The Woodcutter…

I like the story of the woodcutter, who wanted to chop down a huge tree – the tree was so huge, the task felt overwhelming –when he used his axe to chop at the tree, it appeared to make no impact on the tree. But the woodcutter was determined. Every day he chopped the tree 5 times with his axe. After sometime, he started to notice the indent into the tree, which inspired his determination even more, until eventually after a very long time and a lot of practise, he felled the tree.

Let’s apply the woodcutter analogy to life. To success at life we have to be determined and resilient, know what we want and set to, with small steps to achieve our goals and aspirations. Those people who succeed don’t give up, they keep going, even when the going gets tough…

James Dyson, went through more than 5,000 failed prototypes, learning with every mistake, before coming up with the revolutionary vacuum cleaner design.

Michael Jordan claimed to miss 9000 shots, lost 300 games and was trusted with the game winning shot 26 times…and missed. He learned from each experience and had the resilience to grow stronger.

There are many examples where individuals and organisations have dedicated themselves to continuous improvement to achieve success. They are not deterred by difficulties and weaknesses, but actively seek them out, and learn from them.

As humans we are often competing for the similar resources – companies compete for the same clients, applicants for the same job, athletes for the same gold medal. There might only be 1/100th of a second between the winner and second place, but the winner gets all the gold medals. Twenty companies pitch for the same client, but only one will win the project. Two hundred people apply for the same job, but only one person will be appointed.

In situations like these, being just a little bit better than the competition can lead to massive rewards. The margin between good and great is narrower than you might imagine. Small difference in performance can lead to very unequal distribution when repeated over time. This is one reason why creating habits are so important. You only need to be slightly better than the competition but if you are able to maintain a slight edge then your performance and success will give greater success.

The 1 percent rule states you don’t need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You just need to be slightly better. It is merely a reference to the fact that small differences accumulate into significant advantages.

Back to the Woodcutter analogy…many people will say they just don’t achieve their goals. What if it’s in part to do with ‘moving trees’, they give up and move on too early.

If you’d like more information on Resilience Coaching or you know someone who would benefit from this form of personal development, please do get in touch.

Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.
                                                               Jim Rohn

Contact Rachel

07746 030 172

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Mastering Time

Do you find yourself always in a hurry? Are you always running late or don’t feel in control? We live in this fast-paced world, we tend to always be running around, struggling to find the time to get “all the jobs done”. Remember to reflect on your routine and consider the reasons why you’re always in a rush.

Time is exactly what you make it to be. Allow yourself to take control of your life and the choices you make. Don’t let time control you. Try prioritizing your day. Start by pinpointing what you focus on the most. If you’re spending too much time working and running around, maybe you feel rushed because you have no balance in your life. It is just as important to sleep 7-8 hours as it is to work 8-plus hours. It is just as important to eat healthy food as it is to “get all the errands done”.

If you make the time to rest your body and treat it well, you’ll perform better. Your work performance will increase and you won’t feel like you’re working the whole time. Your list can consist of exercise, relaxation, time with loved ones, as well as your work and chores. Once we do things that are good for our body and minds, most people find they have time.

Managing and gaining control of your time will allow you to do the stuff you love, and feel a sense of achievement too. Don’t rush through your life.

Life is not a dress rehearsal it’s the real thing. Whilst it’s important to know where you are headed, it is also really important to enjoy the journey and take whatever steps you need, to give yourself more balance and enjoyment to life.


Contact Rachel for more details around mastering time.

07746 030 172

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Changing your habits


Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of”.

So how long does it take to change our habits?

Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 1950s began noticing patterns among his patients. When Dr. Maltz would perform an operation, he found that it would take the patient about 21 days to get used to seeing their new face. Similarly, when a patient had an arm or a leg amputated, Maltz noticed that the patient would sense a phantom limb for about 21 days before adjusting to the new situation.

These experiences prompted Maltz to think about his own adjustment period to changes and new behaviors, and he noticed that it also took himself about 21 days to form a new habit. Maltz wrote “These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.” In 1960, Maltz published that quote in a book called Psycho-Cybernetics.

People have tended to forget that Maltz said a minimum of 21 days and shortened it to “It takes 21 days to form a new habit”. But what Maltz actually said was that this was the minimum amount of time needed to adapt to a new change.

How long does it really take to form a habit?

It takes an average 66 days to form a new habit, according to research by Phillippa Lally and colleagues from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre based at UCL Epidemiology and Public Health (2009).

The study examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behaviour and how automatic the behavior felt.

In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit. How long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behaviour, the person, and the circumstances.

If you want to set your expectations appropriately, it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behaviour into your life — not 21 days. Interestingly, the researchers also found that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.”


Habit breaking tips:

  • Change one thing at a time
  • Find someone to support you on your journey of change
  • Take it one day at a time
  • Prepare for moments of set back and don’t let the setbacks get you down, notice what you can learn from them
  • Reward yourself and acknowledge your progress.

Contact Rachel for more details around her new 3-month

Change your Habits Wellbeing Programme.

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Resilience and perseverance

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Steve Jobs

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking potential.”

Winston Churchill



Have you ever wondered why some people seem to remain calm in the face of disaster, while others seem to fall apart? People that are able to keep their cool have what psychologists call resilience, or an ability to cope with problems and setbacks. Resilient people are able to utilize their skills and strengths to cope and recover from problems and life challenges.

Those who lack this resilience may become overwhelmed by such experiences. They may dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with such challenges. Resilience does not eliminate stress or erase life’s difficulties. Instead, it gives people the strength to tackle problems head on, overcome adversity and move on with their lives.

We can look to famous figures from history, who demonstrate fantastic examples of resilience. For instance Thomas Edison – the man who invented the light bulb, who is famously quoted as saying: “We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb”. A less resilient person would have given up long before he’d had 1000 failures.

A big differentiator between people with high levels of resilience, and low levels of resilience, is the amount of time it takes to pick themselves back up and move on with their lives. And although some people seem to be naturally more resilient than others, developing resilience is something that can be learnt and developed over time.

“There are people who make things happen, those who watch what happens and those who wonder what happened”

Be one of the people who make it happen.

Contact Rachel for more details around resilience coaching.

07746 030 172


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New Year New You! “The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself” Mack R Douglas

Research shows that nearly three in four people have started the New Year committing to get fit. But the vast majority admit that their past attempts to make positive changes to their lifestyle had failed by the end of January. Although most (56%) say that their New Year’s resolve is currently still intact, 30% admit that they are already struggling.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory (often referred to as ‘Maslow’s Needs Triangle’ – below) is that people are motivated by needs that remain unsatisfied, and that certain lower factors have to be satisfied in order for higher needs to be recognized as unfulfilled.

According to Maslow’s theory, only when the lower order needs of physical and emotional wellbeing are satisfied are we concerned with the higher order needs of influence and personal development.

So if you find yourself struggling to achieve certain goals in your life, then it’s worth assessing those basic needs: clear mind, relaxation, healthy diet, effective breathing, conducive home and work environment etc. to ensure those physiological and safety needs are being satisfied.

Only then can you set and achieve those goals, which will address the social, esteem and ultimately the self-actualisation needs.

So: New Year, New You!

What do you want to do, be and have in 2016?


So whether your New Years resolution is to procrastinate less, delegate more, improve your ability to cope better under pressure, improve your work-life balance or eat a more healthy diet, a support mechanism may help you turn those New Year resolutions into tangible goals.

A fantastic question to ask yourself is:

If life was just the way you wanted, it would be like what?


And if life isn’t just the way you want it, then coaching may be just what you need to steer you in the right direction, assisting you each step of the way, celebrating your achievements, helping you up when you fall down – and assisting your learning from those mistakes – making you accountable and ensuring you follow through of your journey of success. Make 2016 your best yet!

Contact Rachel for more details around her new

“How to get what you want out of Life” Programme.

07746 030 172





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Wellbeing and Blue Zone Areas

Just returned from a working cruise  – visiting some lovely places across Central America. This provided me with an opportunity to meet so many interesting people, from many walks of life and those who attended my talks seemed to have at least one thing in common – an open mindedness to learn and find different ways of doing things to improve the quality of their lives, whether it be to get a better balance , improve the their sleep patterns, understand what makes them tick or build their resilience levels.

One of the places we visited was just along the coast from a ‘Blue Zone’ area – in Costa Rica – the concept where people live measurably longer lives as measured by 9 lifestyle lessons.

Quite simply, these people live a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, daily exercise, and a low stress life that incorporates family, purpose, shared beliefs and meaning.

I like to define Wellbeing as our physical, mental and emotional state – i.e. a healthy body, an alert mind and balanced emotionally. Wellbeing is related to personal health, community spirit and creativity. Our wellbeing is shaped by our genes, our upbringing, our personal circumstances and choices, and the social conditions in which we live – all of which fits within the perimeters of the Blue Zone lifestyle lessons.

So how well does your current lifestyle fit with the Blue Zone 9 lifestyle lessons?

If you’d like more information on my resilience coaching programme, please do let me know, happy to help.

In the meantime, may I wish you a Happy Christmas and very best wishes for New Year.

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Effort v Output

If 80% of your results comes from 20% of your efforts, what is the 20% you need to focus on?

We talk about working hard, putting in lots of effort, but perhaps it’s more to do with, inspired action and a positive frame of mind…

I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project (which I really enjoyed) and she talks about happiness being a critical factor for work. She states that the happy outperform the less happy and are less likely to show the counterproductive behaviour of burnout and unproductive work. Apparently a study has shown that students who are happy as freshmen were earning more money in their mid -thirties, without the wealth advantage to start.

Therefore our frame of mind together with our ability to organise our time – super efficiently – makes a huge difference to our effectiveness and output. And we are more likely to enjoy ourselves, at the same time!

Do what you love and love what you do!

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‘In your element’

I was in my garden last Sunday, feeling really good about developing my allotment area in my beautiful garden, planting asparagus and rhubarb and picking radish for my salad! Easily pleased hey?

My allotment is MY fantastic way of switching off completely, getting physical exercise and connecting with the natural environment around me.

I know when I have been outside tending my plants and vegetables I have a buzz about me, I feel really good. It helps me relax; it’s something I do just for me. When we are ‘in your element’, there is a release of the happy chemicals which are good for us and gives us this feel-good factor.

The dictionary describes in your element as: ‘to be happy because you are doing what you like or can do best’.

Interestingly this week, there was an article in the papers confirming a study that Allotment Gardening ‘is good for your mental health’. A study found that just 30 minutes a week can improve mood and self-esteem as well as physical fitness.

Dr Carly Wood, a sports and exercise scientist at Essex University, said: “Participants who attend an allotment for a short period just once per week can experience a similar magnitude of improvements in self-esteem and mood as participants who attend more regularly for longer periods of time.”

Just 30 minutes a week spent pottering on the vegetable patch can boost feelings of both self-esteem and mood by dissolving tension, depression, anger, and confusion, the study found.

Yikes! I hear some of you say, I hate gardening!

So my question to you is, when you’re ‘in your element’, you’re like what? And doing what? Find something that helps you feels really good and is physically and mentally good for you too.

Happy Saturday folks, I’m off into my garden!

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Creating calm from chaos…

Learning to relax can help to switch off the stress response, reduce pain, improve sleep patterns and reduce fatigue. It enables a person to think more clearly.

Evidence indicates that our brains are structurally shaped according to how they are used. So, if you are always running from one meeting to another, checking e-mails, voice-messages, making snap decisions, always on the run, the brain will be shaped for task-focused way of doing things. When you then have to take a broader perspective on things, this is much harder to do. You are doing tasks which your brain is not trained to do.

Just ten minutes relaxation a day where you do nothing is proven to have health benefits: helps lower pulse rate, blood pressure and reducing anxiety.

Relaxation exercises forces you to sit and do nothing, without any distractions. It forces you to confront your thoughts, which may be preventing you from relaxing and switching off.

Relaxing is not sitting around being un-productive, it is not unsociable nor uncaring: quite the opposite. When you fit, well and relaxed you are more able to take and deal with things, people problems etc, more productively and effectively.

This slowing down, the valuing of silence the shifting the state from doing to being will have an impact on a person and their performance at home and work. Relaxation enables a person to access a calm state of mind. It helps people appreciate, enjoy and have more control over their daily lives, thinking clearer with improved decision making and judgement, thereby enjoying a greater sense of satisfaction with life.

Remember we are human beings not human doing, we want to be happy, not do happy…

Complete Harmony…helping people feel really good about themselves

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Stress management…

A story told to me recently…

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’… She fooled them all …. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.

She replied , “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… Pick them up tomorrow.”

So how do you manage your stress?..

Contact Rachel for more details about improving your wellbeing

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