A few days ago I was working with a client. She was wondering what she needed to do to stay focused on achieving her goal, when oh so often, things were standing in her way. She is struggling with two challenges:

  • She believes she often doesn’t have a choice, and

  • She believes that progress always has to be big to be considered as such.

I introduced her to the notion of conscious choices and the principle of progress.

Making conscious choices:
We spend our entire life making choices, and those choices are what got us where we are today.

Let’s take the example of a friend of mine who many years ago went on holiday in France where she met her Kiwi hubby to be. She is now living in New Zealand with him, and they have two beautiful kids. What would her life look like should she have chosen to go on holiday to Italy instead?

The only challenge is that most people are letting these choices happen to them by default instead of taking an active part in them. The matter of the fact is that we always have a choice. That doesn’t mean that all choices we have are choices we like. Sometimes we have to choose between something we don’t like and something we don’t like. But the fact that we are the one deciding which one of the two we are choosing will give it a total different weight. It puts us in the driver’s seat. It means we are in charge, we decide. We no longer let others and circumstances decide for us.

The principle of progress:
To measure progress, you need to know what your starting point is and what your destination is. Your first job, therefore, is to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

Once you have that, what you have to bear in mind is that any step, however small it is, is progress, as long as it is in the right direction.

But getting there is not always a straight line. You often have to course-correct, and that is something you will do by making conscious choices, but also by analyzing what didn’t work with what you did.

Remember Edison? It is being said that Edison created over 1000 light bulbs that did not work before he created one that did. These bulbs that didn’t work never were failures for him. He saw them as indications of options to eliminate so that he could progressively reach what he was looking for.

I’m giving you below two tips to help you put these two notions into action.

Tip for making conscious choices:
Every morning when you start your day (I do it when I wake up) set yourself an intention for that day. Consciously decide on something that you will do that day. It can be ‘project’ related (something like ‘today I will create the structure of my website’ or ‘I will contact ten prospective clients’). It can be personal growth related (such as ‘today I will take stock of the negative language I use’ or ‘today I will listen more than I speak’). These are only examples. The idea is that you make a very conscious choice and that you know why you make it.

Tip for the principle of progress (in relation with the conscious choice you made):
Every evening, ideally just before going to bed, review your day. Don’t do it mentally. Journal about it, and remind yourself of the intention you had set for that day.

Once you reconnected to that intention, ask yourself if you did what you had intended to.

  • If you did, congratulate yourself. You have all reasons to be proud, and that good feeling of pride is what will help you step out of your comfort zone tomorrow to work on a new intention again,

  • If you didn’t or not completely, don’t beat yourself up, finding good reasons why it ‘doesn’t work anyway’ is not going to help you progress. Instead, I’d like you to step into Edison’s shoes and ask yourself what you need to change, tweak, for it to work tomorrow.

From there, set a new intention for tomorrow that you will repeat to yourself when you wake up in the morning.

Rinse and repeat!

One little step after the other, as long as it is in the right direction, will get you where you want to be.

Enjoy the journey!

Repin it later

COMPLIMENTARY BREAKTHROUGH CONSULTATION
A year ago, when I seemed to have reached rock bottom because life had stood in the way, I met some amazing people who helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel again. Today, I am so grateful for what they did for me that I want to pay it back, and my way to do so is to offer you a one-hour free breakthrough consultation. You and I, one hour together to help you reassess your situation and see you walk away with some concrete action points! What do you think? Wouldn’t that motivate you again to make things happen in your life and business?

Book your breakthrough consultation with AnYes here

You were tired of the rat race. Your job, your responsibilities were no longer fulfilling you! You never had time for yourself, always running, and you kept thinking that there must be more to life than that.

When you had a chance, you decided to leave the corporate world to set up your own business. You were thrilled at the idea of running a business doing work you love. You could already picture it, the thriving results, the freedom it would give you and the life you would live!

A few years have passed. You wake up tired, you’re overwhelmed, easily irritated, frustrated, disappointed and let’s face it, on the brink of a burnout. Is that why you left the corporate world?

I’ve seen it too often and to be very honest I’ve been there myself at some point. How can it be that we recreate what we dread the most for ourselves ?

After so many years working with my clients (and reflecting upon what I had done myself) I’ve clearly identified two common trends leading to the same outcome:

  • You were driven by your passion but forgot to look into the business aspect of things. You set up your business, not realizing that doing work you love and running a business are two very different things that require complete different skill sets. The consequence is that the results aren’t there and that your business looks more like an expensive hobby than anything else. You’re working (too) hard, juggling with (too) many things to do, wondering what your next move should be amongst all the things that are on your to-do list.

  • You were driven by your business skills but forgot to connect to what is important to you. The financial results were quickly there. Now your business is thriving, but you seem to have lost yourself in the process. Your romantic life has turned into some drama. You’ve become estranged from your kids. You hardly have time to see your friends. You don’t have a social life anymore, and don’t even remember what the word self-care stands for.

Take a coin: scenario one is one side of it and scenario two is the other one. The coin can’t exist without its two sides.

You want a different result than the one you had so far? You can’t just set up your business without taking the time to balance who you are with what is important to you, to your life and business. If you do, you will re-create your own rat race, guaranteed!

If you’ve been reading thus far, you probably are eager to find out what you can do to change this situation. The good news is that there is a way. I know, I did it before and so did my clients. There is no magic wand, it won’t happen overnight, it will require some work, but the results will be there. All it takes is for you to:

  • Be clear about who you are and what is important to you,

  • Clear what stands in the way of your fulfillment and success by changing your mindset and shifting your relationship to money and success,

  • Up-leveling your relationship to yourself and others by putting yourself back at the center of your life

  • Re-assess your business so that it can actually support the life you desire

  • Implement the tools and systems to ensure you stay committed to it.

Decide to make it happen, take action and the results will be there! You will have a life again and be able to enjoy every moment of it!

Take our online assessment, if you you would like to know what is missing for your life and business to support each other.

You seemed to have it all!
The successful business or career, the family, the friends, the house (although, if you are completely honest with yourself, it wasn’t really fulfilling, something was nagging at you, something was missing) …

That is when life chose to knock you down: you lost someone dear to your heart, had to fight a life-threatening disease, left a toxic relationship, faced depression, lost your job or went through bankruptcy. Everything you had fell into pieces, and you may even have lost everything in the process! There you are, feeling lost and completely disoriented in what seems to be a bottomless well.

Believe me, I know what you are going through, as a matter of fact, the only thing I haven’t experienced myself from the above list is facing a serious disease. But I also know that there is a way to change that and that it is possible to make things happen again in your life and business. I know, because I have done it for myself!

But, let’s revert to you. In a situation like that you only have two choices:

1) look at your circumstances and continue to believe that the odds are against you.  As a result nothing will ever change, or,

2) reconsider all your choices in life and business and see this situation as an amazing opportunity to reinvent yourself!

 Let’s take a closer look at the second option:

Before life hit you, you were highly driven; you obviously had the skills and the needed competencies. You knew how to make things work for you. That hasn’t changed, so there is no reason for you not to succeed again! The thing is, back then you were missing a few pieces of the equation. You were not connecting the dots between you, your life and your business and that has ultimately hit you in the face.

 What it would take to for you to be successful again but this time with room for more meaning, more happiness and fulfillment?

Step 1 – Clarify who you are and what is important to you 
Caught as you were in your rat race to success, you weren’t connected to what was true to you. Now is the time to step back and reflect. Time to think about your values and your needs as well as your vision for your life and business. What would that change for you?

Step 2 – Clear what stands in the way of your success and fulfillment
Take a closer look at your mindset and at the lens through which you are viewing your life. How do you relate to money and success? What do you need to change to be fully in charge and make the conscious choices that will lead to your success and fulfillment?

Step 3 – Put yourself back at the center of your life 
If you are like most women I know, there is little to no room for yourself in your life. Now that you have identified your needs and values, what are the boundaries you can implement to ensure they are respected? How can you make your self-care such a priority that it has a positive impact on your relationship with yourself and others?

Step 4 – Reassess and up-level your business
Look at your current business model (or the one you had thought of if you haven’t set up your business yet). Who do YOU want to work with? What value do you bring to them and what services can you offer to ensure that you no longer trade time for dollars? What business model do you need to implement to ensure your business can sustain the life you desire?

Step 5 – Don’t let your business rule you and your life 
A business is a business, not an expensive hobby. You need to handle it as such, but if you don’t pay attention, you will quickly re-create the rat race you run away from when you were in corporate. What systems and tools can you implement to ensure you stay focused and on top of your business? What can you delegate so you spend your time only on activities where you add value?

Take our online assessment, if you you would like to know what is missing for your life and business to support each other.

Let’s recap what you have done so far

If you have followed my recommendations in part 1 of my “Get rid of the overwhelm” series (read them here) you should now have reconnected yourself to what is most important to you. You should also have started implementing some vital self-care moments in your life, and you are regularly reminding yourself that you don’t need to be wonder woman!

What are your various roles in life?

We all wear multiple hats. We can be a mother, a lover, a colleague, a business owner, a friend, etc. Step back and reflect: what do these roles mean to you? Which ones are most important? Once you’ve answered those questions, set a clear goal for each of them. Once more, the objective is for you always to be connected to what is most important to you.

What should you be focusing on?

In case you did not notice, there are 1440 minutes in a day, and that is the same for all of us. 1440 and not 1441. So guess what? If you want to add a minute, you need to take out another one; it is that simple!

 What you have to do though is know what to focus on first. 

In order to do that let’s first look at the meaning of the words important and urgent. I’m conscious that there are several official meanings but, in essence:

Urgent is something that requires immediate action whereas Important is something that requires serious attention because of the nature of the consequences if you don’t.

Step 1: Sort it by category
Let’s now go a bit further and look at all you have to do. I already see you shrink… the thought of it only stresses you out completely!
Take a deep breath! No one said you had to do it all (well some may have told you you should, but that simply isn’t true). What I will now ask you do to is to sort all items into four categories.

1) Everything that is Urgent & Important

2) Everything that is Important

3) Everything that is Urgent

4) Everything that is not Urgent nor Important

Be conscious that the things that fall under category 1 and 2 are usually things that you are responsible of whereas the nature of items listed under categories 3 and 4 is such that you can delegate them.

Example: It is your responsibility to write a proposal for a client (i.e. it is important). Once you’ve done it, the fact that the clients now needs to receive it urgently by Fedex (or so) is something that you can delegate to someone else.

If you are unsure what category applies, ask yourself: “What would happen if I don’t take care of it?” You will be very surprised how often nothing would happen at all!

Step 2: How much time do you need to work on it?

You have split your to-do list into four categories. You will, of course, be focusing first on category 1 (without forgetting category 2, or you might turn some of those items into category 1 items by lack of attention). Now evaluate ( realistically) the time needed for each topic.

Tip: According to Parkinson’s law “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. The more time you will give it, the more time you will need: set a time limit.

Step 3: Decide what you will work on based on the available time you have.

 Step 4: Block it on your calendar!

Step 5: Give your undivided attention to the task at hand
According to Carlson’s law our brain needs time to become fully concentrated on a topic. Each interruption, therefore, means returning to square one: loss of time, energy, and efficiency!

Take our online assessment, if you you would like to know what is missing for your life and business to support each other.

Overwhelm is not a fatality

OK, you are completely overwhelmed! You have no idea what you should be focusing on first, and you are busy, busy, busy… probably to prove to yourself that you are doing all it takes to move forward.

Let’s be clear, there is no one fit all solutions because we are all different and what works for me might not work for you. That being said, there are some very basic things you can implement. The truth is that most of the time you are the one standing in your own way (like I am the one standing in mine). I’m not going to say that it is easy but once you start implementing the tips I’m giving you, and once you start seeing the positive impact these changes will have on your life, you are going to love your new life!

Start with your “Why”

To be clear what your priorities are you first need to know what your larger life priorities are.
Have you ever given it a thought? Have you taken the time to step back and reflect what your higher purpose and goals in life are? If you haven’t, now is the time to start. Here is mine as an example:

“I believe that women can help shape a better world. That is why I’m on a mission to help women entrepreneurs design the thriving business that will sustain the lifestyle they desire thus being a role model of success and fulfillment for those around them”.

Found yours? Now post it somewhere where you will see it often enough to be reminded of it regularly.

Make self-care your priority

If you are like most women I know (and that is including myself), you tend to put others’ needs first. If you have time left for yourself, and let’s be clear most of the time there is none, you cannot even enjoy it because you feel guilty doing so. The result is that you are completely stressed out, overwhelmed and frustrated. I love to remind my clients of what we are being instructed on a plane: “in case of a depressurization in the cabin put your oxygen mask first” (and then only help those around you, that is including our children). How can you be of any use to others if you are falling apart?
I know what you are going to say: “I don’t have the time”, but be aware that at some point you are not only becoming less productive but you are even becoming counter-productive. So what is the point? Take a deep breath and take time for yourself, all those around you will be grateful for the result!

You don’t have to be perfect

Even if I recommend the “Wonder Women Pose” to my clients (read more about it here) that does not mean you have to be a Wonder Woman!
The first thing I recommend you do is to have a closer look at the various roles you are having in your life (a mother, a lover, a friend, a colleague…). Then for each of those roles find your “Why”. As we did in the first step, knowing what motivates you in each of those areas is what will allow you to be clear about what to accept or not in each role.

There are many more things to help you overcome overwhelm, but these three are foundational!

Read part 2 of this topic here

Take our online assessment here, if you you would like to know what is missing for your life and business to support each other.

What luxury really means

Over the last few days I’ve kept bumping into the word “Luxury”…
Although I know what it means to me, I thought that it might be worth elaborating on it a bit to find out what it means to you.

You see, for me, luxury is directly linked to the notion of self-worth and has nothing to do per se with any monetary value.

Anything that gives me the feeling of being exceptional – i.e. being worth it – is luxury to me.
Luxury can be hiding in very small details, it is an attitude, a mindset that is linked to mindfulness, because if you are not mindful of what is, how can you appreciate what you are having and what you are gifting yourself with?

What luxury really means
October 8, 2014
Over the last few days I’ve kept bumping into the word “Luxury”…
Although I know what it means to me, I thought that it might be worth elaborating on it a bit to find out what it means to you.

You see, for me, luxury is directly linked to the notion of self-worth and has nothing to do per se with any monetary value.

Anything that gives me the feeling of being exceptional – i.e. being worth it – is luxury to me.
Luxury can be hiding in very small details, it is an attitude, a mindset that is linked to mindfulness, because if you are not mindful of what is, how can you appreciate what you are having and what you are gifting yourself with?

Luxury can of course be a beautiful and very expensive Chanel handbag or Louboutin pair of shoes, but beforemost luxury is taking the time to appreciate what is:

Luxury is the beautiful flowers you bought for yourself or that you choose carefully in your garden,
Luxury is relaxing in a scented bath while listening to music you like,
Luxury is taking the time to enjoy the meal you are sharing with people you love,
Luxury is a picnic but with champagne (in a beautiful glass of course, not a plastic cup),
Luxury is drinking a minimum of 2 liters of water every day because my body is thanking me for it, but
Luxury is also drinking wine when I feel like it,
Luxury is being grateful for all the good, the love and the beauty I am bringing into my life,
Luxury is filling my life with random acts of kindness,
Luxury is feeling beautiful because that is what makes you beautiful,
Luxury is stepping into your power to be who you are meant to be,
Luxury is being elegant in worn out jeans because of the confident way you are moving and filling the room with your presence,

Luxury is that French “Je ne sais quoi” that French women have that encompasses all of the above and so much more.

Luxury is being and feeling worth it!

So, how are you bringing luxury into your life?

Take our online assessment, if you you would like to know what is missing for your life and business to support each other.

Routines to help you shine

As your life has unfolded a lot of negative emotions such as fear, shame, guilt have shaped who you are today and quite often that has translated into you feeling small, and hiding away from who you truly are and deserve to be.

Start by (re)introducing a few routines in your day so that progressively you can start reconnecting to your essence and allow your brilliance to be seen.

Express your gratitude daily
Tell the people around you that you appreciate them. Give thanks for the food you eat and the roof that you sleep under. Smile. Gratitude magnifies your feelings of goodwill, helping you stay focused on the good stuff.

Move your body
Sweating and moving for just 20 minutes a day has been clinically shown to improve your mood & boost your health. Try a yoga class, ride your bike around town, or go for a swim, and you’ll easily chase away the grumps.

Meditate every morning
Spending time in silence reconnects you with your source of self-awareness, self-assuredness & happiness. It’s also been shown to greatly reduce stress & improve communication.

What will YOU do to shine a little brighter TODAY