3 grounding practices for rising up and standing strong when faced with uncertainty

Uncertainty has been a big theme for me in 2016 and something I've struggled with a lot. Turns out that many of the challenges of moving overseas and being in a foreign country are all things completely out of my control.

As a 'planner' (let's be honest, a control freak) and someone who loves knowing exactly how each detail is going to pan out - leaning in to the unknown was scary, unfamiliar and felt like I was walking on shaking ground, struggling to somehow find my balance.

After much resistance and playing out my need for certainty through unhealthy habits that were not serving me, I knew I needed to step-up and work on strengthening my foundation.

When we're faced with uncertainty we have two options: we can either resist what is happening or we can choose to lean in and completely allow ourselves to surrender, placing our faith in love (or God or the Universe, or whatever you believe in).

These 3 practices are a wonderful way to get grounded and get back to you - 

Turn up the volume on self-care.

Through meditating, journalling and tuning-in, I’ve been able to refocus my energy and spend time doing things that truly fuel my soul. 

Here are a few of my favorite journal prompts to help begin reconnecting with yourself - 

  • What am I currently resisting?
  • What’s stopping me from showing up the way I want to?
  • How does this fit into the vision I have for my life?
  • What do I need to learn to create the life of my dreams?

Spend time in nature.

I spend the majority of my week in the city which, to be honest, I find incredibly draining. I miss the ocean immensely. So I make a point of escaping on the weekend and soaking up the beauty of Mother Nature which always has a calming effect.

Even if you don’t have the luxury of living close to nature and like me, live in the city - head to your local park and find a quiet bench. Soak up the open space around you; breathe in the stillness, and notice the air against your skin.

Tune into the present moment and be mindful thoughts, words and actions.

So often we spend time worrying about things that happened in the past or future events that haven’t even happened yet, but this is really a waste of energy. The only moment we have any power over is this one - right now.

Meditation has helped me to bring a greater awareness of when I'm getting caught up in the future, but I’ve also been using beautiful essential oil blends and mists as mindfulness reminders to be in the here right now, surrendering control over what happens in the future.

When negative thoughts or worries enter your mind, let go of the battle with them. Don't resist then, simply notice them and allow them to pass through your mind, like clouds floating across the sky and gently bring yourself back to this moment. It’s the only one that counts.

I hope these practice will support you to build an unshakable foundation for yourself. And remember, if you need extra support - reach out and ask for it. We were not meant to walk this journey alone.

Love,
Rachel 

14 daily success habits of abundantly happy people

I’ve been guilty of making decisions that are really only for a short term gain - you know the type - sleeping in late; having another glass of wine; skipping my workouts; skipping my daily meditation; ignoring my to-do list; spending time with people out of obligation who suck my energy… Truth be told, I doubt I’m alone in this and I’m sure you can relate to one or more (maybe all!) of these scenarios.

But here’s what I’ve learned - to be successful in life (and for me this means being fulfilled in my work, being in alignment with my truth and showing up as the best version of myself) we need to be able to make tough decisions and daily choices that all add up to how our one precious life manifests.

There’s a great Tony Robbins quote I love - “decisions determine your destiny” - this is so on point.

Part of living with intention is about being mindful of our choices and taking deliberate conscious action that is in alignment with how we want our life to look.

We are always one decision away from the life we truly want to lead - we just need to honor the commitment we make to ourselves and show up to be the best version we possibly can.

I'm a big believer that our daily habits make up our life and have compiled the top 14 habits that will support each of us to live our happiest, healthiest and ultimately, our best life.

Cultivating a positive mindset. 

Everything we want in life begins with the wholehearted belief that we can do it; that we can achieve it - and above all, that we deserve it.

Our whole life is a reflection of what we believe is possible for us. If we think we are worthy of love, success and abundance - our life will reflect that. But if we don’t believe in it - we will never be able to reach our next level of success.

Magic happens when our mindset and energy are in alignment with our biggest dreams and desires. Everything will begin to flow - the right opportunities, people, jobs {insert your dream here} will find their way to you.

I’m a big believer in the law of attraction, and in order to attract the right opportunities to you, being in a positive mindset and believing deeply it is truly possible, is the first step to achieving anything you want.

For more inspiration, check out positive affirmations for boss babes + positive affirmations to supercharge your morning

Wake up one hour earlier. 

I’ve never been a morning person so getting up early is not my forte. But over the past few months I wanted to challenge myself to get up earlier and have a head start on my goals.

I started aiming to get up early 2 mornings a week, then I gradually built it up - I’m now getting up and starting my day at 6am (during the week!) which has meant I start my morning routine and get into my daily goals with flow and feeling energized.  

Getting into the habit of waking up an hour earlier will give you more time to focus on your priorities and give you time to start your day with a nourishing morning routine that will leave you feeling energized + inspired, so you can start your day with a bang! 

Go to bed one hour earlier. 

Early to bed, early to rise!

Switch off the TV, close your laptop and curl up in bed an hour earlier with a good book. Going to bed early can feel incredibly luxurious if you create a nightly ritual that will help relax you and unwind from the day. 

Nourish your body with plant-based foods + protein. 

Fuel your body with nourishing foods that are good for you! If you don’t have time to make full meals, then throw together a simple salad or whip up some scrambled eggs with avocado.

When you are kind to your body and fuel it with the right foods it will allow you to do your best work, remain focused during the day and have the stamina to put in the hours you need to while building your biz. 

Move your body daily. 

Moving your body will give you energy and help you feel more focused in your work - helping to make you way more productive! Set aside time each day (can even be 10-15 minutes!) so you can move your body. 

You don’t need to do a full on workout and spend an hour sweating it out in the gym. Some of my favorite are the workouts Emily Sky shares on Instagram, but I also love doing yoga with Adrienne. Twice a week I head to an early morning yoga class which is such an energizing way to start the day. 

Whatever you decide, do something you enjoy + that works for you. Getting outside + going for a walk is a wonderful way to end the day. 

Invest in yourself.  

Successful people invest in themselves and their future. Knowledge is what will help transform where you are now to where you want to be. Yes, investing in yourself is scary and can feel like you’re well out of your comfort zone. 

But, the reality is that to make your big dreams happen, you’re likely going to need to invest somewhere along the way to help you acquire the skills you need, or even just someone to mentor you along the way and helping you navigate the unchartered territory. 

See investment in yourself as an opportunity for fast-tracking your growth and as a clear pathway to realize your dreams. {click to Tweet it!}

Read more books. 

Books are an incredible source of knowledge and another great way to invest in yourself. If you don’t have a huge budget to hire a coach or take online courses - then buy books!

I have learned so much and accelerated my growth simply by making the commitment to read at least one book at month. 

Set your daily intentions. 

Each morning start with setting an intention to help guide the day ahead and how you want to feel throughout the day.  

Here are some of my favorites: 

  • I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.
  • I am calm and focused with complete clarity on my dreams that I work towards with ease. {Click to tweet it!}
  • I look at every obstacle as an opportunity for growth. (Click to Tweet it!)

Write your intention down on your Daily Planner or on a post-it note and stick it above your computer where you can see it during the day to keep you feeling inspired. 

Focus on your top 3 daily priorities. 

When you commit to focusing on only your top priorities you will get a lot more done. This is the 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle whereby focusing your energy on the 20% of tasks that will yield the most significant results. 

Any more than 3 daily priorities and you’re likely to start feeling overwhelmed by what you need to get done (especially while you’re side-hustling!). Keep your to-do list small and watch your productivity and results skyrocket. 

Do one thing everyday that scares you. 

It’s true - everything that you want is on the other side of fear. Fear is the one thing holding you back from your dreams.

But here’s the truth: every time you do something new and unfamiliar, you’re stretching yourself and building confidence at the same time. Get good at feeling uncomfortable! 

Commit to doing one thing each day that will lead you to where you want to be. 

The more you practice getting outside your zone of comfort, the quicker you will fuel your own personal growth and see your wildest dreams begin to manifest. 

Say no to things that are not aligned with your vision. 

Saying ‘no’ can be incredibly empowering and is sometimes necessary for your own well-being and sanity. 

As women, we hate letting people down and often fall into the trap of people-pleasing - but when you keep saying yes to things that are at the detriment to your own needs and that are not aligned with your vision - you’re only letting yourself down.  

Build up your own resilience. 

Challenges and obstacles are a given. It’s how you handle them that will determine your success.

You must learn to ride the waves of your journey rather than drowning in sea of stress + overwhelm every time you’re faced with something that doesn’t go your way. 

Never give up on your dream. 

Choose to play the long game. Success is rarely overnight and can often take many years of consistent daily action to get you to where you want to be. Commit to your vision and show up - your success relies on you never giving up. 

Start today. 

There is no perfect moment to build your dream and there will never be a ‘right time’ to start following your bliss and creating your best life.

No matter where you are, you have to start from somewhere, so why not start today? It may not be the perfect conditions, but you will make it perfect by the attitude you bring.

what are you waiting for?!


Did I miss anything? I'd love to know - what habits would you add to this list?

To taking your next best step,

Rachel x

6 powerful benefits of a daily meditation practice

Exactly 384 days ago I made the commitment to begin a daily meditation practice. 

Technically, I've been meditating since I first discovered it through my Health Coaching studies back 2013, but my practice was sporadic at best. I knew that I always felt good when I did it, but I never managed to see the full benefits of it because I wasn’t showing up for it consistently. 

At the beginning of last year I read the Miracle Morning and became hugely fascinated by the power of a morning routine. I made the decision to create my own morning ritual and committed to a daily routine which included meditating first thing when I woke up. 

Now, reflecting on the past year which has been huge, both personally and professionally - with major life changes including moving countries + getting married - and a load of uncertainty as I left behind the familiar to start a new life in San Francisco, I can truly say I am the happiest, confident and most at peace with myself than I’ve ever been in my life. 

So I thought I would share with you what I have learned and discovered through my daily practice and why, now it is such an essential part of my day that I could not imagine life without. 

clarity on goals + intentions.

When you’re more focused, it becomes naturally more clear what your priorities and intentions are. You suddenly don’t have time for things that are draining your energy and are mindful of how you are spending your time.

Though clarity on my goals and intentions I have been able to manifest incredible things - marrying the love of my life; moving overseas; finding our dream apartment (in a super cool neighborhood!) as well as landing a dream job with an amazing start-up!

Less anxious + worry.

I’ve always been a worrier and have let stress + anxiety rule my life. I used to constantly worry about future events that hadn't even happened and assuming the worst. 

Meditation has helped me become much more focused on the present - being here right now and releasing my control over what happens in the future.

The reality is that we only have this moment to define our future and choosing to be in it now, rather than worrying about things that haven’t even happened is far more productive. 

Amazing sleep.

Anxiety and stress used to be such a big part of my life that it impacted my sleep and I regularly had nights where I struggled to get to sleep, sometimes not even being able to sleep at all.

My worried and anxious mind kept me awake and these bouts of insomnia left me feeling exhausted. I was tired and irritable all the time with the smallest things setting me off. It was not fun at all. I’d heard many times how meditation can help with sleep - I now know this to be true. 

Meditation trains your mind to focus on your breath; breathing in and out - instead of focusing on your incessant stream of thoughts.

Through consistent practice and training my ‘monkey' mind, I am now able to switch-off and I’m sleeping better than I have in years. Seriously, this has been life-changing! 

Dealing with changes + uncertainty.

If I’m being completely honest, I’d say that a lot of my stress and anxiety comes from wanting control of the outcome of whatever the circumstance is. I’m very much a type-A, born organizer and I find it hard to completely surrender and trust in the unknown.  

This year especially - with moving overseas, waiting for visas to come through, not knowing where we were going to live, finding work in a new city and having our whole life packed up in 2 suitcases for 6 months - was super stressful to say the least.

But my practice kept me grounded. Forcing me to surrender and trust in the knowledge that everything in life is in constant motion and always changing. Nothing is permanent, including the wave of emotions rushing through you.  

That’s the thing - nothing is ever guaranteed and you need to surrender, otherwise you just end up spending all of your energy on things that you have zero control over when you could be spending it on everything you do have control over. 

Calmer, happier + at peace.

I’m an introvert (INFJ) and spend a lot of time alone in my own thoughts - I’m very much driven by my emotions and I feel a whole lot. Which basically means I over think + overanalyze - a lot.

Mediation has helped me get out of my own head and recognize that thoughts are just thoughts - and that you can choose whether to give power to them, or not. 

Improved focus.

I’ve spoken numerous times about how meditation has helped improve my focus and I honestly believe it to be the best tool I’ve found to help me stay productive and focused on what is most important.

Distractions, especially digital one (um, hello social media!) can take us away from our priorities.  

Bringing a more mindful approach to how I work - less multi-tasking, more focus on only a few things - has made me far more productive and enjoy my work a lot more! 

I’ve become a huge advocate of meditation and believe it is the best (and most accessible) tool for anyone who wants to live an amazing + abundant life, through being able to master your mind. 

Do you meditate? How have you seen it help you? If you haven't tried it before - would you consider giving it a go?

Rachel x

P.S If you're interested in a FREE Master your Mindset challenge through the superpower of mediation, make sure you're on my newsletter so you're first to know when this kicks off!

5 questions to ask to discover your purpose

One question I always get asked is 'how do you discover your passion and purpose?'

I used to often ask this question myself and it wasn’t until I worked out how passion and purpose work together that it started to click and make sense to me.

During my 20’s I worked in a lot of jobs that I wasn’t ‘passionate’ about - I was simply going through the motions and taking home money each week for me to live on.

Was I living my purpose?

No way. I was simply existing.

It was during this time that I had a craving for more - a sense of fulfillment that I was making a difference in the world and helping people.

I think this is one of the reasons blogging has become such a big part of my life - I get to do something I am passionate about - which is writing - as well as being able to encourage others to live a life they are passionate about.

So how exactly do you discover your passion and live your purpose?

I can tell you for sure, it is not some magical ‘aha’ moment that you realize what it is supposed to be.

For most people and myself included, I only discovered what my passion and purpose were after a lot of trial and error and experimenting with many different things.

Your passion is simply doing what you love.

What you most love to do with your time; the things you lose yourself in and the things you do where several hours have gone by and you don’t even notice.

Your purpose is being able to translate your passion into something that serves others.

So living your purpose simply put, is being of service to others in a meaningful and authentic way.

I think it’s important to note that you don’t necessarily need to be 'earning your living' from your passion and purpose. 

Although it may be nice, perhaps it’s something that you’re working towards or perhaps you are completely happy with your current work situation and you are expressing your passion in a side-project or hustle that is incredibly fulfilling for you.

There is no right or wrong with how you choose to live your version of this, it is whatever feels right for you and importantly - what works for you and your current circumstances.

Why does having a purpose matter?

Having a clear purpose can help in several ways, apart from giving you a deep sense of fulfillment it can also help you with:

  • Making better decisions.
  • Improving your discipline.
  • Giving you clarity on your goals.
  • Motivating you to achieve your goals.
  • Improving your relationships.
  • Giving your life meaning, knowing you are contributing to make the world a better place.

Here’s the truth: the heart of your purpose in life stems from the heart of who you ARE.

The things that you are most interested in, love to do, receive thanks for and make you happy, are all BIG clues as to where your real purpose may lie.

 So today I wanted to share with you 5 questions to help guide you on a path of self-inquiry to uncover your passion and lead you to your purpose.

Spend some time journalling your responses and see what comes up for you.

Remember there is no right or wrong here, it’s just an opportunity to see what comes up for you and help you recognize any common threads.

  1. What makes you happiest in life?
  2. What do people thank you and compliment you for?
  3. What are you naturally curious about?
  4. What is important to you? What do you stand for?
  5. If you were to change 3 things in the world for the greater good, what would they be?

I’ve also created an handy worksheet for you - just fill in your details below and you will receive it in your inbox!

 

I’d love you to share in the comments - what does it mean to you to be living your life on purpose?

Rachel x

30 abundance affirmations for Change-Makers

I’ve had loads of positive feedback from you guys saying how much you love my positive affirmation posts so I’ve rounded up another set for you - the Change Makers, who are choosing to step up into their light and make their biggest dreams happen. 

If you’re new to affirmations - it’s a super easy and super fun way to help strengthen the connection between your unconscious mind and your conscious mind. 

The more you strengthen this connection the more resilient you will be when difficult or challenging circumstances. 

As Buddha wisely said: you become what you believe. 

And the best way strengthen your resilience is to practice affirmations every single day. 

There’s a loads  of different ways to use them, but here’s a few of my favorites: 

Make it part of your morning routine.

Every morning I choose an affirmation that resonates with me; write it down in my journal; and then I repeat it over and over again while I’m in the shower and as I get ready in the morning. 

Use them as your desktop wallpaper.

I always have an uplifting quote or affirmation on my desktop + it’s a great way to keep your affirmation top of mind!  

Set yourself reminders.

Set off random alerts + reminders on your phone or computer with an affirmation that pops up when you least expect it. I also have one for my alarm so that when it goes off in the morning it's the first thing I see.


Ok, let’s dive in - here they are! 

If you love them, please Pin them, Tweet them + save them for you to refer to when you need an instant pick-me-up. 

  • I love challenges, they bring out the best in me.
  • I am successful right now.
  • I am passionate. I am outrageously enthusiastic and inspire others.
  • I am focused and persistent. I will never quit.
  • I am able to touch and change many lives for the better.
  • I will not allow anyone to determine the size of my dreams - they are mine!
  • I see the infinite supply of energy.
  • I live each day appreciating value.
  • I live confidently knowing I am worthy of prosperity.
  • Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.
  • Today I will work on seeing only the positives. I will block out negative thinking.
  • Today I will focus on what is possible.
  • I radiate positive energy.
  • I express my creativity.
  • I am living my full potential.
  • I attract unlimited abundance.
  • I have all of the information I need to solve any challenges that come up today.
  • My mind is free of resistance and open to the possibilities.
  • Opportunities surround me and new ones appear everyday.

 

  • I believe in myself and my ability to succeed.
  • I am flexible. I adapt to change quickly.
  • It’s easy to meet people. I attract positive and kind people into my life.
  • I handle criticism with ease.
  • I am in charge of my mind.
  • I don’t worry about things I can’t control.
  • I am courageous. I am willing to act in spite of any fear.
  • I execute my plan and produce desired results.
  • Inspiration flows throughout my body.
  • I am inspired and energized by my dreams and desires

Have you used affirmations before? Let me know your favorite way to use them!

 

Rachel x

5 habits to quit to be successful

Last week I got really frustrated with myself. I’d spent a lot of time working on a big project that didn’t turn out as I planned or get the results that I was hoping for.

I started going down a negative spiral of beating myself up for everything I did wrong and thoughts of giving up were at the forefront of my mind.

The oh so familiar sight of failure was staring at me in the face and I let myself get sucked into the dangerous vortex and swiftly descended into feeling overly sorry for myself.

Later that evening, after drinking a couple of glasses of wine with hubby and enjoying our usual routine of dinner and talking about our day, I noticed a shift in perspective in how I was feeling and began thinking less in terms about my so-called failure and more about the things I could choose to focus my energy on instead.

Thing is - feelings of failure and not being good enough are fleeting - and it’s your choice to either let your circumstances dictate where you are headed or do everything in your power to flip the switch and focus on what you can control.

It got me thinking of all the ways we hold ourselves back - most of the time subconsciously, through habits that we create as a way to ultimately protect ourselves from experiencing any kind of negative feelings.

Being developing our skill of able to experience these negative feelings and getting into the habit of choosing to ‘flip the switch’ and see our experience in a new light is a far more productive way to handle any kind of challenge that comes our way. 

I will take a guess that these five habits I'm about to share have shown up for you at one point or another. 

So, next time you see yourself slipping into one of these limiting behaviors, make the conscious choice to flip the switch and take control over your own destiny - and your success!

1. Making excuses.

Newsflash: you are in charge of your destiny. While you may not be able to control people around you or events and circumstances, there is heck of a lot you are in control of - your thoughts; your attention and focus; your emotions; your self-confidence; what books you read; the people you spend time with; how kind you are to others; how you invest your money; how you spend your time; and how much you appreciate what you already have.

Flip the script: instead of making excuses for everything you can’t control, shift your perspective and only focus things you can influence.

2. Comparison.

The ubiquitous nature of social media makes it virtually impossible to escape peeking into other people’s world and seeing how they live or spend their time.

It’s super easy to fall into the trap of constantly comparing yourself to their seemingly ideal existence -  I’ve fallen into the trap and believe me it’s not a good place to be!

Here's the thing: comparing yourself to anyone else is the biggest waste of time. It’s not productive and doesn’t actually achieve anything at all - it only serves to makes you feel horrible about yourself.

Instead flip the script: celebrate community over competition. We rise by lifting others, so celebrate people’s wins, because seeing their success and something they have worked hard to achieve is proof that you can do it too - you just have to believe it is possible!

3. Fear of failure.

Success is never guaranteed - there is no way of knowing whether or not your big dream is going to turn out the way you expect it to.

But you know what is worse? Never going for it or trying because you’re worried that you will fail.

I have failed many times (yep, its true!) but every time I’ve chosen to take a leap of faith, regardless of whether it worked out or not, I always learn something new and I used the knowledge I gained to help me navigate my next step - and guess what?

Through my failures, some of the most amazing things have happened that I could never have predicted.

Flip the script: hiding underneath every so-called failure is a world of opportunity - you just need to take a closer look. no experience is ever wasted if you learn from it.

4. Future-tripping.

When you have big plans you’re trying to make happen it is so easy to start wishing away the present and future-trip about how amazing your life will be once you’ve achieved XY + Z.

But this is a trap! Not being happy with where you are right now is really like slapping life in the face and saying ‘hey, you’re not good enough’ - which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Every day is yours to make it what you want it to be. Even though there may be a long road ahead on your journey, make a point of enjoying the little things and moments in your day that you stop and celebrate just how far you have come.

Flip the script: make a habit of daily gratitude - your current destination is not your final destination. So be ok with where you are now.

Enjoy the journey - you will never be in this place again. Quit wishing your life away. Life will never be perfect - no matter how successful you are.

5. Self-doubt

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will" is one of my favorite quotes - probably because I know how much truth there is behind it.

Not believing in yourself and what you are capable of is the biggest thing standing between where you are now and where you want to be.

It takes a consistent practice of building your confidence up and taking small daily steps outside of your comfort zone so you start getting comfortable of what you are actually capable of.

Flip the script: start believing that you are worthy of success, love, happiness and abundance and live your life by taking daily action in accordance with your beliefs - only then will you start to see your life transform beyond your wildest dreams.

I'd love to know - what is the biggest lesson you learned from something you 'failed' at? 

Rachel x

 

3 simple ways to boost your happiness right now

If you’ve been following along for a while around here you’ll know that I’m a big fan of incorporating simple, mindful practices into our daily life to not only improve our happiness, but that also end up spilling over into helping us be more productive.

Because guess what: when we're both happy and productive is when we do our best work!

So today I wanted to share with you 3 of my favorite things to do for when you're feeling down or having an ‘off day’ and really want to boost your mood straight away and get back to doing what you do best.

Each of these practices simple will help to reconnect with you and inject a dose of ‘feel good’ karma.

Get outside.

Exposure to sunlight plays a huge role in our circadian rhythm which affects not only our sleeping patterns but our alertness and brain wave activity - so sitting inside in front of our computers, all day long, is not helping our body’s natural rhythm!

Be intentional and make the effort to get outside, soak up the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air.

For an instant mood booster - head to the park, take your shoes off and feel the grass underneath your bare feet. 

get moving!

Exercise makes us feel good! Every time we move our bodies we’re getting our blood flowing, which is what stimulates those feel good endorphins.

You can do this right now no matter where you are {even if you’re in an open plan workspace}: stand up and do 20 star jumps - don’t worry about how silly you look, take note of how good you feel after you get moving!

Express gratitude.

This is my favorite way to boost happiness and an essential part of my daily morning routine.
I’ve recently starting using the Five Minute Journal which is totally awesome and fun way of creating a good habit that makes you look forward to it.

The Five Minute Journal prompts you with 3 questions:

  1. 3 things you are grateful for right now.
  2. What would make today great?
  3. Daily affirmations, I am...

{Head here for daily affirmations inspiration}

It seriously takes no more than 5 minutes each morning and spending this time intentionally thinking about what I am truly grateful for starts the day in such a positive way!

Take action:

  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for right now.
  • Slow down + enjoy the little things - there is so much happiness to be found in the present moment.

What are your go-to pick-me-ups for when you need an extra dose of nourishment?

May you be more focused, calm and joyful today.

Rachel x

6 awesome podcasts to inspire you to Dream Bigger

Podcasts are my new favorite thing.

I love listening to them while I get ready in the morning and find they help with starting the day off on a positive and productive note.

I also love listening to them while I’m cooking or if I’m commuting somewhere - given I did a lot of flying this year, I used to download all of my favorite podcasts and listen to them on the plane - it was brilliant!

I’ve found them to be a great way to get to know my favorite bloggers better, because let’s face it when you hear someone’s voice, it helps makes them that much more relatable and real.

I’ve found myself gravitating towards a select few podcasts that I always check to see if there is a new episode released so I thought I’d share the ones I never miss an episode of.

1. Sarah Jensen  - Rock Your Goals.

I’ve been a fan of Sarah for a long time and love what she is creating with her Rock Your Goals workshop (for which she won the BYCA Workshop of the year award for!) and last year she launched the RYG podcast.

She interviews awesome female bloggers, coaches + entrepreneurs who are doing super cool things and I always walk away from each episode learning something new + wanting to investigate some new tool or explore a pice of advice given.

Favorite episode: Interview with Jaclyn Carlson, CEO + founder of Blog Society (it’s a long one but filled with loads of wisdom!) 

2. RACHAEL KABLE: The Mindful Kind

I discovered Rachael Kable through Sarah Jensen when she interviewed her on Rock Your Goals and being a huge fan of mindfulness, I love how Rach shares her personal journey of mindfulness practices and makes it extremely accessible to anyone who wants to start.

The best part about her podcast is that each episode is only 8-9 minutes which makes them easily digestible when you don’t have a lot of time but want to listen to something inspiring and uplifting.

A couple of favorite episodes are Using Mindfulness to Make Decisions and Using Social Media Mindfully. I also loved the second episode where she opens up about her story and talks about using mindfulness to overcome stress

3. KATHERINE MACKENZIE-SMITH: The League of Extraordinary introverts

Katherine’s podcast is probably my favorite - most likely because being an introvert I just love listening to other introverts share their stories and can definitely relate to every single one of them!

Especially when it comes to blogging + having your own business - there are some things that introverts will definitely notice that we do very differently to our extrovert pals (!)

Favorite episode: the interview with Connie Chapman which is all about tuning into your intuition and learning how to let it guide you in big decisions. 

4. Jess Lively: The Lively Show

I’ve been following Jess’ blog since the beginning (hers was one of the first blogs I ever followed!) so it’s been incredibly inspiring to witness Jess grow and evolve as her business has transformed over the years.

I tune in to her show each week where she interviews a whole range of interesting people that I always love being introduced to, but that are all related back to her main purpose of the show which is to 'add a little extra intention to your everyday’.

She has interviewed both Brene Brown + Elizabeth Gilbert who I’m a big fan of, so definitely check out those episodes, but I also love the interview she did with Alex Ikonn (founder of the 5 Minute Journal + the Productivity Planner).

Jess has a great, conversational style and is always raw and vulnerable in each of her episodes which pretty much just makes me love her even more. 

5. Pat Flynn: Smart Passive Income

Pat is the master of the podcast and has even written an epic guide on how to get started with creating your own podcast (which I highly recommend if you want to start!) and he consistently features awesome entrepreneurs to find out how they have created passive incomes through their online business.

Whenever you listen to each episode it makes you literally feel like you’re going behind the scenes and under the bonnet of the interviewee’s business and it’s super insightful.

Look, I will be honest, there are SO many episodes that are incredible but just a handful of favorites worth checking out are:

6. Lewis Howes: The School of Greatness 

I used to tune into into Lewis’ show more regularly but now I tend to only tune in if he has an interesting interview - which he does have loads of!

My favorite episode was where he spoke to one of my inspirations, Lisa Messenger and it was hands down one of the best interviews I’ve listened to - probably because Lisa was so open and honest which I find really refreshing.

Other stand outs - he just recently he interviewed Tony Robbins and Arianna Huffington on her latest book: The Science of Sleep + Success - these are definitely worth listening to! 

I’d love to know, what are your favorite podcasts? Which ones do you never miss an episode of?

Rachel x

4 Ways to Boost your creativity + a digital detox challenge!

If I asked you honestly how many times a day you check into social media, what would your answer be?

Now be really honest.

My guess is that it would be an alarmingly high number.

Why?

Because our obsession {read: addiction} with technology and the constant stream of messages, updates, videos and notifications are all competing for our attention.

The reality of running an online business - or rather being in any kind of professional situation today - means there’s not really a choice to opt-out - it has become increasingly entrenched in our daily lives.

The sad fact is that when your mind is overstimulated, it leads to a massive loss of concentration and decision fatigue which makes even simplest decisions become difficult.

When you combine this with our blatant obsession with productivity, it becomes challenging to be able to stop and fully switch-off.

Insomnia, anxiety, stress and overwhelm are just a few of the side effects of our ‘always on' economy
with all of them leading to an increased inability for us to be able to focus on simple tasks and make decisions.

Thing is, just like you need to sleep each night, your mind needs to recharge daily, so you don’t suffer from burn out - it is simply unrealistic to expect your mind to be focused all the time.

So if all of this over-stimulation is leading to a loss of productivity and burn out - why do we do it?

Because absorbing information FEELS GOOD + is highly addictive.

In scientific terms, there is hit of dopamine sent to our brains each time we consume a new piece of information - and this dopamine high is what makes it so addictive.

Social media platforms like Facebook + Instagram have been built as game-like platforms where you experience a ‘rush’ every time you see a new notification, hence the constant need to want check it all the time.

Think about it - how many times a day do you have a ‘quick look’ at Facebook or Instagram to check in and see what is happening, or whether you have missed some important update?

Now I’d like you to consider the cost of this constant checking and stream of information you're consuming on a daily basis.

Is it making you more productive and winning in your business?

For me, this answer was a resounding ‘no' and I’m guessing this is your answer too.

I’ve felt more anxious, stressed and overwhelmed than ever before and have even had trouble sleeping with bouts of restless nights where I find it impossible for my brain to switch off and sleep.

This so-called addiction is more common that you’d probably think and is introducing a whole raft of social problems that mean we are making life a heck of a lot harder and overcomplicated than it needs to be.

 Have you felt it too?

I’ve wondered if it’s actually possible to be productive in my business - in a business that not only relies on technology, but that is pretty much ALL about the technology.

And the good news I do believe that it is possible to do both - it just requires consciously consuming instead of being on auto-pilot and creating clear boundaries for when and how you engage in social and online media.

I’ve also been experimenting with self-imposed digital detox to see what impact this had on my productivity and I’m excited to share this with you as the results have been mind-blowing.

Here are 4 simple steps to put you firmly back in the drivers seat to improve your focus + ditch decision fatigue:

1. make your mornings a time for daily solitude + reflection.

Set aside the first hour of your day to being completely offline. Keep your phone in another room and invest in an alarm clock so you’re not tempted to use your phone when you wake up. Engage in a positive morning routine that makes you feel energised + inspired as you ease into the day.

2. set boundaries: use a timer for how long you use technology.

It’s easy for hours in the day to get zapped up by online consumption so instead of letting it rule you, set self-imposed boundaries for yourself that ensure you limit the amount of time you’re online.

Set up a system that works for you.

If you need to check into Facebook - set a timer say for 10 minutes which will allow you enough time to make your update and respond to any messages. Then once the timer is up log out and go back to your priorities for the day.

3. create a daily ritual of getting offline.

At the end of each day, make the daily commitment to switching off your laptop, phone or any other device to connect with real life.

Use this time to let go of your to-do list and re-charge your mind with something uplifting.

Everyday I set a time that I plan to stop working and switch of my computer to either head outside for a long walk where I listen to my favourite podcast.

This ritual not only immediately breaks up my day so I have a definitive time I switch-off but also gives me an incentive to get things done knowing I have something to look forward to at the day.

Thing is, when you don't find yourself constantly attached to your screen, you suddenly have a lot more time to engage in that hobby you always wanted to pursue or better yet move your body with daily exercise.

4. take the digital detox challenge.

First up, what exactly is a digital detox?

It’s is simply an active decision to limit the consumption of digital and social media for a period of time.

There are many forms a digital detox can take and the one I have developed is designed to re-focus your energy towards your big goals, revitalise your mind, expand your creativity and help improve your daily productivity.

To help you stay super focused and productive, I’m kicking off a FREE 7 day digital detox challenge!

Over 7 days you will receive a daily tip delivered direct to your inbox that will supercharge your productivity + give you simple steps to improve your daily happiness.

To join the 7 day detox challenge + receive these tips + more to your inbox - sign up below!

 


I'd love you to share in the comments - what is the biggest challenge you face that trips you up + stops you from staying focused on your daily priorities? 

Ok, so who's up for the 7 day digital detox challenge?! 

Rachel x

4 mindfulness practices to supercharge your productivity

It’s 8:55am on Tuesday morning, you have big day ahead of you and know you’ve got a zillion things on your to-do list you need to get done.

While you’re drinking your morning coffee, you think to yourself - 

‘Oh, I’m just going to log into Facebook to see how my post went last night’.

You logon + check your stats, but quicker than you can say 'OMG I just saw Kim Kardashian naked' - a post from your favourite blogger caught your eye and you had to check it out.

Fast forward 30 minutes later you still haven’t started on your to-do list and feeling overwhelmed because you’ve just seen a whole bunch of posts that your entrepreneur pals have already done this morning and you’re so behind!

Well, hello. Welcome.

You’ve just been sucked into the digital time vortex: AKA productivity killer of the 21st Century.

I know, I can hear you saying it now - you need to keep your pulse on what’s happening - for your biz - but also because it’s where you find out super valuable information that can actually HELP you!!

I hear you.

BUT, and this is a big but… I want you to think about if this constant checking is actually helping you or hindering you from achieving your goals.

If you can truthfully say you think it is, read on this post is for you.

In our age of the digital ‘always on’ revolution we are constantly surrounded by notifications, sounds and enticing apps and social media sites (um hello, Facebook, Instagram + Pinterest) that we find it hard to resist the urge from checking in on as we have a big fear of missing out of something we might {read: can’t live without} need to know.

Today I want to share with you 4 simple mindfulness techniques that I use on a daily basis that have dramatically helped me to improve my focus and helped me get more done.

Since i started using these techniques I've gradually improved my ability to focus and hold my concentration + I’ve been able to achieve more in a day than I sometimes would in a week.

To put it simply, mindfulness is becoming aware of the present moment in time. Rather than thinking, worrying or stressing about the past or worrying about what we need to get done (AKA future-tripping), you focus all of your energy on the present.

Raise your awareness.

Because mindfulness is about focusing your energy on the present moment , the first step is to start becoming fully aware and raising your consciousness to the present moment.

The best example of this is driving a car. How many times have you been lost in your own thoughts as you’re driving - you’ve stopped paying attention to your surrounds because you’re on auto-pilot, completely absorbed by the mental chatter in your head.

Becoming aware of your thoughts takes a lot of practice, so don’t worry too much if it takes you a while to get the swing of it. 

The best way I’ve found is to keep a record of all the things that distract you during the day - whether it be your emails, checking your phone or logging on to Facebook to have a ‘quick look’.

The better you get at identifying these distractions and become aware of them, the better you’re able to set your environment up in a way that supports you to not allow them to trip you up.

Prioritize what you need to get done.

Next up is to prioritise what you need to get done. 

Before you go on and tell me how big your to-do list is and how impossible it is for you to be able to prioritise and get everything done, I want to share with you this:

There are always going to be more things you want/need to get done that you physically are able to fit into a day or even a week or a month. 

So give yourself permission right now to let yourself off the hook and be quit being burdened with this notion that you need to ‘get everything done’.

You don’t.

I want to introduce you to a new approach instead.

Think about what your overall goal is for the year - the one big thing that you really want to achieve more than anything else.

For example, it might be to generate $50,000 in revenue in your business, or it might be to sign on 5 new clients every month.

So then you need to work out what activities you need to be doing that are going to help you achieve this (this may be a long an exhaustive list!).

Then pick 3 of these activities you are going to focus on for TODAY only + write them down.

{tip: the intentional day planner has been created to help you achieve this!}

Here’s the thing: when you know what your priorities are it makes it a hell of a lot easier to know what you should be working on and what you need to ditch.

The biggest distraction and where we get tripped up is losing sight of what our main priority is and end up doing ‘busy work’ that’s not actually helping us achieve what we set out to.

Focus on one thing at a time.

Ok, so now you have your list of things you need to get done.

Next, I want you to pick one thing off your list you want to complete and commit to only focusing on completing this single task until it is done.

That means no checking Facebook; no starting another task and no reading a blog post while you’re doing it!

Despite what you may think, multi-tasking is not actually helping you get what you need to get done. In fact, it is only slowing you down.

Research from Stanford University has confirmed that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.

"When {multi-taskers} are in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they're not able to filter out what's not relevant to their current goal," said Wagner, an associate professor of psychology. "That failure to filter means they're slowed down by that irrelevant information."

So start now, by close down all of the tabs in your browser.

If you need to, use Self Control app to block certain sites from being accessed.

Or better yet - switch off your wi-fi so that you’re not tempted to even jump on to the internet for a ‘quick look.'

Focusing on one task at a time is going to help you sustain your concentration and contribute to higher productivity and reaching your goals a whole lot faster.

Set yourself a timer.

Discovering the Pomordoro technique has literally changed my life.

I used to break my day up into hour-long blocks, but to be perfectly honest, I was increasingly finding this challenging because I kept getting distracted! 

I’d read about Pomordoro technique before but never fully got into it, but I’d a few people raving about it with huge success, so I decided to give it a shot.

How it works:

It’s simplicity is my favourite thing about using the Pomordoro method.

You literally set a timer for 25 minutes and commit to fully working on the task at hand for that period. At the end of the 25 minutes you can take a short break, before starting the next 25 minute session.

There is also a dedicated Pomodoro app which is awesome because you can set a goal for how many ‘Pomordoro’s’ you want to achieve in a day. I’ve found this to be super helpful in boosting productivity.

If you have trouble focusing for long periods, the Pomodoro technique is the perfect thing to try because it’s a short enough period for you not to want to give into your distractions, but long enough for you to actually achieve a significant amount of work.


Now over to you, I’d love to know if you too are guilty of letting distractions get in the way of getting sh*t done - what are some of the biggest things that trip you up?

And if you’ve been able to increase your focus, I’d love you to share what has worked well for you.