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The weekly challenge

Don’t wait to begin changing your life – here’s simple actions for change that you can do right now.

Just the act of inviting in change will open up new possibilities. And small, regular actions are more do-able, lasting and effective. So we’re taking on  a weekly Challenge for Change.

Let us know how you go! Or send in your tips for small changes and we’ll try them too.

 

July 9th, 2017

Make a ‘to be’ list

What’s a ‘to be’ list? It’s a list that helps us live in a way that is congruent with what we value. It focuses on the “how we do things, rather than just what we do.  As you sit down to plan your day, begin by asking what qualities you want to colour your day, and then consider how you can approach each task you have to do in a way that reflects this.

(If you’ve been choosing three words for your day -read the post here– then try using them to write your ‘to be’ list).

 

July 2nd, 2017

Share the joy

This week take a moment every day just to be glad and celebrate the fact that you’re alive and here. Share the joy and have some fun. Document it in photos or your journal, so you can look back at the end of the week and receive double the happiness!

Kids know how to celebrate the joy of life. Check out the Masaka kids of Africa HERE

 

June 25th, 2017

Review the year so far

This week is mid-year, and a good time to stop and review your year so far. Did you have plans and aspirations at the beginning of the year? Are they working out as you’d hoped? If so, wonderful! If not, what’s the reason? Maybe they turned out to be not so important after all, or no longer relevant. Or do you still want them, and they’ve just got lost somewhere along the way? If it’s the latter, now is a good time to rethink how you can bring them about.

Samuel Johnson said “our aspirations are our possibilities”. And playwright Wendy Wasserstein said “Every year I resolve to be a little less the me I know and leave a little room for the me I could be”. So don’t forget the aspirations you had at the start of the year. Or make new ones – but let this week be a time to re-inspire you to aim for what you can be, or what could be.

June 18th, 2017

Phone a friend

This week’s challenge is a call-out to pick up the phone and ring a friend – specifically that friend (or maybe family member).  You know, the one you’ve been meaning to call for ages, but never got around to it. It’s so easy to let connections and relationships slide, constantly pushed out by small everyday tasks. This week, make it a priority – pick a time (right now?) to call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.

The benefits? For you – the joy of re-connecting, and the satisfaction of doing something that recognizes the importance of friends and family in your life. And for the lucky recipient? If you’ve ever got a phone call – or letter – completely out of the blue, from someone who’s been thinking of you, you know how good it feels.

 

“Everybody should sit quietly by a little stream and listen…”

June 11th, 2017

Sit quietly

So much noise in our lives. So much activity. So much – well, so much everything! When do we get the chance to sit quietly and listen? To let the whispers of the soul have a chance to be heard? This week, find a small way each day to introduce more quietness into your life. How? Here’s a few ideas. Perhaps sit in a quiet place and simply listen – to your breath, to the sound of the breeze, a dog barking in the distance. Turn off the TV. and electronic devices. Give social media a rest. Try not filling every gap in a conversation. Begin or end (or both!) each day with 5 minutes of quietness, and feel the peace wash over you.

 

June 4th, 2017

See it simple

‘See it simple’ is the advice I recently read for learning to sketch people, and it occurred to me that it’s great advice for approaching life as well. “Notice the basic shapes first – the detail only overcomplicates things”. How often do we get overwhelmed and swamped in the detail? This week, stop, look again, and “see it simple”. Get the framework right first. What’s the ‘shape’ of things – the important values that everything else hangs off? 

 

May 28th, 2017

Be present in the now

Leo Tolstoy said “there is only one time that is important – now! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power”. Before we can make changes – even small ones, we have to be grounded in the present moment. Practice being present in the now by stopping and taking 5 deep breaths. Focus on the breath as it goes in and out. Breathe in fullness and peace, breathe out tension.

Try doing this simple step before taking action and you will find your actions become more aligned with yourself and your values.

May 21st, 2017

Choose one thing

Often we let the most important things slip by – the things that keep us closest to our values. They can get lost in amongst all the ‘gotta do’s” and “one day’s”.

This week STOP for a minute each morning and ask yourself “of all the things that I could do today, which single thing is the most important?” Focus on getting that ONE THING done.

 

 May 14th, 2017

Nurture yourself

Here’s to all the Mum’s and others who have nurtured us throughout our lives. Showing love no matter what, making sure we got enough sleep, always cheering on our efforts, kissing it better when knees or life hurt, spoiling us, feeding us, protecting us, wanting the very best for us, laughing at our jokes and encouraging our ideas. They have shown us how to provide nurture for ourselves.

This week, reflect on the way someone has nurtured you – something that you’ve really appreciated. Find 3 ways to give yourself that same gift.

 

May 7th, 2017

Disrupt yourself.

Before change can happen and new things take place, there often needs to be some sort of disruption to the status quo. Whilst sometimes these are huge (job losses, illness), even small disruptions can prime our minds to be ready for change, helping it be more creative and inventive.

This week, find a small way each day to disrupt your regular routine or way of responding to people or events. It can be as simple as choosing a different cup, reading a book instead of watching tv, or surprising someone with a different response than you would normally make. 

 

April 30th, 2017

Rest!

Often we forget that rest is a really important thing to be doing – we wrongly name it “doing nothing”. But oh, how we need it! Without it, we become malnourished at every level. With it, our bodies, minds and spirits can replenish and renew. Rest makes space in our lives, and helps us get a better handle on everything else we do.

This week, give yourself permission to rest each day. Even if you are busy, take 5-10 minutes to allow yourself to stop, breathe and deeply relax. And if you have time to nap, sit in the sun, read, or whatever spells ‘rest’ for you, do it this week as often as you can. Every part of you will thank you!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 April 23rd. 2017

Triple the happiness of your good memories.

Research shows we increase the benefits of happy times when we

1/ remember them often

2/ recall them in detail, including all our senses.

3/ share them with others.

This week, find a photo or something that recalls a happy memory. Put it somewhere you will see it often. Tell someone about it, or simply spend time remembering and savouring it.

 

The rising sun bursts through the trees. The world is gold.April 16th, 2017

Build Hope

Hope (the resilient kind) is cemented in our lives by small, repeated actions and attention.

This week, find a small symbol of hope. Include it in your life each day. Light the candle, put the flower bud in a vase, take a photo, draw or paint the sunrise you’ve got up early to see, and put it where you can see it. 

As you look at your symbol of hope, let its message seep gently into your soul.

You might like to read these posts on hope – Hope in a dark place, or Look up, reach out and choose Hope.