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  1. Employee Appraisals: Five Questions Every Manager Should Ask

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    Professionally executed Performance Reviews help your business save thousands of pounds and help retain great staff loyal to your organisation

    1. Do you know how much Staff Appraisals cost your organisation?

    There is always a cost to effective management of the workforce but do you know that it’s estimated that Performance Reviews cost £180 per person (based on an average rate of £40 for a manager and £20 per employee for 3 hours each of the manager’s and employee’s time). That’s a whopping £27000 for a business with two hundred staff, not to mention software/IT costs and HR resources to orchestrate the process.

    Appraisals are designed to improve your business, but it’s rare for bosses to know how to measure their impact let alone analyse the cost-benefits. Most managers will measure participation, adherence to guidelines, and completion of documentation and think, “Job done!”

    2. Are shoddy appraisals demoralising my staff?

    Infamously known as the “rank and yank” system, appraisals have been used by some managers to rank employees, then sack the bottom 10% of under-performers. This is not something that I would recommend and not how appraisals should be used – as such the process is feared, especially when the appraisal is conducted using a set of random and subjective measures, rather than giving constructive feedback and encouragement. 

    3. Am I doing the process right?

    Performance reviews should be a process focused on employee goals in line with the organisation’s strategy, rather than their grades. Indeed, reviewing managers’ performance in how appraisals are undertaken is becoming a worry for managers themselves. Why is this? Because the ability to retain critical talent is just as important as attracting talent to an organisation in the first place, and ineffective appraisals reflect badly on a manager’s ability to do this. So if you’re responsible, watch out.

    4. How do I motivate a non performing staff member?

     It’s more expensive and time consuming to employ a new member of staff than to improve the performance of an existing one, so knowing how to turn poor performance around is key.

    When managers approach appraisals from a negative stance they erode morale, so being a coach to your team rather than just a critic and focusing on the future rather than the past is crucial for motivating the team. For every negative, there should be three or four positives. Appraisals must be a platform to give praise and say well done where it’s merited.

    5. How Can ‘Emotional Intelligence’ benefit my appraisals process?

    Emotional Intelligence or EI is the ability to make positive choices based on pinpointing, understanding and managing your own feelings and those of your team. It’s the best way to get the most from your staff.

    Manage Conflict

    It’s my opinion which is based on experience that if an organisation wants to lift itself from averagely successful to excellent it needs to address how well the people in the business work together. This is the value of Emotional Intelligence.

    Some great teams can be destroyed because a conflict isn’t addressed. It’s why effective and timely Mediation is vital.

    Listen Constructively

    Appraisals are an opportunity for staff to speak and for you to listen.

    Is that conflict resolved? Has someone got worries about gaps in abilities and training? Does someone feel challenged and need support? Is a team member demotivated through lack of development or organisational change?

    You must drill down to recognise performance issues as well as reward talent and nurture further success. Appraisals are your opportunity to set targets and provide realistic individual goals, laying the right framework to measure their success in the next review or one-to-one.

    The Ninja Approach to EI

    There is an art to bringing out great individual competencies and creating high achieving, happy staff. My Ninja approach focuses on Emotional Intelligence for developing individuals and teams and fuels motivation with a methodology of helping people self-improve for a motivated and dedicated workforce.

    If you’re in need of an innovative solution to Performance Management it’s time we talked.

  2. Dynamic NEW Corporate Courses (with added Ninja)

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    Ninja Woman

    Is your Corporate Training packing punch? CBLD Ltd delivers a rare Ninja element that must be experienced.

    Remember that rare School Assembly when someone really interesting visited, transforming yawns to smiles, with everyone engaged and animated, as pupils and teachers hung on every inspirational word and you could feel the buzz in the room? Rare indeed.

    The adult version of School Assembly is Corporate Training: Everyone’s expected to attend to hear important messages and to take an occasional certificate home.

    Like your average School Assembly, many corporate training courses are uninspiring; a ‘need to do’ item on a tick-list, rather than a ‘want to do’ item on a bucket list.

    There’s some solid courses out there, but do you know the best from the rest?

    My corporate training programmes in 2018/19* available through Carol Barwick Learning and Development (CBLD) deliver a surprisingly different approach to training with a unique Ninja element. I have been described as a Ninja mind coach for good reason!

    I am passionate about blending behaviours with the topic, making training a martial art form with programmes designed to help you and your team upskill personally as well as deliver excellent results for your business.

    Toolkit for life

    I work nationally with companies and individuals to give them the right tools and techniques to identify, manage and control the issues unique to them. My Resilience Toolkit, for example inspires positive action and transforms the way you live and work.  It’s this integration with regular training that makes the delivery distinctive:

    Don’t just take my word for it – here’s what our customers say:

    “Life changing, thank you!”

    “Can’t believe what I witnessed during the demonstrations. To get results like that in minutes. WOW!!”

    “Loved your sense of humour and examples”

    “A very different approach”

    “Would definitely recommend this training to others”

    “Best course I’ve been on”

    “Brilliant – Can we have Carol back for a longer session please?”

    Refreshing and Original

    Visit my new website and discover a range of inspiring courses which will be tailored to your needs.

    CBLD Ltd has won an excellent reputation from some of the best UK companies and here’s what they say about us.

    It’s your time to be surprised

    Remember, it doesn’t cost any more to get a great Corporate Training Course over a mediocre one, but it will make all the difference to you.

    Isn’t it time you experienced the Ninja element for yourself?

    Get in touch to find out more.

  3. New Year’s Resolution

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    January is a great time to reflect and begin new habits such as reducing the alcohol we drink or increasing the healthy food we eat. We should be improving our mental wellbeing, too.

    It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

    according to research there are five things we can do that will really help to boost our mental wellbeing, they are:

    Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing.

    Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing.

    Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing.

    Give to others – even the smallest act can count whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks. Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing.

    Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Learn more in Mindfulness for mental wellbeing.

    Why not give these five things a go and see what a difference they can make to your everyday life. If you’d like to find out more about the work I do to help people improve their quality of life visit my website

    Information shared from NHS Choices.

  4. What value should be placed on Business Awards?

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    We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch – so is there such a thing as free PR?

    Recently I was contacted by an unfamiliar business publication familiar who said I’d been nominated for an award and had already reached the short listing stage of the competition. How exciting I thought – wondering who had been kind enough to nominate me and what had they said about me to beat off my some of my competitors!

    I duly followed the instructions in the email and completed all the necessary information to go forward to the judges. This took a couple of hours, ensuring I included evidence of the quality of my work.

    Within a few days a received a congratulatory email telling me I’d won!  I was the Hypnotherapist of the Year – Tyne and Wear. The subsequent emails let me know how I could publicise this amazing achievement in their publication for a variety of costs.  As a winner of this prestigious award I would get a free press release which could be used on my website which included links to their publication and a logo I could use should I wish to do so.

    I sought advice from a close friend, who happens to be a marketing professional who has won awards from both the CIM and the CIPR. To say she was surprised by this approach from a publication would be an understatement. “It’s paid for advertising” she said, “pop it on Twitter if you must and let’s get on with growing the business!”

    The emails kept coming from the aforesaid publication offering reduced advertising rates to promote my achievement in their competition for their publication – offers I did not take up. I felt a bit disappointed after my hopes had been raised by the nomination and, of course, winning the award. I never found out who had nominated me despite asking for this information, as I would liked to have thanked them personally.

    Then, as if to restore my faith in the media, I receive an email from one of the many websites my companies are registered with telling me that through client feedback I am now rated one of the TOP 3 in Newcastle. Not to be taken in again I do my research this time and sure enough there is evidence that my clients have been so pleased with the outcomes of the work we have done together that they have taken the time to give their feedback completely unprompted by me!  I’m given access to some hints and tips on how to use this latest accolade and a free logo I can use on my website – RESULT J

    So here it is displayed in all its glory.

    It’s on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and my website.

    So the next time I receive an email telling me I’ve won something I knew nothing about I will treat it with caution and do my research before I spend an afternoon completing forms which in the end is only going to cost me money and time that would be better spent doing something else.





  5. Sexual Abuse – and how to deal with it in a positive way

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    The recent allegations of sexual abuse in the media have highlighted an endemic practice which goes back decades and not just linked to football, or sport in general c04pbcr. We’ve witnessed the emotional impact of this illegal behaviour demonstrated many times over the last few weeks on TV by the brave footballers who cannot keep silent any longer and have brought to the notice of the public and the statutory bodies and we must all now take note.
    In my experience of supporting the victims of abuse, at my private clinic in Jesmond, it is clear that this appalling behaviour has catastrophic and long term impact. In the case of footballers these perpetrators literally stole their dreams!
    The impact of this touches every aspect of their lives; because the physical, mental and emotional abuse affects future relationships. In general, those abused often display both anger and trust issues in their everyday behaviour. They can also have the burden of guilt and shame compounded by feelings of worthlessness.
    The challenges that the recent allegations have highlighted in terms of the bravery shown by these men cannot be under estimated. They have, however, taken the first and biggest step on the road to recovery in seeking help. The journey to recovery is individual and therefore the approach, tools and techniques I use reflect this. First and foremost it is key for me to establish trust.

    As a professional working with a supporting people who have been abused I was asked by BBC Radio Newcastle take part in a discussion about this matter as more stories unfold and more men are being brave enough to come forward and speak about their experiences

    Professional help is available and if this applies to you or someone you know I urge you to take action.

    Sports hypnotherapy can help you optimise your performance in competitive sports
    Professional help is available and if this applies to you or someone you know I urge you to take action.

  6. Realistic goals invigorate. Unrealistic expectations demotivate.

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    We all nurture fantasies about the future and how it might be. Which teenager hasn’t imagined themselves being a famous popstar or actor with a crowd of fans queuing to get their autograph? More topically, as Rio 2016 ends some young people will imagine what life would be like as an international sports stars like Mo Farah or Laura Trott.

    It’s vital to have dreams and goals, but by the same token, we have to be careful to ensure they are realistic and specific. Think some of the talentless numpties on X-Factor who believe they can sing. You may well ask how did they get the idea they had a skill worth flaunting. Before we set goals for ourselves we have to recognise our limitations as well as talents and strengths. Just to say ‘anything is possible’ is a woolly belief if you haven’t got the raw materials to start with. Sacrifice, time and energy are required to build a foundation to launch your goals.

    That’s what this week’s blog is about. To act as an encouragement to those with specific goals and to help nurture ambition and drive in others who currently lack direction.

    Anything is possible

    Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Drive and determination create achievement and results. Some people have wild dreams that are not achievable because action doesn’t start when the dreaming stops. Conversely, others harbour limiting beliefs and their lack of confidence keeps them fixed. If your dreams are too small just raise the bar and give yourself something more ambitious to aim at – something your subconscious mind can latch on to.

    The Olympic Mindset

    Consider the Olympics. Winning gold means you are better than anyone else in the world at your game which requires believe in your ability to achieve this level of sporting achievement.  I call this the Olympic Mindset and it can keep you on point and raise your bar higher, especially on those days when you feel like you are wrestling jelly. To a medal winner, four years of dedicated slog for those glorious minutes at the Olympics is totally worth it. Your goal may not be an Olympic medal, but it could be a unique achievement for you, even when it is a challenge to attain.

    The Olympic Mindset is something we can all attain.

    There’s real benefit in developing an Olympic Mindset. Having a winning mentality is foundational to being successful in your endeavours and you can easily attain it if you are prepared to put in the effort.

    Inspired by Roger

    Back in the 1950s a young Englishman, Roger Bannister, had a belief he could run a mile in under four minutes, in spite of a common belief it was physically impossible (for thousands of years people had tried and failed). Then on May 6, 1954, Bannister ran the distance in 3:59.4.  As part of his training, he visualised this achievement which created a sense of certainty in his mind and body.

    Within a year after Bannister’s achievement, someone else ran a mile in under 4 minutes. Then others followed, and now it’s routine because the barrier had been broken.

    What do you need to succeed?

    Like Roger, you need vision, tenacity, focus and energy to achieve your goal. If you have a clearly-defined purpose you can build towards achieving it and when you dedicate yourself to the certainty of accomplishing your vision, you’ll more than likely achieve it. Even if you fail trying, you still gain knowledge, strength and understanding in the pursuit. People achieve things by working hard at them, taking risks, and learning from the results. Research shows that if you expect to fail, you will have a higher chance of it becoming your reality.

    Hypnotherapy help for motivation

    In my Newcastle hypnotherapy practice, many clients come to me for help in getting their mojo back, especially after one of life’s big confidence knocks – relationship problems; divorce; redundancy or ill health. Often there are additional issues to contend with too such as weight gain, low self-esteem and addiction problems. That’s when things can get a bit overwhelming and I help them reach specific goals by slicing their vision for success down into bite size chunks.

    Sometimes a client may feel directionless and need help in regaining a vision of success for their life. If motivation wanes, I help them revisit their goal and reconnect them with the original emotions and feelings that gave them that passion and drive to do it in the first place.

    Make it real

    Do you have a goal? Write it down and be very specific to make it a tangible goal you can work towards.   The more you can hang your hat on it the more real your vision becomes. It’s motivational to announce your goal to friends and family. Sharing your vision of – losing weight, getting fit, stopping smoking, running a marathon is powerful, because the incentive is set to not let them or yourself down, especially on the tough days.

    Future pacing

    If you need a encouragement, just imagine what your vision will be like when you achieve it.  Step into that vision and experience the feeling of accomplishment; the taste of success, the celebrations! In NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) we call this future pacing and it helps to keep you on track of your goals when the going gets tough.

    Little Treats

    Those bite sized chunks I talked about earlier can also be bite-sized rewards as you make steady progress towards your goal. A pamper-day, a meal out, a new item of clothing, a weekend away. I believe in giving yourself rewards for achieving certain milestones in your vision. This way, your final goal becomes more manageable.

    Steer your own course

    Life isn’t always fair and the sooner you expect that, the sooner you can take actions that will actually make a difference. If you are lacking motivation and need help getting that Olympic Mindset, contact me. With a wee bit of assistance you can turn opportunity into reality.  Put in the hard work, and reap your reward.

    Remember to sign up to the bottom right for my FREE weekly blog. Totally spam-free guaranteed. Carol xx


  7. Hypnotherapy and The Change. Taking the Crisis out of Mid-Life.

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    Men and women both experience physical and psychological changes in mid-life. In my Newcastle hypnotherapy practice the enquiries I receive demonstrate this crisis is an event common to both sexes. While The ‘Change’ or female menopause is much discussed, the male menopause is rarely mentioned and can even be viewed as a bit of a joke.

    Male menopause or ‘The Mano-Porsche’ has been the butt of many a joke from the sudden appearance of moobs to dad’s impulsive purchase of a sports car when he hits the Big-50. This, in combination with an interest in hair dye, a new wardrobe and sudden mood or behaviour changes has often led to the mocking of the male menopause.

    Actually, for many men and women, the andropause and menopause as they are respectively known are no joke. New statistics have shown suicide rates are the highest for middle aged men; and when you also consider how many people you know who have suddenly gone off the rails in their 40s to 50s, with affairs, divorces and family break ups, it’s no laughing matter to think that much of this turmoil could be hormone-related.

    Mid-life menopause or andropause

    Whatever form your menopausal signs and symptoms may take, when you hit a mid-life crisis there are some very positive steps you can take and tools available without resorting to drug or hormone replacement therapy or other drug protocols.

    Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is often seen as a panacea for the more serious symptoms of female menopause including hot flushes, sleeplessness, osteoporosis, reduced libido, headaches, dry skin, joint pains and weight gain. Unlike female menopause which usually has a rapid onset, male menopause can take decades with symptoms often so mild, they are barely noticeable or disregarded. However, for some men and women the physical symptoms and psychological side effects (similar for both sexes) can be life-changing in a negative way.

    Male andropause is caused by a decline in testosterone and rise in oestrogen levels which all men experience. Plastics in food packaging and the environment are known culprits in playing serious havoc with male and female endocrine systems because of xeno-oestrogens leaching into the food and water supply. Testosterone replacement therapy, like HRT for women is being prescribed for men displaying more serious problems with the physical effects of andropause. With women, it is oestrogen and progestogen which decline leading to physical, emotional, and psychological changes.

    The effects

    Challenges at this time can cause the following:

    • Reduced endurance
    • Lethargy and decline in motivation and self-confidence
    • Inability to concentrate and forgetfulness
    • Poor quality sleep
    • Irritability and nervousness
    • Physical weakness
    • Osteoarthritis
    • For men: Erectile dysfunction, breast enlargement, weight gain
    • For women: Irregular periods, night sweats and hot flushes, weight gain

    Hypnotherapy can help

    I receive many enquiries for help with this challenging time. Whereas some people sail through middle age easily, there are others who realise that they can’t dine out on youth anymore, and they can’t eat and drink what they want without serious payback. You wouldn’t put diesel in a Ferrari, nor can you shovel takeaways, pizzas and alcohol in your body and hope for a healthy outcome. Your body will reward you with weight gain because you can’t metabolise sugar and fat as effectively, and more intense hangovers will prove your tolerance and ability to process alcohol has dipped.

    If you haven’t got your health you haven’t got your life

    The mind and body are closely linked and the menopause can trigger wide ranging physical and psychological issues from increased heart rate, palpitations, migraines, to stress and even panic attacks. Research also shows a link between severe sleep deprivation and low hormone levels during menopause can create a cocktail of problems.

    A positive outlook

    If you can look after your diet and discipline yourself to exercise, this time can be one of the best times of your life. Losing weight, healthy eating and regular exercise are the key effective lifestyle changes I recommend, which in turn helps create a positive mindset and a new, improved version of you.

    Moderate hormone imbalances such as low testosterone react very favorably to even the smallest lifestyle changes.

    Small steps

    If you have confidence issues and you need help I can help you make small tweaks to your lifestyle to get you back on track. What’s more I can help give you the motivation to maintain results long-term. My approach is client focused. Working together we make small emotional, mental and physical changes, developing a positive mind-set towards healthy choices to transform how you feel and think.

    Make a new start now

    If you haven’t looked after your body it’s a perfect time to reverse the bad habits. There’s no excuse to be washed up and washed out. It’s time to start looking holistically at your life to examine which pieces of the jigsaw are missing. I can help you find them.

    Crisis? What Crisis?

    You may wake up with another new chin-twig, or perhaps a rogue eyebrow hair but you can become adept at facial topiary and embrace this stage as an extension of your youth by living it to the max.

    I walk the talk too. I benefit from eating well, taking regular exercise and looking after myself.  The results are earned and obvious. Contact me now for more information.

    Don’t forget to sign up for my weekly blog by clicking the button below right. Spam free guaranteed! Carol xx

  8. Relationships and Hypnotherapy: Friends, Family and Forgiveness

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    It’s Friendship Day and Sister’s Day this week. The two events celebrate the joy of friendship and of course, sisters! Thankfully, I’m blessed to have a sister who is also my best friend as well as being my sibling. I also have best friends who, because of their loyalty and trust over the years have become members of my extended family!

    Man is not an island

    All of us need someone we can trust and talk to.  Someone we can share our secrets with, discuss our emotions; concerns and worries with, as well as someone to celebrate our successes and joys. There is a saying which goes: “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light” and I would have to agree with that. A special friend we are close to becomes a member of our family even though they don’t share the same blood; and a sibling who is a best friend too, is priceless because he or she will share a deep familial bond as well as being a go to resource for those collective family memories from childhood that no-one else can share.

    Most of us will have many acquaintances and friendly relationships on our journey through life, but we know the difference between an acquaintance and a best friend – we feel the difference. We can sit in a room for hours with a best friend without communicating, yet saying everything.


    This Sister's Day we celebrate our siblings and appreciate the ups as well as the downs

    When family members fall out it’s always best to find a way to heal the rift quickly. Forgiveness pays real dividends.

    Helping each other through life’s ups and downs

    I believe that when friends share trust and affection there is a mutual exchange of emotions which really strengthens us and makes for a more colourful life. The importance of having a close support group as you move through life and the significance of interacting with others for positivity, mental health, personal growth and having a reliable source of help when you need it is vital.

    When friendships break down or sibling rivalry becomes a problem it can be heart-rending creating tension, stress, unhappiness and pain. Brothers, sisters and best friends can fall-out over the smallest thing which can then develop into a full blown rift. People who love each other might argue sometimes, but too much fighting is unpleasant for everyone and can cause long-term relationship problems. If left unaddressed, grudges can turn into bitterness which can eat away at a person internally and lead to mental and physical health problems.

    Anger Management and Relationship Issues

    In my hypnotherapy practice, relationship problems and holding on to bitterness are common issues some clients have to deal with before they can move on to a new and positive future. Holding on to bitterness and unforgiveness creates anger, frustration and contributes to serious health issues.

    Hypnotherapy and healing

    Addressing relationship issues is a major component of my work with some clients, whether it’s a problem they have with a close family member, friend, partner or work colleague. Being brave enough to initiate the process of healing is a huge step forward. Helping clients to find solutions to these problems, whether it’s healing a friendship or relinquishing an unhealthy relationship is very rewarding.

    If you think you need to find a way to forgive or want help to reconcile with a friend or sibling please contact me. Together we can figure out ways to help you to heal and move on.

    Just look at the benefits forgiveness can bring to both the forgiver and the forgiven:

    • Lower anxiety and less stress
    • Better and healthier relationships
    • Peace of mind through release of hostility
    • Greater positivity and happiness
    • Less likelihood of depression
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Healthier immune system and improved fitness

    A final thought…The most memorable people in life are the friends who loved you when you weren’t very loveable. That is true for all of us from time to time, and it certainly has been for me. We are all perfectly imperfect, so it’s time to celebrate friends and family relationships.

    And don’t forget to sign up for my weekly blog by clicking the button below right. Carol xx

  9. All or Nothing Day in Newcastle

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    It was ‘National All or Nothing Day’ this Wednesday, which is a day celebrated each year on July 26th when people throw caution to the wind and simply ‘go for it’, doing that thing they’ve always wanted to do, but were too fearful or hesitant to even start.

    The ‘Ferris Bueller’ Concept                                                                                      

    The upbeat 1986 film ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ tells the story of a bored, high school student, Ferris Bueller, who decided to wag off school and enjoy some fun and adventure, persuading a couple of friends to do the same with extremely funny and ultimately, positive consequences.

    It’s a concept I wholeheartedly agree with. Having been a risk-taker for most of my life. I recognise the importance of taking the initiative to make change happen, because life rarely does it for us. The ‘Ferris Bueller’ concept is one of the tools I recommend to clients who find themselves lacking motivation or needing a boost in their life.

    The Ferris Bueller Day Off should be personal to you

    Whether it’s wine and chocs, plus a luxury pamper, or a day enjoying skydiving thrills, the ‘All or Nothing Day’ or ‘Ferris Bueller Day Off’ concept is something we all need to embrace from time to time for self-refreshment, and it needn’t be expensive.

    I walk the talk

    Many years ago after working too hard for too long to build my business, I realised I was neglecting myself. I was tired, jaded and was in danger of becoming my company’s biggest weakness. I truly needed time out and decided to do a Ferris Bueller myself!

    I left my office in Shakespeare Street, Newcastle, and took an afternoon off, adapting the Ferris concept to my own circumstances, so that I could refresh and revitalise my flagging energy.

    Firstly I treated myself at M&S to a great meal, selected my favourite bottle of wine and a small box of chocolates. Then I visited the flower stall right outside and chose the flowers personally to reflect what the colours meant to me, for example red for passion, yellow for sunshine, orange for fun, green for healing, blue for calm and white for the spiritual aspects of life.  Finally, I bought a chick flick on the way home where I filled a deep, fragrant bath, poured a glass of wine, played some favourite music and just relaxed while my dinner cooked.

    The experience was total pleasure from start to finish – a full rebalance – where I was able to really reflect on things without the phone ringing, emails pinging, or the office door opening every two minutes. I was ‘nurturing me’ for a change and I returned to work the next day recharged, rejuvenated and ready for business.


    Time flashes by at a fast rate of knots and the seasons seem to fly by quicker every year. It helps to slow time down for a period of meditation.

    Taking time-out like Ferris helps us ponder those questions we usually don’t find the time to answer like, ‘Why am I doing this? Am I still on course? What were the reasons I started this job/relationship/hobby/course/career route etc. for originally?’ Contemplation helps you get back on track and find answers when you have time to stand back and engage with a dose of honest self-examination.

    Make it your own

    Everyone has their own idea of their perfect Ferris Bueller day off, to be enjoyed alone or with others, whether it’s a long walk in the park, a pizza with a pal, a game of golf, an old fashioned picnic in the country, reading a book in the sun, going to a movie or theatre.

    Whatever you choose to do, it’s a relaxing and pleasurable memory you can store, download and replay in your mind time and again. Make the day uniquely yours; your moment, whether it’s a total chillax, a day at the races or a skydiving escapade; a day’s self-nurturing is something we all need as it feeds the soul.

    Making a positive change in your life.

    Do you have a particular desire to do something different and want some help discovering the benefits of change in your life? Today is the day to take that first step and make it happen, and very often that first step involves taking the time to relax, refocus and reshuffle your priorities.

    No one wants to end up old and unfulfilled, regretting they didn’t try that new idea, new job, new hobby. If you’re finding it difficult to make the first move, my Personal Development Coaching and Motivational Courses are designed to help you make a positive change in those areas that are important to you, whether it’s career development, personal development, achieving a weight or fitness goal (nutrition, sports, educational, hobbies), or helping you in relationships, using a range of interventions such as hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and personal coaching.

    Please contact me for more details and don’t forget to sign up for my weekly SPAM free blog, by clicking the button below right. Carol xxx.

  10. Stay Motivated Working from Home

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    Taking work home or using your house as a home ‘office’ has become for many, the new norm. Home-working is no longer just the domain of the self-employed, as employers are recognising the cost benefits of remote and flexible working practices including enhanced productivity, greater reliability and increased staff loyalty.

    Working from home has its benefits as well as its downsides. It is important to address both.

    I run coaching courses and offer bespoke career development for individuals and businesses where they are looking to set up homeworkers.

    In these challenging times, businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Supporting home enterprise makes sense because it delivers both by decreasing the office space overhead, whilst increasing employee output who, research suggests, have a better work-life balance, waste less time and money on travel, are more productive and also ‘greener’.

    As always however, there are risks as well as benefits. If you’re familiar with working from home, from being self-employed or telecommuting, you’ll also be familiar with the temptations of procrastination or getting side tracked. Self-motivation is underestimated and many people simply aren’t suited to remote-working, as they find the loneliness a challenge and miss the buzz and camaraderie of an office environment.

    Courses Available

    I have learned over the years how best to operate from home and now run coaching courses and offer bespoke career development for individuals and businesses across a range of sectors where they are looking to set up homeworkers. Here are my tips for staying motivated and making sure you really keep that professional image intact when ‘home alone’.

    Separate Work from Play

    Where possible, it’s best to have a room or space dedicated to working which means you create an inner-sanctum purely for business and leave the rest of the house as your home environment. This is not always possible, especially for those living in smaller studio size apartments or flats, but you can still dedicate the corner of a room for business by screening it off or setting up a small workstation.

    Ditch the Sloppies

    I’m a firm believer in dressing right for work, because it sets your intention for the day ahead and creates the right mind set. Being properly dressed mentally prepares you and success is 100% a mental state. Although your customers can’t see you it makes a massive difference when you look the part – to how you relate, to your communication, to your performance, and therefore the outcome.

    Schedule it right

    Setting a good work routine is vital because it offers an activity framework detailing the vital ingredients essential for success. Keep it simple and disciplined because a lack of discipline creates a downward spiral of wasted energy, wasted opportunity, inactivity and guilt about that extra hour in bed/trip to supermarket/hour watching TV….

    Start right

    Exercise early to kick start your metabolism then have a healthy breakfast as you mentally plan your day.

    Stay hydrated

    Drink a few pints of filtered water a day or herbal tea to stay hydrated and energised.

    Ditch the distractions

    Music, TV, the radio, all these are distractions and will influence your mood. Personally I don’t have a TV anywhere near my work zone, though some instrumental or background music without lyrics can be inspiring and lift your mood so it’s all about personal preferences.

    Create an inspiring environment

    Decorate your zone! Flowers, pictures, family portraits, calendars. Add a mood board with quotes and images that inspire. Essential oils can have a positive effect on mood and can even lower stress on the days when you feel as though you are trying to “knit fog”. Keep your work area tidy and organise your desk every night before finishing, so a clear space greets you the next day.

    Manage your posture

    You will spend a lot of time at your workstation, so pay attention to how it is set up, as slouching can damage your posture and even create long term damage. It’s worth spending money on a decent chair and table, or even investing in one of those stand-up workstations. I’ve used a standing desk for almost two years now and find it so much more energising.

    Find a mentor

    Having someone to speak to other than the cat or goldfish when you feel a tad uninspired is crucial. Find someone who is upbeat and positive and you’ll breathe in their inspiration. I think two mentors are required, a business mentor and also a personal mentor to help give you a new perspective when the going gets tough or when you are plagued with lack of motivation or self-doubt.


    On that note, if you can’t find a mentor, be sure to get out of your zone and speak to new people, through networking (preferably face to face, not just online). There’s usually bags of networking events in your area as well as online networking groups (LinkedIn, Facebook, Skype etc.). Contacts are king and it’s always brilliant when someone else recommends your service.

    Get outdoors

    It’s not the time you spend at your desk that counts, it’s how productive you are while you are there. Make sure to pencil in a mini break or two, for a mental declutter, or walk to the local shop or, have a bite of lunch and get some Vitamin D from the sun (Geordie summer permitting). You’d be amazed how refreshed you feel after a short break. This also gives you the opportunity to talk to others to avoid that sense of isolation which home-working can produce. Take a short 15 minute break whenever you get writer’s block, do something different as a ‘pattern interrupt’ then return full of vim and vigour.

    Know when to stop

    Set defined times when you’re going to work, and then, stop. When you close the office door at night mentally close the work door in your mind to prevent work dominating your life. If you work more than 5 or 6 hours on the trot you will lose focus, get restless and then your work quality and your output suffer. Change can sometimes be as good as a rest, so attack some admin tasks or accounts if you get a bit stuck on your main project.

    Enjoy it

    Be grateful you are privileged enough not to have to do the daily commute or work in some clock-watching cubicle or cheerless office somewhere. Gratitude will motivate you to work harder, so you can continue to work from home.

    Ready for success? Get the right tools before you start…

    If you are an individual or an organisation considering the economic benefits of staff home-working, my ‘Enterprise Fitness Programme for Home Workers’ will get you or your staff ready for the leap into homeworking or self-employment. The change from working as part of a team surrounded by others, to establishing and building a self-motivating work ethic at home, in an environment normally used for relaxation and pleasure is both challenging and daunting.

    My Business Gym package offers motivational training specifically geared to navigating and understanding the differences between the two working environments, including understanding the behavioural aspects of the journey and breaking down the barriers to change.

    The packed content reviews how aspirations become reality, how the highs and lows FEEL rather than focusing solely on the more formal process of business planning and operation. This ensures a higher degree of confidence, satisfaction, tenacity and ultimately success.

    The whole approach represents a step change in the introduction of small business enterprise, since the focus is on the person. It will inform, involve and inspire those who attend.

    Three core elements are covered:-

    1. Group workshops

    2. Regular Webinar – punchy and motivational

    3. One to One Coaching (initially monthly then at quarterly intervals to maintain support)

    For more information please contact me for a comprehensive itinerary and costs. Individual and group rates apply.

    Remember to sign up for my FREE weekly blog by clicking the button bottom right. Carol x


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