It's holiday time!! (Freaking hell where did 2015 go!) And it's the time of year when Christmas chaos takes hold, the new year fast approaches and we start to check in and wonder - am I where I wanted to be this time last year...?
Christmas and New Year's are so stressful - even though it's when we take a break from normal life to celebrate, over indulge and be with family and friends. But the chaos for many people leads to a deep inner questioning about the changes they want to make in the new year, and who they want to be.
New Year's resolutions are no longer much of a thing - so many made, so many broken - big lofty goals to make a change in our lives are easily forgotten when life goes back to normal routine and habits. Each broken resolution feels like a failure and we resolve never to make them again - ha! - the irony.
But the error is not in making the promise to ourselves to make a change - the error is in not giving ourselves the foundation and support for which to make a real long-term change in our life.
Unfortunately, it takes work, it is not always instant - but we have discovered the secret to making change real in your life - and we've integrated it into all of our new Styling and Confidence Coaching services! Woohoo!
There are 6 steps that I have identified in the last few years of making big change in my own life - coming from not just the changes I made in adopting my own unique personal style and starting Fox Park, but they applied to the changes I made to give up sugar and junk food, train for and run a Survival of the Fittest 10 km Obstacle race, build Fox Park Academy and now as my husband and I plan to move overseas in 2016.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about what has worked for you, after you've explored the steps below - I've applied them to how to make a change in your personal style - because that's what we like to talk about here!!
1. Know yourself, what you really want and why:
Hitting your late 20's and 30's can be difficult - everything we think we wanted in life no longer seems right - the safe choices we made feel like mistakes - and we struggle against expectations in our life as we internally scream for our freedom!!
Well, it's time to get to know yourself again, beyond being 'Mum', 'Wife', 'Employee X', is the Fox you've always been on the inside. Knowing who you want to be and how you want to express yourself in the world, will help you determine what unique personal style is YOURS and what actions to take next.
You can explore this through journalling, paying attention to what makes you come alive, doing one of many online courses available (and yes, there is one in Fox Park Academy!) or by looking through your book shelf, movie or music collections.
2. Know what to do and how to do it:
If you want to do something - you better find out how to do it!! This may be where you might have to do some learning, research, get mentoring or training, or talk to people who have made the change that you want to make.
For example, when it comes to discovering your unique personal style, you need to find out what the best clothing shapes are for your body and perhaps how to dress yourself all over again. This can sometimes seem overwhelming and confusing.
Our body shapes are all totally unique - and we will not always fit into generic sizes and garment shapes that we find in the shops. Learning exactly what shape garments will fit your unique shape and give you the look that you most want for your personal style - gives you the freedom to tell shop-girls to get stuffed (sorry all my beautiful retail friends - but it is the truth!!).
Empowering yourself with the knowledge of what to look for when shopping, where to find your style (+ unique vintage or one-off pieces) and how to take control of your wardrobe - will give you all the style tools you need to begin to take action.
You can do this by experimenting with friends, trying on lots of different things in the shops, reading some of the excellent body shape books written by Trinny and Susannah, or by seeing a Personal Stylist. (Come on now, of course this includes signing up for the Fox Park Virtual Style Coaching!!)
3. Challenge self-limiting beliefs and an un-resourceful mindset:
Fear is a monster that often rears its ugly head when we least expect it. And then the excuses, the self-sabotage and the scared little toddler takes centre stage in our brain... This can happen FOREVER if you don't do anything about it.
It takes time to 'change your mind' and to overcome limiting beliefs, feelings of not being enough and fear that other people will judge us - but the sooner the journey begins - the sooner you can take action on creating a life of joy and confidence.
The tools to mindset change are valuable and life changing - and simply take a combination of action, discipline, prioritisation and continuous practise. And it is worth it.
The resources that really worked for me include Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, & The Power of Now, Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements, The Mastery of Love, & The Tree of Knowledge. Alternatively, the gems I learnt from years of reading books on behaviour change, receiving and studying coaching, and my recent studies in NLP at The Coaching Room are all built into Fox Park Academy and our Style and Confidence Coaching packages - naturally!
4. Take Action:
You could read a million books on brain surgery, but this doesn't make you a brain surgeon!! Without taking action on the things we learn, we will continue to stay in the same place without making the changes we want.
This is the most important part of creating change, building confidence and in embracing the freedom to be yourself - and this is something only you can do!!
At Fox Park, I try to make this the easiest step possible by making each action a no-brainer, a natural next step and something you really can't wait to keep doing every day. Make your first and most important actions easy, low-resistance and as early as possible in the morning - as Brian Tracy would say "Eat the ugliest frog first!"
5. Have the commitment and accountability to follow through:
If you only have yourself to answer to, then quite often, we don't ask the right questions... Keeping yourself accountable when you are beginning the process of change is ultimately destined to fail - comfort zones reign supreme in our own worlds and tomorrow is something we tell ourselves exists - even when it never arrives.
To combat self-sabotage, we have to be accountable to someone else - someone with no agenda of their own - someone who wants the same things we want for ourselves - someone we know won't let us down - someone who will offer support when we need it most.
Find an accountability partner within your inner circles or with someone working toward a similar change to you. Keep it one-on-one or small group to increase the impact. This is what I consider the real secret for taking action - and that is why all of our coaching programs involve daily accountability check-ins.
6. Have a cheer-squad behind you for when things get tough:
Making big changes alone can be tough! Especially if we falter and our inner-judge starts beating us up!!
Well, long-term change needs long-term cheerleaders - and having a community of like-minded people behind you ensures that when times are tough, they'll carry you on their shoulders - and when there is something to celebrate, they'll throw a party for you!
Join an online group, form one of your own, or find one in your city. Make it specific for the change - whether it is an exercise, creativity, meditation, language, career, business - whatever the topic, someone would have created one, or will be interested in joining you!!
Within Fox Park Academy and Accountability Group, we are in this together - to share new ideas, to give constructive criticism, to support, love and laugh together. Knowing that ultimately you are not alone on your journey to create your unique style and self-confidence, makes the trip all the more fun!!