Weight-loss at Christmas is something of a nightmare. Someone told me the other day that in order to burn off the calories gained by eating just one mince pie you would have to complete about 25 minutes of Burpees.
Now, if you have ever tried to do a burpee you will know that this is not something you want to spend time on over Christmas.
The thing about a calorie control diet is that it focusses on just that one thing – calories. Our thinking around calories tends to be:

calories in = bad; calories burned = good

If you’re a fan, as I am – the fact that a mince pie is a gorgeous hit of spicy fruity sweetness and we are saying ‘hello’ to a potentially lovely time of year when we have our first one, doesn’t enter into the equation.
In our minds it probably looks more like this:Read more »

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towards/away fromIs your map of the world (see my blog “I finally get getting there”) a generally positive one, or typically erring on the side of negativity?

How we respond to our world, as I’ve said many times before, can totally colour our view of life. Two people viewing the same event can have completely different experiences and interpretations, based on how they filter the information they receive through their senses. There are a range of these filters available to us. For instance we may filter our experience to favour certain senses – focusing on the visual, or on the sounds that are present. We may filter through our values – we may judge easy going people more harshly, for example if one of our highest values is consistency, or achievement.Read more »

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Most people have a hero. Someone whose work they admire. Someone who does something that stirs you up.

When I ask my clients to tell me their heroes, they often feel that they need to come up with some big name and then decide that they have to have the goals to go along with it.

They imagine it should be a film star, like Emma Thompson, or Bruce Willis, or Scarlet Johansson.  Or they think I want them to choose a successful business person, like Oprah Winfrey orRead more »

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various amounts of moneyWhat sort of income do you have currently? How comfortable are you right now with how much you earn? Which of these statements fits you best?

  1. I’ve got plenty of money to get everything I need, there’s no desperate need to improve my wealth;
  2. I’m generally comfortable, so long as there are no unexpected crises, and even then we could probably weather the storm through savings and temporary cutbacks;
  3. I am constantly on a treadmill, there always seems to be more going out than coming in. I need to make more money.
  4. I just can’t make ends meet and I’m spiralling into debt.

These are broad descriptions, and I bet you can recognise yourself in one of them. Working with clients I find that individually they can be on any one of these descriptors.  For some of them, money, and the lack of it, is one of their main issues. For others it is the thing that is lowest down their priorities. Money doesn’t make happiness, that’s for certain.

The interesting thing is that the actual ‘amount’ of money that clients have or earn doesn’t necessarily relate to where they are on this scale.Read more »

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Picture this:  You are walking down a local street one warm sunny day and you see this person coming towards you. They are getting on in life, probably around 80 years old. Surprisingly hale and healthy for that age, this person waves and smiles at you and flags you down. They clearly know you very well, and there is something familiar about them now you come to think of it, but you can’t quite place them.

Then you realise, with a shock, who this is.

It’s you. It’s exactly what you would like to think you would look like when you get to that age. Some weird, time-travel experiment has put you face-to-face with the you that you will become in the future when you are eighty years old.Read more »

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teddy bear on a cold winter day.Most people have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the condition that is believed to occur during the months of short days, when we are less exposed to vitamin D and this, in consequence, results in low mood or even depression in the Winter months. It’s a definite thing and there are various ways you can help yourself if you have this condition – daylight lamps, vitamin supplements, or just going away to somewhere sunny (I personally would advocate the last of these if you can afford it!).

There are lots of reasons why we can feel more down and less motivated in the Winter however, and while I wouldn’t rule out SAD, I do think that the awareness of this condition can steal some of our power. There are several very common influences on our mood that tend to occur more commonly at this time of year:Read more »

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Ghost of Christmas PastI know, I know – you’ve probably seen a dozen New Year blogs, New Year products and other activities based around the idea that now is the time to change yourself.

Thing is, it is true. Now is not the only time when you can take hold of your life and really get to grips with the changes, but in many ways it is the best time. Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a delightful tale that can be seen as one man’s epiphany through the lessons of the three ghosts. It’s a bit of a stretch but I’ve used these three ghosts to show why, even though it is a cliche, this is certainly the best time to make those big changes in your life.

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At the time I picked up ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ I had not particularly heard of Tony Robbins. I certainly wasn’t aware of his huge status as a ‘guru’, speaking to thousands at a time, changing lives on the fly and being a coach to some of the most famous people in the world such as Jimmy Carter and Oprah Winfrey.

The great thing about that is that the book serves as a bit of an autobiography as it recounts in quite a personal way how the changes that Tony made through NLP techniques created the life that he now has. Tony Robbins is the classic case of someone going from homeless person to multi-millionaire.  I urge you to catch some of his videos online – maybe his Ted Talk or some of his stuff on ‘Strategic Intervention‘.Read more »

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discarded cigaretteWe all know that there are a plethora of solutions and approaches to smoking cessation – from smoke aversion to nicotine replacement, from hypnosis to acupuncture.  Naturally the scientific world, Government health organisations and charities are very keen to study the various approaches and pin down exactly which ones are the most effective.

There are a host of studies, and the outcomes vary slightly from one to another. Hypnosis, which is my favoured approach, (although I combine it with cognitive behavioural therapy and neurolinguistic programming) comes out quite well overall, usually significantly higher than nicotine replacement for example.

But I have to admit that there is something that consistently out-performs all the other techniques!
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There is a wardrobe in my bedroom that is full to bursting with more than just clothes.

The day I moved in to my current home I found that, after carefully putting away all the practical stuff in sensible, accessible places, I had several boxes that contained, well, ‘memorabilia’. These were the things that I had accumulated over the years and held dear, without really knowing what to do with them. There were a few things, such as pictures and photos, that I was able to put up on display around the house.

A few things I disposed of because the associations they held had become painful to me (I had recently had a break-up). The rest of the stuff I had put carefully away on the top shelf of my wardrobe…and at the bottom.

And with a very small number of exceptions they have remained there ever since, and been added to, so that the older memories and the less used have crept backwards and become a bit compressed and screwed up, while the new memories are at the front and tend to tumble out every time I open the door and try to find a clean shirt.

Anybody feel a metaphor coming on?Read more »

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