Are you pursuing your dreams?


The late Olympian, Jesse Owens quoted;

“We all have dreams. But in order to turn dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”

Dreaming alone is simply not enough. Action is most certainly required in order for us to see our dreams turn into reality. What we do today contributes to our life tomorrow. What we say today contributes to our life tomorrow. 

I would like to think we all have dreams (or goals if you prefer), big dreams, the kind that scare us if we give them too much thought.

Dreams are supposed to be big and out of this world. If we could pluck them out of the clouds this would then make them easily attainable.  

Our dreams ensure we continue to plough forward, despite the challenges.  They are what we reach out to even when they feel a million miles away. Take the stars in the sky; billions of miles away yet when we stand in the dark of night, we look up and feel we could somehow grab at them.  

Dreams give us hope that those things we desire; however big or small will someday be ours. Though our dreams may seem far off, the small steps we take today mean we grow closer each day.

One man’s dream may well appear ordinary to another man but it is valid and relevant to them.  

I would like to own a horse at some point in my life. To me they are the most beautiful animals on this earth. Surprisingly I am not too hot on cleaning out the stables but would happily ride the horse on a daily basis. Now, to own a horse on your own grounds you need ample land which there is not much of here in the UK as compared to say, America. I would not say no to land, my family and I could run a farm – no pigs allowed!

Do you have defined dreams or goals?

How are you working towards meeting them? 

What obstacles have you faced along the way?

Be True to Yourself


To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you be something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

We live in a world that has an ideal of how men and women should appear physically, behave and think.  

You only have to look in women’s magazines to see the many adverts for perfume, hair and face products. The magazines aimed at teens and the early twenties age group have countless articles on how to be fun, appealing to boys/men, the best ever forever friend. Seven years ago I made a decision to stop buying magazines. Firstly because they were costing me a fortune, secondly I was shocked at the number of adverts and thirdly I always felt a little discontent after reading them. They made me question my life and ponder on what I did not have.

Magazines for men do not fall too far behind. We are raising a generation of men who spend just as much time preening themselves in the mirror as much as the average woman.

Extroverts are more likely to be embraced than introverts whether in an organisation or amongst peer groups. This then puts pressure on the natural introverts who try to “come out of themselves” for fear of being overlooked.

As a child, I was more than happy reading a book in the corner until friends and family began questioning why I was so quiet. I suddenly felt my character was somehow wrong and I needed to change in order to be accepted.  

We all conform to a certain extent. Even those who wear extreme clothes,”out there” piercings and make up gravitate to a particular group who dress this way.  

Being comfortable in your own skin means you are more likely to come across as authentic, you will do what you do best in the way you know how. We are unique and should allow that special part of our character to shine.  The world may not understand it but this is no reason to hide it. It is part of you. 

How true are you?? 

Are you content with being yourself?

Stop worry and anxiety in its tracks


I have a slightly different focus on my blog this week.  I felt a strong urge to touch on worrying and anxiety, something we have all faced at one stage in our lives. Some suffer from it far more than others – the reasons for this I do not know. 

Worrying does not add anything to our life yet so many of us partake in this. Perhaps it is a habit that needs to be “unlearned”. We have spent the best part of our lives leaning on worry knowing it brings no real benefit at all. 

Worrying leads to anxiety which opens all sorts of doors that we may struggle to close. A few that come to mind are depression and self doubt. Over analysing soon follows. At first you may link being analytical to being reflective when in fact you are breaking down every conversation, every action and reliving it wondering what you could have said and done differently. You then become critical of yourself and go over the scenario again and again as if you can somehow give it a different ending. I have been there and bought the t-shirt!

You notice your reaction when in situations and the triggers but have difficulty in stopping the behaviours. 

You may be thinking how do I just stop worrying, surely it will take months, even years to train my brain to think differently and react more positively when situations arise that challenge me? Of course, it will not happen overnight.

Reading the bible and praying gives me peace and hope when I am feeling downcast. Also remembering that everyone has some form of load to carry helps to put life into perspective for me. We are moved by those things that affect us. I cannot minimise what another person faces however trivial it may appear to me.

Are you relating your current situation to a painful past experience?

Are you living with regret?

Are you carrying guilt or shame?

You must first acknowledge your emotions then seek to pinpoint the root before you can overcome them.

How do you deal with anxiety?

How motivated are you?


Do you ever have days where life seems so hectic, overwhelming even? You know exactly what you need to do in order to move forward but you have run out of zest. We all have what I would call “dry” days right?  The energy and motivation does not exist and at that moment you want to be somewhere else, anywhere else. 

Perhaps you had a challenging day at work, someone upset you or you are just tired and cranky.  I feel it is important to acknowledge your feelings as they are real and affect the way we are towards others. It is easier to move on once we know why we have particular feelings and what the triggers were. 

I am a day dreamer by nature (inherited from my mother) and when everything becomes a bit too much, I drift off in my thoughts and picture open fields, beautiful flowers, exotic holiday destinations such as The Bahamas and Hawai.   Reading the bible gives me a great sense of peace as well as taking time out to sit still and reflect. 

This week as I pondered on ideas for my next blog, I struggled to motivate myself.  A part of me, well all of me did not want to do it.   When I have these “moments”, I remind myself that the emphasis should not be on what I feel like doing but what I need to do in order to see results. Our feelings are fickle and wayward at the best of times. If I continually acted on my feelings, my life would be very much up and down.

There are other goals I have set myself and I have made myself accountable to one or two others merely by informing them of the goals. Every so often, they will ask if I am moving any further towards achieving my goals. This keeps me in check and encourages me to strive forward. I also recently sought a career coach which is of great benefit. I identify what I would like to gain from each monthly session and bring points for discussion. I am the lead for my sessions, I am responsible for finding solutions. I get out as much as I am willing to put in.

What do you do when your motivation has dwindled?

Do you allow time to do absolutely nothing?


At my recent hairdresser appointment, I sat comfortably and almost drifted off to sleep whilst she styled my hair. It was absolute bliss and I could have happily sat there all day.  It brought me back to a time when I went to the hairdressers just for a wash, dry and style. I was a student then and only had myself to focus on.  I was more than capable of washing and styling my hair but I enjoyed the pampering!

The thought that came to my mind was;

“I am enjoying this. How often do I sit back and do nothing, absolutely nothing?”

It is rare for me to be doing very little, especially when in my home. I am kept on my feet with two young children. The housework, cleaning and washing never ends. This is despite having a husband who works alongside me.  By nature I like to be kept busy – to keep on going, sometimes even when I feel tired. I am trying with all my will to break this habit of pushing my body. I am almost at the point of accepting that I will never beat housework or any other work in the home for that matter.  It is not a race or a competition – I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone else. 

I confess that when watching a film, I might just be browsing on the Internet unless the film is so good it captures my full attention. I stopped watching soaps several years ago because a) I found them utterly depressing b) I did not want to expose my children to the loose living so often displayed in soaps and c) I wanted to make better use of my evenings.

So back to this doing nothing (obviously not all day), the society we live in is so fast paced. We can access information almost immediately on the Internet. We can reach people all over the world via social media in seconds.  We do however have the choice to switch off and be non contactable for some time just as we were living 20 years ago and beyond.

I tell myself over and over, everything in this world will continue ticking over if I step back as and when I feel the need to.

How often do you sit back and watch the world go by?  

Do you have particular times of the day/week when you cannot be reached?

Paperwork: how do you deal with yours?


Now we are at the start of autumn, it just might be the right time to de-clutter.  There is something about autumn; the orange and brown leaves dropping from the trees, the rich coloured garments that adorn clothes shops, the array of scarves designed to keep your neck warm and you looking chic. Can you tell this is one of my favourite times of the year?

If you have children, you will feel my pain with regards to the countless number of letters and paperwork that arrives home in their school bag.  Every week there is some form of activity taking place where we have to sign a form and pay a small fee. My daughter has a drawer which I sort through every few months. I could not bring myself to do this task during summer as quite frankly we were having too much fun on family days out. Oops – did I just say that?

Utility bills are usually sent at this time of year giving a breakdown of your monthly payments for the following year. We have folders (in various colours if I may add) for incoming paperwork.  They are labelled:

*Utility bills
*Mobile phone

I endeavour to sort through this paper work say every three months (yes me, not my husband bless him). We only keep information for the last six months. If we need to go further back than this, we can call the organisation or log onto our account (where relevant).  We have a shredder than shreds up to four documents at a time. It instantly becomes hot and then has the nerve to switch off to cool down!  I have resigned to cutting documents with sharp scissors and placing them in the rubbish bin. 

So, what is your approach for dealing with paperwork in your home?

Do you allow paper to pile up or do you read, action and shred/file?

2016: Planning and Reflecting


What a week this has been!

I drafted a blog as I always do on Thursdays, saved it (or so I thought) and was unable to locate it in my draft folder. I obviously accidentally deleted the draft before backing it up.  Not good at all. Drafting another blog was the last thing I wanted to do on a Sunday afternoon after being out at church for six hours.  This is the second time I have lost a draft and hope it will be the last. 

My focus this week is how has 2016 been for you so far?  Have your plans (assuming you made some) panned out as you had hoped? 

I had a number of expectations for 2016; most met, some will be carried over to 2017.

Read the bible in a year
I am on track to completing the bible by December. Four chapters a day is doable even with a busy schedule. 

Develop within worship ministry

I lead worship every six weeks. Prior to this I was comfortable being a backing singer. I have been challenged and whilst I do not always enjoy it, I know it is needed.

Work promotion
I applied for a secondment role in February this year and was not appointed.  Soon after, an opportunity to act up for a few months came along. I reluctantly took it wondering how it would help to move me forward.  In May, permanent management roles were being advertised, I applied and was successful. 

Develop as a blogger
I receive one or two new followers per week. I continue to post new content once weekly.

Publish my mini-book
I have been looking for a publisher to assist with grammar checking and printing.

Network more on social media 
I signed up to twitter early this year and found it overwhelming to begin with. 
LinkedIn and Facebook are my favourites. My blog is linked to both of these.

Quality Family time
We planned all our summer holiday day trips and enjoyed quality time together. I drafted an itinerary which worked well.

How do you approach making and keeping to your goals? 

What lessons have you learnt along the way?

Light hearted tips and advice from an organised lady!