Five Easy Ways To Improve Your Life

Can you believe that it’s already September? The minute the schools go back, my attention really focuses on the fact that we are so far into the year. But, this is a great opportunity to easily view and review the year and what has happened so far this year and what you have achieved in 2019. More importantly, there is this last chunk of the year in which we can really focus on what you can achieve before 2020 and find easy ways to improve your life going forward.

Ok, so can we take a mo to say 2020! Like how is it almost 2020? But also every time I say 20/20 I think of the 90s alcopop. Did anyone else drink 20/20 back in the day?

Five Easy Ways To Improve Your Life

Do you feel like you could improve something or you would just like to change something? Or you just want the push in the right direction? I have come up with five things that I think could be easy ways to improve your life over the next few months and going into 2020.

1. Review your goals.

Did you achieve them? If not, why? Think – were they perhaps too wide? Could you narrow them? Or, are they even relevant if you have changed circumstances?

I checked my 2019 goals and they were focused on achieving my Master’s degree, getting organised and improving my Pinterest and photography skills. The fact that I was juggling a Masters with work and life played on my mind regarding my organisation skills or lack of. I can easily get in a pickle if I don’t plan properly, leaving me feeling overwhelmed, so I always try to plan as much as I can.

Fast forward a few months. The Masters is done, but life is still a little uncertain going forward. Pinterest I kind of get. Photography – I haven’t done anything to improve my skills. Going forward, I know photography could be a very valuable skill to hone. I need to figure out whether I will learn by doing a course or just playing.

2. Manifest your dreams. 

As with the law of attraction, a manifestation is where you apply your thoughts and your energy and use it to create your reality.

If there were no limits on money, time or anything. How do you want your life to look like in 2020 and beyond? How do you want your life to improve? 

Spend some time self-reflecting and being honest with yourself. You could do this privately in your journal. Nobody needs to read, but acknowledge, accept and ask the universe. Or you could create a vision board or a Pinterest board to log your ideas.

When you have figured out what you want your life to look like, how will you achieve that? You can always make time by getting up an hour earlier. Decluttering to live a more simple life. Join a dating app. Whatever it is that you decided you want, think about how you can make it happen.

3. Identify anything that is holding you back.

What is holding you back from achieving something or living the life you love?

For me this is clutter. I want live more intentionally, to be more sustainable and work in a clear space. Therefore, I know that I need to declutter. Although I’m doing quite well on this. I am focusing on using up my “backups”. Then going forward I want to think more responsibly about the sustainable options available when it comes to replacing things like shampoo, shower gel, etc.

4. Set 3 new goals.

We have 3 clear months left of the year. You can either set a goal a month or goals that will go into 2020.

If you don’t have any specific goals, why not mix it up? Find a goal that challenges you. A goal that makes you happy and a goal that sets a routine for the future. Remember that making things routine is what makes a habit stick.

Personally, I want to keep socially pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I would rather hide indoors, but I need to get out there. It mixes well with the goal to make me happy, as I can combine getting out there and meeting my fave peeps and meeting new peeps. For the future, I want to find a way of reducing plastic. I want to reduce waste and be more sustainable in the future. This means looking at single-use plastic and finding alternatives.

5. Crack on.

Hands up, procrastination and a lack of confidence are the biggest obstacles that stop me achieving most of the things I want. For me, I just need to crack on and do! Having a GYST day where I dedicate time to writing to-do lists and organising is essential. I see GYST days as a form of self care as they’re usually things on your mind. Things that if you’re not careful can start to feel overwhelmed and stressed, I forget important things and it all just feels a bit too much. 

What do you need to just do? Is it something left unsaid. A chat you need to have with your boss. Write it out and work out where you are going with it.

When you’re done, make sure to reward yourself. Celebrate the fact you have done something that scared you or made you feel uncomfortable. You’re braver than you think!

 

How will you improve your life?

What Made Me Happy In August

Happy September! Ok, so how is it September already. I know it’s a sign of getting old, but this year seems to be going faster than them all. August was a challenging month, to say the least. Motivating me, even more, to try to focus on the positives that happened. I’ve massively been getting back into journaling and writing down what I am grateful for. I thought as a bit of fun I would do a more personal post and share a few of the things that made me happy in August and a little life update.

What Made Me Happy In August

It was my birthday month

I had a very quiet birthday in contrast to my big birthday last year. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet with my birthday twin, my friend Claire Kate Reynolds. We must rectify this soon!

Milan with my mum

I live 200 odd miles from my mum, so it was so nice to spend some quality time together. Milan is a vibrant city, full of stunning architecture. We got an absolute bargain too for 3 nights and flights for £249 each. 

The photo was taken just around the corner from our hotel. I love the arty graffiti in contrast to the architecture.

Spending quality time with important peeps

Carrying on with making time to spend with my mum, I wanted to make time to spend time with friends and family. This month, my focus has shifted towards quality experiences. 

Plus, if ever I start to feel a little low, I usually go into hibernation mode, meaning I don’t see people as much. From past experience, I now realise that hiding away is not the answer as it puts you into a lower mood. Instead, I made sure that I surrounded myself with important people. It’s amazing how just getting out of the house, going for a walk and having a chat can do for your mood.

It was also Dan’s mum’s 70th last weekend, so we stayed in Adlington Lock, Kent. We went last year for his dad’s 70th. Such a gorgeous place if you’ve never been.

Decluttering and deciding things need to change

The clutter I got rid of a few years ago had started to mount up again. We couldn’t open a cupboard without it being rammed full. You couldn’t see what was actually inside. I mean, for example, I found a gorgeous Radley bag I couldn’t even remember I had because it was under a load of clutter! 

Surrounding myself with clutter isn’t the answer. In fact, it makes me feel worse. I am determined to start living more intentionally. Focusing on experiences, not things. And any purchases will be made more purposefully and ethically sourced with the environment in mind. Going forward, I am going to start to list items I buy to make myself more accountable. 

The simple things 

We have been growing our own tomatoes again. The third-year running. They are yet to change to red, but hopefully soon. Although, saying that a few years ago we patiently waited for the tomatoes to turn red, only to Google ‘Golden Queen’ to discover we had grown yellow tomatoes. Over-ripe tomatoes anyone!

We also had a little day trip to the seaside. It’s amazing the benefits of spending quality time in your happy places can do.

Next month 

September will hopefully bring a bit of a change career-wise and a move towards a more admin/office role. Those of you who might know, a few years back changed career from banking to Teaching. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience during the NQT year, which not only knocked my confidence in general, but affected my love for the job. Don’t get me wrong since then I’ve had some really positive experiences and I’ve met some incredible people, who are now true friends. I just can’t seem to get the passion back and that then has a knock on my mental health, so let’s see where the new chapter/direction takes me. 

 

What made you happy in August?

Five Little Steps Towards Happiness

For the first time in such a long time, I can honestly say that I feel in a much happier place both mentally and physically. I was clearing out the cupboard the other day (how is it Autumn already), when I came across a few bits that hold some negative memories for me. I realised at this point how far I have come. Although I did tell Dan I felt like I had found myself in the cupboard (erm, well I know what I meant!).

The happier I have started to feel, the more positive I have begun to feel about my wellbeing. I feel like I genuinely want to look after myself. Finally, I want to go to yoga, drink water, read for pleasure. I even feel inspired and want to write my blog. It didn’t happen overnight, but here are a few things I did to get to where I am now.

Stop beating yourself up

We all make mistakes. We all get things wrong. The difference is how we deal with it. There is a vast difference between accepting that we are just human and we all get things wrong and continuously beating ourselves up. I still beat myself up, but now I try to let it go. I have found journalling helps, I write down what I did wrong, how it made me feel and then hopefully I won’t make the same mistake again. Or sometimes, I’ve even looked back on what I’ve written and thought what are you even worrying about!

Stop comparing yourself to others

As with the first point, you can never be happy whilst you are comparing yourself to other people. There will always someone who is prettier, thinner, has a better job, is a better blogger, etc. BUT they are not you. You are a unique, incredible person with limitless potential – go grab life and live the life you love!

Yoga and mindfulness

Getting back into yoga and mindfulness has really helped my sense of wellbeing. I love the fact you can learn to clear your mind. I am terrible for living in the past or worrying about what I haven’t done or need to do. The power of learning to switch off, even if it is only for a short time, has been priceless.

Reading

I love reading, and one of the first signs I am not feeling myself is when I don’t want to read. I love reading for fun (as in not books for my Masters). Firstly, I love fiction and have read some fantastic books this summer. I also love positive books, I guess you could term more on the self-help shelf. Currently, I’ve been loving, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, Get Your Sh*t Together and Life Satisfaction

Embrace your inner ‘Dancing Queen’

Dance like nobody is watching (well, they aren’t but you know what I mean!). If you don’t want to annoy your neighbours, pop your earphones in and put your favourite playlist on. And just dance! It is so good for your mental health, it’s great exercise and it’s also great for the calorie burning too! I love a good boogie around the flat, and I’m sure it’s entertained the neighbours on more than one occasion before I’ve noticed they can see me!

 

What do you do to make you happy?

Lots of love,
Helen xoxo

Life Begins at Forty?

I’m about to turn forty. Bah I’ve said it.

I’d love to tell you I’m feeling positive about turning forty. Part of me just wants to run and hide behind the great big inflatable 4 0 balloons. Am I going to wake up on Saturday morning, everything all kind of shrivelling up? Will I be deep in the throws of a full blow mid-life crisis with an overwhelming compulsion to buy a red Ferrari that I can’t afford from eBay?

They say ‘life begins at forty’. I guess in that sense it’s like another ‘New Years Eve’. A time for reinvention, a new chapter, a fresh start. I can’t think of anymore cliches! This is a time many of us think of changing career. Although, I’ve had more career changes than your average careers advisor could tell you about, so maybe not a career change (for now anyway). 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

In all honesty. I never had a clue. It’s always been about studying for me. What can I do next? Never really being satisfied in the here and now. Eat, sleep, (with the occasional rave) repeat. Maybe now, moving forwards, it’s a time for acceptance of myself and learning to look around and appreciate all that I have.

Maybe this is a time to travel more, not just holidays, but explore different cultures and cuisines. I want to learn Spanish again AND more importantly have the confidence to use it. I also want to get back into yoga (I was too scared to go to a class alone when I moved to London). Generally, I just want to push myself to do things I always wished I could, but was too scared.

In fact, does age really matter at all?

It is all a bit relative when you think about it. I mean if you could write a letter to your younger self. What would you say? I know I would tell myself to stop caring so much about what others thought of me, or rather what people who don’t matter thought about me.

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”Ann Landers 

In my head, I’m still 18 and the world is my oyster. Maybe the reality is that I’m 40, and do you know what, the world is still my oyster! Even if I still don’t have a clue what I want to be when I grow up.

Happy Birthday to all of my fellow August babies. I hope you have a fantastic day! However old you are, who you are, or who you want to be!

Lots of love Helen xoxo

Blog Tour Review: Life Satisfaction: A Scientist’s Guide by Leo Lafferty-Whyte

I read this book whilst sitting in the sun in the beautiful Playa del Ingles in Gran Canaria. I always feel that holidays are a great opportunity to take stock of your life and feel inspiration to make positive changes when you get home. In fact I’ve made some of my big life changes following holidays! A holiday always makes my mind start to shift focus to what next?

Life for me recently has been about repairing and concentrating on self care. This is perfect timing for this kind of blog tour! In this book, Dr. Leo presents his no-nonsense Triple ‘H’ approach to improving your life satisfaction. The three Hs being, health, happiness and harmony.

The first part of the book, has everything you need to identify the areas to work on. The book has a lovely bright and easy to read lay out. There are various activities you can complete as you go through each of the steps, which then help you visualise where you are and where you want to be. I’m a bit of a geek, so this kind of format I find is so engaging.

The final chapter of the book is Leo’s inspiring personal journey using the approach. I think that adds a very personal touch to the book as he documents the successes and challenges he faced along the way and the astounding results he got in just four weeks.

I loved this book! It’s such a well thought out, motivational, inspirational, self-help style book. I would definitely recommend that you give it a try. I’m going to start applying some of the principles now I am home, so wish me luck!

Rating: 10/10

Book links

Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40173906-life-satisfaction

Amazon Link:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Satisfaction-Scientists-Guide-Technicolour/dp/197685427X

Author Information

Dr  Leo Lafferty-Whyte,  Ph.D  grew up  in  the North  East  of Scotland  in  the 80’s  and  90’s. As  a  young gay  man  in a  small  fishing village  he  suffered mental  and  physical abuse  on  a daily  basis.  He used  his  past traumas  to  fuel his  hunger  for  self-improvement  and adopted  the  life goal  of  leaving the  world  a better  place  than when  he  entered. After  several  years’ experience,  and receiving  his  life coaching  accreditation,  Leo launched  Triple  ‘H’ Coaching  in  2016 and  the  Triple H  Coaching  mobile app.  In  addition he  has  a degree  in  Genetics &  Immunology  from University  of  Aberdeen and  he  was awarded  a  Ph.D in  Molecular  Oncology from  the  University of  Glasgow.  Leo currently  lives  near Glasgow  with  his partner  and  Newfoundland dog,  all  three of  which  can often  be  found hiking  a  local mountain  or  relaxing on  a  woodland walk.

Website:http://www.triplecoaching.com

Please go and view the rest of the tour:

 

I hope you enjoy!

Lots of love, 

Helen xoxo