Stuck in a groove – how Queer Eye can help you get unstuck

The TV show Queer Eye and an Aussie YouTuber are this week’s inspiration for getting unstuck and taking action. Random? Stick with me…

YouTube ‘reset your life’ videos

There’s an Aussie lady on YouTube who makes videos on productivity. She often publishes videos on resetting your life, her most popular ones. They are always along the lines of: ‘reset for the week ahead’, ‘a reset for this month’, or even ‘reset your life’. When you’re busy or stressed or overwhelmed, the thought of a reset is so appealing…

She’ll list the things she’s going to do: clean and tidy the flat; fix things that need to be repaired and have been bugging her; get into a new routine of healthy eating or going to bed earlier; organising and decluttering all her digital stuff. It’s strangely watchable. There’s something satisfying about watching someone else getting stuff done, ticking off their list.

Quite often when I speak to people in a coaching session who are feeling a bit stuck, it turns out they too want to change their daily routine and how they’re spending their time. They want a reset.

They want to eat more fruit, watch less tv, do more exercise. Sometimes there’s a bigger need as well, such as changing career or setting up a business on their own. Whatever the case, they want to get into some good habits like sleeping earlier and getting up earlier to have a bit more time. They want to look after themselves a bit more. And they want to get unstuck.

Queer Eye

Which brings me to the TV programme Queer Eye. Queer Eye is all about helping someone who is stuck in a groove. Five experts in five different areas – looking after your appearance, decoration, cookery, clothing and relationships – help someone who has been nominated as needing a shake up.

Perhaps they need to change their way of thinking about themselves, build some self-esteem and stop the super negative thoughts.

Often they could do with caring for themselves a little more and perking themselves up – sorting out a skincare routine, getting their hair cut and trying a new outfit.

Their home environment is tackled. Often they are settling for a far from ideal situation because of their low self-esteem or because of general lethargy. 

Frequently the person has a floundering business or could do with getting a jolt of energy into their career. 

The Queer Eye guys are empathetic and caring and gently kick their client’s butt, encouraging and motivating them to do things they’ve never done before. They build their self-belief. There are always tears and there’s always a joyful ending.

Plan a reset

I love the reset videos and Queer Eye because they inspire you to think about your own situation. Is there something nagging at you that you want to get done but you can’t seem to drum up the enthusiasm? Is there some kind of improvement you could make to your home? Do you need a kick up the butt to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do?

Sometimes it can be helpful to sit down and plan a reset. Write down all the different things you want to change and possible solutions. It can be as small as ‘get up 10 minutes earlier every day so I don’t have to rush’ to ‘find a new job in tech so I can quit my boring job’. It’s important to list the solutions too so that you can actually start to take action. 

If you want to wake up 10 minutes earlier and have more time, what can you actually do? You can set your alarm. Maybe you’ll plan what you’ll wear and set out your breakfast things the night before so that you have fewer decisions to make in the morning. You can work out what you’ll do with your extra 10 minutes. Plan to set a timer. Select a book you want to read. Do 10 minutes research on your new career.

If you want to find a new job what can you do? Plan to talk to someone who might have some advice. Start working with a coach to sort out what you really want to do. Read up on what CVs look like these days. Read a book on career change.

Monthly reset

You might want to plan a monthly reset. Take one day a month to sit down and take a broader look at your life and how you spend your time. Are you happy with it all? What would you like to change? What would you like to cut out? Is there anything you’d want to add in?

If you’d like to have some coaching sessions with me, contact me on LinkedIn or at

Photo by Jace & Afsoon on Unsplash


I feel as though there’s a lot of transition going on at the moment. Both for me and around me. 

People are changing careers, moving houses, moving to another country, or from city to countryside. Couples are breaking up, breaking down, having babies. I know this sort of transition happens all the time – but there seems to be a lot of motion all at once. Perhaps after a year of stillness – any movement seems dramatic. But perhaps there’s also something in the air.

We’re coming out of a terrible time with slightly new identities. We’ve probably all developed new routines and are realising what works for us and what doesn’t. Perhaps a commute just doesn’t seem feasible any more, nor does a diary jam-packed with seeing friends. Or maybe we’ve discovered that working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, isn’t for us, and we’re desperate to return to an office environment around people and banter and distractions. 

Shedding a skin

I myself returned to the UK for a 3-week visit after over a year away. Alongside quarantining, then gingerly meeting up with family and friends and visiting a few different places, I had a massive urge to declutter and clear things out. 

For the first time in 4 years, I opened up the boxes stacked in my parents’ garage, full of things from my London flat that didn’t make it over to Spain with me. Some brought back memories, some I realised were actually quite useful, some I’d totally forgotten about. Some things were no longer relevant. 

I had clothes to sort too, clothes that no longer suited me, or fit, or that I viewed with fresh eyes and realised I really didn’t like. There was paperwork that I’d been holding onto and didn’t need. 

I found piles of notebooks, containing diary entries and plans, and saw the same old worries and insecurities staring back at me from the pages. In some ways it was comforting to see – I’ll always worry and overthink things, but things do evolve over time and you find your way eventually.

This big clear out felt like the shedding of a skin. And it felt good. I wasn’t too nostalgic, or scared by the amount of time that had passed. I was pragmatic. What can I use now, what might I use one day, what have I grown out of? How can I simplify things? I realised I was more focused on moving forwards than on looking back.

If you’re going through a transition and you’d like some coaching sessions with me, connect on LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Unlikely inspiration

There’s a podcaster I admire. He has a massively successful podcast with his wife, called Notes in Spanish, helping people to learn Spanish. I first discovered them years ago, when I started learning Spanish at an adult education centre. I was set to take a GSCE in Spanish and needed all the help I could get.

They made learning Spanish so fun, listening to Spanish Marina quietly correcting English Ben. Their focus is very much on going for it, making mistakes, enjoying the process. You got an insight into their life, their views and beliefs, and life in Madrid.

It turns out Ben’s written a book on how to start up an online business. He talks through how they grew a chance experiment – trying out creating a 10 minute podcast for the fun of it – into an online business where they could both quit their ‘real’ jobs and pay off their mortgage super quick.

Dream big

What I loved about reading the book was the way it inspired me. Ben’s quite a straightforward, slightly cynical guy, very down to earth. And in this book he talks about all the business self-help books he read to help him in growing the business, guided by ‘Gurus’ as he puts it.  He talks about the importance of dreaming big, writing down your goals.

How a random goal you had a few years ago, his was (and I paraphrase massively) ‘I want to work fewer hours, spend more time with my family, do my own thing’, can come true.

I love it because I didn’t really expect him to quote Tim Ferriss or Tony Robbins, massive superstars in the entrepreneurial start-up/self-help/let’s maximise productivity world. Yet here he is, with his own particular self-help theory of saying ‘why not?’ whenever faced with doing something you don’t know how to do, but that interests you.

His enthusiasm and passion for finding something you are interested in and enjoy, and putting loads of time and hard work into it, learning loads along the way, is massively inspiring.

It made me think hard about what I want. And reminded me to just get on and do things. Stop procrastinating and thinking of reasons why not and just make stuff happen. As I always say, one tiny step at a time, which is exactly what he and Marina did.

I can’t emphasise enough how important I think it is to find people that inspire you. Read about them, or listen to them speak, or speak to them if that’s possible. There’s a reason they inspire you, there’s a spark there that you relate to. And there’s nothing like that burst of energy you get from someone making you think that maybe you too can dive into something exciting.

If you’d like to book a career change coaching session with me, contact me via LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Looking Forward to Autumn

I do love Autumn. An excuse to start hunkering down. A whole ‘new’ wardrobe of long forgotten jeans, shirts, jumpers and shoes. And slippers! 

Here are a few things I’m looking forward to doing in the coming months.

Reading MORE books – I have Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts and Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club next on my book pile. And audiobook versions of Claudia Winklemen’s Quite, and Caitlin Moran’s More Than a Woman. I feel and hope that they are all going to be warm hugs of books. I just finished Emma Gannon’s Olive which I loved. It was the reading equivalent of cuddling up on the sofa with a cup of tea. So when you actually read it on the sofa with a cup of tea, even better. 

Films – with Halloween coming up, it’s the perfect excuse to find some spooky films to watch. On my list I have Coco, Hocus Pocus and I feel like rewatching Edward Scissorhands. And quite honestly, right now I want comforting old PG classics like Back to the Future, Parenthood, Father of the Bride

Popping into a café on my own, for a read and a coffee. I haven’t done much of this at all this year, with the restrictions in place. But it’s such a joy, to just take a moment, read, people watch, see life passing by. 

TV – I am so excited to watch the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing…and whichever new BBC dramas are on their way. I’m looking forward to watching some Netflix documentaries, the one on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The Social Dilemma, the new David Attenborough series A Life on Planet Earth

Cooking – I got into some serious cooking during lockdown, opening up unused recipe books and experimenting. This is the perfect time to try out some more new one-pot dishes, hearty, warming, delicious. And maybe the odd cake here and there. Nothing really beats a cup of tea and a bit of cake. 

Lighting candles. I love it when the evenings get darker and I want to create a cosy feel, there’s something magical about candlelight. It feels like a little ritual, lighting my candles and enjoying the glow. 

Walking – at last the season of wrapping up warm and heading out for some leaf kicking! I want to spend as much time in nature as possible, just enjoying being outside. After the seriously restrictive lockdown here in Spain and then hot summer days where you can’t easily walk around, I’m so happy to be able to comfortably walk and walk and walk…

Playing card games – another thing that helped me through lockdown – I’ve realised one of my happy places is playing a game while listening to music at the same time, singing along. Something about that combination makes me so happy. I guess you could call it ‘in the zone’, concentrating, being present. Perfect for when it’s crappy weather outside but you don’t want to watch TV all day.

There we go. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my plans for Autumn and things to look forward to and enjoy. Maybe it’s encouraged you to think of your own. Have fun!

If you’d like to try career change coaching with me, contact me via LinkedIn or at

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

True Rest

I read an article today about the lost art of true rest. It struck a chord with me. Because just this week, something’s been nagging at me. Even though I’m a big supporter of not doing too much, taking proper breaks, resting when you need to rather than powering through – I’m starting to feel as though every second of my working day is filled with something.

Yesterday as I went to work, walked around at lunch, walked home, walked to the gym, walked back, prepared a snack, cooked, tidied up, got ready for bed – during all those moments I was listening to podcasts. 

Now, I’m the biggest fan of podcasts. But sometimes as I walk along I feel as though I have a thought trying to push through. On the whole I’m quite good at stopping the podcast to have a think. But I’ve started listening to a new BBC drama series which is seriously spooky and gripping. So I’m racing through the episodes. And it’s bringing with it a sense of urgency. Yesterday I felt that I was pushing down those thoughts trying to come up. And actually it means I’m not giving myself thinking space when I need it. 

In this article the writer talks about a few types of ‘real rest’, and one of them is to walk outside in nature without a device. That struck me, as I pretty much always stick a podcast on when I’m walking outside. There’s just so much to take in and get through…

And I realise that’s not necessarily a good thing…feeling like you need to get through stuff. That list of podcast episodes piling up, all the tv shows coming out that I’m adding to my mental to watch list, and I’m wondering when I’m going to find the time to watch them all. All the books I’m desperate to read and want to ‘get through’.

It’s all mental clutter isn’t it? It’s all gentle pressure, adding to that feeling of always being on, always doing.

I so rarely just walk along quietly, not listening to a podcast. Just taking in the sounds of the park, the birds, the city sounds in the background. 

The other day I was waiting in a little courtyard to meet a friend for a cup of tea. I went out with my tea, and just…sat. I looked up at the sky, and sipped my tea. I felt the coolness of the air and listened to the sounds around me. I let myself think whatever random thoughts I was having. When my friend arrived, she joked that she didn’t want to disturb me, I looked so peaceful. She was right. That’s a proper rest. Not doing anything other than sipping a tea and thinking.

So I’m going to try and do that more often. Sit without any distractions. Step outside without plugging into a podcast from time to time. My aim is to delete all but around three podcast episodes so that I don’t always have this long list to scroll through and make decisions about. I can always add something back in if I really want to listen to it. But I feel the need to ease back on the clutter a bit.


PS After I finished writing this article I went to leave the flat. I automatically reached to put my headphones in…and took them out again. I told myself that I could at least try starting my walk without a podcast. If I felt desperate I could always plug in. And do you know what, I survived. And it was really nice. The little voice in my head was free to chatter away, with time and space to do so. I arrived at work feeling calm and ready to go. 


I help people going through a career change. If you’d like to start on your career change journey, book in for some coaching sessions with me. Find me here on LinkedIn , or email me at

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash