How to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

As we approach the holiday season I wanted to wish you and yours a healthy, peaceful and happy time.  I always use the holiday period to think about the year ahead and do some planning.  So, I am wondering if you are also considering making some changes in your life in 2018?  Maybe you are considering changing career, starting your own business, becoming healthier and fitter, re-vitalising or changing your relationship or even filling a void left by children leaving home?

Where ever you are now, the start of the year is a great moment to take stock and make an agreement with yourself that 2018 will be the start of something new for you.  I wanted to share with you what I call the NLP ‘Principles of Success’ which you can work through in your own time to stack the deck in favour of you achieving the goals you set for 2018.

Principle No. 1- Get Clear on What You Want

Think about something important that you want to achieve over the next twelve months.   What really motivates you?  Now check that goal is SMART ie specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed.  For example, I want to lose weight is not clear enough. I want to lose 10 pounds by the 1st April is clear.  Focus on your goal.  Whatever you put your attention on in your life will grow stronger.  Write down your goal and check that it is SMART.

Principle No. 2 – Know Why it is a Must

What are your reasons for wanting to achieve this goal?  List all the positive things that will happen when you achieve your goal.  Now ask yourself ‘If I don’t do this now what will it ultimately cost me?’  Notice that when you have enough compelling reasons for your goal you will be more motivated to go for it!

Principle No. 3 – Take Massive Action

Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal including things you do not want to do?  Think right now of one small step you can take today to begin to move towards your goal.  Challenge yourself by asking if you are taking personal and 100% responsibility for your goal.  Because, to the extent that you do not, you are giving your personal power away.

Principle No. 4 – Know What you are Getting

Be very aware of what works and what doesn’t.  Ask for feedback, and constantly evaluate your approach.  Think of feedback as a gift and remember to learn from any action that doesn’t go quite to plan.

Principle No. 5 – Be Prepared to Change Your Approach

There is a saying ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!  You must be prepared to be flexible and to move into the unknown.  Security is an attachment to the known and the known is our past.  No evolution in that.  When you experience uncertainty, you know you are on the right track – keep going because this is the moment when lots of people will give up.

Principle No. 6 – Ask for Help from Those who are Already Successful

When making changes, the most successful people in life model those who have already ‘done it’.  They do this by mixing with like-minded people, going on courses, being coached or simply asking for advice.  You will find that with the appropriate support you the process of change becomes less scary and more enjoyable and your chances of success will be greatly increased.

If you want to set yourself up for success in 2018 then come along to my 1-day ‘Age with Attitude’ Discovery Day course on the 6th or the 13th January 2018.  Cost £99 all in!  For further details and to sign up visit:


Empty Nest Syndrome and What to do About It

I have been coaching several mid-life mums recently trying to make the adjustment after their teenagers have left for university. This is commonly called ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’.

  • How will they cope by themselves?
  • Will they eat?
  • Will they drink too much?
  • What am I going to do now?

I experienced ENS syndrome myself when my daughter married and my son left for university both within two weeks of each other.  The house felt spookily quiet and I missed our chats and hugs dreadfully.

Any major life change requires some adjustment, and it may take a while to get used to not hearing the sound of your child’s footsteps in the hallway or that empty place at the dinner table. It’s perfectly normal to miss a child, particularly if the relationship was close. But for some parents, the pain of separation becomes consuming, to the point that even months later, they suffer from extreme grief and depression. Parents may find themselves spending hours in their children’s rooms instead of engaging in normal, everyday activities. Their sleeping and eating patterns may change. It may seem that there’s nothing left to do in life, and they’ve served their purpose.

These symptoms of empty nest syndrome are most commonly associated with mothers, though both parents may experience them. One reason that women are more associated with empty nest syndrome is that it often coincides with menopause, which wreaks its own special havoc on a woman’s emotional state. If a woman has largely shaped her personal identity as that of mother, then an end to the reproductive years accompanied by a child leaving home can be especially traumatic.

A tip is to take the time to re-evaluate your own life.  Who do you want to be, do and have in future?  This is a moment of great opportunity for those mid-life women who choose to take it.  It’s vital to identify what you really want (as opposed to what we feel we should want) and focus on it.  There’s no doubt that answering this question can take time.

One of my favourite ways of discovering what we really want out of life is a vision board. This is simply a large piece of card where you can cut and paste images of anything that you notice in magazines that particularly interests and inspires you. Hang your vision board somewhere where you can see it regularly throughout your day and be sure to add new items to it regularly. As it evolves, you’ll gradually develop a clearer picture of the things that truly make you happy. And that means you’ll be well placed to start bringing them into your life.

Or if you’d like some help come along to my next AWA Discovery Day at the Hythe Imperial Hotel on the 6th January 2018. £99 all in.

The Power of Language

The way we share and express our thoughts and beliefs is through language and the language we use makes a huge difference.  Start to become more aware of the language you use inside your head to yourself and the language you use with others.  Start to move it to a more positive place and notice how you feel about people, events, situations and circumstances in your life begins to change.

For example, when you hear can’t or the phrase I can’t rumbling around in your head, be alert to the possible presence of your inner saboteur.  Consider replacing the words you have just spoken or thought, replacing can’t with won’t or will or will not with choose to or choose not.  This will remind you of your responsibility for the limitation.  When you have done this you might consider adding the words ‘’until now’’ at the end or the beginning of the thought or spoken phrase.  This is one of the most powerful tools you have for controlling your inner saboteur.  For example, you might change:

I can’t tell him how I feel


I choose not to tell him how I feel


Until now I have chosen not to tell him what I feel

In a similar way, we can also change words such as:

I should, I must, I need to and so on


 I choose to or I choose not to or want to or don’t want to

This again gives us the responsibility for the action.

What’s is interesting is that when you start to reframe negative words into more positive ones you will notice how you feel about people, events, situations and circumstances in your life begins to change

Let me know how you get on.

Remember Your Qualities

Here is a short process that you can do to remind yourself of all your positive attributes.  It is amazing how much better you feel once you have completed the activity.  You will need a pen, some paper and a pretty box.

  • Step 1: Remember a time when you were a child that you felt really good about yourself. What three qualities did you most admire about yourself back then? Write them down and put them into your box
  • Step 2: What three qualities do you most admire about yourself now?
  • Step 3: Imagine a time in the future when you have achieved everything that you ever wanted to achieve.   What three things do you most admire about yourself at that point in time?
  • Step 4: Think about a person who loves you. What three qualities do they admire most about you?
  • Step 5: Think about a colleague at work who respects you. What three qualities do you think they admire most about you?
  • Step 6: You now have x 15 words in your pretty box.
  • As you look at each of the 15 words, notice how differently you are feeling. Notice where you are feeling each feeling. Spread the feeling throughout the rest of your body so it flows outwards and upwards. Do this each time you look at your list of 15 words. Notice how good it feels

Every time you need a boost of self-esteem empty out your box and look at the words inside.  It works wonders!

How to Become More Visible: Part One

How did you get on with the AWA quiz and the goal setting?  In this blog, I want to give you some practical strategies for feeling more visible and confident.

  • When you want to make an impact make sure you are in ‘uptime’. You can do this by putting your focus, attention and awareness outside of yourself.  Practice by projecting your energy as far as you can out in front of you.  This is good if you are walking into a room of people or when you are going to give a presentation.  The more you practice the more you will feel your energy expanding.
  • Imagine moving your focus and all your energy in to your lower stomach, just below the navel. Stand upright and imagine your legs feeling absolutely grounded with roots growing through the floor you are standing on. Make sure your weight is evenly balanced ie if you were standing on two sets of scales each scale would show the same weight.  It’s amazing how quickly we can focus our energy when we know what to do.  Notice how much more grounded and focused you feel in an instant
  • Here is another example of energy following thought. You’ll need to stand up to do this exercise. Find a space where you can move around with your arm outstretched freely.  Look forward and stand with your feet apart.  Stand rooted to the floor.  Now raise one arm horizontally out in front of you with your index finger pointed and gently twist around keeping your arm horizontal until you cannot twist any further (if you put your right arm out, twist to the right and visa versa).  Note carefully to yourself where finger is pointing – maybe there’s something in the room you can take as a marker.  Or if you have someone else with you ask them to stand as a marker for where your arm got to.  Now focus behind you and find a spot beyond where your arm reached the first time.  Fix that spot in your mind as you turn back around to face the front again.  Twist again moving your arm as far as it will go.  Hold it steady, turn around and see how much further you have moved your arm this time.

All these activities are great examples of the fact that your energy flows to where your attention goes.  Enjoy!  Let me know how you get on.

A Source of Inspiration

This time I thought I would share one of my favourite poems which is all about the joy of life and is a source of inspiration to me….

I Hope You Dance

by Lee Ann Womack

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leaves you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,

Never settle for the path of least resistance

Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

5 Reasons for Setting Goals

Your midlife is a time to step back and evaluate what truly makes you happy – and what doesn’t.  So….

Let’s Get Started

It’s important for each of us to have goals, but we often forget or fail to put aside the time to set them. This is the point at which you can think about what you would like to change about your life. It could be that you would like to travel to far-flung shores, learn a new sport, language or skill, meet new friends, volunteer, start up a website or a book club, or anything else you set your mind to. Or it could be something more drastic, like changing your relationship, career or where you live.

I get asked a lot about the benefit of having goals?  Here are my thoughts:

  • Goals provide you with a destination. Most people in the Grey Zone live their lives aimlessly. They drift along without any clear direction. This can lead to emptiness and frustration. When we set goals, we are provided with a road map and a destination.


  • Goals help you to concentrate your time and effort. One of the reasons that people with goals achieve such outstanding results is that they have learned how to focus and concentrate their time, energy and resources on a single objective – even if it is just for a few hours at a time.


  • Goals provide motivation, persistence and desire. Most significant accomplishments require resilience and determination. It is very rare for something important to be accomplished successfully on the very first attempt. If you want to achieve anything significant, it is likely that you will learn from your mistakes as well as your successes.


  • Goals help you establish priorities. You will find many forks in the road between where you are now and where you want to be. Prioritising gets easier once you have a goal, because your goal acts as a filter, weeding out distractions that do not assist you.


  • Goals take you from where you are to where you want to be. One of the best ways to deal with a large or seemingly ‘impossible’ task is to break it up into a series of intermediate achievable steps and get to work on each piece. As Brian Tracy, well-known Canadian self-help author, says: ‘By the yard it’s hard, but inch by inch it’s a cinch!’


Have a think about the goals you want to set for yourself and write them down.  You will find that they suddenly start to feel more real.

Take a Long Hard Look at Yourself

Following on from the last blog ‘Is THIS it?’, let’s begin by finding out about your current lifestyle and how you feel about yourself.  I have devised a quiz called ‘What’s age got to do with it?’ Why not have a go then we can work together on some ideas to improve your scores.

1. How much ‘me time’ do you take per week, on average?

A. More than 5 hours per week

B. Between 1 and 4 hours per week

C. None

2. When was the last time you had exciting and passionate sex?

A. This week

B. In the last 6 months

C. Can’t remember!

3. Last time you looked at your partner did you:

A. Feel blissfully in love

B. Wonder what happened?

C. Feel completely trapped

4. Would you consider cosmetic surgery?

a. No, I don’t need it

b. Maybe

c. Definitely, if I could afford it

5. When you look in the mirror do you:

A. Feel happy with what you see

B. Know there’s some work to be done

C. Ban all mirrors in the house!

6. How often do you exercise?

A. More than once a week

B. A couple of times a month

C. Never

7. Do you have goals for the future that stretch you?

A. Yes, I’m very focused

B. I have a few

C. I don’t have any goals

8. Are you on track with your career?

A. Absolutely

B. Used to be

C. I’ve given up and am coasting to retirement

9. Is your work aligned with your core talents?

A. Yes, I love my work

B. Not really, but it pays the bills

C. No, my talents are totally wasted

10. Are you continually competing with younger women at work?

A. Yes, and I win!

B. Sometimes

C. All the time

11. How do you feel most of the time?

a. Energised and happy

b. Could be better

c. Pretty depressed

12. Do you believe that the best is yet to come?

A. Of course

B. Convince me

C. You must be kidding …

Now, add up the number of As, Bs and Cs, and find out what your choices suggest about you.

Mostly As: Congratulations! You are well on the way to breaking through to a new you, and I’ll show you how your life can get even better.

Mostly Bs: Your life doesn’t matter enough right now, does it? You are probably feeling pretty stuck and unfulfilled. It’s time to work out what you really want to do with the rest of your life. I’ll help you develop some ideas to do just that.

Mostly Cs: You’ve really bought into the media hype, haven’t you? You believe it’s too late to change. Be brave and dare to explore the possibilities of something different. I’ll show you how.

Is THIS it?

This blog is the first in a series written for mid-life women everywhere – women who want to believe in new beginnings not endings.  Women who want the next phase of their lives to be as good, or better, than anything they have experienced so far.

What is Mid Life?

In our image and age obsessed society it is high time that attention was paid to women in the middle phase of their lives.  For the record ‘mid’ can mean anything from mid 40’s through to late 50’s.  The important point is that if you feel as if you are in this new phase then you probably are. One of the things I hear more than anything else from my clients is that at some point during this period they start to feel invisible to the world.  In fact, one client said it is like living life in the cupboard under the stairs!

I saw this quote the other day which made me smile:

Have I lost weight? No. Am I wearing a burka? No. Have I slipped into a parallel universe?  No. Am I a mutant? No. I have simply turned 46. Sarah Vine

Proudly visible in an invisible segment of society

I prefer to describe myself as a proudly visible member of the most invisible segment of our society – mid-life women.  Whilst some women might tell you there are lots of advantages to being invisible as you can disappear into the background without having to ‘try’ very hard, I don’t personally buy it!  Most of the women I meet want to be vibrant and alive and embrace the changes that are happening to them rather than mourning the loss of youth.  They just need a bit of help to get there.

I want to demonstrate to you that aging is an ‘Attitude’ of mind and give you some practical ideas in my next few blogs.  You have a choice to feel good about yourself or disappear into the shadows.

Which do you want?

Making Time for You this Year – The 8 Benefits of Going on Retreat

I am writing this blog whilst taking some time out for me in Venice. I am here for a whole month, something I have never done before. Of course, it took some planning, and it doesn’t need to be a whole month, yet making time in your busy life to take some time out to go on a retreat is one of the finest gifts you can give to yourself.

In our busy professional lives where there is no time to think or to feel, a retreat is an investment in your health and in your personal relationship with yourself. A retreat will give you a chance to pause and look at your life from a new perspective and often unlock answers to the questions that you just may not take the time to ask. Even the word ‘retreat’ comes from the Latin verb ‘to pull back’. Here are the reasons why I think that retreats are becoming very popular in the annual diaries of busy professional people:

1. Unplug from your daily routine to PLUG BACK into you.

In our busy lives, there is very little or no free time! Time on retreat is different. There is no more rush. Retreats take us away from the usual distractions such as cell phones, computers, work and family. Letting go of distractions, gives us a whole new perspective where we may reflect on how we are living our lives and what it is that we really want. Instead of having your energy pulling in multiple directions you can gather all your energy to focus on YOU.

2. You learn something TRANSFORMATIONAL

You often get the opportunity to learn something new that you do not normally have the time to do. For example, on our retreats you get the opportunity to work with me to learn more about one of the world’s most effective technologies for change – Neuro Linguistic Programming as well as some of the latest neuro science on how to change mind-sets to transform your life. I also invite special guests, who give practical advice about how to eat healthily and exercise to achieve sustainable fat loss. These sessions provide you with a blue-print for your life that you can immediately apply.

3. You get INSPIRED

From this place of head-space and time, you are much more likely to find inspiration. Getting away from it all gives you focus on what it is that inspires you, whether it be what you want to do next with your life, kick-starting your first book or coming up with a business plan for your new initiative. It’s a frame of mind that can come from a change of scenery and emotional state. Creativity and inspiration happen when you take the time away from your day job to remember your dreams.

It’s actually a strategic choice in that it re-focuses your life on what is most important to you and on your strengths.

4. You get to LISTEN and OBSERVE

Whatever type of retreat you are on, you get to listen and observe. Because, depending on where you are, there’s no phone, kids, TV, staff and limited or no WiFi.

In this space you have created, you get to hear the sound of the internal voice in your head allowing you to become the observer of your thoughts. You get to spend time in nature and notice the sounds that usually pass you by. Most importantly you get to feel what is important in your heart.

5. Live in a HEALTHIER way

Everyone needs to unload, clean out and empty their mental desktop. On retreat, you can eat well, rejuvenate through sleep and take some gentle exercise. You will leave a retreat feeling lighter, clearer, recharged, refreshed, and more present. This new perspective can guide you to make changes in your life that you know you need and want to make.

6. Lose the FEAR

There’s a safety in the busy-ness that comes from putting your head down and throwing yourself into the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business, working in a large corporation, managing a family and so on. Yet, this safety can lead to stagnation. There is real value to learning and absorbing, having time to sit and think. It’s the real work of change that can provide you with the courage to do something different.

7. Remember Who YOU Are

Society wants you to be the mother, father, sister, wife, husband, daughter, son, friend, lover.

On retreat, you can drop all the roles. You are an individual and you can just be you maybe for the first time in years.

8. Find Your TRIBE

On retreat, you are likely to meet other people in a similar position to you. Professionals with a range of skills. They came on retreat to learn something new, consider their next steps in life, find a healthier way of living, discover a creative flame, rest, discover community and have fun. You don’t know what you don’t know–and sometimes you need other people to help you see things differently. On retreat, everyone’s goals are taken seriously. This inspires you to do more of your own thing once you leave.


Feeling inspired? Did you know that the more you make time to prioritise self-nurturing practices into your life, the more EVERYONE around you benefits? Even if it’s only for a weekend, you will leave feeling recharged and rejuvenated and able to face the stresses of normal life in a much more resourceful way.

If you are interested in taking a retreat this summer, I am launching my first Age with Attitude Mind & Body Retreat from the 8 – 10th September at the luxurious Paramour Grange in Kent. This 3-day weekend includes daily transformational personal development sessions in Neuro Linguistic Programming led by myself and Kim Raine, founder of ‘Mibosolife’ who will tell you the honest truth about how to achieve sustainable fat loss and how to live a healthy life. More information and registration here: Age with Attitude Mind & Body Retreat.