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.

25 morning affirmations to kick-start your day

As you know I am a huge fan of affirmations and use them as part of my daily morning routine - not only do they help make major shifts in your mindset they also serve as prompts and daily reminders on what you are truly capable of, making sure you have an amazing day, everyday.

What is an affirmation exactly?

An affirmation is a simple but powerful statement that helps to 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 are so many benefits of using affirmations as part of your daily morning routine:

  • They help increase your awareness of your thoughts and words making it easier to recognise the negative + self-doubt thought patterns holding you back. 
  • Affirmations define your focus. When you focus your energy on the things you want: achieving your goals, the positive, uplifting + good you are creating an abundance mindset and strengthening your resolve to make it happen. 
  • They open you up to possibility. Too often we get stuck in the ‘impossible’ mindset, but affirmations flip this on it’s head. When you begin to positively affirm what is actually possible, a whole world of opportunity opens up to you.

These affirmations pack a powerful punch and using them each morning is the perfect way to start your day on a positive and productive note.

  • Everything is going to work out for my highest good.
  • I am in charge of my mind.
  • I am strong in mind, body and spirit.
  • I am unique. I feel good about being alive and being me.
  • Amazing opportunities exist for me in every aspect of my life.
  • I choose to be happy right now. I love my life.
  • I appreciate everything I have. I live in joy.
  • I am positive and optimistic. I believe things will always work out for the best.
  • I am a powerful creator. I create the life I want.
  • I am excited about today.
  • I choose to love with an expanded heart.
  • I choose to work with a focused mind.
  • I am thankful for all that I have.
  • I create the life i desire.
  • I have unlimited potential.
  • I now release the drama of my past. I consciously create my future.
  • I have all that I need to make today great.
  • I am patient and calm and looking forward to today.
  • I am grateful for another day to make a positive contribution.
  • I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
  • I am a leader and lover of life.
  • Something wonderful is about to happen to me.

Do you use affirmations? What are some of your favourites?

May something magical happen today!

Rachel x

4 ways to get un-stuck and overcome resistance

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living out of our suitcases now for almost 3 months!

During our time away I’ve had get super good at mastering uncertainty as our travels have all been dependent on things well outside of our control - like when A’s U.S visa would come through and where his work schedule would take us to next.

We’ve literally been booking our accommodation and flights on the fly and making it up as we go along - yep it’s been a ride!

Given all of our adventures; a super crazy schedule and being on the road; plus planning a wedding back in Oz in just 6 weeks time (eek!!), I’ve found myself feeling really stuck in how to move forward to make the most of this amazing freedom and living the dream of having a location independent biz.

Part of me wants to just kick back and enjoy the adventure, but the other part of me is consumed with terrible guilt that I’m not doing enough to grow my business.

So I’ve been stuck in analysis paralysis mode for the past few weeks - it’s my inner perfectionist creeping back in, waiting for the time to be right; waiting for the perfect moment and waiting for the perfect conditions to make my next move.

I have some big goals this year that I’m confident I will smash, but to be perfectly honest taking that first step and making my next bold move has been challenging.

Living with uncertainty has never been my strong point - I’m a creature of habit; I’m a homebody; I love my daily routine and being constantly on the go has made all this really challenging, pushing me out of my zone of comfort - but I know that I need to shift my perspective on this in order for me to move forward.

So, since leaving London yesterday I’ve forced myself to do a re-boot - I know the conditions are not perfect, but I also know that I need to start where I am with what I have.

Today I wanted to share with you the 4 simple things that have made a huge difference in shifting my perspective, giving me the confidence to move forward and trust everything is unfolding perfectly.

If you’ve been feeling stuck and not sure how to move forward, I know these tips will give you the confidence to take your next bold move.

1. Be of service.

The feeling of being ‘stuck’ is a sign you need to make some kind of change - big or small. By shifting your perspective away from you to one that is focused on others and how you can to be of service is a simple way to snap out of your indecision.

How can you support, motivate, encourage or inspire others to be the best version of themselves and make their life sweeter?

2. Reconnect with your mission.

Often when you're stuck in indecision it’s because you’ve lost track of what your mission is and you’re feeling disconnected to why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.

I encourage you to start today with reconnecting with your mission is and what you’re here to do.
Revisit the goals that you set for yourself and remind yourself why it is important for you to do achieve these.
This simple reminder will help propel you into action and get those creative juices flowing again!

3. Focus on doing 3 things everyday.

Rather than getting bogged down with an overwhelming list of things you need to do, focus instead on doing 3 things everyday that are connected to your goals and where you want to head.

Taking small steps everyday will lead you to where you want to be - it really doesn’t matter how fast you go, so long as you’re moving in the right direction.

Every step you take will inch you closer to where you want to be and the best way to do this is to break down your big goals into 3 smaller manageable tasks that you can do each day.

4. Create a daily habit of taking inspired action.

Make a commitment to creating a habit out of your 3 daily tasks and you will soon see yourself powering through all of your goals!

Look at your schedule and figure out how you can find a spare hour in your day and make it your priority to knock these 3 things off.

Trust me, it’s amazing what you can achieve in an so little time when you’re super focused and clear on what you need to do!

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you move forward?

To taking your next best step!

Rachel x

6 steps to reaching your biggest goals

Hello 2016!

I hope you had an amazing holiday season with your family and loved ones. I had an incredibly restorative break in Bali where I intentionally switched off and went completely offline - it was bliss.

Having this break was essential for my own personal sanity and the downtime only made me feel that much more motivated and inspired creatively to kick serious butt this year - I hope you did the same and were able to fill your cup up with all the things that energize and uplift you. 

The start of 2016 saw us head to San Francisco where A started his new job and I got to explore the city and scout out where we should live!

We’re now back in Oz for A to organize his US Visa and for me to host some workshops at the Apple Stores in Sydney and Brisbane with the wonderful Julie Parker.

If you’re in Sydney or Brisbane, it is completely free to attend but you need to register - I would LOVE to see you there and meet you in person! It certainly does makes a nice change than from being in front of a computer :-) 

>> Register for Sydney <<
>> Register for Brisbane <<

Now, moving on to the topic of today’s post: Goal Setting, or should I say Goal Crushing.

Ah, there is nothing like the start of a fresh new year to set some big juicy goals and dive into making them happen!  

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I’m not a fan of resolutions at all - I believe you can set a new goal or commit to making a change any day of the year, but I do think the start of a new year is the perfect time to re-assess where you are headed and commit to making solid plans for the year ahead. 

Now, lets be honest for a moment - how many times have you set an ambitious new year resolution or goal, only for it to fall flat on its face not too long after? 

The problem with setting goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year and then see them fall over soon after comes down to two things: 
    1.    Setting the wrong kind of goals.
    2.   Not having a solid system and plan in place to make them happen.

So today I want to share with you the 6 simple steps to crush every.single.goal you set in 2016. 

Let's dive in!

1. set realistic goals (that also stretch you!)

First up and most importantly, we must set realistic AND achievable goals.

There is no point setting pie in the sky goals that we're going to find difficult to reach - here’s why: because we'll lose motivation pretty quickly once we realize just how daunting and scary our goal actually is.

I am not suggesting setting goals that are too easy - we absolutely need stretch ourselves to get outside our zone of comfort - we just need to make sure we're setting goals that we know - that with practice, patience and perseverance, we will crush.

2. break down your goals into actionable steps.

How many times have you set a huge goal for yourself and then wonder how the heck you are going to actually make it happen? Yep, you’re not alone! 

Which is why it is essential that every goal we set needs to be broken down into smaller, actionable steps. 

Perhaps you've set the goal to start your own business and open an online store (go you!) but looking at this goal alone is enough to wonder what the heck comes first and what your next move will be.

So, for each goal you set for yourself this year, back it up with a plan that details the steps you need to make for this goal to be met. 

A good tip here is to break your big goal up into monthly goals, followed by smaller weekly goals so you can review at the end of each month/week the progress you’ve made. 

Not only does breaking our goals down into actionable steps help keep us on track for reaching our bigger goals, it helps to motivate us as we can then chart the exact progress we’ve made - WINNING!

3. Review goals Daily.

This is a big trick and easy to miss!

Reviewing our goals daily ensures they are top of mind - this step is essential for keeping the momentum going with any goal we set. 

The No. 1 reason why people don’t reach their goals is because they don’t stay close to them, making it super easy for us to forget, lose interest or plain just ‘can’t be bothered'.

Out of sight, out of mind, right? 
  
When we make the commitment to keeping our goals close by and document them in our journal or computer (I use the Day One app to record all of my goals) and create a habit of making it part of our regular morning routine - this makes it so much easier to refresh our memory of exactly where we are headed!

4. Get an accountability partner.

Having a goals buddy / accountability partner on our team makes goal crushing that much more fun!

Not only do we get to help keep each other on track and motivated, we get to share your wins + celebrate the heck out of them, inspiring each other to reach, stretch and grow that bit further. 

How to find an accountability partner? Join a Facebook group (some of my favorites are Blogging Boost + Secret Blogger’s Business) that you will find are full of rocking’ babes who are all on a mission with big, bright and bold dreams.  

5. Be flexible in your approach.

One of my favorite quotes by Tony Robbins sums this up perfectly: Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.  

It is perfectly ok to be flexible in how we go about achieving our goals.

Let’s be real here: it is pretty much given that "life happens" and as a result we need to be able to shift and make changes based on unplanned circumstances that come up. 

The path to achieving any goal rarely goes as planned and is always filled with obstacles and challenges to make us really question our commitment to making them happen.  

What’s important is that while our path may look different to what we had originally envisioned, we are still 100% committed to working out a new plan that sees us achieving our goal.

6. Celebrate wins.

This is often overlooked, but by taking the time to celebrate every goal we crush, we're creating space to honor ourselves and the hard work we've put in to making it happen. 

When we use use this celebration as an opportunity to reflect and assess the key factors that led to making this a success - we can then use these learnings to fuel our subsequent goals.   

Nope, it doesn’t need to be elaborate, but why not treat yourself to an afternoon off, buy a magazine or get your nails done - just enough to celebrate your awesomeness! 

There you have it - my 6 steps to crushing EVERY single one of your goals. 

Now it's over to you: I’d love you to share in the comments what helps you stay on track to reaching your goals!

To taking your next best step,

Rachel x

 

Are your habits holding you back?

We arrived in Bali last Friday and have been having a blissful time soaking up the utterly serene and peaceful surroundings. 

This break has been long overdue - with both mine and A’s filled-to-the-brim schedule for the second half of 2015, along with moving out of our home and packing up our life in Sydney, it has left us running on empty for a while. 

It feels so good to be able to stop, unwind and exhale deeply.

Grateful doesn’t cut it. It’s been hugely restorative and exactly what I needed.

Last week I wrote about 7 ways to simplify + de-clutter your life in 2016 and to continue with this theme, today I'm sharing the two things you need to leave behind to set you up for your best, rockin’ year ahead!

Let’s dive in!

1. FEAR

This is number one on the list for a reason: fear is holding you back from being your most authentic self as well as stopping you from creating the the life you dream about. 

I know because it has held me back too - fear of putting myself out there, fear of failure and fear of success are all recurring themes in my past story.

But let me fill you in on a secret I’ve learned: the very best way to push past fear is by taking action and do the thing that scares you the most.

This is exactly what I did when the opportunity for me to speak publicly at the Beautiful You Inspired Women’s event in Melbourne last month.

I was dreading having to get up and speak in front of 70 people and procrastinated for a long time on the topic I was going to speak about.

It was my wonderful partner who helped remind me that I had in fact been setting myself up for this through my daily morning routine by creating a habit of doing my "hardest thing" each day.

On this particular day, my hardest thing was to speak publicly; and you know what?

Being able to nail my speech, and on top of that, being able to make people laugh and genuinely connect with what I was saying {um, I may have also gotten the whole room to do star-jumps, ha!}, was incredible!

Thing is, I do love connecting with people, despite my {extremely} introverted nature, I had just been avoiding it because of my fear, but once I got going, nothing was going to stop me!

And as just like that, the universe has opened up opportunities for me to speak at more events in January - stay tuned!

My point is: do the thing that scares you most.

You must push past those fears as they are only limiting you from your true potential.

What is one fear you want to commit to facing head-on in 2016? 

2. SELF DOUBT + CRITICISM

Fact: the way you think about yourself is directly connected to your happiness and has more bearing on your state of well-being than the actual circumstances of your life.

Lasting happiness begins with learning to love and accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all.

I’m betting that you are your own worst critic, and the harsh way you talk to yourself, you would never dream of speaking to anyone else.

We judge ourselves on everything!

We either don’t have enough money, success, love or beauty - and we blame ourselves for all of it!

We get stuck on this notion that the harder we push ourselves, the more success we will achieve, and the more successful we are, the happier we will be. 

What this actually translates to is a constant state of critiquing, berating and judging.

We’re our own worst enemy!

The truth is, this perception is flawed.

Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand.

Our level of self-acceptance determines our level of happiness.

And you know what?

We experience as much happiness as we believe ourselves worthy of.

The practice of self-love and self-acceptance is an invitation to stop judging ourselves.

It’s about accepting who we are with an open heart, and treating ourselves with the same kindness, love and compassion we’d offer a good friend, or a stranger.

This is your invitation to be gentle on yourself, rather than harsh and critical.

And instead of the endless comparison game, start to appreciate your own unique magnificence. 

Things will start to effortlessly flow in your life when you begin to be honest with yourself about who you are and what you desire - and this begins with speaking to yourself in a positive way.

Banish negativity, self-deprecating thoughts and anything that is causing you or others harm.

stop.

What are the negative thoughts you have on constant replay in your head? Take a moment to write down the thoughts that are weighing you down.

Raise your awareness.

The first step to turning these thoughts around is to become aware of them. 

Take action.

What do you do, that no one else does? What lights you up? What activities do you lose yourself in?

Take a moment to write down 10 things that are magically unique about you.

Let go of these things and I guarantee you will have a rocking’ year in 2016!

Tell me - what habits will you be letting go of in the New Year?


On a side note, I want to thank you for being here and hanging out with me this year!

My heart is full from the amazing love and friendships I have made through connecting with each one of you. 

I wish you and your loved ones a magical Christmas and most spectacular start to 2016!

Much love + gratitude,

Rachel x


Inspired Women's Event photography: Fi Mims Photography

7 simple ways to embrace minimalism and de-clutter your life

This week my entire life is in the process of being whittled down into 2 suitcases that I will be living out of for the next 4-5 months while I travel and and land in my new home city, San Francisco - and uh yes, I am beyond EXCITED!

I’ll admit I’ve been wondering how, or if this was going to be possible, but I know that of course it is and I’m now really looking forward to the freedom of not being weighed down by anything I no longer need. 

I’m using this as an opportunity to strip back and completely overhaul everything I own.

And as I’ve been going through the process of de-cluttering my life and ridding everything I own, right down to the bare essentials, it got me thinking about how easy it is to find yourself living in amongst clutter that we blindingly assume as our state of ‘normal’. 

My intention going into 2016 is to strip back the layers, edit and simplify every area my life.

Have you been feeling a similar nudge?

As the year draws to a close now is the perfect time to reflect on what is no longer serving you and create space for opportunities + ideas + to gain a renewed sense of energy.

During this month, I will be sharing ideas on how you can simplify + detox your life to give yourself the best possible start in 2016.

To kick things off, I have 7 simple ways you can de-clutter your life, starting today.

De-clutter your home.

Dedicate a weekend to cleaning out your apartment or home and don’t be afraid to edit it ruthlessly, getting rid of everything you no longer use. 

Empty out your living space, workspace + bedroom with everything non-essential - be ruthless in this process - if you don’t love it and it’s not good for your soul, lose it.

My rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it or looked at it for a year then it’s probably something you can live without.

Then go about organising your belongings in a way that feels mentally refreshing. I’m a big fan of IKEA storage boxes (like these) to organise odds and ends. 

  • Toss newspapers + magazines more than 2 months old. 
  • Donate any clothing or shoes to charity that no longer makes you feel good. 
  • Create a storage system for any important documents; or better yet digitise everything so you no longer need to keep the paper version.
  • Gather up any items not belonging to you and return them to their owner.
  • Do an audit of any books or old CD’s you’ve been hanging on to and either toss or donate them to charity.

Clutter-free feels good. You will feel calmer, confident and have a renewed sense of energy to invest in things that genuinely light up your soul.

Un-plug.

Given our constant state of connectedness and a social media economy that’s always on and never sleeps, it’s enough to leave you feeling stressed out, exhausted and overwhelmed.

I’ve been forced to create my own personal boundaries for how I interact online as I’ve felt the gentle nudge this year that it was not doing anything positive for my mental health.

Here’s my challenge for you: take a full week off social media - and instead channel your energy into writing in your journal; getting outside + connecting with people in person.

If that feels like too much of a stretch, take baby steps by setting a rule that you don’t check your phone before 10am; turn off all notifications + leave your phone in aeroplane mode from 9pm - trust me this is incredibly liberating!

Sometimes it can take disconnecting to realize how capable you are of existing completely without it - not to mention doing wonders for your productivity and creativity.

set boundaries.

We teach people how we want to be treated and there comes a time when its necessary for your own sanity and out of respect for yourself, that you need to create firm boundaries of what you will and won’t accept.

Be clear on your own personal values and don’t allow other people’s toxicity drown out your joy. Say no when you mean it and let go of unhealthy relationships.

de-clutter your digital space.

Just as your physical space gathers up dust and things you no longer need, so too does your digital space.

  • Go through each of your digital homes and trash any old files or images you no longer need.
  • Clean up your desktop + hard drive + use Dropbox or cloud based server to store your documents so you’re not using your hard drive.
  • Organise your documents into a folder system where you categorise based on your requirements - separate into Life/Personal and Business etc so you have two distinctly different folder structures for each.
  • Rinse + repeat for your mobile phone, iPad or tablet as well as your computer.
  • Aim to get to zero inbox. Be ruthless in deleting emails that you no longer need. The only items in your inbox should only be what you need to action.
  • Move any emails you need to hang on to into folders so you can locate them easily when you need to.
  • Unsubscribe from any newsletter lists that are clogging up your inbox and not adding any value.

Let go of your past.

You are not what happened to you: you are who you choose to be. 

Free yourself from the burden your past is weighing on you and let go of the stories and limiting beliefs that have been holding you back.

It's easy to assume the identity of the stories we create about ourselves - but I urge you to question your story and take back your power. 

Give yourself permission to create a new story aligned with the vision of your future.

De-tox your mind.

Here’s the truth: most of the things you are worrying about will probably never happen. Focus only on what you can control - anything you can’t change, let go and free yourself - it is only holding you back and stopping you from enjoying the present.

Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Do you support yourself with love and kindness? Make the commitment from now on to become your own best friend and the fearless cheerleader of your life

Remember: you are responsible for the energy you bring - show up with joy + watch how it transforms your world.

Forgive & let go.

Holding on to anger, frustration or feelings of resentment are not serving you - they are only weighing you down.

Give yourself the opportunity and free yourself from the burden of people who have hurt you or let you down.

Forget about right or wrong - at the end of the day what’s done is done and holding on to the past and letting it dictate your future is stopping you from becoming the person you are meant to be.

Open yourself up to the freedom and space to move on and take back your life.

I'd love to hear what thoughts on embracing minimalism - what areas are you looking to simplify in 2016?

Love,
Rachel x

How to create a morning routine for a positive and productive day

I’ve experimented a lot this year with my morning routine and how I’ve established an amazing routine that sets the tone for a positive, focused and intentional {read: happier} day.

So I wanted to share with you the 3 simple steps for you to create your own rockin’ morning routine that works for your schedule.

Aanndd as an extra bonus I’ve created a handy toolkit to help you record your answers and create your routine.

 

The truth is, there is no ‘right’ way to structure your routine - what is right for you will be different from the next person, but there are some key ingredients and guiding questions that can help you to create the best one for you.

Before we dive in, let’s take a look at what exactly makes a good morning routine. 

A powerful morning routine will...

  • Fill you up with positive energy.
  • Make you feel energised.
  • Empower you to reach your goals.
  • Leave you focused, clear-minded + intentional about where you energy needs to be directed during the day.

In short - it will serve to uplift and motivate you + set you up for a productive and positive day!

So let’s get started.

First up, THE EASY QUESTION:

What activities make you feel good?

Compile a list of activities make you feel good and energised.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • A gentle yoga routine.
  • Exercise + get your body moving!
  • Establish a meditation routine.
  • Drinking a warm glass of water with lemon juice.
  • Repeat positive affirmations.
  • Read something positive + uplifting.
  • Write morning pages.
  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
  • Set your daily intention.
  • Set your One Big Goal for the day.
  • Eat a nourishing breakfast.
  • Skip checking your email and social media.
  • Hug someone you love.
  • Play with your pets.
  • Dance to some happy tunes!
  • Spread kindness + do something positive for someone else. When you lift others you automatically boost yourself + it feels good!
  • Give yourself a high-five in the mirror + repeat: I am going to kick-ass today!

How much time can you dedicate to a morning routine?

This is super important!

You may not be ready to commit to waking up an hour earlier just yet - that is completely fine.

Simply start with where you are right now and make the commitment to waking up 10 minutes earlier for you to dedicate to adding a dose of happiness into your morning. 

Even if you have 10 extra minutes you can still create a wonderfully enriching morning routine.

Now go back and review your list and circle the items that you can incorporate in your routine based on the time you have available.

What tools can help support your new routine?

We're up to the fun part!

Now that you’ve decided what will be part of your new morning routine; to help you stay motivated and on track, I want you to think about what tools + apps can help support you each day.

Here are a few I love….

MEDITATION

GOALS + JOURNALING

EXERCISE + YOGA

AFFIRMATIONS

I'd love to challenge you to see what changes you can make to overhaul your current morning routine so you can create a positive and productive routine that sets you up for your best possible day.

What tweaks or additions will you be making to your routine?

Love,
Rachel xx

 

35 lessons in life + love

Yesterday I turned 35.

I can honestly say I’m in the best place I've been and with each year that goes by, life just keeps getting better and better. 

Looking back to where I was just 5 years ago - on the brink of a divorce; flat broke + utterly miserable, I've come a loooong way.

Thing is, without all of the crap I went through, I would never have realised just how freaking grateful I am for everything in my life today - my amazing partner (and now fiancée!); friends; family and a business that I adore.

Life is good.

I know I'm not perfect and I have also come to realise that life will never be *perfect*. No matter how happy you are, there will always be challenges you have to face and rather than pretending they don’t exist, avoiding them, or worse - letting them consume you, the trick is mastering how to ride the waves of life.

Happiness is fleeting and available to you at any moment; but a deep sense of joy and peace is something you cultivate when you accept that life is one big adventure + it all comes down to what you make of it.

So, in what has become somewhat of an annual birthday tradition, here are the 35 lessons I learned in life + love this past year. 

I hope they stir some tiny ember of a flame inside of you and give you the courage to create your own version of an extraordinary life...

1. Be kind to yourself.

The more kind you are to yourself the more love you will have to give to others. Honour your own needs - you deserve your own love as much anyone else.

2. Be kind to others.

Always.

3. Less judging, more acceptance. 

4. Invest in yourself.

You are your greatest asset - invest in your health; education and your future. You are worth every cent. 

5. Less stuff, more adventure.

6. Throw out the life plan.

Planning the details of where you will be in the next 5+ years leaves no room for spontaneity, adventure - and the greatest of all - a wonderful romance with life.

7. The present is where it’s happening.

It is also the place where you will find the most joy.

8. This too shall pass.

No matter how bad things get or how bad they appear, remember that this too shall pass. 

9. Challenging yourself is the only way to grow + the only way you learn.

If you are feeling stuck it’s a wake up call you need to do something different. 

10. Learning to live with uncertainty is necessary for your sanity.

Get good at this and you will become the master of your life.

11. It’s not about the goal, it’s about the process.

Being fixated on the goal or the outcome you are seeking saps the joy out of everything you are doing and you will only end up resenting it.

12. It is ok to fail.

More than once. All of your failures are lessons - use them wisely.

13. Loving the right person won’t make you whole...

...But it will raise you up and together you will become unstoppable.

14. Always celebrate how far you have come.

15. Even the best relationships take work.

16. Some people can't see your dream as clearly as you can.

This will throw doubt on everything you believe: trusting in things you cannot see is called faith. 

17. Lean in to discomfort rather than resist it.

The only way out is through. 

18. Perfect the art of saying ‘no’.

This is mandatory for being able to master your time and manage your energy.

19. When it comes to relationships, love is not all you need.

You also need honesty, trust, compassion, vulnerability, passion and respect - all of which lead to intimacy which is the greatest reward of any relationship.

20. Sometimes you need to get offline and go live in the real world.

Real life is not happening in front of your computer screen. Switch off, unplug and start paying attention to the people in your life who love you.

21. True friends are the ones you who you sometimes don’t see for 6 months...

...Because, well, life - and then when you do see each other, you pick up from exactly where you left off. 

22. Never lose your sense of wonder or curiosity.

Seeing the world through this lens allows you to let go of expectations and enjoy the present.

23. Your relationships are your greatest assignments.

They will uncover all the layers of yourself that you need to work on to become the best version of you.

24. The only person who will make you truly happy is yourself.

Do not give this power away to anyone else.

25. Meditation is the best way to improve productivity; reduce stress + anxiety.

My life has transformed since I started a consistent and regular meditation practice this year and it’s now my favourite part of the day that I look forward to. And I'm not a morning person! Which leads me to...

26. A good morning routine will set you up for your best day - everyday.

Create one that works for you and inspires you to start each day in the most positive way.

27. It is impossible to do everything.

You will never be able to make everyone happy, so focus on what is most important to you; accept that you are doing your best and give it all you’ve got.

28. It all starts with what you believe about yourself to be true. 

If you can master the art of bringing a positive mindset into each day you will not only believe you are worthy of amazing things, but also start attracting miracles into your life. 

29. Love where you are right now.

Don’t rush things. Everything is perfect - enjoy this moment for what it is and quit wishing your life away. Life is happening now!

30. Conformity is the enemy of growth.

Stop getting caught up in other people’s expectations of you. Don’t be afraid if your truth looks wildly different from the person next to you. 

31. Forget the ‘woulds’ ‘shoulds’ ‘coulds’ and what might have been.

Do what feels right for you. 

32. You can either be a passive participate in life or get on board the adventure: you choose.

33. Consistency + persistency pays off.

Some things take longer than planned or expected - don’t beat yourself up if you’re not where you thought you would be or haven’t achieved what you wanted - it will pay off if you #keepgoing.

34. The key to losing inches off your waistline in your 30’s is cutting out (or at least cutting down on) sugar.

Beware of the hidden sugars in so-called ‘healthy’ foods + juices - even natural sugar is still sugar! And yep, sugar is addictive, so the more you eat the more you crave it. Get off the merry-go-round!

35. Breathe.

If you are feeling anxious, stressed, angry + consumed by emotion - stop; take a deep breathe in and slowly exhale. Rinse and repeat 5 times. You will feel like new person. Remember, we are always in motion and everything in life is temporary. 

Read 34 lessons in life + love // Read 33 lessons in life + love.

To taking your next best step,

Love,

Rachel