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Turning Guilt Into Good

Turning Guilt Into Good
Tell Us What You Think.

Is mom guilt / mummy guilt taking up too much of your valuable headspace and eating away at your happiness?

How often do you have thoughts like:

I shouldn’t be working – my kids need more attention.

I should be working so we can afford more for the kids / I can be a better role model for my daughter / I can use my brain. 

I didn’t spend enough time playing with my child today.

I didn’t get anything done today because I was playing with my child.

I let my kids eat too much junk / play too many computer games.

I’m too strict / too lenient / too inconsistent.

I didn’t make it to the gym AGAIN.

I haven’t sent out the thank you cards. 

I’ve got nothing decent to make for dinner.

I was so moody and mean last night.

It goes on and on and on….

Some guilt is pointless and soul destroying. We ‘should’ all over ourselves, ruminating over small things that don’t really matter or big things we can’t do anything about.

But can guilt actually serve a purpose? 

Could some of those guilty feelings be a signal to look at parts of your life and see where you might not be living in alignment with your values? Could uncomfortable pangs help you to pay closer attention and motivate you to make changes? Could guilt be the push you need to do things differently?[more]

Are Your Kids Over Scheduled?

Are Your Kids Over Scheduled?
Tell Us What You Think.

Ballet, football, gymnastics, swimming, music lessons… Do you feel like you might have over scheduled kids?

Are you shuffling them around from various clubs and activities to the point you’re exhausted and not even sure if they’re enjoying it anymore?

I recently read an article in the Huffington Post by Dr. Samantha Rodman, a clinical psychologist and mother of three.

She says that while some families thrive on a lot of activities, others don’t. It’s important to pause and have a proper think about it, rather than continue on auto-pilot.[more]

6 Great Ways to Feel Young And Stop Dreading Your Birthday

6 Great Ways to Feel Young And Stop Dreading Your Birthday
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Here I am, turning the big 5-OH and I’m excited to ring in a new decade of life. I’m a firm believer that age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!

I’m intrigued to explore what birthday-lovers have that birthday-dreaders don’t.

After all, growing older is inevitable. Getting old is optional. 

It’s all about your mindset.

I remember several of my friends getting freaked out about turning 30. Those same friends now look back at photos from that time and can’t get over how young they looked! If only they’d appreciated it at the time.

It’s time to start appreciating the age you are now. When you look in the mirror, take a mental snapshot and imagine looking at it again when you’re 80. You’ll think you looked a million bucks – because you do.

About 10 years ago I read Deepak Chorpra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: A Practical Alternative to Growing Old. He lays down scientific evidence to show the mind-body connection to ageing. When you think old, your cells respond and begin deteriorating faster! Doesn’t that inspire you to change your mindset about ageing? Your thoughts create your reality!

Here are my top 6 tips to hep you feel young and stop dreading your birthday.
[more]

Less Things = More Freedom

Less Things = More Freedom
Tell Us What You Think.

In my post Get Rid of Clutter, I promised to share the inspirational story of my mother who got rid of all of her material possessions.

In honour of her 70th birthday….  Here’s some inspiration to have less things and more freedom. 

About 27 years ago my mother sold her big house in Minnesota, all of her furniture and her car and relocated across the country to California. (Sleeping on my sofa until she found a place of her own!)

As a single lady whose kids had flown the coop, she was ready for a new adventure.

She bought a pickup truck and meagrely furnished a small one-bedroom apartment, including mismatched dishes and silverware from charity shops.

She became a true minimalist and loved the freedom it gave her.[more]

Give Yourself a Personal Growth Boost

Give Yourself a Personal Growth Boost
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Personal Growth is one petal on the Project Me Life Wheel®, yet Project Me as a whole is about your personal development. Life never stands still, it’s constantly evolving and changing. You can either see it as a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride, or you can find ways to make it all less hair-raising.

Focusing on your self-development is far from selfish. When you transform yourself, you transform the world around you including, of course, your immediate family.

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘If mama’s happy, everybody’s happy!’ and this is certainly true from my perspective. Just ask my family.

It’s normal to flit back and forth between your Best Version (the one who’s patient, calm, kind, relaxed and lighthearted) and your Poor Version (you know, that other one who’s irritable, impatient, worried or overwhelmed).

But wouldn’t you love to be the Best Version of You more often?[more]

3 Steps To Your Best Summer Yet!

3 Steps To Your Best Summer Yet!
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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 PJs, lunch and dinner whenever anyone’s hungry. No homework hassles or chauffeuring to after-school clubs and activities.

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. You get tired of your own nagging voice and by the time school starts again you’re practically burning rubber at the school gates.

A few years ago I decided not to let the summer holidays feel like a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. 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.[more]

Get Rid of Clutter: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying

Get Rid of Clutter: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying
Tell Us What You Think.

Are there pockets of clutter in your home that are dragging you down?

Do you struggle to downsize your collection of books, DVDs or Tupperware? Just in case those missing lids ever turn up…

Find it hard to let go of clothes in case they come back into fashion or you lose or gain weight? Feel guilty getting rid of things that were given as gifts?

As I prepare for my upcoming move back to London, I’m in major ‘get rid of clutter’ mode. When we packed up and moved to Madrid six years ago I donated dozens of bags filled to the brim to our local charity shops. I gave away piles of books, clothes, baby and household items as I had no time to organise a sale or figure out eBay.

It was amazing to start fresh in a new house. After unpacking I was delighted to find empty shelves and plenty of drawers to spare.

So how is it that just six years later we’ve amassed so much stuff again? 

I’m finally reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo after previously writing it off as being a book about precision folding and talking to your socks. Well, there is some of that, but the deeper underlying message is actually a good one.

Only keep things in your home that spark joy.

This is of course easier said than done, but in the spirit of another fresh start, I’m giving her KonMari Method a go.[more]

Finding Work That Fits Around Family: First Steps to Get Started

Finding Work That Fits Around Family: First Steps to Get Started
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I hear from many mothers who’ve been out of the workforce since starting a family and now feel confused and apprehensive about if or when they want to get back in.

Many make the choice to be a stay-at-home mother when the kids are little, but later wish they hadn’t let their skills and contacts lapse to the point where they’ve lost confidence in their abilities. Others aren’t crazy about returning to work but need or want to contribute to the family income or would like some financial independence.

A big concern is finding work that fits in with family life. [more]

What To Do About A Lack Of Motivation

What To Do About A Lack Of Motivation
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I’m normally a positive and energetic person. I talk and move fast, my brain is filled with a steady flow of non-stop ideas and I rarely feel bored. 

So feeling a complete lack of motivation over these past few weeks has been very strange and unusual. 

It started with a horrible stomach virus which morphed into a bad cold and cough. But even 10 days later when I ‘should’ have felt back to normal, I couldn’t muster up an ounce of enthusiasm for anything.

I didn’t want to work – which has never happened since starting Project Me. I didn’t want to socialise, I couldn’t be bothered to think about food or cooking. My poor family.

I wasn’t depressed and I didn’t feel hopeless. I just had a drawn-out case of the Blahs. Yes, it’s happened to the Mama Motivator herself![more]

Keeping A Family Book of Quotes

Keeping A Family Book of Quotes
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Kids say the funniest things.

Once your child starts talking, they never cease to come up with questions and comments that crack you up.

You might think you’ll remember this stuff, but there’s a good chance you won’t.

My boys are teenagers now and I’m kicking myself for not keeping a family book of quotes much earlier.

I used to say, ‘I’m going to write that in my book of quotes!’ as a joke, but I never got around to actually doing it until they were six and nine.

Better late than never! Our family book of quotes is a source of great amusement to me and I turn to it whenever I could use a good giggle.[more]

Exploring Happy Habits With Gretchen Rubin

Exploring Happy Habits With Gretchen Rubin
Tell Us What You Think.

I’m thrilled that Project Me has made a great list of 25 Must-Read Personal Development Blogs, especially given that I share the bill with one of my personal faves, Gretchen Rubin.

Gretchen first came onto my radar several years ago with her book The Happiness Project. She’s as fascinated with happiness, human behaviour and habits as I am!

I once spent five consecutive days sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, surreptitiously observing and writing down where people chose to sit and which magazines they shuffled through. The following week I did a similar same thing in a cafe.

Before you assume I’m some kind of weirdo, It was for my sociology class at university.

Gretchen’s latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives, explores how habits affect your life in both good and bad ways. She uses herself, her friends and her family as guinea pigs to test out various theories, which makes it more fun to read than the other books on habits I’ve delved into – and never quite finished…

I especially love her Four Tendencies framework to help people understand how they tend to respond to expectations, both inner and external.

As a productivity and goals coach for mothers, it’s useful for me to understand if the person I’m working with needs my accountability (ie: a kick up her backside to make sure she follows through!), or if she’ll rebel against that and needs to do things her own way. Others respond better to lots of useful information. Once they have the facts, they make decisions they trust.

Since we’re all different, self-understanding is the key to reaching our goals and mastering our habits.

You can take Gretchen’s online quiz to find out [more]

Recommended Meditation Apps for Mothers

Recommended Meditation Apps for Mothers
Tell Us What You Think.

Feel like you ‘should’ be meditating, but never really manage to get into it?

Have a monkey mind and can’t stop the endless chatter running through your head?

I hear you!

For years I tried to develop a meditation practice. I’d heard all of the amazing benefits, including less stress and anxiety, the ability to manage emotions, unwind and be more present.

Yet all I seemed to accomplish in a session was mentally scanning my to-do list or pondering what I should make for dinner.

Now I’m using guided meditation apps. They give my mind something positive to latch on to so I won’t automatically go off on a wild thought tangent.

I’ve been experimenting with several meditation phone apps. Here are some great ones and in the comments below, please share any you like too.[more]


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