Tag Archives: everyday routines

The gifts of 10 days Blogging

Today is the last day of the 10 day blogging challenge I have been participating in. As I reflect on the last 10 days its clear that this challenge gave me more than I had expected. It has increased the traffic through my blog, it has increased the number of people following my blog, it has increased traffic to my website and also engagement on my business Facebook page. All great benefits, however the greatest benefits are more personal.

Since I began this blog 3 years ago I have had a fairly consistent routine to my writing. It was a ritual for me. Initially I would write monthly and then it became weekly. For the last 10 days I have been here writing each day.

To participate in this challenge I have had to change my approach to writing in a number of ways.

I had to let go of feeling that I needed inspiration to strike before I could write, learning that sometimes inspiration occurs during the process.

I have had to get comfortable with posting on a topic I didn’t really want to write about and also with posting when I wasn’t sure if it was worth reading or that it was even any good. Learning to let go of the need for my writing to be perfect and that I am my harshest critic when it comes to what I write. Letting my voice be heard regardless of whether I judged it to be “good ” or not has allowed me to relax my writing style and also the pressure I feel “get it right”

I have let go of the need for the right environment and circumstances to be present before I could begin writing. It has challenged me to write in different environments and regardless of what else is occurring in my life.

It has asked me to re- examine my beliefs around what I was doing in my business and to really connect with what it is I want to create. I loved Day 2 and 3, connecting with my why and my perfect day and allowing myself to share that with the world.

It has asked me to do many of the things I ask my clients to do but forget to do for myself

It has helped me to share my story and express who I am.

This experience has taken me outside my writing comfort zone and that can only ever be good for my writing and those who read it!

I love that writing gives me a way of connecting with people and also to express what goes through my head on a daily basis.

I think a lot and I feel a lot and I have a strong desire to help people. Sharing my thoughts on this blog has helps me to feel that somehow somewhere I am reaching out and touching someone. That maybe my experience or perspective can be of benefit.

This challenge has allowed me to do that in a much freer more unstructured way and I know that that will lead me to write more, connect more, help more and feel more fulfilled in what I am doing.

And last but not least it gave me a chance to really consider why Freedom is my word for the year, what that really means to me and how I can feel it in my life each and every day.

I hope you have enjoyed the ride for the last 10 days. Gold stars if you have read them all! Rest assured this will not be the last you hear from me, in fact far from it.

If you would like support to connect with what you really want to create, to step outside your comfort zone and to feel more expressed in your work then I’d love to chat. Book a free Clarity call here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10

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Working Holiday or Holiday working?

Imagine yourself in Portugal….Imagine yourself in Indonesia…..Imagine yourself in Spain… You are on holiday, seeing the sights, sipping the local wine/cocktails/fruit juice, enjoying the sunshine and relaxed pace. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? So how do you have this and run your business too? How do you take your business on the road with you?

This is my intention…to create a business that is location independent. Why would I want to do that? A couple of reasons. I like the scenery to change and also I see myself wanting to continue to do what I love long into my retirement. I don’t want to have to choose to give up my job to travel. I don’t want to have to say no to adventure because I need to be somewhere or I don’t have leave owing.

The past few years I have traveled quite a bit and its during this time that I started my blog. Being away on holiday hasn’t stopped me from writing. In fact I  probably write more taking inspiration from the places I am visiting and the things I see around me. So how about working with clients? this is something I am yet to try. I am comfortable with skype and zoom and use these platforms to coach clients  but by far the majority of my clients are face to face. This is the way my business has evolved at this point. I don’t see this as a limiting factor in my business at this stage. I am pretty confident that if I needed to I could switch my clients over to the virtual world.

Travelling and working also opens up new possibilities for how my business could evolve. What experiences could I offer in the location I am traveling too? Is it an opportunity for me to run a workshop somewhere else in the world? Is it a chance to host a retreat? Something I have always wanted to do.

To work effectively while travelling will require a similar level of discipline as my current situation of working from home. Carving out time for various tasks each week to ensure that they are done would still need to be a priority. Looking at what works better when travelling is what I would explore. Does it feel good to spend a small focused amount of time each day working and then to have the rest of the day free or would I be better to schedule a loberg work session every 2 or 3 days. This I am yet to discover and explore.

I would like to publicly set then intention here on this blog to schedule a holiday in the next 12 months that also includes some work time. I invite the miracle of how this will unfold for me into my life and welcome it with open arms. You might want to pencil in a visit to this blog next September to see how it went or to hold be to account. I would like that!

One of the great gifts of my job as a Business Coach is that I get to support people to create a business that fits with their dream for their life. I get to see their business idea emerge, be nurtured into life and to take them where they want to go. I get to support others to get clear on what they want and whats getting in the way of that. I get to see the miracle of moving through a block unfold its potential in someone’s life and business. I feel blessed to have these experiences and also grateful that it inspires me to continue to breathe life into my own dreams to keep the fire burning within my own belly. What would I ever want a holiday from that !

If you would like to get clear on whats holding you back in your life and biz book a free clarity call here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

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Life is a daring adventure….

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing” one of my all time favourite quotes and it sums up for me what life is all about. If you aren’t trying new things or challenging yourself on a regular basis then  you arent growing or expanding and life becomes stale, predictable, boring even.

I get that adventure isn’t for everyone but you don’t have to be an adrenalin junkie to put a bit of adventure in your life. For me adventure is trying new things, visiting new places, new learning and moving to the flow of life,embracing change as it comes your way.

The last few years have seen me do a bit of solo adventuring. Travelling to parts of the world I have never visited and seeing things I have always dreamed of. I have embraced solo travel and also the joy of going on retreats with other like minded souls. I love the expansion I feel when I discover new places.

This year my adventure has been a lot about leaving a 10 year corporate career to step out on my own. Learning new technology and ways of working and marketing my business. Mastering new skills can be quite and adventure!

I have also traveled this year with my partner and with friends. Once again a new experience, a different adventure. The biggest benefit of new experiences regardless of how risky they are in the physical sense is that you learn to feel grateful for what you  have and also learn to adapt to new situations more quickly.

Todays adventure might seem really simple to most but for me it was another opportunity to change my view. To see the world differently, to see myself differently. Today I went to an open home to look at a house with some land. Seems simple doesn’t it but to see it that way is really only seeing the surface. Attending and open home implies an openness to moving, living in a different environment and essentially changing everything in your day to day experience from where you buy your coffee to route you drive to work.

I am not going to buy this house or even make and offer but it was and still is an adventure. A new adventure loaded with possibilities, new dreams and new magic!

I wonder where this adventure will take me 🙂

If you would like support to shake up your routine and fit more adventure into your day then click here to book a free clarity call with me or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

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Joining the largest nation in the world!

Have you joined it? The largest nation in the world?

Procrasti-NATION!

What I am really enjoying about this 10 day blogging challenge is that it is asking me to step outside my writing comfort zone. Not so much in terms of topic but in terms of the environment and conditions in which I write. I have to admit that I have a writing routine that has become a little rigid in that I have felt unable to write unless the environment and conditions were “right” This in itself could be considered procrastination – today’s topic- more on that soon.

Today I am well and truly outside my writing comfort zone. I am sitting in an ice cream truck on a race course surrounded by hot rods and classic cars! A great example of the freedom lifestyle- to be able to do what you want to do you must learn to complete tasks and get work done in any environment.

So no blogging procrastination for me today but I am not unfamiliar to procrastination by any stretch of the imagination. I can be as crippled by inertia and inability to act as the next person. Procrastination is also one of the key reasons my clients come to me for coaching.

Why do we procrastinate?

In my experience, from the experience of my clients and also from a conversation I just had with my partner it seems to me that fear is generally the root cause of procrastination.  What this also means is that we can try any number of tips and trick to beat procrastination but until we address the underlying fear the procrastination will return.

What are we afraid of?

It can be many things and often its different for different people; fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not getting it perfect, fear that it or you are not worthy or deserving, fear of the uncertainty of the outcome…..

How do we ditch the fear?

I am a big believer that to really bust the fear for good we need to go deep. I have a great process that I walk my clients through which helps to not only identify and understand the fear but also to hear its message. Surprisingly fear brings its own gifts.

In the short term I would encourage you to make friends with your fear. Acknowledge its presence, where do you feel it in your body?  Can you name it? Feeling and knowing your fear can free up some energy to act. Can you feel it and take action, even if its just a start. Taking some small actions now that you have acknowledged your fear may help you to relax and get things moving.

Sometimes a little bit of logic applied at this point can also make a difference. Ask yourself these questions. Will it matter in 10 days? Will it matter in 10 weeks? Will it matter in 10 months?

Hopefully some of these tips have helped and instead of continuing to read my blog you are now off to complete whatever you have been putting off! If not it could be indicative of a deeper core fear and I would recommend seeking out a coach or counsellor to help you identify and work with it.

It also helps to know that procrastination is a perfectly normal part of the creative process and often occurs when we are attempting or creating something new. In fact right now I am procrastinating about beginning to write the content for a 7 day e-course on finding purpose. I have planned this e-course out but have yet to sit down and actually write it and record the videos. The key is to be really clear on when your procrastination is about readiness of an idea to be birthed and when its because you are afraid.When you are creating something new, the germination stage of the new idea may feel like procrastination but you might just not be ready. If this becomes a sustained lack of action or a stronger resistance that’s when you have a problem.

As I wrote at the beginning of this blog having the perfect conditions and circumstances around me to write is no longer an issue so beginning my e-course is the next task on my list today!

If you would like support to get clarity, bust through bloacks and take action book a freee clarity call with me here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

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Get into your Groove

Getting into a good groove with your business to ensure your are productive and efficient in the time you have available is essential but also takes a bit of work and sometimes creativity.

When I stepped out of my full-time job into my business it took some time for me to feel connected and comfortable with a new routine. I had been working in the corporate world for 10 years with a heavy travel schedule and having unstructured time was foreign to me I wrote about it here Coming back to what works… Since my realisation a few months ago, that I no longer had to fit into a routine prescribed by someone else, I have been experimenting with structure, routine and tips and tools to make my working day both enjoyable and effective

The easy part for me is that I love what I do so much that I am eager to get started every day. I am in my office and ready for “work” by 9am. The hard part has been finding a routine that works for me and minimises distractions. I can get caught up with emails and Facebook and friends who know you are at home phoning or dropping by for coffee or asking for favours as they know my routine is flexible. I am learning that I need boundaries to ensure that I maximise my time.

I have used the pomodoro technique to good effect and now teach it to my clients. I find it quite satisfying to tick off time blocks and complete tasks. You can find out more about the pomodoro technique in Natalie’s post today here

I have also discovered that I like to vary my workspace. Although I spend the majority of my time in my office I like to go to a cafe to write my blog. I find the noise and chatter in the background of people going about their lives around me, allows the words to flow. I can get into my writing zone.

What is working for me best in terms of structure is to grid up my day into 30min slots and block out time for client work, work on the Biz, writing, exercise, appointments etc. I put this plan together as I book appointments each week ensuring I am leaving space for other tasks that need completing. Then each day I am using a second grid to mark out what I actually did to compare to my plan. This is highlighting for me where my greatest time bandits are and what times of the day are most productive for me. I am also getting a good idea of how long each task takes from tracking it this way.

I also include in my planning grid space to record my top 3 tasks to achieve each day, clients I need to contact and any other essentials that need to be taken care of.

Getting really clear on your top 3 tasks each day is especially important if you have limited time to work on your business., as the saying goes if you fail to plan you plan to fail!

The best part of creating structure and planning for your business is that it is entirely yours and you have the freedom to change it, tweak it and adjust it as much as you like until you find your groove!

Todays top 3 Tasks

Write Blog post for challenge

Prepare content for 7 day purpose guide

Clear clutter from my desk

If you would like more clarity, and structure around what you do and action steps to take book and free clarity call here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

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Oh such a Perfect day!

Today’s Blogging challenge is to write about your perfect day. Imagine there are no limits. You can create a vision for your future that looks and feels and includes anything you want! You can design a working/living style that is exactly right for you, that makes you feel happy, connected and on purpose.

This exercise is not new to me. I have done it myself a number of times and its something I often ask my clients to do. Knowing what you want to create provides a roadmap for your business and the choices that you make. Designing an ideal life will also highlight for you what in your current life needs to change and evolve. From a spiritual perspective the law of attraction says that if we believe it we will see it. Our thoughts create our reality. Our subconscious mind is unable to discern reality from fiction so if you really connect to the images and feelings of what you want to create you draw towards yourself the perfect conditions and opportunities to make it happen.

Go Confidently in the direction of your dreams…..this has been a favourite quote of mine for a very long time. Most of us like the idea that we can create what we want in our lives but to do this we actually have to relax that parts of our self that tells us we cant have what we want. We come up against our conditioned limitations and beliefs such as “I don’t deserve it” or “you have to make the best of what you have” or “not everyone is destined for greatness” We fear our deepest inner most desires being laughed at or ridiculed or that we are arrogant to want to much for our lives. Sometimes we have felt so discouraged by our circumstances that we don’t even dare to dream. We have disconnected from our true desires.

When I ask my clients to write for me about their dream day some grab the opportunity with both hands and others resist it and need support to work through what holds them back from what they want.

Personally I am half and half. I love to dream about what I want to create. I get excited abut my vision for my future and I love to write it down and to create vision boards from what i have written. However to share my dreams in public for other people to view…that is where I meet my resistance.

What I know about goals is that if we share them even with just one other person we have a much higher chance of achieving them. So with that in mind I am going to move through my resistance today and share with you my Perfect Day.

My perfect day begins without an alarm. I wake up from a restful sleep with my partner. Together we go for a walk on the beach or in the hills and then enjoy breakfast together sharing our intentions for the day. We are blessed to be able to live where we choose which means we often split time between NZ and other tropical locations giving us a long summers and  a very relaxed lifestyle. Each day after breakfast I spend a couple of hours in my workspace. My workspace is an open studio in a garden setting with lots of light and stunning views. I will spend my time meeting with my admin team and planning the coming days/weeks. I might spend time creating workshops or programs or I might be working one on one with clients either face to face or virtually. Some days I will be travelling to deliver workshops and seminars. I love that I have created a working life that allows the scenery to change and for me to express myself while supporting others to experience deeps success in what they do. I love that I have created a prosperous business that supports me and a number of others and that allows me to give to community projects that are close to my heart.

Most days I will also have some quiet time to meditate, journal and work on my latest writing project be it blog or book.  I finish work early to meet up with friends or family or to swim or indulge in a massage or spa treatment.  At the end of the day I meet up with my partner to share what the day has bought us and to either go out for dinner or to spend time preparing a meal together. I feel completely fulfilled and satisfied at the end of every day. I love that I have freedom  and time for what is important  and to travel and learn new things. I enjoy spending time reading and indulging my creativity through writing and art. I feel blessed to be living the life of my dreams and grateful for all that I have, all that I am able to contribute and that I can do this by simply being myself!

If you have read this far I invite you to do some dreaming on your Perfect day. What is it that you want to create in your life? I also encourage you to notice if you resist doing this and what comes up for you when you think about it.Let me know if I can help. You will find me at www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

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What Indonesia showed me about Rituals

My recent holiday in Indonesia was a perfect opportunity for me to take a step back from my growing new business and to immerse myself in new experiences and culture. Indonesia is a melting pot if race, culture and religion. Hindu temples stand side by side with Mosques. The air can be both thick with incense from hindu offerings and alive with the call to prayer.

On thing that struck me about this melding of culture and religion was the presence of ritual in every day. In Indonesia every day is punctuated with moments to pause, give thanks, connect or pray. What I love about this sense of ritual is not so much about the practices of the individual religions but more about the opportunity for reflection that it brings. Rituals are an opportunity to slow down and become present to what is. In our western culture of rush and hurry lives I think there is a lot we can learn from that.

Ritual can give us an opportunity to be more effective at what we do and to feel a greater sense of purpose which ultimately leads to a deeper level of satisfaction at work and more joy in life.

So how do we incorporate Ritual? How could using rituals every day improve your business?

Firstly I think its important to distinguish between routine and ritual. Routines and rituals are similar in that they become a regular part of what we do every day. However routines are about how we navigate our day,week, month or year and rituals are about the mindset, presence and connection we hold as we move through our routine.

Rituals give us the opportunity to transition more effectively from one task to another, to mark the transitions from home to work or work to home. This can be especially important for those of us who work from a home office. Rituals can also be a useful tool in reducing procrastination and clearing negative feelings when a meeting, project or client appointment hasn’t gone well.

Personally I love rituals and use them quite naturally in my life and business. As a coach I use the ritual of lighting a candle before each client (regardless of whether they are face to face or via the internet) This small act of taking a moment to light a candle is a signal to me that I am switching from the million and one things on my “to do” list to being fully present to the needs of my client. It allows me to connect with my inner coach and to let go of whatever else may be on my mind.

I also use a ritual for writing my blog. I find that I struggle to settle to write in my office so I have created a blog writing ritual. I take myself off to a café and order a coffee. Once the coffee arrives that is my signal to switch into writing mode and I find the burble of noise in the café around me helps the words to flow.

Rituals can be really useful when we experience irritation on arriving home to families at the end of a busy day. Competing demands of your work day and the needs of you partner and children can be draining and cause friction. Choosing a ritual to mark the transition can help reduce conflict both internally and with loved ones. It could be as simple as playing a “wind down” song in the car on the way home or stopping for a few minutes at the local park to breathe in some fresh air and let go of your day. You might find that having a ritual of taking a shower when you arrive home to wash away the day before you interact with you family could work for you. It’s always a good idea to let your family in on your ritual as well so that they can respect that time and allow you the space to mark it each day.

We can also use rituals when we are stuck or procrastinating or to shift our energy after something hasn’t gone well at work. Once again keeping it simple is key. You might want to take a moment to reflect on what has happened and how you feel about it and then let if go. You might decide to take a few minutes in the fresh air to breathe or to meditate or do a few yoga poses if your office space allows you the privacy to do this. Using aromatherapy oils or burning sage as ritual to clear you energy can also help to move you through slumps.

To me the greatest values in using rituals is that it gives us an opportunity ti take a step back from the intensity of “do” and “get it done” it allows us to take a wider perspective, to see the bigger picture and to reconnect with who we are and why we are doing what we do. Rituals can move you from mundane to mission!

So how do you incorporate some ritual in every day? Firstly take a review of your day/business and reflect on what’s working and what’s not. Where are you feeling out of flow or stuck? Could a ritual help here? Start by trying one of my suggestions above. Use it for a few days and notice if it makes a difference. Alternatively use your own internal guidance to find a ritual that feels right for you or feel free to contact me for some ideas appropriate to your situation.

As a Business Coach I work primarily in the area of emotional and spiritual alignment. Together we walk the inner journey of uncovering the parts of you that are missing in your business with the goal of creating meaningful success in a business that you love!

If you feel you need support to do the inner work email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz or phone me on 0274327601 to set up a complimentary 20 min call to see if coaching is for you.