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What are non-negotiables? They’re the things we do every day (or thereabouts) to ensure we can have a healthy and productive life. They’re the little routines we can’t live without and that keep us on track with regard to productivity, health and happiness.

In this episode Carly and I discuss what our personal non-negotiables are and these include:

  • Daily exercise
  • Scheduling out our work days in advance
  • Chill time at night
  • And much more

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available. You can also support the show via Patreon

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

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Confidence – it’s such a tricksy beast. Is it a case of either you’ve got it or you don’t? Carly and I aren’t sure because we’re both naturally confident people – but we’ve had our run-ins with a lack of it too.

Either way, neither of us a big fan of the whole ‘fake it till you make it’ thing when it comes to confidence so instead we cover the following topics in our quest to help you find yours:

  • Therapy
  • Seeking connection
  • Checking for bigger issues
  • Physical challenges
  • Helping others
  • Competency
  • Asking for feedback
  • Getting over yourself
  • Fixing the things you don’t like about yourself
  • The importance of confidence in women’s careers

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available. You can also support the show via Patreon

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

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Today’s episode takes a two-pronged approach to decluttering:

  • First we tell you how to get rid of all the crap
  • Then we tell you how to stop it coming back in

Because the secret shame of any decluttering effort is the fact that when we’re getting rid of crap, most of it’s ending up landfill.

Things we talk about in this episode:

  • Using things up before replacing them or getting new ones
  • Playing the Minimalist Game
  • Carly’s ‘Big List of Things You Need To Get Rid Of’
  • Language to use on yourself
  • Reframing your thinking
  • The Empty Shelf Principle
  • Storage bans
  • Weekly declutters
  • How to do a wardrobe edit
  • Borrow instead of buying (and get to know your neighbours)

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available. You can also support the show via Patreon

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

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If Carly and I are going to jump on board a bandwagon or fangirl a movement or person, we have strict criteria.

We need them to be inclusive, realistic, responsible and non-dogmatic. By which we mean:

The average person can do it. i.e. There are no significant barriers to entry (which rules of most of the stuff Gwyneth Paltrow recommends on Goop).

The advice has been tested and researched and while it might not necessarily work for everyone, it definitely does no harm if you try it.

There’s an understanding that there are many ways to come at any given problem (i.e. We don’t like movements where those who spruik it like to think it’s the only thing and everything else sucks.)

With that in mind, we whizz through more than 20 (yes, 20!) things and people we’re totally on board with. I’ve done my best to link them all up below:

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available. You can also support the show via Patreon

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

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When Carly and I first started this podcast, we thought we were really different (hence the podcast’s name – Straight and Curly). As it turns out, when it comes to productivity, we’re pretty much the same person. We do differ in one major area, however, and that’s the fact that I have kids and Carly doesn’t.

This week, Carly throws me under the bus and demands to know my best productivity tips for parents. Meanwhile, she takes great joy in sharing some randomly bad tips she’s found while searching the internet. In this episode we cover:

  • Morning routines
  • Limiting extracurricular activities
  • How doctors in the 20s blamed colic on ‘angry mothers’
  • Giving kids responsibilities
  • Lowering your standards
  • Old wives tales about calling ambulances when your child is hiccuping
  • Planning
  • Weighing up the payoffs

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available. You can also support the show via Patreon

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

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We all have those things in life that make things that little bit (or a lot) better, and that we can’t live without. In this episode Carly and I share some of the things that are making our lives infinitely easier at the moment including:

  1. Moving house
  2. F45
  3. Ponstan
  4. Beeswax wraps
  5. Meal planning
  6. Kelly’s 2-pad system
  7. Nannies
  8. Bike riding
  9. Book coaching 
  10. The Good Wife

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available. You can also support the show via Patreon

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

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Running 5km faster than you ever have.

Getting a promotion at work.

Being able to harvest veggies and herbs from your very own garden.

In life, any satisfying or worthwhile achievement, no matter how big or small, comes from both ‘doing the hard thing’ and doing it on an ongoing and consistent basis:

  • Turning up for running training five times a week for eight consecutive weeks.
  • Going beyond what’s expected of you at the office, month after month.
  • Weeding, fertilising and watering your garden every day.

If you’re having trouble ‘doing the hard’ thing associated with the sense of satisfaction you’re aiming for, chances are you’ve decided you have a willpower problem.

Or that you’re hopeless.

The truth is, neither applies to you.

What does probably apply is this: you’re making life harder for yourself than it needs to be. Which means you’re making it harder for yourself to ‘do the hard thing’.

Here are seven things you could be doing that make it easier to do the hard thing:

1. Check your ‘why’

What’s the ‘why’ behind wanting to run your fastest ever 5km/ getting the promotion/ harvesting your own veggies?

If it’s because:

My mum/partner/friend/sister said I should do it, or

I think it’s something I should do …

Then it’s always going to be a struggle. When the word ‘should’ appears in your ‘why’, that’s a good indication you’re not personally invested in this thing. And if you’re not personally invested, when the going gets tough and you’re called upon to do the hard thing, the necessary drive isn’t going to be there.

So, if you’re trying to lose weight and you’re current ‘why is:

Because I know I’m overweight and anyone who’s overweight should be trying to lose the excess weight …

Reframe your why statement to remove the word ‘should’:

I want my kids to value good health and an active lifestyle and the best way to do that is model a healthy lifestyle to them now, rather than always intending to do it sometime in the future.

2. Check in with your future self

Your present self loves instant gratification. That’s why it’s easier for bad habits to take hold than good.

  • When the 3pm hunger slump hits, there is great instant gratification to be found in a tasty cupcake.
  • When you get out of bed in the morning to go for a run, the gratification of going for that run is less instant, and less obvious to boot.

If you’re ever looking for the willpower you need to make a good decision, your future self is where you’ll find it.

While your present self would always prefer to mess around on Facebook, your future self – the one who is earning more and ascending the career ladder – really appreciates you deciding to do the hard things and deliver that report to your boss a little ahead of schedule.

3. Reduce daily decisions

Research has shown that our ability to make good decisions, (the kind that benefit our future rather than present selves), diminishes over the course of a day. The main reason for this is that every decision we make depletes our energy levels. If you check in with how many decisions you’ve made before 9am, you might get a shock:

  • Should I get out of bed now, or later?
  • What should I wear today?
  • What should I eat for breakfast?
  • Should I walk the dog before I have a shower?
  • Will I wash up from breakfast now, or leave it till I get home?
  • etc.

Every decision you make compromises your ability to make the next decision a good one. You can address this by removing as many decisions as you can.

  • Have the same thing for breakfast every day.
  • Wear the same thing.
  • Create routines for everything you do daily.

The less you have to think about the repetitive and trivial aspects of your life, the better able you are to do the hard thing when it’s required of you.

4. Boost your energy levels

It’s amazing how willing we are as adults to sacrifice sleep. Just because you can survive on five hours a night doesn’t mean you should, however.

Getting good sleep is a ‘keystone habit’ – one that makes other habits easier to both form and maintain.

When you get better sleep, you’re better able to get up early in the morning and exercise. When you exercise, you’re more likely to eat well. If you’re sleeping, exercising and eating well, you’re more productive at work. If you’re productive at work, your stress levels are lower so you’re less likely to reach for a drink at the end of the day. The less alcohol you drink, the better you sleep … and round and round it goes.

It’s shocking to see how much easier it is to do the hard thing when your energy levels are high (thanks to sleeping and eating well, drinking less alcohol and getting regular exercise).

5. Create space

If you’re consistently trying to squeeze the things that are important to you into the margins of your life, you’re always going to struggle, and you’re always going to be grappling with thought of, ‘maybe this isn’t the right time’.

The truth is, there seldom is a ‘right time’. It’s pretty rare for someone to gift us the space and time we need to make something happen. It’s up to us to first create that time, then protect it.

How do we do that? By looking at the things we’ve mindlessly committed to doing because:

  • It’s expected,
  • We want someone to like us,
  • We’re afraid of offending,
  • We were too tired to say ‘no’.

This is where point number one above comes in handy. If you know the ‘why’ behind the thing you are trying to achieve, or the place you’re trying to get to, it makes it easier to say no to those things that, quite frankly, you just don’t need to be doing. And it stops you from giving up on goals and dreams because, ‘This isn’t the right time.’

6. Set up your environment for success

If you’re struggling to sleep well, is it because your partner wants to watch tv in the bedroom till late at night? If you want to go for a run in the morning and you can’t find any socks, doesn’t that make it a lot easier to go back to bed? Is it harder to write that report when you haven’t done your research or pulled together the stats you need ahead of time?

There are so many little ways our environment can make it more difficult to ‘do the hard thing’. The good news is, we have more control over most of those environmental factors than we think.

7. Surround yourself with the right kind of people

There are any number of reasons why people will sabotage your ability to do the hard thing:

  • They might feel threatened by the prospect of your achievement.
  • It might make them feel inferior to watch you go and do something they wanted to.
  • The status quo might suit them just fine.

If you’ve ever tried to quit drinking or smoking, you’ll have experienced all of the above, along with the cajoling, (‘Oh come on, one won’t hurt’) that comes from people who’ve taken your decision to quit personally.

Conversely, if you’ve ever run a business, or trained for a triathlon or running event, you’ll know how much easier it was to do those things when you joined a business mastermind or trained with a group.

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are shooting for the same goals as you is easily one of the most effective ways to make ‘doing the hard thing’ just that bit easier.

Is there a ‘hard thing’ you’re struggling to do in your life at the moment? Feel free to share it below! Along with the tip from above that will make doing that hard thing a little easier.

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Oh how I laughed when Carly suggested this topic for an episode of the show. I’ve spent my whole life refusing to accept things are out of my control so I didn’t think I had any worthwhile suggestions for going the other way. Turns out I did, however. And since my word for 2018 is acceptance … recording this episode was very therapeutic!

Here are some of the things we mention:

  • Your right to totally drop your bundle
  • The Art Of Yucky Pages
  • Finding the positive
  • The difference between reality and your perception of reality
  • Killing nostalgia
  • Understanding what the world owes you. Hint: It’s nothing.
  • Feeling your feelings
  • Understanding that no one’s life is perfect
  • Concentrating on the things you can control
  • Planning for the future and living in the now

Things we mention

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

Photo by Kinson Leung on Unsplash

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Ah habits. Why are the bad ones so easy to make? Why do the good ones never truly take hold? How do we unwittingly sabotage ourselves when it comes to making the good ones?

In this week’s episode of Straight and Curly we answer all these questions along with sharing our ten best tips for habit creation:

  1. Shorter to do lists
  2. Positive momentum
  3. Scheduling tasks and apps to help you do that
  4. Reminders
  5. Habit setting mindset
  6. Lowering barriers
  7. Understanding how habits are formed
  8. Checking in with your future self
  9. Auditing your environment for success
  10. Focusing on keystone habits

Things we mention

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

Photo by Savs on Unsplash

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And we’re back! It’s our first episode for 2018 and after surveying our Facebook group, the consensus was ‘we want more productivity tips’! They ask, we try to deliver. In this episode we share these ten:

  1. Focus on happiness
  2. Block yourself from social media (using Carly’s patented combination of the Forest and Self-control apps)
  3. Start an accountability log
  4. Take advantage of the Zeigarnik Effect
  5. Associate a task with an unrelated task
  6. Get good sleep
  7. Schedule out your to-do list
  8. Make sure you have buffer times in your days
  9. Make time for daily exercise
  10. Just start

Things we mention

—-

Want to come talk about it? Join our Straight and Curly group on Facebook? It’s free so what are you waiting for?! And don’t forget – we wrote a book! Buying it is a great way to support the show and there are some low-cost options available

Not sure how to listen in to these podcasts?
  • If you have an iPhone – the easiest thing to do is open up the Podcasts app (which is on all iPhones) and search for ‘Straight and Curly’. When it comes up, simply subscribe. Once you’re subscribed, all our episodes will automatically download to your phone (and we will love you to the moon and back).
  • On any device, you can also now listen to the show via Spotify! Just go to podcasts in Spotify and search for Straight and Curly.
  • You can also listen to the show directly via the player below

Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

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