Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

Today it is cold-not quite as cold as it is at the Winter Olympics, but nevertheless it is very cold. However, I am quite sure that Spring is already starting to show its sleepy head and brighter, warmer days are on the horizon.

I am a firm believer in hibernation and the fact that nature has definitely got the right attitude when it comes to dealing with the colder months of the year. But I am also an eternal optimist and believer in positivity as a tool for creating significant change in our lives.


Getting stuck is something that happens to all of us at one point in our lives or another, and the feeling of being seemingly unable to make any forward progress can cause us to either feel frustrated  at our apparent stagnation or sometimes disappointed in ourselves and disenchanted with the hand that life has dealt us.

When we find ourselves stuck and unable to make any positive inroads into the life that we would really like to have, it is easy to give up and settle for what we have-convincing ourselves that good things only ever happen to other people, and that we will be forever on the outside looking in at everyone else’s seemingly perfect life.

Well here is the news my friends! Everyone else does NOT have a perfect life and we can all have the life we want if we are prepared to put the work in. It is increasingly harder to keep things in perspective in this age where every single minutiae of everyone’s life is shared on social media. It is easy to have envy,  jealousy even, of the lives of sometimes complete strangers-people who we choose to measure our own lives against even though we have no connection with them. I would question why we invest so much in holding these people up as those we want to aspire to be-for the very reason that the perfect lives they appear to have are far from perfect.


In my book, having a purposeful and happy life with meaning and making a valuable contribution to your community does not equate to being the thinnest, riches, best dressed or perfect person that social media would have us believe. It means being authentic, real and honest and it means not giving up when we feel stuck but drawing on all the resilience and strength we have to get through those times by making positive plans for a brighter future that will bring us enormous rewards.

Take spring flowering bulbs as an example. We plant these dull, non descriptive and ugly brown lumps in the autumn-just as our gardens are planning their winter hibernation. And then we wait. We wait. And then we wait a bit more and then all of a sudden bright green, hopeful shoots start to emerge from the frozen brown soil like some kind of miracle. The cold weather does not deter nature from making a positive plan for the year ahead and neither should it deter you. The bulbs you see sprouting may appear to be making little progress and may even appear stuck but trust me-they have a plan and before you know it you will see the results of their plan-so now its time for you to make yours.

What are you waiting for?

Contact me today and book a no obligation coaching session with me for just £10 to see how I can help you to plan for a happy and authentic spring season and beyond.


Everyone can set a goal-and make progress

Everyone can set a goal-and make progress

I have the best job in the world because my working day and week involves helping all sorts of very different people to clear their lives of the clutter and encourage them to set exciting and ambitious  goals.

Since qualifying as a Practitioner of Life Coaching I have seen some amazing transformations take place. People I have worked with have gone on to do the following things:

Train and seek work as a voice over artist

Change their work/life balance

Be honest about the kind of relationship they want and then go out and get one!

Return to education

Fullfil a life long ambition to paint, draw and take photographs

Apply for and get their dream job

I am also working with a group of young women who face daily challenges in their lives around addiction, domestic violence and anxiety. Many of these woman have children being cared for by other people because their lives are so chaotic. These remarkable young women all have plans for the future, they all want a better life for themselves and their families and together we are setting lots of SMART goals to help them get there.It won’t happen overnight but it WILL happen and over the last three weeks they have already started to benefit from taking part in our weekly coaching workshops.

As well as reaching personal goals, everyone I work with starts to write. I provide every client with a journal and their mission is to write in it everyday-or draw or doodle. They write how they feel about their lives, what they want to change and how they plan to do it. Only three percent of us actually bother to spend time writing our goals down. We are a very successful three per cent!

So as we reach the half way point of the first month of 2018 how are your goals looking for this year? I truly believe that if you don’t write your goals down they will simply remain as ideas, hopes and dreams-all of those things are great and a really good starting point for change but why not make this year the year you ACTION those ideas and MAKE them happen?

Grab a notebook and a pen and get writing.

For free tips and advice email me 




Keep it simple and make progress

Keep it simple and make progress

We are a week into the New Year, so what are you looking forward to in 2018?

Controversially for a life coach, I don’t make New Year Resolutions. I tend to make my plans in September to coincide with the start of the new academic year as this ties in really well with the university lecturing that I am involved with.

However, I have spent this weekend with my husband planning our financial future and setting ourselves some big, ambitious yet frighteningly simple goals that we plan to smash this year.

Whether you make plans with someone or alone, taking time to really think about what you want and how best you can achieve it, will really be time well spent. Your goals should resonate and reflect with how you want your life to be. Ask yourself what will make you happy, less anxious, satisfied and provide you with a life you are proud to own and proud to create.

Goals don’t need to be complicated and I am a firm believer that they shouldn’t be. Simple goals are achievable because you have the advantage of clarity to start with. If your goal is clear and simple then the first crucial step of working towards it should be relatively straightforward. The de-cluttering session that I work through every time I set a goal, is also the starting point for everyone I work with. Think about what you need to clear in order to start reaching your goal.

For example, if you want to start working for yourself this year then think about what is actually standing in your way. Granted, it may not be as easy as simply giving up work one day and opening for business the next, but often we over think things we would like to do and then suddenly it all becomes unattainable because it is too hard or complicated and we simple don’t have the energy to wade through the process.

However, if we break down our big, ambitious and fantastic goals into simple, bit sized chunks we are able to make progress instantly.

Start with a list of what your working life is like now compared to how you would like it to be and then clear the clutter. Start to imagine how your working day COULD be and the type of things you would LIKE to do.

Just six months ago I made a plan to start this blog and complete my life coaching training as well as to do more university lecturing and to leave a job that I have had for almost ten years. I planned, I set goals and I visualised all of those changes and guess what…I have done it! This year I will working with ore clients, running more workshops, be writing more about coaching and working on my book and an online course to help anyone to navigate a way through their life and reach some great goals.

I kept it simple and made steady progress-de-cluttering as I went and checking in my with myself weekly to make sure I was on track. It wasn’t always easy and things did sometimes go wrong but because I chose to take a calm, simple and sometimes longer approach my journey was easy to manage and I could see and feel real change happening. I bookend the beginning and end of my day with a gratitude exercise and I know that this simple action pays huge dividends.

So, keep it simple this year. Set goals to do things you KNOW will make you happy and be grateful for all you have because we all have so MUCH that we often forget about.



Are you making plans for 2018?

Are you making plans for 2018?

As we hurtle towards the end of the year it is time to take stock and reflect on how our year has been. For many of us it will have been a ‘mixed bag’ of good, bad, happy and sad events but everything that has happened to us or around us will help shape what happens to us next.

By reflecting on what we have been through and the challenges we have faced we can take great strength and comfort that we are always continuing to grow. To make changes and move forward we need to have a clear pathway but we also need to reach levels of acceptance and develop resilience so that we can face challenges head on and turn them to our advantage rather than our disadvantage.

Many of the clients I am working with at the moment face daily challenges. They are rehabilitating from drug or alcohol addiction or from a life of crime and prison sentences. They are all doing well but their lives are hard. Many are full of regret, shame and fear for what will happen to them next. It is very difficult for them to see any of their challenges as positive but they are ALL doing really well as they work through the Write Your Life programme. Despite some initial resistance to the workshops they are embracing the idea of writing daily journals and creating mind maps and visions boards to help them focus on the future and give them impetus and  motivation to keep moving forward. They are all setting goals for next year and beyond and I truly believe that with the support of the coaching they are all getting and by believing in themselves, they WILL achieve great things-we all have the capacity to make changes but we have to clear the clutter, define our goals and then believe in ourselves that we CAN do it.

My big goal for 2018 is to write the book of the Write Your Life coaching programme and create an online course to go with it. This way I can reach more people and help them to move forward with their lives by using the power and impact of writing, journaling and creativity.

So…there are my goals so far…get in touch and tell  me yours.

Email me:


Embrace the fruits of autumn and declutter your life

Embrace the fruits of autumn and declutter your life

Autumn has definitely arrived-tomorrow is Halloween, followed swiftly by bonfire night and before we know it, Christmas will be just around the corner.

This morning, here in Oxfordshire, we had our first frost of the season. My garden is still looking gorgeous with the last remaining blooms reaching out to enjoy a cold but blue sky day-it is day when we should all be glad to be alive and be out there taking in the air and enjoying a crisp autumnal walk-once this has been posted that is just what I will be doing!



I love autumn-I see it as a season of celebration. Quite apart from the bountiful fruits and vegetables that we are still enjoying, if the weather is bright and dry then surely we should see this as a positive. This morning I caught up with a friend-we both spotted a rambling rose bush that was still in flower with an abundance of gorgeous vintage pink blooms-it looked stunning against the blue sky as the sunshine bounced off its slightly crisp petals.

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This was a visual treat and one that once the wet and cold of November kicks in will be a distant memory so I savoured it and enjoyed it in all its glory. My friend had another take on this and sighed-saying what a shame that summer was over and that soon there will be no flowers left until springtime. She saw this in a completely different way to me. While I saw the roses as a positive and uplifting seasonal punctuation to my morning, my friend saw it as a loss, a regret and something that made her feel low and lacking.

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Autumn can be seen as the season that rids us of summer rather than the season that allows us to enjoy the final days of brightness before enjoying a period of rest and recuperation ready for spring. Nature is edging into a period of dormancy and consolidation and it is time for us to do that too. Rather than see this time of year as  negative, we should take our lead from nature and conserve our energies and remove anything from our lives that will not serve us well in the future.


Self limiting beliefs can start to kick in more as the year progresses. We often feel tired, perhaps dread the cold and starkness that winter can represent and find it hard to deal with fewer daylight hours.

Instead of focusing on the perceived negatives of the season, grab your journal and write about the colours, the crispness and all that we have to be grateful for this autumn. Find joy in small pleasures-wrapping up in your favourite scarf or investing in some bright jewel-coloured knitwear, maybe treating your hands with a new luxurious hand cream or getting out and taking advantage of autumn light to take some fabulous photos. Take your coffee or hot chocolate or tea outside-wrap up warm and sit in the sunshine while you enjoy your warming beverage.

Stock up on logs for your woodburner, create delicious warming recipes and fill your home with candles, sumptuous blankets and throws and comfy cushions. Catch up on your reading and writing-and declutter!

Clearing your cupboards and drawers at this time of year is the ultimate therapy and clears the way for positive change in your life by giving you clarity and a new pathway to plan your goals for the coming months. So grab your notebook and start planning!

Set some short term goals, go through the process of decluttering and embrace all that autumn has to offer.


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Love your lists and Write Your Life!

Love your lists and Write Your Life!

Are you a list lover? Do you have lists of lists or maybe even books of lists of lists? Personally, I am a bit of a fiend for a list! I love bullet points, ticks, different coloured pens, the odd doodle here and there and I REALLY love a mind map!


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Just the thrill of making a list excites me-a clean sheet of paper or a beautiful new notebook and the perfect pen-what’s NOT to love! And as for the ticking off process-oh happy days! I remember a time when life was pretty tiresome for one reason or another and I was struggling just to get through the basic tasks of the day. Someone said to me “make a short list of simple tasks and try and complete one each day-you will feel much better.” Well it worked and now I use lists for all sorts of things but mostly for setting goals and personal development planning.


This week I have been working with a client who has hit a situation of list overwhelm. Although she also sees the huge benefits associated with list making and planning to set achievable goals, she has found that her lists are actually causing her stress rather than giving her clarity.


There are various reasons for this happening, one is connected with distraction, one with procrastination and another with hero syndrome. Sometimes when we are faced with challenging situations rather than grab life by the balls and deal with it, we don’t. Instead we find a million reasons to delay, distract, detract and deflect whatever it is that we really need to deal with.

This particular client has some big decisions to make around her career and job choices-she knows this because this is the very reason that she came to see me in the first place and signed up for some coaching. BUT-instead of applying herself to this she decided to make a long, complex list of things she must do-many of which actually related to things that don’t require any attention right now and one or two that are actually not her goals at all but someone else’s! As well as distracting herself from the real business of the day, my client is experiencing a bit of hero syndrome and feels responsible for sorting out things that actually are not her business.

This pathway is exhausting and will not help her to plan effectively for her goals. She is excited about making changes but has gone away this week to do a lot of decluttering and defining so that she can get back to using list making as a really useful part of the Write Your Life programme.


Are you a list maker? Would you like to know more about how you can use writing to change your life? Email me for some free tips and to sign up to my monthly newsletter.





I can feel an idea coming on…

I can feel an idea coming on…

If you are anything like me (and I suspect you might be) you probably go through phases of having many, many ideas for ‘things’ you would like to do. Now, I am not talking leisure pursuits here (although they are good things to do anyway) I am talking about career development or business ideas.

Having lots of ideas is great-it shows that you have energy, dynamism, imagination, creativity and a desire for change, all of which are excellent character traits that will serve you well on your personal development journey. But-what happens when you find yourself in overwhelm or overload mode?

Often, when life is not quite working out the way we would like it to, we become very good at distracting ourselves from whatever the difficulty is. We do this by basically ignoring it, hoping that it will go away, and while we are pushing that particular challenge away we start to focus on something else-something new and exciting that will effectively distract us from the challenge that needs to be dealt with.

This challenge quickly grows a trunk and large ears and becomes the elephant in the room of your progress. It will sit there patiently day in and day out-waiting for you to acknowledge it and deal with it.

Here’s the thing about elephants-they are pretty massive and they can’t be hidden for ever.

The way I work with clients who come to me for personal development coaching is to tackle the clutter first and to do that we have to talk about what that clutter looks like. The clutter is the elephant in the room-whether you label it as a challenge, an issue, a difficulty or a massive pile of steaming crap-it is my friends undeniably clutter that will do a great job of stopping you from moving forward.

Trying to plot a positive path through life, setting goals along the way that will help you to achieve amazing things will NOT work if you do not deal with the clutter first-and all those brilliant ideas and notions that you keep having are just doing their best to divert your attention from what REALLY needs to be dealt with.

So the message today is this-continue to have your amazing ideas and write them down in your journal-then park them. Park them for as long as it takes you to de clutter whatever areas of your life need the most attention.

Here are three areas of your life for you to look at a decide if they need decluttering:

Physical decluttering-your home/office/car/handbag/briefcase-if you are surrounded by stuff you don’t need but are just hanging on to then it will drag you down and black your progress. Take one area at a time and tackle it.

Emotional decluttering-how is your self-belief system? Do you have doubts about your ability to change your life? Write down how you feel about the changes you want to make and identify any negative thoughts-then de clutter those thoughts and move on.

Friendships/relationships/colleagues: Negative people will drag you down-I am not suggesting you actually get rid of people in your life (although some of my clients have decided to end relationships and friendships) that is up to you, but if the people around you are not supporting you then acknowledge that and find people who will.

Having ideas is great-I have lots all the time but I have learned that the only way for me to reach my goals is to always return to de clutter mode first. Once I have clarity and can see a clear pathway forward I can pursue my new idea with vigour-make a plan and reach my goal without having to deal with any elephants blocking my way.

The first step towards personal development work is to declutter-only then can you effectively define your goals and start manifesting positive changes.