The Secret Sauce

Success is easy!!

So it seems success is built upon doing these things every day, all the guru’s, the coaches, the elite, are doing it..
Your success is built upon your morning routine.
So to fast track all your desires and dreams you must do all these things every day:
  • Get up at 5am, after having gone to bed at 9pm
  • Have a cold shower
  • Drink a pint of room temperature filtered water with sliced lemon
  • Take your multi-vitamin and supplements
  • Meditate for 22mins
  • Do Wim Hof breathing for 12mins
  • Drink a green sludge smoothie whilst watching the sunrise
  • Visualise your goals for 5mins
  • Hit the Gym for strength training 22mins
  • Then cardio training 22mins
  • Then yoga for 22mins
  • Have an ice bath
  • Then go cold water swimming in the sea or your local lido
  • Have a warm shower & dress to impress
  • Eat a vegan breakfast
  • Declutter your workspace
  • Journal about gratitude or something
  • Read a book
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Plan your day
  • Get out in nature for a walk
  • Pay someone a compliment

Now it’s 3.30pm, you should get to work!!

The secret sauce is there is no secret; it just boils down to knowing what you want then putting in the effort to achieve it, committing to the work and doing it regardless of your mood. And waiting, it takes time.

It MIGHT involve doing SOME of those things listed but it doesnt have to so dont feel like you must.

Find the things that make you have a better day and be more productive and nicer to be around.

Which is really just sticking to the basics of sleeping well, eating well, hydrate, exercise, enjoy some silence, breathe properly, control your emotions and GET TO WORK.

You’re welcome.

Your 7W Powers To Achieve What You Want

WANT POWER
What exactly do you want? Be very specific. And when do you want it?

WHY POWER
Why do you want it? Who will benefit – just you or others?
Remembering your WHY will help you work for it.

WAY POWER
What is the way forward? Consider all options and then decide on your way – what will you do, what help or training, what habits / behaviours you need to develop. What actions you must take to move closer towards what you want. How will you know you’re on track?

WILL POWER
When you know what you want, and why, and how to get it, you will have fuelled the fire to get started. Use this drive to start work and keep going.

WORK POWER
BUT remember, willpower doesn’t last. It gets you started but doesn’t last. When willpower runs out, all you’re left with is good old-fashioned discipline to WORK. To put in the graft, regardless of how you feel. The work is never easy or convenient. Putting in the work actually re-fuels your willpower so it’s a cycle of Will and Work power to keep you moving.

WAIT POWER
Just have patience. Most people expect results far too quickly. You must be consistent in your efforts, and wait. Your results will come. Don’t quit when it gets harder, keep going.

WHO POWER
Lastly, but most importantly, who do you want to be while you’re applying your powers.
Who do you want to become more of, and less of, in the process?
What type of character and disposition will you adopt?
Operate within your own set of principles, your standards higher than most.
Consider your Values; we make time for what we value – what gets your time & attention?
Be composed, be compassionate, no matter what.

THE BASICS of Wellbeing

You know what they say:

Don’t abandon the basics, then you’ll never have to go back to them.

Earlier this month I did an on-line talk on mental health and wellbeing for the NORAC AGM. In preparing for it, I’d thought to myself, ‘What can I talk about that’s not just regurgitating what everyone has already heard, what can I talk about that’s really helped me and continues to help me?’.

My obvious answer was my wellbeing process based on the acronym of ‘basics’. Or, THE BASICS.

I’m a firm believer that happiness requires EFFORT. Anything you want in life requires WORK. You have to work at it to get it.  We all deserve to be happy but I think a lot of folks think it should just be a default state that requires no effort at all. However, your happiness requires commitment and discipline because there’s always going to be easier options to take.

So, my challenge to you is; every day, follow this process and see how it makes you feel-

T = Thankful (Be thankful, start your day with thinking about the good stuff in your life, there is always something, even during your darkest times)

H = Hydrate (refresh and re-hydrate first thing in the morning, and continue during the day, at least 2litres)

E = Emotions (be aware of your emotions, I like to remember that ‘heightened emotions = lowered intellect’, be aware of how you feel right now and then how you want to feel, then take action to change your state)

 

B = Breathe (Stillness/Meditation, take some deep breaths, try box breathing or Wim Hof, just pause & breathe)

A = Activity (Body Movement, training, exercise, walks, get sweaty and feel good after)

S = Shower (Get up, get showered, get dressed & show-up, no matter how you feel, you’ll feel better cleansed)

I = Ingest (Consume with Care: Good Foods, Good People, Good Info from books, podcasts, etc. Avoid endless junk, booze, pills, social media, news consumption, and arseholes!)

C = Conversation (Talk, open up, be vulnerable, connect with others, don’t hide, seek help, ask others if they’re okay too)

S = Sleep (Get enough, 7-9 hrs, have as much natural energy as possible, just get to bed!)

Tick these things off your list each day and I guarantee you’ll have a better day.

Always remember that your happiness requires daily effort, and if you stick to the basics you’re giving yourself a decent chance of keeping on the right track and making yourself proud of your efforts.  And if you fall off track, that’s okay, just get back on it with a new determination.

These basics will be your best medicine. Try it and let me know how you get on.

 

Do I need a Life Coach?

What even is a life coach?

Whatever it is, you don’t need one.

And you don’t need to read that book that was recommended to you.

Remember all those unread books still sitting on your shelf.

Remember all the books you’ve started and not finished.

And you don’t need to buy that new journal or productivity planner.

Remember the one you’re already using or have used in the past, or the one sat on your shelf unused, yet you’re still no further forward.

And you don’t need that new bit of wearable tech to read your mind or track all the epic data.

Remember the one you already have, and the old ones sat in the cupboard too, you do nothing with the data, though its nice to look at.

And you don’t need to do that training course.

Remember all the ones you’ve already done yet you’re still no further forward.

And you don’t need to get that qualification.

Remember that one you already have, probably related to NLP, yet you’re still no further forward.

And you don’t need to attend that event.

Remember all the ones you’ve attended, maybe even done a fire-walk, and got all excited and hand-clappy raa-raa whoop-whoop but still no further forward.

And you certainly don’t need to spend thousands of pounds on that retreat in Thailand.

All these things CAN be very useful in making progress and having ‘ah-ha’ moments of clarity BUT for many people, they’re just laziness in disguise.  Endless consumption and avoiding the hard work.

And endless consumption leads to confusion.

You see, most of us already know what we NEED to do, or need to STOP doing.

But we’ve abandoned the basics, the fundamentals, the foundations upon which we build.

With zero foundations or ones that are wobbly as jelly, you ain’t building anything worthwhile, and if you do manage to build something worthwhile, its not going to last very long.

Everything must be centred on solid foundations which support you through life and all weathers and you maintain them and build on them continually.  Building great strength, sustainability and resilience.

Don’t abandon the basics then expect a quick easy fix in the guise of a book, a course or a ‘life-coach’.

Or an empowerment coach, or a spirit guide coach, or a man-up coach – whatever they call themselves.

Hey don’t get me wrong, find a credible one, they can be life changers.

BUT firstly, consider your current results and ask yourself if you’ve done absolutely all the things in your control and power to improve your situation?

Your current results, the ones you’re not happy with, they are a consequence of your current thoughts and behaviours.

Your habits and your excuses are KEEPING you that way you are. They are perfectly designed to give you exactly what you have right now.

If everything begins with you, and your mind, then start there.

Ask yourself better questions to get better answers.

Such as:

What exactly do I want?

What bad habits are holding me back?

What excuses am I hiding behind?

What hard work am I avoiding?

What task am I putting off because its makes me feel uncomfortable?

Why do I prioritise and value comfort, pleasure and laziness over being uncomfortable, challenged, courageous, focussed hard work and delayed gratification?

What makes me happy?

When I’ve had a truly fulfilling and productive day, what exactly did I do that day, am I aware so that I can replicate it?

What makes me forget time because I’m in the moment so much?

When was I at my happiest and why; what had I achieved?

Who has already achieved what I want to and how can I learn from them?

 

Consider this:

Money – spend less; set up a savings account, put money in it & don’t spend it, stop buying pointless shit you don’t need

Weight – eat less / eat better / move more / break out into a sweat / start with walking briskly every day or doing press-ups until failure, if you can only do 1 then do 1, aim for 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day etc

Health – quit smoking, drinking, drugging yourself to escape

Career – find a new job then quit the one you hate

Relationships – with your partner, act like you did on your first date; and at work, act like you did in your job interview and watch your relationships improve

Home – have a clear out of all your junk for starters

Most, if not all of that, will cost you nothing in hard cash, its just doing boring tasks.  It’s making a more conscious effort and better choices; ones which aren’t fixated on emotions and pleasure-seeking.

You can also get access to your GP for free, you may get a Therapist on the NHS, and there’s things like free Apps, for Habit tracking or money-spending.

Your next stage might then be the need for some professional help like a Therapist, a GP, a Personal Trainer, or some form of credible expert to help you in a specific area of your life.  Credible experts, particularly those that are specialists in the area you need, are invaluable and money well spent, be it a Therapist, a PT, a Life-Coach, an Empowerment Coach, a Release Your Full Potential And Inner Unicorn Coach or whatever the hell title these coaches call themselves – just make sure they’re credible with a proven track record of helping people like you.

But don’t even think about or talk to any professional until you’ve got your shit together on the bare bones basics.  The fundamentals of some self-care based around feeling FRESH.

F = Fitness (just move will you, apply yourself, make an effort, sweat)

R = Recover (too much work will burn you out, make time for rest too, have some stillness, some alone time)

E = Eat well (far less junk, and eat your fruit & veggies)

S = Sleep (just sleep! get to bed early, get your 7-9hrs)

H = Hydrate (just drink your water, 2 litres a day is so easy to do)

You might just amaze yourself with starting with the basics, and you’ll soon be building on solid foundations and thinking “why didn’t I start this sooner”

There’s no magic fix.  Just take better care of yourself and see how far you get.

Very often the answer is right in front of you and you just need to knuckle down and do the boring hard work every day.

Then once you’ve mastered the basics and reached some sort of plateau, THEN crack on with the next thing, the book, the course, the coach.

Make sense?

PS I write these as a reminder to me too.

 

 

What is HAPPINESS?

Much to my wife’s annoyance, I love coming up with acronyms. I find them to be handy little reminders about stuff that I want to be able to remember to help ground me.

Or to remind me of what’s actually important, after all, there’s so much stuff that can overwhelm us, IF we allow it.

But me and my acronyms do my wife’s head in though. I once said to her, “Hayles, I’ve been working on a new acronym, wanna hear it?” Her reply “Do I fuck”.  Charming eh, but we both laughed our heads off actually.

So my new one is HAPPINESS.  It’s something we all want, it’s there for the taking, we’re born with it after all.

No one devises a plan to be unhappy.

Here the acronym:

H = Health

A = Attitude

P = Purpose

P = Priorities

I = Ingest

N = Nurture

E = Enjoyment

S = Smile

S – Sleep

HEALTH – should be obvious this one but a lot of people neglect themselves, they avoid the effort and the wise choices and hide behind excuses.  Simply look after yourself, you are a caretaker of your self first, a caregiver to your self first.  Physical health, mental health. Your body and your brain need exercise. Use them or lose them. Activate your muscles.  Train the body, train the mind. Find what works for you and get better with age. Put in the effort. Exercise may suck at the time but the FEELING afterwards is the reward. As are the results as you keep doing it consistently. It’s far easier to STAY in shape than GET in shape.

ATTITUDE – its an overused phrase to have a ‘positive mental attitude’. But there’s truth in it of course (like every cliche, there’s truth). I think its best to just have an attitude of knowing that life can be difficult at times and it can be brilliant at times, and then anything fairly randomly at times in between. Remind yourself that you are more resilient than you think and that pain will occur at times but your level and time spent suffering is more in your control.  Know that things will pass, don’t dwell on the past, nor the future unknowns. Choose to be more optimistic than pessimistic, its more helpful that way, but being realistic and without blind optimism.  Remember to not follow your feelings, you create how you want to feel by your actions. If we allowed ourselves to be managed by our moods we’d get nothing meaningful done. You know if you do the hard work, put the effort in, then you feel better and make progress towards the results you want. Choose to be the solution, to actively put effort in and not be part of the problem and just worry and dwell on it.

PURPOSE – “find your purpose” and “find your why” are also overused phrases, usually closely followed with the word “passion”. People can spend so much time thinking about their big purpose and feeling a bit empty without having a big old meaningful one to follow.  If you do have a big purpose, then that’s magic for you. But its also fine to have a purpose which is a bit less ‘save the world’ or ‘empower 300 gazillion people to enlightenment’.  YOUR purpose could be relatively simple yet still very important and meaningful; for example it could be to develop a profound expertise in the field of your choice so you are seen as an industry expert; it could be to be your own boss and enjoy a new career path, it could be to work with pleasant individuals and help your local community, it could be to help other busy parents get fitter, it could be help others make better choices and enjoy life more, it could be to live as an inspirational example to others, it could be to be a proud parent and be present with your family and not sacrifice yourself to your job/career. YOUR purpose is whatever you choose it to be, whatever your guiding ‘North-star’ is that aligns your thoughts and actions to why you’re spending obscene amounts of time and energy doing something.

PRIORITIES – this is your choices of how you spend your time and energy, what tasks and people get your focus and attention; which should be aligned with your Purpose remember.  Life can get pretty hectic so you must be aware of what you’re doing. It’s far to easy to allow yourself to become a busy fool, to have one of those 12hr days when you haven’t stopped but you’ve actually achieved very little. You got distracted, pulled from pillar to post by endless interruptions and phone calls and pointless meetings, and social media nonsense – all of which you allowed to happen. Get control man! I find that my sense of achievement comes when I have completed something (or made big progress with something) then I feel happier with my day.  Otherwise, you will suffer a LACK of completion, a lack of progress and always be playing catchup with an endless To-Do list that just gets longer.

INGEST – you need good fuel for your body so just eat like an adult.  A diet of Coco-pops, Coke, Crisps and Crap will leave you feeling like crap, overfed and undernourished. Processed and sugary crap. “But its Diet Coke, its okay” – bullshit.  And who even says “I don’t like water” – oh water, that necessity of life, oh yeah, fucking awful stuff – just fucking drink some will you, its easy.  I bet you can drink a bottle of wine easily enough, or 5 pints within 2 hours, yet you can’t drink 2 litres of water per DAY, that’s just 3.5 pints, if you’re awake for say 16hrs, that’s 0.5 pint every 2hrs or so and you can’t do that?

And remember those things called vegetables? “I don’t like vegetables,” you say – grow up man! It’s a simple equation of shit in = shit out.  A diet of shitty things will leave you feeling shitty after the lovely instant reward and emotional high you get from the cakes and biscuits you love so much. “I’m an emotional eater” you say, well why not seek some professional help for that, discover why. Or maybes you’re just fucking lazy and hiding behind bullshit excuses – worth considering too. When you fuel your body with the right foods and plenty water then you will have more balanced energy and feel good too.  And treats are allowed, of course they are, don’t starve or deprive yourself, just earn your treats, that’s the difference. I would also include your Mind in this section, you must ingest knowledge and become wiser. Again, shit in = shit out. Seek your knowledge from credible sources, not just Karen from Facebook and her incessant opinions on the world. Read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts – learn from people you admire and apply said learnings to your life. Be aware of what you know but also what you don’t know and keep expanding your knowledge in areas that matter to you, where you want to make a difference.

NURTURE – you must nurture yourself of course, this relates to your health again but also pamper yourself a little too, get a massage, take yourself for lunch or coffee. This is all about the relationship you have with yourself and with others. You have loved ones around you, your partner, your kids, family, friends and colleagues who all have a relationship with you. These all need nurturing.  With yourself in the best fettle you can be, you must then give your attention to your family. Your family should get the BEST of you, not what’s LEFT of you. There will definitely be some imbalance and some sacrifices along the way but keep mindful of those important relationships and don’t make the default be that they get whats left of you.  Do it WITH them, not just for them. Don’t be an absent partner or parent while you’re trying to fulfil your purpose.  Find out what your partner wants too, they might not be that interested in your purpose or the ££ or the bigger house and all they want is you home more, spending time with your family and not being a tired grumpy twat so much! We’re either nurturing or neglecting – always worth keeping this in mind.

ENJOYMENT – you can’t be all work and no play, you’ve got to make time for doing the things you enjoy too. I get that you might actually enjoy your work, that’s coolio, but what else do you enjoy, have you forgotten because you’re too busy working? Schedule some time to do the things you like to do, whether its on your own or with your family or friends. Schedule some alone time, even if it just 10mins a day, set a timer, avoid all distractions and just take the time to think, to write, to read, to reflect or just have a coffee in silence. What did you used to enjoy when you were younger? What hobbies have you parked and been meaning to re-start? What new hobbies have you always fancied trying? How many books or courses have you started and not finished? Go for lunch with your partner. Take the kids to the beach or the woods. Or watch that documentary thing on TV that you fancied. There’s so much you’ve forgotten that you actually enjoy.

SMILE – again its quite simple this one, just smile! Smile to yourself for starters. And smile at the people you meet including strangers – its not as weird as you might initially think. Try it; when someone is walking towards you, perhaps with a glum look on their face, just smile and say hello, or good morning, wish them a good day – 99.9% of people will always break into a smile back at you. Make a fleeting interaction with yourself result in making someone feel better about their day, even if just for a moment.

SLEEP – this one doesn’t need much said really.  Much like water, sleep is a necessity of life too. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good nights sleep. Sleep is when you rest, recharge and recover.  Poor sleep = poor quality of life. You’ll have low to zero energy and enthusiasm, you’ll fuel yourself with sugar and stimulants just to get you going in the morning and keep going throughout the day. Then be unable to sleep at night.  Just get to bed at a reasonable hour, sleep is far more important than watching TV.  Work out what works best for you but be aiming for 7-9hrs per night.  Avoid late night eating, avoid late night screen time, just wind down and decompress at the end of the day to relax into sleeping.  Keep it simple: sleep for 8hrs, work for 8hrs and spend the other 8hrs on yourself and with your family. Get a sleep tracker to monitor it; what you measure improves.

 

And with that, you’ll notice that your Happiness is book-ended with your Health and Sleep – these two things kept on point will always keep your spirits up. So start there. Nail them and then nail the rest over time. And keep practicing, its a skillset to improved upon always.

 

HAPPINESS is always in the present moment, its never in past or in the future. Your happiness is just waiting to be uncovered, rediscovered, its underneath all the crap you’ve hidden it under.

A great quote to consider:

Happiness is wanting what you have

But it’s okay and natural to not be satisfied because this drives you to do more, achieve more, grow more.

And crucially you must remember that there’s a law of opposites (or polarity). We move across the spectrum all the time and we have to. We have to experience one and the other, to know what it is we’re feeling, so you can recognise when you’re happy and what makes you happy and also recognise any sadness. You won’t know happiness unless you’ve experienced unhappiness.

I watch our Harry, whose 1yr old now, and I’m reminded how we’re born happy, full of joy and love, and curious and full of wonder with the world around us. He only expresses an ‘unhappiness’ when he’s hungry, tired, too hot, too cold, frustrated, in need of a new nappy, knocked himself or fallen over but once that has been dealt with, his default state of happiness returns immediately.  And there’s the valuable lesson and reminder right there; your happiness was always right there too, it’s just got suffocated and you need to gradually remove all the shit you’ve been carrying and let your happiness breathe again.

 

 

Your Vehicle

If you were gifted a new car, your first ever car AND the only 1 you’re ever going to own…

You’d LOOK AFTER IT.  Would you not?

Your body is just like a car.

It’s your vehicle to get around in this life.

A car needs to be looked after, to be valued. It needs to be maintained, serviced, MOT’d, repaired, fueled correctly, washed and cleaned… see where I’m going with this…

Just like your body. Valued, maintained, serviced, checked over, repaired, fueled correctly, washed and cleaned.

If we abandon them, they rust and become wrecks.

If we neglect them, it takes a lot of time, energy, and money to get back on track.

And as they get older, with more miles on the clock, more wear & tear, they take more effort to maintain. But you can still have an older car in great condition because its well looked after.

Think about how you feel when your car becomes dirty, full of rubbish, damaged, worn down – you CARE LESS  about it and you don’t want to be in it.

Don’t allow yourself to NOT want to be in your body. Don’t neglect your vehicle.

  • Keep it clean & tidy
  • Don’t fill it with crap (good fuel is needed, not excessive junk)
  • Make it smell nice
  • Treat it to a wax (literally a wax, or a massage, or spa date)
  • Know when to speed up and slow down, and stop.
  • Know where you’re going but be prepared for some unexpected detours, some delays, a bumpy ride and some bad conditions along the way
  • Be careful who you ride with (who you allow in)
  • and stick to the rules (just don’t be a dick)

Make time for your vehicle (Body & Mind). Schedule maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and rest.

Be PROUD of your vehicle, regardless of its age, be proud that it’s well maintained and goes well, its in perfect working order. Others may compliment you on it.

Only allow professional, credible experts to help you maintain and repair it. Everyone thinks they’re an expert but find true experts to help you.

This body is a gift, its the only 1 you’re getting in this life, so VALUE it, look after it.

Or neglect it, abandon it and send it prematurely to the knackers yard.

You’re cleverer than that though, aren’t you?