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The 5 Biggest Factors Affecting Happiness and Wellbeing

The 5 Biggest Factors Affecting Happiness and Wellbeing
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As someone who’s borderline obsessed with happiness and wellbeing, I was intrigued to read about a nationwide survey that measures people’s happiness and how well they live. I’ll link to the actual study at the end, but here are some of the highlights, along with my own observations.

1. Sweet Dreams

Better sleep is the biggest single contributor to living better. Over 60 percent of the group who came out as living very well felt rested most or all of the time after sleep – but less than five percent of the group who were struggling with life felt this way.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that sleep has the strongest association with how well we feel we are living. My happiness levels absolutely increase or decrease in proportion to my quality of sleep. This study revealed that getting a good night’s sleep would be the equivalent to having four times as much disposable income! 

If you’re a sleep deprived mama reading this in despair, hang on – here’s some good news: Perhaps surprisingly, the study found that families with young children are living best. They found a positive impact on wellbeing for parents of children under five years old, when parenting can be at its most intense. The value of parenthood and the stronger social bonds that tend to feature at this life stage outweighed the lack of sleep and financial pressures also associated with having young children, resulting in higher-than-average Living Well scores. There you go! [more]

Morning Energy Booster: Thymus Tapping

Morning Energy Booster: Thymus Tapping
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Okay, I’m going to let you in on a pretty weird secret. Every morning when I wake up, I stimulate my thymus gland while saying positive affirmations.

And you might ask yourself, ‘Where exactly is my thymus gland?’  ‘How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house!’ (Sorry, that one goes out to any other Talking Heads fans out there. I couldn’t resist.) 

I know it sounds utterly bonkers, but I learned about morning thymus tapping from an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) practitioner at the very first Project Me Ibiza retreat in 2015 and I’ve been doing it ever since. It wakes me up, no matter how groggy I’m feeling. I then added some beautiful affirmations that my fab friend Suzie gave me, adapting it all into a morning ritual that puts me into a state of positive energy in a few short minutes. (My teenage son also does it on school-mornings.)

I’ve been wanting to share how I do thymus tapping, but it’s hard to explain in writing so I have FINALLY recorded a Vlog (video blog) to show you how it’s done.[more]

Happy 4th Birthday to Project Me

Happy 4th Birthday to Project Me
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Happy Birthday to Project Meeeee! Four years old now! 

Since the launch of www.myprojectme.com in September 2013, I’ve pressed publish on 118 blog posts. Most of them are timeless and every bit as relevant to a busy mother now as the day they were written. Rather than missives about my life, I always aim to write about topics that will inspire you or help to solve a problem. I often share how I’ve overcome a struggle you’ll relate to and when I don’t know something, I call in some expert advice. I absolutely love connecting with you in the comments beneath the blog posts and some of the best discussions and aha’s happen there. 

I want to continue to write about topics that will help you across the 8 Key Areas of your Project Me Life Wheel®, so I warmly invite you to fill in this questionnaire about what kinds of posts you’d like to read about in the Project Me blog and newsletters, as well as which social media channels you use (if any) and a bit about yourself. 

And, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE prizes / competitions (and celebrating birthdays), I’m going to give everyone who completes this questionnaire a chance to win some great goodies![more]

How Smart Mamas Get It Done While The Kids Are In School

How Smart Mamas Get It Done While The Kids Are In School
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This article is also featured in the Huffington Post.

Dreaming about all of the extra hours you’ll have with the kids back in school? Determined to get on top of your to-do list and have space in your day to do more of what you really want to be doing?

Here’s the truth. Those ‘extra hours’ will disappear into the ether if you don’t watch it.

That’s exactly what happened to me back when my youngest began nursery school.

I was thrilled to have three bonus hours a day to get stuff done. I imagined my amazing life with an additional 12 hours a week!

But it wasn’t long before I felt just as busy as ever.

Two years later when he started ‘big school’, I conjured up more images of what my life would look like with all of the ‘extra’ time I’d have.

I’d create filing systems, put photos in albums, finish the baby books, learn Spanish, train to be a yoga teacher, do volunteer work….

But that time evaporated too.

Here’s what I’ve finally learned (and I hope this fast tracks you through the process):[more]

Lighten Up and Quit Shoulding On Yourself!

Lighten Up and Quit Shoulding On Yourself!
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How often do you tell yourself that you ‘should’ do something?

I should call my mother.
I should bake something for the bake sale.
I should tackle that mountain of paperwork.
I should turn off my phone and get to sleep.

Notice too how often you ‘must’ be doing something?

I must get to the gym.
I must shave my legs.
I must start dinner.
I must take the dog for a walk.

Obviously you do have responsibilities and obligations and there are plenty things you must and should do. But there’s also a lot of unnecessary  ‘musterbating’ and ‘shoulding’ on yourself. You can end up feeling like your whole life is one boooooring obligation after another.

‘Should’ makes you feel guilty, disinterested, bored and possibly even resentful.

How about replacing ‘should’ with a word that feels better:

COULD.

Notice the subtle shift when ‘must’ and ‘should’ are turned into  ‘could’.[more]

The Project Me Book – Now Available on Amazon!

The Project Me Book – Now Available on Amazon!
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I’m beyond excited to announce that my book, Project Me for Busy Mothers: A Practical Guide to Finding a Happier Balance is now available for Amazon pre-sale order!

Without an epidural or morphine, birthing this book has been a looooong, drawn out and somewhat painful process. And the actual due date isn’t until the 25th of January! 

But like all newborns, once they’re safety delivered into the world, the labour pains are soon replaced with pride and joy. Of course newborn babies aren’t subject to Amazon reviews, so there could be more pain to come!

I’ve been more heavily involved in the cover art, inside layout, design and graphics than I ever expected. but it’s all coming together beautifully now.

Many of you Project Me mamas have played a BIG part in this book by answering my questionnaires, joining my on-line programmes, attending my live workshops and retreats, working with me one to one, and commenting under blog and social media posts. You’re weaved into the pages of this book, making it yours as much as mine.

My publisher tells me that pre-sale orders are super important and help push the book up the search engine ranks, as well as giving book shops an indication of how many copies to order.  

Advantages for you to pre-order your copy include:[more]

Summer Planning for Parents and Kids

Summer Planning for Parents and Kids
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I used to begin each summer with a fresh sense of optimism. But it wouldn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. I soon grew tired of feeling like the chief entertainer / housekeeper / cook and negotiator. My kids began to tune out my nagging voice, especially my half-hearted attempts to get them off electronics. Or to read, do summer homework or help out around the house.

I finally figured out that I needed a summer strategy. A game plan going in so I could navigate the school break without losing my marbles. And you know what? It works! My summers keep getting better and better. And I’m pretty sure my kids feel the same way. I mean who wouldn’t prefer to hang with a happy mama?!

Whether you’ve got a full summer schedule of plans, travels or activities to organise OR you work and need to figure out how to balance it all OR you want to free-style your summer days and play it all by ear, it’s worth getting clear about what you want out of summer for yourself and your kids.

That’s why I’ve created the Summer Strategy Kit – 24 gorgeous printables to help you cruise through the summer months without losing your cool too often.

Here’s a little glimpse of some of the printables for YOU…[more]

How to Design Your Day the Way YOU Want It To Go

How to Design Your Day the Way YOU Want It To Go
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Do you dive into each day without a game plan? Are you easily sidetracked? Do you procrastinate on the important (but boring) stuff, then kick yourself when the day’s over and you still didn’t manage to get it done?

Wouldn’t it be great to arrive calm, prepared and on time to everywhere you needed to be? To feel happy and connected. Grateful for another amazing day – and looking forward to another one tomorrow.

The secret to this involves a little light planning at the start of each day. Instead of just doing whatever’s in front of your face, it’s time to Design Your Day.

I created this printable day planner to help busy mothers stay focused, stop wasting time and be more mindful as you move about your day. No more going off-piste! 

The feedback I get on this Design My Day Action Sheet. is phenomenal! (I’ll share some it further down.) I’m now working on a lovely spiral bound version that’ll be up for sale on Amazon later this year.

I’ll walk you through each section of Design My Day here:[more]

The Secret to Having a Special Mother’s Day

The Secret to Having a Special Mother’s Day
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Would you like to feel extra special on Mother’s Day instead of it being the same as any other day? Wish your family would make some kind of effort towards making you feel loved and appreciated?

Since I became a mother 17 years ago I’ve had a few bummer Mother’s Days – especially when we were living in Spain and nobody knew which day to celebrate, so it just didn’t happen at all.

Now EVERY Mother’s Day equals extra hugs, homemade cards, breakfast in bed, lunch out and a day off from cooking and clearing up. YESSSS!!!!

Okay – listen closely. Here’s what you need to do to ensure you have a Mother’s Day filled with whatever would make you feel extra special. [more]

Top 10 Insight Timer Meditations for Mothers

Top 10 Insight Timer Meditations for Mothers
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After years of restless monkey mind attempts, I’ve finally cemented a daily meditation habit I wouldn’t want to live without. I owe it all to the free Insight Timer Meditation app.

I wrote about my trial of several meditation apps here. Insight Timer meditations quickly won me over and my app stats show that in the past 12 months I’ve done 412 meditation sessions!  I’m kind of a stats geek and not wanting the counter to return to zero is what initially motivated me to keep going. Now I do it because I love the new voice in my head that helps me to be a nicer person to myself and others.

I love to wake up in the morning to ‘beditate’ without even getting out from under the cozy covers. 

The best thing about Insight Timer meditations are the vast choice of guided recordings of varying lengths and themes. Rather than one voice – there are males and females in many accents and styles, with or without background music. It’s like reading a few pages from an inspiring personal growth book every single day and becoming a better version of me with each short session.  I’m doing a lot less future tripping and past looping as I learn to live more in the present moment.

There’s also a unique sense of community. When you complete a meditation it shows you a map of how many other people were meditating with you all over the world. That number keeps increasing as more people are discovering the app.

I’ve started a Project Me for Busy Mothers group within the app where we share our favourite meditations – there are hundreds of us there now. Come and join in by going to ‘Groups’ then searching for Project Me for Busy Mothers. 

Here’s my compiled list of specific meditations that target the emotions we often feel as mothers. Anger, frustration, self-doubt, anxiety, low moods. I’ve also included some wonderful guided visualisations to help you to manifest your dreams and goals.

It was super challenging to narrow it down to 10, but doing the research (or shall I say me-search!) was fun. I do love my ‘job’.  Here are the ones that have made the final cut and the reasons why I love them.[more]

Intuition: Listening to Your Inner GPS

Intuition: Listening to Your Inner GPS
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You know that little voice in your head that knows the answers? The one that guides you in the right direction and helps you make good decisions? Chances are you don’t.

We all have an internal GPS, otherwise known as intuition, but in our busy lives, we’ve lost touch with it.

Back in caveman days (before smartphones, social media and Netflix), humans relied on their intuition or ‘sixth sense’. They perked up if a predator was within miles. They instinctively knew where to source food and water.

These days our lives are so overstimulated that messages from our intuitive guide are drowned out. A Mother’s Intuition has been sadly replaced by a Google searches engine.

Our sixth sense, now seldom used, is in danger of being evolutionarily phased out. Being able to see into the future or past is a weird and creepy thing that we no longer understand.

What a waste of a really valuable sense, huh? Losing your intuition because you never use it is like [more]

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016
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Thank you for reading my blog! I’ve compiled a list with easy links to the top six most popular blog posts written in 2016 in case you missed any of them or want to re-read. The comment threads beneath these posts are worth gold. Thanks to everyone who jumped in with their own words of wisdom or shared their struggles. It helps us to see that we’re not alone and inspires us to take action. 

I’m over the moon to hear how Project Me has improved mother’s lives in so many amazing ways. I welled up with tears as I read hundreds of responses to my Autumn survey.

I asked permission to print some, like this one from Lisa:

“I do the Life Wheel tool quarterly, and encourage my girlfriends to do the same. A couple years back when I saw that my work area was very low (as a stay at home mom), I made the decision to get my Master’s in Education. I graduated in May and am now working with English Language Learners. I am so very fulfilled helping and empowering my students.”  That put such a HUGE smile on my face! GO LISA!

And this from Lauren:

“I had completely lost my voice – I had no idea who I was as a person. The Project Me Life Wheel was the first tool that actually helped me organize my thoughts and my fears in a way that was empowering rather than overwhelming. It helped me pick one thing to focus on improving. Once a month I plan on doing a check in with the Project Me Life Wheel so I don’t get so anxious again.”  Well done Lauren! Monthly check-ins are the key to becoming the expert of yourself so you can learn from what’s not working and do more of what is.

There are too many to include here, but I send a huge FIST PUMP to each and every one of you for all big and small steps in the right direction. YES! Keep going!

Now without further ado – drum roll please…[more]


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