SMALL CHANGES THAT CHANGED MY LIFE FOR THE BETTER

Once I reached 40 I was determined to make some permanent changes in my life! Suddenly at 40 you feel like you should be a ‘real grown up’ and certain things you may have done or put up with in your 30’s need to change for this next decade.

I found turning 40 quite a positive experience and I had a bucket list of things I wanted to achieve that year, which I did, and a list of changes I needed to make in my life, which for the most part I did. It’s definitely a time to take charge of your own life and stop doing & agreeing to things to please other people and put your own family and yourself first.

SAYING NO TO THINGS I DON’T WANT TO DO

I am a people pleaser and hate any kind of conflict so in the past I’ve definitely done things and agreed to things to please others even when I didn’t want to or it didn’t benefit my life. I fully appreciate in life we all have to do things we don’t want at times but often it was at the expense of time with my own family and not good for me mentally. Nowadays I stop and think hard before I say yes and, if it wont benefit my family or make me happy I wont do it. I’ve become much stronger and better at saying no as I go along.  

WORKING ON MY CONFIDENCE

In my job I have to appear confident and in control all the time which I can do well but underneath I’m not confident at all. I constantly doubted my own abilities despite a great deal of success over the years. Yet I’d see people with far less ability, skills and qualifications than I, boasting and oozing confidence. So I decided to take charge of my own thoughts and get some self belief. It’s not easy at first but the more I get stern with myself and convince myself I’m more than capable of doing things the easier it gets. Last year I took on 2 large projects that totally pushed me out of my comfort zone and were a huge success so I know if I can do that I can do anything.

‘Self confidence comes from a trust within yourself, it’s a frame of mind’

KEEPING TOXIC PEOPLE OUT OF MY LIFE

It wouldn’t be a normal life if we didn’t have to deal with a few toxic people over the years trying to make your life hell & I’ve certainly had my fair share of them. Again it was mainly in my 30’s when I had 3 different women at different times cause me a lot of upset & it really affected certain periods of my life. Luckily things do work out for a reason and I saw them for who they were and removed them from my life. Karma is a wonderful thing as I kept my dignity throughout yet they all got their comeuppance in time.

MUCH MORE FAMILY TIME

My job takes up a lot of my time and the dance world in which I teach and run my own school is a very ‘full on’ business. If you’re not careful you can end up working 7 days a week and seeing more of your students than your own kids at times.

If lockdown 2020 has taught me anything it’s to say no to parents who expect the earth from me and expect me to teach and answer calls & messages all hours of the day & week. Before my eyes my kids are growing up very quickly and I refuse to miss all my weekends with them because I’m working.

WRITING & OTHER PASSION PROJECTS

Over the last 5 years I’ve discovered a deep passion for writing & I find it very cathartic. It’s something I can completely lose myself in and write about things away from work that I love and I’m passionate about. My main project this year is writing a set of children’s books that I’ve made a lot of progress with during lockdown so I can’t wait to take them to the next level. I also enjoy Yoga, growing my own vegetables & herbs plus travel will always be my biggest passion.  

EXERCISING MORE & CHANGING MY EATING HABITS FOR THE LONG TERM

Up to the age of 30 I was a professional dancer and exercised regularly then in my 30’s I had my children but got my figure back and stayed healthy.

I was fine up to 40 then a few bad habits crept in along with less exercise and a few pounds crept on. I wasn’t overweight but I was quite a bit bigger than I liked to be or felt comfortable with.  

Then I had that ‘moment’ when I saw a photograph of me that I really hated and decided I needed to make some life changes! I began Slimming World as it’s a plan I can keep up easily and it suits the hours I work. I never feel hungry on it and I feel much healthier, less bloated and with much more energy. I was going to the gym before lockdown but now I do my own workout at home which again has given me much more energy and I’m building my fitness levels back up.

SELF CARE & REMOVING SELF GUILT FROM MY LIFE

I used to feel guilty immediately the minute I sat down and didn’t do anything or wasn’t working, I constantly had to be busy and on the go.

But all that does is create stress and anxiety which is no good for me or anyone else and my mantra now is ‘how can you be there to look after and help other people if you don’t look after yourself?’

So now, if I want to sit and watch something on TV, read a magazine or book, go shopping or go for my nails doing I refuse to feel guilty that I’m not working. No one’s going to thank me for running myself into the ground and consequently I feel much healthier and happier for it!

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