How lucky am I that as part of my blogging journey I get to meet so many lovely, inspiring women and hear their stories too! One of the reasons for having my blog is to learn and keep my brain active as well as help others. And I do learn so much from so many ... but this last year I have taken my blogging up a level and with that comes a much busier schedule. I was feeling all the overwhelm. Then Siân got in touch - and you just know something was meant to be! Siân Winslade is a Life Coach and Mindset Coach with an impressive list of qualifications but above all she has an inspiring personal story, no stranger to adversity, she is fully qualified both academically but also in life to really understand the daily challenges we face as women.
Siân offered to coach me and I offered to write a series of blog posts telling my readers how I got on and to give an insight into what a life coach does and how a life coach can help you.
This blog post is part of a collaboration.
The Wheel of Life
Siân and I did 7 coaching sessions together and they were all fabulous with so much inspiration and challenging thoughts to encourage me to organise my life and reduce the overwhelm that had crept in.
Our first session focused on where I am now and we discussed the Wheel of Life together, I have completed this exercise in the past but usually on my own in a workshop so I really benefitted from talking it through one to one with Siân.
Siân is so friendly, relaxed and easy to talk to. She is professional and knowledgeable and her life experiences really come across as positive with a genuine interest and understanding of others. Throughout all our sessions I really felt Siân understood and empathised with my challenges.
With life coaching the priority is to understand the areas of your life where you want to make changes. Life coaching isn't about the coach telling you what to do, it is a process that allows you to reflect and gain awareness of your strengths, your challenges and your goals and find out what actions you need to take for you!
On the Wheel of Life, each area of your life is given score out of 10 so for each category you ask 'how satisfied am I with this part of my life' with the goal being that you create a much more balanced wheel at the end of your coaching journey. Completing this exercise gives you an overview of where you need to focus your attention with your coach.
We agreed that my main areas of focus were Personal Growth, Business Career and Health and Fitness.
All of my life coaching sessions were carried out over Zoom so Siân can work with you wherever you are in the world!
Above: to enable me to use the 'pomodoro' technique (see below)I favoured a basic kitchen timer from Amazon rather than using my phone! Less distraction! Notebook also from Amazon and my folder is an old favourite, similar A4 document wallet here.
For me Personal Growth and Business Career are a combined goal and a priority to get right. When you start a new job you get training and mentoring (hopefully)! When I started blogging it was just a hobby to do in my spare time. I hoped it might lead to more and as it evolved I found I really knew nothing about how to blog or how to run my blog as a small business and new career. Even writing that down now seems strange!
But one of the first things I acknowledged with Siân was that my blog is a small business and it is important to me on a personal level. Having my blog has allowed me to be something other than full time mum, wife and business partner, daughter. It has allowed me to be creative, I love writing and I love helping others. I love sharing information and leading other women to do their own research and find better solutions and a happier balance. It helps me and along the way it might help others! I always say if I help just one other woman I will be happy and feel I have achieved something.
I want to make sure that my readers know that I am honest and authentic, that I am passionate about writing and helping others.
But I also need to organise my own life a bit better so I have time for me, time for my blog and time for my family. And that is where I was struggling, I needed better systems and better time management. This became the focus of my life coaching sessions with Siân.
Improving my time management
Over our 7 coaching sessions, we spaced them out with one every fortnight so I had an opportunity to implement the changes before we reviewed how I was getting on, we focused on how I could better organise myself and manage my time.
As a result I have achieved the following:
Siân really encouraged me to recognise my strengths, it is very easy to suffer with imposter syndrome and comparison especially in the busy, noisy world of social media.
What is the 'pomodoro' technique?
The pomodoro technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short 5 minute breaks. Each interval is known as a pomodoro, from the Italian word for tomato after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student (source Wikipedia). Using the pomodoro technique helps you resist interruptions and encourages you to focus. Each pomodoro can be dedicated to one task and each break is an opportunity to reset.
The importance of setting boundaries
I realised from my sessions with Siân how few boundaries I had really set and communicated in my day to day life. For so long I have prioritised everyone else first and then just fitted in around my family.
By setting boundaries we are telling others around us how we want and expect to be treated, we are setting our limits about our space both physical and emotional.
Boundaries can apply to all aspects of our lives, our personal relationships as well as our professional life. It is very easy as a woman but also a full time mother to lose who we are. I have really felt that more keenly since negotiating midlife and menopause.
I've made no secret of my disagreement with 'working from home' not just to do with lockdowns, I really hope as a culture we can get back to the office soon. I appreciate how working from home can have huge benefits for. working mum's, I am referring to husbands and young people here!
Some thoughts on boundaries ...
What are your boundaries?
What I discovered through life coaching
That I have for so long just muddled through! I used to pride myself on being a really organised person but these last few years and more, I have felt more muddled and less in control - hormones possibly, working from home, running our business, children growing up, there could be so many reasons. But it was time for change.
Siân sent me a really lovely email after our final session where she summed up some of the discoveries we had made during our time coaching together. This was so useful and reassuring.
I am unique! I am genuine and authentic and wise with the purest of intentions. My goal to help others with my blog is realised every day with the feedback and messages I receive.
What does a life coach do?
Coaching makes you more self-aware.
It can help you find your own unique strengths and skills.
It helps you have fair but firm boundaries.
It reminds you to put YOU first.
It teaches you the art of gratitude.
And that comparison is pointless!
That you can step out of your comfort zone!
Coaching can help you find greater fulfilment in life.
It can help you improve relationships, careers and day to day life.
A life coach can help you identify your goals.
And find out what is holding you back.
Finally, it can help you find strategies to overcome your obstacles and get rid of your limiting beliefs!
What to expect from life coaching
Remember you get back what you put in! So if you decide life coaching is for you then be prepared to make time to commit to it!
Siân offers a free discovery call - 45 minutes to chat and find out if working with Siân is the right thing for you. Being committed to the process is really important!
I decided to meet with Siân fortnightly, but weekly is usually better. I just felt I needed more time to really try out and focus on the changes I wanted to make, to see if the actions we had set were working for me.
Turn up on time for your appointment and commit to it! Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it!
There are so many aspects of your life you can work on with life coaching like creating boundaries and talking abut those boundaries with a friend or loved one, committing to and completing an important project, making time for exercise or creating better structure in your day to day life.
Life coaching gives you the accountability to make the changes.
Above: my blouse is the Evangeline Blouse from Baukjen and you can get 15% off with my code FIFTYANDFAB15. I am wearing a white vest from Uniqlo, jeans from Mint Velvet and my belt is from Hush, the Rimini Belt is similar.
I hope my post gives you a little overview of the life coaching experience and what you can expect, it might help you decide if life coaching is for you or it might introduce you to coaching and be something you never thought of trying!
I am going to be back in September with a second post, I want to tell you more about Siân and how she ended up being a life coach - I loved her story - as well as let you know how I am getting on with my goals!
You can find our more about Siân Winslade, Mindset Coach on her website and don't forget to follow her on Instagram for lots of life coaching tips! Siân offers a free 45 minute discovery call so you can chat and find out if life coaching is right for you.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative blog post with Siân Winsalde, Mindset Coach. Some of my links are affiliate links.
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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