Goal-setting-dreamHave you booked a holiday for the summer yet?  Well, whatever the answer is, I’m about to help you plan one!   In a previous post about changing your mindset, I used planning a holiday as a way to explain the level of clarity you need when selecting a goal.  Recently, at a conference, I used the example again and expanded upon it and realised that I should share what I talked about in a post that focused solely on the clarity you need to set an achievable goal.

So why is goal-setting important?  If you have complete clarity about what you want and how you are going to achieve it, you are so much more likely to achieve your goal.  Why?  Because you are able to react to your environment, understand how the changes effect your goal and then take the best actions.   Like the quote above says, without a plan and deadline, your goal will always remain just a dream.

Goal settingBooking a holiday is a great example of how much planning you need to make a goal crystal clear.  The steps below detail the kind of questions you can ask yourself, but more importantly, they give a real and tangible example of the amount of thought and time you need to devote to a really important goal.

1. When you are booking a holiday what are the things you consider?

  • Cost; what is your budget?
  • How many people will go?
  • What is the age and ability of people going?
  • What kind of holiday do you want? Activity, relaxing, child friendly?
  • What sort of destination do you want? Abroad, this country, seaside, city break?
  • What kind of travel/transport do you prefer? Drive, ferry, cruise, plane?
  • What type of accommodation would you like? Self catering, hotel, B&B, villa?
  • What facilities are essential for you? Pool, kids club, access to the beach etc?
  • What dates do you want to go?

It’s only after you have answered all of these questions do you then have an idea of what you want and what to book.

2. Once the holiday is booked, what are the next steps?

  • Start to consider local travel plans such as taxis and routes.
  • Wardrobe planning based on the type of holiday you are going on.
  • Creating excitement, countdowns, imagining you on the beach etc.
  • Think about the unknown elements and how they might affect your holiday such as the weather.

These are all the smaller things that need consideration, for example, you may have booked the flights, but how will you get to the airport, what’s the baggage allowance and do you need to print the tickets? They are all things which will influence how smooth your journey is and will have a huge impact on the success of the holiday. Paying such attention to the details will not only increase your chances of achieving your goal but also make you more equipped to deal with changes and bumps which may happen in your life.

Before you all run off to book a holiday, let’s think about how this translates to goal setting.  What I hope is clear is the amount of effort and thought you need to devote to your goals.  Whilst it is really important to define the end point (step 1 above), it is critical to really consider the smaller items, the everyday details which are critical to keeping your goal on track.

Goal setting

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Confidence and mindset

This is the second post in a series about making change happen. See the first by clicking 10 essential change to make change happen.

You hear a lot about confidence in our day-to-day life; how people have lost it, found it, how situations can relieve you of it. Much is written about how to find it, how to never lose it again or how to retain it. What if I were to tell you confidence isn’t the key to unlocking your potential? What if there was something else that made it possible to succeed even in the most adverse of conditions?

Your mindset is the answer. A person’s performance, success and growth are shaped by the mindset with which they approach it. Believing strengths can be improved and new skills can be mastered is said to be a growth mindset. Believing that your strengths, talent and IQ are set in stone indicates something called a fixed mindset. Have you ever heard the following saying?



That is a great example of a fixed mindset! It is ingrained in us to know our limits. We are graded at school based on IQ or aptitude at certain subjects; judgments are made at work on our performance levels. At best, these are only ever snapshots of our ability at a single point in time, but how many times do these situations alter how we perceive our ability for the rest of our life? How do they influence our decisions, limit our possibilities and may even become our self-limiting beliefs?

I know that change can seem difficult and changing your mindset can seem too large of an undertaking, but neuroscience shows us that change is possible on an unheard of scale. There are so many examples where individuals with who have suffered terrible and severe brain damage have re-learnt skills. Think about these people who learn to walk again after an awful accident, or people learning to speak again after a stroke. This highlights that even without the “right mindset”, human biology is predisposed towards growth and learning.

So how do we adopt this “growth mindset”? As with any other habit, it will take time and will take effort to break patterns in your thinking which you have established over the years.   Take time each day to reflect upon your behaviour and consider what opportunities for exercising your growth mindset were presented today. Be honest with yourself about how successful you were with taking these opportunities. Consciously thinking about a growth mindset will feel artificial at first, but slowly over time will begin to feel more natural.

By adopting a growth mindset, you can reward yourself for working hard at something; improvement is always possible. Opportunities become available because you are no longer limited by your present perceived ability; you can learn, you can adapt.

 So forget confidence, forget perceptions and believe you can grow and change; believe your talent is limitless and that you just need to learn. What will you do differently now?

 If you are interested in reading more about Mindset, check out Carol Dweck’s book.  It’s an easy read and very illuminating.




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Ten-Tips- change

This is the first blog in a series where I will look at the important factors we need to consider in order to influence change in our lives. These skills apply to us both in and out of the workplace because they apply to us as people, not the just roles we sometimes occupy.

The series will include posts on:

  • Mindset
  • Practice
  • Habits
  • Self Limiting Beliefs
  • Positivity
  • Resilience

First, here are the top ten things you need to consider when wanting change to happen. The tips can be universally applied; changes you want to make about yourself, about work or in your family.  Not all of them will apply to every situation or to every person, but when you read each one, be honest with yourself; which do apply to you right now? Change can be difficult; it requires thought, bravery and energy.  It can also be the easiest thing you have ever done.

  1. Don’t be scared of failure

On the face of it, this sounds like a difficult thing to do, but failure is really just another opportunity to learn. Children learning to walk don’t see every fall as failure; they get back up again and again, knowing a little more about walking each time. What is crucial for us as adults is the view we take and the mindset we choose to understand the situation.

  1. Be clear about what you want to achieve

When you think about booking a holiday, you think about what type of holiday would suit you. You consider the amount of money you want to spend, you think about the destination and the type of accommodation. Once it’s booked, you dream for months about the things you are going to do once you arrive. You imagine yourself lazing by the pool; you think about what you might pack, you work out how you are going to travel there… Do you see? When you are thinking about implementing change, this is the level of detail you need to be planning to. What do you want? How will it feel? Can you see the vision?

  1. Have your support or resources available

This is a question I ask all of my clients during a session. What do you need from others to make this change occur? Sometimes, the answer is nothing; sometimes there is a need for emotional support from friends and family. Other times, you will need to recruit people to help you, or consider training courses, mentors, support groups etc. Resources can also be tangible things such as, phones, laptops and other equipment. Anticipating the resources you need will help to ensure your change is successful.

  1. Believe you can make the change

Relying on willpower is a poor and unreliable strategy. Wanting to change and doing the actions to create this change are two different things. Belief is less about feeling confident and more about feeling prepared. Whatever change you want to make probably requires you to stop doing something you are already doing, or start doing something you aren’t doing now. Both of these things require you to either change a habit or create one. Knowing how to tackle the situations that threaten these new habits is part of being prepared. Later on in this series of blog posts, we will look specifically at habits.

  1. Believe you are worth the change

You are.

Other posts in the series will look at skills that help you to change how you perceive both yourself and your abilities, but nothing changes the fact that we all are worth believing in.

  1. Make time

We are a busy world, obsessed by our “busyness”. Technology helps us to believe we can fit more and more things into our day but really, despite everything, there are still 24hours in a day and we choose how those hours are spent, it’s all about priorities. The problem is that making time for you is frequently very low on the list. So how do we change this view? In her book “Thrive”, Arianna Huffington dedicates a whole chapter to what she terms “putting your own oxygen mask on first”. On a plane, the safety instructions state you must put your own mask on first, not the child sitting next to you. Why? Because you aren’t any help to anyone if you can’t breathe yourself. Have a think; when in your day can you find time to fit your own oxygen mask?

  1. Be motivated

Making change requires energy. It also requires focus, positivity, belief and, most importantly, planning. It is hard and exhausting to make change if you have no appetite for it, so think about why you are making this change; do it for yourself, not others.

  1. More action, less procrastinating!

I’m a planner at heart; nothing makes me happier than a lovely list, maybe even a little spreadsheet. I have to remind myself that whilst planning is essential, it doesn’t make anything happen. So if you are in the same boat as me, take action, and do something, even if it’s a small thing; take one step everyday towards your goal. It’s better than taking no steps at all.

  1. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, the change may be good

It’s natural for people to see the risks associated with change and not it’s potential benefits, which sometimes leads to a “better the devil you know” attitude towards it. Whilst it is sensible to be able to see all possible outcomes to change, both positive and negative, it is really important to try to retain a balanced view. Sometimes people worry about making a change for the worse, but when you want to change, it is because you aren’t happy or satisfied with where you are, so the next change you make might not be exactly where you want to be but it will be one step closer.

  1. Be clear about the decisions that need to be made

It’s so easy to become confused and overwhelmed when faced with decisions, to get bogged down with the details. Allow yourself some time each day to reflect and ask yourself, “what decision do I need to make to get me closer to my goal? What is my absolute priority?” It is easy to become distracted by other tasks and lose sight of what is your goal.

Which of these 10 things apply to you right now and what will you do differently tomorrow?

What to know how coaching can help? In your sessions with me I will help you to:

  • Focus on what change you want to happen
  • Understand what that journey looks like
  • Identify what tools you might need and start the change process.


Sometimes you need a little help to get started.


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how coaching can help you image

What is Coaching?

Coaching can be traced back centuries and draws from many different areas of our world. In the 1980s and 1990s, coaching began to be used on its own, growing from its use in sport and moving into the world of business. Today, coaching is used in a wide variety of places from schools to companies in the FTSE 100, not to mention the President of the USA. Coaching is a way of creating an environment, time and space for individuals to think and identify change.

My Philosophy

My coaching philosophy is “you are your own expert”, but sometimes the perspective with which we view our life can become clouded or confused.  Coaching helps to give clarity and removes some of the barriers we can automatically put up.  When I’m coaching, I draw from many different theories within coaching enabling me to give you a really bespoke experience.  Although I offer coaching for people wanting to make changes in all areas of their life, I particularly specialise in the following:

1. Career Coaching

If you are feeling confused or unsure about your current working position and want to think about what your career future looks like, coaching can really help you to see the full picture. Together, we can explore the possibilities.

2. Returning to work after an absence

Adjusting to work after a break in your employment, such as returning from maternity or paternity leave, can be challenging.  There are many more things to consider and juggle and often priorities have changed.  Our sessions together will give clarity to your new situation, boost confidence, focus on creating a positive mindset and give you practical support through the job application process should you want it.

What is the process?

I offer a free 30minute coaching session where we can talk a bit about what you want to achieve. After this, we can arrange face-to-face or Skype sessions at times and days to suit.

Contact me to find out how coaching could help you.


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