Don’t Wait

Pearl S. Buck is one of those writers that I keep meaning to read and never quite get around to. My mother raves about East Wind: West Wind, and friends sing her praises but I regularly forget her while browsing Amazon. So, her name remains on my list of books and authors to investigate, which is a sorry state of affairs given that it is one of this great lady’s pearls of wisdom that I consistently invoke when I’m feeling unmotivated and just can’t be bothered.

pearl s buck

The words of the prolific writer, Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winner, and political activist that never fail to get me off the sofa are:

“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that.
Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.”

Even as I write this, I have Pearl to thank – I didn’t much feel like writing today, but I heard her words ringing in my head as I put on the kettle this morning and so went to set up my laptop.

latop productivity

The thing is, I love writing. And I’m guessing Pearl did too. But it sounds like she, like me, often found herself not “in the mood” to sit and type. At least not at first – once I’m here and the old Earl Grey is kicking in, I am in “flow” and totally absorbed in what I’m doing; my mood changes. But I know that if I waited for my mood to change in order to start I would wait all day.

The same is true when I look at my to-do list. I don’t much feel like doing any of it: find a place to get watch repaired; complete tax declaration; organise my computer files. Hard to get excited about these tasks when the box set of season 2 of 24 beckons to me from the other side of the sitting room (yes, I know, I’m way behind but I’ve only recently discovered the joys of the show having resisted for years thinking oh-so-wrongly that I wouldn’t like it). But I know that if I wait to be in the mood to look for a good jeweller to fix my watch, I risk turning up late for every appointment I make for the foreseeable future. So, I think of Pearl and get on with the job in hand.

watch

It’s a little like the famous “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Pearl’s nugget of wisdom is “feel no motivation whatsoever and do it anyway”. I like the way she doesn’t even suggest you try to motivate yourself or pretend to be inspired. It’s a gloriously down-to-earth and brutally honest way of accepting that sometimes we just can’t wait to feel ready before we have to get stuck in.

I have found ways to help myself, of course, as I work towards achieving Pearl-esque productivity levels. I operate a rewards scheme: tick three things off the to-do list and you can have a cup of tea and one hour of the long-suffering Jack Bauer; or, return three phone calls and then you can have a piece of cake. I also break tasks down: this morning, I’ll pull out all the necessary documents for the tax declaration, this afternoon I’ll do the calculations, tomorrow morning, I’ll do the online return.

yoga

It also helps to sweeten the deal: get onto the yoga mat for half an hour, but put the radio on while doing so; have an old episode of Sherlock on the TV while clearing out a cupboard. Pearl’s discipline mixed with Mary Poppins’ spoonful of sugar is a force to be reckoned with.

Taking Stock

The benefit of regular clear-outs is a fact universally acknowledged. Or at least it is in my house. My husband was stunned by the joy I felt when they installed massive clothing donation bins at the entrance to the metro nearest our flat; and I challenge anyone not to feel freer, lighter and more in control after taking a bag load of I’ll-never-read-these-again books to Oxfam.

clearouit

But what about moving the stock-take from the back of your closet into your mind and soul? When it comes to having a good sort-out, there are many areas of our lives that would benefit from a little light dusting and polishing, not just the kitchen cupboards. Coaching offers a wealth of great tools to do just that – take stock of your life and see where your figurative house needs to be put in order. While it is always more helpful to do such exercises with a qualified coach, it is also possible to use them on your own and glean some helpful insights.

The Wheel of Life is a simple way to identify the various major “bits” of your life, assess your satisfaction with them, and start coming up with a plan to raise that satisfaction level.

The Wheel of Life aka Not so Trivial Pursuits

Draw a circle on a piece of paper and divide it into wedges like the pies in a game of Trivial Pursuits (number of wedges is your choice – starting with six is pretty manageable). Assign a theme to each wedge. Themes are areas of your life that you wish to take a look at – or indeed, they can just be areas that spring to mind. In this exercise, your subconscious is a good guide.

taking stock

A few examples: one wedge might be “family”, which for some might mean “me, my partner and our kids” but for other people might mean “parents, grandparents, siblings” – and those people might choose to put “partner/love” and “children” into separate wedges on their own. What you mean by each of your themes is your business, as long as you are clear about how you load the word you choose. Other wedges might be “money”, “leisure”, “health”, “career”, “spirit”… it’s a very personal choice.

On your marks…

Once you have your themes, take some time to consider each one and to rate your satisfaction with this part of your life from 1 to 10 – draw lines in each wedge so that 1 is a line near the interior of the circle, and 10 is the further edge. Like so:

wheel of life

You’ll probably end up with a very bumpy wheel!

Get set…

The next step within a coaching session would be to discuss each area and the mark attributed to it, and to choose one or two to work on. On your own, you can take your time to look at each one and think about what makes your health an 8 but your love life a 4 – talking to a friend can also help. Then, taking each one in turn, think about what it would take to turn that 4 into 5. Consider specifics: spending more time with your other half? Eating dinner at the table rather than in front of the TV? A monthly date night? A daily lunchtime phone call? More cuddling? What would it take to bump it up to a 6? And then a 7…

kuiss

The idea isn’t to go from a 2 to a 10 in two weeks flat, but to identify areas for change and improvement that will eventually harmonise the levels of satisfaction across all your wedges. A wheel with lumps and bumps cannot roll. But the challenge of trying to turn a career “3” into a 10 can simply be paralysing. Concentrate on the areas that naturally attract your attention and list small, actionable changes.

And Go!

Once you have some action ideas, consider which you can actually put in place, and, crucially, which you want to put in place. It’s no good choosing “go for a weekly run” if you have absolutely no desire to go running. Yes, it might bump your “body image” score up to a 7, but your “time for fun” score might take a hit. I advise kicking off just one action per week and taking a moment at the end of each week to see what’s working for you.

fitness

Take your time. Your Wheel of Life is ever-changing. Even if you managed to take all your wedges up to a perfect 10, at some point you might decide to buy a house, move abroad or have a baby, and new wedges will appear for you to work on. The idea isn’t to strive for a perfect circle, but to use the exercise to see where your pain points are, and what you can do about them.

One last thing…

Don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate in the wedges that are looking pretty damn good. If your “friendship” wedge is a healthy 9, why not make a list of all you’re grateful for in your relationships? If your “work” wedge is flying high, why not acknowledge that by taking in some Friday afternoon pastries for your charming colleagues? Work on the low numbers, enjoy the success of the high ones.

Stick It To Winter

Stickers have always fascinated me. As a child, I remember the little rolls of stickers only available in shops which held oh-so-exotic stationery. Stickers of everything you could ever imagine; stars, hearts, cats, circus performers, safari animals, sailing boats, flowers, coniferous trees, butterflies, footballers, farm equipment – you name your fancy and it was available as a sticker family. You could you buy a strip for around 75p to decorate and delight. Gold Stars were awarded for successes, little photographic cats adorned exercise books and puffy cartoon characters that smelt like My Little Ponies adhered to your pencil tin forever.

stickers

Then as I got older it became all about Panini and I worked through a Garfield album then on to the Premier League as my interests changed towards the teenage. I remember feeling protective of my stickers and not wanting to commit to sticking them on to anything for fear that they would be ruined. I kept them pristine on their shiny sheets wrapped in a clear envelope in a drawer at home for fear of loss, taken out only to contemplate a more permanent home before they were safely stowed away once more.

anya hindmarch stickers

Esteemed accessory designer Anya Hindmarch has been having no such sticker commitment problem. Last season she launched her Sticker Shop: a cacophony of stickered delights in collaboration with Charlotte Stockdale of CHAOS.

anya hindmarch

Known for her instantly smile-inducing designs, Hindmarch has excelled herself with British foibles of late, and is giving them to us in a self-adhesive form in order to transform your own tired leather. Adorn your accessories with Smileys, rainbows, plasters, on-trend hashtags or even a fried egg to lift them out of their wintry slump. For Autumn/Winter ’15 she has drawn on daily traveller headache-inducing roadwork signs to adorn her fancies, using the somewhat unlikely M25 as inspiration. As this circular car park around London gives me daily grind, at least now I can pretend like I am in FROW at her fashion show as I sit there for hours on end, foot slipping off the clutch.

anya hindmarch motorway stickers

Hindmarch chose this season to launch her first ready-to-wear collection, although she is not touting it as thus, saying ‘it’s more of an extension of the accessories.’ Meaning that her tongue in cheek wit is at least now not only resigned to your handbags.

Olympia Le Tan’s ‘We Don’t Need No Education’ collection for Spring/Summer ’15 features the most fantastic Composition Book clutch realised beautifully in her trademark applique and embroidery. The pink price tag sticker secures her brilliantness in exploiting details in her work, who hasn’t seen that actual exercise book for sale? The allure of the sticker strikes once more.

compositions satchel olympia le tan

As the economy slowly recovers the trend for spending on quality increases. Special pieces that stand out and stand alone, personal pieces to bring you a smile every time you wear them. Pieces that remind us of a time when things weren’t so hard; school days finally do become good memories and a want for the rush of nostalgia takes hold.

ebury

I recently invested in a grown up navy Hindmarch Ebury Tote, however in keeping with this nostalgia notion it is resplendent with a Smiley and ‘Have A Nice Day’ punch out, and boasts striped fluro rope handles that take me right back to weekends sailing with my Papa and summers crushing on my windsurfing instructor at Willen Lake. I have a selection of stickers ready to go, so all I have to do now is get over my fear of removing the stickers from the packets and adhere to a commitment.

The Voice of Worry

I have of late – but wherefore I know not – lost all my mirth. Well, not quite; I’m certainly nowhere near Hamlet’s level of sadness and introspection, but I have found myself somewhat on the grumpy side recently. You know, that state where everything seems like a big deal, nothing strikes you as terribly funny, and life just feels like hard work.

worry

The makings of such a mood can come from any quarter; professional setbacks, disappointments in friendships, money problems. For me, it has been due to feelings of bog-standard overwhelm. I am coming up to the sixth month of my first pregnancy, and my husband and I are currently looking to buy a house and move just outside of Paris. Not bad when it comes to life-changing decisions, huh? Add to that our full-time jobs, families, friends, my writing and coaching, and it all seems like a mountain from which even the fearless Bear Grylls would run screaming.

The inconvenient truth

And the thing is, there’s not really much to be done about overwhelm. You can roll your sleeves up, make a plan, start a list, make a Plan B, and discuss options with your partner ad nauseam, and those actions are practical and wise. But they’re not always enough to quiet the nagging little voice that pipes up at 2am and whispers some variant on, “It won’t all be ok; you won’t get through this; you can’t manage”.

GAG thyself

It is my firm belief that the only thing to do in those situations is to GAG oneself. No, we’re not getting into 50 Shades territory here; GAG stands for “Get A Grip”. It’s an old expression that sounds rather shocking nowadays, doesn’t it? In an age that favours self-examination even to the point of self-torture over the old “buck up” attitude, exhorting someone to simply “get a grip” seems callous. But I maintain that sometimes it’s the only way.

to do listing

It’s like a mental self-slap. A reminder that we really are dealing with first-world issues, here. My husband is fond of asking me to imagine how I would feel if the things overwhelming me weren’t happening – if I weren’t able to have children, if we couldn’t envisage getting a bigger home, if I didn’t have employment, friends that want my time, family who need me… The simple answer is: I’d feel pretty rubbish (he can be infuriatingly right at times)!

It doesn’t always work. Sometimes a problem really is a problem and needs talking through and solving, but it’s often just a proliferation of activity, obligations and, well, life that puts us in a tail spin. That’s when a self-shake and a firm “For God’s sake, Jo, Get. A. Grip.” works wonders for me.

DO try this at home

GAG-ing seems to work best when performed using a specific accent. I occasionally hear a plummy-voiced Malory Towers– type sports mistress barking at me. You may prefer an American drill sergeant or even an exasperated version of yourself. Sometimes I like to hear my Scottish grandmother’s voice softly burring, “Now, now, dear, you know I love you, but do try to get a grip for goodness sake”. She never said anything of the kind to me, but somehow the vision of this strong, no-nonsense yet kind and loving woman works every time.

get a gri[

GAG-ing is also best achieved when used entirely on its own. No extra pep talk, no list of “examples of times when it has all been ok in the past as so will be this time too”, no reasoning or cajoling. Just a mental “No Entry” sign that brooks no argument. It’s not easy at first, but if you GAG each time you head back down the road of ovewhelm, it eventually comes more quickly and more naturally. Give it a try. I’m interested to know how it works for you!

Choose Your Words Carefully

How you word your resolutions this year could make the difference between giving up come 31 January and making lasting life changes. Make sure your words count. 

To resolve or not to resolve, that is the question. It’s the one we ask ourselves each January as the annual invitation to start over rolls around. In the media, there’s the usual flurry of “How to make resolutions that last”-type articles (the kind of stuff I love to read), along with the expected slew of “Why making resolutions is a waste of time” pieces (not my cup of tea). Personally, I feel resolution-making as an expression of the will to self-improvement is never to be discouraged: the simple act of voicing a desire to change and then attempting to do so is a massive step forward.

new years resolutions

For me, failure to keep a resolution does not indicate that making resolutions is futile; rather it suggests that the resolution was perhaps the wrong one for you, or made for the wrong reasons, or – crucially – it was badly worded. The way in which we word and specify our intentions seems to me crucial to their success. The difference between “I’m going to be healthier in 2015” and “I’m going to jog for 10 minutes twice a week in 2015” is huge. The first is vague and contains no real action, the second is specific and involves a solid commitment. Which is more likely to be kept?

Now, you’d think that, self-improvement info junkie that I am, I’d be able to sidestep these kinds of mental potholes. Think again. This New Year, I caught myself making a whopper of a rookie error as I sat down to set some intentions for 2015. There I was with a nice list of all the things I wanted to find more time for over the year – yoga, new coaching clients, promoting my work as a writer – when I noticed that every item on that list was preceded by the words “I will find more time to…” See the fatal flaw? Answers on a postcard to the woman who’s still looking through her chest of drawers to find where she left that bit of spare time she just knows she put somewhere for safekeeping.

writing

What was I thinking? You don’t find time for anything. I have never once looked at my diary and thought, “Oh goodie, there’s an hour a week I didn’t know about”. Time is not a crumpled fiver you come across down the side of the sofa, nor is it something you discover left over at the end of a long day. Time is finite; no-one gets any more than 24 hours in a day.

The minute I changed the word “find” to “make”, my perspective on my resolutions changed. I am going to have to make time to prospect for clients, clear space in my diary for that extra yoga class, and – whisper it – make the choice between crashing on the sofa like an extra from The Walking Dead and getting out the laptop to write. Finding time is about trying to cram even more into the day, snatching five minutes here and there. Making time is about saying no to activities that aren’t priority, crafting your schedule to work towards your objectives, and making conscious decisions about where you put your energy at any given moment – which sometimes means giving up things that aren’t useful and that don’t serve you.

yoga class

It all comes down to a feeling of agency, really. Making time puts me firmly in the driver’s seat of my life, relying on myself to make the decisions that get me where I want to be. Finding time – just like finding a forgotten banknote – relies to a large extent on luck and good fortune. And my goals are a little too important to me to leave them in the lap of the gods. Aren’t yours?

Point of View

Once upon a time, or at least up until the 90s, you could have seemed mysterious and high-brow if you said you didn’t watch TV; now you just look like a bit of a killjoy if you choose to opt out. The huge range of channels on offer, not to mention the devices you can watch them on, are undeniably tempting. However niche your interests, you’ll find them covered by the not-so-stupid box. Whether you relax with a dose of structured reality (see ITVBe) or history documentaries (Yesterday), there’s no excuse not to indulge. Yes, you’ll probably spot a few repeats in the listings as you flick channels (ahem, Dave), but you’ll also find new programs to enjoy.

house of cards

Being a TV fan isn’t something to be sneered at now – with streaming services like Netflix delivering sharp box set dramas, such as Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards, many modern shows are designed to be binged on. Want to watch the whole series in one go? Sure. Just don’t apologise for being addicted. Home-grown seris like Sherlock and Broadchurch, or American imports like Breaking Bad and Homeland, have delivered some seriously good watercooler moments over the past few years, with the kind of production values and budgets you’d expect from a blockbuster movie.

TV’s big rival has always been the film industry, luring people to the local multiplex in droves. However, with the ever-increasing cost of cinema trips, an empty wallet can make you retreat home to the TV. But is this entirely a bad thing? Instead of being confined to a crowded cinema with an errant child kicking the back of your seat, you can relax on the sofa and access a whole range of film channels at the touch of a button. Alternatively, ditch a film for a must-watch evening program and tweet or Facebook your response as it unfolds (something you definitely can’t do in the cinema). Even if your night isn’t exactly action-packed, it’s pretty satisfying to make a pointed comment about a bizarre act on Eurovision or a TOWIE scandal, then see your social media street cred soar.

eurovision

Great British soaps are another major talking point and something of an institution for many of us. Love triangles and family tiffs aside, soaps do raise awareness of key issues such as HIV, eating disorders and domestic violence, as a character’s problem hits home with viewers. When a Coronation Street storyline saw Hayley Cropper battling pancreatic cancer, the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK recorded a marked increase in people asking for support. Tons of research goes into shaping these storylines to ensure they reflect reality as much as possible, so don’t go assuming they’re trivial.

If you’re a secret telly addict, now’s the time to embrace your love of the box. Whatever you’re into – bad-ass crime dramas, finely tuned soaps, failsafe entertainment shows and everything in between – it’s not stupid, just truly compulsive viewing.

Cool For Cats

On 13th July 2014, I was followed on Twitter by a cat. Not just any cat, arguably the most pampered and fashionable petit chat on the planet, one Miss Choupette Lagerfeld. Apart from the fact that I just worship her ‘Daddy’ Lagerfeld, I am also obsessed with felines so this was the ultimate social media top trump of follows for me.

choupette  v magazine

Now Choupette’s world can be explored in a new book published by Thames & Hudson, Choupette: The Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat. This charming book includes photographs and sketches, chapters about her diet and beauty regime, as well as her activities as an e-cat on the net. There’s even some of her published work as a model in fashion stories shot by Karl, sharing the limelight with supermodels such as Linda Evangelista and Laetitia Casta.

Choupette

Did you know that Choupette’s blue eyes inspired a colour palette for a recent Chanel collection? Or that she only travels with personalised Goyard luggage? I love these little insights into Karl’s life and workings. His love for this kitty inspires and delights him, and it’s a real treat to feel like you are learning secrets of this incredibly private designer’s life. Plus Choupette really is just a beautifully pretty cat. The book’s final chapter looks at other great artists such as Baudelaire, Gorey and Jean Cocteau and their love for the feline, bringing home just how special these animals really are. Meow – definitely cool for cats…

choupette karl lagerfeld

Published by Thames & Hudson, Patrick Mauriès’ Choupette: The Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat is available to buy online here.

The Jobs Quest

Looking for work when you’re not working at the time can feel like quite a challenge. It’s great to be free of the job that you had perhaps grown tired of, but the lack of boundaries can present us with a blank canvas that feels overwhelming. Here are ways to apply some structure that will make the process of looking for work feel both productive and enjoyable.

looking for work

Get out of the house

Staring at the same four walls every day will leave you feeling closed in and uninspired. Grab your laptop and head out to a coffee shop or any venue where you can take advantage of the wifi. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes to your productivity and positivity. Being around others in a busy atmosphere will help you feel connected with the world.

Structure your day

When we’ve been used to turning up to an office every day and adhering to someone else’s rules, having a lot of spare time suddenly can feel overwhelming. The best thing to do in these circumstances is manage your diary and plan your week. Apportion time for job searching, catching up with people etc. You’ll feel more in control of your week and you’ll make better use of all that time.

catching up with friends

Work in some fun

Google is great, but when we’re looking for our next challenge, eight hours a day on it isn’t necessarily the best approach. Sitting in front of your computer for prolonged hours at a time might make you feel like you’re doing something but actually it can leave you feeling exhausted and disheartened. Ensuring you allow for some time out is really important. It’s often during these times that we have an inspired thought or a new opportunity is presented to us over coffee with an old friend. Make sure you have a balance of work and play in your day.

Talk about where you’re at

Thought leads to words, leads to action. Expressing where you currently are, ideas that you’re playing with and thoughts for the future is one of the best ways to reach your goal by the quickest route. It’s in the discussion of what’s running through your mind that often leads to greater clarity and also new opportunities presenting themselves to you. So don’t be afraid to share your ideas with those willing to be a helpful sounding board.work

Be Patient

It can feel like an anxious time when we’re not sure where we’re headed. But it’s also an exciting time! A time of unknown possibilities and new adventures on the horizon. Allow your exploration to work its magic and don’t be too eager to ‘skip to the end’. Apply some patience and allow things to develop as they will, in the best way for you.

And God Created Woman

Last year I wrote an article about the impossibility of finding jeans that fit actual womanly shapes. Since then I have found Donna Ida. I have known about the brand for a while, but I finally got to the store on Elizabeth Street. They offer a full fitting service, and have a fancy yet practical 360-degree mirror situation installed so you can actually see yourself all the way round without dislocating your neck or talking yourself into what-you-can’t-see-can’t-hurt-you spending tactics. Online, their website offers loads of tips and advice, and it really feels like Donna Ida is listening to what you have to say.

They are a multi-brand offer so really do enable you to try as many different labels and styles as possible. And Ida – their own brand – is just brilliant, with a great range of styles, all reasonably priced. The denim feels soft and there is loads of stretch for a structured feel which also means they don’t lose shape in a few days – let alone 25 minutes – like many other denims (J Brand, I’m talking to you). All of the styles have a higher rise for the actual women among us not only craving to not show our knickers every time we bend over, but also to feel sexy and like we are wearing jeans that fit, fit us, and not teenage girls/boys/men/other body shapes. As we all know, one size does not suit all when it comes to jeans.

Donna Ida Jeans

My choice for this Autumn is the Ivy: a totally Bardot-esque blue, worn with a crisp white oversized shirt, sleeves rolled and unbuttoned to reveal to décolletage. For my shape (Pear FYI) I found the ‘Ivy’ to accentuate my waist, hold on to my butt and with the help of an obligatory turn up due to my lack of height, look incredibly French cute chic with flats. I recently used other styles on actresses Gemma Arterton (Rizzo) and Samantha Barks (Ivy Noir), fitting them perfectly for their shapes too. Tres bien.

bardot jeans

In keeping with this Brigitte Bardot theme for autumn, my newest crush is the French market shopping basket, or the ‘Couffin’. I chanced upon one whilst designing a film character and adopted it as my everyday handbag immediately. Apart from being insanely practical to chuck everything in to, I am loving the fact that they are so cheap and accessible. Plus they are not anywhere near ‘on trend’ – in fact you get your own trend for under £20. I am enjoying time away from branded handbags and It-bags and logos, which seem to have reached fever pitch since Jeremy Scott moved to Moschino and Karl is in logoverdrive.

bardot basket

I recommend the East Hampshire-based BasketBasket, they have a great ethos; they’re both fairly trade and made with 100% natural materials, plus they offset their carbon emissions to try and balance out their importation. There are styles which are lined and also fasten at the top for the pickpocket worriers among you.

bardot stripes

Finishing touches? Pretty much wouldn’t be Brigitte without a Breton tee, now would it? Brigitte just celebrated her 80th, and this is a look that’s classic, chic and has that certain je ne sais quoi – whether you’re 18 or 80.

Limbo Lovers

It’s always hard to get your head around how you feel about something when you’re right in the middle of it. If you’re grappling with what to do next and can’t see the wood for the pesky trees, here’s some ideas to get things moving.

write it down

Get your thoughts on paper

This is an old favourite of mine and it works. The aim here is getting the jumble of thoughts that are on constant repeat, out of your head and on to paper. This helps you see what the issues actually are, what you’d like to change and gives you something to plan around. Don’t worry about not having the solutions yet. You need to understand what the problem is first.

Make small changes to your routine

When we’re in auto-pilot mode, it’s more difficult to see what other options might be available to us. Making small changes helps you apply new thinking and shakes up that feeling of stagnation. Buy your morning coffee somewhere new, try an alternative route in to work, do something different on a Monday night. These bite-sized changes will all contribute to you seeing things from a different perspective.

routine

Get out of limbo land

Much of the stress we experience when we don’t know what to do is because we spend so much time in our heads. The problem swells beyond all recognition and becomes overwhelming to the point of paralysis. The best way to avoid this is to, funnily enough, do something. Take some holiday or pick a weekend and put some attention on what you’re feeling, who you could talk to get help, what research you need to. You’re not going to be able to worry yourself out of this one. Take action, however small.

Look your money worries in the eye

Money often feels like the biggest obstacle to making a change. And it’s really easy to make assumptions about your financial commitments that with closer investigation can be inaccurate. Do you really know how much you need to earn or have you plucked a number out of the air largely based on your anxieties? Do the maths and you’ll be much clearer on what your immediate options are and what alternatives that you might have thought weren’t possible. For example? Try reducing your hours to free up time or freelancing to give you flexibility.

limbo 1

Let go of the edge of the cliff

If you’re really serious about making a change, and the situation you’re in is truly adding no value, the most positive statement you can make is to draw a line under it and walk away. When you don’t know what’s next, this can seem very daunting, if not drastic. But, giving yourself some breathing space with a genuinely blank page to work with is hugely beneficial when you’re trying to work out your next move. Take a deep breath and look forward, not back.