What Is Self-Care?

What Is Self-Care?

What do you think of when you hear the words self-care? You might picture a hot, bubbly bath complete with candles and luxuriously scented body creams. Maybe you see your face slathered in a face mask and a fluffy robe wrapped around your body. Or picture yourself in the salon getting your nails done. Bliss.
The great news is that self-care can be all these things and more. Taking care of yourself and making your needs a priority doesn’t just involve indulgent pamper sessions. Nope, good old self-care goes beyond the bathtub as well.
To put it simply, self-care is any act you do with the intention of improving your mental, physical, and emotional health. It’s an activity that you consciously do to enhance your wellbeing, and honour and nurture you.
Writing your thoughts and feelings into a journal when you’re feeling down on yourself? That’s self-care. Telling a friend you want to stay home and relax instead of going to that party? Also self-care. 
Really, anything that involves you putting your needs first could be classed as self-care, like buying a bunch of flowers on a Sunday just because they make you smile, or allowing yourself that lie in because you know you need to rest.
Even completing a task you’ve been putting off, like doing your taxes, spring cleaning the house, or having that awkward chat with your manager could be classed as self-care. Why? Because you’re nipping that feeling of dread in the bud and replacing it with a feeling of pride and satisfaction.


Why is self-care important?


It’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside. Maybe you reckon you don’t have time to care for yourself or believe self-care is selfish. Perhaps you have great intentions but at the end of a busy workday, self-care falls waaaaaay down in the pecking order.
Here’s the thing though: self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s essential. It’s the very thing that helps you to perform at your best, feel good about yourself, and be the amazing person that you are. 
With a proper self-care routine, you can better manage daily stresses and strains, deepen your relationships with others, find more joy and fulfilment in your life, and have more energy for the stuff that matters.
You know that saying about how you can’t pour from an empty cup? That sums it up. Self-care fills you up so you can pour positive energy in all directions. 
Wonderful things happen when you make time for you.


The Rule Of Five


Not sure what you need or where to begin? Let us help you. Your basic self-care needs can be divided into five areas.


Physical

This is the basic stuff; nourishment - eating your greens, movement - getting exercise, drench - drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. Taking these daily self-care steps will fill you with energy for the day ahead.


Social

Sometimes all you really need is a good chat with a friend or a hug from someone you love. Yes, socialising is self-care too and nurturing relationships with those around you is the perfect way to make you feel connected and grounded. This includes how much alone time you need too – so don’t forget to schedule it in!


Mental

Our thoughts and feelings determine our lives and the way you talk to yourself can be helpful or harmful to your mental health. Learning to silence your inner critic and embrace yourself with love and kindness is a form of self-care, and a list of pre-determined practices can really help on those days you really need to mind your mental health.


Spiritual

How connected do you feel to your spiritual self? Nurturing this side of you is important too, and meditation, prayer, yoga, and sitting quietly in nature are the perfect ways to do this.


Emotional

How many emotions do you reckon you process in a typical day? Researchers believe there are as many as 27 different human emotions. That’s a whole lot of feelings and it’s important you nurture them. Journaling and planning activities that relax and recharge you are extremely helpful.


How To Make It A Priority


Divide it in 5

When it comes to creating any new habit, we’re all about breaking things down into small manageable chunks. That’s why, when you’re creating a self-care tool-kit , it’s a good idea to look at the five basic self-care needs above and ask yourself what you need.
Could you benefit from setting tighter boundaries around work? Would a weekly catchup call with a friend help you manage stress? Maybe it’s your spiritual self-care that’s lacking. Write it down and make it happen.


Make a list 

We love a good list at The Head Plan and making a list of ten things that make you feel fantastic can be truly transformative. When are you most happy? What activities make you feel relaxed, joyful, and confident, or accomplished, satisfied and calm? Have a think and commit them to paper. Hold tight, you’re about to feel AH-mazing. 


Start with the basics

Want to live each day with bag loads of energy and zest? We have two words for you: Drench and Nourish. As humans, our most basics needs are food and water, so take the first step by upping your water intake and filling your diet with delicious food that nourishes you.
You don’t need to make drastic changes. Fill your Daily Drench bottle before you go to bed so you can go hard on the H20 in the morning, and consider adding an extra portion of fruit or veg to each meal. They’re small steps, but they make a whole lot of difference.


Plan a daily self-care & wellness action

Crack open your copy of The Head Plan and you’ll see we’ve made a special section to help you do this on the daily. Popping a self-care & wellness action into your journal every day ensures you make it a priority.
It can be easy to put everyone else’s needs before your own, but by making self-care something you do daily, you’re putting your happiness, health, and wellbeing at the top of the to-do list. And what could be more important than that? 


Reward it

All of us need little incentives to help us achieve our goals, so go ahead and dangle the metaphorical carrot by giving yourself a reward every time you complete your self-care action.
Stuck for ideas? You could book yourself in for a hair appointment after a week of prioritizing your self-care. You could put some money in a ‘treat yourself’ pot at the end of each day. Or you could put your feet up with a cup of tea.
How you reward yourself doesn’t really matter, so long as it feels good and incentivises you to do your daily self-care & wellness actions again and again.
Ready to prioritise your wellness? Here’s the thing about self-care. The clue is in the name. It’s something you have to do yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. 
The wonderful news is that prioritising self-care is totally worthwhile. Not only does it feel good when you’re doing it, it can also help you get more out of life as well. With a proper self-care routine, one that nurtures you and makes you feel good, you can achieve anything. 
 
 
May 11, 2021
Personal Development Books

Personal Development Books

Here at The Head Plan, we LOVE personal development books. In fact, we have bookshelves groaning under the weight of them.

Before we get stuck into how personal development books have changed our lives for the better, and how they can change yours too, let’s get a handle on what the personal development genre actually is.

Some people call it self help. Others call it self improvement. But really, it doesn’t matter what name you want to give it, personal development books are simply non-fiction texts that are packed full of powerful, transformational wisdom. They’re often jam packed with practical instruction, tried and tested steps, and inspirational real-life stories that can motivate you to make changes in your own life.

More often than not, personal development books are written by someone who is an expert in that particular field, or someone who has been there done that and wants to share their wisdom with the world so everyone can reap the rewards together.

Why read personal development books

If you’re a self-confessed suspense novel addict or romantic tales of unrequited love are your thing, you might find it hard to put down your usual read, but let us tell you a secret: the answer to every problem you’ve ever hadis hidden in the pages of a personal development book.

Whether you want to know how to build your confidence, how to let go of fear and reach for your dreams, how to create meaningful habits, or simply how and why you should start getting up earlier in the mornings, someone somewhere has written about it.

Someone somewhere has done all the work. They’ve discovered what works, and what doesn’t, and they’ve compiled all their wisdom, knowledge and experience into one easily digestible read so you can bypass all the guesswork and follow their blueprint for success.

To put it simply, personal development books are a really accessible way to constantly learn and evolve. They are the cheapest, quickest, and easiest way to gain valuable insights from the best mentors and thought leaders around the world.

Add to that, personal developments books can expand your idea of what’s possible, help you smash through limitations, allow you to build on your strengths and successes, and inspire you to set big, exciting goals. And all you have to do is buy the book, get comfy, and learn.
 

Choosing the personal development books that are right for you

Picking a personal development book is often an intuitive experience. In fact, you might find that you simply attract the very book you need to read into your life. Or you could be acutely aware of an area you want to work on and choose your reading material based on that.

Our advice is to read as many personal development books as you can. Make a commitment to life long learning. And keep your choices varied. Consider reading a personal development book for each area of your life, whether you want to improve your finances, your relationship with friends, your career, or some other area. And if you’re stuck? Just ask us for recommendations. We’ve got a bucketload.
 

How to get the most out of personal development books

Here’s the thing: reading personal development books is not a passive experience. While you might find yourself getting lost in the pages of that soppy love story, personal development books require you to pay attention and engage.

Highlight it

That might mean taking a highlighter and highlighting important passages. It might mean jotting down notes as you read. It could mean marking important chapters that you want to read time and again to really let the message sink in.
While regular old fiction is about pure blissful enjoyment, personal development is about learning and expanding your horizons. 
 

Act

Most importantly, however, personal development books require you to take action. You can have all the wisdom and knowledge in the world, but it means very little if you don’t act on it.

Napoleon Hill, author of the renowned personal development book Think And Grow Rich, turned the often repeated “Knowledge is power” quote on its head when he noted, “Knowledge is only potential power.”

You have to take the knowledge and learn how to implement it in your own life. That’s right, you’ve got to do a little work too.
 

Break it down

That doesn’t mean you have to take every single learning from each book you read and try to put it into practice. No, that’s a surefire route to burnout and exhaustion.

Even if you only take one important lesson away from each book and use it to positively change your life, then you’ve 'levelled up’. When you read, you get to pick and choose the lessons that really resonate with you, and you’ll instinctively know which ones will benefit you most.

And, pro tip time: the lesson that you’re most resisting putting into practice, is usually the one you need to implement most. Bear that in mind as you’re reading. 
 

Make it a habit

After each reading session, consider what you’ve learned. Mull it over, think about how it relates to your life, and make a plan. Grab your copy of The Head Plan and start writing. How could this impact your habits and goals? How could you use this to improve your life? Add it to your daily tasks and watch it become a habit that can transform your life.

Now that you know all about the magic of this genre, are you ready to crack the spine on a book that has the power to change your life? We hope so because the next chapter of your life starts with the turn of a page. 
 
March 03, 2021
Meditation 101

Meditation 101

Have you ever tried to meditate, closed your eyes and cleared your mind only to suddenly remember you were supposed to call your friend/put a wash on/make a meal plan/put out a metaphorical fire at work?
Perhaps you’ve never attempted to close your eyes and clear your mind because you feel meditation is not relevant to you, or worse because you simply don’t have the time.

Whichever camp you fall into, mediation is a worthwhile pursuit, and once you’ve mastered it you’ll want to do it again and again, but before we get started, let’s clarify what mediation is and what it is not.

Meditation is a practice dedicated to quieting the mind to achieve a heightened state of focus, awareness, and connection to your higher self.
If that sounds a little too ‘woo’ to you, it can also be a way to simply grab 5 minutes of complete peace and calm in your day.

Meditation isn’t closing your eyes and attempting to muddle through your problems, contemplate life, or reflect on events, and it isn’t linked to any particular religion either. At its core, meditation is simply the process of stilling our busy minds to reach a heightened state of calm and consciousness.



The Magic Of Meditation



Feel like your face is permanently pointed in the direction of your phone, or that your attention is pulled in 50 different directions at once?

In a world constantly connected taking a breather is more important than ever, and meditation has many benefits. Is your mind awash with competing thoughts, problems and to-dos? Then meditation is the way forward. Not only will it give your mind a break from all the noise; it can also improve your clarity and focus which in turn enables you to find solutions and be more productive.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful benefits of meditation is the powerful connection you may feel to your higher self while mediating. Put simply, your higher self is the best version of yourself. We can’t always access this part of ourselves because the constant busyness of the mind can keep it hidden, but the process of meditation allows it to emerge.

When it does, you may notice that you feel overcome with a powerful, awe-inspiring feeling of connection and calm. Don’t be surprised if an intense but comforting feeling of euphoria washes over you while meditating.

If all that isn’t reason enough, meditation can also lessen anxiety, regulate your mood, increase creativity, improve memory retention, boost feelings of happiness, reduce stress, deepen your sense of gratitude, improve the functioning of the brain, aid sleep, strengthen immunity, and improve your attention span.



How To Get Started



Step 1: 
Get Comfy


You might feel happier sitting upright in your favourite chair or find you’re at your comfiest when lying flat on your bed. Choose what feels best for you.
It’s also a good idea to find the right space. Ideally, somewhere where you feel calm, collected and clutter-free


Step 2: 
Start Slow


You don’t need to spend a full 60 minutes a day meditating to feel its benefits. It’s best to start slow and build it up as you go along. Aim for just 5 minutes in the beginning and over time you can increase that to whatever feels right to you. It all starts by closing your eyes that very first time and committing to make it a consistent habit.  


Step 3: 
And Breeeeeathe


This next step is so simple, it hardly even warrants instruction. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Notice your chest rising and falling, and the air flowing in and out of your nose with ease. Just keep your focus on this and nothing else and you’ll slowly slip into a meditative state.  


Step 4: 
Let The Thoughts Pass


Want to know one of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to meditation? It’s getting frustrated when thoughts emerge. Sure, you are meant to clear your mind when you meditate, but during the process of meditation, thoughts will naturally pop into your mind.

The trick is to simply observe them and let them pass. Getting annoyed or disheartened that a thought has distracted you lessens your connection and impedes your success. Occasional thoughts are normal. Just let them float on by.  


Step 5: 
And You’re Back In The Room


Once your time is up, slowly begin to notice the sensations in your body again – some people like to wiggle their fingers and toes as they come back into full consciousness. Open your eyes, take a moment to fully awaken, and slowly ease yourself into your day.  


Step 6: 
Choose Your Style


There are so many different meditation styles to choose from. Lucky for you in our Head Plan 30 Day Meditation Challenge we explore many of these. We feel it is important that you find what works for you. Take the time after each day to jot down one or two lines of reflection on how a particular meditation style made your feel.

And that’s it. You’ve meditated and you’re on your way to making it a habit. Whether you felt as though you connected with a deeper part of yourself or you just feel a lot more peaceful and calm, it’s all good. Be kind to yourself and keep going. 

Is it always easy? No, particularly when you’re very stressed or overstimulated. But is it always worth it? Absolutely.   

Join our free 30 Day Meditation Programme on The Head Plan App. Start today, it only takes 5 minutes. 

March 03, 2021
The Art Of Goal Setting

The Art Of Goal Setting

We want to let you in on a secret. Everything you’ve ever dreamed of is possible. Yep, let that sink in. It doesn’t matter whether you want to build your own business empire, travel the world, write a book, or fly to the moon someday. Everything and anything is possible with a plan.


How To Set Goals

You can achieve everything you’ve ever wanted simply by using a consistent goal setting practice. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, you can start anywhere today, and with the right amount of determination, focus, and action, you can make your dreams a reality.
If this is your first introduction to goal setting you might be wondering where to get started. If you’re a seasoned goal setter you might be seeking a little more success. Either way, here at The Head Plan we have your back.
 achieve everything you’ve ever wanted simply by using a consistent goal setting practice. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, you can start anywhere today, and with the right amount of determination, focus, and action, you can make your dreams a reality.
If this is your first introduction to goal setting you might be wondering where to get started. If you’re a seasoned goal setter you might be seeking a little more success. Either way, here at The Head Plan we have your back.


Get crystal clear

Before you set goals, it’s pretty essential that you sit down and suss out what it is you actually want. Take your time on this one. Now is your opportunity to get crystal clear on what you want in life so don’t rush the process.
Look at the six main areas of your life – finance, business & career, self-care & wellness, friends & family, personal development & learning, and physical environment – write out exactly how you want your life to look. Jot down whatever it is that comes to mind and don’t be worried if your list of goals currently resembles a mass of messy scribbles – you can finesse it in the next step.
If you’ve set small goals in the past because you didn’t believe the bigger stuff was attainable, now is the time to really dream big. Try not to worry about how it might happen; pull out the big guns of belief and trust it will. You got this!
If you are struggling to get clear on what you want your life to look like we recommend taking 15 minutes with Gabby Bernstein’s ‘Holding a vision of the new way of living meditation’. Listen, visualise and then write your vision down.


Write it out

Want to hear something that shocked us? Only three per cent of people set goals and only one per cent write them down. So if you pull out your copy of The Head Plan and write out your goals you’re already ahead of 99 per cent of the population.
Here’s our special formula: Start with your long-term goals, the big stuff that you want to achieve in the next two, three, five, and 10 years, and then break them down into short-term goals you want to achieve over the next year and coming months.
Knowing what your goals are in the short term not only makes the big stuff seem more attainable but helps you to achieve your long-term goals over time by taking consistent action towards them.


Take daily action steps

Ever heard the phrase ‘Success is the sum of small efforts’? We’re big fans of that one and it’s the exact reason we include weekly goals and daily tasks in The Head Plan.
By making progress day by day, week by week, you are inching ever closer to your dreams in a way that feels achievable, and research shows that you’re twice as likely to succeed if you make a plan for where, when, and how you’ll carry these goal-getting tasks out. Plus, we can all agree that putting a big tick on your to-do list gives a great feeling of satisfaction!
Consider the aligned steps you can take to reach your goals and make a specific plan for when you’ll complete them and you can’t go wrong.


Regularly review

Whether you’ve a head like a sieve or the memory of an elephant, each and every one of us needs to be reminded of our goals over and over again to keep them at the front of our minds – and there are loads of great ways to do this.
Grab your journal and read over them first thing in the morning, write them out and stick them on the fridge, create a vision board or a screensaver on your phone. Do whatever you have to do to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.
If after a little while you realise that a goal you set isn’t really aligned with what you want, for whatever reason? That’s okay. Revise it and replace it with something that feels much more ‘you’.

Powerful practices

Want to level up your goal setting practice? Try practice gratitude for your goals now, as if they were already achieved. If you’re a fan of the Law Of Attraction, you’ll know that doing so will help you attract all those magical things into your life.
Next, close your eyes, and visualize it. Can you imagine being the CEO of your own company or opening the door to your brand new home? Good, because if you can see it, you’re going to be it.

Don’t give up

What do you think the majority of people do when things are not going in the way they want? Most of us, if we’re being totally honest, take it as a sign we should give up. A bump in the road isn’t a sign you should throw in the towel…it is an opportunity to really test your commitment. How badly do you want it? Now is the time to really go for it.
Knock-backs are all part of the process and without them, you wouldn’t be able to level up and become the version of yourself who’s living the dream. If you need it, take a little time to wallow, regroup, and just keep going. Trust us, it will be worth it. What is for you will not pass you.
 

Reward yourself

Everyone needs incentives. When it comes to your goals, what are yours?
Having little things to look forward to, like a special purchase at the end of a busy week, a cup of tea and a square of chocolate for completing a nerve-wracking task, or your favourite dinner for finally opening that savings account, can keep you going while you wait for the big rewards, so schedule them in. Don’t just plan your daily tasks but your daily rewards too!

Aaaaand go...

If you’re feeling pumped and you’re ready to put pen to paper and set yourself some big goals, we want you to know it’s all possible. You’ve got this, there’s nothing you can’t do, be, or have, now go get ’em!
March 03, 2021
The Magic Of A Morning Ritual

The Magic Of A Morning Ritual


All of us have little rituals we incorporate into our day. Crawling back into bed with a book and a cup of herbal tea before starting work. That’s a ritual. Running a hot bath, lighting a bunch of candles, and slathering on half a tub of body cream after a long soak. Also a ritual.

Put simply a ritual is a sequence of actions or activities performed in a prescribed order, at a set time of the day, and creating a powerful ritual that aids your personal development is a surefire way to see big, exciting changes in your life. 
By starting each morning with a ritual, you’re setting an intention for the day ahead, and ensuring that you rule the day, instead of the other way around.
At first glance, having a ritual you repeat day in day out, may seem tedious, but once you’ve experienced the life-changing benefits, you’ll want to do it again and again, and you might even find that without your morning ritual you feel in a bit of a funk.
Here at The Head Plan, we call building your habits the #RitualRewire because having effective daily rituals can rewire your brain. It’s an essential way to set yourself up for success and ensure you have a great day, not just out of luck or chance, but because you engineered it that way.
Ready to start your own #RitualRewire? Let’s dig in.


How A Ritual Can Change Your Life


Have you ever heard the phrase ‘know your why’? As with any new goal or intention, you need to clearly know why you are doing it in order to succeed, and the good news is, the reasons for rewiring your morning ritual are plentiful.
Get this: the way you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. By starting the day in a relaxed, fulfilling, and positive way, you’re more likely to carry those feelings into the afternoon, and feel more equipped to handle any challenges that come your way.
A morning ritual can also help you to laser focus on your goals and give your day a clear purpose and intention. Starting your day with a ritual can help you to prioritize and problem solve which in turn makes it easier for you to complete tasks and inch closer to your goals.
That’s not all. An effective morning ritual can be incredibly grounding. Having a set morning routine that you complete every day without fail can help you feel in control and can lessen anxiety as a result. Add to that, you’ll go through your day with a sense of achievement, clarity and control.
Simply put a morning ritual is a surefire way to feel like ‘you got this’, not just in the AM, but the whole day through. And if you still aren’t sold on the benefits of a #RitualRewire? Oprah is a fan. Rumour has it she starts her day with a set series of spiritual exercises. Enough said.


How To Get Started


Step 1
To change anything for the better, you first need to look at what’s not working, so before you excitedly grab a pen and start plotting, write out what your current morning routine looks like.
Do you wake up late and spend the first 30 minutes of your day rushing around in a blur? Do you open your eyes and anxiously run through all the tasks you have to complete that day? Perhaps you spend the first 10 minutes scrolling through Insta.
Step 2
Now it’s time for the fun part: creating a new plan. One that will set you up for the best day, every day. Close your eyes, and imagine your perfect morning. What are you doing? How do you feel? And most importantly, how do you want to continue to feel throughout the day?
Step 3
Write it out, and suss out how much time you’ll need in the morning to complete each activity. You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn if you aren’t an early riser. A morning ritual can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. However long it takes you to feel grounded and excited for the day ahead. And that’s it, set your alarm for the morning and get ready to rise. 


Stuck for ideas?


Here’s the good news. There’s no hard and fast rule for what your new morning ritual should entail. If you’ve identified that your day is often filled with negative thoughts and complaints, you might like to kickstart your morning by jotting down 3 things you’re grateful for in your journal.
Maybe you’ve identified that your day needs more structure. That’s a great excuse to open up your copy of The Head Plan and list out your goals, intentions, and tasks.
Next, you could recite some affirmations to set positive intentions for the day. If anxiety is a problem, 5 minutes of meditation might help you feel calm, while a quick review of your goals is sure to give you a lasting jolt of motivation.
Need some other ideas? Sip on hot lemon water to start your day on a healthy note. Crack the spine on an inspiring book. Do some stretching to limber up for the day ahead. Go for a lovely sunrise walk.
Whatever ritual you’ve decided upon, commit to it using your #RitualRewire PDF and remember there’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s all about finding a system that works for you, and one that you can edit and adjust over time to suit your needs.


What About Those Days You Really Need A Lie-in? 


We bet even world-renowned life coach Tony Robbins sometimes hits the snooze button, and you should never feel guilty about needing to rest, but if lazy mornings mean you forget about your ritual altogether, here’s a trick. Create a mini ritual for the days all you really want to do is to catch some more zeds.
The simplest way to do that is to identify the most effective action in your current ritual. Which activity could you not live without? Which one gives you the biggest rush of high vibes? Commit to that one action on your lazy days and you’ll still see your life change.
And if you miss a day? Don’t beat yourself up. Remember this, habits are not a finish line to be crossed, but a lifestyle to be lived, and consistency trumps perfection every single time. 
March 03, 2021