Stop the roundabout….I want to get off!

Life Is Tough Quotes Life Is Tough Quotes When Life Gets Tough Quotes The QuotesHave you ever felt like life is too fast-paced, there’s to much going on, or there’s too much coming at you from lots of different directions. Like you’re on a roundabout and you feel like it’s going too fast, you feel a bit sick and disorientated, and you need to get off. You can’t focus, and you’ve lost sense of the direction of your life? Yep, I’ve been there.

Sometimes, life can get a bit crazy, and you can feel like there’s too much to cope with. The key is about how you cope with it. Get too overwhelmed by it all, and you risk getting anxious, feeling out of your depth, and completely losing perspective. So what can you do?

  1. STOP! Take a breath, and some time to think. Reflect on the situation – why do you feel like you do? What is it that is really making you feel out of control?
  2. BREAK IT DOWN. Write down all of the things that are bothering you – you will likely find that by doing so it actually makes you realise that some of them are irrational and can easily be fixed.
  3. TACKLE AND PRIORITISE. Look at each item on your list and establish what is important and what can be forgotten. Order your list of things that need to be dealt with in priority order.
  4. TALK TO SOMEONE. Sometimes just talking about how you’re feeling can make you feel so much better. You may not get your answers, but just getting how you feel ‘out there’ really helps. And who knows, that person may just be able to help.
  5. MAKE A PLAN OF ACTION. This can be really simple, and can focus on tackling one or two things at the top of your priority list (you’ll likely find that by doing so the other items may just sort themselves out), but should give you the impetus to get perspective and focus on dealing with the situation rather than being overwhelmed.

It’s important to just stop sometimes in life, and take a breather. We can often get so caught up and carried away with life and all it’s dramas that we forget what’s really important to us. I’m guilty of this, particularly with work, and I’ve found recently that I’ve got so immersed in the stress and pressure of corporate life, that I’ve let it take over my personal life, which is never good. Luckily for me I have some level-headed straight talking people around me, who recognise when this happens, and work with me to flag it.

Life is tough, we all have many priorities and activities to juggle every day. The trick is to remind yourself what is important and focus on your end game. Life is happening right now, and we need to focus on enjoying the experience we are privileged to experience. Life is tough my darling, but so are you!


It’s never too late!


Do you ever hear yourself saying ‘if only I’d tried something different……or taken a different path…….I wish I could be a…..what if I’d just tried to…..’ etc. etc.

We often lust after things we don’t have, or want to be something else in life, or try something new – but quite often we create excuses as to why we can’t do it.

Why? What’s stopping us from trying that new hobby, making plans to start a new career, just getting out there and doing whatever it is we want to do?

In this current world of social media, there are so many ‘perfect looking lives’ out there – pretty young women, or chiselled young men depicting their busy, happy, clean-eating, varied-exercising hobby-filled perfect lives all presented in perfect looking ‘unfiltered’ natural looking photographs. Now in reality, we all know that most people will take 100 selfies to be happy with the one to post, and then it will be filtered and even if they are having a rubbish day, they will still smile and look like life is wonderful. However, being reminded that youth, beauty and all round perfectness is key in this world, it does dent your confidence (well it does mine) most of the time, and it makes you question whether you really can change, take the risk, have a go and do something you really want to.

Mostly in my case it comes down to confidence, but often I do have this niggling thought at the back of my mind that maybe it’s a bit to late to take a risk, which I know just sounds silly. It is NEVER too late to try something new!



I often hear people say ‘it’s too late for me now, I’m too old to change career, or to try that new hobby’ because they are fearful that they will fail and they will do so in the company of those beautiful young people who look like they are enjoying the career change or hobby they hanker after. I confess, I have heard myself think it in my head, and whilst I don’t believe it, it is a nagging doubt that is another dent on your confidence.

And then I look around me, and I see people going for it, taking the risk, trying something new. And what happens? They enjoy it! Even if they fail, or realise it’s not for them.

You are NEVER too old to try something new – as long as your heart is still beating and you are still breathing, the world is full of possibilities! Life is short and it’s meant to be enjoyed. Take the risk, make a change, be brave – and enjoy the result!

PS I’m going to take that advice 🙂

An impostor in your own life

impostorDo you ever feel like you’re ‘going to be found out’, or that the people around you are going to realise that you’re not as good as they initially thought you were – like you’re a ‘fraud’?

I’ve heard a few people talk about this feeling over the last few weeks and I can really relate to it – and it’s all down to self esteem and confidence in your abilities. I have always struggled with confidence. Most people who know me, or have met me would probably find that difficult to believe – even a boss once told me they were surprised when I told them I lacked confidence. Apparently I project a quiet confidence and look like I know what I’m doing – I’ve got this! Hmmmm…..

But to me, this all feels like an act – and sometimes a difficult one to keep up. I do actually sometimes feel like I am an impostor in my own life – how silly that sounds when I read it back! I have to keep telling myself that I am good at what I do, recognise that people do come to me for advice because they believe in my abilities, and that yes I deserve to be here in the situation.

I’ve worked hard in my career and in my personal life with hobbies that I’ve turned into just something more than just a fun thing to do (remember, those people do come to me for advice and training). Yet there is always a sense that I’m not good enough, or that people are laughing at my grand designs or big ideas – like I almost need to justify why I deserve to think or plan in that way.

believe-yourselfI married someone completely opposite to me, which has been so good for me (but likely a bit painful for him!). I’ve learned a lot from the man over the last few years, and am slowly becoming more confident and self assured. I’ll always struggle, but I do feel that life is too short to worry about what others think. A few things that are working for me:


  1. Don’t waste time and energy on people who aren’t happy for you, or who don’t support you.
  2. Own your thoughts and stop being so self critical. Believe in yourself.
  3. If something makes you happy and you have the support around you to help you achieve things, just do it!

You should never feel like you’re an impostor in your own life, or that you need to justify what you’re doing. Get on with it, take the risks, believe in yourself and enjoy life!

The perception people have of your life

Chatting with an old friend last week, she remarked how busy I always seemed to be and asked me how I managed to do so much fitness when I had two small children to look after full time. I found it such an odd comment as I had recently been moaning to my husband that I don’t feel like I am achieving anything daily and that some days were beginning to feel a little ‘groundhog’.

On further discussion, it became apparent that my social media profile was creating this image of my life – my personal accounts were posts and photos of my (frequent) running, fitness activities, love of fresh homegrown vegetables and healthy food. There is no mention of my children, my job, or the mundane aspects of my life.

social media 4

It got me thinking about how social media creates a picture of a person, which may be incredibly unbalanced. I choose to post about positive things that make me happy, not to moan or give too much detail away that I want to keep private. It therefore means that people have a certain perception of me and my life. It also means that I build a picture of others in my mind based on their own posts and profiles. So it’s all pretty ‘fake’ for want of a better word.

The danger I suppose, is when people take it all too seriously, and believe that the perfect life, body, happy ever after is out there, without any flaws, and therefore beat themselves up for not measuring up to it. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and be happy in our own skin (that’s a whole other topic for a future post!), and realise that everything you see on social media should be taken with a pinch of salt.

I am busy, I do love my life and the people in it, and I love talking about health and fitness. My dream is to inspire people to make healthy choices, embrace fitness and look for the positives in situations. That’s why I post what I post. If I wanted to bore people senseless with talk about my love of organising my kitchen cupboards and painting the study then I’d post about that too (but I don’t!) 🙂

Be careful what you believe on social media……

Take a minute to think…


I’m getting ready to go out for a run followed by a game of netball. Normally I would have eaten my dinner around this time, but as I am exercising I have avoided eating, and may do so when I get home later (depending on the time). But for the last hour or so, I have been thinking about all the ‘snacks’ I could just have before I go, that wouldn’t affect my run or game – a biscuit, small piece of chocolate, slice of bread, fruit, the kids’ leftovers  – the list goes on. Anyway, this time I have been strong and managed to avoid it and made myself think about how I’d feel if I did eat something and then ran – and I would feel awful!


This process made me think about how we quite often ‘just do’ things without even thinking about them – on autopilot – even if they make us feel bad. If we stop to think about what we’re doing (or what we’re about to eat and how it will make us feel), it may change the decision we make. I would have really enjoyed a piece of chocolate, or a biscuit, but I would have felt bloated, sluggish and slow later on. The fact that I was able to have that internal discussion with myself, and be strong enough not to eat, means that I have a better chance of success later, and also in the long run (not creating a snacking habit that will lead to weight issues or self-loathing).

In thinking about it a bit more, I realise that I could apply this to other decisions or actions I make in my daily life. When I start to feel down or stressed about something, I should stop and ask myself ‘why’ and if I can change it.

Why do we let ourselves make bad decisions, even when we know they are bad for us?


Dwelling on what we don’t have

We often go through life thinking about all the things we don’t have, dwelling on what could have been, or craving things we can’t have. It’s such a waste of time and energy, and we should really all be focused on what we have and be grateful for the good things and people in our lives.

dwellingIn the last couple of weeks I have found myself being envious of others’ lives and the things they are doing, the choices they are making and the outcomes these have resulted in. Not once did I sit and think that they may also be having the same thoughts about my life, because I do have a pretty good life. My wake-up call came last week when I caught up with an old friend. We had a good old-fashioned catch up on the phone for an hour or so (when was the last time you did that and didn’t have a long conversation over text?!), and shared our recent news. She recently received some great health news after a particularly tough time, and was making positive plans for her immediate future, and I am so proud of her, and extremely happy for her.

I talked about my big life changes that had happened over the last year and she was very happy for me, and talked about how amazing it all sounded. We talked about how we had let work get in the way of life in the past (we had worked closely together for a long time), and that once you had a chance to take a step back and look at things differently, it totally changes your perspective.

Focus-1It did get me thinking about how I naturally dwell on what I don’t have, can’t have, or have lost. And it made me realise I should focus on what I do have now, the opportunities I have available, and how I can realise those dreams. Quite often the things I don’t have but want have come from a lack of confidence in myself to just ‘do it’, and I need to ask myself whether I really want it – surely if I wanted it that badly, I would pluck up the courage and go for it?!! Dwelling just creates negative energy and drains the body. It will drag you down and avert your focus from the positive things in your life. It makes you miss out on what could be a happy moment!

So I’m getting in the zone – focusing on the good, forgetting what I can’t have (it’s not meant to be), grabbing some self confidence, talking about those dreams to others, and planning for the future.

Watch this space……


Your mind is your strongest ‘muscle’

The inner drive to want something is what initially motivates us to do something, and physical fitness or power plays a key part in getting us there. But it is your mind – your mental power – that will determine whether you make it there or not.

56553818297a453ffe25acfd36895a91Take a fitness challenge – like a race or an obstacle course, or climbing a mountain. You need to be physically fit to complete it, and most people will normally follow some kind of specific plan. But if you aren’t in the right place mentally, or can’t pull on your mental strength to get you through the tough parts, it can all fail at that point.
It’s so important to make sure you focus your training on the mental side as well as the physical. But how do you do that? A few things that work for me:

  • Recognise progress
    You need to see progress in your training, and remind yourself how far you have come each time. Give yourself that pat on the back for getting through a stage, and focus on the positive elements of your progress.
  • Identify the negatives
    Yes, look at the negatives, but focus on how you can learn from them and work out how to deal with it when it happens again.
  • Look out for the signs of your mental weakness
    Learn to notice the signs of when you are feeling mentally weak during your training, and think about how you overcame them – or how you can do in the future. This will help you in the hard moments of your challenge.
  • Talk to yourself
    Listen to that inner voice, and use it to its full effect. Tell yourself you are good, you can do this, and you will feel proud at the end. This really works! You can do it our loud if you really want to 🙂
  • Visualise the end
    This really works for me. During a tough moment in a run, or when I have climbed some tough mountains, I’ve visualised myself at the finish and thought about how I will feel. And I ask myself how disappointed I will feel if I don’t push on.

And finally – Dig Deep! When you start to feel the ‘pain’, dig deep and believe in yourself. you know you can do it. As my husband frequently tells me ‘It’s all in the mind’. And it can make or break your determination.

You are stronger than you think!


Yesterday I ran a half marathon. This was something I had been training for over the last few months, covering some good distances and racking up the mileage. Despite this however, I really didn’t believe I would be able to complete the run without stopping, or in a decent time. I even had doubts on whether I would be able to finish.

This was all ridiculous, and I had to keep giving myself a good talking to at the start and throughout the run. Of course I could do it, and of course I would do it in a decent time, and I would be ecstatic at the end.

Strength and determination stem from mental willpower and belief in yourself, and quite often you are much stronger and capable than you think. This was definitely the case for me yesterday. Whilst I knew I had it in me to complete it, I did have to keep telling myself I was strong and I could do it, and I dug deep to get myself through it.

IMG_1617It’s achievements like this that make you stronger, more capable, and more aware of your own strength and ability. I finished that run with a sprint finish (I kid you not!), over taking a few people on the last 200 metres, and I felt fantastic – so proud of myself, and yet so surprised at my own ability. Others around me never doubted me and always believed I would do it

Yesterday proved to me that we have the strength inside ourselves to achieve whatever we want, to overcome those difficult situations, and to make yourself proud.

You are MUCH stronger than you think – just remember that!







One small change…..

Making a decision to change something can be daunting, and quite often we bite off more than we can chew and end up failing. With good intentions we make statements – either to ourselves or publicly – saying we’re going to make a change and totally transform an aspect of our lives.

I’ve been here, and seen others do it. ‘Right that’s it, I’ve had enough, I’m going on a diet and I’m going to be two sizes smaller in six weeks’…’and I’m going to do it by cutting all the bad stuff out of my diet and exercising for an hour every day’. And sometimes I’ve been so determined that I have succeeded for a few days and maybe even a week. But the habits have always crept back in and I’ve usually ended back where I started – rather disappointed in myself.Practice-One-Small-Change

Over the years, I’ve realised that you need be realistic about goals and how to achieve them and one thing I’ve found that has helped is to do things one thing at a time – incorporate one small change at a time and build on it.

It takes 21 times to change or make a habit, which means if you can make a small change daily for three weeks, it should start to become ingrained in your normal processes. So rather than trying to cut everything bad out of your diet, why not try cutting out crisps for three weeks, and then try something else after that.

I did this with trying to up my water intake a few years ago – I started having a pint of room temperature water every morning as soon as I got up. It worked! After a few weeks of making myself do it (and I did need to make sure I had a post-it note on my cupboard to start with), it became a habit. I still do it now, and it has encouraged me to drink more during the day.


So don’t give yourself a hard time about needing to change things – do it one small change at a time, and give yourself a pat on the back for trying. Celebrate the small successes – they all lead to bigger and better things 🙂


Your biggest obstacle is yourself

obstacle 2We all make excuses, place blame on circumstance or events, and even other people for things not going our way. That’s because it’s easy to do, and even easier than to admit that it is down to ‘me’. It really is true when people say that the biggest thing stopping you achieve anything is yourself.
I’m currently training for a half marathon. I’ve completed quite a few in the past and I know what to expect on the day (having run this particular course a number of times). This time round, I’ve been quite good with my training, mainly because I have been really enjoying running and I’ve seen results – my times are getting quicker and I am able to cover longer distances without too much more effort. In the past I’ve had the nagging doubt that ‘I won’t finish’ or ‘I’ll look really stupid to the crowds’ or even ‘I can’t do it’. But this time I’ve realised that the only thing that will stop me (completing the event, and doing so in a manner of which I will be proud of myself), is me!

just-do-itI know I can do it, and I can do it in a good time, and I can enjoy it. I just need to keep telling myself – keep that mantra going in my head as I run, and give myself positive boosts along the way. I’ve found this really helps when I run, and in other elements of life too – stop telling yourself you can’t do it, and think of all the ways you can manage it. Don’t blame other things or people – take responsibility for your actions, the situation, and the possible outcome. And then enjoy the feeling of achievement.

If you can overcome ‘yourself’, you can do anything you set your mind to!