Passions Serve a Purpose!

We have just celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 14th, so I thought that finding your PASSION was an appropriate topic for this week’s List for Living. If your life is lacking passion in certain areas – such as in your job, your love life or even in life in general, then this is the list for you!

  1. Does your life seem a little dull? Do you drift along in the same routine every week? Well guess what! Becoming a passionate person is a choice. The most important thing that you need to do to become a more passionate person is to be yourself. That means that you should follow your interests, no matter how weird they appear to others. When my kids were little I use to love colouring in the pictures in their colouring books, it was so relaxing. I always thought I was a little weird but look at the market for adult colouring books now!
  2. Get back your energy and ironically once you do,  you will find your passions, this will energise you further and you will discover more passion for life. It really is a vicious circle. (for tips on gaining more energy see my Blog post ‘Health – A New Confident You’).
  3. Rediscover your dreams. Have you lost sight of the plans you made when you were younger? Maybe life has thrown in some unexpected events which have steered you off your path. Take some time to remember why you are doing the things that you do. You may be resentful of the fact that you are the family taxi driver but when you think about why you do it, you realise that you do it because you want your kids to develop interests outside school. You may get the benefits of feeling part of a community who stands and cheers their kids on or who help with refreshments. When you remember the ‘why’, life will have meaning and direction again.
  4. Finding passion in the mundane. Truly passionate people are able to find passion in everything they do. How? Because they know the reason why they are doing something. They are passionate about doing the housework because they love inviting friends to their beautiful home. This is what is the motivation behind the dusting etc.
  5. What if your passions still elude you? There is a power in knowing who you are and what you want. This is what leads you to your passion. Most of us will have multiple different interests and hobbies though there will often be an undercurrent running beneath them. Often this undercurrent will be partly inspired by your beliefs. Finding that undercurrent is the solution. You can do this by making mind maps or vision boards (more about these will be said in next weeks lists).  Do this and take a step back. Look at what you have created. What themes run through everything and what would you have to do to create that perfect world for yourself or others? This is your mission and right there is who you are.
  6. Being passionate is good for your health. Passion stops you drifting aimlessly through life. Passions force us to grow and evolve. They make us more interesting and attractive to others. What better excuse do we need to get out there and find our passions?

Happiness is a Choice

For those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere, Spring is just around the corner. Yesterday on my Facebook feed, I saw posted, a photo of the first daffodil to appear on the banks of Clifford’s Tower in York. This momentous occasion heralds the beginning of Spring in England, for me. In California, the days vary between being very hot and cold, damp and foggy.

So today as another Winter draws to a close, we look at creating a list in order to create a better mood, in readiness for welcoming in the beginning of Spring. Traditionally, this is the season in which we gain the energy to push ahead with all the goals and projects that we started planning over the Winter months. So here is this week’s list for creating a better mood:

  1. Understand that you have the ability to change your perception of life, and therefore your mood, at any time you wish (I am not including those people who suffer from any form of depression here. If that is the case then I suggest seeking medical help).
  2. One of the things that we do as humans, is to live life on certain vibrations, and we tend to live on these vibrations unconsciously. If you want to create a better mood, start by becoming intentional about being happy. Practice living on a vibration of happiness, without having to rely on external factors. Practice smiling (an instant mood-booster) and reach for the happiest thought that you can think right now.
  3. Practice gratitude for all that you have right now.
  4. Create an environment for yourself that lifts your spirits. Play music that speaks to your soul, watch uplifting movies, wear bright colours (it can be a lipstick or scarf to add colour to a neutral wardrobe).
  5. Start hanging out with upbeat people and watch that your mood doesn’t try to drag others down. Do you meet someone and begin moaning about life as soon as you meet them? Make sure that you begin conversations in an upbeat positive manner – this is something I am working on as I often arrive late, full of apologies about how busy I am. I am consciously working on arriving on time and unstressed. The other person does not want to know about your troubles in the first five minutes of seeing you.
  6. If something is getting to be a chore, then change your routine, or your attitude towards it. Do something out of the ordinary. I found that I was dragging myself out of bed on a cold, dark Winter’s morning to do my yoga. Once I was doing it, I loved it but getting up was the hard part. In order to get myself more excited about beginning my day, I found some inspiring music on YouTube which lifted my spirits so much that I now bounce out of bed much more easily because the lyrics have such a positive effect on my mood. Check out Karen Drucker – ‘Thank You For This Day’ on YouTube.

Have a great week. Check out my YouTube Channel – Coaching to Confidence and let me know how you are getting on with the lists.

Care Less, Live More!

Are you one of those people who cares too much about what other people think of you?

Do you worry that people are always talking about you?

Are you afraid to express your true opinions?

Do you aim to please, everyone?

Do you find yourself saying ‘Yes’, when you really mean ‘NO’?

It is time to stop caring what others think. Why?

You give away your power

You give up your happiness

You live in fear

Your focus is scattered if you are always at the mercy of others demands and opinions.

So how can you begin to care less about how others view you?

  • Find out who you are. What are your preferences, your desires, your dreams?
  • Practice self-acceptance. If you want to do something, don’t automatically ask others for their opinion or their permission. Start by making smaller decisions for yourself.
  • Learn to accept that some people won’t be happy if you say ‘No’ to them, especially at first.
  • The only real opinion of you that matters – is YOUR’S!
  • Decide how much help you can give to others and plan accordingly. This is a good way of softening the blow at first if you are always someone who does a favor when asked. Next time someone asks you to do ‘X’ tell them that you are sorry you can’t do ‘X’ but you are willing to do ‘Y’. Or you could practice asking for a favor in return, for example when a friend asks you to babysit, you could reply with ‘oh yes, I was going to ask if you could babysit for me one night, let’s do a swap’. You will soon find out who is genuinely interested in helping you and those who expect help but don’t want to return the favor in any way. If this is the case:
  • Find a new tribe!
  • Finally stop judging yourself and start loving yourself.

Mindset for Success

In last week’s list we looked at creating a fresh start in life. In this week’s list, we are going to look at creating a success mindset in order to begin our new journey.

  1. Begin with an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’. Be thankful for the things which are in your life. Begin with small things if you are unhappy in life right now and gradually increase your level of gratitude. Some people find it easier to start by creating a list each night of the things that they were grateful for, throughout the day. Don’t forget the things that you may take for granted, such as your health, a beautiful sunset or a warm bed. I found that this attitude completely turned my life around – from victim to creator of my own future!
  2. Surround yourself with positive influences. Hang out with positive people, watch uplifting YouTube videos instead of the news, listen to uplifting music and read books from people you admire. Notice your feelings throughout the day. Are you starting the day on a positive note and then descending into a negative mood in the later afternoon? If so, what can you do to keep your energy high? I have started going for a 15 minute walk each afternoon and the sunshine and the exercise help to lift my spirits.
  3. Create good habits. Are you constantly late for appointments? What could you do to prevent this from happening? Are you a procrastinator? Do you feel overwhelmed at the thoughts of what you need to do? How could you gain  more control in your life? I am a big procrastinator and I often feel overwhelmed at the beginning of a project, so I have learnt to set a time limit of an hour on any project that i begin and once that hour is up, I have a break. If I am really reluctant to get going on a difficult project, like doing my taxes, I set the timer for 15 minutes only. This is a manageable chunk of time for me.  It takes roughly 13 weeks for something to become a habit, so stick with it!
  4. Learn to plan effectively. This point really goes hand in hand with point 3. Once you know what habit you wish to adopt, you need to make a plan to allow you to have the best possible chance of success at maintaining that habit.
  5. Take action. It is human nature to try to make sure everything is perfect before we launch a business, publish a book, reveal our works of art. But there comes a point when we just need to take the plunge and take action. There is a point at which we have to start on our journey towards our goals, perfect or not. We worry because once we reveal what we are doing, we leave ourselves open to judgement from others. Hopefully, having worked through these lists however, we have gained confidence in ourselves and our abilities and as the saying goes: ‘What others think of us, is none of our business’
  6. Sharpen your focus. Do not be tempted by ‘The Bright New Shiny Object’. This is a well-known syndrome which means that you begin something and then get sidetracked by another idea or marketing scheme or goal which looks more interesting, lucrative, appealing. Instead focus on what you have in front of you. Do not get sidetracked posting on Social Media or doing the housework (I admit I am guilty!) but again you can set a timer to make sure you focus for a set amount of time. I have found, it is better to focus on your goals for a short time each day than to try to block out great chunks of time in one day.
  7. Make a habit of constantly learning. YouTube is a fantastic resource in which you can learn all sorts of things. You can take online courses relatively cheaply on Udemy or read books on the subjects you wish to learn more about. If you have bigger goals to complete a degree or other training, there has never been a better time for pursuing your dream.

Time for a Fresh Start

In this week’s ‘List for Living’ we are going to be challenging ourselves a little further in pursuit of our ideal life. Having changed your story in last week’s List, hopefully you are now viewing yourself in a positive light. So the next step is to put all our experiences that we have encountered in life so far to good use. Where do you want to go next in this exciting adventure we call life? What is going to be your New Beginning? Lets start thinking:

  1. Make peace with the past, the mistakes you made, the actions that others took towards you, the habits you have acquired that have prevented you achieving your chosen path. This step is obviously not one which is a quick fix and can take some work to achieve but it can be achieved step by step over many months or years if necessary. Look at this step as a work in progress but it should not prevent you from moving forward on the List
  2. Gain clarity on your chosen path. Think carefully about the area(s) in which you wish to make a fresh start. It is easy to be overwhelmed when we say that we want a fresh start – where do we begin? One way we can reduce our overwhelm is to  think of an area that we wish to start again – have you just lost your job, got a divorce, suffered a loss? Perhaps all three things have happened to you. Make a list of all the areas you wish to improve and then pick  one to begin with. When I got divorced my finances and the welfare of my children were the most crucial areas of my life to start again in. Although important, a new social life and other relationships would have to wait until I was on a stable financial footing and my children were taken care of. On the other hand if no area of improvement is of obvious importance, think how improvements made in one area may help improve another area. For example if you want to start doing things that benefit you after years of looking after others needs and you decide that you would like to take better care of yourself health wise, and you would also like to improve your social life, you may take steps first to improve your health and find an exercise class which will also benefit your social life.
  3. Once you have decided which areas of your life to prioritize, you need to start looking for the resources which will help you. It can be YouTube videos, books – Kindle books are a great place to look for resources as there are often books written that include links to current blogs which may be of help and groups, either on social media or in real life. Finding people who have achieved success in the areas that you wish to improve and taking note of what they have done is a great start.
  4. Take a look at the photo above. It shows a young plant which will one day bloom into a beautiful flower or tree. But at the moment it needs love, attention and the right conditions to grow, as does anybody who embarks on new challenges. So be kind you yourself, allow yourself to make mistakes and keep taking one step at a time.
  5. Show commitment. When you hit a  rocky patch, remind yourself of the life that you left behind and why you wanted more. Look forward to the life that you will achieve and feel the difference in the person that you are becoming as a result of this journey. If you have ever undertaken a building or decorating project you will know that the middle phase always looks worse than the beginning of the project and you always utter the words ‘Why did I start this!’ You have to go through the process of upheaval in order to move forward. Just remind yourself it is a temporary phrase and the sooner you take another step forward, the sooner you will achieve your goals.
  6. The great thing about making a fresh start is that each time you begin the process you have no idea of your own capabilities and as the journey continues, you realize that you have so many skills and talents, that when this particular journey ends you will want to start a new one, to see what else you can discover about the magnificent creature that you are.

Fear Busting

Fear is the basic emotion that limits our life. It controls our comfort zone and dictates our actions – if we let it. Fear limits us from taking risks too often  and fear is what prevents us from living a full life.

This week’s List for Living focuses on dealing with our fears.

  1. What are your greatest fears in life? If you had to name your top 3 fears, what would they be?
  2. Once you have your top 3 fears, lets examine them more closely. Write each fear down and start becoming curious about each one. Where did it come from? Often our fears are handed down to us, sometimes through the generations and they feel like part of our very fabric. What is the fear stopping you from doing? How is it affecting your life? What is it protecting your from?
  3. Step into your fear. Face it head on. Imagine that it has come to fruition. What would that feel like? Often we will try anything to avoid feeling what the fear is trying to protect us from, it is too painful to contemplate. But if we can step into our fear and really face it then it loses its power over you.
  4. Who would you be if you let your fears go? Our identity is often bound up with our fears, we see ourselves as victims of circumstance and as such we invest in our own fears. For example, a person who is frightened of having their heart broken, will identify themselves as a person who is unlucky in love. Their fear will guide them to unsuitable people so they can reinforce this impression of themselves over time.
  5. What would you do if you let your fears go? What are your fears preventing you from doing? Now you have examined your fears closely, are they justified? What are the consequences of letting your fears interfere with your goals? Write down the worst case scenarios that your fears are trying to protect you from and ask yourself, how realistic are they? Are there actions you can take to minimize those risks?

This list is designed for you to start bringing your fears into your conscious mind and become more familiar with them. If we can bring our fears out into the open and start questioning them, we become less afraid of living with them and this takes away some of their power.

Health – A New Confident You

What does health have to do with setting goals, you may ask. Well in order to gain the confidence to take action towards your goals you want to feel as good as possible, have as much energy as you need to make changes in your life and just to feel good about yourself in general. So here is my list of living this week.

1. Love yourself and your image right now.

Even if you want to make improvements to your fitness levels, your body weight, to pay more attention to your image, start by honoring the person that you see as you stand in front of a mirror.

If you find this hard to do, repeat each time that you look at your reflection, ‘I am enough’. Soon a change will come over you even if you do nothing else.

2. Decide what steps you are going to take first to improve your health and vitality. Do you want to improve your fitness level? Lose some weight? Gain more energy? Whatever you wish to do remember that your goal starts with a small step and then another and then another.

3.Healthy eating – Change eating habits one mouthful at a time. Make a note of the times when you are most likely to eat food that does not take you towards your goal. Some bad habits are caused by mindless eating. But some bad habits are caused by low energy at certain times of the day. In my case, I crave sugary, sweet things in the late afternoon, especially after a day at work, so I try to eat something which has some sweetness in it to satisfy my cravings. – I never found dieting a good way of altering my body weight. I know what my weaknesses are and when I make bad choices in my eating habits so instead of eliminating food that I know are bad for me, I will eat a generally good diet (fresh vegetables and protein) and then I don’t beat myself up if I lapse and have a chocolate bar. But the more you come to love and value yourself, the better your diet becomes as you get to know what is beneficial to your body.

4. Exercise – many of us do not get enough exercise in life. I am guilty of this having moved from one country to another, I don’t have a fitness plan worked out yet and one of my goals in the next couple of months is to put together a plan to incorporate more exercise into my life. I love how my body feels after I have been exercising, whether I have been for a long walk or been to a dance class. I don’t have a car so I walk everywhere I can, which I love doing. Neither do I have gym membership as I know I would not use it. But I have loved trying various sports in my life, including Tae Kwon Do and Pole Dancing! If you don’t yet do as much exercise as you would like, start small, start with a walk and look around for an activity which makes your heart sing.

5. Sleep – What is the right amount for you? Not to survive but to thrive! If you are deprived of sleep then look at how you can make the situation better. Are you an early riser yet you find yourself going to bed late? I know that after 9pm, I am too sleepy to do anything but read and get ready for bed. I am much better at getting up early to finish tasks than I am trying to stay up late at night to try to complete them.

6. Stress – How high are your stress levels right now? Focus inwards and find out if anything is causing you a high level of stress. I know if I have had money worries or worries about relationships for example, sometimes it is better to face them head on, to question them and come up with a plan to deal with them, rather than to have them linger in the back of your mind. Even low levels of stress can drain our energy which makes setting our goals seem impossible.

7. Mental health – just as we need be aware of treating our bodies well to prevent ill-health, we need to keep our minds healthy and active. There are many tools to help to keep our thoughts positive and healthy and they deserve a list of their own. A good starting point however are mindfulness and meditation. Even just an awareness of the thoughts which cross your mind is a great starting point to becoming more self-aware. We have the power to accept or discard any thoughts that we choose

8. This list has covered a lot of topics and it is not intended that you try all suggestions at once. That would for many of us be overwhelming but if the mood takes you, pick one starting point and go from there. One new haircut or a phone call to the local pool to find out the times of the swimming sessions is a great first step to healthy living.

Finding Time for the Things You Love


The aim here is change your mindset from one of lack of time to one of abundance – ‘ I choose to use my time to do this

  1.  Make a note of the different areas in your life which you feel need to give attention to.
  2. Look at the list and put a big heart next to those areas which you love spending time doing.
  3. For the moment put to one side those areas that you do out of obligation.
  4. Make a note of the activities that you do each day – for example each morning I do some yoga for 20 minutes and that is followed by 20 minutes of meditation. Then I will do 20 minutes (ish) of watching YouTube videos on something I wish to know more about while I eat my breakfast
  5. Set a timer for how long you will be on the phone or social media, which is one of the biggest time stealers that there is.
  6. Make an honest appraisal of how much tv you watch everyday that is for ‘entertainment purposes’ this includes the news.
  7. Make a note of how much time you spend catering to others needs. This includes, running errands, volunteering on committees, doing housework and making meals. Giving advice and helping sort out problems. Is helping others dominating your time?
  8. Make a note of when you are most productive in the day
  9. Group similar tasks together and designate a set time to do them in one chunk rather than in dribs and drabs throughout the week.
  10. Make a list of errands that need to be run or appointments and try to group them together so you do one trip rather than several.
  11. Decide how you would love to spend your time.
  12. Experiment with blocking out time to do the things you love. I get up at 5am to work on my business before I go off to my regular job, as this is the time that I am at my most productive and the least likely to be disturbed or have appointments scheduled. 

If like me you had a to-do list that was longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning you will love the book ‘To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide To Creating To-Do Lists That Work’by Damon Zahariades who has some great productivity tools. You can buy his book from Amazon at:


Lists for Living

You may be wondering about the title for my blog. Well there are a few reasons:

  1. You will find it easier to achieve YOUR goals, changes in lifestyle and dreams when you get past the sense of overwhelm that faces you, the minute you try to even chrome://newtab/think of beginning a new project.
  2. I am a person who, when faced with a big project / goal / dream, feels overwhelmed at the beginning, so I always start out by looking for ways to put the steps I need to take into a list. I am a self confessed list-a-holic!
  3. I thought that everybody had the ability to break down complex tasks into simplified steps, but it turns out that I was wrong. Where I see a logical step, some people see only confusion. Imagine my delight at finding a hidden talent – list making!
  4. I also had a coaching practice in England, and while in the courses that I taught, people would often come to the realization that they had a goal they wished to pursue, only a few were brave enough to take a leap into to unknown, once they had come to that realization. Most people wanted to build up their confidence slowly first, often in unrelated areas of their lives before – and this is important to note – they saw themselves as the type of person who is successful at achieving …… (insert goal here).
  5. I have achieved some major goals in my life but it was not until recently that I realized that I had unconsciously followed the same checklist of steps to achieve them. You can read more about them in my book but this blog consists in a series of challenges that you can use to gain the confidence to change your life and follow your dreams

Are you ready? Lets go:


The Challenge


Each week, beginning on a Sunday, I will produce a list, the goal of which will either challenge you and shake you out of your comfort zone or prompt you to start questioning the things that you do in life. Could you do things a different way? Could you eliminate certain things that prevent you from achieving more of what you want in life?

The aim is to enrich your life, simplify it (so you have time to pursue other goals) or change it (perhaps in an awesome, mind-blowing way – who knew you loved to run mountain trails naked at midnight! Or just in a way which gradually increases your confidence and reveals your personal likes and dislikes. If this list does not speak to you, either move on to another of the lists or repeat one that you loved. The lists are in no particular order and the project is meant to be fun, to open up your world to different possibilities in life. I will follow the lists also to get me out of my comfort zone and ready to tackle some new goals of my own. I will put my comments below as to how I got on and I hope you will do the same. One of the great things about being an online community is the encouragement you can get from other people, whose only motivation is to see you succeed. As the great Zig Ziglar said ‘You can get anything you want, as long as you help others get what they want’.

May your successes all be great ones.