Refresh Your Routine

┬®StockGallery2017-FSPJ17-01When was the last time you took a step back and assessed whether your daily routine is still working for you?  I’m willing to bet, not in a while…  I know I haven’t!

Our lives change so much over short periods of time, so it makes sense that our daily routines should be changed often too.  Sometimes just one simple change can make such a massive difference.

I moved house a couple of weeks ago, and as a result I thought it would be the perfect time to start afresh with my daily routine.  So, I wrote down my old routine and assessed what was working and what wasn’t working anymore.  It turns out that pretty much the whole routine wasn’t working, and as a productivity geek, I could be way more productive with my time.  I always get that butterflies in the belly excitement when I realise new ways to be productive.

Instead of trying to overhaul my entire day at once, I started small – with my morning routine.  I’ve been trying to make myself a morning person for the past year, waking up at earlier times than my body is comfortable with and forcing myself to work when I actually don’t feel like working.

I’ve always been a night owl, and I work best in the evening and at night.  In the mornings I love to read, journal or get inspiration and knowledge while I have my coffee.  For the past year I’ve been fighting that because everywhere you look you get told that the wealthiest, most successful entrepreneurs get up at 5am every morning and do a bit of yoga before jumping straight into work.  That’s bullshit.  I’m calling that out right now.

You will be more successful and happy when you are doing what feels right for you and when you are enjoying the process.  Those people that get up at 5am every morning and thrive, are thriving because that’s what feels right for them.  If it doesn’t work for you – don’t do it!

Instead of setting my alarm for 5am every morning, I’ve started getting up at 8am.  I have a quick shower and get myself ready, then I spend around thirty minutes reading, listening to a podcast or watching YouTube videos from my favourite inspirational people while I have my coffee.

By 9.30am, I am sat at my desk working…  And this way of working feels good for me.  My body feels more in-tune with this way of working, and instead of panicking about my morning, I’m looking forward to it.

I must add that I don’t do the morning school-run, and I know that plenty of mums do.  I’m lucky that my partner works nights, so he does the morning school-run when he gets home from work, while I do the school pick-up in the afternoon.  This allows me more flexibility when it comes to my morning routine.  If you have less time in the mornings, then the simple answer is to schedule less to do in the mornings.

Find what works best for you and make tweaks to your routine over time.  Don’t do something just because you’ve heard that you have to in order to be successful.  Only do what feels right for you and you’ll be well on your way to happier and more productive days.

I’m currently working on a productivity masterclass, which will be launching in January 2019, so if you feel like you need a productivity boost or some help sorting out your time management, watch this space!  You can sign up for my newsletter below or follow me on Instagram to get all of the latest news from Dream Plan Achieve (and some free goodies!).

 

Automotive

Podcast Ep.6: Be a Boss and Still Be a Badass Mama

 

Copy of Building an Email List

In this episode of the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast, I’m talking all about how you can be boss and still be a badass mama.  What does it take to juggle building and running your business with family life?  Hint: Planning…

This episode has come at the perfect time for me.  I have just given birth to my seventh baby, and after 12 weeks of maternity leave, I am back to work.  I have to juggle my business, creating the new Ultimate Boss Mum Masterclass, school dates, baby appointments, family time and studying (I study Forensic Psychology).

The only way I get anything done is by planning my week with precision.  I love to use time blocking and I touch on this in this episode.  I find that when I group similar tasks together, I am able to focus more and ultimately be more productive.

Let me know how you plan your time, and if you have any pictures of your planner make sure you send them to me!  I hope you enjoy this episode.

 

Automotive

Morning Affirmations

0cd3952b5693191f2b8cb896fff56c81[5181]Your best day will start with your perfect morning, and instead of going through your whole morning routine, I want to concentrate on morning affirmations.

Affirmations are basically little notes to yourself. You can use affirmations to remind yourself how great you are, be grateful for certain things in your life and set intentions for the rest of your day.

In my experience, when I set good intentions at the start of the day, my day flows better and I’m more focused and aware of what I’m doing. Setting intentions or going through your morning affirmations doesn’t have to take up a huge chunk of your morning routine. Just a minute or two is enough – whether you’re writing out your intentions in your journal, or just saying them to yourself out loud, or in your head.

I’ve created a worksheet for you, which includes some of my favourite affirmations and space for you to create your own. To help you out, here’s some examples of how you can start your affirmations:

  • Today, I am…
  • I am grateful for…
  • I am ready to…
  • I feel…
  • Today, I will consciously create…
  • I am mindful of…

Commit to your morning affirmations for a week and see how it effects the rest of your day. And don’t forget to let me know how it went!

 

Automotive

Building an Email List

Building an Email List

 

In this episode of the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast, I talk about why having an email list is a great asset to your business, how to create an irresistible lead magnet, how to actually get subscribers onto your list and how often to communicate with your list.

I started building my email list from scratch, and even though I thought I had great opt-in’s, it was very slow going…  Now I have learned how to grow my email list and I share some tips in this episode of the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast.

Also, I share with you my ultimate lead magnet… a brand new freebie I have created just for you – The Business Foundations Course.  In anticipation of the launch of my new program The Ultimate Boss Mum Masterclass, I have decided to give away the complete first module, absolutely free to my subscribers.

In this free course, you will work through building a solid foundation for your business including Your Why, Writing Your Business Plan and Creating Your Products and Services.  You also get a fortnight of unlimited email support from myself as you work your way through the course.

Click the picture below to sign up and get instant access!

 

Automotive

Authenticity – Stop Trying to be Perfect!

Authenticity.png

Perfection is the biggest killer of both creativity and productivity.  I experience this on a daily basis.  Staring at a blank page when trying to write a blog post because I want the first line to be perfect, or fiddling with filters and captions for an age, trying to make that Instagram post perfect.

The problem with this is that you lose your authenticity – what makes you individual.  You start comparing yourself to others…  In the world of social media, everybody’s life is ‘perfect’.  You rarely see a selfie of someone lying on the sofa with bed-head and zits on show – but that’s real life.

I know that when I’m making connections online, or trying to decide whether to purchase something from someone online, I’m much more attracted to people who are authentic.  When someone makes a mistake and has a laugh about it, it shows me that they are real human-beings and don’t take themselves too seriously.  One of the best examples I can think of is Erin May Henry of The May Collective.  On her YouTube videos, she regularly includes a reel of bloopers.  Not only are these funny, it makes her more relatable and as you can see by the tens of thousands of subscribers she has, it clearly works!

It’s sometimes hard to be yourself online, because you open yourself up to criticism.  If someone criticises the person you are pretending to be, it doesn’t hurt as much as if they criticise the real you – but then I could argue that if you are putting yourself out there online, you should expect criticism and develop a very thick skin – fast.

It is also extremely hard to pretend to be perfect on a long-term basis.  If your ‘perfect’ image slips, just once, you will lose all respect from any following you have built.  Being yourself is so much easier!  Allow yourself to make mistakes publicly…  Someone else might learn from your mistake and thank you for it!

There might be people out there that will absolutely hate the real you – but I guarantee, for every person who dislikes the real you, there will be someone who loves the real you.

Be you!

 

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Have Your Own ‘Miracle Morning’

HBave Your Own Miracle Morning

I completely believe that having a solid morning routine can change your life.  ‘But what if I’m not a morning person?’ I hear you ask…  Neither was I, until recently.  I read ‘Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, which I totally recommend, by the way.  If you look forward to your morning routine, you’re more likely to want to get up earlier and without pressing that dreaded snooze button.

So, what does a ‘miracle morning’ look like?  The answer is entirely personal to you, but according to the book, you should include some meditation, exercise, journaling and learning.

To help you out, I’ve included my own ‘miracle morning’ below.

  • 5am – Rise and shine!
  • Use bathroom, brush teeth – 5 minutes
  • Make Coffee! – 5 minutes
  • Meditation/affirmations – 20 minutes
  • Freewriting in journal (brain dump!) – 5 minutes
  • Exercise (change it up so you don’t get bored) – 10 minutes
  • Reading (personal development) – 10 minutes
  • Review planner and make to-do list for the day – 5 minutes

This routine takes around an hour and takes me to 6am, when the rest of the house wakes up and I jump in the shower.  My ‘miracle morning’ is flexible and I like to change it up regularly to stop it from becoming boring.  The aim is to make your ‘miracle morning’ enjoyable and something you look forward to.

5 ‘Miracle Morning’ Top Tips 

  • Get enough sleep!  If you want to wake up at 5am, going to bed at 2am is a sure-fire way to fail.  Only you know how much sleep you need to wake up refreshed – make sure you get it.
  • Keep your ‘miracle morning’ flexible.  Life happens.
  • Don’t jump in too quickly.  Try waking up 15 minutes early for a week, then work your way to your ideal wake-up time.
  • Don’t give up!  And don’t feel bad if you miss a day or two.  Just get back to it and keep moving forward.
  • Switch it up.  Keep your routine fresh and exciting so that you look forward to jumping out of bed in the morning.

Bonus Tip: Read Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning.

Do you have a miracle morning routine?  I love learning how other people structure their day, so please, share it below.

 

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Burn-Out and How to Avoid It

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When you’re passionate about something – especially when that something is a new business, it’s very tempting to keep working, even when you feel tired. We’ve all done it… You work through your lunch break and sometimes forget to eat all day. I’ve even forgotten to go to the toilet, then at 8pm I realise that my bladder is about to burst.

It’s not good for our bodies and it’s certainly not good for our mind. Working yourself to the bone might get you results faster, but you aren’t going to be well enough to enjoy the success. Your work will suffer and all of that extra time you put in when you weren’t looking after yourself will be wasted anyway.

Here are some of the main signs that you’re heading for burn-out and what you can do about it.

* Feeling tired and lethargic all of the time. This is a sure sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep, but also that you aren’t feeding your body the right things. You need nutritional food to get you through the day, so make sure you are eating small meals regularly throughout the day.  Five or six small meals are much better than one or two large meals. Make sure you are getting enough fruit and vegetables and if you can’t include more in your diet, take some multi-vitamins. Getting enough sleep is also extremely important. Every person needs a different amount of sleep to stay healthy, so I’m not going to tell you how many hours sleep you should have. Experiment with different amounts and see what works for you. For me, 6-7 hours’ sleep is ideal, but whatever your number, be sure you make sleep a priority. It should be just as important as that meeting you have scheduled. Get sleep in your diary!

* You get frequent headaches. This is one of my main symptoms of dehydration and is a tell-tale sign you’re not drinking enough. As with sleep, everyone needs a different amount of water to be fully hydrated, so there is no magic number. Try keeping a bottle of water with you at all times and sip from it consistently throughout the day.

* Forgetting things on a regular basis. Being forgetful and frazzled means your brain isn’t focusing properly and that is a major sign you are heading for burn-out. Take regular breaks, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. Taking a couple of days’ off work will do you the world of good and could be the difference between you coming back fighting strong or having a melt-down.

* Getting emotional or your mood shifting rapidly. Another major sign that you’re on the path to burn-out. My top tip for this would be to take a relaxing break. Try a warm bath with aromatherapy oils and a good book or relaxing music, then get plenty of sleep. A good remedy for this is a long walk. Try going for a walk a few times a week and your mood should level out.

Obviously, if any of these symptoms persist for more than a week or two, you should consult a doctor. These remedies are only suggestions to help you avoid burn-out and are in no way medical advice.

My best tip for avoiding the road to burn-out altogether is to plan effectively. If you plan your days in advance and keep your to-do list short and sweet, you are much less likely to get stressed or be worrying about deadlines.

Do you have any tips for avoiding burn-out? Let me know! You can leave a comment here, drop me an email, or tell me telepathically.

 

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How to Get Motivated & Be Insanely Productive

how to get motivated

 

 

It’s not always easy to get motivated, especially in the morning.  It’s coming to that time of the year when mornings are dark, damp and cold, and some days it’s a struggle to get out of bed.  All you want to do is curl up on the sofa and binge-watch Gossip Girl.

It can also be hard getting motivated to start a new project or do something that’s out of your comfort zone.  The most common reaction to fear is to procrastinate.  This is why I’ve compiled some of my top tips to get you motivated and then get you being insanely productive – using that motivation wisely.

Get Motivated:

* Read, listen or watch inspiring content at the start of your day. There are some amazingly inspirational people out there creating YouTube videos, podcasts, blog posts and books. Use them! I have a blog post here listing all of my favourite inspirational content by category. Check it out.

* Exercise in the morning. Listen, I have six children and I know that most people can’t fit in an hour gym session every morning… but anything is better than nothing. Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth, do as many star jumps as you can while the kettle is boiling, or stretch those calves in the shower. You’ll be surprised at the difference small but often bursts of exercise can make.

* Practice gratitude. Every day, write three things in your journal that you are grateful for.

* Visualisation. Spend at least a couple of minutes every morning visualising your dream life. What are you working towards? Actually feel yourself living that life and engage all of your senses – what does it look/smell/taste/sound/feel like?

* Review your goals and achievements. Looking back on a month and seeing how much you have achieved is the best way to get motivated. It doesn’t matter how small the achievement is… Write it down!

 

Get insanely productive and slay those goals:

* Plan your day the night before. If you wake up knowing exactly what you need to do, and in what order, you are much more likely to get them done.

* Keep your to-do list small. Try and give yourself a ‘top three’. Three things that you want to achieve that day – and if you achieve them, you can consider your day a productive one. Having a to-do list that’s never ending is one of the biggest causes of procrastination. You feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I have a blog post here all about creating your ‘top three’.

* Do the hardest or most uncomfortable tasks first. It’s very tempting to do all of the tasks you enjoy doing first and the hard ones get put off until another day. If you tackle those difficult tasks first, you are more likely to get through them because you are building up to the ones you enjoy.

* Reward yourself! Completed a goal? Treat yourself to a chapter of your new book, an episode of your favourite show or even just a coffee break.

* Take a break. Working yourself to the bone is only going to end in burn-out. Take regular breaks throughout the day and make sure you have at least one day a week where you switch off and take some ‘me’ time. Check out my blog post Sunday is Funday for more info on self-care.

Do you have any top tips for getting motivated and being productive? Let me know! Leave a comment, drop me an email or send a carrier pigeon.

 

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Inspiration & Motivation: My Go-To Guys

Inspiration and Motivation

You know those days where you’re just not feeling it..? It’s tempting to crawl back under the duvet and lounge around in your onesie all day, but that’s not going to get you anywhere, is it?

Everyone needs a little extra jolt of motivation every now and again. And with that in mind, I’ve created a special post just for you. These are my go-to guys for motivation and inspiration. You can’t fail to get inspired by any one of these content creators. Enjoy!

YouTubers:

Erin Henry – The May Collective

Aileen – Lavendaire

Alexis aka MissTrenchcoat

Malena Haas

 

Podcasts:

She Means Business – Carrie Green

Style Your Mind Podcast – Cara Alwill Leyba

The Lucky Bitch Podcast – Denise Duffield-Thomas

Achieve Your Goals – Hal Elrod

 

Books:

The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

She Means Business – Carrie Green

You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

You are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth – Jen Sincero

Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Discovering Self-Love and Miracles – Gabrielle Bernstein

 

Please let me know what you think of my suggestions – and tell me who your go-to guys are for motivation and inspiration.

 

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The Dream Plan Achieve Podcast

Dream Plan Achieve

I have exciting news… The Dream Plan Achieve Podcast is now available!  You can listen to the podcast right here on the blog, on Soundcloud, and it is now available on iTunes.  Please take a few minutes’ of your time to go and subscribe to the podcast and give us a rating.

My goal with the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast is to bring you expert advice on starting up your business, living life as a Girlboss and tips to help you become more productive in your business by creating systems and simplifying your daily tasks.

Some of the podcast episodes will be based on posts from this blog, so you can listen to the episode within the blog post, however I strongly recommend subscribing to the newsletter so that you never miss an episode.

This first episode welcomes you to the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast and tells you what to expect from the series.  Please let me know what you think – but be kind!  I’m still getting used to this podcasting malarkey…

If you have any suggestions on what type of content you would like to hear in the series, or any questions you would like me to answer in an episode, please get it touch.  You can leave a comment here, drop me an email, DM me on Instagram or send a message in a bottle.

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