Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Are your daily habits and behaviours holding you back?

Not all of us can change the world, however, as human beings most of us want to achieve our full potential. This doesn’t always happen though and the reason for this often lies at our own door. As creatures of habit, it’s very easy to get locked in a pattern of behaviour that will stop us from doing what we are truly capable of.

The good news is that - with a bit off effort – we can change our destructive habits and replace them with a set of behaviours that set us up for success.

Remove distractions


To switch on your mind and creativity, you first need to switch off the many distractions that eat away at your time. Being connected to the world 24/7 has its advantages, but it also takes you away from focusing on what you need to develop yourself. Nothing ever got done well in front of the telly; nobody ever achieved anything of note watching their tablet. Appreciate the need to have some ‘switch off time’ every day and let your mind rest.

Get active


With many of us holding more sedentary jobs than we used to, it’s easy to see how exercise takes a back seat. However keeping active is key to keeping your mind and body in tip top condition. Without daily exercise you can quickly end up in a slump and it’s harder to motivate yourself. Just twenty minutes of activity a day is enough to keep minds clear and bodies healthy - and that’s what is needed to achieve your full potential.

Time out


Tell us, how much time each day do you put aside for yourself? It’s hard to pinpoint, isn’t it?

Do yourself a favour - set an alarm clock or timer for one minute every day. All you are to do for the entire time is focus on your breathing - nothing else. If your mind starts to wander, bring yourself back to your breathing, then simply stop when the timer tells you the minute is up. It’s a simple process but just taking a mindful minute every day is enough to focus your mind and step away from the clutter and chaos that can often hinder your productivity.

Complain less


There are times when venting your spleen can lighten you and make you feel better, however often we can all fall into the trap of complaining about that which we cannot change – and that can stop you from moving forward. Make yourself a promise not to complain about things that you personally cannot change – it’s a waste of energy. When you catch yourself complaining, stop, and then see how quickly not-complaining affects your overall mood and happiness.


Remember, we’re only here once and it’s up to us to make the most of the time we have - the power to achieve great things is in your hands.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Stoptober – tips to kicking the habit

We’re in October now – have you joined thousands of others to declare this as the month you'll give up smoking?

Stoptober is an NHS initiative designed to support people wanting to kick their smoking addiction. Their figures claim that if you can give up smoking for 28 days you’re five times more likely to stop for good.

In many ways, the growth in popularity of e-cigarettes is proof that you’re not alone in your desire to give up – they also provide an excellent tool to help you cut your nicotine intake. However, giving up the smoking habit for good is about more than swapping your cigarettes for another addiction. It’s about retraining your brain and body so that you no longer desire cigarettes in any form – or at least can refrain from smoking one, however much you crave it!

Dealing with any addictive behaviour is not easy – it’s a daily battle – so we’ve developed a few simple psychological tips to help you get through Stoptober – and beyond…

Identify your motivation

We all have a reason to want to give up something we enjoy - whether this be for health reasons; to lose weight / save money; or even just because friends and family have asked us to. We suggest writing out what is motivating you to do this and posting it somewhere you can see it easily. Then whenever you feel your cravings come to the fore, you can be reminded of the reason you’re quitting.

Go public

If you’re serious about quitting, tell as many people as you can. The more people who know, the more people available to help you through the difficult times, but more than this, you’ll also find that the more people who know about your efforts, the harder it will be to fall off the wagon and go back to your addiction because you’ll feel like you’ve let everyone down – not just yourself.

Keep busy

Very often the desire to light up stems from one of two reasons: habit and boredom. In order to keep on track, it’s really important to keep yourself busy – introduce a distraction that you can call upon whenever you feel the need to light up. This is often easier to do at work than it is at home, so take advantage. Make a cup of tea, do a few sit ups, run up and down stairs a couple of times, play a couple of rounds of a game on your phone – anything to take your mind off cigarettes, until the craving lessens. Many people find chewing gum, or sucking on a sweet, helps to keep their mouth occupied and reduces the need to smoke – it's worth a try - you've nothing to lose.

Visualise the best result

Visualisation is a tried and tested practice for helping to rewire thought processes. Brain studies reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. In other words, when we think about positive outcomes, we are more likely to conquer our fears. Picture yourself in your mind as a non-smoker. How will you feel? Healthier, happier, richer? You need to picture your success, in order to be successful.

Turn it into a challenge

Why not have yourself a sponsored Stoptober and asks friends and family to sponsor you to succeed? You could even pledge the money you save from your first month of quitting to a charity or cause that’s close to your heart, then you can see just how much money your smoking habit was costing you. And again, by involving others in your journey, it’s much harder to fail.


All that remains for us to say is: good luck – you can do it!

More information and resources to help you through Stoptober >