languages? Maybe you are!

Relationship expert Gary Chapman says there are five different languages of love. If you both speak the same language that’s great, but if not you might need the help of an interpreter!

In his #1 best selling book ‘The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts’, Gary writes about  the importance of being able to express your love to your partner in a way they’ll understand.

The basic principle is that we each use one of five primary love languages. This determines how we give love and how we want to receive it. Learning to speak your partner’s love language and vice versa will do wonders for your relationship.

Ever since I read this book I’ve had a fresh insight into what makes my hubby tick. ‘Caring Acts of Service’. (And no, that doesn’t just mean sex…)

It means a lot to him when I remember to buy his favourite coffee or sparkling water before it runs out. Or taking his shoes to be resoled, his suit to the dry cleaner or his tennis racket to be restrung. It’s all of those things that take a small load off his plate. I haven’t gone so far as to fill in his tax returns, but I know that would be a pretty grand act of love!

Knowing that his primary love language is Caring Acts of Service means I can remember to sprinkle it into the week fairly effortlessly. I’ll tell him to go and relax while I clean up the dinner dishes. Or I’ll go and collect our son from a party – even though it’s his turn.

And I’ve been able to help him understand why his gifts and compliments aren’t nearly as meaningful to me as quality time and conversations. It isn’t enough to just be in the same room at the same time. I need focused attention. If he’s reading or texting while I’m talking I feel insulted. (Even though annoyingly he can repeat back what I’d said word for word… grrrrr…..)

Read the following Five Love Languages and try to identify your partner’s as well as your own.[more]

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? (Whether To Go Back To Work)

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? (Whether To Go Back To Work)

Recently I was interviewed by Soozi Baggs of MaternityLeavers.com about my experience of maternity leave and thoughts of returning to work after I became a mother.

Even though it’s been 15 years since I went through the whole ‘should I stay or should I go now?’ dilemma, it’s all still very fresh in my mind.

Are you facing ‘The Big Decision’ – whether to go back to work, be a stay at home mother or maybe start a home business?

It can be a confusing time.

When I became pregnant I had to decide whether to take the maternity package and keep my job as a graphic designer for a record company, or cut the cord (so to speak) and be a SAHM?

My head was in a total spin over it.

Then I got proactive. First, I wrote down the Pros & Cons of each choice. Next, I closed my eyes and visualised what my daily life would look like in each scenario.

My visualisation looked like this:[more]

Kids Boredom Buster

Kids Boredom Buster

‘I’m bored.’ ‘I don’t know what to do.’   Sound familiar?

Inevitable words out of the mouths of our kids during the school break.

It’s great to organise trips, days out and social get togethers but don’t feel you have schedule their every move. Children need the time and space to transition from busy school routines to laid back livin’. It’s ok to feel a bit bored sometimes, they just have to find their own way out of it. (And that doesn’t have to mean endless hours glued to an iPad.) 

A few summers ago I pre-empted the cries of boredom by getting my kids to create a Not Bored Board. It worked a treat and has become an annual tradition.

Here’s how:[more]

3 Steps To Your Best Summer Yet!

3 Steps To Your Best Summer Yet!

Long summer breaks can be a bag of mixed emotions. On the one hand there’s sweet freedom from early morning starts, rushing and routines. Eating breakfast in your PJ’s. Lunch and dinner whenever anyone’s hungry. Letting the kids live in the same swim suit for days on end. (Hey – it saves on laundry.) 

On the flip-side, you’re on full-time mama duty. Your normal daily schedule’s thrown totally out of whack and you’re missing that vital me time. One day morphs into another and after a while you’ve completely lost the plot.

A few years ago I decided not to let my summer feel like a roller coaster ride of happiness and hassles. I broke out my notebook and created a strategy for my Best Summer Yet.

And it worked! Getting clear about what I actually wanted was the key to guiding it in the right direction. It’s become an annual ritual and my summers keep getting better and better.

Here are 3 Steps to Creating Your Best Summer Yet:

[more]

Double Latte With A Twist: How to Coach a Friend

Double Latte With A Twist: How to Coach a Friend

Imagine these two scenarios:

A: You’re at a coffee morning with some local mothers and it turns into a competitive moan over who’s had the least sleep, the worst behaved kid or laziest husband. It then slides into celebrity scandals which morphs into idle gossip about other mothers who are not there.

Or

B: You meet up with up with a friend and, after a catch up, you take turns sharing your current challenges and brainstorming solutions. You set some goals, create plans of action and set a date to meet up again in one month to share your successes.

 

Which of those would leave you help you feel more positive and motivated about life? Which would leave you as drained as ever?

Getting together with a friend regularly for the ‘soul’ purpose of helping each other through life’s ups and downs is one of the most positive ways to harness the power of friendship. (tweet this!

Yet too often we slide into complaining mode without even realising it.

Complaining is a complete waste of time, yet it feels easier than figuring out a solution. It becomes a bad habit and begins to feel normal. The same goes for gossip. It creates bad energy. It gives me the creeps.

A few years ago I formed a Power Posse with my friends Suzie and Anna. They didn’t yet know each other but we’d all attended a series of life coaching workshops and wanted a way of keeping on top of the changes we’d begun to make. We were looking for accountability – and boy did we find it.

We had no idea then that we were onto something so life changing.[more]

Life Is Like A Roller Coaster. Throw Your Hands Up And Enjoy The Ride

Life Is Like A Roller Coaster. Throw Your Hands Up And Enjoy The Ride

Do you ever have weeks that feel like a roller coaster? Up and down, up and down – and sometimes loop de loop!

It’s a good thing I love roller coasters because these past couple of weeks have been one crazy ride.

My fab biz partner Suzie left Project Me. And I was down.

Then all of the positive words of support came flooding in via email, phone calls and comments under the blog. (Thank you!) I was back up again!

Then I faced big challenges in creating the sales page and all of the other working parts that go into the upcoming Power Pal Pack. I feel like I’ve been working on this for ever and I’d desperately wanted to launch it now. Down again.

So I decided to do something I knew [more]


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