Posts tagged new year
20 lessons I learned in 2018 (and what this means for 2019)

As a follow on from my End Of Year Review and as part of my overall end of year reflections I began concocting a ‘lessons I learned’ post after feeling inspired by reading similar posts by others. It ended up as a list of 20 which felt like the right place to stop.

I love the simple clarity of some of these lessons contrasted with the depth and complexity of others - a complexity that goes so much deeper than the words on the page.

Many of these lessons I am already well on the road to putting into action, others will take a little longer as the acknowledgement and the implications land within my soul.

This list is not conclusive but all felt significant for me and I feel offers something of a beautiful indicator as to where my life has journeyed over the last 12 months and areas of focus and intention for the next 12 ongoing.

I’d love to hear from you… what are your top lessons of 2018 …and where are you headed for 2019?

jo end of year lessons.jpg

20 lessons I learned in 2018

  1. ‘Home’ is an internal place not an external one.

  2. The importance of creating clear boundaries and expectations in relationships -both personal and business.

  3. Love will find me when I’m ready and willing to ask for it and let it in.

  4. Travel does not have to be expensive, complicated or a luxury.

  5. I have a desire to live a location independent lifestyle.

  6. I do want kids after all (this one is huge for me)

  7. How much of my precious energy I drain through investing too much in people or situations that aren't in alignment with me.

  8. Difficult conversations will never get easier if expectations and boundaries are not first created, and even then they still require courage to be had.

  9. Stories are powerful - both in terms of how we connect as humans and the (often negative) stories we tell ourselves- rewrite that script!

  10. A calling to take the next step on my writing journey and publish a book.

  11. I can choose to be the 'victim' or the 'owner' of literally any situation I find myself in.

  12. Having continuously rebelled against the idea of ‘structure’ and ‘planning’ since having the freedom of working for myself, I realise I absolutely need them in order to succeed. (note: I ordered a planner for next year and I will commit to using it!)

  13. I currently hold a very negative ‘money story’ which is holding me back from financial abundance (massive reality check!)

  14. What I perceive and beat myself up as being as my big old shame stories no one else even notices or cares about, they’ve got their own stuff to deal with.

  15. Making 'bliss balls' are my no. 1 procrastination distraction tactic!

  16. It's totally ok to be picky, and actually the more specific you are about your desires the more you give ‘the universe’ to work with to co-create with you.

  17. If I'm not mindful, my default mode is to fall into being a 'rescuer' and that does not serve either me or them.

  18. My new favourite green smoothie recipe is: 1 banana, 2 packed cups of spinach and the juice of 1 lime (try it!)

  19. To get to experience the amazingness of life we also have to be willing to embrace the messy bits. We cannot ‘numb’ selectively and there is beauty in the pain.

  20. The pleasure gained from sipping tea from a very big mug cannot be underestimated!

So what does this look like for the months ahead?

Intuitively, I’m feeling that 2019 looks set to embody a more transient lifestyle, an exploration of love (of myself and others), of creating a ‘structure’ that works for me and consciously creating expectations and agreements.

I am curious to see how this sense of awareness evolves!

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Planning to create a Vision Board?... try this even BETTER alternative!

It's New Year and I am having a day setting goals, creating my new bullet journal and getting myself fully in the mindset to make 2018 a year that matters!

This morning I was sitting on my bed brainstorming when my eyes caught sight of my 'vision strip' by my bedside. I created this last January and it has been growing and evolving with me ever since. I absolutely love it as an inspiration for my goals and dreams and also as an artwork in its own right!

I suddenly had the spontaneous urge to share it as a mini 'how to' with you today! Perfect for New Years dreaming, but of course any time of year.

This is a photo of my bedroom taken with my iPhone on a really dull day, so the photo quality is not great... please no judging! ;-)

This is a photo of my bedroom taken with my iPhone on a really dull day, so the photo quality is not great... please no judging! ;-)

Ok, so I know it's my personal opinion, but I really do believe this idea IS better than a traditional 'board' and this is why... 

  • Takes up less space- a vertical wall hanging is more space effective on most walls around the home/office than a vision board of traditional proportions. (This was a winner for me in the space I had available)

  • Made from part of a simple roll of plain or patterned wallpaper border (can be FREE if you take advantage of the sample offers in DIY stores (a bit cheeky!) or if you use an offcut you may already have stored away from your decorating adventures!)

  • Paperclips to fasten mean that nothing is permanent and the vision board of inspiration can adapt and evolve as your dreams do through the months and years.

  • You can begin with a little and add as you go, if you use a patterned border (as I have) it still looks great on the wall even if it is not yet very full of inspiration!

  • One simple hanging point- no more curled or dog-eared edges, sticky marks on the walls, awkward fixings, trying to make sure it hangs straight etc.

  • You can choose to arrange ideas/inspirations chronologically going upwards or downwards if you wish.

Convinced? ;-)

Here's how to easily make your own vision strip...

  1. Get yourself a length of wide wallpaper border (approx 6" is ideal), between 2.5-3 meters in length, making sure it is not the sort that has a sticky back.

  2. Decide how long you want it to hang down and then roll the excess into a roll at the top (it will naturally do that anyway), you want to make sure you have a few rolls to that it is sturdy.

  3. Thread a length of yarn (use approx. 1 metre length) through the rolled up section a couple of times which keeps it tightly together, then bring both ends up to the top and tie in a knot at the centre a few inches above (see middle right-hand photo above).

  4. Pin/fasten the knot firmly to the wall or ceiling as appropriate- I used a simple drawing pin into the wall as the ceiling did not hold it so well (gravity and flaky ceiling finish!)

  5. Carefully adjust the hanging length as desired (mine hangs down approx 1.6 meters) and fasten the bottom to the wall with a blob of sticky tack or similar

  6. Fill your Vision Strip with things that inspire your goals and dreams- I use paper clips to attach things but use what works for you.

  7. Keep a row of spare paper clips on the side ready to attach new inspirations. 

Wonderful optional extra...

I found a length of battery powered fairy light mini-lanterns in a pound shop that was the perfect length of my vision strip. This makes it comes alive with beautiful sparkly energy when I'm working or reading in my room at night!

I simply hide the battery pack in the centre of the excess roll at the top (see photo below- though I usually tuck the battery pack further in) and simply let the lights drape down the side!

vision strip 6.jpg
vision strip 7.jpg

Have you ever made a vision board... or do you fancy giving this a go!

I'd love to see your creations, and if you have any 'vision boarding' tips to share please do so!

My biggest love in life is creativity and the space that awakens within us all when we allow ourselves to get in touch with our innate creative energy- we all have it! I encourage you to give this project as go and see how it make you feel!

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
2017 close out: my biggest lesson (and my New Year intention!)

I hadn't planned to write a 'year in review' style post, as everyone else in the blogosphere had written them and to be honest I felt a bit overloaded with a case of comparisonitis creeping up on me in the lead up to Christmas.

But, now having had a few more days to sit and quietly reflect, a few truths made themselves know and it was a humbling process of self-acknowledgement that I wanted to share with you in the spirit of authenticity and as offering you a 'permission giving' of sorts. 

connection quote.jpg

It's 30th December and just over halfway through that 'odd' bit between Christmas and New Year when there is no sense of routine, time or direction. Time seems to stand still. Truth be told (apart from Christmas day) this is my absolute favourite time of year! The world slows down and time is suspended.

Space for reflection, creation, decluttering, reading and absolutely zero sense of expectation or obligation. Bliss!

So, it is pretty much inevitable that my minds bounced between looking back on the year whilst at the same time future focussing on the next.

There was one main truth that hit me. Quite hard at first, but then with a sense of gentle self-forgiveness and understanding. 

My biggest reaslisation this year...

I have been very lonely at times.

Gosh, it feels super vulnerable to admit that. I feel I need to back it up with an explanation, to justify it and make it seem less pathetic. 

The loneliness was a steady creep throughout the year hitting hardest this Autumn though I only realised it retrospectively! (often the way, right?)

When I reflected on how this came to be I realised there were two big contributing factors:

  1. At the end of 2016 I gave myself permission to step away from going to local networking groups and events that I felt I 'should' be doing as a business owner and instead focus on growing my business in other ways. I had noticed I was getting 'people-out' and drained from small talk (I've always hated small talk) so I just stopped going, BUT what I didn't realise was that, as a result, I was then spending a lot more time on my own in my own head where overthinking tends to happen!

  2. For four years I had been having weekly sessions with a Personal Trainer who was also one of my best friends. The sessions were at a regular time and outside. At the end of July he moved away and so suddenly I lost my time spent with a good friend, structured exercise, a weekly anchor point and time outside in nature come rain or shine... massively significant! (although I had not appreciated just how much until very recently)

What have a learned?

That small subtle consistent things can have a massive impact over time- both positive and negative.  

Just like structured consistent training with a PT can steadily increase your strength and fitness, the cumulative effect of not socialising on a structured consistent basis (which is basically what happened) can massively impact your emotional stability.

It was a massive eye-opener for me! The good news is, that now I have recognised what went wrong I can implement changes to address the balance for the coming year.

Instead of a New Year's resolution I set an 'intention' that I seek to grow into over the course of the year. This allows space for play and exploration and for messing up and learning in a way that a resolution doesn't (for me anyway!)

My intention is summarised in a word... a word for the year that has deep meaning for me and a need to explore more.

In 2016 it was 'experiences' (I travelled a lot and thoroughly lived out that intention)

In 2017 it was 'consistency', something I have struggled with. This does not come naturally at all for me- my ADHD brain sabotages feeling pigeonholed and so it is still a work in progress!

In 2018 my word for the year will be: 'Connection'.

Connection within myself and with others. I will seek to deepen the nature of my connections but also my boundaries in order to stay true and authentic to myself. 

I'm excited to explore where this may lead and what 'connection' might look like on my own terms!

There are plenty other things I could say about the year and about my goals for 2018 as I reflected on what had gone well and what not so well. But my most important lesson was our innate need for human connection that I had been depriving myself of without realising and so I won't dilute this significance with other side notes and thoughts.

It makes me smile as I have long been a fan of Brene Brown. I have all five of her books (having received the last two for Christmas) and a big part of her work is the role of connection. Therefore finding her quote “We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives and without it there is suffering” brought it all full circle for me, and I enter 2018 with a new level of clarity.

Now, I'd love to hear from you, what was your biggest lesson of 2017 and what is your goal or intention to take forward into 2018?  

jo sign off.png

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
My word for 2017... and what intention setting means for me

New Years Resolutions were once upon a time the ‘big thing’, but I’ve noticed a gradual shift over the last few years for a bigger focus towards ‘intention setting’.

For some it might not seem as though there any difference, indeed the difference maybe subtle but in my eyes incredibly significant.

You look up the word ’resolution’ in the dictionary you get “a firm decision to do or not to do something” however when you look up ‘intention’ you read “something that you want and plan to do”.

Subtle difference…

The idea of a resolution seems to me to create an environment of winning or failing. Black or white.  You do, or you do not. People nearly always ‘fall off the wagon’ when it comes to resolutions and never get back on for having ‘let themselves down' whether that be on a conscious level or not.

Yet, intention holds the bigger picture of growth. For me it is both here and now and future focussed all in one. It is something you desire and you work towards as an ongoing process of learning and discovery. It allows for personal evolution and as such it embodies a hugely powerful energy.

I quit making New Years Resolutions a few years back and last year decided to set an intention for the very first time. 

My intention was a single word for the year, something that I deeply connected with, made me excitedly curious and an idea I wanted to use the year to explore as fully as possible.

My word was ‘experiences’. It was an incredible year rich with volunteering travels, working at festivals, plus many other small day to day experiences I honoured as part of stepping into this intention. You can read more about it here and I intend to continue indefinitely albeit with a background focus. This became an element of my identity.

This year I sat for a long time contemplating what my intension would be. ‘Experiences’ had been incredible, a big and glorious word with a lot of vibrant energy associated with it. I found myself thinking that ‘what other word would live up to that status’. Only then did I realise I was not in a competition with myself, and that the small voice that was trying to be heard may be had the answer all along. This year I’m honouring the small voice that I have been pushing back for quite some time. I am stepping into something that I find incredibly challenging on a day-to-day basis and for this reason I know it's something I need to challenge myself and grow towards embodying.

My word for this year is ‘consistency’. It has a softer, slower and steadier energy around it. In fact it feels in total contrast to my intention last year!

It will be a year long learning process to discover how I can create consistency in all areas of my life and how I can show up more consistently and create what I need to in my business and my life on a more consistent basis. As simple and as mediocre as it may sound when spoken, that word has the potential to create incredibly powerful changes for me and I’m committed to honouring the process.

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently” ~ Tony Robbins.

Above all else, for me one of the greatest aspects of intention setting is creating curiosity, and being open to explore how stepping into your intention may guide you through the year, and what incredible results it could bring when you reflect in December. 

On 20-22nd January (just a couple of weeks time!) I am running a weekend retreat with the theme of intention setting a powerful element of the weekend and I’m incredibly excited to share the space with a group of 12 people all ready to step powerfully into the year ahead. The cost per person is only £150 and I have just a couple of spaces remaining, so if you’d like to know more check out the details here and then going touch with me as soon as possible. 

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where you get blog post round ups and a little love, plus other good things (like special offers) right there in your inbox. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

Instagram   -   Facebook   -   Twitter   -   Pinterest


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
A conversation with 2017...

Good morning 2017.... may I take this chance to welcome you in to my life? Let's sit down with a mug of tea and have a quick chat shall we?

You see, I have big dreams for this year and I guess I just wanna check you're cool with supporting me in that.

Yes, I know I've got to put the work in myself and not just talk the talk, I know I can't just play it safe, and yes I understand your 'lessons' may come in many different guises. Don't worry I hear you. I get it.

I guess I just want you to know that I am ready to give you everything I have. Like no other year gone before. I feel a deep connection with you and just knowing that you have got my back would really, really help, you know?

What's that you say... 'Please don't worry'?   I try not to but it's hard sometimes as everything is so unknown and it's scary to take that leap... Sorry what?  I do accept 'what is', and i'm learning to 'let go of what was', but it's the faith that sometimes gets tough. 

Would you like more tea? No sorry, I wasn't trying to sweeten you up (promise) ;-)

Ahhhh ok so I get it. I get it. You've made your point. 

Wow... this is deep. To be honest I hadn't expected this level of honesty in our first conversation, I only met you a few hours ago after all! 

@@So, you can only give to me by degree of what I am willing to give to you. @@

So, if I trust you 100% then you have got my back 100%.

It's simple?? ...yeah right! 2017 it looks like you're a bit of a character already, but I think I like you. Though I am not sure I could handle you for the longer term.... a year maybe... ha

Ok i'm in dude. I'm glad we had this time together to talk. 

Now, let's go out into the world and do this thing!!

(Oh and please just make sure you put your mug in the dishwasher when you've finished your tea).


Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where you get blog post round ups and a little love, plus other good things (like special offers) right there in your inbox. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

Instagram   -   Facebook   -   Twitter   -   Pinterest

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
I bring gifts.... a book, a giveaway and a new course!

(So, it's kind of like the three kings but better!)

Happy Tuesday everyone! I say that because I feel it's a bit late in the day to still be saying Happy New Year, and in any case I feel as though everyday day should be the best day of the year... everyday has the huge potential to be something amazing! Don't simply save that privilege for a New Year or even a new week or month for that matter.

Want something? Go get it right NOW! There will never be a perfect time.


I wanted to check in with you all today as I have a new gift coming up!

A Book!

I have been crafting a new book for you all and will be releasing this as a download link within my newsletter in a couple of weeks time, so it will be available FREE to you all wherever you are in the world. You need to be on my mailing list to get it.... sign up in the side bar now! :-)

The book will be available as an email download for my newsletter subscribers only.... I will release it in two weeks time! Therefore, I would be hugely grateful if you could give maybe have a think for 10 seconds of any friends or family you feel could benefit... then forward them this email so they can hop on to my website and sign up to my mailing list too, and be in the know with all the gifts I have waiting in the wings for you!

A Giveaway!

In conjunction with the book there will be an amazing giveaway happening around that same time (details to be confirmed in the next few days but it will UK only- sorry!)

A Course!

I also have 4-week a course come up in February. It's a condensed version of a longer 9-week course I wrote last year over many hours of exploration and research into what makes people tick when it comes to sugar... yes SUGAR! The big difference with my course compared to the many out there is that I wrote all myself- no templates e-course bought off the shelf and rebranded. 100% my own work. It also combines, a weekly email programme structure, a small group interactive option as well as 1-1 sessions direct with me and a 'future proofing' strategy to carry forward into your everyday lives. 

'Sugar' an area of nutrition I am so passionate about and I am so excited to be able to bring it to you. I am finalising the details as I speak and will update you on all the info soon. As it will involve 1-1 sessions (via Skype) as part of the programme  numbers will be very limited.  If you are in any way interested... please ping me an email and I can answer any question you may have.  

P.s here is a teaser of the book....

The purpose of this book is NOT to promote a ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ as seems to be everywhere at this time of year... but simply to provide a collection of 30 (yes 30!!) recipes that could help give your body a little boost when you are feeling a bit sluggish or lacking in energy. That's all of us, right? So it's a gentle kick-start if you like!

Reminder... the book will be a one-time only gift to my newsletter subscribers only!

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Tell me your dreams... and I'll tell you mine

Happy New Year!!

I totally forgot to do a "inspired in december' roundup!

...Oh well, no dramas.

I totally forgot to take the time to check the stats and do a 'popular recipes of the year' post!

...Oh well, no dramas. (p.s my favourite would be this as I make it so much in some many different ways- and you know love oats!)

I beat myself up about trivial things way too much, and I hope this year that will all change a little.

I've spent the last few days away from home visiting family taking some much needed downtime. That combined with New Year pretty much forces the 'self reflection' mode. It's pretty much inescapable and I guess you've all been in the same boat!

Reflection is all about looking back at your achievements as well as looking towards the future, though it often seems that 'resolutions' and 'goals' focus on areas in need of improvement. Thats's all well and good, self improvement is never a bad thing. However I think we often all forget to credit those achievements along the way, all too quickly forgotten with the 'must do better' mindset that kicks in after the excess of the holidays.

So take a moment to remind yourself of those little achievements, however big or small, and then tell me..... What are your dreams for 2014?

Please feel free to copy and save the above image blank template and write and doodle your own thoughts in any way you want, then save and repost it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with #mydreams2014 and tagging me too. I would love to see what your dreams are!

Here are some of mine:

Learn to meditate properly and fully appreciate it's benefits

• Qualify as a health, life and personal performance coach and begin helping lots of people!

• Write my book and give workshops/seminars (hopefully happening sooner rather than later!)

• Build my own little house (ok this may not happen this year- but it's a dream right?)

I'll leave you with a photo I took on my cold and windy beach walk on New Years's Eve.....


I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF