So many drafts, so little done

A tale of a disorganized writer

So many drafts but so little getting done,

none of them inspiring my mind to hit complete,

sitting on my minds desk causing a complete mess.

Writing is supposed to be fun and involving,

a passion , a hobby, an escape from the world.

Who knew it could be so demanding,

another pressure added to the day,

it’s these thoughts the pile up,

stop the creative process in its tracks.

Those drafts will be completed some day,

have the knowledge that inspiration will strike,

tomorrow or the next day just like it always has before.

Those drafts will one day publish

clutter up the desk no more,

those words will form their own stories,

fly from mind to page.

Just need a spark of inspiration,

to feel the finish line…

When inspiration seems so far away

A tale not of writers block, but of being locked out of creativity

Stress levels running high and morale is getting low,

bad signs for creative health, inspiration hard to find.

That one creative spark so often found in the minds eye,

seems to have gone missing I really can’t think why?

So many inspirations stand surrounding me,

but none seems to be the one.

That idea which gets my mind attention,

that special one that just runs free.

When the words flow from head to paper,

and the world just dissapears.

A walk, a run or some other exercise,

to free my body from my mind,

to feel myself be free.

Open to inspiration,

to unlock my creativity.

Confessions of a recovering junk food addict

There are more glamourous addition’s out there, but this one is just as powerful and destructive.

Addiction

It’s an incredibly emotional and powerful subject.
Even picking out an image for this story was tough.

Today I want to talk about an addiction. One that’s not made glamourous by Hollywood.

It’s not a sex drugs and rock’n’roll addiction either.

The patterns of self-destruction and ruined health are the same though.

I’m talking about that most modern of addictions…

Junk food

One definition of an addiction is:

Addiction is when the mind and body need a substance to function. Taking that substance away causes physical and psychological withdrawal.

Having been there and come out the other side. I can tell you that addiction to sugary and high carb/fat content food is real.

It’s a real addiction with real consequences and real health issues. It’s also very tough to quit.

Like other addictions, you are never cured. All you can do is recover and try every day not to fall back into it.

The reason I write this is to highlight this issue and share with others. So that they don’t have to go down the same path of discovery.

They say that you are what you eat, it’s taken me about 32 years to work that out.

My diet was awful, sugary drinks and snacks between meals. The meals themselves pizza, burgers, fries. All my own choices, all addictive and all destructive.

Through my twenties, my health declined and at my worst, I weighed 145kgs or around 320lbs.

I was morbidly obese and pre-diabetic. Over time I have lost over 30kgs/60lbs of that weight and regained my health. I’ve also regained my fitness, although I still have around 20kgs/40lbs left to lose. It’s an ongoing journey.

The hardest part of it all? Changing my eating habits.

Recovery and Reeducation

It took me months to work out what was happening. I could go for a few days eating well, drinking water or tea, and exercising. I would feel good when I made those changes. But the next thing I knew I was 8 cokes deep into the day, sitting eating junk food at lunchtime.

As much as I tried, I was struggling to break the cycle. After a lot of soul searching and research, I finally worked out I’m addicted.

I always have known I have an addictive personality, it’s what’s made me terrified of drugs for example. I just never made the link between the food I was eating and the chemicals being released in my brain.

Once I understood that I could begin to tackle my issues properly. This is an addiction like any other and it needs to be treated accordingly.

What works for me is making small changes. The first that I made was my relationship with sugary drinks, which I wrote about on medium.The biggest and best lifestyle change I have ever madeSwitching from Soda to Sparkling watermedium.com

After that went well, it’s been a case of making changes one at a time.

As with any addiction taking one step at a time and counting each day is key.

The support you get from family and friends is also key I have found.

Today about 18 months on from my first real attempts to change its working. Like I said I’m slowly and healthily losing both the weight and the medical issues that I had collected.

I’m much more open to trying new foods and for the last 6 weeks, I have been trying a vegetarian diet. No salad as yet, but it will come.

My main message here is that, if you are stuck in the same cycle that I was help is available. You can change your lifestyle and improve your health.

Yes, it’s frustrating at times and it’s hard work. But in the end, even though there are good days and bad. The positive change makes it all worthwhile.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be lighter, healthier, and here for longer?

Life is meant to be enjoyed. But as anyone who has suffered from addiction will tell you sometimes that easier said than done.

The great thing is that with support there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

The simple life — Gardening our secret pleasure

Anyone remember the simple life?

The sit-com where a couple ditch the corporate life and become small scale farmers?

While they went all in, there is no reason that we can’t dip our toe and enjoy the same benefits.

Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are the best.

Spending time outside, and growing things is hugely enjoyable.

Being able to eat what you grow is also great. The result of that hard work always tastes sweeter.

Especially today when we can’t pursue a lot of our other hobbies. Its been a huge amount of fun growing fruits and vegetables.

We also rescued the abandoned grapevines and gave them a new lease of life. If we get some continued good weather, a bit more rain and some luck we should have grapes to make some wine.

Sitting at home, not being able to exercise as much as we would like, it can be hard.

Whether you have limited room in an apartment or balcony. Or your fortunate to have a garden.

Its great fun, a simple activity that’s harder work than you might think.

A de-stressor, exercise, and food production all in one.

If you have been looking for some inspiration to try something new. I can really recommend some gardening.

Its been a secret pleasure of ours since the spring. Now that we are enjoying the fruits of the labor, I think its time to share it.

The Back Up Plan

Wedding plans in ruins, there are option’s….

Sound familiar?

I can relate to that, I should be getting married to my better half in a little over 6 weeks time.

Between hotels being closed, us stuck in one country while the wedding is planned in another plus the headache of needing a visa for my partner which we can’t get because the embassy is closed, all bets are off.

We need to re-arrange, which at first looked like it would be a nightmare.


What are the options???

As anyone who is planning a wedding will know, they are not cheap, so the first priority in our case was cancelling what we could and minimizing the financial impact.

Once we had done that (nothing like pouring over contracts to suck the romance out of the room), we quickly worked with the vendors to get money back or make settlements.

This was purely because we had fixed dates for being in the UK, and if those did’nt work we needed other options.

If you can delay, then use that option as it gives you time to get back on track, extra time to pay and you don’t lose deposits etc. just make sure you read the contracts and understand what the options are…


A back up plan fit for the king….

Uh-Huh, the back up plan is for us a stroke of collective genius.

We have a deadline to get married due to a pending work move and visa requirements. Looking at all the options and also being people that focus a lot on fun, we did some research.

Turns out Las Vegas even with flights and hotels is a very economical way to get hitched.

Having a suitable fake Elvis tie the know for us should also be great fun and give us some great memories, albeit we won’t get the special day with family and friends that we had planned.

While this works for us I understand it may not be the answer for you. Its important though to talk things through with your partner and work out what does the back up plan look like and how you will achieve it.


Final Thoughts

It can be a bit if a kick in the teeth to have to cancel, delay or rearrange, but as the saying goes:

A smooth sea, never made a skilled sailor

Life will throw curveballs at us from time to time, this is just a big one. There are plenty of options available without having to sacrifice money already spent.

Just make sure you know what the impact is for you and talk with you partner to work out the back up plan that works for you both.

If you can control that then it one less thing to stress about.

You could even be like us and take a trip to the meet the King, just make sure you don’t make a booking at the heartbreak hotel.

Traveling the world

Its bigger than you think but smaller than ever

Smaller and more connected than ever before

The age of the internet really does mean that the world seems smaller and is certainly more connected than ever before, but that doesnt mean we should’nt take the change to explore it.


The magic of travel

The experiance of the sights, sounds, smell and culture of the places you travel to and experiance, just cannot be replicated by watching or reading something online or in a book.

The magic of travel is soaking up all of those things in person, meeting the people, visiting the landmarks, travelling between places and trying new things, new experiences.


Travel broadens the mind, but often empties the wallet

This is one of the single biggest fears that a lot of people have.

While I can’t say that this isn’t totally untrue, travel today is much cheaper than we tend to think it is, and in fact there are more opportunities to be paid to travel for work than ever before.

Budget airlines, air bnb and group travel options all make it cheaper than you might think to go take a life changing trip.

Or you could explore the career options which allow you to travel for work, these are almost endless and go from long distance track driving and sailing through engineering, sales, management, the list of jobs and list of industries is endless.

If you want to travel and see the world, the options to do that are endless.


Final thoughts

The world really is smaller and more connected than ever before, yes they are some challenges and getting out there right now, but once those end the world is out there.

If you want to make the most of it and see what you can, then the options are there.

When the going gets tough

It can be hard to get going

The tough get going apparantly, but what about the rest of us?

Well today the going is definitely getting tough, from cancelled wedding plans, vacation plans, job losses and illnesses, their are so many challenges for us in the world right now.

That old saying:

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Can feel like a joke, at the best of times and especially so nowadays.

Here is the thing though, for the rest of us the same rule applies.

Its just a case of putting on foot in front of the other

This is it, the secret to getting through those tough times, is just taking one step at a time.

This is the secret that the tough live by when they do get going. Its not that they are tougher than the rest of us, more resilient nor do they have superpowers.

They just compartmentalize the challenges and take them 1 step at a time.

Keep going its almost never as bad as it seems

There is a statement made by the US military that when you think your done and can’t go on any further that in reality your only 40% done, you have much more left in the tank than you realize.

By putting on foot in front of the other and making small steps they achieve the aim and get through it.

You can do the same.

How?

Four things you can do when the going gets tough to make it easier to come out the other side of the struggles you may face:

  • Write the problem down, getting it out of your head onto paper will release some stress
  • Take the problem and write down the steps you need to take to make it through and keep these with you, tick them off as you go
  • Compartmentalize it all, break it down in sections to work through, don’t try to tackle everything at once
  • Talk to someone, a problem shared is a problem halved

These things are what those tough people do when the going gets tough, to work through the issue.

Final Thoughts

Life can be tough at times, but its manageable. You don’t need superhuman abilities to overcome struggles in life, just a strategy.

As always what works for you is RIGHT for YOU, but these are some lessons ive learned over the years which im happy to share, and if they help anyone then that’s great.

Goal Setting Its as easy as writing it all down

Really that’s it ???

Well almost and anyway its a good first step.

Goals that are not written down and don’t have an action plan are dreams.

If we think of the typical goal that doesn’t make it to reality, the old classic the new years resolution is a good example of that.

Its typically something that we tell ourselves, we may even tell friends and family but, very rarely do those new years resolutions make it as goals, they remain dreams unfulfilled .


Ok so what’s next?

The first step is taking those dreams from your head and writing them down as goals to be achieved by a specific date on paper.

The way that works for me is they are front and center on page 1 of my notebook, therefore I see those goals every day, but whatever works best

for you, is correct for you….

That’s it that the first step and the goal set.


After that?

Once the goals are written down, you can make you connection to them stronger, by using visual boards and mind maps, to visualise the steps you need to take to achieve the goal and also what the goal looks like once its achieved.

These are powerful tools which cost nothing but time to use.

If you have some dreams which remain unfulfilled what’s stopping you from writing them down and turning them into goals then reality?

Using Vision Boards How to set visual guides to achieve your goals

Image by Canva

What is a Vision Board?

Its a collection of images, pictures and sometimes motivational quotes and aspirations, which are typically glued onto a simple board and set up somewhere in your home where you can see them.

The images and pictures should be things that are linked to your goals. For example they could be:

  • Images that make you feel good, and reinforce the way you want to feel.
  • Images of the way you want to your health to be
  • Images of the home you want
  • Images of a goal you want to achieve like writing your own book
  • Images of a vacation spot you want to visit
  • Images of an educational goal
  • Images of an event you would like to attend

Really anything linked to any of your life goals can go on the visual board.

The quotes and aspirations can be either linked to you goals or can be motivational to help keep you going towards those goals, there are no rules here.


Whats the purpose?

Did you know that visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises that you can do?

Essentially the vison board, is a prompt to help achieve your goals through visualization of them.

Because the board is set up somewhere that you can see it often maybe in the bedroom or living room for example, you eye see it often which means that subconsciously your visualizing your goals often. Your also experiencing the feeling of accomplishment or realization of those goals.

This is turn triggers your thoughts towards your goals and sets up powerful connections between your goals and the thoughts and action of success in the brain.

Athletes have been using these techniques for decades to help them improve their performance.

Studies have shown that a weightlifter for example using this technique has the same brain patterns when lifting weights as they do when visualizing lifting the weights.

If we have no mental barriers to sucess and accomplishment in life, it means the physical barriers are much easier to overcome.

Again there are no rules here, whatever works for you is best.


Final thoughts

There are lots of tools and techniques out there to help us with our goals, whatever those goals may be in life.

Vision boards are certainly one of the tools that we can use to build success and have the following advantages:

  • Easy to set up
  • Utilize the power of the brain and its association with visual guides
  • Take very little time to maintain, since the brain sees the goals often and goes through the mind exercise of visualization subconsciously

Im not suggesting that the vision board is the one and only solution you ever need to help achieve whatever goals you may have in life, however it is a low mainteance high impact tool which can help along the way.

This week I’ll be sharing some more on the other tools I use to help set me up for success in life, however what I will say on the Vision Board is that I use it daily and it definitely helps me keep going especially when I’m in need of some motivation.

Beginners Guide to Writing

If you ever wanted to try, there is no time like the present

Image by George Walker

If you have always wanted to write and didn’t know where to start, or if writing is a more recent dream, I have great news for you, its never been easier to get started, to learn from others on the same journey as you, and if you wish its never been easier to publish.

Writing can be a strange and frustrating pursuit if you let the process take control of you but it really doesn’t have to be that way.

There are so many ideas about what writing is and is not, and when you can really call yourself a writer.

None of them actually matter, the truth is writing is such a personal thing that, the only correct answer is the one that fulfills your passion and yuor expectations.

The important thing is to start at a pace that works for you, you may be shy, you may not know where to start and like most of us who want to write, you may be overthinking the whole thing.

The great thing to remember is that their really is no right or wrong, a word on the page or the screen, leads to a sentence, which leads to a paragraph which can lead to something magical.

It doesn’t matter if it takes five minutes, days, months or longer as long as its comfortable for you.

You could start journaling for yourself with pen and paper, a lot of people starting out enjoy the challenge, it lets us play around with words and structures and also has the really wonderful benefit of getting thoughts and feeling out of your mind onto a page, reducing stress and anxiety and also clearing your mind.

You could set up a blog, all you really need is a fantastic resource like medium or a website such as a free WordPress site and a smartphone and your all set to share your writing with the world.

You can draft and edit and play about with your writing as much as you like, and if you want to publish your writing and share it with others your one simple click of the mouse or touch of the screen away from becoming a published author.

As your confidence builds and if you want to pursue writing as something more than a hobby you could even apply to join the medium partner program and be paid for your work.

Again what you do with your writing, if and how you share it and if you want to make it more than a hobby are all up to you. No one is right and no one is wrong, what works for you is best.

One thing I can guarantee you though from someone who spent a long time, overthinking it and terrified to share anything in public, is that your far from alone, there is a whole community who stood in those same shoes and made the first step. In turn that means there is huge amount of help, resources and support out there to get you started and writing with confidence.

So what’s stopping you?