Sign up for more...

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Trials and Tribulations of Teenage Parenting #familylife


When you begin a voyage of self-discovery or a period of recovery, it can trigger a host of issues to bubble up that you might feel unable to cope with.

Since I started having regular acupuncture appointments seven months ago, I’ve been presented with certain topics that have pushed their way to the forefront of my therapy sessions. Some of the themes I face tend to rise and fall depending on my mood, and the cycle of the moon! However, recently I’ve been presented with an issue that on the surface appears to be every mother’s daily battle, but buried underneath is my fear of confrontation, aggression, and dominating and bullying men.

We all know that you don’t get a manual when you have children, and so we muddle along doing the best we can. I’m fortunate that my children are smart, funny, and open to talking through problems with me. We are a close family and support one another at all times. As a mother, it’s hard to watch your children struggle, whether that’s with school work, friendships, or more serious issues.

There are so many lessons that I try to teach my children in the hope that it helps them on their life path. One such message is to be a leader, not a sheep. I’m glad to say that this piece of advice seems to have stuck and my children are incredibly good at debating, standing up for themselves, and supporting their peers when necessary.

Unfortunately, over the past few months, I’ve been challenged to address this lesson, and I have to say, it’s been really tough. One of my children has been targeted by a bullying male who was in a position of authority. Another man, also in a similar position, handled a situation in such a way that he destroyed mine and my son’s trust in his expertise. I seem to be on direct dial with the school as my son’s behaviour is brought into question.

I’m not going to tell you that my son is an angel; he’s sixteen, studying for his GCSEs, dealing with his changing emotions and body, and hasn’t yet learned how to handle certain situations. However, my son is an amazing boy. He’s fiercely loyal, funny, smart, competitive, and opinionated.

So, do I change my lesson? Do I tell him not to be a leader, but instead be a sheep? Do I tell my son to stop being who he is because it’s upsetting some people?

There have been a few instances of late where I’ve had to pull the bad cop routine on my son (tough side of being a single parent) and explain exactly what the outcome of his behaviour can cause.

All three of my kids have sugar coated things for my benefit in the past, telling me that they couldn’t possibly have done such a thing, or said something nasty, or behaved in a negative way. I’m not stupid. I was a kid once, and I remember all the tricks. They don’t seem to realise this small fact and then wonder why I keep my steely gaze locked on their lying faces until they spill the truth. But when faced with all the angst of recent months my son has remained honest with me. He knows right from wrong, but he doesn’t understand how all of a sudden his behaviour is a problem.

I’m inclined to agree with him. He hasn’t changed since he was a toddler. He has always spoken his mind, whether that was the appropriate thing to do or not, I guess age and experience will counteract this. When he perceives an injustice has been done, then he will be very vocal about his opinion on the matter. Again, dealing with this is something that comes with experience, but should I tell him to keep his mouth shut and put his head down?

It’s my hope that my children are happy, healthy, and successful in their chosen field. At this time in their development, none of us know what that field will be. What if my outspoken son becomes a lawyer who stands up for those who can’t help themselves, what if he turns to politics in a bid to help give a voice to those that need it? I don’t want to stand in the way of this.

I refuse to call this a challenge, I refuse to be controlled by bullies, and I refuse to keep telling my son to become a sheep. Being strong can be scary at times, but together I know we will get through this.

On a final note. I met a good friend for coffee yesterday who told me how her partner had been misunderstood at work. Speaking up about an intercompany issue had caused a ripple of unease. However, her partner couldn’t understand this as he was just being himself. It resonated so much with what my son is up against at the moment. I felt relieved that a grown man could meet with the same resistance to being themselves as a sixteen-year-old boy. It was like finding the light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Parenting is a tough job, but it’s also the most rewarding. I’d love to hear from you if you can relate to this, or if you just want to offer any advice.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Women In Business #Networking #SociallyShared

There’s only one way to spend International Women’s Day, and that’s in the company of strong, confident, and like-minded ladies who run successful businesses and know how to have fun.

As with most events, the morning began with lashings of coffee and a mouth-watering array of pastries. The eager attendees were greeted with a big smile from Christine Cooper, a member of the Socially Shared team who delivered their delegate pack.
MC for the event was Joanna Tidman, Broadcast Journalist for the BBC Worldwide & BBC News, and Breakfast Presenter at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio. Jo kept the event flowing beautifully with an injection of humour that kept the giggles rippling throughout the day. Her opening address touched on the power of networking, and the wide range of support that events such as the Women in Business Conference generate within the community.
There were women from every sector of industry attending this conference, and each one had an engaging and inspirational story to tell. We were fortunate to hear from six speakers throughout the morning who encouraged the audience to think outside the box when it comes to being a woman in business.
First up to the podium was Sally Dhillon who, along with Nishi Mehta, runs Career-Mums Partnership, a business offering spotlight coaching for entrepreneurs and would-be business owners focusing on their personal development. Sally and Nishi also work with local employers to minimise the negative impact on women’s careers after maternity leave.

Sally gave a delightful talk about the evolution of the human species, explaining in humourous detail how our caveman ancestors delegated the tasks among the pack. We’ve all seen the hunter gatherer scenario play out in our back gardens every summer when the BBQ is lit. Man brings fire and meat! Sally touched upon the fact that within these early settlements women were deemed the most important. You can’t expand the human race fast enough with one woman and five men, but turn that situation on its head, and the human race will grow much quicker with five women and one man! Therefore, the male species learned to hunt and the women did…everything else! Although Sally’s talk was enlightening and funny, she was also sharing an important message about holding your own ground as a woman in business. Be proactive, make decisions, spot any issues and thwart them before they happen, and own your position.

You can find out more about Sally and Nishi on their website www.career-mums.co.uk

It was quite apt that following Sally’s closing message of ownership we were introduced to Angela Gordon and Sandra Godley, two women who know how to ‘own it.’

Angela is a multi-award winning professional life coach, speaker, writer and an international host of an online radio show called ‘Time to Inspire.’ I follow Angela’s Facebook page and love her messages of motivation and hope. She has a passion for inspiring others, and this came across in her talk about getting involved in business awards.

According to Angela, there are numerous benefits to be gained from both winning, and being nominated for business awards. She explained how your brand becomes more recognisable, and you begin to attract the right clients. Also, you get a huge confidence boost for your business, and you personally, by being nominated. Raising your profile within your industry and community is a sound business goal that can be easily achieved through awards. It was interesting to hear both Angela and Sandra talk about nominating yourself for business awards; something that many of us may shy away from. However, this is how you can push your boundaries and attract a positive future.

Sandra is an award-winning, MOBO nominated Singer/Songwriter, Entrepreneur and Broadcaster. She hosts two radio shows: ‘My Story, My Song’ at UCB Radio, and ‘Live from the UK with Sandra Godley’ on Finding My Way International Network.

The successful years that Sandra has spent in the spotlight came across in her presentation as she motivated each of us to step into our female power and do something for ourselves. Her moving speech touched on the lessons we are teaching our daughters and nieces with our actions and words, and I, for one, could resonate with everything Sandra said. ‘Do it for our daughters, and be a good role model.’ She also talked about taking too much on, something else I could relate to, and having the confidence in yourself to step back and be specific about your goals and ambitions. Choosing to focus on two or three projects over nine or ten will free you from feeling overwhelmed and enable you to concentrate on success. Sandra reiterated Angela’s message about the importance of business awards and ‘owning it.’

To round off their slot, the ladies reduced the audience to tears of laughter by acting out an award ceremony. The Diva International Award was given to Angela who graciously accepted her prize, but wait, oh no, Sandra’s got the wrong envelope…sorry Angela, but Jo was the winner. Hilarious!
To find out more about Angela you can visit her website www.iloveinspiring.com. To discover more about Sandra you can email her at sandra@ucb.co.uk

The third speaker, Ruth Waring is MD of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, specialising in transport and safety compliance as well as process improvement for hauliers. She is a powerful influence within a male dominated industry, and her confidence filled the room. Ruth talked about breaking down barriers through networking and touched on being the founder and chair of Women in Logistics UK, which has 3600 members, 600 of whom are men. Ruth also won the Business Person of the Year award at the Leamington Business Awards in 2016. Changing the landscape was the theme of Ruth’s inspiring talk.

She shared her top tips for getting the most out of networking such as being in the right frame of mind at events and refining your elevator pitch (a simple sentence that explains your business and can be recited quickly). Asking those you network with how ‘you can help them’ received a positive response from the audience. Women tend to be givers, and have an inbuilt nature to help others, by offering this help it gets the brain cogs whirling for the person we are talking to, and they dig deep to find a way to reciprocate.

Ruth closed with some sound advice – ‘Ignite passion in people, so they don’t forget you.’
You can find out more about Ruth and her membership group via her websites www.labyrinthsolutions.co.uk and www.womeninlogistics.org.uk

 
I eagerly awaited the next speaker’s entrance and wasn’t disappointed. Ellen Manning is a freelance journalist, blogger, and writer. She has covered some of the biggest breaking news stories of recent times, from high-profile court cases to the Royal Wedding and Wimbledon. Ellen has also interviewed Prime Ministers, celebrities, royalty, and troops in Afghanistan.

Over the years she has been able to combine passion with her career, and this was clearly evident in her speech. Ellen knows how to entertain her audience, either through the written word or by standing behind a lectern. Telling stories is what she does best, and it was fascinating to discover how journalists search for their next piece.

Ellen prompted us to think about the who, what, when, where and why of our businesses. Who are we? What do we do that’s new, inventive, exciting? When is the best time to share our business news? Where are we based and how can we impact our local community? Why is what we do important? For Ellen, it’s all about the icing on the cake, and that’s not just because she is also a food blogger. As a journalist, she wants to hear the personal story, the human interest twist behind the business mask. Backing up your story with fact, figures and images also help your piece.
The audience were thoroughly entertained by Ellen, and the photographs she shared from her career were inspiring. Her closing message was simple – ‘What’s your story?’

To find out more about Ellen go to her website www.ellenmanning.co.uk or visit her food blog www.eatwithellen.com

To close the morning sessions, Jo introduced us to the keynote speaker, Judy Ledger from Baby Lifeline. Judy’s story of personal tragedy triggered an intake of breath from the entire audience. 35 years ago, Judy lost her first three children prematurely, losing them after just a day of giving birth in some cases. Many of the attendees were mothers, and the emotion of Judy’s speech was palpable. Instead of slipping down the slope of grief, she used her situation for good and founded the charity Baby Lifeline.

The charity provides equipment for maternity and neonatal units as well as delivering professional training for the maternity sector. It was heartbreaking to hear that fifteen babies will be stillborn or pass away in the first four weeks in the UK today. The work that Judy and her team do is awe-inspiring.

We were delighted to hear that Judy went on to have three children, her daughter joined her for the conference and also works with the charity. Turning tragedy into something so positive is an incredible testament to the hard work and dedication that Baby Lifeline is all about.
If you would like to read more about the Charity or get involved, please visit the website www.babylifeline.org.uk
Karen Heap from Socially Shared and Joanna Tidman presenting Judy Ledger with a cheque for £250
As we broke for lunch, there was a buzz about the place that confirmed just how empowering such events could be. Excited chatter, laughter, new connections, and copious amounts of cheesecake flowed, and beyond the window, the sun shone on the first signs of spring.

The afternoon was broken up into workshops, and I was honoured to run two sessions on self-publishing. I’ll be writing about the workshop over on my author blog, so please feel free to pop over and have a read www.shelleywilsonauthor.com.

I can honestly say, I didn’t want the day to end. I met a host of incredible ladies, made many new friends, and came away with a bulging notebook and plenty of ideas. The event was a huge success, and I would like to express my thanks and congratulations to the team at Socially Shared who organised the conference. Karen Heap, Rebecca Jones, Christine Cooper, and Maxine - congratulations ladies. It's also important to give a shout out to the main sponsor of the event, Nicolette Williams from Nanna Nursery Nurse and Nanny Agency.

I must also mention the girls who kept the social media flowing and managed to get #SociallyShared trending on Twitter here in the UK! Emma Kavanagh and Kate Keene from Piece of Cake Marketing did a fabulous job of keeping us connected and teaching those attendees who were new to the platform how to engage. Well done girls.
As Jo thanked the audience and congratulated the team at the close of the event there was only one question on everyone’s lips – ‘When’s the next event?’

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Monday, 6 March 2017

Chakras for Beginners #Health #Wellbeing


Chakras for Beginners

If you don’t travel in spiritual circles, reap the benefits of a holistic life, or take advantage of the variety of alternative therapies then you may not know what a ‘Chakra’ is.

Knowing the difference between a chakra and a chorizo is not something that will change your life, however, understanding the basics can improve your wellbeing.

In the simplest terms, the Sanskrit word Chakra means wheel and this refers to wheels of energy located in the body. There are seven main chakras, which align with the spine and can be visualised as swirling energy. The energy is called Prana, or vital life force. It’s this energy that keeps us healthy, physically and mentally.

Where are they?

Each Chakra is linked to major organs and the nervous system, as well as our psychological and emotional state. As mentioned earlier, the Chakras are moving energy, and so it’s important to keep that energy flowing to be in optimum health.

Think of it like a hose pipe. The flow of water keeps your garden flourishing, but what happens if you get a kink in the pipe? In some cases, the build-up of water makes the pipe explode. Not good for the hairdo! However, in life, this explosion could become a life-threatening physical health issue.

If I were to give you an example of this in action it would look like this:

Monday, 27 February 2017

February in Review #Blogging #Goals


February in Review

I’m continuing my monthly blog review with a recap of February. I find this is the ideal way to assess the posts I’ve written and the interaction they received, as well as share the links in case anyone missed one.

I’ve also shared the link to a guest post I wrote for the Women Writers, Women’s Books site.

February was all about the theme of self-love on my blog, and it was a popular topic with my readers. It seems we all suffer from a little self-doubt, comparison, and guilt!

How was February?

Monday, 20 February 2017

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others #SelfLove


At the start of the year, I was a woman on a mission. 2017 was going to be the year I got my mojo back, the year I would feel normal again, and the year I would dedicate to the personal development of my mind, body, and soul.

I’ve already made positive progress towards nurturing my mental and physical health. However, during my mindfully-infused sessions where I take the time to learn and grow, I’ve noticed an uncomfortable trend – comparison. We all do it, but it’s in varying degrees of intensity. I’ve often wished that I could live in a warm country like my hugely successful cousin, Becky. Or that I drove a super sexy Land Rover Evoque like my bestie, Liz. These are the kind of comparisons that are merely fleeting thoughts rather than crippling destruction for our self-esteem. I love these thoughts because they shape my ambitions. I want to earn enough to buy a lovely car, and I want to travel to interesting places.

In January I bought a

Monday, 13 February 2017

Ditch the Guilt #SelfLove #Happiness


February is the month of love, but here on Motivate Me! we’re looking at loving ourselves rather than joining the masses who are celebrating with their one and only. If you do have a true love close to hand, then feel free to engage in the odd snuggle, a romantic meal, or a deep and meaningful discussion about your relationship. Communication, interaction, and respect are key elements to any successful partnership.

If, however, you want to join me on a journey of self-discovery and take a deeper look at how we can love ourselves first, then stick with me.

Last week I shared my 5 Top Tips for Working on Self-Love, you can read that post HERE. This week I wanted to discuss an area that might impact on our personal development, and hold up our well-laid plans of loving ourselves unconditionally.

That issue is GUILT. Not in an ‘oh my god, I slept with my husband’s brother!’ way, although if you did do that, then you might want to skip off and sort that issue out!

The guilt I’m talking about today includes all the mistakes or mundane nonsense we beat ourselves up about. It could be that we weren’t there when someone needed us, or you’ve shouted at the kids over something trivial. For me, I feel guilty about my overwhelming ironing pile (I know, it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it!). In truth it makes me feel like I’m neglecting my family, failing as a mother and adds to my ever present ‘I’m not good enough’ limiting belief, I mean, seriously, who beats themselves up because of the ironing?

Monday, 6 February 2017

5 Top Tips for Working on Self-Love #wellbeing #happiness


February is upon us, and everywhere you turn there are hearts, overpriced chocolates, and an explosion of cuddly toys. It can only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day is imminent.

Fluffy teddies and flowers aside, the theme of ‘love’ that invades all of our senses at this time of year doesn’t necessarily have to be directed at a partner, lover, or spouse. It’s perfectly okay to indulge in a spot of self-love.

I recently attended a networking group for women where we had the opportunity to briefly talk about ourselves and our businesses. It was interesting to observe each lady proudly talking about their family but then clamming up when the conversation turned to themselves. We were all successful business women, but the thought of ‘bigging’ ourselves up, and selling ourselves was visibly tough.

I observed this and then fell into the same trap when it was my time to talk. I introduced myself and launched comfortably into ‘my name’s Shelley, and I’m a single mum to three lovely teenagers,' cue the oohs and aahs of my fellow networkers as we laugh/share/commiserate over the teen years and motherhood in general. Then when the group leader asked me about my work, I automatically dropped my head, avoided eye contact and mumbled something about being an author and blogger and selling a ton of books, but eer, well, umm, I’m not sure who buys them *nervous giggle*. OMG!

How is it possible that I can sit in front of a computer and share with the world how much I adore writing, how my books are aimed at women who want to make the best of themselves, as well as write articles about feeling empowered. Then, when I’m given the opportunity to confirm this face-to-face I lose all confidence, and my self-esteem takes a tumble.

Has this happened to you? If so, then I’m happy to say that you’re not alone. We all do it!

On the drive home, I finally understood that to have the confidence to sell myself, I needed to believe that I’m worthy of my success. It’s not a fluke that I’ve sold over 10,000 copies of my first non-fiction book. It’s not a one-off that 15,000 people visit my blog in the space of one month. These statistics came about through hard work, dedication, and a passion for what I do. I just need to believe that!

One of the goals I’ve set myself for 2017 is to learn to love myself more. It might sound like a lame goal, but judging from my reaction at the networking group, it’s a goal I need to be working on.

Self-love. What is it? The definition is ‘regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.’ Wow, can you see how we as women fail to love ourselves? We are always making sure that our husband/wife, children, and friends are happy, healthy, and cared for but then we never leave enough time to ensure we give ourselves the same amount of care and attention. This is why it was so easy for the women in the group to share their pride about family but not express the same confidence in themselves – we haven’t learned how to self-love.

How on earth do you learn such a skill, I hear you ask, well, allow me to share my top five tips:

Community Matters

Although we were all guilty of a lack of personal confidence, the ladies at my networking group were more than capable of encouraging each other and offering guidance and support. Finding a community such as this will help you build, or re-build, those feelings of self-esteem and conviction.

Stop Negative Talk

When we put ourselves down, we are only reinforcing that lack of self-esteem. Telling ourselves (or even just thinking) that we are boring/unattractive/fat/stupid feeds our mind to believe this even more. STOP! Take notice of the language you use when referring to yourself, turn everything into a positive affirmation. ‘I am successful,' or ‘I am happy and healthy in my skin.' The more you talk about yourself in a positive way, the faster you’ll believe it to be true.

De-Clutter

Yep, I’m sharing my love of de-cluttering yet again, but the benefits of clearing out your cupboard space, Facebook friends list or garden shed are monumental. It also leave you with a clearer mind.

No More Comparisons

I could dedicate an entire blog post to this (which I might still do), but the fast-paced life of social media means that we are always in a position to compare our life/career/family to that of the online communities we are a part of. Be honest, who has followed someone on Facebook and wished for just a second that your life looked like theirs? Stop comparing yourself to others. You are a unique individual and need to start embracing the positivity in your life.

Let Go

I blogged about releasing negative energy through Acupuncture a few weeks ago, you can read that post HERE. Letting go of past hurts is hugely important when building up our self-love. We can’t move forward when clinging onto pain, heartache, anger, or frustration about the past. Find a therapy that works for you and let go of the past. Acupuncture is a great therapy to try, as is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Coaching, Reiki, and journaling are also powerful therapies.

What does self-love mean to you? Do you take the time to nurture your own needs? If so, what do you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please add a comment below.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Sunday, 29 January 2017

January in Review #Blogging #Goals


January Review

I didn’t strictly adhere to my ‘must write a new year resolution list’ at the start of the month, in fact, I adopted an altogether new approach for 2017 which involves only a few goals, and a more laid back attitude. So far, so good.

One of the goals I did set for my blog was to publish a monthly review where I could check stats, assess the posts I’ve written and the interaction they received, as well as sharing the links in case anyone missed one. Over previous years I’ve been a bit lax with analytics, but I’ve come to realise that if I want to provide valuable content, then I need to see what you, my dearest blog reader, enjoys.

I have also been asked to provide a few guest posts for other blogs this month, and I’ve embarked on a couple of advertising boosts to lift the profile of my blog and hopefully get my articles in front of a wider audience, after all, that’s the whole point of writing. I want to help as many people as I can to embrace their best self, to be confident in their skin, and to believe that they can achieve anything they want.

How was January?

Stats:

I’m delighted with the increase in views. Overall, the blog received 15,075 new visits which is an incredible leap. Yay! The most popular post of the month was Adopt a Skinny Thinking Routine to Help with Your Weight Loss.

Published Posts:

Week1 – How to Ensure You Have a Great Year Using a Happiness Jar

Week2 – Releasing Negative Emotions

Week3 – How to Avoid Self-Sabotage

Week4 – Adopt a Skinny Thinking Routine to Help Your Weight Loss

Guest Posts:

Rosie Amber’s Blog – Week 1 How to Review the Last 12 Months

Rosie Amber’s Blog – Week 2 Power Words for 2017 

Rosie Amber’s Blog – Week 3 Setting Goals for 2017

Rosie Amber’s Blog – Week 4 Planning for a Perfect Year 

Socially Shared Business Network – Change Your Beliefs and Change your Life

Goals for February:

February is the month of love! Those of you who know me well will understand when I reach for the sick bucket. I don’t ‘do’ romance. Actually, that’s not strictly true; I’ve never met anyone who does romance and I therefore only know about flowers, chocolates, and romantic weekend trips because I’m a sucker for a rom-com film (sshh, don’t tell anyone).

As I can’t produce love infused blog posts from a personal perspective (unless we count my horrific experiences on a dating site!), I thought I’d concentrate on self-love. I know a great deal about this topic as it’s one of my main goals for 2017 – learning to appreciate myself, flaws and all, and turning the negative inner dialogue into positive self-talk. February’s theme will cover this in more detail, and I hope you enjoy reading my posts on this subject.

Over to You:

Your mission if you choose to accept it is

I thought it might be a fun twist if at the end of every monthly review I set you some fun exercises. I want you to think about the following questions, grab your journal and note down any thoughts or feelings that bubble to the surface or feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.

Q1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What small steps can you take between now and December 31st to achieve it?

Q2. What does a day in the life of your dreams look like? Write your perfect day from the minute you wake up to when you go to bed. Where are you, who are you with, what would you do?

Q3. If money was not an issue what career would you have or what lifestyle would you adopt?

I’ll add another three questions to the February review. You don’t need to share your answers; they’re for your personal development. If you can keep all your notes together in one journal then by the end of the year, you’ll have a great overview of 2017 to work with when you want to do a review, set goals, or release anything that isn’t serving your greater purpose. Until next month.
Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Adopt a Skinny Thinking Routine to Help Your Weight Loss


I recently re-joined my local Slimming World class to help me shift the extra pounds that crept on last year. Aside from the weight loss goal there is another reason for going back to group and that’s the social aspect. I love the camaraderie at the meetings, and the support at weigh in.

I spent a huge portion of 2016 climbing on my scales only to find that needle kept getting higher. I would then spiral into doom and gloom and end up attacking the biscuit tin. Why we choose to abuse ourselves by adding to the problem can probably be explained by using the techniques I wrote about in last week’s post – avoiding self-sabotage, which you can read HERE.

There have been plenty of articles and books written about the benefits and pitfalls of slimming groups. I fully believe that

Sunday, 15 January 2017

How to Avoid Self-Sabotage


For thousands of people across the globe, the New Year is a time for goal setting. Whether you believe in resolutions or not, we can’t help but feel slightly inspired to create a few ‘I’d like to do…’, or ‘I will achieve…’ situations for the year ahead.

As you all know, I do love a good list writing session, and jotting down all the possibilities a new year brings would be my perfect Saturday night! I haven’t been as regimented with my resolutions for 2017. My recent illness and battle with depression and anxiety have taken the shine off setting too many challenges. However, the goals I have set for myself are still bold enough to push me out of my comfort zone and keep me focused.

One of my main faults is a tendency for

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Releasing Negative Emotions


I’m only into the second week of the year, and I’ve already steered away from my lovingly constructed blog schedule! However, in my defence, I have a valid reason for needing to throw all my well-laid plans aside and share this story, and that’s because it HURT!

Since the middle of last year, I have had regular acupuncture sessions with a wonderful therapist called Jo, who is insightful, compassionate, and highly skilled. I know without any doubt that the sessions are making a difference, not just physically, but emotionally.

We talk through so many issues, and Jo has an incredible knack for getting

Sunday, 1 January 2017

How to Ensure You Have a Great Year by Using a Happiness Jar

When I was younger, I would write my New Year Resolution or goals list based on what I wanted to do, be, or have that would make me happy. It took me several decades to understand that happiness comes from within and isn’t a physical object, place, or person.

It’s human nature to want to make our lives better. However, we have an inbuilt security system that resists change. So how do you make improvements to your life without upsetting that inner control freak?

Several years ago I saw a meme on Facebook which suggested starting a gratitude jar. The idea appealed to me, but in the example, you were told to write down something that you were grateful for each day, week, or month. While I approved of the sentiment, I was already adding my thoughts of gratitude to my daily journal. So, I improvised.

Happy Birthday: My Blog is 5 Today! #WeekendBlogShare


Achievements come in all shapes and sizes. They can be related to weight loss, fitness, creativity, habits, friendships, romance, or career. For me, the first day of the year is always a reminder that one of my greatest achievements was starting this blog.

Today, Motivate Me (formally known as Resolution Challenge) is five years old! Now that’s an achievement worth rejoicing.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A Year in Review #wwwBlogs


A Year in Review

At this time of year, it’s hard not to reflect on the past twelve months. However, it can be too easy to dwell on the negatives and forget about all the positive things that might have happened - births, marriages, new friendships, events, laughter, and love.

Before I shuffle off to enjoy a mince pie or two, I thought it would be nice to round off 2016 by doing a blog post dedicated to a review of my year. As many of my regular readers know, I do love to set goals and challenges, and I equally enjoy sharing the highs and lows with all of you. Why not do your own year in review? Feel free to add a brief summary in the comments below, or jot it in your journal. It’s a fun exercise to try.

Books I’ve Read: 50

Every year I set myself a Goodreads reading challenge. For the past couple of years, I’ve aimed to read 50 books and managed to achieve this. Some of my book blogger friends have read 200+ books this year. I think I’ll stick with my lower target of 50 for 2017! 

Here is a selection of the books I’ve read and enjoyed this year.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Using Numerology to Discover Your Life Purpose #BookReview


Numerology has always fascinated me, and I’ve read as many books on the subject as I could find. I worked out my life path number quite a few years ago (it’s a 3 by the way) and found the description of a three-person to be pretty spot on for me.

When Hay House brought out their ‘Hay House Basics’ series, I jumped at the chance to add their version of Numerology to my growing collection. Numerology: Discover Your Future, Life Purpose and Destiny from your Birth Date and Name by Michelle Buchanan is just one book in a growing catalogue of back to basics mind, body, and spirit books ranging from Angels to the Qabalah, and Astrology to Tarot.

The author, Michelle Buchanan is a numerologist and Certified Law of Attraction Practitioner who studied numerology for more than 20 years. She was formerly the spiritual counselor for Woman’s Day magazine in New Zealand, as well as the resident numerologist for Television New Zealand’s Good Morning. Michelle has a numerology show, Numerology Guidance, on Hay House Radio and provides personal readings, workshops, and seminars to clients all over the world. She is also a talented singer/songwriter and dedicated mother of two based in Auckland, New Zealand. You can find Michelle on her website HERE.

With a difficult couple of years behind me, I’m had periods of feeling out of sorts, and a bit lost. I am still trying to find my way and recapture that passion and drive that has motivated me for so long. Using numerology to discover my life purpose and destiny seemed like a good place to start! Would it show me an alternative route, or confirm that I’m still on my proper path? Armed with a notebook to jot down the relevant dates and corresponding numbers I began.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Top 10 Tips to Get Motivated for Christmas


I’m typing up this post as the rain hammers against the window. My cat is curled up in my ‘in’ tray, and I’ve accumulated several empty mugs as I make coffee after coffee in a bid to stay warm.

Yesterday, I realised we only have a few weeks until Christmas, and I haven’t even started to think about buying gifts, sending cards, or arranging various seasonal events. My regular gym sessions have also dwindled to an ‘hmm, I’ll go tomorrow,' and my healthy eating regime now involves far too many Jaffa cakes (they’re orange, so technically they count as your five a day, don’t they?).

When it’s cold and wet, our motivation to get even the most basic tasks done isn’t as powerful as it was in the warmer months. Looking out of the window this morning I knew I’d be staying in the comfort of my writing cave for the day.  

However, Christmas looms, and if I want to prepare that delicious turkey dinner, eat copious amounts of mince pies, and delight my family with thoughtful gifts, then I need to get organised. So, how am I going to do it when my motivation has shrivelled up in the cold?

I’ve got a few tips to help motivate you at this time of year:

Monday, 14 November 2016

Top 5 Tips for Small Business Networking



Networking is a relatively new thing for me. When I ran my holistic health business, I worked five days and two evenings a week, so any spare time I had I divided between family, friends, and my writing. Attending any of the networking groups in my local area was an impossibility. Once I closed that business and focused on my books and blog content, I discovered a necessity to get out from the home office and speak to another human being.

Working from home, in any capacity, has a host of benefits, from holding a conference call in your pyjamas, to saving hours on a long commute. Many mums are starting small businesses from their kitchen table to enable them to keep childcare costs to a minimum and reap the advantages of being around for their child’s early years.

With the influx of mumpreneurs, the need for friendly and supportive networking groups is more important than ever. Women empower women; it’s a beautiful thing to witness and an even more satisfying thing to do, or indeed, receive.

The groups I attend primarily are targeted

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Re-Balance Your Life by Looking Back #MondayBlogs

It's been a hectic week at Resolution Challenge HQ. As many of you know, the month of November is when I take part in the annual NaNoWriMo contest - National Novel Writing Month. This is my fourth year of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days and so far (6 days in) I'm at just over 13,000 words. It's shaping up to be a good project, and one I hope to share with you all next year once the edits are done.

I'm delighted to have found my mojo again for writing motivational non-fiction, and this is evident in the exciting projects I've got coming up. My mind is bubbling over with ideas, and I’m struggling to get them all written down before my batty brain forgets them. There are several projects in the developmental stages and one in the OMG this might actually happen phase! I’ll keep you posted.

It’s nice to be feeling like my old self again. It’s been a main aim of mine for a while now, to try and

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.

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:

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.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

How to Change Bad Habits

Why change the habit of a lifetime? I have no idea who said that, but it has certainly resonated with me over the years. Why indeed? Our poor brain categorises our actions as habits so that we don’t end up with mental fatigue. Having to make constant decisions depletes our energy and it’s, therefore, a welcome relief if there are habits in place to make that decision making easier.

But what if you really want to change a habit? Maybe it’s a bad habit that makes you feel guilty or sad, or perhaps you want to create a good habit and have it stick as a regular in your life. How on earth do you go about this?

I joined a gym yesterday. Don’t panic; I will NOT be clambering on any rowing machines or sprinting down a treadmill anytime soon. I joined so that I could utilise their swimming pool and abundance of yoga and Pilates classes (the added bonus of a coffee shop swung the deal!). I want to create a good, healthy habit in my daily life and meet like-minded people.