Category Archives: Coaching

Clear your mind – with todoist

Todoist Logo
Welch Wellbeing Rating:
5/5

There’s no pleasure to be had in too much on your mind.  A busy mind is a great path to stress, anxiety and overwhelm.

This is where Todoist can be your friend and trusted companion!

Years ago, I discovered David Allen’s work on Getting Things Done (GTD).  The quote below had a lasting effect for me.

David Allen Quote

After years of trial and error, trying different methods and apps for capturing and processing tasks, I discovered Todoist.  I’ve been using it ever since.

What Is Todoist?

Todoist is a quick and easy way to list your tasks, your ideas, or any kind of list you can imagine.  It’s the perfect place to capture those important thoughts on the fly, so you they are off your mind until you need them again.

One of the handy things about Todoist is how available it is.  It works on almost any device.

Let’s say you’ve just agreed to phone a friend at 7 pm on Monday.  In Todoist, you simply type “Phone [friend’s name] 7 pm Monday”.  Todoist will then send you a reminder close to that time.  It can also be synchronised with your Google Calendar.

The Dark Side Of Lists

A tool is only as good as the way it is used.  Keeping a list of what you need to remember to do, or would like to do, is a great idea. 

But, what happens when you are confronted with a huge list of tasks?  

Part of the solution is mindset.  Remember where the list came from!  You made it up!  And there is no “right or wrong” about a list, only what serves you in any given moment.  So don’t treat your lists like a demanding tyrant.  Make sure you use the lists you create, not the other way around.

Todoist does provide many ways to help us combat a daunting list.

 

So, create that clear mind.  Capture all those important things in a reliable place and make your lists work for you!

Todoist is free to use.  The even better news is you can try Todoist with all the premium features, free for 2 months! Just click on the button below.

no new year resolutions this year. Do this instead!

Remember 2020? Who’s going to forget it!

Do you remember how 2020 started for you? Like every New Year, people made their plans for it; by finally kicking “that” filthy habits, or discovering the “new you”, or accomplishing those long-elusive goals. In 2020, 44% of UK respondents to a survey chose to eat healthy as their New Year’s resolution.

If you had any New Year resolutions, did they happen? If not, don’t be hard on yourself. Over half of us have given up on our resolution after 6 months.

Does this mean we shouldn’t bother though? 46% of people, after 6 months, had still stuck with it. By comparison, only 4% with a similar goal but not as a resolution, were successful. So whilst resolutions don’t have a high success rate, perhaps they can increase our chances at success.

I asked four fellow coaches for their views on resolutions. Did they believe in them. I received a unanimous no. So why’s that?

Like a pet isn’t just for Christmas, resolutions aren’t just for New Year. Unless we keep our attention on them, and be persistent, we’re not going to see change.

Having a resolution is great, but that’s step 1.  To have it realised, consider what action you will need to take.  For example, wishing to feel calmer in 2021?  What are the things that cause you stress?  What helps you to feel calmer?  Create lists of these things and turn them into repeatable tasks.

I confess I’m a list-making lover! I’ve been making lists for years,  And for good reasons!

Making lists is not a new idea. Many of us use them to a greater or lesser extent. Be it for shopping lists, household tasks or a reading list. List-making isn’t just for the super-organised! Anyone can benefit from them.

Reasons Why Lists Are Great!

 

In keeping with the theme, here’s a list of why lists are a great idea!

  • Alleviate anxiety
    List-making can be a positive psychological process. It’s good for reinforcing personal identity and can calm the sense of inner chaos by setting our thoughts in order. This way, it is also easier to prioritise.

    If you get stressed by day-to-day tasks, you can often get a lot out of writing them down in a contained way.

  • Improve your memory
    Our memory works by association. Ever heard a song and found yourself recalling a treasured memory? Or met a stranger with a distinctive feature, reminding you of someone else you know with the same distinctive features?

    Lists serve as triggers, similarly, helping you to remember items on the list and associations.

  • Celebrate Accomplishments
    Have you done something today you’re proud of? Or perhaps not so proud of? Creating lists of these things can be helpful to set habits and goals to shape your future.
  • Crossing-off lists feel great!
    Fact! Crossing off those items can make us feel great! Research has shown the brain’s dopamine levels increase when we tick things off those lists, regardless of whether they are big or small tasks.

Summary

  • Resolutions aren’t just for New Year – however, making them then can be helpful
  • Be SMART with your goals
  • Lists are powerful, for better or worse. Your attitude towards them will make all the difference
  • Keep your balance!

Mindful of Mental Wealth

“Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide”

World Health Organisation

You can’t help notice global concern for the state of our mental health. On 10 October every year, it’s World Mental Health Day. An initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health since 1992. Countries around the world support this important day of awareness. 2019 saw a focus upon suicide prevention.

There’s a good reason for the concern. Within the UK alone, around 3 million people have depression. More than half of all individuals committing suicide suffer from depression. About 50% of those who engage in self-mutilation begins around age 14 and carry on into their 20s.1  These troubling statistics barely scratch the surface of the depth of the issue.

My battles with mental health now feel like a different lifetime. I am happy, have a positive outlook and embrace the adventures life takes me on. Some days are great, some are challenging, but underneath every day is a quiet sense of peace and a sense that, whatever happens, everything will be alright. Knowing first hand what mental suffering felt like, I would gladly bottle what I’ve found and pass it onto others. It’s why I teach tai chi, and soon be coaching to help do that.

Over twenty-five years ago, it was different. I wanted to kill myself.

One night, I’d taken myself off into the middle of a field, fell to my knees, and screamed into the darkness with utter despair. I didn’t want anyone to hear or see the self-loathing rage that devoured me inside. I rocked as I wept. I must have cried until the tears ran out. I’d had a massive argument with my family, my then-fiance and, being religious at the time, God too. I didn’t feel like I could speak to anyone and didn’t believe anything could be done to take the adverse feelings away. I was too scared to live and too afraid to die. Empty and broken, I crawled back into my “miserable existence”, seeing no way out from hell. For surely, I reasoned, hell was where I was. The wrong “opportunity” to see my dark thoughts through would have meant a tragic outcome.

Family and friends helped me through over a decade of depression, anxiety and panic attacks before several defining moments turned everything around for me. I’m one of the fortunate few. 

You might expect me to tell you Tai Chi changed it all for me. I’ve little doubt that’s true for many practitioners (and NHS agree Tai Chi Can Improve Mental Health). However, before I discovered Tai Chi, I had an insight. It’s possible to point to the insight, but you have to experience it for yourself to appreciate. The world changed for me after that. But I felt compelled to find physical expression of what I’d discovered. It was then I met and fell in love with tai chi.

Practitioners of tai chi recognise the powerful effect on relaxation and concentration. Tai Chi offers a tool to cope with busy modern-day life. It helps you to appreciate the tranquillity and nature around you.  

Practitioners of tai chi recognise the powerful effect on relaxation and concentration. Tai Chi offers a tool to cope with busy modern-day life. It helps you to appreciate the tranquillity and nature around you.  

Everything in tai chi is done slowly, smoothly and is continuous. It helps us to get back in touch with our body and, in so doing, back in touch with nature. When we do this, we recognise the wisdom of our body often goes ignored. By listening to the body, we become present and enter coherence — that special place between duality, the middle path. Our mind and body connection unlock our innate healing capabilities, both of body and mind.  

Imagine the effect that can have for those in suffering. That is to say, most of us. And then the impact that may have on our world.

Listening with compassion can also make the difference between life and death. When I suffered from panic attacks, sometimes I’d been too terrified to even go into work in case the panic grabbed me, and I’d find myself fighting for breath. I had a Manager who understood them. His sister had experienced them before.  Through sitting quietly with me, speaking slowly and calmly, the panic attacks gradually subsided.

Suffering from mental illnesses are nothing to be ashamed of. I learnt that eventually but was nevertheless ashamed of it for years. Over time, I discovered speaking about it with the right people did help tremendously. So, if you’re worried about something, speak up. Don’t try to conquer the worry alone.  

And if someone tries to speak to you about their worries, there’s no more fabulous gift than listening. It does not mean taking on their problems. Nor does it mean providing all the solutions. Being present will be a gift to them. Taking in what they have to say. Understand their point of view while suspending your judgements and opinions. Showing you care.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, I am happy to help. I offer a free coaching session and/or 7-day free trial to Tai Chi Globe.

  1. The Ultimate List of Mental Health Statistics
    https://www.uksmobility.co.uk/blog/2019/03/mental-health-statistics/