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Where to Start when there is a Shitload of Things to Do

In this blog post I share with you a goal setting strategy that you can use to help you determine and prioritise what the most important thing is to work on when it feels like you want to achieve so much all at once and that you feel like everything is equally important. If you like you can join my free email course where I can help and support you every step of the way.

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It can be really tough when it there is so much that you want to do and it feels like there is so much going on inside your head. If you’re anything like me, once I start to focus on one thing another half a dozen other things come up that I also want to do and I become easily distracted. When this happens things can quickly become confusing, overwhelming and stressful and that is when you can run the risk of losing complete focus and can become stuck.

I’m here to share with you a technique that you can use to avoid becoming confused, overwhelmed and stressed when you have many ideas inside your head or when there is many things that you want to achieve. You can join my free email course where I can help and support you every step of the way.

Free email course

The Benefits of Prioritising

Prioritising tasks and goals is important, especially when at face value, everything seems to be equally important and there are competing demands. Knowing what to work on first can affect your success in achieving the task at hand and achieving your overall outcome.

Not every task or goal is equally important.

Learning and knowing how to prioritise tasks and goals can help to teach you that not everything is as equally important as what they first appear to be. There are things that are super important that need to be done TODAY, and there are other things that, although they are still important, they can be put off for another day. I’ll teach you how to do this further down.

Avoid wasting time and achieve more.

Knowing what to work on first can help you to avoid wasting precious time and increase your ability to achieve more. There is nothing worse than knowing that you have a deadline, but realising that you have been wasting time doing meaningless things such as scrolling on Facebook (I’m guilty!) or watching the latest episode of that must see television show (also guilty!). This is called procrastination and can lead to that last minute panic and can cause unnecessary stress. I’ll teach you how to beat procrastination another time.

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Conserves your energy and attention.

As I mentioned in the point above, knowing what to work on first can help you to conserve your energy and maintain your focus and attention on things that really need your focus and attention.

Ensures that deadlines are met.

Learning the skill of determining whether things are as important as what they need to be and prioritising helps you in the planning process and ensures that those important deadlines are met and that you don’t have some serious explaining to do.

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Learning How to Prioritise in 7 Easy Steps

Below are the seven steps that you can take to prioritise and decide what you need to work on next. Join my free email course where I can help and support you every step of the way.

1. The Brainstorm

I call this process an ‘action log’, which is basically a brainstorm or a brain dump of all the things that you want to do, all of the ideas in your head and all of the goals that you want to achieve. This is one of my favourite steps to do in the planning process and you can read more about the specific steps here. You’ll find writing everything down helpful as all of those fluffy ideas will become more concrete.

I strongly encourage you to set a time frame for your action log. For example, is this action log a brainstorm of all the things you want to do in the next month, the next 12 months or the next five or ten years. This will help you to put your action log into perspective.

2. Short Term and Long Term

From this list of ideas have a look at what you want to achieve in the short term and what you want to achieve in the long term. It may seem like you need to do everything RIGHT NOW, but honestly, some things need to wait and they can wait.

3. What is important

Take a look at what you want to do in the short term. There might be one thing listed here or there may be several. If there is one thing listed you may like to start this process again and use this same process to break that task, idea or goal down into small, manageable steps. If there is more than one thing listed, you need to determine what is the most important. You can do this by using a high, medium and low importance colour coding or numbering system. By doing this you will begin to have a clearer picture about what needs to be done immediately and what things can be done at another time.

4. What needs doing RIGHT NOW

From here you need to determine what you need to do RIGHT NOW, based on what you considered to be of high importance. When you’re determining what you need to do immediately also consider:

  • how long it is going to take to achieve it
  • any upcoming deadlines
  • and the difficulty.

Often the things that are the most difficult or the hardest to accomplish are the things that we should be doing first.

What do you need to do right now?

5. Write that list in order

By now you should have a list full of scribbles, colour codes and numbers. Its time to take that list and put it in order from what you’ve discovered to be most important that needs to be done urgently to what you discovered to be least important.

Include this list on your vision board, up on your wall or in your bullet journal so it is always visible. You can read more about putting together your own vision board here. Having a constant visual reminder will keep you motivated and will prompt you to actually get things done.

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6. Is there anything that anyone else can do?

Often we want to be miracle workers or super women and do everything ourselves, but realistically, having this mindset can reduce your success, cause unnecessary stress or make things take a lot longer than what they need to be. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to pull your resources together and use them to get the job done. Pulling your resources together and asking for help will free up your time to do the things that you want to do and will help you to get to your outcome quicker.

7. One thing at a time

Its time to start working and crossing things off that list. It can be tempting to do bits and pieces of each goal or task, but I would encourage you to spend your time, energy, focus and attention working on one thing at a time. When you begin to cross things off your list you’re going to feel refreshed and motivated. Imagine how empowered you’re going to feel when you realise that you’re one step closer to achieving your dream.

How do you work out what is the most important thing to work on first? Comment below.

Free email course

Here’s to finding your best you.

Ashleigh x

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How to Assess Your Life Balance

In this post I explain how important it is to have balance in your life.  I share with you my own experience of not having life balance and how it had affected me.  I take you through an activity that will briefly assess where things are at in your life balance using an activity that I share in my ‘Find Your Best You’ online course.

How to assess your life balance plus a free worksheet

I have a story that I’d like to share with you.  It’s a story about personal experience, the importance of living a balanced life and when things become unbalanced you can run the risk of losing sight of all of those other things that are important and experiencing one of those ‘difficult to swallow’ moments.

I obsessed with keeping busy and I was determined to get out of the ‘traditional’ working lifestyle.  I would keep busy by working.  I’d work 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and each day I would come home to work on my side hustle business, keeping busy.  On weekends I wouldn’t be doing the things that I should have been doing.  You would find me in the spare room working on my side hustle.  This same pattern of my week went on for 18 months or so.

I started to notice things were changing.  My side hustle business was becoming more important than my relationships.  The things that I once really liked doing was becoming a chore.  Things that were not stressful before were turning to the biggest stressors of my life.  There was no living.  I was ‘existing’.  

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I recall a significant wake up call for me.  It was a Sunday night and my husband had gone to the bathroom.  I was sitting on the couch watching mindless television as I always do when I prepare myself for the work week ahead.  All of a sudden I felt like I could not breath.  I felt like I was suffocating.  I felt so lost and confused.  I felt overwhelmed and anxious.  I felt like my body was full of toxic energy.  I felt like I was having a crisis and I couldn’t control it.  It was at that critical moment that I knew that things needed to change.

My life had become unbalanced, majorly, and I was determined to make things right.  I was determined to eliminate those things in my life that were making me feel toxic and I was determined to live that positive, fulfilling life that I had always dreamed of.  

I’m here to teach you how to do the same.  I don’t want you to get to that point, ever.  My role is to help you give you the skills so you can work towards your fulfilling living that you have always wanted. 

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Assessing Your Balanced Life 

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In order to live a life that is balanced life, that’s positive and fulfilling, you must first know who you are and what it is that you need to live a fulfilling life.  My role in this job is to encourage and support you to explore what things are important to you, why they’re important and give you the skills to achieve that life you’ve always hoped and dreamed of.

I’m going to encourage you to consider and explore all of the main pillars that make up a balanced lifestyle.  This is an activity that we do in my ‘Find Your Best You’ online program.

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In this activity you’re going to explore different aspects of your life, from your health to your career and everything in between.  All of these areas contribute to that fulfilling life that you crave.

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This is my bullet journal variation of the Life Balance Worksheet.

(you can download your free worksheet here)

What does each area look like right now?

On a scale of 1 to 10, I want you to rate each aspect of your life on the life wheel.

1 = very dissatisfied about where this is at right now

10 = you’re so satisfied with this right now that nothing needs to be different at this point in time.

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What did you uncover? 

What did you notice?  Is your life in balance or does it need work?

If lots of things came up for you during the activity and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay.  Acknowledge how you’re feeling and tell yourself that it is okay to work on one thing at a time.  

What was your biggest learning from this activity?  What area do you think you need to work on first?

I understand that this can be an overwhelming process.  I am here to support you if needed.  If you’re feeling up to it I encourage you to share your thoughts below or on my Facebook page.  If not, you’re welcome to contact me by email. 

Here’s to finding your best you.

Ashleigh x

 

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How to Create a Vision Board that Will Lead You to Success

I have been doing a lot of visualisation about my business, Finding Your Best You, lately.  It has been incredibly powerful and motivating.  From visualising the services that I would like to offer to women who feel like they’re struggling and the natural techniques that I will like to teach women to gain power over their mental health, to visualising how I would like my business to run, day to day and why I even want to open up my own online private practice in first place.  So much has been going through my head that I decided to try and keep track of it in some form of logical sense in a way of a vision board.

In this blog post, I share the strategy I used in creating my own vision board for my business, Finding Your Best You.  Use this strategy to create your own vision board if you have a goal that you’d like to work towards, whether that might be learning natural ways of managing your anxiety or a goal of recovering from your mental illness.

How to Create a Vision Board that will Lead to Success

So, what is a vision board anyway?

A vision board is a visual tool made from an arrangement of images, quotes and other visual ideas that represents your goal, what your life is going to be like once you get there and how it’s going to make you feel.  Having these things as a visual reminder is frickin’ powerful stuff.

The purpose of a vision board is that it is used as a contact visual reminder of your goal in order to keep you motivated.  I have my vision board up on my wall above my desk.  Sometimes its easy for me to lose sight on where I’m going or I become confused and overwhelmed.  Having my vision board right in front of me is incredibly useful when I feel uncertain, have any doubt that what I’m doing isn’t going to be useful, when I get frustrated and when I begin to feel fearful and my anxiety kicks in, telling me that my whole business is a total waste of time.

A vision board is a collection of images, quotes, words and numbers that are arranged on a poster, a board or a page in your journal.  I chose to create a massive poster for my vision board for the purpose of having it ‘smack-bang’ in front of me.

 

How I Finally put my Vision Board Together

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STEP 1:  My Goal

The first step in creating my vision board was to actually work out what it is that I wanted to achieve.  I had to think of my goal and by doing this I was giving it energy.  For a long time now, I’ve wanted to leave my 9-5pm job working with children in foster care and go out into the world on my own.  I am passionate about giving women the space and skills that they need to be mentally healthy and to be their best self, so Finding Your Best You was born.

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STEP 2:  Answering the Important Questions

Unpacking my goal of opening up my own online private practice and exploring why its something I am remotely interested in required me having a willingness to open up and honestly answer some pretty tough questions.  It required me to be ‘selfish’ and think about ‘what’s in it for me’?  I needed to think about what it is that I want to get out of it – a dream home that I could work from and leave the slog of committing to a 9-5 work routine.  I needed to think of the exact things that are going to keep me going when it feels like things are getting too hard and when it seems like the easiest option would be to return to full time work.

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STEP 3:  Collect Your Images

I found most of my images online but the images that you can use to create a vision board can be found absolutely anywhere.  They could be in your photo albums already (make copies if needed), magazines, newspapers, catalogs or online.  Include positive words, affirmations and inspirational quotes that resonate with you and that will keep you motivated.  I used the printer that I have in my office to print out all of my images.

When you step back and look at the images you’ve collected, you begin to see themes about your goal and how you’re going to feel once you’ve achieved it.

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STEP 4:  Arrange Your Board 

There is no right or wrong way to arrange your vision board.  Arrange it in such a way that it is going to create meaning for you.  It took me a little while to create the layout that I wanted for my vision board.

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This is what I came up with when I created my vision board for ‘Finding Your Best You’.  I tried setting it out many ways but this way worked for me the most.  My focus of the board is in the middle.  On the left is my vision for ‘Finding Your Best You’ and on the right is what I’m going to do once I achieve my goal and how I am going to feel once I get there.

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Your turn! 

Do you have a goal that you’ve always wanted to work towards?  It could be anything.  It could be that you want to lose weight, that you want to earn extra income or it could be recovering from your mental illness.

I want you to think like you’ve already achieved what you’re setting out to do.

What does it look like?  How do you feel?

I want you to be creative when you work on your vision board.  Give yourself permission to spend time on this activity.  Think about the prompts listed below when creating your vision board.  

  • What will your life look like when you’ve achieved your goal?
  • How are you going to feel once you’ve achieved it?
  • How is your life going to be different?

Think about the colours, the feelings, the words and your rewards.  You can also include motivational quotes or anything that is going to keep you motivated along the way.  Your going to use your board as a motivation prompt when you feel anxious and fearful and have those moments of self-doubt. 

I’d like to see what you have come up with.

Here’s to finding your best you.

Ashleigh x

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10 Day ‘Spend Time Outside’ Challenge

Join me on my first 10 Day Challenge of 2018.  My aim is to host a challenge that promotes self-care, health, wellness, positive mental health and self-discovery every month.  This month I challenge you to spend time outside everyday for 10 days straight.

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The Details: 

  • The challenge will begin on the 1st March 2018 and continue for 10 days straight.
  • To register – click here.  Registration is free.
  • Encourage your friends to join as well.
  • I will email you a reminder everyday.
  • Share a photo of yourself participating in the challenge on the daily Facebook prompt or Instagram.

What do you think? Reckon you could do it?

Click to register.

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The Benefits of Going Outside 

There are many benefits to going outside and spending time in nature.  Spending time outside benefits our physical health and wellbeing and also our mental health.  It can:

  • make exercising easier.
  • promotes weightloss.
  • help to increase brain function.
  • increase your intake of Vitamin D.
  • help to reduce your stress levels.
  • help make you feel happy.
  • can help you to improve your short term memory.
  • help you to restore your mental energy.

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List of Suggestions 

Are you stumped with ideas on what you can do outside?  I’ve created a list of some suggestions based on the things I can do below.

  • Go for a walk by the river
  • Go for a walk in a park
  • Weed the garden.
  • Sit in the sun.
  • Eat breakfast or drink a beverage outside.
  • Meditate outside.
  • Go to the local farmers market.
  • Walk along the beach.
  • Go for a picnic.
  • Wash the car.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Fly paper airplanes.

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Be Accountable 

Do you need help to keep yourself accountable?  I have listed three ways that you can keep yourself accountable below.

  • Facebook:  Everyday I will post a prompt on Facebook.  Share a photo of yourself outside on the post everyday.  Let everyone know how you are feeling and what you are thinking.
  • Instagram:  Share a photo of yourself with the hashtag #fyby10daychallenge.
  • Email:  Reply directly to your email prompt with a photo of yourself outside.

I’ll share the images from my 10 day challenge below.

Have you registered?  If not, click here.

Here’s to finding your best you.

Ashleigh x