7 Questions To Ask Yourself Every Sunday

Image by These Little Lights. Shrewsbury UK
Image by These Little Lights. Shrewsbury UK

In order to achieve any goal and move forward in life it is important to monitor and measure your progress. The following seven questions, asked on a regular basis will help you to measure and monitor your progress.

1.  What did I learn last week?

If we aren’t learning we aren’t growing and moving forward. List everything you learned. This can be anything from something you learned about yourself to a new skill you picked up. Small things and big lessons are all essential tools for creating the life of your dreams. Is there anything you feel you failed at last week? Failing is simply a tool to teach us something new.

 2. What were my achievements last week?

Again, big or small list them all. If your biggest achievement of the week was to get out of bed and brush your teeth then list that and feel proud.  It is not the size of the achievement that counts but the fact that you achieved something. If we don’t take the time to acknowledge the things we do achieve then we will never gain a feeling of fulfillment. We will always be focused on judging ourselves for  the things we think we should have achieved.

3. What am I most looking forward to this coming week?

I believe the key to a long and happy life is to always have something to look forward to. We can often think this needs to be something big like a holiday or buying a new item. The smaller the things you are excited about the easier it is to schedule them throughout your week. Start a list of all of the things that make you really happy for when you need some inspiration. Perhaps reading for 30 uninterrupted guilt-free minutes with a lovely cup of tea is something you could schedule and look forward to. A trip to the cinema or a café. A walk around a farmers market. Dancing around to some great music.  A visit to a museum or art gallery.  Taking an afternoon nap, or a long soak in the bath while the kids are at school. Take a picnic to the beach or the park with the family.

4. What are 7 little to-do items for this week?

If your to-do list is anything like mine, it will have at least a couple of hundred items on it. Awhile ago I gave up on fighting with my to do list and accepted that it wasn’t something to ‘complete’. I was always racing to get my to do list finished. Finishing any list just gave me the ability to take on more projects and even more to do items.

There are many things I need to get done each day, but there are often items that can get stuck on my list if I don’t make an effort to get them done.

I choose seven items from my big to-do list to complete each week. One to be  completed each day. These are small items, the ones that are important but usually get neglected for more urgent items.  They don’t take longer than an hour and can often take just a few minutes. These are usually things like; send thank you cards, make dentist appt, sort out my desk, buy a new folder, return an item to someone,, fertilise plants, take clothes to charity shop,. compare insurance quotes, open a new savings account

It keeps my list moving forward and frees up negative energy from seeing the same things on my list week after week.

5. What would make my coming week easier?

Is there something you can add to your routine to make your week run a little smoother? Is there something you can let go of in order to move forward into a new week? Is there somebody you can ask for a little help or advice? Is there something you feel has been wasting your time and you can cut down a little this week?

6. Did I avoid anything last week?

It can often be the things that we are avoiding that we most need to do. They can often be the things that will provide the biggest benefit to our week.  We usually avoid these things because they can be taking us outside of our comfort zone. It is outside of our comfort zone that we make change. We can make great progress inside our comfort zone, but it is usually change and growth that occurs outside of it. If you find yourself stuck in procrastination mode, read here about how I learned to love procrastination.

7. What made you laugh and smile last week?

It’s important to note these things, so you can do more of them! Laughter is the best medicine and smiling means you are on the right path. Laughter and smiling often come out of the simplest things too. Rolling around on the floor and playing with your children, watching a funny show, getting out into nature.  I believe one of the keys to a great life is having a light and playful attitude whenever possible.

Use these questions on a regular basis, or create a list of your own. I like to complete them on a Sunday night to help me focus on the week ahead. Let me know which question helps you in the comments section below

Don’t forget to sign up below to receive free and inspiring tips to help you take your life and confidence to the next level

 

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Financial Freedom Friday

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I have always strongly believed that it is not how much you earn it is how you spend it that counts.

No matter how much or little we earn we can often find ourselves buying things we don’t really need or want causing us to sacrifice ever buying the things we truly want and dream about.

Whether it’s a house deposit, travel, a boat, a car, paying off a debt or credit card,  expensive outfit these things can often feel always out of reach.

Here’s a strategy for making those things a reality.

Open a savings account, label it travel account/house deposit account or whatever it is that you would like that seems always out of reach.

Whenever you buy something ask yourself, “do I really want/need this or would I rather put the money in my savings account’

If you decide you do not want to make the purchase, put the money that you would have spent into your savings account. Keep a notebook for all of the decisions you make through the day as they can soon add up.

There are some rules for this strategy –

Never use the money in your dream savings account for bills or anything other than what you intended it for. (if bills are a huge problem, then it might be an idea to focus on your budget before buying things anyway, it can be uncomfortable, but at least the exercise may help you understand where your money is going.)

This strategy is not supposed to leave you feeling deprived – most of the time you will say ‘yes I really do want to buy this thing’ and that is ok. One object of this strategy is to become more conscious of your purchases and where your money goes. There will be many times though that you will think ‘No I would rather buy my dream item”

Do you want the chocolate bar or the holiday?

Do you want to buy the book or read one of the unread books on your bookshelf?

Does your child need that toy or would they be just as happy playing a game with you that you already have?

Do you have anything to sell?

Do you need to buy lunch every day at work or could you take your own on some days?

Do you need to buy peanut butter, or can you buy some peanuts and blend them up at a fraction of the cost? (yes, there are many ways to save money to put towards your dream purchase)

This exercise should be fun and creative – Make sure you do put the money into your savings, you were going to spend it anyway so it won’t be missed.

 

Let me know how it goes for you!

Effective Problem Solving For Achieving Anything You Want

Untitled-68Problem solving is the number one skill required for achieving anything you want in life.

The faster and better you solve problems the more you will achieve.

Awhile ago I listened to a great TED Talk by Brene Brown, called The Power of Vulnerability

I love the work of Brene Brown she talks about the fact that if you are going to put yourself out there than you are going to get burnt.

This morning I felt rather ‘burnt’ as I discovered my original photos were being used around the internet with the links  showing that they were my work removed.

As annoyed as I felt, I also felt a little proud that if I was feeling ‘burnt’ then it meant that I really was starting to ‘put myself out there’

Instead of getting caught up in the problem I decided to focus on the solution in order to learn, grow and move forward.

Every problem sent to you is simply a lesson to teach you a new skill and to help you move forward.

Step 1 How can I focus on the solution instead of the problem?

Getting caught up in the ‘why’ is this happening, blame, anger or any negative emotion does nothing to move you forward, and honestly it doesn’t feel good!

I am not saying to ever deny your true feeling or emotions. Always acknowledge how you honestly feel. Never try to force yourself to feel anything that you aren’t ready for. The key is to not get stuck within an emotion or state of being for any longer than is necessary.

Instead focusing on the solution will make you feel in control, empowered and happier in general. In my case the solution is simply to make sure I watermark my images better.

Step 2 Where can I show a little more understanding?

As a photographer I completely understand the concept of copyright and how much work, money and effort goes into creating a photograph or a piece of art. Just because I understand this doesn’t mean that others do. By letting go of the judgment of others actions I was able to move through the problem easier.

I also have to understand that other people don’t quite understand copyright like I do.

I also realize that I am also part of the problem. I have probably shared images that don’t contain the original link.

How can you show a little more understanding towards others or even yourself regarding a particular problem? Are you expecting too much of yourself, caught up in comparison or stuck in judgment?

Step 3 What is the good side of this problem?

There’s usually a good side to every problem if you look hard enough. This is easier if you see problems as useful tools and lessons rather than something to simply make yourself feel bad with.

Once I thought about it I realized that;

1. If people are sharing my images it means that they like them!

2. If people are sharing my images then maybe somebody has actually been helped by them, and really isn’t that my goal?

3. It has taught me a lesson in watermarking my images.

4. I may raise awareness regarding copyright.

5. I was inspired to write this post that may help somebody else with learning to problem solve.

Step 4 What have I learned?

It’s important to acknowledge the lessons you learn. When I studied photography we kept a journal of all the mistakes we made. It wasn’t something to look at and feel bad about. It was a reference tool for future use. Whenever the same problem came up we could easily find the answer and fix it. It also felt good to acknowledge  how far we had come on our journey.

Keep a book with all the problems that arise for you and complete the following questions;

How can I focus on the solution instead of the problem?

Where can I show a little more understanding?

What is the good side of this problem?

What have I learned?

Problem solving is a skill that will raise your confidence levels and allow you to trust in yourself.  As always start with a small and easy step. Please share your comments below. What problems have you had that have taught you something?

Speak Your Truth Tuesday

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A few weeks ago I was playing a game of Snakes and Ladders with my daughter. Inside the box there was a piece of paper describing the origins of the game. I found the information really interesting and wanted to share what I’d discovered. I didn’t tell anyone though because I kept thinking that it was something everyone already knew and that I was silly for not knowing too.

The mind can be so mean!

So I thought I would share it here.

Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian game based on religious teachings. The ladders represent ‘virtues’ such as generosity, faith and reliability. The snakes represent ‘vices’ such as lust, greed, anger, murder and theft. The game teaches that by taking virtuous action we move forward in life faster and by taking action that aren’t virtuous then we move backwards in life.

The number of ladders is less than the number of snakes as a reminder that a path of good is much more difficult to tread than a path of sins.

I saw Snakes and Ladders in a whole new light. Until a few weeks ago it was just a simple game to play that really didn’t mean much.

Now I implement it’s concepts into my own life. There are actions that I know will move me closer to my goals and actions that will move me further away. My goal setting has become simpler, much like the game itself.

Is there anything you have ever been afraid to say because you thought it was too obvious, or you should know it already? Please share in the comments below.

 

 

How could I not?

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With 40 million+ people in the US alone suffering from anxiety how could I not create this course?

I have suffered the greatest anxiety, panic attacks and insecurities.

I have had weeks in my past of being unable to leave the house.

I have developed simple and empowering strategies to help me breakthrough the anxiety cycle and keep it under control.

It has been a long journey and hopefully this course will help many people.

With love

Nicole x

For course details on beginning your journey click here

How do you measure success?

Bicycles in Bruges, West Flanders ,Belgium

A quick question for you today.

How do you measure your success?

I simply measure my success by the amount of time my family spends laughing and smiling.

Why?

Because without a happy family, no amount of money or possessions matter to me.

If my family are laughing and smiling then I know that all areas of our life are going well. We are paying enough attention to our health, finances, careers etc

If  we aren’t laughing enough then something needs our attention.

Perhaps we are working too hard and not paying enough attention to our health.

Perhaps we have not paid enough attention to our finances.

Find something that really matters to you and use that as your measure of success.

Let me know how you measure your success in the comments below.

Unleash The Creative Within

Studying creativity isn’t just for artists.

WHY IS CREATIVITY THE NUMBER ONE SKILL YOU NEED?

Creativity is what will allow you to start or take your business to a whole new level.

Creativity is what will allow you to find ways to reach financial freedom

Creativity will enable deep and connected relationships

Creativity will help you find purpose, fulfillment and alignment

Creativity will bring passion, joy and excitement to all areas of your life

Who is this for? Anyone wanting to discover and UNLEASH their creative side. Especially those that believe they don’t have ‘a creative bone’ within their body. Anybody that wants to take their creativity to the next level

What do you get? A 30 day course with lessons, tools and assignments to help you break through creative blocks or take your creativity to the next level.

Cost?  $33.  Please use the Paypal link below to make payments. Thank you

As with all of my courses I offer personal email support to give you all of the guidance, motivation and accountability you need!Untitled-8
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With Love

Nicole