August 2021 – A decade of Firecracker

This month the business has got crazy busy which I’m ecstatic about as have felt for a long time that it might be time for a complete change, my belly fire is still burning bright but my head was saying something different these feelings were heightened this month too because Firecracker celebrated being 10 years old too, a decade of self-employment!!

In the last 10 years so much has happened and there have been some massive highs and some heartbreaking lows, and although I did celebrate this achievement it was tinged with sadness too.

I know deep down over the past ten years I’ve given my heart and soul to Firecracker, will continue to do so and smile at all the people I’ve met along the way, especially the ones I’ve been able to help and support in their life journey/story. I really hope that they smile too when they remember the interactions we had.

I had/have big dreams for Firecracker and felt that I should be further down the line with these goals than I am after ten years of plugging away at it! While the belly fire burns bright these dreams are still alive so I know not to give up hope and my time will come soon enough…

I had planned to have a quieter month in August, as mentioned in my July post I felt like I needed to rest and had some annual leave from my Uni work (having paid holiday is still something I am getting used to!) So yes I had annual leave from the Uni but I didn’t get any time off as I was busy working on Firecracker stuff, in fact, if I hadn’t had the time off I don’t think I’d have delivered all the work I need to do in August and I didn’t get as much done as I would like have liked due to…

…getting ill, I had a cold for about a week (this could have been due to being run down, or just picking it up from somewhere) – don’t think anyone likes getting ill, however, I always kind of give thanks to my body when I get ill and subsequently get better at its awesome ability to heal itself and know that my immune system is in good working order! But it was a timely reminder to look after my body and health. Personally, I believe there is nothing wrong with getting ill every so often as it’s being human, but I do think we need to do all that we can to support the body and mind to be healthy most of the time.

My big life transformation is still happening although due to the above it has kind of stalled a bit. But I’m determined more than ever to make this happen.

I did make progress on the garden though with a little help from some friends – so that’s progress towards the transformation.

While I was ill I did have a couple of slow days when my brain was a fog and tears flowed so had time to think about my life, there are times when I just want to run away and be done with adulting and all the responsibilities that go with it but mostly I smile about the life I have, the friends around me and the opportunities that come my way! Recently I’ve forgotten that…

Life’s for living and food is for eating… need to start living a bit more!!

Until next time stay safe and well xx

July 2021 – Running on Empty

July is a bit of a strange month for me, it’s my birthday month which I often find challenging.

I feel like I’m running on empty, completely devoid of energy, exhausted and lost all my mojo for life, not in a depressed way so to speak but just no motivation to do things I usually don’t even think about doing like exercise!

I have been feeling pretty tired over the last few months even years if I’m honest but this month it kind of hit me like a tonne of bricks.

My challenge 250 has gone out of the window, I managed to maintain it for 68 days and then things started to fall apart, I am still meditating which I plan on continuing for as long as possible!! Yes, I’m a bit gutted that I wasn’t able to maintain this challenge but that’s life and I won’t be too unkind to myself.

I don’t know about you but around my birthday I often take some time for reflection as another year older! And as I hit the 44 mark, I decided that enough is enough, enough of being tired all the time, living a life of hustling and just about getting by, not really living, just surviving and I appreciate that the last 18 months have been like no other but my struggles have been going on for years so the pandemic has kind of compounded the issue and I’ve kind of got stuck into a negative mindset…

When I look at my life and my skills there is no real reason why I should be in this position but I am so my plan is to use my knowledge to transform my life in the next 12 months so by the time I hit 45 my life/body/health/house/garden will look totally different. No stone will be left unturned in addressing the challenges I have and I am determined to overcome them.

To keep myself accountable I will be capturing this transformation with a daily blog/vlog (Feel free to subscribe if you want!) – and a way to capture the transformation for prosperity. I know that at times this will be painful both physically and mentally but I truly believe that this pain will be worth it in the end. I want to finally banish the demons in my head, smash the imaginary walls I put up that stop me doing things I want to do and live my true self – whoever that is because at this point in time I’m not actually sure who I am and what makes my heart sing.

The first things I am going to do is rest, for the first time in nearly a decade I now get paid holiday so will be having some time off work/business in August to plan the next 365 days. While I’m resting I will review my goals, review my current situation and put together a plan of action!

How are things to you? Have you had a chance to reflect on your life and think about changes you’d like to make?

Until next time, stay safe and healthy Rachel xx

June 2021 – All change…

Back in February (which feels a lifetime ago) I was given the opportunity to do some visiting tutor hours as part of the business and enterprise team at Bishop Grosseteste University here in Lincoln, I was teaching two modules for the first years and although I’ve been a trainer for over 20 years I’ve hardly done any online training, in fact, I don’t think I’ve done any! My style of teaching/training does fit with the online model as I like to do lots of hands-on tasks etc, however, due to the restrictions, I had a steep learning curve not only to teach online but in using Microsoft Teams effectively (hats off to all the teachers/lecturers who have had to do this the last 18 months) and changing my natural teaching style to account for the limitation of online teaching, at times it brought me to tears and I questioned why I said yes but as I got to know the students more and used to the online tutoring the tear became less and less.

Since finishing these modules, I’ve taken on a more permanent role as a part-time lecturer which is a fantastic opportunity which I plan on embracing with everything I’ve got.

This will take some adjusting as over the last decade I’ve got very used to working on my own to my own agenda and calendar, this has been made a whole lot easier as I’ve got a fab team which wonderfully supportive colleagues who have been very kind and generous with their time to help me settle into the role.

A role like this is beyond my wildest dreams if I’m honest with the challenges I had when I was at school and the very unsupportive teachers and careers advisor who basically wrote me off as being too thick to do A-Levels!! I am so glad that the career guidance that children get now has much improved, I know this first-hand as I’m part of the give an hour scheme which encourages professionals to give an hour or more to go into schools to talk about their careers and the types of roles they might do.

Although this is a great opportunity, it has taken me a bit of time to get my head around it (hence why this blog post is a little later in the month than usual) as Firecracker is also my dream it felt like it was slipping away from me and I had failed! Firecracker is still alive and kicking & I now believe that the work I’ll be doing at BGU will only enhance what I offer to organisations, all the modules I will be teaching are connected to what Firecracker does, what a great position to be in as now I can develop my skills & knowledge for my own development but also support the next generation of business professionals. So the cogs are turning in my brain to develop some more workshops and courses for Firecracker with my newfound knowledge and watch this space as they say!! Another advantage with this role is that I possibly can influence the culture and wellbeing from the inside as an employee rather than as an external consultant, as I’ll be living and breathing it for myself.

In other news, I’m still doing my #challenge250 and by the end of June, I was on day 66 and hadn’t missed any of the actions I had committed to! Crossfit has been a bit hit and miss as I have not had the motivation to go, which drives me insane as I know when I do go I feel better for it, but sometimes my bed has been way too comfy to get out of!

Six months of 2021 have now passed and I am not where I expected to be! However, I’m learning day by day that I need to trust in the universe and that I am exactly where I’m meant to be!

Until next time, stay well and safe, tally ho xxxx

May 2021 – Alone but never lonely

May was an emotional month for me, can’t quite put my finger on why this was the case as nothing significant happened I just felt in a bit of a negative funk really.

One thing that I did feel is alone at times! In all honesty, I never ever feel lonely! I’m lucky enough to have a great circle of friends around me who look out for me and there is always someone I can talk to if I need advice or guidance. However, there are times when I feel truly alone, it’s coming up to a decade of being properly single (not an anniversary I thought I’d hit) and my family are not close either emotionally or geographically, which means that all of my life decisions fall on me (this isn’t a woe is me post, it’s just the truth) and I find this incredibly hard and exhausting! There is no one to share the burden with, I question some of my decisions all the time not knowing if I’m doing the right thing. I’ve very much driven by my gut feeling (99% of the time it’s right) however, it would be nice sometimes to be able to discuss it with someone who is on the same journey as me

I’ve had these feelings before and know that the best thing is to acknowledge them but not get give into them and give them energy fester. I tend to just pick myself up and move on.

I don’t know about you but this year is going so fast, I can hardly believe that as I sit and type this it’s already mid-June and it’s tipping it down!! Typical English summer! This isn’t helped that I work on the magazine for one of the major supermarkets doing all the nutrition for the recipes and we work at least two months in advance so that feel like the months passes in a blink of an eye. At the moment I’m working on the September magazine.

As I mentioned last month I’ve continued to do my challenge 250 during the month and even though this negative funk is stubbornly hanging around I’m finding the routine of this challenge helps me to stay focus on actions I know will help me maintain my wellbeing and I’m determined not to miss a X in the box on my sheet, it’s funny what can motivate you isn’t it!

Quite a short one from me this month, so until next time, safe save and well.

Big love, Rachel xx

April 2021 – I don’t have time for that

Another month chalked off!!

How many times have you said I don’t have time for this or that, I know I probably say it several times a day some days and it got me thinking! Over the years I’ve often heard clients say I don’t have time to eat healthy food or exercise. Or they say I’ll have to make time for that. In reality, we can’t make or find more time, we all have the same 24 hours, 14440 minutes or 86,400 seconds! However, we can use the time we have to move us forward.

What you do with your time on a day-to-day basis is what becomes your life! And that’s not necessarily being productive for all your waking hours! However, using your time wisely will ultimately create your future.

How I choose to spend my time is very personal to me as it is for you! And I’m always very aware of the time I spend on social media, as much as I love it, most platforms are designed to keep you there for as long as possible which is great for the advertisers but not for me when I’ve got more important things to be doing! I use it to market my business but I’m sure I’m not alone in losing hours of my day scrolling mindlessly through posts. I know for me I often do this when I’m avoiding doing the things I know I should be doing but find them hard to do – classic procrastination technique! I’m determined to push through these barriers and succeed.

Like most of us, I am juggling lots of different things on a daily basis which means time is precious! From the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep my mind is going twenty to the dozen with things to do, things to remember, and other random thoughts! In the past, I know that these thoughts have consumed me to a point where I’m paralysed into inaction! As I’ve heard recently I’m in hustle mode, which is fine if hustle mode gets the best out of you but for me, it’s not a great place to be!

April has been a month where I’ve been very mindful of what I do with my time and the thoughts I have so that I can start to make changes in both that will move me forward. I know this won’t be an easy process, there are things I’ve kept buried inside for decades that I know I need to release to achieve what I want in life.

The RTT process has now finished for now, after the main session, Marty sent me a recording that I listened to for 21 days and we have weekly check-ins for 3 weeks! There haven’t been earth-shattering changes but I am noticing subtle shifts in my thinking, pushing through the excuses my internal voice shouts out when I do things that in the past been too scared to do!!

You’ll remember last year I did something called #75Hard where I completed a number of actions every day for 75 days, I really liked the idea of doing something like this again but with my own actions that will help move me forward, so on the 26th April I started #250Challenge, on this date there were 250 days left of 2021 so I committed to myself & friends/social media that I’d do the following every day for the rest of the year!! These are mainly things that I avoid doing!!

  • 30 minutes of marketing/business development
  • 1 social media post – mainly on my business pages but could be personal too!
  • 30 minutes exercise – this is the easiest one for me as I love doing it but I like everyone, often make excuses for not doing anything, this will mostly be Crossfit/Interval Training/Open water swimming, but walking will count too.
  • 30 minutes personal development – exploring my internal blocks, working through limiting beliefs, or anything else that will move me forward both personally and professionally
  • 15 minutes meditation – I’m using the Insight timer app for this which tracks progress.

All of these times are as a minimum, I feel it’s stretching but doable and will give me something to focus on when days are tough and feel like giving up!! We all have them don’t we but I know for sure I won’t be defeated! I love the feeling of ticking off each action when I do it each day! And like I said above, it’s about priorities, I don’t want to say to myself I don’t have time for something important when I’ve sat on Instagram for an hour!! You are welcome to join me in this challenge and I know at the time of writing this there are less than 250 days left but join anyway, start at 225 or 200!! The time will go anyway… Here is my simple tick sheet, you can add your own actions!

Until next time, stay safe! Rachel xx

March 2021 – Vanilla Caterpillar

March has been a strange kind of month for me, I’ve had several realisation that have affected me deeply.

Back over Christmas, I made a promise to myself that 2021 would be different, I would invest in myself and my business more!! Some might think I do this already and maybe I do a little bit but it’s half-hearted and done on the cheap, I’ve always felt that I don’t deserve it!! As I’ve mentioned many times before one thing I struggle with is getting my voice out there, so in early January I took part in a 5 days social media challenge with a lady called Amber Leach! I haven’t got a clue how I came across her but I am so very glad I did!! The challenge I did was awesome, I took so much away from it & plan to action everything I learnt. I’m part of her private Facebook group and keep learning new stuff each week. I’m yet to action anything from the course as things with the business got a bit crazy, as things seem to be settling down I am hoping that I can make time to impliment the learnings and see some business growth.

In early Feb I took part in a 5 day reset with Jay Shetty I have been following him for a while on social media and had downloaded his book Live like a monk onto my kindle and started to read it, I liked what he said and so saw this reset as an opportunity to learn more about what he teaches, it was free so I thought why not, all I had to commit to was 1 hour a day for 5 days!! I really liked what he said over those five days so signed up for his programme – genius!! Now I follow a lot of people who are coaches/teachers/authors and have often taken part in their short programmes but I’ve never invested in their longer higher cost memberships but something about Jay was different so I signed up for 3 months initially, the thing I loved the most about it was that he committed to do a live workshop every Sunday on Facebook and since the day I signed up I’ve attended them live (they are recorded so if you can’t attend live you can catch up another day), these sessions include guided group meditation and then a short workshop around a theme for the month! The workshop is very practical with hints & tips about improving your life, relationships and career. Most of the live events I’ve attended have been watched by over 1000 other people and feels amazing to be meditating at the same time as people from all over the globe as well as learning how to live a better life. Over the coming months, I will be sharing some of these insights with you.

For a very long time, I feel like I’m a caterpillar in a chrysalis waiting to emerge as a butterfly and show my full self to the world in glorious technicolour. Over the years I feel like I’ve become quite muted with who I am, a bit vanilla if you like!! All a bit apologetic for being me. I was brought up to believe that women should be seen and not heard and find it quite hard to break this thought about shouting about me and what I do! In 2021 I am determined to come out of my chrysalis and celebrate who I am for the benefit of the world and share my knowledge to help others! This is especially poignant this year as I will be celebrating 10 years of running Firecracker full time and I really want the next ten years to be about growth & celebrating positive culture and wellbeing in organisations around the world (yes I have big dreams!!).

As some of the blocks I have (which I know I’ve talked about numerous times) seem to be quite stubborn I decided to embark on a different approach, during lockdown last year a friend of mine gave me the book “I am enough” by Marissa Peer, Marissa is a world-renowned speaker and has developed something called RTT (Rapid Transformation Therapy) to help her clients to shift mental blocks and self-limiting beliefs through hypnosis. Through reading the book I totally got the process and how it can work but struggled to actually apply it to myself at the same time (don’t you just love how the universe works) I connected with a lady on Instagram who was an RTT therapist in Lincoln, I didn’t know she did this when I first connected with her, I just felt like we had common ideas about wellbeing so felt like it would be a good connection! Over time through her posts and stories, I learnt that she did this therapy and the success she was having with other clients so true to my word about investing in myself this year I took the plunge and messaged her to have a chat. From that chat, I decided to go for it!! This is still an ongoing process as once we had the main session we have weekly follow-up sessions. So I will keep you posted with the progress of this in April’s blog! If you want to know more then check out Marti Susanne.

Something I need to keep remembering is that things take time, in a world where everything seems to be available instantaeously, from the minute you are born until your last breath, life is a journey so enjoy the ride and take every opportunity to learn and grow, what’s the rush!?!

Until next time, stay safe and well, much love Rachel xx

February 2021 – What day is it again?

Two down and ten to go, again this month seems to have whizzed by for me, mainly because I’ve had my head down working, there have been some days that I really have to work hard to remember what day, week or month it is!!

At the end of January, I was offered the opportunity to do some tutoring at my local university on their business degree! It’s something I’ve done before as a guest lecturer so jumped at the chance to have more involvement with this course and help students to achieve their goals. I was given about 10 days to get ready to teach so it’s been quite a busy month.

I have the mindset that my knowledge is not just mine but everyone’s and should be shared with others so they too can achieve things they never dreamed of in life. For me lecturing on a degree course is one of those pinch me moments.

As with the current situation all teaching is carried out online which if I’m honest has been a steep learning curve, I’ve been a trainer for over 20 years and I’ve probably only delivered 1 or 2 courses online. This type of teaching is so outside my comfort zone it’s unreal, however, I am relishing the challenge and each week I learn something new but will admit that I can’t wait to be able to get into a real classroom and meet the students face to face.

As I eluded to last month I had planned to launch a new website and business offering, this was going to happen from 1st Jan but somehow the Christmas break just seem to go before my eyes, then got put back to the 1st Feb and now it’s nearly March and I’m no further forward with it!! This is constantly on my mind so will need to put in the hours in the coming days to get it off the ground, as I’ve got a session with a coach at the end of March to review my progress on this new venture!!

Due to the tutoring and my business workload there are have been so very long days at my desk, and although this is tough and tiring I never complain about it as I feel very lucky (especially during these times) that I am able to still earn a living by doing what I love and safely from home. In fact, hard work from the last few years is coming back in dividends now.

This is why I’m so keen to get the new website up and running as not only does it allow me to share my knowledge more but also I feel it will give me another source of income!

These long days working have lead to me not exercising as much as I would like, as ultimately there are only so many hours in the day but I’m determined that from March I will get some balance in my life and allow me to exercise regularly. Like everyone I guess it goes in phases/waves where I’m on it and will exercise come hell or high water then other times when I priority other activities. I’ve learnt not to berate myself for this as I know that I’ll return to it as and when I’m ready. These long days have lead me to setting my alarm at just before 5am & cracking on with workout (when I’ve felt like it) before even the birds are awake, I love this time in the morning as it feels so peaceful and exciting for what a new day will hold! However, the downside is I get to about 3pm and I’m done in for the day so I know that if I want to continue to these early starts I need to adjust my diet to give me the energy I need to power through.

So, as I sign off for another month, I will put it out there that change is coming for… watch this space!!

Best wishes and stay well, big love Rachel xx

January 2021 – Escapism at home

As we entered a new year the inevitable announcement came that once again we were being asked to Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.

One thing I decided to do with the lockdown announcement was to turn my phone off at the weekend as I don’t need to be anywhere and in most instances, I’m not needed by anyone (my landline is still available if my family did need to get hold of me) so why would I need it to be on? As much as I love social media and interaction with people I sometimes feel that I can’t fully relax at times.

I believe that your home should be your sanctuary a place where you can escape from the world and mine is very much that! And these last 10 months have made me realise even more how much I love being at home. Yes there are DIY jobs that need doing, most of the rooms could do with a fresh lick of paint and a bit of a declutter but overall I love my house/home. I feel lucky that I’ve got space to be able to have a dedicated home office, a place to sit and read/meditate and a garden (very overgrown at the moment) but still my own outdoor space. So often in life we take things for granted when we are distracted by other stuff going on, this period has taught me so much about the things that really matter to me and one of those is being able to work from home and have the separation between my work life and home life.

I must admit as I’ve said before I really don’t have a problem with being at home on my own, I did cry when the live announcement was made, I guess there are many reasons for this but mainly I felt sad for all the people out there who do struggle with being at home and/or have lost loved ones over the last year or so. I am missing seeing friends in real life, a zoom catch up is fab but just isn’t the same as being in the same room as someone you care about.

Business-wise, the month started off pretty quiet so I thought I would use my time to work on a few business/marketing ideas I have bubbling around in my head to see where they take me, more details of these ideas will follow very soon as these ideas/plans are coming along slower than I would like as work started in flood in mid-month and ultimately at the moment I have to prioritise paid work although this strategy HAS TO CHANGE because without doing marketing and business development to bring in future work then I know I’ll be constantly chasing my tail which is what has happened for years. And I’m determined that 2021 I am going to do things differently, will be quite challenging for me as I’ve run my business the same way for the last 9 and half years which has got me so far but I’ve got big plans and without doing things differently I know these plans won’t come into fruition.

For the large part of the month I was feeling quite buoyant and content with my lot however a couple of days before January came to an end I had a wobble, the tears flowed and I felt completely overwhelmed with life. I’ve come to accept that our feelings come and go & to let them run their course, which is what I did, I was kind to myself, had an early night knowing that the next day will sun will rise again, the following day I was feeling so much better, ready to take on the world again, I decided to share this experience on social media as I felt that often on social media we tend to just see the glossy side of life & wanted to so that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I had an amazing response to my post. I didn’t post it for likes or follows I just wanted to say it’s ok to have wobbles!!

Until next time, stay strong and stay safe xx

December 2020 – Feeling at home

Well, that’s 2020 done and dusted, good riddance some might say, and there is no denying that this might be a year that we may wish to forget but will actually find quite hard to erase from our memories.

For me, the end of the year signifies a time for reflection and time off for renewal and this year has been no different. I make time to review the highs and lows of the year and life lessons I will take forward in the days, weeks and months to come.

One thing I do every year is have a “word of the year” that reflects how I want to live my life for 2020 the word was “THRIVE” and despite everything that was thrown at us this year I actually feel like I have thrived in many ways.

I feel a little guilty saying this knowing so many people have/are struggling with simply living right now and don’t get me wrong I have many minor and major wobbles this year, however, when I look at the year and my life overall, some things seemed to have fallen into place which have been pipedreams for a while.

Over the last few years, I’ve turned into a little home bird and love nothing more than being surrounded by my own four walls & only my cat and thoughts for physical company. This wasn’t always the case and having had years of therapy to work on the darker side of my brain and a believer in personal development I feel that all the pain I’ve gone through to deal with deep-rooted issues, limiting beliefs & historical events have helped me navigate this year better than I have any other year. I don’t think I’m anywhere near where I want to be with this work as know it’s a life long project but the techniques & strategies I’ve amassed over the years have come into their own this year.

I enjoy being at home and luckily I am able to separate work and life easily as I have a dedicated office for working and the rest of the house is for living!! The days I sit on the sofa with my laptop and work are few and far between, today though is one of those days!! Mainly because it’s a bit of a bleak & cold day and wanted to light my open fire to give my living room that warm cosy feel, I’ve got some tunes on in the background and Sophiecat by my side, what more could I ask for?!?

Only in this last month have I felt happy with how my life is progressing, often I’ve been guilty of pushing, when I have an idea in my head I tend to go full throttle on the go pedal and try to make it happen before it’s ready to happen and often feel disheartened when things don’t work out as I would like, this year, however, things seem to happen in their own good time and it’s been perfect timing for me too!! This has taught me a lesson in trust & acceptance.

I’ve realised what makes my heart sing and that I’m actually respected for it too which makes me beam from ear to ear as more than ever I feel at home with who I am. This is a very special feeling which has alluded me most of my life as if I’m honest I’ve always felt like I was never good enough!

I’m not settling for anything less than world domination but know that I’ll get there in my own sweet time and not to get distracted by others who might seem to further ahead than I am and to have an unwavering belief that I can achieve anything I want to I just need to be brave enough to believe it.

I’m excited about what 2021 might bring, I have some big ideas and dreams which I WILL MAKE HAPPEN.

Until next time, stay well and safe. R xx

Default Setting

As humans I believe we are all creatures of habit, have our funny quirks for doing things.

One thing I know I do is mindless turn on the TV at the end of the working day and spend the evening staring at the screen on the wall without really watching it, I find that I get a bit restless and can’t settle to watch anything yet I rarely turn the TV off and do something different with my time!! And there is a list as long as my arm of tasks I could be doing instead of watching TV – some of these are household tasks others are hobbies which I love doing but rarely do.

After a very lazy weekend where I spent many hours on the sofa looking at the TV, I decided that I was going to challenge myself to not watch the TV in the evenings for the first four days of a week (Mon – Thurs).

Day One – Monday – Mid-afternoon I had to remind myself of the challenge I set myself so decided to go into the loft and get the Christmas tree and decorations down, that took all of 10 minutes as I soon realised I didn’t have any lights – putting them up will have to be done another day. So I set about making myself some food and also getting a few crafty things out my craft cupboard to work on during the week.

I tend to go to bed pretty early as I’m a early riser so the time seem to go pretty quickly, my fear is that I’d get bored and give in to the tellybox, but I managed to keep myself busy until bed time.

Day Two – Tuesday – I’ve got an open fire and today the chimney sweep came to do the annual clear out so that it’s safe to light fires, I have lit a few fires this winter already but always feel a little uneasy if I haven’t had the chimney swept! So in celebration, I lit a fire which felt very indulgent on a weekday evening, I usually only light it at the weekends. I prepared my evening meal, ate it in front of the fire, actually savouring every mouthful and being mindful about the nutritious food I had made and was eating, rather than shovelling it mindlessly as I watch TV, then I settled down in front of the fire to read The Happy Newspaper which I subscribe to, it arrived on Monday and usually, it sits unopened for a week or so until I make time to sit down and read it.

Day Three – Wednesday – While tea was cooking (well warming up) I did the washing up and a general kitchen tidy, I’m not good at keeping on top of the housework as it’s not my favourite thing to do but over the last few months I’ve found it quite therapeutic and love the feeling of coming downstairs of a morning and the kitchen is free of dirty pots and pans and not having a TV programme to watch it didn’t feel like I was missing any of it, instead, I put some tunes on and sang my heart out while washing up!

Day Four – Thursday – As this mini-experiment draws to a close I have started to think about how I can continue this habit on into the future, this evening I started by warming up my food, while it was cooking I put my clean washing away, again something I rarely do, most the time it all ends up in a massive pile on the spare room bed until I can’t find what I’m looking for and end up getting frustrated as I can’t find what I need, this is usually when I’m in a hurry too!!

I am really surprised how little I missed the TV, yes on Friday it was nice to sit down and watch a couple of programmes that I recorded during the week but overall I feel that maybe each week I can have some TV free evenings and be ready to turn it off when I don’t feel like I’m actually engaging in the programme I’m watching.

It’s strange how I have habits that don’t serve me well at times yet I still do them even when I become conscious that they aren’t serving me well! This week has taught me that simple things can make a difference as I’ve managed to keep on top of both the housework & cleaning pile, these are now just 5-10 minute jobs and easy to do with not much effort but make a big difference about how I feel in my own home!

As 2020 draws to a close, I feel that 2021 will a year where I explore my habits and actions more and make plans to change any that are negatively impacting on my life.

What habits do you have that you know aren’t serving you well?