Another Way To Kickstart The New Year

Another Way To Kickstart The New Year

Why I’m giving resolutions the 🖕

Here’s a Quick Q: What does January mean to you?

  • A fresh start? Intangible excitement and anticipation? The feeling that ‘this year everything will be different…’
  • Resolutions and goal setting? Dusting off that yoga mat. Scrolling through your phone contacts to see who you missed last year—convinced that this will be the time for a long lost dinner date… 
  • Or… short days and long dark evenings? (And the silent dread of that post-holiday credit card statement arriving in  the mailbox.)

Perhaps, if you’re honest, it’s a mixture of all three… 

But, right now, whether waiting in line at the supermarket or scrolling your phone, all you see are headlines screaming at you to—

Crush 2023!

Hit The New Year Running!

Find Your Purpose! 

New Year, New You, right?

Erm, wrong.

Now, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer on all this. Sure, it works for some of us (even though 80% of resolutions are forgotten by February). And reinventing ourselves positively towards the future can only be a good thing, right?

Well, truth is I find this all a little nauseating. 

Take ‘finding your purpose’ for example… Dig a little deeper, and chances are you’ll discover purpose in many aspects of your life. (Because truth is, in midlife? What your purpose is today, may not be tomorrow.)

So, if we’re not talking about #Resolutions, #GoalSetting or #FindingYourWow what on Earth can we do to kickstart January? 

Well, I believe it’s time for a non-traditional route…

Yup. It’s time to talk pleasure and joy.

And there are 3 big reasons why this is SO important for women in midlife: 

  1. Much has shifted and changed in our lives. It’s easy to lose sight of what really brings us pleasure and joy—when we were busy checking ALL the boxes we were told to… 

2. In putting everyone else first, we rarely give ourselves time to honor what truly makes us happy. 

3. We’ve forgotten how to get in touch with pleasure or joy. Yet in the doldrums of winter, feeling burnt out, an emphasis on both can help you climb over that hump—and into spring. 

So, how can YOU unlock more pleasure and joy in your life? 

Well, let me ask you 3 simple questions:

  • What fills you up?
  • What warms your heart?
  • What makes you laugh? 

Now, my guess is, you’ve spent so long with your own needs on the backburner that it’s hard for you to extend yourself—and truly answer these questions. 

It might be helpful to ask yourself, ‘when do I find myself smiling? What makes me laugh out loud?’ These simple cues can pinpoint what makes you tick, and what actually lights you up… 

Now, take these cues and translate them into tangible things that actually bring you pleasure and joy.

For example, hanging out with my dogs brings me tremendous joy. For you it might be watching the sunset, connecting with friends, curling up with a good book, sex…(!) 

Fact: uncovering pleasure and joy leads to greater happiness in our lives. 

Because here’s the deal:

Life is challenging. But you don’t have to sit in the heaviness 24/7. 

Finding joy gives you a chance for reprieve, to regroup, and fortify your stamina…

And then, if you want to put it towards those goals? Be my guest 😉

XO

Holly

P.S. It’s not unusual to feel disconnected, feeling it’s impossible to uncover what brings you pleasure and joy in life? No worries. Schedule a free discovery call—and I’ll help you discover what lights you up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    How To Discover What You Really Need

    How To Discover What You Really Need

    Time To Take A Step Back 

    Well, here we are, in the grip of the holiday season. And as you wander round the store, blinded by glitter and lights…

    And tick off the endless list of decorating the house, gift wrapping, writing cards and juggling family, it’s no shocker if you’re feeling more than a little —

    TIRED.

    Tired of the hustle…

    Tired of the pressure to do everything, be everything: Matriarch of your family. Superwoman to your friends. CEO of your life… 

    Well, if that resonates, let me tell you: you’re not alone. 

    I think we can all agree that the events of the last few years—pandemic, healthcare, remote social relationships (not to mention the recession) have left us tired, frayed and fractured. 

    And here’s the honest truth…

    I don’t know any woman right now, who’s where she thought she’d be. Any woman who hit her business goals (or personal ones for that matter!)

    Yep. It’s been a tough year for most of us. But while money goals are important, the truth is they’re also secondary…

    Secondary to true wellness, happiness, and having a multi-dimensional, holistic approach to your life. 

    And that’s where the Wheel of Life comes in…

    Now, the Wheel of Life is a renowned and respected coaching tool, in part because it’s so valuable, simple and doable. 

    It will help you:  

    >> Reflect on where to start—so you have a baseline when setting goals

     >> Identify what’s important to you in life (and likewise, what’s not)

    >> Pinpoint what’s sapping your energy. What you should pay attention to—and what you can let go of.

    Ready to get started? << DOWNLOAD YOUR WHEEL OF LIFE HERE >>

    So, how does it work?

    Well, it takes 8 key aspects of your life—from finances to family and friends—and asks you to rate them on a level of satisfaction from 1-10.

    Then, when you connect the dots, you have a clear (if bumpy!) picture of where your gaps are, what you’ve left on the back burner, and what may be less important to you.

    And this is crucial, because as we know, life never runs smoothly—and neither does the Wheel of Life. (In fact if your wheel is a perfect, wide circle of ‘10’ under each category, I’d suggest you may not be being entirely honest with yourself…)

    Now, when you have your wheel I’d urge you to take a step back and consider:

    • Which areas need your attention?
    • How have your priorities shifted? 
    • What dynamic could be limiting you, even if it seems less important?

    Because the first step is to discover what you need—before you can make it happen.     

    << DOWNLOAD YOUR WHEEL OF LIFE HERE >>

    Rooting for you,

    XO

    Holly

    P.S. If you’d like to take this one step further and unpack your results with me, all details of how we can work together are right here. Nothing would make me happier than to put you back on the path to true wellness. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Instant Clarity

    Instant Clarity

    The Secret…Knowing Your Core Values 

    Wow. Maybe it’s me, but every year it seems no sooner have we put the cap on the sunblock, we’re closing the door on the last trick or treater… 

    And before we know it, our attention turns to Thanksgiving, holidays and the endless whirlwind of present buying, baking and entertaining. *Phew.

    Yup. In this crazy run up to the holidays, it can be SO easy to fall prey to the needs of other people—and neglect all those areas that have the biggest impact in your life. 

    Meaning? 

    By the time your in-laws are round, and drinks are flowing, you can feel as burned out as that bird in the oven!

    So, the question is—how can we stay sane, productive, and successful, even when our attention is pulled in a million-and-one directions? 

    The secret lies in setting our values.  

    Now, a Values Assessment is something I use with ALL my clients—and something I encourage them to come back to, at least annually. 

    And the run up to the new coming year is the perfect time for this, because it forces us to turn our attention to ourselves, and lays the groundwork for January’s inevitable desire to set goals and start afresh. 

    Why should I define my core values? What makes this so important?

    Core values are the principles we choose to live by—those highly personal points of reference that emotionally affect and inspire us to take action. Here are the 3 main reasons to define your core values: 

    1. Shifting Priorities

    Here’s the deal. When you do get super clear on what’s MOST important to you, you’ll develop an actionable, meaningful ‘to-do’ list that aligns with your core values.

    And this is particularly important in midlife. Because so much of our lives have shifted, and altered—it’s easy to realize, what once was important is really immaterial (or at least, might need some tweaking!)

    For example, if you asked me five years ago what my core values were, I would’ve said ‘accomplishment’ and ‘productivity.’ But not any more… 

    Truth be told, I’ve replaced accomplishments with growth. Because for me, life isn’t so much about achieving anymore, it’s about growing into a better version of myself.

    Let’s look at some other examples…  

    For you, knowledge might be extremely important. So setting aside time to study, for private reading, and being involved in programs will become part of your weekly schedule.

    If health and wellbeing is your priority, it makes sense that you’ll eat right, exercise well, and get the sleep you need to thrive with optimum energy and vitality. 

    In short, all these things allow us to help organize and prioritize our time—but first we must discover which values are right for us.

    2. Making Decisions

    So often in life we find ourselves torn when making decisions. We agonize over the ‘right’ course of action to take, big or small. And when you throw stress and overwhelm into the mix, finding a resolution can become convoluted, and unnecessarily painful.

    Because the truth is, us women? We can do a number on ourselves! We can allow self-doubt to creep in, and don’t trust ourselves enough… 

    But we do know our values. 

    And when we line up our decisions with what we want to do, and how we want to show up—well, that’s when we discover what’s truly important. 

    I once had a client who lived a very corporate lifestyle. To keep herself aligned, she laminated her core values, and kept them with her at all times. And when she’d go to meetings, or have difficult client calls, she’d check in with them. 

    Why? It helped her clarify how she wanted to show up, and the right way for her to move forward.  

    3. Kickstarting Your Why

    Now, I could’ve said ‘motivation’ here… But I’ve said it before, motivation is something we cultivate, not something that just happens. 

    And if you wait for it, you’ll be waiting forever! 

    If we’re honest, I think a lot of us are confused. We’re living by other people’s standards, or agendas—and we never really take stock in what’s most important to us. 

    But when you articulate your why, now that will REALLY light a fire under your goals and objectives…

    How Do I Complete The Values Assessment

    Creating a list of values is personal work, and it’s work just for you.

    The first thing to know is, this isn’t a quick exercise. (And my list of values has gotten longer over the years, as clients have added to it!)

    But, as you’ll see it is an important, life changing one. 

    First, download and print out your Values Assessment here. 

    Then, find a quiet space to work uninterrupted, and take time for the following:

    1. Take a pencil and cross off everything that doesn’t resonate with you.
    2. Circle the values that do resonate. 
    3. Take these words and create up to five subgroups. Work intuitively.
    4. You will find within each group there are words that nail it for you, that encompass that subgroup. These are your core values. 

    So, How Do I Apply This To My Life?

    The true benefit in the Values Assessment comes from applying it to your life, and this can be challenging. Many women come to me and just cannot see a correlation between their goals and their values… 

    So that’s why, if you show me that you’ve completed the assessment, I’ll offer a free complimentary 30 minute breakdown of your results—where I tie each value down to your goals, and what you REALLY want from this next phase of life. 

    Ready? I can’t wait to see what it uncovers for you!

    Rooting for you,

    XO 

    Holly  

    P.S. Missed the link above? No sweat: download your free Values Assessment here

    And remember, once you’ve completed it, please contact me for a free complimentary 30 minute breakdown of your results.

     

     

    Want Massive Impact On Your Relationships?

    Want Massive Impact On Your Relationships?

    Hearing vs. Listening

    Hey there!

    If you have kids to keep tabs on you’re probably much like I used to be: 

     The friend who’s always saying “Ooops, I’ll just be a sec” while taking out your phone in the middle of a conversation…

     — nodding, eyes rolling, while the voice on the end of the line sniffles through another box of Kleenex —

     … and then finishing with an exaggerated “Sorry, so sorry” as you place your phone on the table, face down to mark that you’re BACK. 

     Here, now. Present. Listening.

     (Of course you don’t need to have a heartbroken daughter to be that friend. The same habits of distraction work perfectly with texts or anything you MUST get to on your phone right now.) 

     But, here’s the truth of that scenario: I wasn’t ‘listening’ to anybody.  

     Not the friend I’d met for tequila and gossip. Or the daughter who needed my attention. 

     And I have a feeling that this will resonate with you, because in our crazy frenetic world, listening falls short on our list of priorities—yet, it’s a HUGE piece with my clients.

     Because how you choose to listen has a direct correlation with how you choose to show up in the world—and a massive impact on your relationships. 

     So, let’s start by unpacking the 3 main levels of listening, with a rolling example: 

     >> Subjective Listening

    At this level, listening is based on the agenda or needs of the listener. Whatever is said is heard through the lens of the listener and/or how it relates to the listener. It rarely satisfies the person who’s speaking, because they’re unlikely to feel heard…

     Speaker: ‘I’m really upset today. This project’s falling apart.’ 

    Subjective response: ‘Yeah, I hate when that happens. My day isn’t going so well either…’ 

    >> Objective Listening

    In this level, the listener is completely focused on the person who’s speaking. There are NO thoughts about how any information relates personally to the listener. This level is very effective, but skirts over the issue…

     Speaker: ‘I’m really upset today. This project’s falling apart.’ 

    Objective response: ‘Hmmm. It certainly seems like you’re concerned that things aren’t going as they should be…’

     >> Intuitive Listening

    At this level, the listener hears all sensory components and intuitively connects to the speaker’s real message. The listener pays attention to not only what the speaker is saying, but also to their tone of voice, energy level, or feelings. 

     Speaker: ‘I’m really upset today. This project is falling apart.’ 

    Intuitive response: ‘Oh no, what’s going on?? Sounds like you’re really invested in this project and your efforts aren’t being reflected so far. Is there more you can do?’

     In life, you’ll listen at all three levels. You’re human! It’s inevitable. 

     But learning to truly listen to what others say is the difference between being a good communicator or a dynamic communicator. 

     And by becoming aware of your level of listening, you can take steps to move yourself to the deepest level…

     In the third example above, the listener also paid attention to what was NOT being said. Intuitive listening is hearing ‘between the lines’ and tuning into what’s really being said. It’s the most powerful form of listening and allows the listener to really connect with the speaker.

     Because, here’s the truth… 

     It can be a profound experience when someone ACTUALLY listens to what you’re saying. 

     So, I guess you’re wondering—how can you become a more intuitive listener? 

    Well, here are my top 5 quick tips to actively move up through those levels of listening: 

    1. Maintain eye contact. When you’re looking someone in the eye, you have no choice but to pay attention. (And there will be no question about whether you are!)

    2. Listen with a beginner’s mindset. When we’re new to a situation we pay greater attention to the details, and are truly present in the moment. Conversely we take for granted the comfort level we have with people and situations we’re familiar with.

     So next time your partner complains about their day, stop and listen to them with an open mind and heart.

    3. Don’t interrupt the speaker. Save your questions and comments until a person  finishes talking, and you’re able to absorb what they are saying.

    4. Be attentive to non-verbal cues. Paying attention to what a person doesn’t say is as important as being attentive to their words. Look for non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and posture to get the full gist of what the person is conveying.

    5. Rephrase what’s being said to you: (This one is a coach’s tip!) Once the person’s finished speaking, rephrase in your own words what you believe they’re sharing with you, to confirm you understand them correctly. 

    For example, you might say: “It sounds like you’re saying […] am I on target?” or “From what I’m hearing […] is that about right?”

    Never underestimate the value in a deeper level of listening! Not only will the listener feel validated, but you’ll get SO much more from your relationships…  

    (Believe me, it’s in these moments where rapport is built, trust is established, conflict is resolved, and true success is created.)

    So, next time you’re out for lunch with an old friend and your phone goes—ignore it. Instead, look them in the eye, make them feel heard… 

     … And tell your daughter you’ll call her back, when you have the space to actually listen, and give her words the attention they truly deserve. 

     XO

    Holly 

     P.S. Did you know the average person’s rate of listening is 400-550 words per minute, while our speech runs at 110-160? Crazy, huh? Any of us can get distracted or lose focus… But, if you know someone whose mind wanders more than most, forward them this post. 😉 

     

    Presence In Your Moments??

    Presence In Your Moments??

    Mindfulness..what is all the hype about?

    I’ll bet the men in your life are pretty in awe of your ability to multitask… 

    Writing up shopping lists. Helping your daughter through her latest heartbreak. Running a Fortune 500…

    (Okay, very few of us are in the last bracket. But you get the picture…)

    For years we’ve been in a constant state of flux. GO GO GO!

    And now? Maybe it’s just me but in line at the supermarket, all the headlines I see on Elle or Cosmo are… telling me to slow down. 

    Train Your Mind, Transform Your Life. 

    3 Secrets To Mindful Eating. 

    Mindful Menstruation: Here’s How It Works

    Huh?! Well, at least I don’t need to worry about the last one… 😉

    Seriously ladies, this change in tempo? It’s kind of comical… But such an important piece for our wellbeing. 

    That’s why, this month I’m tackling the subject of Mindfulness. What it is…

    And why you don’t have to be a yogi master to practice it…

    So, let’s start at the top. What is Mindfulness? 

    By definition, mindfulness is a quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment. Free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.

    And there are sooo many different ways to practice it… 

    Meditation is the formal mindfulness practice you’re probably aware of. In fact I’d even go so far as to say, it’s a superpower. 

    Slowing your brain has been shown to thicken the pre-frontal cortex, managing higher order brain function. In other words, it increases your awareness, concentration, and decision making…

    Which in turn, plays an important role in our emotional regulation, and helps us to create a pause so we’re not hijacked by our emotions—and less reactive in this crazy stressful world we’re living in.

    (Plus, studies show how we can lose up to 10 IQ points and close to 2 hours in a day to daily distractions! Crazy, right?) 

    Informal mindfulness on the other hand, is where we consciously bring a quality of attunement, attention and awareness to all areas of our life. Whether that be with a conversation with our child or friend, driving in the car, or just savouring the taste of a good meal.

    The truth is, you don’t have to be a blissed out guru to feel the benefits of mindfulness in your everyday life… 

    And if the thought of meditation feels a little alien or overwhelming, you’re not alone… 

    (In fact, when I started practicing I literally had a piece of paper on the floor in my office—that I had to step over—that would remind me to meditate!)

    Because here’s the secret… let the habit grow organically. Ease, mindfulness into your life, so you can feel the benefits and it becomes second nature to you.  

    So, here’s a sneak peek at my 7 day Informal Mindfulness Challenge: 

    1. Pick at least one typical daily activity per day. It may be brushing your teeth, getting dressed in the morning, walking your dog, eating a meal, walking to the mailbox…
    2. Take a few mindful deep breaths. Take note of what is happening for you right in the here and now as you move into the activity. 
    3. Proceed with the activity as if it is the most important thing in the world, with great curiosity and care. 
    4. As you do the activity tune into all your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, feel tactilely? 
    5. Just do this one thing, no multi-tasking, only single tasking here. Instead of trying to just get it done quickly so you can move on to something else, invest 100% of your effort on that chosen activity. And as best you can keep your full attention on what you’re doing. 

    Every time your mind wanders off, simply notice, do not judge it or yourself for wandering off (this is NORMAL) and just simply return your attention back to your breath and the activity. 

    Keep returning to the present moment over and over again even if it seems like it’s your 100th time. Some find it helpful to say a few guided words silently to themselves, for example: 

    ‘I am now talking to my daughter…’ 

    ‘The water feels hot on my skin as I am washing the dishes…’ 

    ‘The air is cold as I walk to the mailbox…’ 

    The more you do this. The more you become aware of your surroundings, what you’re feeling, tasting and touching, the more you’ll notice something remarkable… 

    It seeps into everything you do. The more you’ll stop and be in the moment. 

    Since I started this practice I’ve become SO much more present in my relationships. With my husband. With my children. 

    Because ladies, ask yourself this…

    Don’t you deserve to be more present in your life? Don’t you deserve to simply enjoy yourself, stop and smell the roses? Like, if not now, when?!

    FACT: No-one ever laid on their deathbed, and felt proud because they’d ticked off everything on their to-do list…

    No, you want to be able to say: I was present…

    For my conversations with my son.

    For walking the dogs. Traveling. Exploring the world. Swimming in the ocean. 

    I think you owe yourself that much.

    XO

    Holly

    P.S. Any Mindfulness practice can feel overwhelming when we start. Remember, it’s okay if your mind wanders—so long as you bring it back! I’d love to hear how you get on. Hit reply and let me know…

     

     

     

    Joy, Happiness, Confidence-you choose!

    Joy, Happiness, Confidence-you choose!

    Unlock Your Superpower…

    Maybe too much information…?

    But, if I hear my freakin’ doctor tell me one more time—‘Holly, your vaginal walls are thinning because you’re getting older…’

    I mean sheesh. Seriously? Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate that.  

    Let’s just add that to the endless list of midlife ‘fixes’ that you’re never quite prepared for: 

     >> The low-estrogen cream that’s $90 a pop to stop those damn urinary tract infections… 

     >> Figuring out whether to ramp it up in your career—or lay low till retirement… 

     >> Turning to your husband and thinking ‘what’s next?’ as you wave the kids off to college… 

     Yeah. There are a million-and-one reasons why midlife gets a bad rap—but I’m not having any of it. 

    And neither should you.

    Let me perform a little test here, and ask you a question…

    How could you move more proactively today, towards your future best self? 

    Please, take a moment to picture. And lean into your gut reaction.

    Now, let me guess… Are you mentally listing all things you need to ‘fix’ about yourself, or your circumstances? 😉

    If so, you’re not alone. It’s how nearly every woman I ask answers this question…

    But this knee-jerk reaction isn’t gonna serve you. 

    Because the truth is it’s only through nurturing our strengths, NOT correcting our shortcomings—that we can actually experience growth, and get to where we want to be in life. 

    And identifying how to lean into our strengths—those core characteristics that come most naturally to us—is the key to reaching our goals. 

    FACT: There’s a huge amount of research over the past 15 years on the value of using our strengths to feel more fulfilled, live a higher quality of life, and have much more fun at work and home.

    Don’t just take my word for it! Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, says that for a person to be truly happy and live a meaningful life, that person must recognize their personal strengths—and use these strengths for the greater good.

    (It’s a stance that Forbes, Gallup and the VIA Institute on Character are also taking pretty seriously, advising parents to focus on their children’s strengths, not filling an imaginary skills gap in their ‘weakness.’) 

    Bottomline: If we’re to take Seligman’s advice, we should spend time trying to figure out these personal strengths—what we were born to do—without wasting time on making things harder for ourselves.  

    So, that’s why I’m making it super easy for you to do just that… 

    And developed a Midlife Advantage Quiz to help YOU shine a light on your own unique superpowers—and leverage your strengths to navigate midlife on your own terms.

    In it you’ll discover a personalized roadmap to:  

    • Swap the ‘I thought I’d be further ahead’ nonsense we ALL revert to, with ‘I’m open to feeling more happiness now,’ so you can live life as an opportunity (versus just existing).
    • Feel more motivated than ever to shift your energy, make the changes you want in your life and find more purpose and fulfillment 
    • Handle life’s disruptions head-on, start navigating life on your terms, and do ALL the things that might’ve scared you in the past—because I’m not letting you leave this world with regrets!

    Plus, I’ll also let you into some secret insights from my own life along the way… 

    Because, I’m telling you—leaning into your strengths is a waaay more fulfilling way to live than endlessly trying to fix your life. Or popping another $90 on low-estrogen cream… 😉

    TAKE THE QUIZ NOW….just press here!

    XO

    Holly

     P.S. Once you get your results, I’d LOVE to know how they resonated with you. Please reply back, tell me what you got, and if I nailed it.