Clearing The Clutter: How To Spring Clean For Productivity & Peace Of Mind

Clearing The Clutter: How To Spring Clean For Productivity & Peace Of Mind

Clearing The Clutter: How To Spring Clean For Productivity & Peace Of Mind

Have you ever felt called to clean? That might seem like an unusual question, but consider this: before a big life event, like changing careers or meeting your soulmate, did you intuitively feel that it was time to de-clutter and refresh your environment?

Maybe the clutter lurking under your bed suddenly felt unbearable to be around or the mess under the sink simply had to go. If you’ve ever been given that intuitive nudge to spring clean and clear out the clutter, it’s usually a sign that something good is on its way for you and you are ready for it.

See, everything around you is energy, whether it’s the laundry basket full of dirty clothes or that dumping-ground under the stairs. When you clear out the ‘stuff’ that fills your home, you clear the way for new energy to flow in your direction, whether it’s a new purchase you have been saving for or wonderful new opportunities in your career, business or social life.

In an energetic sense, decluttering quite literally makes space for newness and fresh starts. It paves the way for your goals to manifest.

Reflect on this question in your journal: Is my living environment energetically inviting all the good I want to see in my life in? Have I created a clear space for new opportunities? Or is my environment energetically flat and repelling my dream life away?

 

Is your external environment a reflection of your state of mind?  

Good question. It certainly can be. In fact, your external environment both reflects your state of mind and influences it simultaneously.

 

Imagine you’re in a room with clothes scattered, drawer doors lying open, and bins overflowing. Chances are, you feel stressed and overwhelmed. In fact, studies show that messy environments increase stress and anxiety levels and even have a knock-on effect on your levels of motivation and productivity.

 

Imagine you’re rushing out the door and can’t find your keys. That simple feeling of frustration can be enough to send your day in the wrong direction.

 

Likewise, messy emotional states can result in messy physical environments. In Buddhist traditions, for example, it’s suggested that a disorganised environment is an expression of a mind that is not at peace. In this sense, our homes can be a reflection of our inner world.

 

Knowing this, you may feel motivated to make some changes. If you’re looking around your home right now, feeling inspired to spring clean, then good news: we’ve got some helpful tips.

 

How to spring clean to clear the mental clutter

Look inwards first

Given that your physical reality is an expression of your state of mind, it makes sense that the first thing you should do before grabbing those black bags is suss out how you’re feeling inside.

 

Grab The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal and free-write about any areas of your life that currently feel in disarray. Are you putting so much time and energy into your career or family that you’re too burned out to clean and tidy at the end of the day?

 

Free write what your space would look like clutter free and organised. How would this feel? What energy would you house have if you would describe it?

 

Once you’ve done some introspection, it can be helpful to look around your home right now and consider where to start. Write a list of the areas you want to sort out. Then using your weekly planning pages schedule the de-cluttering in. Slow and steady wins the race. Nothing worse than starting a spring clean with lots of energy, burning yourself out half way and being left with an even bigger mess than when you started

 

Tackle your home, bit by bit…corner by corner.

 

You may face many challenges when trying to keep a tidy home. Maybe you have kids or a messy spouse. If this is the case, do your best to control the controllables. That might mean ensuring you always tidy up after yourself even if others don’t. It could mean committing to doing just 10 minutes of cleaning a day to keep on top of things or setting some boundaries with the people around you to ensure everyone does their bit.

 

Use the Marie Kondo Method

Marie Kondo, the well-known Japanese organisation expert, has a handy hack when it comes to decluttering.

 

She advises holding each item in your hands and asking yourself if it sparks joy. Or in other words, does it bring you that warm, fuzzy feeling? Simply, does it make you feel good? Of course, this won’t work for every single item in your home. Few of us, for example, would hold up our pots and pans, and say they bring us joy, but we still use them every day. They serve a vital function in our homes.

 

Remember this: you don’t have to get rid of everything. The goal is to have an organised home that’s full of items that are practical, useful, bring you joy, or tick all of the above boxes. 

 

Pay it forward

Each of us has a carbon footprint and chucking everything away when it’s no longer of use to us will only add to that. But the good news is, instead of sending your preloved items to landfill, you can give them a second wind.

 

Not only is donating your clothes to a charity shop, popping them onto a reseller site, or gifting them to a friend better for the environment, it’s also good for your moods too.

 

Altruism, the act of giving to others, is scientifically proven to improve your peace of mind, foster stress relief, and help you tap into feelings of joy and elation.

 

Pro tip: while sorting through your items, it may be helpful to organise your bits and bobs you no longer want into piles, such as ‘give to a friend’, ‘sell on Depop’, and ‘donate’.

 

Turn to Feng Shui

Have you ever noticed that your home feels differently when you crack open a window and let all the stagnant air out? Or how you feel so much calmer when you aren’t bumping into things at every turn? This is the result of good Feng Shui.

 

For the uninitiated, Feng Shui is a Japanese practice that aims to harmonize your environment by optimising the way energy moves through your home. It’s achieved by balancing all of the elements around you.

 

Confused? Put simply, Feng Shui is about arranging your home in a way that balances the energy within it. To embrace it, you can make a few simple changes, such as clearing clutter away from your front door so that good energy can easily flow in, using a warm and soft colour palette to promote feelings of peace and calm, and adding some plants to absorb unwanted energy.

 

Embrace the newness… 

Close your eyes and imagine you’ve decluttered your entire home and cleaned it top from bottom. You have space to move around and everything feels organised and as though it has its own place. You know where to find things and the smell of a delicious fresh cotton candle is wafting through the air.

 

As you imagine this, you might notice that your shoulders relax and you feel free, calm, and at peace. You have a strong sense of purpose and you feel that there’s nothing you cannot have, be or do.

 

An organised clean environment is within your control. Consistency and communication are key. You owe it to yourself to live somewhere with good energy.  

 

This feeling perfectly illustrates how your physical environment reflects and impacts your emotional state. A quick tidy up could be the key to unlocking oodles of motivation, productivity, and joy. Pass us the bin bags! 

 

March 30, 2022
Get Out Of Your Own Way: How To Overcome Self-Sabotage

Get Out Of Your Own Way: How To Overcome Self-Sabotage

Get Out Of Your Own Way: How To Overcome Self-Sabotage

Here’s a question: have you ever set yourself a goal, made really steady progress towards it, and then suddenly, almost without noticing, you find yourself slipping back into old habits that threaten to derail everything you’ve worked so hard for? 

Maybe you’re on a mission to make new friends and have been taking every opportunity to get out and socialise but suddenly you feel curtailed by a sudden and unexplainable lack of confidence. Perhaps you’re working towards landing some new clients in your business but, when it comes to marketing yourself, you find you’re procrastinating on every single project. 

Sounds like you’re self-sabotaging. But don’t despair. Self-sabotage is actually a sign that you’ve made really great progress, and a fear-based part of you is simply reacting to your success by doing its utmost to protect you from change. 

This fear-based part of you can halt your progress in lots of different ways. It can be really obvious or it can be really sneaky and hidden. Either way, self-sabotage, if left unchecked, can steer you away from your goals. 

Why do we self-sabotage?

Great question and the answer will help you move forward. Self-sabotage is the process of undermining your own goals. It’s something you’d never intentionally choose to do. None of us would deliberate stall our progress towards our goals, but our ego self wants to keep us nice and safe.

See, the ego, the fear-based part of our brain, perceives anything outside of our comfort zone as a threat, even if that thing makes us happy. If it’s unfamiliar, the ego will do its best to sabotage your progress and hold you back. It’s a protective mechanism that can keep us safe from actual dangers as much as it can keep us stuck from achieving the things we desire. That is, if we let it.

There can also be a little something called ‘cognitive dissonance’ at play. This concept is best summed up as the mental struggle between two conflicting ideas: for example, say you’ve set a goal to land a salary increase of 10 per cent but your family never had money when you were growing up and you don’t feel worthy of it now.

On a psychological level, you don’t feel deserving of the salary increase, and there’s a disconnect between the person you want to become and the beliefs you hold about the person you are now.

Put simply, our self-limiting beliefs often come to the surface the closer we get to our goals and we often respond with destructive habits to protect us from the pain of failure.

 

Here are some examples of self-sabotaging behaviours:

  •       Procrastination: Are you doing everything in your power to avoid working on that important work project or getting out the door to go to the gym? Yep, that’s self-sabotage at play.
  •       Commitment issues: It happens in relationships too. Have you ever made a new friend or started a new relationship and suddenly felt the urge to run in the opposite direction or push the other person away?
  •       Constant worry & doubt: Hello, overthinking! Just as you’re making headway on an important goal, you might start to question if you deserve it, fret about whether you really want it, or notice your inner critic has gone into overdrive.
  •       Indulging in bad (comfortable) habits: Think blowing your monthly wage on an unnecessary purchase when you’re about to hit your savings target or ordering a takeaway when you planned to have a salad.
  •       Giving up: Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough throw in the towel.

 

You might think that self-sabotage is a losing battle and that your determination and motivation are no match for the ego, but, jump up and down with joy, because you can move through it. Here’s how…

 

How to overcome self-sabotage

Be on the lookout for it

There’s actually two types of self-sabotage: conscious and unconscious, and it’s the latter one that’s particularly sneaky. While we might be able to easily spot missing our third workout in a row or notice when we’re procrastinating, unconscious self-sabotage is a little harder to spot.

Maybe you’ve suddenly noticed your progress has stalled in a certain area or something that once felt easy, joyful and fulfilling has become a source of stress. 

Committing to a daily journaling habit can help you uncover destructive patterns and spot when your ego is doing its best to hinder your progress. What self-sabotaging behaviours are currently holding you back and what’s triggering them?

Maybe you’re in a new relationship but are so uncomfortable being close to someone that you’re doing your utmost to push the other person away, or you’re finally making headway in your business but suddenly feel plagued by feelings of self-doubt.  

When you suspect self-sabotage is at play, take five to ten minutes every day to free-write in your journal and get analytic. Ask yourself, why might my subconscious mind perceive this goal as unsafe? Why might it be trying to protect me? You might just be surprised at what comes up. 

 

Respond in a new way

Now that you know what’s triggering your self-sabotage and how these destructive habits are holding you back, it’s time to put that freshly gleaned insight to good use. Ask yourself, how could I respond to my self-sabotage triggers in a better way?

Always overindulge in foods that make you feel bad when you feel stressed? Maybe you could go for a walk to destress instead. Often find you procrastinate on your most important tasks? Perhaps you could give the Eat That Frog method a go. The Journal by The Head Plan and Roxie Nafousi gives you oodles of space to work through this process in more detail.

While you work through this important step, tap into feelings of worthiness. We often self-sabotage because we don’t feel worthy of our goals, and recognising this is a crucial step in moving forward.

How do you cultivate feelings of worthiness, you ask? You could keep a list of your accomplishments, use our Mirror Markers to repeat daily empowering statements about yourself, or learn to set boundaries that protect you. 

The most important step of all, however, is treating yourself with unconditional love. Make a commitment to love and nurture yourself every single day. 

 

Stick with your priorities

Overcoming self-sabotage means getting comfortable with discomfort. It means choosing to keep going even though it feels difficult.

When you need an extra push of motivation to move forward, turn to the long and short term goal pages in your Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal and remember your ‘why’. What are you working towards and why?

Next, focus on the small daily actions you can take that don’t feel so scary or intimidating. Your ego fears change and if you change too much too quickly, it can freak out. What daily habits can you commit to today that stretch you out of your comfort zone without overwhelming you? 

Here’s the really good news: The more you stick with those habits, the more ingrained they become. Pretty soon, your ego won’t want to fight against your new behaviours because they’ll feel normal, natural, and safe. 

 

Practice self-compassion

You might think destructive behaviours are a sign that you’re weak, unworthy or destined to fail, but you’re none of those things. See, self-sabotage is a normal part of the journey towards your goals. Almost everyone will come up against it at some point or another while in pursuit of their desires. The good news is, you can reframe it with a change in perspective.

We often see setbacks as a negative, but they are essential for our growth. Moving past these blocks allows you to grow into the person you are destined to become. They alert you to limiting beliefs and give you an opportunity to change them. 

When self-sabotage feels insurmountable, recognise the progress you’ve already made and remember this is just a little bump in the road and you’ll overcome it like you have so many others.

The only person stopping you from achieving your goals is YOU. That’s good news because it means everything you’ve ever wanted is within your grasp and within your control. 

Go With The Flow: How To Work With Your Hormonal Cycle, Not Against It

Go With The Flow: How To Work With Your Hormonal Cycle, Not Against It

Go With The Flow: How To Work With Your Hormonal Cycle, Not Against It

 Have you ever noticed that sometimes it feels like nothing or no one can stand in your way? Your energy is high, your motivation is soaring, and you feel like sunshine in human form, and then BAM the following week, your energy plummets, your motivation lags, and you really just want to go take a nice, long nap?


Good news: peaks and troughs like these in your energy levels are actually a sign of good hormonal health. They are a natural by-product of your body’s natural rhythms, but we totally get it, when your period is approaching and your productivity levels have gone into hiding, it can feel like a major stumbling block when it comes to achieving your goals. 

Powering through your to-do list while fending off fatigue, battling with brain fog, and caressing some uncomfortable cramps is no mean feat. But don’t fret, energy dips aren’t something to be feared. In fact, they are an opportunity to rest and recharge. They are our body’s way of signalling that it’s time to slow down, and with the right approach, they are something that can actually be used to your advantage.

But, before we dig in, let’s establish the difference between male and female hormonal cycles, shall we?

 

Your cycle summed up

While women’s hormone levels fluctuate over a 28-day period, the male hormonal cycle is instead spread over the course of 24-hours. Men experience a spike in testosterone, the hormone that regulates confidence, energy and motivation, in the morning. This levels out in the afternoon, before dipping in the evening.

 

A woman’s cycle is a little more complex and is scientifically proven to affect you more physically – it’s the very reason you might feel on top of the world one week, and off-colour the next. We have an in-built internal rhythm and working with it can allow us to get the most out of each season, whether we’re feeling upbeat and optimistic or insular and reflective.

 Let’s get to know our body’s natural rhythm a little better, shall we?

 

The Menstrual phase

We’re all familiar with this one. During this phase, you’ll experience a monthly bleed and may intuitively feel like you need to relax and recharge. It’s normal in this phase to need more alone time. As well as being a great time for reflection, it’s also a time to set some goals for the month ahead – so grab your Productivity & Wellness Journal and get planning.

 

The Follicular Phase

Boom! Your energy is starting to kick back in. This is your pre-ovulation phase and you’ll be feeling energetic, focused, and inspired as your body prepares to release an egg. Now is a good time to put social occasions back on the calendar, collaborate with others, and start new projects.

 

The Ovulatory Phase

Your confidence is peaking, your energy is soaring, and you feel high on life. In this phase, it feels like there’s nothing you can not be or do so it’s a good time to push your boundaries, get outside of your comfort zone, and work on those goals. It’s also the perfect time for socialising and physical exercise too – so make the most of it.

 

The Luteal Phase

Slowly your energy starts to taper off and it’s time for PMS to begin. Your oestrogen levels drop sharply in the 10 to 16 days before your period begins, so you’ll likely feel more fatigued the closer you get to your bleed.

 

Consider the early days of this phase as your your preparation stage: tick off all those essential items on your to-do list, nourish your body with plenty of nutritious food, and opt for gentle movement. Done all of the above? Great. Now, be sure to schedule in plenty of rest in the days leading up to your period.

 

We’re all unique…

It’s important to note that we are all built differently. You might be someone who sails through their monthly cycle and rarely feels curtailed by hormonal dips, or you could battle extreme fatigue and unpredictable mood swings and find yourself struggling to function.

 

Wherever you fall in that spectrum, it’s normal for your productivity to dip at certain times of the month, and you may notice that it feels harder than normal to focus. The really good news is, that however you feel throughout your cycle, you can begin to use it to your advantage. Here’s how…

 

How To Work With Your Hormonal Cycle, Not Against It

Start tracking 

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘what gets measured gets managed?’. It’s the same for your monthly cycle. The more you monitor it, the more you can make it work in your favour. In science, researchers call it performance indicators: only by recognising your unique patterns can you seek to change them.

 

How you track is up to you. You can use a tracking app that will predict when you’re ovulating and when your period is due, or you can put pen to paper and keep a record using the monthly calendar pages in The Head Plan Agenda.

 

Remember to make a note of how you feel too. Are you more tired than usual, feeling a little down, or noticing the onset of a migraine? Document it all, because knowledge is power. The more aware you are of the symptoms you experience throughout your cycle, the more you can plan your life around them.

 

Nourish & Drench

Did you know that you’re more likely to become dehydrated when you’re on your period? That’s because when our levels of oestrogen and progesterone are low our body retains more water, making us feel sluggish and bloated.

 

In the week leading up to your period, it’s a good idea to chug down some extra water – consider drinking three fills of your Daily Drench bottle instead of two. It can help to limit alcohol and caffeine in the lead up as well.

 

That’s not all. Your metabolism actually spikes in the days leading up to your period so don’t be surprised if you feel you need to eat a little more. You might have chocolate and crisps on the brain (hello, period cravings!) but by planning your meals in advance with the Nourish Meal Planner, you can give your body the nutrients it needs.

 

For an energy boost, be sure to include eggs (they’re packed with B vitamins and healthy fatty acids), oatmeal (rich in calcium and a great source of iron), and oily fish (loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which can fight cramps.)

 

Get planning 

You would never deliberately plan a big catch up with all your closest pals on the very week you’re feeling your most introverted and insular, just like you’d likely avoid scheduling a heavy workout when your body feels tired and sore. That’s where proper planning comes in.

 

Right now, you can begin to plan your monthly tasks, commitments, and social occasions around your cycle – and make a commitment to rest when you know you’ll need it.

 

That might look like, scheduling an extra lie in or two in the mornings, switching out a workout for a day of rest, or moving your more labour-intensive work tasks to the following week, if it’s possible to do so.

 

Here’s a pro tip: If you know you always feel your best, most joyful self around a week after your period has ended, then pencil in some fun social plans for that date or use that time to kickstart a new project. Pretty certain you’re gong to be feeling super sluggish the day before your period is due? Plan a day of self-care. Fluffy jammies, scented candles, and hot baths coming right up.

 

Practice non-judgement

When you’re an ambitious goal-getter (which we know you are) it can be enormously frustrating to feel the effects of brain fog, notice your productivity dip, and be side-tracked by low moods – and it can be easy to berate yourself for not being able to do more.

 

But the last thing you need when you’re already feeling low is a side-order of guilt and shame. If you feel your energy plummet, resist the urge to feel badly about yourself, and instead offer yourself compassion. Repeat after us: ‘I am always doing my best in any given moment, and my best is good enough.’

 

Go with the flow…

You instinctively know what your body needs throughout your cycle, but so often we push back against the urge to rest and recharge, believing that we need to be constantly ‘on’. But just like nature, our body goes through seasons. Look around and you’ll see that the trees shed their leaves in Autumn so they can be lush and green again come spring.

 

Just like the trees, you need time to rest, recharge and replenish, so that you too can present your very best self to the world. When you tune into your body’s natural signals, you can’t go too far wrong. 

March 15, 2022
Is your scarcity mindset impacting your relationship with other women?

Is your scarcity mindset impacting your relationship with other women?

From Lack To Limitless: How To Develop An Abundance Mindset

Imagine this: it’s a Sunday morning and you’re catching up with a friend over brunch. “I’ve got some news,” she tells you excitedly. “We’ve put an offer on a house!”

Her words feel like a punch to the stomach and as much you desperately want to feel happy for her, you can’t quite muster any genuine feelings of excitement and joy. Instead, you’ve gone into a spiral of lack, envy and fear. Somehow, you’ve decided that her success equals your failure.

This is a scarcity mindset in action. It’s when we see others get what we want and assume this means there’s less to go around for us. You might also encounter it when applying for a new job. You fine-tune your CV, brush up on your interview skills and are convinced this wonderful role is yours for the taking… only to be pipped to the post by another candidate.

You might (wrongly) assume that you’ve missed your one opportunity to succeed, instead of seeing it for what it really is: a redirection to something better.

 

Tapping into an abundance mindset

Fortunately, you can replace a scarcity mindset with an abundance mindset.

Melissa Ambrosini sums up the distinction between the two in her book Comparisonitis. She says a scarcity mindset is a little like a pie. When someone takes a piece of that pie there is inevitably less left for you, and you might have to scramble to get the last piece before it’s all gone.

An abundance mindset however is like a candle. Picture a dark room, full of people. When you light your candle, it bathes everyone it touches: there is more than enough light to go around. If your candle isn’t burning, another person can light it using their flame. That way, we all shine brighter; we can all enjoy the glow.

To put it simply, seeing another person burning brightly, whether they’re nailing it in their career, or buying a home, doesn’t snub out your flame, it ignites it. When you see another person succeed, it paves the way for you to succeed too, because you know what they’re doing is possible. And if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you too.

According to Steven Covey who coined the phrase ‘abundance mindset’ in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, abundance is “a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others.” It’s not just about money, but a wealth of love, kindness, joy, success, possibilities, and opportunities too. Absolutely everything is unlimited and available to you.

So are you ready to replace scarcity, lack, and fear, and start living life with an abundance mindset? Here are some tips to help you make the switch…

 

Turn envy into inspiration

Imagine that you’re mid-scroll and envy strikes. You see someone living their best life and suddenly feel less than about your own. You have two choices: wallow in self-pity or get analytic. The latter means looking closely at what has triggered these feelings of scarcity and deciding (honestly) if you’re feeling bad because you want something they’ve got but feel that you can’t have.

Scribble down all your thoughts in The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal – and, if during your journaling practice you uncover a new goal, know that it’s possible for you, and add it to your long or short term goals list.

 

See rejection as redirection

Know this: rejection can really sting and you might take it as a sign to give up. You may see it as proof that there really isn’t enough to go around.

But try this perspective shift on for size: the next time you face a rejection (maybe you were turned down for a job you really wanted or things didn’t work out with a blind date) consider the possibility that there is something much more aligned for you around the corner: like your soulmate or a job that’s more amazing than you ever could have imagined.

Repeat after us: Rejection isn’t a sign that there’s a finite supply: it’s a sign that something better is coming.

 

Double down on gratitude

What is the opposite of scarcity and lack? It’s a feeling of fullness. And how do you create a feeling of fullness? Gratitude.

There are so many ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a daily gratitude list in your The Head Plan Gratitude Journal to writing down your highlights at the end of each day.

Where a scarcity mindset is concerned, you might like to counteract negative thoughts based in lack, scarcity and fear, with grateful thoughts. The next time you catch yourself thinking a lack thought, come up with five things – any five things – to be grateful for on the spot.  

Mantras can help you tap into feelings of gratitude too. One of our favorites from Roxie Nafousi’s new ‘the Mantras’ deck is “I am always attracting abundance into my life” - Try repeating these words when you feel that sense of lack and watch your state of mind transform. 

 

Seek out mentors

Imagine if you were trying to achieve a goal so out-of-this-world unique that no one had ever achieved anything even remotely similar. It would be pretty tough, right? You couldn’t Google the answers when you’re feeling a little lost and need support, because nobody would have written about their experience of achieving this particular goal. You couldn’t reach out to someone you follow on social media and ask them for advice either because there wouldn’t be anyone equipped to offer any guidance. 

This is why seeing other people achieve the things you want for yourself is actually a blessing. They’ve paved a path for you. Not only do you know it’s possible because they’ve done it, you can also find out how they did it. That might mean reaching out and asking someone for their tips, listening to a podcast that’s full of useful advice, or discovering a book they’ve written on the topic.

It can be easy to see these people as your competition, but that’s symptomatic of a scarcity mindset. Get into the habit of making successful people your mentors, and you’ll soon see that you can succeed too.

 

Everything you want and need is available to you…

Look outside your window and notice how the grass doesn’t strain to grow. Likewise, the flowers and trees aren’t worrying that they won’t get the water, nutrients, and sunlight they need to thrive. The universe is always providing for them, as it is for you.

You are an empowered, expansive being and your continual growth is inevitable. Whatever it is you want to achieve, just like a tree inching closer to the sky, there’s an unlimited supply of resources to help you get wherever you want to go.

March 09, 2022
Speaking It Into Existence: The Power Of Mantras With Roxie Nafousi

Speaking It Into Existence: The Power Of Mantras With Roxie Nafousi

Each and every one of us has deeply ingrained thoughts that can hinder our progress. It’s the very reason some areas of our lives often feel needlessly difficult. Maybe you struggle to manifest a loving partner because deep down you don’t really feel worthy of love. Perhaps you’ve always had a hard time establishing a healthy money mindset.

We’re here to tell you something: those tricky areas are a result of the beliefs you hold about yourself and the world. Every word you say and every thought you think establishes your beliefs, and it is these beliefs that manifest your reality.

Limiting beliefs block us from achieving the things we want. But don’t fret, because that’s where mantras come in. And lucky for you, we’ve teamed up with Roxie Nafousi once again to bring a transformational 52-card deck of mantra cards that can shift your mood, raise your vibration, and eliminate those limiting beliefs. 

This beautiful card deck includes 52 inspirational mantras that were carefully selected by Roxie herself so you always have an empowering statement right at your fingertips: no need to come up with your own.

We’re certain this deck of mantra cards is going to raise your vibration and take you on a revolutionary journey of healing, but first things first…

What’s a mantra?

For the uninitiated, mantras are simply positive, empowering phrases that you can repeat out loud or in your head at any time. Sometimes known as affirmations, The Psychology Dictionary defines them as:

“A brief phrase which is spoken again and again in an effort to plant seeds of happy and positive notions, conceptions, and attitudes into one’s psyche.”

Their power is profound but easy to understand. Mantras send positive messages to our subconscious. Repeated often enough, these mantras become our automatic thoughts. Over time, they become our beliefs and ultimately shift our reality for the better.

Roxie explains it best. She says, “Mantras work by sending positive messages to the subconscious, which is where self-worth, self-belief, and our capacity for self-love, really live. Our subconscious mind is said to obey the conscious mind; so whatever you think or say, your subconscious will believe it to be true, and react accordingly.”

That means your mood and mindset are in your hands. Approximately 95% of our thoughts and behaviour patterns are said to come from our subconscious mind; mantras ensure you’re making this integral part of the brain work to your advantage. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Because, get this, there’s a tonne of both medical and scientific research that backs up the power of mantras.

One study for example found that repeating mantras produces physical changes in the brain. Researchers discovered that mantras could rewire brain networks and result in positive behaviour changes.

Other studies have found that mantras are key to overcoming stress and making gradual improvements in our health and self-image. There’s even proof to suggest they can accelerate physical healing. 

All it takes is uttering these empowering and powerful phrases on the daily. Roxie has hand picked her favourite mantras to make this process as simple as possible for you to adapt into your routine. So, here’s how to get the most of your mantra card practice…

How to make mantra cards work for you 

Repeat, repeat, repeat..

When you pull a mantra card be sure to repeat it five times there and then and remember to take it with you throughout the day. Anytime a niggling doubt or harsh self-criticism pops into your head, repeat your mantra again and again.

Feeling a little uncomfortable? That’s okay. In fact, it’s totally normal to feel a little strange when you first start your mantra practice. Often, that’s because we’ve been saying less than empowering things to our selves for so long.

“For most of us, our negative thoughts speak to us automatically; they have been plaguing our minds for so long that we are actually comfortable in their presence,” explains Roxie.

“In fact, it feels more uncomfortable to speak to ourselves in empowering and loving ways. We have to make a conscious decision to notice them, stop them, and then replace them. Mantras are an easy way for us to do this.” Just keep going. 

Master the art of self-love

The best way to amplify your mantra practice is to combine it with The Journal by Roxie Nafousi and The Head Plan. Mantras and self-love go hand in hand and this 12-week guided journal is all about improving the relationship you have with yourself and identifying the thought patterns that have held you back.

It’ll help you see where those limiting beliefs of yours have come from and empower you to take strides forward. Once you are aware of the areas you want to work on, you might like to pick a card from the deck that really resonates with the part of you, you want to heal.

Here’s a pro tip: keep that card with you throughout the day and repeat it as often as you can. Pin it to your Vision Board or place it on your desk as you work. You might like to set reminders to do this, add the words to your phone lock screen, or use a prompt from your daily routine, like showering or boiling the kettle, to remind you.

As you go through this process, track your progress in The Journal. You’ll be amazed at how your beliefs evolve and how aware you become of your thoughts throughout the day. 

Live and breathe them

Here’s the thing: mantras aren’t a onetime thing. They are a self-development tool and a continuous practice that will allow you to heal your subconscious mind if you let them. 

That means making mantras a daily practice by keeping your mantra cards nearby: pop them on your coffee table, desk or next to your bed. It means turning to your mantra cards, when you hear negative self-talk that’s trying to sabotage you or an inner critic who’s starting to judge.

Most of all, it means sticking with it, even if you don’t believe what you’re saying initially. Here’s Roxie’s advice:

“The beauty of mantras is that your subconscious will believe it even if you (initially) don’t. I know that for many of you reading this, you may feel silly saying ‘I am perfect exactly as I am’ when you don’t feel in that moment that you are. That’s totally normal, but don’t worry, keep saying it. One day soon, you will say it and you will feel it and you really will believe it.”

Shuffle the deck, change your life…

The simplest hacks are often the best ones. And that’s certainly true of mantras. Every time you speak you have a choice to pick words that empower you or tear you down. Putting mantras into practice can feel uncomfortable to begin with, but it reaps dividends, and in time, those inspiring words won’t feel silly or untrue, they’ll become automatic and your whole world will shift as a result.

So, reach for your mantra card deck and let your intuition be your guide. A healed version of you is waiting. 

March 02, 2022
Find Your Tribe: How To Make New Friends As An Adult

Find Your Tribe: How To Make New Friends As An Adult

Find Your Tribe: How To Make New Friends As An Adult

There are few things in life that are more fulfilling, life-affirming, and empowering than good friends. You know the kind we mean: they’re the people who build you up, make you laugh until your belly hurts, and allow you to be your best, most authentic, and unfiltered self.

Who you surround yourself with is a reflection of who you are and influences your thoughts, behaviours and actions. In fact, according to science, you are the grand sum of the five people you spend the most time with. 

If you aren’t surrounded by a great group of pals right now, you might be feeling a little down on yourself. Maybe you don’t have people you can rely on or only have friends who hold you back and keep you locked in a circle of bad habits.

You may have bought into the (false) idea that you’re too old to make new friends or told yourself that you don’t have the confidence to make social connections that are good for the soul. We’re here to dispel those myths. At any point in your life, you can go out and find your tribe.

So, are you ready to make some wonderful new pals? Great – we’re so excited to hear it. First though, let’s look at the formula for a fulfilling friendship, shall we?

 

What do good friendships actually look like?

You feel inspired in their company

No dream or goal feels silly – in fact, when you share your vision with them, they’re ready and willing to hype you up. Turns out, they’ve got some pretty inspiring goals of their own, and you can’t help but feel motivated and uplifted in their company.

You feel like your most authentic self around them

Anything goes when you’re with this life-affirming pal and being around them feels like a permission slip to just be you. A good friend like this loves and appreciates you exactly as you are, quirky habits and all.

They respect your boundaries – and you theirs

Need to cancel plans to have an extra night of self-care? No problem – they totally get it and want you to make yourself a number one priority. Turned down their invite to go paintballing? It’s okay, they understand it’s not really your vibe. Good friendships are based on a mutual respect for each other’s boundaries. It’s not a big deal when either one of you says no.

 

How To Find New Friends

Get clear about the kind of friend you want to attract

Just like landing your dream job or meeting your soulmate, attracting your tribe involves getting crystal clear on the specifics: it’s the same process you use to achieve all of your other goals.

So, right now, close your eyes and visualize what a fulfilling friendship looks like to you. Maybe it’s hanging out with someone who you can share your hopes, dreams, and visions with, or perhaps you see yourself with a gaggle of pals sharing regular adventures. Do you hope to attract one new friendship that inspires you on a daily basis or are you keen to meet loads of lovely new people, who fulfil in lots of different ways?

Once you’re clear, grab your copy of The Head Plan Positivity & Wellness Journal, and jot your long-term and short-term friendships goals into the ‘Family & Friends’ section. 

Know this: by completing this simple step, you’ve already put your goals in motion and are 42 percent more likely to see them come to fruition.

 

Let go of friendships that no longer serve you

Sometimes friendships run their course. It’s normal to grow apart and to move on and it doesn’t make you a bad person or a terrible friend. Other times, friendships can turn toxic. They may be full of unnecessary drama and recurring conflict.

This is your opportunity to reassess the friendships you currently have and make a decision. Are there any that are draining you, hindering you, or bringing you down? Are there certain friends you don’t just ‘click’ with the way you used to?  

Often in life you have to let go of the stuff that’s no longer working, to make room for the things that really fill your cup.

 

Just say yes

Yes, is a powerful word. Often it opens us up to limitless possibilities and that’s certainly true when you’re on the hunt for new friends.

Got a pal who’s asked you along to a friend's birthday party? Saying yes may help you meet a whole host of new pals. Received a notification about a flower arranging course that’s piqued your interest? You could connect with a group of great people if you go.

Be on the lookout for new friendship opportunities – whether it’s an invitation to join a book club that meets every Tuesday or the chance to sign up to a personal development workshop where you could meet lots of like-minded people.

And when do you find those opportunities? Remember to say YES.

 

Find online communities

Whether you’re a new mum seeking support, a personal development enthusiast, or someone who has just moved to a new city and wants to find some new friends, there is an online community for you. All you have to do is find it.

It could be a Facebook group filled with like-minded people, a Tinder-style app that’s focused on helping you find friendships or a meetup website that notifies you of events in your area.

If inspiring conversations and inspirational content are what you’re after, we reckon there’s no better place to be than The Head Plan app. It’s full to the brim with people who are ready to offer inspiring words of encouragement and are just as committed to personal development as you are. Considered them your new friends.

 

Make the first move

They say that fortune favours the brave, and that’s why stepping a little outside of your comfort zone is a crucial ingredient when it comes to making new friends. Whether it’s signing up to that new class where you know lots of new friends await or asking an acquaintance if they’d like to hang out sometime, you have to act before the fear-based part of your brain kicks in.

When we hesitate, the ego, the fear-based part of us that rules out inhibitions, jumps in and stops us from taking action that moves us forward. The next time you’re in a position where you need to do something that feels a little uncomfortable, count down from five and do it before doubt creeps in. It’ll pay off – we promise.

 Be the friend you want to attract

Did you know that like attracts like and the energy you put out into the world inevitably comes back to you? That’s why it’s so important to embody the energy of the friendships you want to surround you.

You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘Kindness is like confetti, sprinkle it everywhere’. Start acting from that space of unconditional kindness. Extend the hand of friendship to strangers and acquaintances, complete a random act of kindness for a friend, and be that person in the group who takes the initiative to make plans.

Once you embody that feeling of friendship, the uplifting, soul-affirming friendships you’ve been craving, will start to appear.

 

Your Tribe Is Awaits…

You’re never too old to make new friends. In fact, at any given moment you can choose to surround yourself with good people who light a spark within you. Like any goal, finding new friends involves getting clear, taking action, and aligning your energy and behaviours. 

Friendships that fulfil you are waiting. So go forth, and choose wisely. 

February 23, 2022
The Transformative Power Of A Breakup: How To Turn Your Life Around After Heartbreak

The Transformative Power Of A Breakup: How To Turn Your Life Around After Heartbreak

 You’re truly heartbroken. Your eyes are red and puffy and the feeling of loss feels overwhelming. We get it: the pain of a heartbreak is truly gut-wrenching and truly universal. There are few things in life that compare to it, and we want you to know just how much we empathise. We’re wrapping you up in a great, big virtual hug. 

 

But let us ask you this: do you trust the magic of new beginnings? Do you believe that painful experiences can mould us in the most wonderful and unexpected of ways?

 

You do? Well, we’re glad to hear it, because we promise that this moment of heartbreak won’t last forever. In fact, we hope you know that it’s paving the way for something truly magical and amazing.

 

You see, pain is a powerful motivator. Neurologically speaking we’re actually hardwired to avoid pain more than we are to seek out pleasure. That’s why, when you’re in the depths of despair after a heartbreak, you often come into your own after a period of healing.

 

You might realise what’s really important to you and go after that job you thought was out of your league. Or maybe you finally put those big travel plans in motion. Breakups, as difficult as they can be, are a real opportunity to realise your worth and carve out a new life on your own terms.

 

If your heartache is fresh right now, living your best life is probably the last thing on your mind. Breakups can be achingly painful and when you’re in the aftermath of one it often seems like you’ll never get better.

 

But we promise you, you will. Not only that, but in time, you can reclaim your self-worth and commit to living life on your own terms. After a breakup, you can carve out a reality that’s better than you ever could have imagined, and we’re here to show you how…

 

Take some time to feel

 

Now is not the time to force yourself to be relentlessly positive. Now is a time to feel all your feelings and do what you need in the moment. You’ve gone through a major loss, and you need time to grieve.

 

Allow yourself to feel the full spectrum emotions of heartbreak without judgement. Sit with them and if it helps, consider getting them out on paper. The process of journaling through your innermost thoughts and feelings – be they grief, anger, fear, or sadness – is proven to be incredibly therapeutic. It can help you move through difficult emotions, and in time let them go.

 

As you feel your feelings, remember this: there’s no rush. There’s no set timeline for getting over a breakup. In fact, insisting that you should be over it by now or getting frustrated that you’re still feeling broken is counter-productive. There’s no hard and fast rule for how long it takes and your healing journey won’t always be linear. You’ll heal when you heal. 


In time, when the wound doesn’t feel so fresh, you might like to try journaling about the positives. What did the relationship teach you and what did you gain from it? What are you feeling most excited about now moving forward? How has this experience made you a stronger, more resilient person?

 

As you do this, do you notice your energy shift? Are you feeling a little more optimistic, content, and maybe even thankful? Congratulations – you’re healing and it can only get better from here.

 

Consider what you really want from life

 

You can be whatever you want to be. That statement is always true, but it rings particularly true right after a breakup when you have an opportunity to both rediscover and reinvent yourself. And the beauty of it is, YOU get to decide what your life looks like now. Nobody else.

 

So let your imagination run riot. Ask yourself a simple question: If nothing was holding me back, what would I want to do and who would I want to be? Grab a pen and scribble it all out without letting your inner critic get in the way.

 

Want more good news? It might not seem like it now, but a breakup allows you to get clear on what you want from a relationship too. In fact, every breakup brings you one step closer to defining what you do and don’t want in an ideal partner. Each one helps you hone your preferences. That’s really good news, because when you’re clear about what you want, you’re destined to get it.

 

Soulmate, pending.

 

Work through your limiting beliefs

 

We attract the love we think we deserve and if, up until now, you’ve attracted partners who aren’t compatible with you, you likely have some limiting beliefs lurking beneath the surface. 


When you feel ready, become aware of the negative thoughts that are on a loop in your brain. What are you telling yourself about your ability to give and receive love? What do you believe to be true about romantic relationships?

 

Jot each limiting belief down and begin replacing each one with an empowering statement. Say you’ve been telling yourself that you aren’t good enough to be in a relationship and you aren’t worthy of being loved. You could turn that belief on its head by repeating: “I am perfect exactly as I am and I deserve a partner who loves and cherishes me.”

 

For added oomph, grab our mirror markers and scribble those mantras on your bathroom mirror.

 

Repeating affirmations like these doesn’t just make you feel better in the moment; they literally seep into your subconscious, rewire your beliefs, and empower you to create a whole new reality.

 

Focus on self love

 

When you’re in a relationship, you’re pouring a whole lot of love into another person. Now that you’re newly single you get to pour all of that love into yourself. Just imagine how confident, empowered and content you’ll feel when you do that.

 

Self-love involves honouring what you need in the moment while also honouring your future self by following through on the actions that take you closer to your goals. It could be treating yourself to a lie in when you need extra rest, nourishing your body with nutritious food, focusing on gratitude, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to meet a goal.

 

Our advice is to schedule a self-care action every single day. It’s a surefire way to make yourself a priority, and we’ve given you a space in The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal to do just that.

 

A pro tip? Take yourself on regular solo dates. It can be daunting at first but can feel incredibly empowering. So go on, pop a ‘me day’ in the calendar, relish the independence, and show up for yourself like you would a lover. You’re worth it.

 

Throw yourself into new (or old) activities

 

Found yourself with oodles of free time now that you’re no longer coupled up? Consider it a wonderful blessing and make the most of it. The possibilities are endless: you could arrange regular catch ups with your friends, join a new class, or even rediscover a latent hobby that you side-lined during the relationship.

 

Use The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal to get really clear about your short-term goals. Ask yourself this: what would give me the most joy, boost my self-worth and allow me to put my free time to the best use?

 

Once you’ve decided on activities that’ll fill your cup to overflowing, schedule them in and make them a part of your daily or weekly routine. It’s easy to feel the pain of loss during a breakup, but look at all you could potentially gain?

 

This is your moment…

 

Everything in your life happens for a reason. That’s true of the good stuff and the bad, and this breakup is a sign that you’re destined for more. Healing can be so transformational, and though it may not feel like it right at this moment, your pain can be a force for good.

 

A chapter of your life may have closed, but a new one, filled with wonderful opportunities, fulfilling friendships, and good vibes is about to begin. 

February 15, 2022
The Science Of Nourishment: How To Fuel Your Body And Mind

The Science Of Nourishment: How To Fuel Your Body And Mind

There are few greater acts of self-love than nourishing your body and mind. Take a second and read that sentence again. Food is our fuel. Without it, we would simply cease to exist, and when we fuel ourselves with low-quality foods, we tend to feel uninspired, lethargic, and low-vibe.  We aren’t bringing our best selves to the table.

Planning your meals however and nourishing yourself with the most nutritious, energising food is a way of showing up for yourself. It’s a form of self-care that empowers you to put your best foot forward.

While processed and refined foods often leave us feeling sluggish, increase inflammation in the body, and impair brain function, high-quality food actually has the power to rewire your neural pathways (yes, really), boosts your cognitive function, and allows you to present your most shiny, happy, and confident self to the world.

We know for a fact that it’ll help you plan your day with ease and sustain a game-changing energy that propels you toward your goals too. Not convinced? Nutritional psychiatry is a growing field of scientific study, and it’s already proven a tonne of benefits linking nutrient-rich diets with improved mental and physical health. Here are just a few…

The Science Of Nourishment

It supercharges your productivity

Name something more satisfying than putting a big old tick on your to-do list. We’ll wait. When you nourish your body, it feels like there’s nothing you can’t do. 

In fact, eating unhealthy food is linked to 66 percent decline in productivity, while eating more fruit and veg is shown to boost engagement and creativity. 

Research shows that it all comes down to how our body processes food. Highly refined food choices not only cause our glucose levels (which give us energy) to crash, our body also has a harder time digesting them which leads us to feel groggy, sluggish and unable to focus on the task at hand. The more you know, eh? 

Boosts your brainpower

Food can make you smarter. No, for real. Vitamin B for example is said to keep the mind sharp, while Vitamin A improves brain plasticity and learning skills.

That’s not all, eating a full spectrum of vitamins can stave off depression, improve problem-solving skills, boost mental energy, increase focus, and aid clarity, memory, and concentration. The list goes on and on. Planning your daily priorities just got a whole lot easier.

Improves your mood

Researchers have found that an astonishing 95 percent of the brain’s serotonin is produced in the gut. That means that what we eat directly impacts our body’s ability to produce this happy hormone.

When we look after our gut health - by absorbing nutrients from high-quality foods - we activate neural pathways between the gut and the brain that make it easier to sustain good moods. Mind-blowing, right?

It’s completely transformative

Did you know that there are between 50 and 75 trillion cells in the human body? Every one of these cells exists on a cycle. They die off and are replaced anywhere from every couple of months to every couple of years. In fact, according to researchers, the body replaces itself with a largely new set of cells every seven to 10 years! This means we have the power to renew our body every decade through the choices YOU make. 

Here’s why this is important: low-nutrient foods increase dangerous free radical activity within our cells that can impair how the body functions.

Nutrient-rich foods, however, support our cells in carrying out every single function in the body you can think of, from breathing each breath to pumping blood to your heart. They are quite literally the building blocks of your very existence. Therefore, it’s not an exaggeration to say, nourishing yourself with good food helps every single function in your body continue to perform at its best.

 

How To Nourish Yourself From The Inside Out

Plan your meals for the week

Have you ever heard of decision fatigue? It’s the result of the many, many decisions, both big and small, we have to make in a single day. Often by the time we get to the end of the day, we’ve made so many decisions that choosing something healthy to eat for dinner feels like a monumental task. It’s why so many of us often go for the ‘handy’ option. That’s where a meal plan comes in. It frees up mental bandwidth, meaning you can save your precious mental reserves for the stuff that really matters.

Here’s our advice: arm yourself with a good cookbook, one that’s packed with lots of tasty, nutrient-packed recipes, and pick five or six meals you feel drawn to. Then grab your Nourish meal planner and add each one to your week. As time goes on you could aim to learn one new recipe each week. Pretty soon you’ll have a whole roster of healthy meals that you can whip up with minimal effort. Our Nourish meal planner makes shopping and planning easy with the removable shopping list and the pad magnet to hang it on your fridge as a reminder. 

 

Add in plenty of the healthy stuff

Spoiler alert: Getting all those nutrients in doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to completely overhaul the way you eat. Nope, when it comes to nourishing your body, you can make the process as simple as you like. Add some cherry tomatoes or lettuce to your lunch, blitz up your favourite fruits and veggies in a smoothie to enjoy during the day, or sip on a green tea when you get out of bed.

Look at your current meal plan: where can you add a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil, a scatter of good-for-you seeds, or a handful of juicy cherry tomatoes? The trick is to pack your meals with as many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as you can. You’ll feel the difference – we promise.

 

Aim for a diverse diet

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘eat the rainbow’? It’s sound nutritional advice that encourages you to fill your plate with as many colourful fruits and veggies as possible. In short, it’s all about variety.

Cooking your meals from scratch is a surefire way to pack in lots of the good stuff, whether it’s healthy fats from ripe green avocados and crunchy cashew nuts or vitamin c from zesty oranges and vibrant cherry tomatoes. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to load your plate up with a kaleidoscope of colour, while taking in the recommended amounts of protein, fats and carbs.

Need some encouragement? Get this: a protein-rich diet is scientifically proven to affect everything from your attention span to how well you sleep, how happy you feel, and how well you function.

Healthy fats, meanwhile, are packed full of a sustainable, slow-releasing energy that’ll keep you going the whole day through.

 

Remember you don’t have to be perfect

Repeat after us: when it comes to food, there is no such thing as good or bad. There is merely nutrient-dense or nutrient-lacking. Sometimes you’ll want food that’s nutrient-lacking, whether it’s a cold glass of wine with dinner or a few squares of chocolate enjoyed with a cup of tea.

You might like to factor little treats into your weekly meal plan or intuitively decide what little indulgences you’d like to include in your diet. However you go about it, remember this: it’s all about striking the right balance. Pay attention to the cues your body is giving you. Listen to what it needs, and you can’t go too far wrong.

 

It all starts on the inside…

You deserve to function at your best. No, really you do, and no matter how you’re currently fuelling your body, you can choose this moment right now to make a positive change. 

Imagine your cells buzzing with energy, your body performing at its peak, and the synapses in your brain firing on all cylinders and remember, when you nourish, you flourish. 

February 09, 2022
Want A Daily Gratitude Practice To Transform Your Entire Day – And Life?

Want A Daily Gratitude Practice To Transform Your Entire Day – And Life?

Want A Daily Gratitude Practice To Transform Your Entire Day – And Life? 

Gratitude. What is gratitude? You might say it’s the art of being thankful for what you have, appreciating the small things in life, or expressing thanks to someone who has done you a kindness. Us? We reckon it’s best summed up in the words of positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky.

She says, “Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savouring; it is not taking things for granted; it is present-oriented.”

See, when you’re grateful, and we mean truly, deep-down-in-your-soul grateful, all the negative stuff that brings you down can’t reach you. Anger, sadness, self-doubt: none of it can exist in the face of gratitude. It is one of the highest vibrations there is and when you focus on it, all that other stuff dissolves and reduces. 

Not only that but this magical feeling of joy can attract even more wonderful blessings into your life. Oprah keeps a gratitude journal and says, “Be thankful for what you have, and you’ll end up having more.” Put simply, being grateful makes your blessings multiply.

The good news? You can practice gratitude anywhere and everywhere and literally everyone can do it – yep, that includes you. Whether you want to feel happier, be more present, reduce stress, or simply find more beauty in life, gratitude is the answer. But don’t just take our word for it…

 

The Science Of Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t just a spiritual concept, it’s actually a bonafide area of scientific study. Researchers have been studying it since the early 2000s and as it turns out there’s a whole host of proven neuroscientific benefits to it.

So, here’s your primer: What happens when you practice gratitude? When we feel grateful our brains release a surge of dopamine, a hormone that makes us feel really good and provides a natural high. At the same time, it also produces serotonin, a hormone that balances our mood and aids feelings of relaxation.

When we express gratitude, activity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex also ramps up which helps us make better decisions and improves our learning (hence why gratitude is an excellent starting point on your self-improvement journey.)

What’s more, gratitude also stimulates our brain’s altruism and reward systems which motivates us to be charitable and kind to others, as well as seeking rewards for ourselves. Armed with gratitude you’re simply more likely to go after your goals.

As if that wasn’t enough, gratitude also has a wealth of proven health benefits, including immune support, decreased stress levels, improved sleep quality, and better emotional awareness.

 

How To Cultivate Gratitude

Maybe you’re no novice and you’re already practising gratitude and using a gratitude journal on the daily, but simply need a little guidance on how to amplify its effects and feel it more deeply. Or perhaps you’re a complete beginner and the process of being grateful for everything in your life is a new and novel concept.

Whichever camp you fall into, we’re here to help. Here at The Head Plan, we know a thing or two about gratitude. We use it on the good days and the bad and we’ve created a game-changing gratitude journal that allows you to make gratitude a daily habit in as little as five minutes. If you have ever wondered...how does a gratitude journal work? We included detailed explainer pages so you know what to put into your gratitude journal, and gratitude journal prompts to keep you on track each morning and evening. 

So are you ready to make gratitude not just a fleeting feeling but a way of life? Here’s how…

 

Create a gratitude ritual

How do I do that, you ask. Use The Head Plan journal, of course. It’s a surefire way to ensure you practice gratitude on the daily with space to record the three things you’re most grateful for each and every day. Make the process as pleasant as possible; you could use your favourite pen, light a dreamy scented candle, and curl up in the cosiest spot in your home. The more you can look forward to and savour this magical practice, the more you’ll want to do it again and again.

To stay consistent, you might like to set a specific time aside that you practice gratitude every single day. Our advice? Do it in the morning when you first wake up. It’ll set the tone for the day head.

Here’s the good news: The more you do it, the easier it’ll become. Seriously. Every time you practice gratitude daily you are strengthening your brain’s neural circuits, making it easier to maintain and focus on that feeling of gratitude in the future. How’s that for a return on investment?

 

Appreciate the little things

… and we mean the really little things. When was the last time that you gave thanks for the plates you eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner of? Or felt deeply grateful for the water supply in your home that allows you to take an invigorating hot shower each and every morning?

Day to day it can be easy to take these things for granted; it’s easy to get caught up in our troubles and forget just how much we have to be grateful for. But when you hone in on the tiny little things that make our lives more manageable and enjoyable you can establish a deep, deep appreciation for all that you have. It allows you to create a feeling of ‘fullness’ rather than lack.

Here’s our advice: every morning after you’ve filled out your Gratitude Journal, say thank you for every single thing you touch and use while you’re getting ready, from your toothbrush and toothpaste to the bowl you make your breakfast in. Trust us, by the time you’re finished, you’ll be simply buzzing to start the day.

 

Use it in negative situations

We know what you’re thinking: How could you ever feel grateful for the situations in your life that cause you pain and strife? 

Listen carefully. We get it: we know it can be easy to feel grateful when things are going great, and challenging when everything seems to be going wrong. But this is where gratitude can really work its magic: it can provide perspective, restore a feeling of calm, and even help you problem solve.

This unattributed quote sums it up: “The most powerful weapon against your daily battles is finding the courage to be grateful anyway.”

One of the quickest ways you can do just that is to ask ‘what is this teaching me?’ and then jot down your answers. Next, write a list of five blessings associated with the challenge and say ‘thank you’ for them. Maybe it’s taught you resilience, given you an opportunity to open up to a friend, or helped you get clearer on what you really want.

Search for and appreciate the hidden positives. They are there. We promise.

 

End your day with gratitude

In The Magic, author Rhonda Byrne recommends making a mental recap of your day right before you fall asleep and pinpointing the very best thing that happened so you can feel gratitude for it.

When you mentally flick back through your day, you’ll realise that it was made up of many magical moments, even if on the face of it, the past 24 hours didn’t seem all that special. It might be that first sip of tea in the morning, the laughs you exchanged with a friend or that exciting work email that landed in your inbox. When you look back, you’ll realise that there were many little blessings that came your way.

 

It all starts with gratitude…

You know that saying “The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greenest where you water it?” Think of gratitude as the water. If you want your life to be lush and green, you need to shower it in gratitude.

Put simply, gratitude turns what we have into enough, while simultaneously attracting more for us to love and appreciate. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, who you are, or how terrible things seem, what you put into a gratitude journal can turn your whole day - and life - around. 

So, let us ask you this: what are you grateful for? 

 

February 02, 2022
Lost Your Motivation? How To Use Consistency & Discipline To Achieve Your Goals

Lost Your Motivation? How To Use Consistency & Discipline To Achieve Your Goals

Picture the scene: it’s January 1st and your motivation is sky-high. You’re armed with a list of aligned goals and you’re determined that this year is going to be the year you smash them. Fast forward two weeks and your motivation is lagging. Your goals feel like they are slowly slipping from your grip and the enthusiasm and self-belief you had mere days ago has gone MIA.

It’s a familiar tale for many of us and nothing to be ashamed of because here’s the thing: motivation doesn’t really exist. Sure, sometimes you feel really, really pumped to achieve your goals and like nothing or no one can stand in the way of your achievement. But when it comes down to it, our minds are actually primed to prevent us from doing anything uncomfortable. Our egos, the fear-based part of our brains, can stand in the way of those lofty goals, and motivation is no match for the ego.

You see, the ego wants us to be as comfortable as possible. It perceives any changes to your daily routine as a threat. It wants you to stay right where you are, even though you know you’re destined for better.

It’s something Mel Robbins has spoken about in the past. She says, “Motivation is garbage because at some point we bought into this myth that we have to feel ready to change… this falsehood that at some point you’re going to have the courage and the confidence.”

The trouble is, “In order to change and do all those things you know you want to do, you’re going to have to do things that are difficult, uncertain, or scary,” she continues.

Basically? Often when we try to feel motivated, our ego steps in and reminds us of the risks. It causes us to hesitate and make comfortable, familiar decisions about our lives, rather than the ones that will bring us closer to our goals. In short, fear sabotages motivation: it’s why it’s often so fleeting.

You can watch Mel’s comments here: 

 

Creating consistent habits

If you’ve set some pretty big goals this year (which we know you have), you might be feeling pretty bummed out to hear this news. But before you start mourning the loss of motivation and see this knowledge as a negative, let us tell you this: now that you know motivation is a temporary feeling you can fall back on something much more sturdy and reliable: discipline.

You may have heard the unattributed quote “Motivation gets you going, discipline is what keeps you growing.” Put simply, discipline means following through on your intentions, priorities and goals, even when the motivation isn’t there. It’s consistency that’s key.

That might seem like a tall order, but by living the following steps you can start to make discipline a daily habit. Soon you won’t need motivation to achieve your goals, because you’ll be making steady progress without it. How’s that for winning? 

Let’s dive in… 

Create small daily habits

Have you heard about the one per cent rule? In Atomic Habits, author James Clear says to build lasting habits you just need to improve by just one per cent every day. Trouble is, when fuelled by motivation, we often try to overhaul our entire lives in one fell swoop, rather than attempting to do things gradually. This approach can lead to overwhelm and eventually cause us to give up. 

So, here’s what you need to do instead: take the pressure off by considering how you can be just one per cent better every day. Maybe instead of committing to three gym sessions every week, you decide you’ll start by upping your daily step count by 1,000 steps, and commit to increasing it every day. 

Once you’ve mastered that you might decide that you’ll start getting your heart rate up by breaking into a run or completing a short workout. Over time, if you keep making gradual improvements like these you’ll get to where you want to be, whether that place is the gym, your dream job, or a loving relationship. 

See, the more you stick with these small habits, the more they’ll become a part of your identity, and, in turn, the more consistent you’ll become. 

James Clear calls it the “compound interest” of self-improvement. You're building your success little by little, step by step, instead of attempting to do it all at once. 

At the Head Plan we use our daily pages in the Productivity & Wellness Journal to write each of your daily habits down and make them happen!  

 

Reward your behaviour

Remember what we said about the ego before and how it likes to prevent us from moving forward? Well, get this: our ego is divided into three parts, the adult, the parent and the child. 

Just like a mischievous five-year-old, your child ego often wants to run amok; it doesn’t want to be disciplined, consistent, or follow through on your goals and it’ll happily steer you off course, particularly when your motivation is low. 

The good news? You can keep your child ego compliant by offering it rewards. Say you really don’t want to complete that tricky work task (your child ego would rather watch kitten videos on YouTube)  but you know you should because it’ll get you closer to your goals. You could get your child ego on board by offering it a reward like a hot cuppa or a cute purchase once it’s completed. 

The more you deliver these rewards, the more compliant your child ego will be. And you know what that means? You’ll be able to follow through on your intentions with a whole lot more ease. 

This is why rewards are included on our daily pages in the Productivity & Wellness Journal, they can be something as small as a cup of tea and chocolate in peace, a beautiful meditation, a bath, 15 minutes reading time, a phone call with your bestie or an episode of your favourite show. It is a moment of bliss in your day or anything that brings you joy, small or big. 

Here’s a pro tip: you can keep a wishlist online or at the back of your journal full of little treats you’re excited to purchase. Anytime you follow through on a task you really weren’t feeling motivated to do, pick one and add it to cart. It really works, trust us. 

 

Plan for setbacks

Guess what? Any time you set a goal, it’s likely that you’re going to be thrown a few curveballs. There will undoubtedly be tests and roadblocks along the way. The setbacks are there to help you grow, not to make you give up.

This is where your Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal is your BFF. Use it to not only plan out your day but to plan how you’ll overcome setbacks. When you use the weekly reflection pages you can note down any challenges you’ve faced, what lessons you’ve learned and how you’ll improve next week. It’s consistency in action.

Meanwhile, by setting daily tasks you’re ensuring your goals are top of the to-do list. It’s all about accountability and creating consistent habits you can stick to. Who needs motivation, eh?

 

Stop hesitating

In the video above, Mel Robbins points out that it’s hesitation that often holds us back from achieving our goals. We make split-second decisions where we decide to let our ego take control. Learning how to use that split second to your advantage can be life-changing.

You could try the Five Second Rule. When you’re faced with a scary or uncomfortable task, you simply count down from five to one and complete it before the fear-based part of your brain jumps in. Another hack? Close your eyes and visualize the outcome of achieving your goal and let that fuel you to move forward. 

Affirmations can be excellent for helping develop a strong sense of belief. Grab our Mirror Markers and write and repeat affirming statements like ‘I can achieve anything I put my mind to’ and ‘I have the courage to follow my dreams’.’ With practice, they’ll help you conquer the hesitation habit.


Consistency is key… 

Walt Disney once said that “all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” The most important word in that sentence is “pursue”. Whether you’ve set a financial target, are building a company, or want to create a habit of self-love, you’ve got to consistently pursue those goals because motivation will only get you so far. 


Listen carefully: There is no giant step you need to take at the peak of your motivation. Really, achieving your goals is a series of quiet little steps taking over a period of time. And when you think about it, isn’t that so much more achievable? 

January 25, 2022
Why A Self Development Journal Will Help You Grow

Why A Self Development Journal Will Help You Grow

You're about to embark on a journey of self-growth and discovery. You are about to reach new realms of possibilities, tap into limitless joy, and achieve your full potential.

You will need two things on this journey: a willingness to succeed and a personal development journal. Armed with these two things there’s nothing you cannot have, do or be and you’re destined to grow into the person you want to become, whether you want to grow professionally or take your personal life to new heights.

A self-development journal is your success sidekick, but just in case you need a little extra convincing, here’s why keeping a self-improvement journal is guaranteed to help you grow:

  • Helps you laser-focus on your goals and priorities
  • Keeps you accountable
  • Allows you to work through difficult emotions
  • Helps you notice limiting thoughts and behaviour patterns
  • Provides a record of your progress
  • Allows you to identify – and build upon –the behaviours that help you succeed

A self-development journal is your space to identify what you want to achieve, conquer your limitations and track your progress, so are you ready to delve into the wonderful world of self-improvement and uncover how a personal development journal can - and will - change your life for the better?

Personal Development Is A Lot About Standards And Expectations

“What you allow will continue.” Think about this quote for a second. It basically means that the standards you set for yourself affect the way your life pans out. When you commit to personal development, not only do you raise your standards, you raise your expectations for what’s possible too.

In simple terms, creating the life you want is within your control, and it starts with taking responsibility and (gently) holding yourself accountable. Maybe you’ve noticed that you shy away from new opportunities because you’re scared of putting yourself out there or that self-doubt has stopped you from pursuing your passion. A self-improvement journal allows you to pinpoint what’s working in your life and what isn’t.

When you do this, you can choose to set new expectations for yourself. You can decide that instead of being curtailed by self-doubt you’re going to find ways to start believing in yourself. Or, instead of never shooting your shot, you’ll uncover what’s been holding you back and slowly start edging out of your comfort zone.

A personal development journal is alongside you for the journey – and by putting pen to paper you can say ‘no more’ to your limitations and begin creating a new path for your future.

Categorize your goals

If you don’t know what you want, how can you expect to get it? A self-development journal is guaranteed to help you get those goals but first, you need to know what those goals actually are.

Here’s our advice: really take your time with this step and think about what you’d want your life to look like if there were absolutely no limitations to your success. 

Once you’ve written down a few ideas, take your Head Plan Productivity and Wellness Journal and divide your goals into categories. You might like to categorise them as personal and professional, or borrow our method and divide them as follows:

  • Finance
  • Business & Career
  • Self-Care & Wellness
  • Family & Friends
  • Personal Development & Learning
  • Physical Environment

Find a schedule that works for you

Raise your hand if you’d describe your life as ‘hectic’? We get it, finding time for the stuff that really matters can be tricky, but carving out a set time to fill out your self-development journal keeps you accountable and ensures you reap the rewards.

Our advice? Stick with morning time if you can. Setting 5/10 minutes aside to review your goals, set your intentions for the day, and jot down some tasks. This will really help you set the tone for the day.

If that’s not possible, putting pen to paper right before you fall asleep is also a solid second choice, but truthfully, it matters less when you open up your journal and actually commit to journaling daily.

So go on, find ten minutes in your daily schedule for self-growth – set a reminder on your phone if you need to - because trust us, setting empowering rituals like this one can be life changing.

Personal growth: Each journey is different because we all have different needs.

Listen closely: we’re all unique in our own wonderful way and your self-growth journey doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s, which can be easy to forget in a world of social media highlight reels and 30 Under 30 lists.

Whether you’re growing at a faster pace or enjoying life at a slower one, you’re still making headway. Slow progress is better than no progress; it’s all a forward motion, and as long as you keep moving in the right direction, you’ll get to where you want to be eventually. So forget the pressure to keep up with everyone else and remember everything is unfolding for you at the perfect time. 

Now that you know there’s no panic, and that you certainly aren’t in competition with anyone else, how can you set personal development goals that truly align with who you are and what you want to achieve?

Here’s our advice: write everything that comes to mind in your  journal. When a big goal comes to mind, don’t hesitate or let your ego tell you it’s not possible or can’t be done. Keep coming back to that page and reflecting on your list. What goals really jump out at you? What feels as though it’s meant to be? Keep asking these questions until you have a handful of goals that feel aligned with you.

We’re big fans of manifestation coach Kathrin Zenkina’s goal-setting advice. She says ‘if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.’ Basically? If your goals don’t make you want to jump for joy, find some new ones that do.

What defines a self-development journey?

Here’s what we want you to know: only you get to define what success looks like to you. If you consider just getting through a tough day as progress, then give yourself a pat on the back. If setting a boundary with your boss feels like a major triumph, then go ahead and congratulate yourself.

Self-development is about being a little bit better than you were yesterday, whether that means finally mastering a new skill, learning to manage a low mood with a little more positivity, or finding your get up and go when your motivation is lagging.

The beauty of a self-improvement journal is that it makes you more aware of these small personal wins. If you really want to see how far you’ve come, go back through the pages of your journal. Can you spot the difference?

Write about what inspires you at the moment

Need a little helping hand to get those creative juices flowing? Think about who and what inspires you. Maybe you can’t get enough of a topic that’s discussed in the book you’re currently reading or are in awe of someone who’s kicking some major goals in business.

Open The Head Plan Productivity and Wellness Journal and free-write on the notes section (at the back) on whatever comes to mind when you think of these things. 

De-mystifying Mindfulness

Mindfulness, according to Webster’s dictionary at least, is the “complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” To put it simply, mindfulness is about understanding you and getting to know how you think, feel and react by being present.

Noticing your thoughts, feelings and behaviors gives you the power to decide if they are helpful to your journey or not and make a new choice.

Not sure where to begin? Open a personal development book. They’re packed with wisdom that will help you mindfully identify areas for improvement. Just like a plant needs water to thrive, you need inspiration to grow. Books are like water; a force that’ll ensure you flourish and succeed.

Keep Growing…

Have you ever wondered why some goals feel way out of reach and as though you have to work extra hard to achieve them? Try as you might, you just can’t seem to get them past the line? Often, it’s because you’re becoming a version of yourself who is a match for those goals. In other words, you need to grow into them.

It could be that you have to unlearn some of the beliefs you’ve had since childhood, develop a more loving relationship with yourself, or embrace living outside of your comfort zone.

Sometimes you might see these challenges as a sign to give up, but roadblocks are usually there for a reason: that reason is so you can learn all the things you need to know to become that next level version of YOU.

Armed with a personal development journal you can make that growth a given, so turn the page, and enjoy the journey.

January 12, 2022
Tags: featured
A Year Of Growth: How To Make 2022 The Year Of Twenty Twenty YOU

A Year Of Growth: How To Make 2022 The Year Of Twenty Twenty YOU

Personal development is the most worthwhile investment you will ever make. Read that sentence again. No matter what, YOU are the most precious thing you’ll ever have in life. You are in your own company 24 hours a day from the moment you’re born until the moment you take your last breath. And that’s why investing in your growth is not just super important, it’s totally necessary.

The more you learn and grow now, the more you’re able to learn and grow in the future. When you invest in your growth, you simply keep getting better and better.  

Science has confirmed that as humans we typically adopt one of two primary mindsets: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. The fixed mindset believes your unique talents and abilities are set in stone and can not be changed no matter how hard you try. A growth mindset, however, believes that, with a little effort, you can develop new skills and talents with a little training and effort.

Thanks to neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to form new connections), you can adopt a growth mindset at any time, and the cusp of a brand new year is as good a time as any to get started. 

At The Head Plan we are encouraging you to make 2022 the year of twenty twenty YOU. Are you ready?

How To Invest In Yourself In 2022

Focus on healing

Is there an area in your life that feels unnecessarily difficult and try as you might you just can’t seem to make it work the way you want it to? Chances are there’s a limiting belief or an old wound lurking beneath the surface that’s preventing you from moving forward.

See, a major part of personal growth is looking honestly and unashamedly at the parts of you that need to be healed. You have to clear out the mental clutter to make way for what’s new. To get started, take some time to reflect – and we mean really reflect – on what’s not working.  

Open The Head Plan Productivity & Wellness Journal and get it all out on paper. What fears are holding you back? What areas of your life feel harder than they need to be, and why might this be? What can you do to turn things around?

As Alan Cohen puts it, “Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information but of unlearning old habits.” When embarking on a journey of growth in 2022, make healing your starting point.

Read, read, read

Personal development books are like being handed the cheat codes to life. They contain a tonne of wisdom from people who have overcome the very thing you’re struggling with.

They might contain certain quotes that resonate with you or share a particular piece of advice that’s the very thing you needed to hear to reach your next level.

Not all personal development books are created equal and we thoroughly believe that sometimes a book finds you, instead of the other way around. That’s why, when choosing a book, we advise you to tap into your intuition and ask yourself: what do I feel called to read?

Remember: reading personal development books isn’t a passive experience. Make sure you’re absorbing all the good stuff, and if it helps, take some notes as you go. To keep up the habit, you might like to commit to reading 10 pages a day or set a goal of reading one book a month.

If you prefer to learn in other ways, consider what podcasts you could listen to, documentaries you could watch, and inspiring accounts you could follow. The way you think, feel and act is a result of the things you give your attention to, so in 2022 (and beyond) ensure you choose wisely.

Create rituals and routines

It could be listening to a personal development podcast on your walk to work or committing to writing a gratitude list each and every morning. Maybe you want to start repeating affirmations so you can work through some limiting beliefs or plan to meditate so your mind and body have the chance to be still.

Creating solid rituals and routines is a way to accelerate your personal growth in 2022: they are the small daily steps that add up to big results over time.

Not sure where to start? Ask yourself this: what fills my cup up to overflowing? Is it reading an inspiring chapter of a book first thing in the morning or writing motivational messages with your Mirror Markers? Maybe you just need a few minutes with your Head Plan Gratitude Journal to feel your very best self.

Research shows that having rituals like these in place helps us thrive during stressful times, and boosts our productivity, focus and organisation: the perfect ingredients for self-growth if you ask us.

If you struggle to stick with new routines, give this a try: introduce one habit at a time, for example writing a gratitude list. Once you’ve successfully completed that for a series of days, add in something else, like five minutes of meditation. Over time those habits will become so ingrained, you won’t want to go without them.

Attend workshops

Here’s a question: how long have you been saying that you’ll sign up for that class, log in to watch a live or finally attend that personal development workshop that you know is certain to help you get to your next level?

Here’s our advice: Stop procrastinating. If your finger is hovering over the ‘Sign up’ button, try the five-second rule. Simply count down from five and enrol before the fear-based part of your brain jumps in and stops you.

There is a workshop out there that’s jam-packed with the answers to the very things you’re confused about. For many, you don’t even need to leave the house. Look at Instagram for lives and masterclasses, head to The Head Plan Community App to check out upcoming events, and keep your eyes peeled for classes hosted by your favourite personal development authors.

Happy twenty twenty You…

Imagine you have a crystal ball and cast your mind forward to December 31st 2022. When the clock turns midnight, where do you want to be? What do you want to have achieved and how do you want to feel? 

There is no goal too big or too small that you can’t achieve in the 12 months that are to come. It all comes down to investing in your growth and remembering this one crucial piece of info: Our natural abilities are not set in stone. With a little self-investment, there’s no telling where you might go.

January 05, 2022
Tags: featured