Monday, 24 October 2016

What Does Happiness Mean To You? #MondayBlogs

I was invited to do a talk for a motivational group recently on the theme of ‘Heaven on Earth.' I spent a long time thinking about what that meant to me.

Eventually, I decided that happiness was the one thing that gave me contentment. But sometimes we think that happiness is out of our reach – it’s something to work towards – a goal if you like.

When I’m at home, and I talk about setting goals, I can see my kid’s eyes begin to glaze over. ‘Oh god, she's off on one of her hippie trips again!’

That’s okay; they’re young. Goals aren’t as important to them. For them, happiness is already a huge part of their life; they don’t need to think about setting goals to achieve it.

I’d somehow lost that innocence. Life has been tough over the years and so I truly believed that happiness was an external element – something other people enjoyed. What I discovered was the more I concentrated on finding happiness, the more confused I became.

I opted to set myself a few goals in a bid to find this elusive happiness. I decided to shake up my life a little and see what happened.

This was the driving force behind my fifty-two challenges in twelve months, which eventually became my bestselling book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. Part of the reason behind this venture was the need to show myself that if you believe in yourself enough, you can achieve anything. But, I was also searching for some happiness in my life.

Starting on that journey changed everything. I’d set my goals, some small, some big, and I knew that I needed to be accountable for my actions, which is where this blog came in. Every challenge, every failure, every success was published and shared with the public.

My book was published in 2014, and I still receive messages on a daily basis from women who feel motivated to challenge themselves; to grasp a new opportunity with both hands and own it.

‘We all believed, so we all achieved.'

It was as my book climbed the bestseller list that I was hit with a profound understanding. Happiness filled my life on a daily basis, from the pride I saw in my children’s eyes, to the emails I received from readers, and the continuing success of my blog.

It finally slid into place for me. Happiness was never something to be obtained. By searching for it, I came to realise that it was already inside me.

We need to nourish ourselves during our time here on Earth. Life is too short to waste it searching – it’s time to live, to believe, and to achieve our wildest dreams. Heaven on Earth is attainable for each and every one of us – we just have to open our hearts to new opportunities.

If you’re still in doubt, then let me guide you to one of my popular blog posts – The Ribbon of Life. If this simple, short exercise doesn’t show you have important it is to nurture yourself and invest time in your own personal development and spirituality then I don’t know what will.

Here's an overview of my ribbon of life exercise:
  • Take a piece of ribbon 100cm in length (If I look back over my family line, the female Wilson's tend to live until we're about 90 years old) - I'll cut off 10cm so my starting ribbon is 90cm. You can do the same or choose another age that represents you.
  • I'm 44 years old (cut off 44 cm)
  • I love my bed and over a lifetime will probably sleep for 25 years (cut off 25 cm)
  • If I work until I'm 65 then that's another 10 years of my life (cut off 10 cm)
  • I'll spend about 2 years cooking and 3 years eating (cut off 5 cm)
  • Forgetting the number of years I've spent brushing my teeth, going on holiday, or even reading a book, I've got 6 cm left = 6 years to achieve everything I've ever dreamt about.

Realising that happiness comes from within opened my eyes to a new life. I no longer watch Friends re-runs, and I don’t waste time on negative influences, instead, I share every moment I can with my children before they grow up and begin their own adventures.

As you go about your day, I want you to think about what you believe Heaven on Earth is for you, and more importantly, what happiness means to you.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Mindfulness in 3 Easy Steps #wwwBlogs

When I tell people how much I enjoy mindfulness, I am often met with a slight resistance. Occasionally, people will be positive about the benefits of mindfulness in their lives. However, far too many people believe it to be too difficult, or worse, time-consuming.

I can’t emphasis enough the importance of being in the moment. That means, not stressing about the past, or worrying about what’s in the future. Anxiety increases when we live in a constant turmoil of ‘why did I say that last week?’ or ‘will I be able to make that speech next month?’

Being mindful helps us in so many ways:

  • Helps us relax
  • Our sleep improves
  • We feel more positive
  • Creativity increases
  • We lose (or maintain) weight

It’s not hard to fit a spot of mindfulness into your life. In fact, you probably do it without realising.


We all do this, don’t we! You can be mindful of your breathing in so many normal circumstances, such as when you’re sat at your desk or stuck in traffic. Try focusing on your breathing a bit more.

Concentrate on your breathing. Notice the thoughts bubbling up but don’t engage in them. Don’t analyse these thoughts, just notice them and then return to concentrating on your breathing. When I first started doing this exercise, I would quickly slip into my ‘sausage and mash’ moments. That’s the default setting when we stop what we’re doing and sit quietly and our brain starts the inner monologue of ‘what shall I do for tea?’ or ‘did I leave the iron on?’. With practice, you can enjoy longer periods of quiet as the sausage and mash moments diminish.

Breathe in slowly and deeply, letting your lungs expand and contract. Notice your environment – the seat you’re in, the smells around you, etc. Do this for about 5 minutes, and you’ll feel calmer, more grounded, and clearer.


Again, this is something we all do, normally three times a day. That’s three opportunities to be mindful without having to find extra time in your busy routine.

Try to limit the external distractions when you eat; turn off the television, the radio, and leave the magazines alone.

Take your time over the meal you’ve prepared. Savour the smell and the colours. Chew each mouthful at least 8-9 times. Notice the flavours and the texture.


It’s all too easy to jump in the car to get where we want to go, and I understand that. We lead busy lives and can’t always fit in a brisk walk before work, or a jog around the park in our lunch break. However, we can adapt our usual routines and enable us to experience a walking mindfulness exercise.

I used to teach my meditation class this exercise, and they found it to be very useful – in fact, several of my students adapted it for insomnia with great results!

Next time you go to the supermarket, park the furthest point from the door. As you walk across the car park, count your steps. Count 1 – 5, then start again only adding an extra number each time until you get up to 10. Like this:

One, Two, Three, Four, Five

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven

All the way up to

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten

Then start over and count one to five again.

My mind used to wander all the time when I first started doing this, and I’d suddenly count fifteen before I realised I’d lost it. I’d simply start over.

If you can park a decent distance from your office building, then it’s a great exercise to diffuse any tension stored up from a day at your desk. By the time you reach your car after work, you should feel much calmer.

That’s only three simple exercises to help you fit a spot of mindfulness into your day. Give it a try and see how much calmer you feel after just a few days.

Do you have a top tip on mindfulness? Share it in the comments below and help others to find some peace and balance.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Taking Small Steps Towards Better Health #ThursdayThoughts

If you follow my blog, then you’ll be aware that I’ve struggled with my health over the past couple of years. I remain undiagnosed and, unfortunately, I still suffer from symptoms and pain.
It’s safe to say that I sulked – for a long time – and still have bouts of the blues over this issue, however, as September arrived, I was filled with an overwhelming desire to feel better – even if it was just a little bit.

As you all know, I do love a challenge and what better way to push myself than to sign up for the 90 Day Shape Shift Sustain plan (yes, 90 DAYS!!) developed by the hottie, Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Believe to Achieve at the Wellbeing Festival, Birmingham #MondayBlogs

In 2015 the Mind Body Spirit Wellbeing Festival arrived in Birmingham. For me, this was a huge bonus as I live a mere ten minutes away from the National Exhibition Centre, so there was no early morning train to London, or late evening return loaded down with shopping bags and good intentions. My favourite festival was on my doorstep!

This year, I’m more excited than usual but not for the reasons I mentioned above, no, this year I’m actually taking part in the Wellbeing Festival!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Make Time For What Matters - Now!

Everyone knows how much I love writing lists and goal setting, and it’s commonly known that I enjoy a good New Year resolution or two. The New Year is a great time to work on new beginnings and fresh starts. However, you don’t need to wait until January 1st to make relevant changes to your lifestyle, career, health, or wellbeing.

September, for me, is the perfect month to embrace those new adventures, start a new academic course either online or at night school, or begin a health regime that will keep you mentally and physically fit during the winter. It’s a month of crisp weather, the promise of home grown apples and blackberries, and let’s not forget the oodles of back to school stationery just waiting to be purchased.

For years I put off getting started, not just with my writing projects, but with my health, and wellbeing. I would grumble about my muffin top and back fat but then demolish a cream bun at the local coffee shop. I would tell myself that ‘this year’ was when I’d finally write that book. Year after year I did this until finally, something clicked – I was only letting myself down.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

How to Use One Month to Make Small Changes That Last.

If you’ve just experienced that horrific realisation that you go on holiday in a month and are having those ‘where is the svelte figure I promised myself’ thoughts then panic not.

There’s still time to turn your bad habits around and install a better mind-set so that you can enjoy your holiday and return with a clear focus for the remainder of the year.

Here’s how:

Days 1 – 6

Turn to your trusty journal and note everything down. Write down all the times you reach for the biscuit tin, or smuggle a Mars bar under your t-shirt so the kids don’t spot it. While you’re at it, jot down how you were feeling at the time (angry, upset, etc.) and the time of day. By doing this, it helps to give you an insight into your activities and the behaviour associated with each act/habit.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

What's Your Favourite Inspirational Quote? #wwwBlogs

If you scroll down any social media feed you will find an abundance of memes with a variety of quotes – some are inspirational, some humorous, and some are very thought provoking.

I share quite a few of these on my Resolution Challenge Facebook page. Not because it fits my personal needs – although, some days these affirmations have been spot on! – I share them in the hope that they’ll help someone else.

When I ran my holistic health business, my clients were always at the forefront of my mind. If I read an inspiring article, I would save it as I knew it might resonate with one of my ladies. When I heard about a new meditation class or spiritual workshop, I would forward the details to the people I knew would enjoy these events.