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Unlearning is the key to moving forwards. Just let that sit with you for a while. For the past few weeks, months, maybe even years I've felt stuck. Knowing I've got a purpose, knowing I'm destined for more but not really knowing what. I've done the courses, got the qualifications, read the books and listened to the podcasts in the hope of that light bulb moment, and when it hasn't happened I've carried on looking for another avenue, something else to consume with the magic answers or the key to unlock my brain.
We've become so conditioned to the fact that the answer lies out there somewhere. Content is literally everywhere we turn and we consume it hungrily on a path of self growth and self development, always wanting to get to the next milestone, a better place, all in the hope of making our lives better and more fulfilling. Yet we finish the course, the article, the podcast and we expect by magic to be a different person so we skip onto the next thing when we're not.
Some inner work, some tough conversations, thoughts and realities, have brought things to the surface I've been suppressing. I've been so consumed with trying to make everything perfect and just so, that I've become caught in the vicious circle of not going anywhere, spending hours, days consumed with the fact that I haven't got all my shit together, instead of trusting myself, my knowledge and my heart and flying forwards with confidence.
I've become so caught up in learning new things, new methods, new processes that I've become a barrier to myself. In order to take a step forward and flourish I need to unlearn the behaviour and habits that I've learned!
We're conditioned to the fact that we need to know it all, and we need to know it now. That if we make a mistake we've failed. Failure isn't something to be scared of. What if I fail? Yes, but what if you don't?
"We live in a world that teaches the importance of ambition, efficiency, expediency, getting things done to produce the quickest results. It does not teach or encourage us to relax and just be where we are. In fact, if we are not crazy active and doing a million different things, we get labelled as lazy or unambitious"
Byron Baptiste- Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice
We're taught in order to move forwards we need to hurry, rush, learn, fight, when in fact we could all take a minute to slow down and just be. Revel in the present, press pause for a moment and instead of foot on the gas just glide along in neutral for a while.
Saying this I don't mean I don't have goals and dreams. I do! I've just become that hung up on why I'm not there and planning exactly how to get there, that I've lost me along the way. Unlearning isn't an overnight fix. Getting comfortable with the fact is
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Hand's up! I'm the worst person ever at sticking to goals! I make them, I write them down, hell, I even tell people sometimes. But then I forget about them and moan in 6 months time when I still haven't achieved them! A few years ago I did quite a bit of work on goal setting. My goals used to be along the lines of lose 3 stone, win the lottery and write a book in a month. I get you need to dream big, but at the same time, need to be realistic here and set goals that are achievable instead of pie in the sky!
Nowadays, my goals are more specific and realistic while at the same time still pushing my boundaries and comfort zones. So at the beginning of the month (when I remember-- told you I was the worst), I sit down and write my goals for the month. These can be anything from fitness, travel, personal, business. I write them down in my book/diary/phone with the very best intent. Then I close the book or the app and I forget about them until I use the notepad or book again, I then kick myself for forgetting and vow to be better next month. This cycle then goes on and I wonder why I never get any closer to reaching them!
This is me being brutally honest, with myself more than anything! So, at the end of May I set about making myself some goals for June. I even set them a few days early to make sure I had the whole month to achieve them instead of procrastinating about them for a few days! Today is 10th June. I set 5 goals for the month. So far I've started working towards 2 of them- this is a personal record here!! So what's changed? A few things! Firstly, I put my goals out for the world to see. (see my Instagram post here), that way, not only had I committed to them, I'd also told people about them and sent them out to the universe so I couldn't back out. I also held my hands up and admitted I was terrible at sticking to goals and asked for advice from those around me on how they stick to their intentions.
These were my favourite and some of the things I've tried so far:
Get a coach or buddy. Someone to be accountable to. This doesn't just apply to goal setting but so many other things! If you don't have a coach or the budget to get one, grab a friend, family member, or even a virtual friend/stranger you seek validation from on the internet and be accountable to them instead of yourself. Sometimes we need that 3rd person to push us a little more!
Get SMART- we've all used this analogy before! Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed. This avoids the huge head in the clouds dreams and allows you to break bigger goals down into manageable chunks (see below). Yes, goals need to be challenging but at the same time they need to be realistic and achievable which is where I was going wrong before!
Break huge goals down into smaller manageable chunks. So you want to ru a marathon but you're struggling to get off your sofa right now. Sure it might not happen next month, but what can you do to work towards it now? Can you start on a couch to 5k programme this month? Maybe in 3 months you'll have increased the distance again until eventually that 26.2 miles won't just be a pipe-dream!
Don't be afraid to recharge and revisit your goals. If you change your mind or need to reassess at some point in the moths, that's fine!! You haven't failed. Our paths aren't straight and in one direction. Life changes pace constantly and goals can change too, its a journey and your goals should enhance this journey, not halt it!
Do you set goals? Do you have any accountability tips to share? Comment below or send me a message, I'd love to hear them
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It's been a hot minute but I'm back with a recipe to tickle your taste buds! Not only are these muffins refined sugar and dairy free, they are also super quick and simple to make. I like to make up a big batch and use them as snacks for me and the kids during the week. They are also great as a quick on the go breakfast if you are strapped for time.
Ingredients (makes approx 10)
• 3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
• 1.5 cups oat flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tbsp agave syrup
• 1/2 cup peanut butter (you can use any nut butter here)
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup oat milk (again sub for your favourite dairy free milk here- ant work!)
• 2 tsp vanilla essence
• Coconut oil for greasing
Method
• Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease the muffin tin
• Combine the agave, banana, nut butter, vanilla and milk in a large bowl
• In another bowl combine the dry ingredients
• Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well
• Divide the mixture between the muffin tin
Bake in the centre of the oven for 20/25 mins until the tops are golden
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Another Sunday, another flow to end your week! This time it's yoga for shoulders. There has been a time in everyones life when they have suffered from sore or stiff shoulder. Whether it's workout related, tension related, stress related, we've all been there!
These poses are great to do on their own or to tag on to the beginning or end of a longer flow, warm up or session.
These poses are some of my go- to morning stretches. When I wake up, it's often my shoulders and back that feel the tightest and these are gentle enough for me to do first thing!
There is no right or wrong in terms of breath or how long you should do these moves for, just work with your body, do what feels good for you, modify where you need to and, more than anything listen to your body. It really is the best guidance. If you really have no idea where to start or you're completely new to yoga, hold each pose for 5-10 breaths and repeat as many times as you need to.Check out my Instagram post hereto see the flow in action
Mobility and a good range of movement are paramount to everyday life. If you are a CrossFitter or athlete, you will find doing this routine a few times a week, will help in many areas of your body..
Shoulder openers
Starting seated on the knees or bottom clasp the hands and vary between stretching the arms straight upwards and straight out in front, breathing and working into the shoulders and loosening everything up. I like to spend a couple or minutes here wringing out the tension and getting the blood flowing!
Forward fold
With the feet about hip width apart, hinge from the hips, keeping the knees soft and take the chest towards the thighs and the crown of the head towards the floor, gently cycle the legs by bending the knees to release the hamstrings. Clasp the hands behind the back and take them over the head to release the shoulders. Keep the heels of the hands pressed together.
Downward dog variations
From downward dog take the left hand to the right ankle, calf or outside of the knee. Keeping the right hand and the feet firmly rooted take the gaze under the right armpit. Repeat on the other side. Keeping the heels lifted and the knees soft if needed. The spine should be long and the hips high.
Puppy pose
From all fours, with your hips stacked directly over your knees, start to walk the hands forwards and let the chest begin to melt towards the floor. Bring the fingers into a 'tent' to deepen the stretch. Keep the tops of the feet pressing into the floor and breathe into the shoulders. Try gently swaying the hips from side to side 'wagging the puppy tail' for a slight variation.
Eagle arms
From kneeling, take the arms straight out to shoulder height and gently cross the left arm on top of the right till the backs of the hands or palms are facing each other, lift the fingers and gaze towards the sky so the elbows are above the shoulders and breathe, repeat on the other side.
Childs pose
From all fours, bring the big toes to touch, open the hips as wide as is comfortable and sink the bottom back towards the heels. Extend the arms in front and melt the forehead down to the ground. Send the breathe all the way down the neck, into the shoulders and spine and rest here for as long as is needed.
To see the flow in action, head over to my Instagram postand give it save so you can give it a go when you need it most! Remember to tag me if you try it and most importantly remember to breathe in all the poses!
Enjoy x
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Outfit gifted by Dot Dash Activewear
It's been forever since I've shared a yoga tutorial or even a yoga related post but I'm back with a BANG! Since I've been doing CrossFit and using different muscles more, I've noticed my yoga practice has changed hugely. What once was a flowey 'pretty' practice has now become a more practical (at times!) way to stretch my body and calm my mind at the same time.
If you're a CrossFitter, you'll know that that 2019 CrossFit openhas just started. If, like me, you've already done the first workout you may be aching, tight and in need of a little MOT. These poses aren't specifically for CrossFit, they are great for cyclists, runners, weightlifters, or anyone who fancies a good old stretch.
There is no right or wrong in terms of breath or how long you should do these moves for, just work with your body, do what feels good for you, modify where you need to and, more than anything listen to your body. It really is the best guidance. If you really have no idea where to start or you're completely new to yoga, hold each pose for 5-10 breaths and repeat as many times as you need to.Check out my Instagram post here to see the flow in action
Mobility and a good range of movement are paramount to everyday life. If you are a CrossFitter or athlete, you will find doing this routine a few times a week, will help in many areas of your body..
Yogi Squat
Stand with the feet slightly wider than hip width with the toes turned out slightly and slowly bend your knees and lower your seat towards the floor, keeping the back straight and the chest lifted (lift the heels if this pose isn't readily available) until you come to a squat position. Taking the right hand to the outside of the right foot, sweep the left hand towards the ceiling following with the gaze to open out the chest, repeat on the opposite side)
Forward fold
With the feet about hip width apart, hinge from the hips, keeping the knees soft and take the chest towards the thighs and the crown of the head towards the floor, gently cycle the legs by bending the knees to release the hamstrings. Clasp the hands behind the back and take them over the head to release the shoulders. Keep the heels of the hands pressed together.
Walk the 'downward dog'
From downward dog gently pedal the feet and legs by bending one knee and coming to the balls of the feet then repeating on the other side. Keeping the heels lifted and the knees soft. The spine should be long and the hips high (gently nodding and shaking the head at the same time feels so good too!)
Low lunge/half split combo
Transitioning between these two poses as many times as you need opens and stretches the hips and the hamstrings in equal measures. Come into a low lunch firstly with the right knee forward and stacked over the right ankle, place the right hand gently on the knee or hip for support and sweep the left hand towards the sky. Frame the right foot and gently start to straighten the right knee, shifting your weight backwards and aiming the seat towards the heels. Walk the hands back as needed for comfort. Keep the chest lifted and the right toes flexed to really lengthen the hamstring. Repeat the 2 poses on the opposite side.
Warrior II
From downward dog step your right foot forwards between you hands, drop your left heel to the floor, angle your left toes about 45 degrees and windmill the arms to shoulder height. The hips should be open wide, the shoulders down and the gaze over the middle finger of the front hand. Keep a bend in the front knee so the knee tracks directly over the ankle. Ground the outer edge of the back foot into the mat to spiral open the back hip. Try straightening and re-bending the front leg to add a little movement and sink a little deeper into the hip
Wide Leg Forward fold with twist
Standing with the legs wider than hip width and the legs straight, lengthen the spine, hinge from the hips and lead with the chest taking a forward fold, again, aiming the chest towards the thighs. Take the hands to the floor or the backs of the calves and ankles. Place the right hand under the face and on an inhale sweep the left ha.d towards the sky, making a straight line with both arms. Replace the left hand on an exhale and repeat on the other side.
Low side lunge
From a wide legged stance, angle the right toes to 45 degrees and bend into the right knee into a half squat position , keeping the left leg straight and flex the left toes to the ceiling. Place the right hand on the floor just in front of the foot and sweep the left hand to the sky, repeat on the other side.
Goddess with eagle arms
From a wide legged stance, flare the toes outwards slightly. Keeping the core engaged and tailbone tucked bend the knees, gently pressing them outwards, till they reach approx 90 degrees. Take the arms straight out to shoulder height and gently cross the left arm on top of the right till the backs of the hands or palms are facing each other, lift the fingers towards the sky so the elbows are above the shoulders and breathe, repeat on the other side.
Upward facing dog
From a prone position extend the legs and press the tops of the feet into the floor. Place the hands beside your waist and press the palms into the floor. Inhale and start to straighten the arms and lift the torso, thighs and knees. Keep the glutes engaged and quads firm. Lift through the sternum and prevent the shoulders from rolling forwards and towards the ears (imagine the shoulder blades melting down the spine). Keep the gaze forwards.
To see the flow in action, head over to my instagram post and give it save so you can give it a go when you need it most! Remember to tag me if you try it and most importantly remember to breathe in all the poses!
Enjoy x
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Unless you've been on another planet for the past 12 months, you'll have seen, heard of or tried CBD in some form. Tea, oil, balm, moisturiser, vaping, smoking, inhaling, the market and range of products seem to grow each day! I first heard of CBD oil about 12 months ago, or cannabis oil as I knew it. Immediately alarm bells rang and I dismissed it, I'm into health and wellness, why would I take cannabis? I was almost outraged at the company who approached me and asked me if I was interested in finding out more. How shallow minded of me!
Recently For the Ageless reached out and asked if I would like to trial some CBD products and curiosity finally got the better of me, along with the reviews and testimonials I’d heard from other people in the health and wellness industry so I decided to give it a go.
While I’m no expert and certainly not scientific in any way shape or form For the Ageless provided me with a really simple explanation of CBD oil and quashed any concerns I had about it being linked to getting ‘high’ or having any psychoactive effects.
Essentially, CBD oil (cannabidiol) is a completely naturally occurring extract from the hemp plant. The oil is extracted from the plant without the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The THC is what gives the body the high or spaced out feeling, so you can rest assured when you are using CBD oil you are not consuming or absorbing anything containing THC. There is a plethora of information on the internet about CBD and, if like me you aren’t scientifically minded it can become confusing and sometimes worrying, knowing what companies to trust and choose. All products on For the Ages are THC free, non-toxic and non-addictive so you can rest assured you are only using natural products.
For the Ageless kindly sent me some CBD Hemp loose leaf teaand CBD10% Hemp Oil for the purpose of this review. Both products complement the other an are designed to be taken in conjunction.
I’ll admit when it arrived I thought the packaging looked quite ‘cannabis’ like as it contained a picture the leaf we all associate with cannabis consumption. Also, the tea and oil had the distinctive smell that you sometimes catch a waft of on the street but undeterred I began my trial.
I’ve seen quite a few claims on the internet and social media about the benefits of CBD oil and I was intrigued to see if I felt all or any of them. As an avid CrossFitter and yoga teacher my joints and muscles go through the mill so I was hopeful that the CBD would reduce aches and pains that I sometimes experience.
The tea and the oil lasted me approx 10 days and here is my experience.
I made a huge schoolboy error when I first tried the oil because I didn’t read the instructions properly. The bottle comes with a dropper to consume the oil sublingually (sublingual application of the oil is considered one of the quickest ways to feel the effects as the oil is absorbed into the bloodstream under the tongue) and advises to drop the oil under the tongue and hold it there for 1-3 minutes to absorb. I dropped it under the tongue, swallow and nearly spat it out because of the taste! Lesson 1 learned. My mouth felt a little tingly but other than that nothing really different.
I carried on using the drops (in the recommended way from here onwards!), for approx 10 days until the bottle ran out, using them twice a day. While I haven’t yet used CBD for long enough to experience the majority of the effects others have felt I did notice a definite reduction in my anxiety, and general stress levels. I felt calmer, more grounded and on the whole, slept better than I have done for a while using the oil.
I also drank 2 cups of the tea during my trial. As an avid green tea drinker, I quite enjoy the taste of a non-sweet, leafy, tea so I enjoyed drinking the tea. I can imagine if you like a sweeter drink this may not be for you or you may need to sweeten it in some way, but for me, it was very enjoyable. Hemp tea comes from Cannabis Sativa L (basically the buds, leaves, flowers, and seeds), again non THC and all natural. If anything drinking the tea in conjunction with consuming the oil just added to the relaxed state I felt when consuming the product.
My trial with the oil and tea has now finished and I do find myself missing consuming it and feeling the effects. It’s hard to say long term whether I would have felt any other effects or whether the less anxious, relaxed state would have continued with long term consumption but I can safely say I am now a convert and I will be purchasing some more in the very near future.
CBD oil comes in different strengths and there are also a list of things to consider when buying an oil. They can also range quite a lot in price, and when doing my research I found the cheaper oils on the market weren’t necessarily certified and the content (%) of CBD in the oil also varied quite dramatically.
Make sure you do your homework and purchase your oil from a reputable source and if you are at all unsure reach out and ask for some advice. Anyone selling or distributing CBD should be able to answer any questions or concerns you have and if it doesn’t feel right, look elsewhere.
*The products for my review were kindly gifted by For the Agelessbut all opinions are my own
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I'm a big believer in the way you start your day having a direct impact on not only the rest of your day, but your decisions, your mood, your food choices, the way you interact with others, your mental health, the list goes on.....
I've not always felt this way. I used to get up, begrudgingly, when the kids woke up, I'd check my phone, scroll Instagram, check emails, facebook, Whatsapp conversations and whatever other notifications had pinged through to my phone overnight. When you start your day in this way, you are letting others dictate your headspace, preventing your own thoughts setting the tone of your day. You're reactive to whatever you've just consumed, jacked up and triggered into the hectic world of other peoples lives. I know, I've been there.
It doesn't have to be like this! Yes, we're all busy, we all wish there were a few more hours in the day, we prioritise other people over ourselves but it's easy to change almost overnight. Time is our greatest commodity. It's the one thing we can't get back, the one thing we wish there was more of but no matter what we do, we can't create more time in a 24 hour period. We can, however, get smarter about what we do with it.
A morning routine can quite simply be life- changing (truth- I'm not making this up!). Just investing 5 minutes in yourself (more if you can), can have the most amazing effects. If you don't believe me, give it a try. Get up 5 minutes earlier tomorrow. If you have kids get up before they wake, or take 5 for yourself while they are happily munching on breakfast (I do this more often than not because a certain little lady likes to get up as soon as she hears me!), that 5 minutes you spent on your phone this morning? Swap it for 5 minutes of movement and breath work. I get asked so so often how to do it. So many of you want to begin a morning routine but just don't know how. I promise you it really is simple, anyone can do it, anyone, at all. If you need some inspiration try, one or all of the following:
• Sit still and breathe, simple right? Yes! If you need to set a timer for 5 minutes then do it. Sit in a chair, on the floor, even in bed if you don't want to move and consciously breathe for 5 minutes. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose, nothing fancy, just what we naturally do, feel better? Thought so!
• Stretch and move. Again, it doesn't have to be anything special. I roll out my yoga mat, light a scented candle, sit down and take a minute or so to see how my body is feeling on a given day. Is my neck tense? If so, I start with some neck rolls. Is there tightness in my shoulders? I'll do some shoulder rolls. Noticing and checking in with your body on a daily basis makes that time of moving and stretching more intuitive and you don't have to worry whether what you are doing is right or wrong.
Some other quick wins
• Listen to your favourite podcast. There are loads of uplifting short podcasts you can start your day with
• Recite your favourite mantra or affirmation a few times, an instant mood uplifter and a perfect start to your day
• Look at your vision board if you have one (if you don't create one!!) and manifest your dreams for a few minutes
• Open the curtains and look at the sky. Sounds weird but it's actually very relaxing, calming and, I find, gratifying
All of the above are simple, quick and require little to no effort, space or organisation, and certainly no money. One thing you will never regret is the way you start, your day.
I'd love you to share your morning routine, please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @zoewoodward
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I started CrossFit last summer as a complete newbie! A yogi used to walking around bare foot, clad in Lulu's and mala beads. When I stepped foot inside my box I soon realised that I needed a quick wardrobe and accessory upgrade in order to be able to CrossFit safely and effectively! These are my top 5 must haves if you are new to CrossFit
1) Proper trainers/footwear
My preference when working out is bare foot (the yogi in me) or chucks if I have to wear footwear but i soon realised that I needed some more supportive and functional trainers for CrossFit. I invested in a pair of Nike Metcon's. The price tag on these can be eye watering (I was lucky and snagged a bargain at my local Nike outlet), and they aren't strictly necessary but they do support the feet well for all aspects of CrossFit. Otherwise a supportive pair of trainers will do just fine but make sure you are comfortable to run, lift, row, jump etc
2) Plenty of layers
I'm just discovering winter in the box is COLD!! My gym is essentially a large warehouse with gym equipment. Perfect for a gym, not so perfect if you feel the cold! No heating, tiled floors, concrete walls and swinging doors means you start off very cold but soon warm up! Hats, gloves, coats, base layers, you name it I wear it. It does however, get warm so make sure you have a lighter clothes on for when you are boiling mid WOD!
3) Liquid chalk
For slippy barbells and rig work. MyPsychi liquid chalk was game changing. No more slipping on my pull ups and no more re chalking after every set. I apply it before my WOD and it stays put until I wash it off. I highly recommend grabbing a few bottles of this and keeping one in your bag, car, rucksack etc so you are never without!
4) A supportive sports bra!
I soon found out my pretty yoga bras weren't going to cut the cloth. A typical CrossFit session can see me doing any of all of these skills from burpees, skipping, running, lifting, box jumps and a proper bra that supports is a must for all girls regardless of your chest size!
5) An open mind and a great attitude!
Cheesy as it sounds CrossFit is all about community and team spirit and you have to embrace it when you join a box. I've always been a solo exerciser. Preferring to work alone and motivate myself but since joining in group classes at the Box my outlook has completely changed. Right from my first session I was welcomed with open arms, encouraged, championed and lifted up. Every single person regardless of age, race, ability, sex is treated in exactly the same way, like one of the family.
I'd love to hear your CrossFit experiences or if you have any must haves that I might have missed!
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I'm a journalling convert! I never got it, people spending hours writing down their feelings and thoughts. I barely had time to think mine let alone write them down. I'd dabbled in journalling a few times over the years, mostly because I love pretty notebooks and it was an excuse to buy them but also because so many people swear by it. Just sit with yourself and let the feelings come or meditate and then just write whatever comes afterwards. Pieces of advice I'd been given on 'how to journal' that never made sense to me or never worked for me.
So I decided to set myself a challenge, the challenge to write in my journal every day for the month of December. 31 days, it's not forever, completely do-able right? But still I didn't know where to start. I read some articles and blogs that told me to sit with myself for an hour, write down my innermost thoughts, goals, reflections, but still something was stuck. Still I couldn't open up and quite frankly I didn't have an hour (now this may seem like an excuse but it isn't, pinky promise!)
But, we're now at the end of December and as promised I have written in my journal every day since mid November! Here's some tips and tricks I've picked up over the last few weeks that taken the pressure off the perfectionism around journalling and actually made it an enjoyable positive experience
1) Start small. It doesn't have to be a novel a day. Try starting with 3 things you are grateful for that day and one positive thing to come out of the day. I started this way and soon fund that this [practice alone lead to be embellishing more and writing more
2) Don't time yourself. If you only have 5 minutes to commit today to writing in your journal you haven't failed. Just because you haven't written pages and pages for an hour doesn't mean the entry is any less worthy
3) Buy a new notebook/diary and dedicate this as your journalling space. Having fresh uncluttered pages with a pretty cover is extra inspiration and it makes your journal precious and special.
4) Collect things. Cinema tickets, magazine cuttings, recipes, anything goes. Slot them into pages, dates, times, or glue them in. Mark those specials times and occasions. It changes the aesthetic of your journal and it's an instant mood lifter when you're flicking through.
5) Makes lists. This month I've listed my personal goals for 2019, my fitness goals for 2019, affirmations, new moon manifestations, things I'm grateful for..... Lists are great for getting your juices flowing as you think of more to add plus they don't expire so you can always come back to them. I put tabs on my lists pages and come back to them every couple of days to add to them to alter them slightly
6) Keep your journal somewhere where you will see it daily. For me this is next o my bed. When I rise in the morning I take it downstairs with me as I like to journal first thing. If this doesn't happen for one reason or another, if I have an early meeting or very demanding kids, I pop it on my desk as a reminder for later in the day. All too often in the past I've started a journal and lost it , lost the momentum and abandoned the practice altogether
7) This is your space. There are no rules. Your journal will be different to mine, mine is different to the next persons. Thats what makes it so special and unique. There are no rights or wrongs. This was the biggest game changer for me. Why I buy a journal with blank pages as opposed to pre filled prompts. Sure pre filled can be great if you are really struggling but I found more often than not I just wanted to write I didn't want to fill in the blanks every day. It may work for you though
I really hope these tips were useful for you. This is my experience and what I have found over a really short time of daily journalling. over the last 15 years I've tried to create a daily journal practice and it wasn't until now that I've finally been able to by being myself.
I'd love to hear your stories and tips if you have any.
xoxo
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We're fast coming towards the end of 2018 and with only a couple of weeks to go I've started reflecting on the year. I was out for a walk with the dogs this morning when my mind started wandering and started going over the past 12 months. In all honesty it's not been a good year. For a number of different reasons it's been a tough one and if I'm completely honest it's because I haven't shown up. Financially, emotionally, spiritually. I've not ended the year on the high I thought I would but I have learned a lot this year from my journey, I've made mistakes, I've made changes and I'm still here. I'm also taking time every day to see the positives and be grateful for what I have.
Lessons I've learned this year
If you don't put in, you don't get out.
To sum it up I've been lazy this year. Big things happened last year and I assumed the tables had turned and my luck was in, boy was I wrong! I rested on my laurels and waited for things to happen instead of going out and making them happen. Opportunities didn't come flocking to my door and I didn't go and make them happen like I did last year.
You can't pour from an empty cup
There have been times over the past 12 moths that I've run on empty. Empty of inspiration, direction, nourishment, self care. I've expected myself to be able to give to others without giving to myself. From teaching yoga, to being a mom and wife, business owner and whatever other hat I may be wearing on any given day I've learned that I need to prioritise myself to be able to prioritise others.
Baby steps are still steps
You don't have to do everything at once. I decided at the beginning of the year I wanted to switch to a vegan diet and dived in head first cutting out all animal products without doing any research and ended up not eating properly, feeling crap and ditching it. For the last 6 months, I've gradually started to reduce my animal products while educating myself along the way. I'm not 100% vegan, I am however consuming a lot less animal products, taking baby steps and making progress every day.
It's ok to say no!
If something doesn't feel right it's probably not right for you. And that's ok! I've been invited to countless events and functions this year that previously I would have gone to because I didn't want to refuse invitations. I'd end up going, often forking out for an expensive train ticket or outfit, get to the event and wonder what I was doing there (often finding an excuse to leave early). I was scared to say no to anything in case I offended anyone. In retrospect I would have been better politely declining than being somewhere I didn't want to be!
If you want something ask
Be that the universe, a friend, a colleague, a partner. Things won't just drop into your lap. There isn't such a thing as the right place at the right time. It takes effort and quite frankly balls! This can be applied in so many areas of life. I wanted to work with one of my favourite brands so I contacted them and asked them. Sure it doesn't always end as amazingly well and you'll get two, maybe three times as many no's as yeses but perseverance pays off.
I'm a big believer of choosing and making your own destiny, I just haven't put my theory into practice so well this year. For one reason or another I've let things cloud me, get in the way or take priority. Although I don't believe you should wait to act, changes can be made immediately, you don't need to wait for a new month or a new year to turn things around, I will be glad to see the back of 2018 but I am thankful for the lessons it has taught me
xoxo

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