Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Routines are not just for kids! Routines are the cornerstone of highly successful people.

Do you crawl into bed at night (or the early hours of the morning) and then can’t get to sleep because your brain kicks into action? Do you then oversleep and have to haul yourself out of bed the next morning feeling tired and groggy? And then the stress kicks in about all you have to do that day?

That was my ‘routine’ every day for years and I didn’t realise it but I was suffering from burn out. I had no quality time built in to my routines and they weren’t planned and organised for success, they were bad habits built over time from being permanently overworked and then stressed. 

When I researched the habits of successful people, I noticed so many have strong and effective daily routines. Not just athletes, but entrepreneurs like Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, Karren Brady, Gwyneth Paltrow. Richard Branson, Tony Robbins make a clear link with their success and Steven Covey wrote the highly influential book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that has sold millions.

What routines do is build self-discipline and get you out of survival mode. 

When I changed career, the first thing I did was build myself a daily routine that would set me up for success.

I know from research that building these new positive habits would take time. Research is unclear of whether it takes 21 days or 90 days to build a new habit, but I do know that we have to practise our new habits for a while to re-train our unconscious mind - which by the way loves habits.

And I’ve discovered that both morning and evening routines are equally important. it is the evening routine that prepares us for the morning routine. A good night’s sleep sets us up for success in the morning. 

I’ve discovered that small changes have a big impact. 

And that the best bit about my new routines are the rituals. 

What’s the difference? A routine getting up at the same time every day, the idea of being organised; a ritual getting up an hour earlier to spend time with yourself to meditate, reflect, create, the idea of creating quality time just for you.

For example, my evening ritual is my lavender tea, my gratitude journal, slowing my breathing using rest and digest, and how I use essential oils to relax and have a good night’s sleep. They are designed to bring me joy and create a relaxed state while wiring my brain into positive thinking before I try to sleep. 

My morning ritual is my ice cream matcha, my peripheral vision exercise, my intention setting and my morning essential oils. These all nurture a sense of wellbeing, get me focussed on my day ahead and set me up for a creative spurt. 

And I’ve discovered that NLP resource anchors are the most amazing tool as they combine visual and emotional triggers and help me sleep or make me feel excited about the day ahead. 

I’ve had my morning anchor for three years now and use it every day. It makes a huge difference to my productivity and makes me sleep better at night because I’m not worrying at the end of the day about what I didn’t do. Yes, there’s still stuff to do, there always will be, but I don’t get a sense of I haven’t done enough. And that’s the difference.

These rituals are an important part of my routine because they make me feel good and maximise my mental state. I teach my clients a resource anchor - those who remember to use it every day find it life-changing.

I’ve teamed up with a yoga practitioner as I know that yoga is also life changing for managing stress. We have created two awesome sessions for both parts of your day so you can start to rewire your brain for the awesome you. 

Combining the power of yoga and NLP to build your own awesome routine will be life-changing. If like me, you haven’t done yoga in a long while, if not ever, you will be able to use the experience to create the emotive states that you can then anchor to use forever more. 

Imagine creating your own routine and rituals to create your perfect day to achieve the life you want.

Join us here in the beautiful Essex countryside  

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

What's the belief that's blocking your success? Take these five steps to change your mind

Have you been working really hard to achieve your goal and you can't for the life of you work out why on earth you're not succeeding? When you’re not achieving your goals do you start on the blame game? Blaming yourself, the universe or others.

Perhaps it’s time to start looking within for those invisible blockers that are holding you back and sabotaging your success. 

Henry Ford once said, 
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you're right.”

When you reflect on this comment, what thoughts does it start to bring into your awareness? What thoughts do you have that stop you succeeding? 

These are your limiting beliefs and they are the invisible blocks that stop you being the best version of yourself.

And you have the power to change that because a thought is not a fact and a belief is just a thought you’ve had over and over, and over. And if that thought doesn’t serve you well, then surely you would want rid of it. You’d want to learn to just bat it away.

Because we can all learn how to do something, and if we can change and control our beliefs and thoughts, we can be whatever we want, if we take a risk, dare to make our dreams come true.

So what do limiting beliefs sound like?

There’s no point in ….
I’ll never be ….
I’m useless at ...
I'm no good at ...
Success is hard wok.
Everyone is my family is overweight.
I’m not creative.
I’ll sound stupid.
I don’t like vegetables.
I’m too old….
I’m too young….
I don’t have enough willpower.
I’m not good enough.
Nobody likes me.
I’m not meant to be rich. 

My limiting belief is that I have to be perfect. That anything less than perfect is not good enough. So what’s the problem with that belief, I hear you ask. On the surface, it sounds great as surely it means ‘high achiever’, ‘top performer’, ‘millionaire’. 

For some that belief, that value of perfectionism, will propel you. For others, it will stop you starting. Perhaps you constantly compare yourself to others and spend your life noticing what you lack. Because ultimately it is about fear of failure. 

I've taught myself and accepted now that done is better than perfect, that good is good enough, and that perfection is the enemy of success. 

Most of our limiting beliefs were formed between the ages of 1 and 7 as we were growing up. That means they were formed as we experimented as a child, observed as a child and experienced as a child. That means that throw away comments by parents, teachers, or significant adults in our lives could have been responsible for us forming a misconstrued belief about ourselves. Because remember we only had a child’s perspective.

So that’s a long time you have been practising that deeply held belief. And that’s why it may be invisible because you’ve ceased to notice the thought it is so much part of your mental landscape. And yet it’s undermining you, sabotaging you, preventing you from achieving your dream.

How can you overcome a limiting belief that is holding you back?

Step 1

Build your awareness. Listen to your thinking when you don’t do something that you say you want to do or if you’re not achieving a goal. Start paying detailed attention to your inner voice as you can’t change anything you’re not aware of. 

Step 2

Challenge your limiting belief. Ask yourself, when did I decide that? How do I know I can’t? What would happen if I could? 

Step 3

Write down all the beliefs you have about that situation or that problem, eg success, money, food, health. 

Step 4 

Decide what belief you would like to have instead.

Step 5 

Go out and actively look for evidence to support that new belief. The more evidence you build, the stronger the belief will become.

When we have a limiting belief, we keep looking for evidence to support it and we only see and accept evidence that does support it. 

We either miss, ignore or actively refute evidence that contradicts our belief. So this may be an uncomfortable exercise!

How can you prevent limiting beliefs from being built in the first place?

If you’re a parent or a teacher, this is a very important question. 

In the first place, don’t generalise an experience from one event to another. Just because it didn’t work out once, doesn’t mean it won’t work out again and it definitely doesn’t mean it won’t work out in similar situations.

Look for the learning in the event. Thankfully, scientists are expert in this field or we wouldn’t make any medical progress! Ask, what can be done differently next time? What’s the tweak that needs to be made? 

Use your language carefully, don’t assume and don’t be judgemental either with yourself or others. 

How else can you nurture your thinking and change how you perceive yourself?

Find a beautiful empty jar. Write down your wonderful qualities and the things you are grateful for on pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in the jar to pull out and read when you doubt yourself. Add to the jar.

Create yourself an affirmation to use every morning to rewire your brain.

Buy an essential oil that you can diffuse to let go of your limiting beliefs: Bergamot is the oil of self acceptance, Lemongrass the oil of cleansing, Zendocrine is the oil of vitality and transition, and Vetiver the oil of centering and descent. 

Book an appointment with an NLP Practitioner as there are techniques we use that support you to let go of limiting beliefs and rewire your brain with beliefs that are more helpful. 

Imagine your world when you believe you can. 

Need help to manage your barriers to weight loss? 
Join my Facebook Group Shift your Mindset Shift your Weight at http://bit.ly/2N2Canl 
or book a call with me at www.shiftmymindset.club to find out how I can help.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Sugar and spice and all things nice - hacks to change what you're made of

Far from being a fairytale, sugar is turning out to be the unhappy ending. Is it time to flip your sugar switch and turn your sweet tooth sour?

It's February and we are reminded on Valentine's Day that sweets are the food of love. This year though February is the month to be sugar-free while raising funds for Cancer Research. Why, I hear you ask, would a cancer charity care about sugar? Because sugar is the single biggest cause of obesity and obesity is the second biggest cause of cancer. Being overweight or obese is associated with 13 types of cancer.

Sugar is ubiquitous and even if you think you don't eat much sugar, because you don't have a can of pop, piece of cake or a chocolate bar every day, you'd be surprised just what foods contain sugar.

Essentially, if it comes in a packet, it probably contains sugar. I used the app Food Scanner to scan my cupboard contents and ended up throwing most of the cereals and all of the sauces out! 

It makes me crazy because most of the mainstream diets pander to the sweet tooth of its customers selling desserts and snack bars with reduced calories to help you lose weight. However, they're probably full of sweeteners and other chemicals that cause you harm too and they absolutely do not help you quit your devastating sugar habit.

Therefore when you stop dieting, you haven’t actually addressed the eating patterns and sugar habits that made you put on weight in the first place, so it should be no surprise when you put the weight back on - and they’ll happily welcome you back to do their diet again.

So if you want to finally lose weight for the last time, you’re going to have to ditch the refined sugar and monitor your eating habits. 

Sugar full stop is not good for you, natural or not. But just start with removing the empty calories of the refined carbs and refined sugar. And you're not saying goodbye forever just getting back control. Although if you're an addict, you may find you have to abstain totally as moderation is not possible for all personality types. 
So how can you outsmart your sweet tooth? There are a couple of NLP technique that help you change your thinking and behaviour patterns once you know your triggers and I can change a food you like to one you dislike while you create new healthier and more empowering habits. 

I used the Swish technique to change my thinking to 'maybe later' rather than 'that'll make me feel better' when I saw cake at work. I only wanted to stop myself eating it when I went to make coffee as my pick-me-up in the afternoon and It had all kinds of knock-on effects.  

If you are interested in exploring these techniques and working with a coach on rewiring your brain and resetting your relationship with sugar, message me to find out more about my mindset diet breakthrough programme. 

And you will love the freedom that being sugar-free gives you. Instead of mood swings from sugar spikes and sugar lows, you will have more stable energy levels that increase your productivity and concentration. You will feel fresher, your skin will clear up, and your belly fat will start to disappear. 

If you're ready to make the change that will make the difference, here are some tips to make it easier. 

If you were a smoker, you'll know how you can break habits so treat this addiction in much the same way as you quit smoking: Change your routines and remove all the triggers and associations for sweet foods. 
  1. Clear the cupboard of sugars - read those labels on the packets as sugar is in devilish places. Pay special attention to cereals. As a rule of thumb, beige isn't a good look for food any more than it is for clothes.  Try this app to scan your labels. 
  2. Fill your fridge and cupboards with delicious foods that are high in protein and fibre.
  3. Eat full fat and healthy fats to keep your insulin stable and for your body to burn and lose weight faster- avoid low fat as it often has sugar in some form added to it. 
  4. Eat proteins and wholegrain for lunch to avoid the afternoon slump.
  5. Avoid “low-sugar” foods and sugar alternatives other than Stevia as they create other health issues.
  6. Plan to cook so you can avoid ready meals and fast food as they use sugars.
  7. Use cinnamon as an alternative topper or flavour as it reduces blood sugar levels.
  8. If you have a biscuit with your tea or coffee, change your drink. This may even be a good time to switch to drinking water.
  9. If you always succumb to eating cookies when you sit on the sofa and watch TV, plan to sit somewhere else and even find something else to do.
  10. If you want something sweet, eat a handful of nuts, dried fruit, fruit or even 85% chocolate as it has less sugar and fat and it helps reduce cortisol if you’re stressed.
  11. Make sure you get 7-9 hours sleep a night to get your leptin and ghrelin under control and reduce your appetite and sugar cravings.
  12. Monitor your triggers for eating sweet foods so that you can then plan to interrupt them by doing something different in that moment, for example if you buy chocolate when you fill up with petrol go to a pay-at-the-pump station only.
  13. Clean your teeth after eating rather than have dessert.
  14. Learn to recognise whether your hunger is real or triggered by a smell, memory or emotion. 
  15. Find alternative ways to celebrate and commiserate. 
  16. Find alternative activities to feed that inner you, the real you. 
  17. Create your personal wellbeing goal and vision so that you are clear where you are heading rather than needing pure willpower to get you through.
Imagine how 28 days will change your taste buds and in March you will be noticing just how sweet carrots taste. Now that's an idea, carrot muffins made with gluten free flour, coconut oil and milk, and stevia if you still want that extra sweetness. 

If you would like more help in setting yourself up for success this year, if you truly want to do something different to lose weight for the last time, book a free coaching call with me or join my facebook group Shift My Mindset Shift My Weight. I would love to see you there. 

Monday, 31 December 2018

Is 2019 the Year you decide to Play Big in Order to Get Small?

Ten Tips to Create an Awesome Wellbeing Goal and Lose Weight

Do you make a resolution each new year to ‘go to the gym’ or ‘lose weight’ or ‘quit eating cake’? And how does that work out for you? I hazard a guess it could last just a couple of days or maybe you manage a few weeks. Those of you with lots of willpower may survive a couple of months. 

Even those of you who set a ‘smart goal’ might go for "lose 2 stone" or "go to the gym twice a week". Let’s face it though, they’re hardly compelling and motivating. They aren't going to get you up in the morning or out in the winter cold. 

Or perhaps it’s not even your goal! Have you been trying to lose weight because other people think you should? Or worse because you think they think you should? And therefore it’s meaningless to you?

The result? Failure. And if you've done that every year, then you probably think you’re hopeless at this by now and there’s no point.

So let’s create big goals that harness your passion. And techniques that trick your brain to make you think you’ve achieved your goal already, making it instantly more achievable!

  1. First look at the whole context of your goal, your why, what it will give you and who it’s for. And you need to know why you haven't achieved it already. Your goal should have weight loss as a side effect, not be the actual goal. Instead, focus on a bigger goal, your passion. 
  1. Think of weight loss from a wellbeing perspective. Identify the 8 elements of wellbeing that you think are most important and rate yourself for out of 10. This will give you a good guide of what to include in your goal. 
  1. Identify all the great bits of what you already do, so that you can celebrate them and make the most of them. At the same time, be honest and own up to behaviours that are holding you back and that will benefit you if you ditch or upgrade them.
  1. Create a vision board of your goal using images to bring it alive so that you can put it on your wall and reflect on it every day.
  1. Create an image in your mind of what it looks and feels like in that moment you achieve your goal. When it is, where you are, who is there, what you’re wearing. Picture it clearly, in colour, with sound and put yourself in the picture.
  1. Write your goal out clearly, in detail, using the present tense and using only positive language. Write it as if you have already achieved it - it should match the picture above. 
  1. Write your goal on a piece of card that fits neatly in your wallet so that you can take it out wherever you are to remind you of the journey you are on.
  1. Then you need to get strategic. Just how are you going to achieve this goal? Identify the resources and support you need, what you have already and what you need to beg, buy or borrow. Break it down into small steps and put the steps in the order you need to make them happen. 
  1. Think about the new habits you have to create and visualise yourself doing them. Only if you truly want them - remember you’re creating your passion here. Your body and lifestyle dream. One small change that you love will have more impact than lots of new habits you struggle to keep up.
    10. Get that picture back again. Strong and clear and put yourself in it.

This technique is so powerful that it will help you manifest your goal if you are totally and truly committed to it - even if you just put it in your wallet and forget about it. The technique works because your unconscious mind doesn't know the difference between real and imagined, so it thinks you have already achieved it ... 

Empower your unconscious mind by acting as if you have already achieved your motivating and realistic goal. Own it. Live it. Love it. Tap into your passion. Play big and get small. 

If you would like more help in setting yourself up for success this year, if you truly want to do something different to lose weight for the last time, book a free coaching call with me or join my facebook group Shift My Mindset Shift My Weight

Monday, 19 November 2018

Follow the ‘happy diet’ to feel good and lose weight

Are you looking for happiness? Or are you hooked on ‘high’? Here’s how to get a DOSE of feel good factor that’ll keep you happy and healthy all day long.

In my last blog I showed you how to boost your Dopamine levels, and today it’s all about Oxtyocin, Serotonin and Endorphins.  

Oxytocin, known as the ‘cuddle hormone’ is all about bonding and trust. 

It’s why getting those ‘likes’ on Facebook makes us feel better. Even more powerful though is a good quality hug - not a quick backslap hug, but one where you really hold, really connect, and really feel your mood shift. Getting or giving a massage also boosts oxytocin and so does giving someone a gift. 

You may have noticed a sense of disconnect when you’re stressed as the higher our cortisol levels, the lower our oxytocin levels. Low oxytocin is also associated with anxiety and depression, and also with holding grudges. 

So aside from reducing your stress levels, how else can you boost your oxytocin? When you eat, eat with someone as this builds our social bonds, and eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful. Playing relaxing music, doing yoga or meditating has also been shown to release oxytocin.

In terms of food, you can’t get oxytocin directly but you do need magnesium for oxytocin to function properly. So that means a diet packed with green leafy veg, figs, avocado, banana, raspberry, nuts, seeds and legumes will have us feeling loved and happy. And finish it off with a chunk of dark chocolate to savour and let melt in your mouth. (And I always mean a good quality brand, such as Green & Blacks or Divine and their 85% chocolate).

Serotonin, the ‘confidence hormone’, we now know is 80% produced in our gut, so the right food is vital to boost your wellbeing. 

Serotonin aids memory function, promotes good sleep, boosts energy, aids weight loss and lifts your mood. Tryptophan-rich foods provide the amino acid necessary for the body to produce serotonin. It is commonly found in protein foods, so poultry and eggs are a great option. Wild salmon with its omega-3 is great to eat, as well as dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, and soy products and organic dairy products. Tryptophan also needs carbohydrates to produce serotonin, so eat fruit and veg and whole-grain oats, brown rice and quinoa or legumes like chickpeas alongside them. 

For quick fixes, I use spirulina in smoothies and I carry a snack of seeds and nuts to head off the ‘hangry’ - no Snickers in sight!

The reason we feel good in the sunshine is that it boosts our serotonin levels. Thinking happy thoughts, such as gratitudes, and feeling pride in your achievements can also have this effect. Thus having lots of small goals so you can celebrate lots of successes keeps you feeling happy. 

Even reflecting on past successes and bathing in that glory will boost your serotonin and your confidence as your brain doesn’t know the difference between now and then. NLP uses resource anchors to create this effect and I trigger mine every morning to set me up for the way I want to spend my day - feeling confident and motivated. 

And finally endorphins, the ‘euphoria hormone’ is what we need to power through challenging moments. 

Laughter, in particular crying with laughter, boosts your serotonin so a night out at your local comedy club or bingeing on Comedy Central is a perfect antidote to a stressful week. Acupuncture boosts your endorphins as does smelling vanilla and lavender, and regular exercise keeps it in balance. 

And again, my favourite, a fabulous chunk of high quality dark chocolate, not only boosts your oxytocin but it boosts your endorphins too. As do spicy foods and chilli peppers - my perfect Friday night in with homemade curry. Who knew!

So create yourself a ‘happy diet’ to feel good and lose weight. 

Need help to manage your barriers to weight loss? Join my Facebook Group Shift your Mindset Shift your Weight or book a free discovery call with me and let’s explore if we’re a match and how I can help. 

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Eat yourself happy and motivated

Feeling low on energy and motivation? Moody and struggling to sleep? Relying on caffeine, sugar, or other stimulants to get through the day? Then chances are you’re low on dopamine. 

DOPAMINE is the most powerful of the 'HAPPY chemicals' and is the ‘REWARD’ chemical, the chemical we produce when anticipating something amazing and it’s then boosted by the satisfaction of actually having it. It is also the chemical that is our MOTIVATOR to get out there and achieve our goals. Sounds awesome, doesn't it? So how do we get it?

Daydreaming about cake and then eating it is a popular way to get a dopamine fix. Trouble is, that comes with a sugar spike and sugar low and a whole host of other problems, especially if you're on a diet.

Eating the cake may also be followed by other damaging feelings. 

From a nutritional point of view, the ingredients of cakes - saturated fats, sugar or artificial sweeteners - are believed to deplete our dopamine level, which makes this dopamine kick a bit pointless.

Recent research suggests that people classed as obese may be dopamine deficient and have less dopamine receptors. That's when you find eating the piece of cake isn't so rewarding after all and yet you eat more believing it will eventually make you feel better. And you wouldn't be far wrong if you thought that sounds like an addiction, as it's a self-medicating behaviour trying to boost that dopamine to make you feel good. 

If an increase in weight is linked to a deficiency in dopamine then that would also explain how we struggle to motivate ourselves to lose weight the more weight we put on. 

And worse, when you diet, your dopamine levels drop causing your food cravings to increase … making that cake even more appealing but of course less satisfying when you eat it. And so we end up in a diet and guilt cycle.

And if that's not all bad enough, when the dopamine fix doesn't work, it becomes a trigger to give up. Which explains that heart-sinking feeling you have when you have followed your diet exactly, you’re expecting to lose weight but when you get on the scales you see you haven’t lost anything. Zilch. Nada. No reward for all that effort - so what's the point? Might as well give up!

So how can you get your dopamine fix to keep up your motivation and feel-good factor in a healthy and systematic way? 

The first step is to create a clearly visualised and personally meaningful goal and break it down into small achievable chunks and mini goals, giving yourself lots of opportunities to celebrate winning at your goal. 

If your goal is to lose weight, find reasons other than just weight loss to celebrate, for example going for a 10 minute walk, getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods. 

And choose other goals to go alongside your weight loss goal so you’re not just focussing on food and have other achievements to celebrate.

Choose small steps that you can anticipate and achieve with relative ease. 

And choose celebrations you really enjoy. Maybe even create yourself a victory dance!

Plan to incorporate in your life any activity you enjoy doing that sets you up for anticipation and for a win. 

So what can you eat to create that feel good factor? 

The good news is that all eating increases dopamine, not just fatty and high sugar foods. The wonderful chef Tom Kerridge used his knowledge and love of food to design his Dopamine Diet that focuses on healthy foods that boost dopamine. 

Eat lots of eggs, lean and unprocessed meat such as chicken, turkey and beef, legumes, high protein dairy (if you can tolerate it), omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and mackerel, healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, rapeseed oil, lots of fruit and vegetables, particularly banana, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and good quality dark chocolate of 85% cacao. 

Add the spice turmeric to your food as the curcumin is known to boost brain function through the release of dopamine and serotonin.

Drink green tea as it contains the amino acid L-theanine which increases dopamine and is also associated with increasing metabolism which may aid your weight loss which can in turn increase your dopamine by helping you achieve your goal. 

And for movement, try yoga as it is believed to boost dopamine. 

Imagine that, a diet that makes you happy!

Need help to manage your barriers to weight loss? Join my Facebook Group Shift your Mindset Shift your Weight at http://bit.ly/2N2Canl or book a free discovery call with me at www.shiftmymindset.club and let’s explore if we’re a match and how I can help. 

Routines are not just for kids! Routines are the cornerstone of highly successful people.

Do you crawl into bed at night (or the early hours of the morning) and then can’t get to sleep because your brain kicks into action? Do y...