Yes, things can change

 

I wanted to write a post to help anyone out there feeling as though nothing about their situation is ever going to change. You’re wondering if this is it, if this is the best you can do. You feel as though you’re stuck in a rut. You can’t imagine achieving all those things you want to, they feel too big, too far away.

I felt like that for a long time. For years everything was ok, pretty good even overall all things considered. But there were some areas of my life I was really quite unhappy with. And the feeling of being stuck, paralysed, scared, grew and grew.

I just found a post in my journal from three years ago. Here are some of my big 5 year goals from that year.

5 Year Goals
  • Publish a book about living in Spain, and do a talk/interview about it
  • Complete a life coaching qualification
  • Set up a coaching business
  • Meet a foreign boyfriend
  • Do art as a hobby, maybe illustration
  • Dance often – learn to salsa well
  • Live in a beautiful, sunny apartment
  • Be close to my nieces and family
  • Save money each month
  • Have a great social life – meals out, cinema, dancing
  • Blog about coaching related things
  • Blog about life in Spain
  • Move to Spain
  • Take a road trip in the US
And you know how many of those things I’ve achieved?

Well, I’ve yet to take the US road trip and it’s still very much on the list. I decided to concentrate on the coaching side of blogging rather than writing about life in Spain.  But everything else on that list, I achieved.

When I wrote this list, this was all a total dream. I was in a transition period, I’d recently left a decade long career and started a new job, and was still restless. This wasn’t where I wanted to be. Living in London, not content with my social life, my love life, my finances. I’d started wondering if living in Spain could be a reality.

Three years on I can’t believe how simple it seems, in retrospect, to get what you want. However, as you go through it it doesn’t feel simple at all. There are lots of ups and downs, lots of firsts, lots of getting out of your comfort zone and wondering what the hell you are doing.

But really, it’s a matter of writing down what you want, being honest with yourself, listening to your heart (or gut). Then doing everything you can to get there.

I had to inspire myself, motivate myself, and take action.

Once you clarify what you want – staying absolutely true to yourself and forgetting about what other people think or want for you – then it’s a matter of holding onto your dream, staying excited and taking one small step at a time.

I formulated a plan for moving to Spain – read here.

I built up to starting a coaching business – read here.

I focussed on what I really wanted – read here.

I put myself out of my comfort zone – read here.

All one step at a time, over a three year period. It takes time but it’s worth it.

If you’d like to speak to me about my life coaching sessions, email me here: joaopoku@gmail.com

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

 

 

The Ultimate Lifestyle Edit – 3 tips

Will I ever tire of reading stuff to do with decluttering and simplifying your life? Probably not.

A few years back when I was feeling pretty lost in my career, I spent a whole Christmas holiday on my parent’s sofa, obsessively reading the Becoming Minimalist blog. Reading about paring down, simplifying, and getting rid of clutter, made me feel better. It was soothing. It did something to my mind, relaxed me, maybe released some of the mental tension I’d been holding.

The thought of shedding things I didn’t really want or need, things that were weighing me down, and paring down to the things I truly loved, felt like I’d be freeing myself somehow.

When you’re feeling a little out of control – with me it was in regards to my career – decluttering can be a sort of antidote. It’s one area of your life you can control. You can declutter and then limit what physical items come into your life. It’s the ultimate lifestyle edit. It helps calm the mind.

Since then whenever I feel a little bit out of control, overwhelmed, with too much going on in my head, I turn to thoughts of simplifying and decluttering.

1. Physical decluttering

Physically decluttering, having a good old sort out, then keeping things organised, makes your day-to-day life better. You know where to find things, and it’s pleasing to the eye.

I’m calmer if my home is clean and tidy and not a disorganised mess, with things to catch my eye and annoy me, and take my concentration.

2. Digital decluttering

It’s not only physical items. Now digital decluttering is more important than ever. There’s so much being thrown at us all the time, not only what’s going on in our own monkey minds but also the relentless influx of digital content; different platforms on which to view content, interesting articles, things to look into, to follow up on, to download, to read, to try out, to buy, to consider…

It’s amazing because there’s so much inspiration out there and there’s so much to do. But there’s no stop button.

So the only way is to streamline. Strip back to the basics and focus. Decluttering and reassessing processes is one way to do that.

I try to be aware of getting lost in the jumble of information overload.

There’s something really liberating about going through your phone and deleting unused apps and contacts. Closing down open webpages and deleting bookmarked items. All those things that take up space and time and attention, and really don’t need to be there. Maybe they’re out of date, or you just don’t use them.

Unfollowing people that add nothing to your life. Unsubscribing.

Just today a friend looked at my laptop for me as it wasn’t working properly. When he handed it back he’d tidied all the out of control shortcuts and screenshots into a neat little file for me to review and (ideally) delete. My homepage looks so appealing now – and I feel a little wash of calm when I look at it. Simple.

3. Mental decluttering

I constantly remind myself to keep things simple. My home, packing for a trip, social plans, a work project, my desktop – everything.  It helps me to manage the barrage of things to do and think about.

I love writing lists and also splurging whatever’s going on in my head onto paper. Mentally decluttering, getting it out there rather than letting things whirl around in my head, or trying to remember too much.

What can you simplify in your life? What can you get rid of?

If you need help with making a change in your life, contact me for a coaching session. Send me an email at: joaopoku@gmail.com and I’ll get in touch.

 

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

4 tips to manage your energy when working remotely

I’ve been working remotely for nearly 3 years now. Over that period of time I’ve done a mixture of working from home, setting up in a co-working space, and tapping away in cafes. Now that I’ve found a lovely new co-working space I mainly work from there.

If you are considering working remotely, or just getting started, here are 4 tips I rely on to make sure I feel at my best throughout the day.

1. Set up a routine (and get moving)

Some people are happy rolling out of bed in their pyjamas, turning on their laptop, sitting on the sofa and off they go. I am not that person. I need structure, routine, and I really need to move my body and get some fresh air before starting work.

So, I have a morning routine that includes meditation, yoga, then either a gym class or a walk in my local park. For the meditation, I use the Headspace app – I normally manage 10-15 mins. I use Youtube for the yoga – YogawithAdriene and SarahBethYoga, also 10-15 mins.

I love this routine. It allows me to wake up slowly, without rushing, and then get moving. At the gym there’s music, a few friendly faces to say hi to, the rush of endorphins. Especially when working from home, it feels good to be around other people first thing.

Then sat at my desk to start work, I feel energised and happy, ready to go. It’s the same if I walk in the park; I always listen to a podcast or music as I walk, which inspires me and puts me in a good mood.

2. Have a change of scene

I’ve also found that I’m best suited to a few different work locations in a day. Back when l started working from home all day, it got too much for me and by the afternoon I’d start to feel cut off from the world. I discovered that going to sit in a café for an hour or so was like a massive injection of energy; suddenly I was part of the world again, and I’d become super productive.

In the current coworking space, I work at a desk where I can stand or sit, and I’ll sometimes switch to a quiet meeting room, or the in-house café, depending on what I need. I really appreciate being able to change my position and my surroundings, depending on what I’m working on and my mood.

3. Take a proper lunch break

If you’re not in a traditional office set-up it can be easy to just keep on working… But it’s good to get away from your computer – ideally away from any screen, even better if you can take a walk outside… and drink lots of water!

4. Break between work and evening

I think it’s important to make a distinction between your working day and the evening.  My number one favourite thing to do after work is to go for a walk. As was the case when I worked in an office, it feels so good to get outside, move and leave work behind. Going for a walk does wonders for your energy levels and can help you to relax.

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I hope some of these tips help or inspire you if you are new to working remotely or looking to change your routine.

If you are considering a change of direction in your career or life in general, feeling stuck, and struggling to work out what to do next, I can help you. Send me a message here and we can set up a chat about life coaching.

Photo by Emmanuel Kontokalos on Unsplash