Category Archives: Habits of Success

October Goals!

It’s October! Suddenly the summer has come crashing to an end and the year is starting to feel old without anyone really realising.

On one hand I am horrified at how fast the year is speeding past, on the other, the start of a new month means the opportunity to start afresh, to set targets and goals.

I set goals back in August, and then failed to do pretty much all of them except for the ones that involved setting up our new business. But that was pretty all-encompassing and now, with each passing day, there is less to do than there was, so I feel I am starting to get some time back during the day.

So here are my goals for October 2017, to be renewed and re-set in November.

Weight reduction, fitness and exercise goals…

Business goals…

And these are minimum gals, I am kinda hoping to smash ’em!

I am already looking forward to checking in on my progress at the start of November!

Worth the Weight

I didn’t want to say anything too early, but I’ve just completed my first week back on the fantastic Exante Diet.

As part of my Project to develop a Successful Life, I am determined to make achieving a healthy weight a big part of it. And at the grand old age of 44, I decided to set my target at a reduction of 44lbs.

I lost 22 of those lbs a few months ago, documenting my progress on my YouTube channel. And then I lost focus and decided I would maintain for a while – yeah right – and got back into eating my own body weight on a regular basis, gaining 10 of those lbs back.

Plus, I’ve been so busy recently getting the business ready that I’ve almost forgotten what exercise is. Literally, hours of sitting at the computer, writing copy for the website, writing contracts, writing blog posts – or not! Even dog walks have been down to the bear minimum.

Last Sunday I woke up and just decided it was just time to get back on the Exante diet wagon. One of those unexpected but agreeable decisions that come from the feeling ‘enough is enough’.

This time, I decided I would record not just my weekly progress but daily – every mealtime in fact. That’s quite a commitment, as I discovered!

It’s also quite a lot of footage! Too much for one film! So I split the week into two – this is the first film covering Days 1-3:

The week ended on a real high at my weigh-in this morning with 6.5lbs gone – half a lb off half a stone!

Needless to say I feel so much better already – my stomach is flat(tish), I have more energy and my clothes are fitting more loosely.

Returning to the Exante products has literally been like meeting old friends again! Why I didn’t keep it going while ‘maintaining’ I will never know – I really could have replaced one meal every day with a product and that would have helped. I know now that is what I need to do to maintain, once I achieve my healthy goal weight of 146 lbs (10 stone 6lbs).

So I finished the week with this film.

I’ve been doing some affirmations recently (if you don’t know what they are, check out this article which explains all about them and gives some good examples you can use).

I’ve been reminding myself that:

“I am strong, focused and self-disciplined” because these are three areas I figured I needed some reminding about.

This week, I’ve felt stronger, more focused and more self-disciplined than ever. I actually feel that I am going to get to goal, and I’ve never, ever felt that certainty before.

Many successful people swear by the power of affirmations, but I have to admit I’ve never done them rigidly enough before to give them chance to work.

Could it be that I am experiencing some of their magical effect?! Whatever it is, I like it!

 

 

 

 

What Makes A High Achiever?

Who even IS a high achiever?

It’s all relative, of course. Everyone is a high achiever to someone, the same way everyone is a lesser achiever to someone else (yet another reason why we should never judge ourselves against others).

Simply put, we’re all on our own journey, each with its own challenges and battles. What is easy to one person is tough to the next, and so on.

This is a great video for keeping you focused on your own journey.

Yes, it’s going to be tough. Yes there will be days you don’t want to get out of bed. Yes there will be jealousy along the way. Yes there will be people wanting to see you fall. Yes you will feel like stopping. Yes the world will assume things about you.

I say ‘you’ – but really, of course, I mean ‘me’. I totally, totally have areas of weakness, places where my inner high achiever struggles to beat the lazy scared person.

For one thing, I always find it so hard to get out of bed. Every. Fricking. Morning. And that’s one area I need to work on, to get up, earlier, get started faster, get off my phone go for the day harder.

As this video reminds me, just get out of bed. Just do it. Ignore the rest inside my own head and the heads of others, and DO IT.

Stepping above the rest is not easy. We must surround ourselves with people who also have vision and can see the possibilities for us all. Surround ourselves with other high achievers, and prepare to fight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Discipline and Success

Self-control. Discipline. Determination.

It’s so easy to let things slip. A new workout regime, a new diet, new working habits, new focus – they’re all great at the start. (I’m talking from personal experience here, lots of it!)

And then, three weeks later, that fantastic new habit has fizzled out. And who do we blame?

I know I blame my lack of self-discipline. I blame my inherent weaknesses. My lack of focus. I tell myself, oh, it’s just the way I am, I guess.

Oh, what total crap!

In the words of Nike, sometimes we’ve got to Just Do It. And this video by InspireDiscipline is a hugely powerful message  for inspiring us to – just do it.

You can’t read the summary here and expect it to work, you need to take the 12 minutes or so and watch it. But here’s a basic guide to the lessons in this video:

  1. Think of something you really, really want, and be sure to engage with that dream every morning. Visualise it, think about it, focus on it.
  2. Work on your focus FIRST, before the chaos of emails, social media, snapchat and whatever hit you. Do your work first, the video advises, so you start your day right.
  3. Block your day out. Don’t leave your day open to randomness – plan your calendar so action is planned.
  4. This is where it gets fun… but you’ll have to watch the video to find out what it is!

Invest the next 12 minutes in yourself, and get ready for what InspireDiscipline calls ‘The Charged Life’.

To self-discipline!

 

 

Setting Goals and Making Plans

This is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life!

No, George Clooney hasn’t turned up asking me to forgive him for marrying Amal, nor have I have won the lottery.

But, exactly a week ago, Dean and I both closed down to the outside world and began working on our new business – a quality, bathroom and wetroom installation company.

And that’s about as exciting as anything could be! Sorry George!

After being a general building company, specialising is a HUGE relief. At last we can get really really good, we can hire people specifically, we can do the same thing over and over which means we can get really, REALLY good.

Best of all, we can now see some really exciting ways to market the business, so we can get even bigger and even better.

We are both SOOOO excited!

And we’re doing what we desperately needed to do – preparing the business before it begins, setting goals for the business and for us to achieve.

The new van is signwritten (it looks amazing!), the website is being built (we hired a professional photographer to take photos of a few of the bathrooms we’ve done over the past year) and I picked our new business cards up on Friday.

Tomorrow we are fixing our price list. Our systems will also be confirmed down in the next 24 hours. Then we will do 10 – yes, 10! – price ups using our new systems so that when clients come to the new business we will have set ways to handle each query.

So this was the scene on our kitchen table last Monday morning:

List of tasks to accomplish, things to organise, learn, prepare… Setting goals and building a business

I’m pleased to say that some of those tasks are now ticked ‘done’ and others have morphed as conversations have evolved, but we are still working our way through them.

When the Planets Align…

Have you ever felt like the universe shifted to help you?

I had one of those wonderful moments a week or two ago. I was lucky enough to see a post on a Facebook builders group in which someone recommended this book:

Markup & Profit by Michael C Stone – a great read and a real boost to our business

The post was about pricing up and how people decided on what to charge. The person who posted warned that this book isn’t cheap (it isn’t – I paid over £40!) but said the information is gives will be invaluable.

O. M. Geeeeeeepers he was right!

We’re a third of the way in and already Mark Up and Profit is changing how we think and feel. If only we had known of this book years ago! But anyway, we have it now.

Reading Mark Up and Profit is literally like having the author, Michael C Stone, turn up at your home and go through your business with you. He really knows his stuff and even though it is an American book, it works pretty much 100% for a UK business (just a few pieces of US-jargon re taxes, banking etc).

This book is specifically aimed at the world of construction but really there is useful information in there for any business, especially a business that creates things – houses, bathrooms, websites, clothing, whatever. I will definitely use the formula for mark up on jobs when I come to grow my website/video business, Little Red Horse.

If you have ever wondered about how to work out pricing or when to know if your price is too high or too low, I really recommend getting your hands on a copy. It really has changed everything for us.

If you don’t mind me collecting a very small percentage of the cost of the book, you can buy it through this link here.

I cannot describe how grateful I am that as I scrolled along my Facebook timeline on that day, I decided to click on that post and see that comment. Sooo grateful!

New Energy – Setting Goals

As often happens, once energy starts flowing freely in one part of your life, it soon spreads to other areas.

My YouTube channel has been a bit stuck recently, I haven’t uploaded any videos for a while, not quite knowing what to say.

Today I found my diaries for 2014 anbd 2015 and looked back to July 30th on both years. It was interesting to think about what I was doing then, and how much has now changed. (I haven’t kept a diary properly for almost two years and I know I’ll regret it – this blog is partly an attempt to diarise how the journey goes).

Then on tonight’s dog walk I had the idea of posting regular, monthly goal videos – I read constantly that setting goals is one sure way to help yourself towards success, measuring your progress along the way. Also I wrote about it here.

So I grabbed Dean when he got back from golf and pinned him down to some goals for August. Here they are (for both of us):

  • Go running with the dogs at least 8 times – so twice a week
  • Complete two bathrooms as part of our bathroom business
  • Get three subcontractors signed up and part of our team
  • Go to bed by 10.30 pm three times a week (yeah right!)
  • Finish fire safety improvement works to all our rental properties
  • Get our dog recall up to 99.9999%
  • Do three Youtube videos – ‘how to’ sharing tips I’ve learned along the way
  • Do two Tony Horton golf workouts every week (Dean)
  • Eat some fruit and vegetables every day (Dean)
  • Get our new bathroom business completely set up

And here they are in glorious technicolour! (Trust me, there’s nothing like posting your secrets on YouTube for creating some accountability!)

 

 

Bob Proctor – M1, M2 and M3

The rain has not stopped all day today, giving the perfect excuse to spend the afternoon inside and clear the pile of ironing.

As usual, I took the opportunity to jump on to YouTube and gain some education and inspiration.

This film of a presentation by the amazing Bob Proctor was so good I just had to share it!

Like many people I first came across Bob Proctor from his appearance in the film The Secret (which if you haven’t seen, you must!) and he is a really inspirational and likeable guy.

At almost two hours’ long this film is well-worth listening to.

If you don’t have that long to spare right now, join him at 37 minutes in. He explains how most people (96% of all people) do M1 – working for a living – which will forever keep them poor and limited. We will only ever get so far if we only ever trade time for money. Sad to say, I am guilty as charged – or at least I was up until a year ago.

M2 is a definite improvement (3%) which is investing money to earn money. I’m glad to say I have done this, still only in a small way, and I’ll be increasing my property portfolio in the future.

M3 is where we should all be aiming for. This group set up multiple sources of income, and they get others to do the work for them.

I am definitely guilty of this! Right now, we are growing the business and I can feel myself struggling within my own limitations.

I know I am probably holding the business back right now, through my own weaknesses, but am I just thinking like an M1?

Surely an M3 person wouldn’t even need to think twice on this. They would just hire someone to do what they can’t.

As usual Bob has got me thinking. We don’t have the disposable income that a successful M3er might have, but by clinging on to M1 status I could be pushing that income further and further away with my own indecision.

 

 

 

 

Halfway to GOAL!!!

O.M.Geeeeeeeepers…..

I’ve lost 22 pounds on the Exante Diet! WOOHOOOO!!!!

Somehow, despite the struggles, the weak moments and the “I’m never going to do this” pitholes, I’ve managed hit the halfway to goal mark.

Twenty-two glorious pounds of fat gone forever.

Yup. A whole twenty and two wobble-a-thons are no longer wobbling around my person.

No longer hugging my inner organs, gripping my inner thighs or hanging heavily around my jawbone.

So to celebrate, and even though it is only Monday, I decided it was time for my first ever #fatfacefriday – here goes:

22 lbs down and I am halfway to my weight loss goal of 44 lbs off aged 44!

(How funny, that there are 22 lbs of flesh between these two photos, about 6 inches of hair, and yet I have still managed to wear a really dodgy fleece?! Some things never change!)

Pros to losing 22 pounds:

Clothes are looser (a lot looser!)
I look so much better
I feel amazing – streamlined and slim
I don’t hate looking in the mirror so much
It makes exercise easier (although I’ve not been very good at that recently)
It makes me feel that if I’ve got this far, I just might make it to the end of the weight loss journey!

Cons to losing 22 pounds:

Um.
I can’t think of too many, but I’ll be sure to post when I do!

So what is 22 pounds? One and a half stones, plus a pound, for the Brits. Just under 10 kilograms for the Europeans (9.97903 grams for the precision mathematicians). And, according to google, a toddler! (Exact age of toddler to be confirmed).

Frustratingly, I could have done it much quicker. If I stayed 100% on the Exante Diet plan, on its Total Solution plan, I could be losing 2-3 pounds a week, not just the 1 lb average I’ve been seeing. But, I guess I’m just never going to be that person, the one who gets on a diet and sticks to it religiously. Hey, I didn’t get into this position by being strict with my diet in the first place!

This week I’ve been pretty good (ie, 3 Exante Diet products per day) for about 3 days out of the week. The other days I have failed, either miserably or joyously, depending.

I still live in hope that I will suddenly turn a corner and find inner strength to keep me 100% longer than 72 hours, blasting myself into longterm ketosis and losing weight in a delirious fury of bad breath and a great relationship with my scales.

But I’m realistic. This is me, after all!

Anyway, who cares? I’m seeing results! Now that our business is starting to build momentum we have three networking events this month, and I will be able to wear a dress I could only have dreamed of wearing, with a confidence I wouldn’t have dared to imagine, just a very few weeks ago.

So I’ll take this victory! I’m so bloody grateful I found the Exante Diet and all its delicious, affordable food choices! I’ll take that weight loss, baby!

xx

 

Rocking the online accounting!

These days, Fridays don’t signal the end of the week, because weekends are as busy and full as any other day.

(I’m hoping this won’t last forever, y’know, but for now that’s just how it is).

Even so, it’s hard not to feel just a little Friday Night Fever… even if that means switching the TV on and having a cuddle with the dogs, not a full-on downing 20 pints and heading into town with my gladrags on (as if I even could!)

Today, though, I allowed myself a little more Friday night fever than usual. Because, my dear, dear reader, today is the first day I think I can fully say that when it comes to online accounting, I, Have, Got, It.

Just about.

And it feels amazing!

When I took my part-time, temporary, job in a letting agents, which I know went against everything I had vowed not to do, namely not ever having another boss, this feeling was exactly what I was hoping to achieve.

Because I had never had what I would call a ‘proper job’, one where I dealt with income, with cashflow, with profit and loss, with looking into the accounts,  etc etc, I literally had no idea what to do in that area. Working in TV I was pretty much protected from anything like that, it was all about people, stories and pictures.

And of course I was never taught anything at school that might have come in useful in that area – and don’t even get me started on this – why on earth would you not want to equip children with skills that might help them make and manage money later in life?!

So back in those first few weeks and months of getting my head around all the different systems that make up running a property management agency, I avoided looking into the money side of the bespoke property management software*. Franky, I was busy enough dealing with tenancy sign-ups, leaking toilets, snotty landlords and the rest.

But in the past six weeks or so I have steadily forced myself to venture into areas called ‘Property Ledger’, ‘Tenant Ledger’ and ‘Landlord Ledger’. Instead of just looking like a blur of gobbledygook, they have, slowly but finally, begun to make sense.

And, in turn, I’ve been able to bring that awakening to Xero, the online accounting system that we use in our business.

It is still with its challenges – some of which are caused by Xero, because it is not perfect – but I finally feel that I understand what Xero is going to be able to do for us.

Part of learning anything is the learning of how that thing can work for you. Give a calculator to someone who never went to school and they would look at you blankly – they would need to learn maths to understand how a calculator could be useful. Ok, that’s a little extreme but until very recently I felt that I also stared blankly at Xero, not quite understanding what I should be getting from it.

Today our accounts assistant Ade and I – Xero was new to her too, although she had used Sage before – looked at each other and agreed that we are nearly, practically, just-about, almost in a position to say we are sort of getting there!

Actually, I think we’re further on than that, but setting up a new business (well, 3), and setting up a new and unfamiliar accounting system, on top of everything else has been challenging.

Then there seem to have been millions of interruptions and distractions that have got in the way.

But, maybe, just maybe, on this quiet, dark little Friday night, I really can celebrate a milestone.

Even though it has been really tough fitting in the job, on top of the business(es) and everything else, I am so glad I took it on, and so very glad I stuck with it, and so very grateful that it has worked out as well as it has done.

And who knew it would ever really be possible to love online accounting!

 

*I don’t want to name the property management software that my bosses use. It’s not great, and while that isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, I have found them as a company extremely unresponsive to suggestions for ways to improve. Many of the processes are clunky and very time-consuming/wasting, and could be made so much easier, but it seems they have grown too big to care. So, I won’t name the software, but if you are considering investing in property management software feel free to email me at success@projectlifesuccess.com and I will happily name and shame!

 

Project: Life Success

Changing career aged 40+, learning about and building my own business, losing weight, building passive income & finally making a success of my life!

 

Week One weigh in – Success!!!

Diet of the Frickin CENTURY… Day 8 – January 16 2017…

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

I’ve done it, folks!

Seven whole days of iron willpower, tiny meals, gallons of water and a few hopes and dreams (not to mention two Sunday morning pastries, ahem*), I made it to Le Grand Exante Weigh In, Numero Uno…

Dear reader, I am delighted to report that my podgy little feet are ever sooo slightly less podgy than they were seven days ago!

Day One weight: 190.3 lbs (aka 13 stones 8.3 lbs)

Day Eight weight: 182.8 lbs (aka 13 stones 0.8lbs)

DOUBLE SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

I was so very nearly out of the 13 stones! And probably, if I hadn’t eaten as I did on Sunday I would have been. But I’m happy with this result, very happy.

8 lbs is nearly 20% of my goal of losing 44 lbs! (Ok, it started out at 43 lbs – my age – but as I will be 44 in March I might as well just accept that figure**.)

Now all I have to do is keep the momentum going!

I feel soooo lucky to have found the wonderful Exante diet. The products are generally delicious, even the ones I found a little disappointing at the start my taste buds have now adapted to.

It is affordable enough to be able to buy plenty of products, which I have discovered is important to me, because if it feels like I’m going to run out I won’t eat them (weird, right?)

And I have not been hungry. Hand on heart, the only time I have craved food has been when my brain wanted it, not my stomach.

New favourite products:

  • Lemon cheesecake shake – OMG. Just. OMG <3
  • Red bean chilli. Basically, it’s normal food. A bowl of normal food, imagine that!!
  • Very Berry porridge. Heaven in a dish.

I’m not doing very well on updating my YouTube channel, mostly because I am struggling to make enough room on my poor bulging laptop to upload the footage to edit. And now my phone is full too!***

First world problems, hey, but I promise I will keep on keeping on and update as soon as I can, especially so you can see the products.

Does 8lb weight loss feel different?

You bet it does. And that’s got to be the best thing about a vlcd diet – you lose weight so fast you can really feel the difference.

I am walking taller, my stomach is flatter and I feel so much better.

Plus, my work trousers (I was down to one last pair that fit!) were just that bit looser this morning – RESULT!

So, it’s onwards and upwards to Week Two.

My goal for this week is to lose 4 lbs, which should start to open up various wardrobe options previously un-fittable!

(Obviously more would be perfectly acceptable – don’t hold back in leaving, fat ounces)

As I write this, Dean is cooking his evening meal of chicken pie, oven chips and onion rings (and the guy weighs less than I do – but then he does move around all day) and I can’t lie, the thought of a whole week of restraint stretching out ahead is daunting.

So, it’s one day at a time, and keep focussed on the goal.

xx

 

that was not such an iron will day, but it did taste good.

** don’t even ask how I’ve got to 44. I must have blinked and misplaced a couple of decades somewhere.

*** yup, spot the vlogger who hasn’t yet invested in a decent camera…. ahemm…

 

Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business, losing weight, taking control & finally making a success of my life!

Day 6 – Exante Diet 2017

Exante Diet Day 6 – Jan 15th 2017

Feeling amazing this morning, full of energy and quite slim. My stomach loves being empty. My brain not so much though, and after I got back in from the dog walk I had to fight a VERY strong Saturday morning desire for carbs. Namely a couple of croissants from the village shop. Boy did I have a tense ten minutes as my inner battle raged.

Meal 1 – Very Berry Porridge

I decided to fight it with a sachet of Very berry porridge – rather nervously, after the disappointment of the apple and cinnamon. In the light of the over-boiling situation I also cut down the microwave time, from 2 minutes 30 seconds twice, to two minutes twice. The bubbling, swimming pool mess that greeted me suggested I need to reduce that further…

Another spillage…

BUT it was sooo good! Very sweet, fruity, and even though most of it was swimming in the saucer, I am so happy to say that what I was able to eat did quell the most of the craving.

Meal 2 – Coconut shake

I am really liking the shakes, and this was one of the best yet. I luuuurve coconut, and the flavour was perfect. Yum!

I have been struggling to edit my films for my YouTube channel because my mac is so full it is literally about to slam its little mac hands down on the table yelling “Enough, fool woman! I can’t take it no more!” and refuse to work which would be DISASTROUS. I thought the answer would be cloud storage but I find icloud useless (keeps crashing) and Dropbox so confusing – do I need to sync? is it uploading? if I can’t sync can it still upload? and blah blah, far too boring to go on any further but safe to say I spent the entire afternoon trying to delete old videos and photos, with questionable results, frankly. Technology can be so confusing sometimes.

When Dean brought me a cup of coffee I had a moment of madness and reached for the bottle of Baileys I foolishly had left in my office, adding a generous slurp to the coffee. Yum! Fool! I felt it immediately, and that could lead to any food weaknesses. I kept my head down and focused until the strongest alcoholic wobbles disappeared, then headed downstairs and ate a few pieces of chicken with mayonnaise before taking the dogs out.

There was only one way, then, to finish the evening – with a red bean chilli, which was just as good as last night. Halfway through it, Dean came and sat next to me with a plateful of white toast and butter – I took one slice from him and had a bite. It was surprisingly tasteless.

I have felt great today, aside from the alcoholism, and already feeling slimmer. My pair of go-to jeans, which had recently become my leave-behind jeans as I could barely fit them on, now fit again. My stomach is flat(ish) and I can feel myself walking taller.

I seem to find it easier to drink the water this time around. I have a 1.5 litre bottle that I fill and carry with me, plus numerous cuppas (coffee, tea and herbal teas) through the day take me over 2 litres. I wonder if Exante meals are slightly saltier than Cambridge? Certainly, I do feel ready to drink and would definitely drink more if it was warmer.

It’s day 7 tomorrow, already. Whenever I start a diet I feel the pressure of the never-ending sprawl of depriving myself ahead – which is a sure way to disaster. One day at a time, folks! Somehow the days pass and suddenly you’ve been dieting for long enough to see results, and that’s amazing.

So, one more day before my first weigh-in  – hoping I smash it tomorrow!

Project: Life Success – changing career aged 40+, building my own business, taking control & making a success of my life!