Sunday, 25 January 2009

Get Going

What gets you on to that first step or moves you along to the final one? How do you motivate yourself?

Instead of mentally beating yourself up for not having done what you wanted to, it's a great idea to talk to yourself the way you would a friend who can't get going.

Let's imagine your friend just can't think of anything to say on their blog and phones you up for a little motivation.

Would you be sympathetic: "I know just how you feel. I sometimes can't think of anything to say either, and then I have a shower and relax and a thought pops into my head. I know you can do it, you always write such great posts."

Or would you be all questiony: "What helps you get creative? What usually inspires you?"

Or would you just be brutal: "Oh, get on with it, you're always moaning."

Think about it, because however you talk to a friend is the way that would most inspire you.

And then, when you've written your post, let me have the link - I'd love to read it.

See you at Life Clubs this week where we're getting motivated,
Founder Life Clubs

Sunday, 18 January 2009


Dear All,

It was my birthday weekend and I just wanted to let you know how truly wonderful it was to have a weekend in which I indulged myself and others indulged me. We went for a stunning walk, I had a swim, a facial and manicure, I enjoyed tea in London with some of my children and then supper in Leeds with my husband and son and Alice, my son’s girlfriend. We ate in a tiny bistro that squeezed us in at the last minute and gave me an impromptu pudding with sparklers. The whole restaurant sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and it was great.

All I could think all day was ‘Aren’t I lucky?’

I know that’s not a real question, but it brings me nicely to our topic this week, which is questions. It’s the New Year, what could make you feel as lucky as me? Come to Life Clubs this week and find out.

See you there,

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Isn't it the time to set goals?

I don't know why I love this photo. The designer chose it for The Big Book of Me and it appealed. Probably because it's so much the opposite of me. I don't like boxing, I don't like violence of any kind - staged or not - and I'm not really someone who punches (and wish I could). My punches, if there were any, would go round a circumference instead of a straight diameter.

Business friends are often saying to me 'You know all about goal-setting, you show people how to do it in Life Clubs, well, just apply it to your business'. And, yes, I can see the logic of that, but the wonder of Life Clubs (to me) is that we set ourselves a challenge every week - a little goal - and that's what we aim for. Once a year (and that's this week), we think about the best way to set a big, life goal, but most of the time there's that wonderful feeling of satisfaction as we aim for something achievable - but just slightly more than we'd usually do - and can do it.

Today however I thought I'd practise what I'm preaching this week and set a larger goal. I didn't do anything for the business - I'll leave that 'til next week (sound familiar?), but I set myself the goal of losing weight. I did exactly what we're going to be doing this Life Club and it worked. The end result was that just a few hours later I was already achieving one of the parts of this goal and going for my first swim. Hooray!

So, let's put on our wonderful red, shiny boxing gloves this week and punch. Punch our goals and punch the air for success.

And, before I forget, have a look at this wonderful piece written about us in today's Times newspaper. I was punching the air I can tell you.

See you at Life Clubs,

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year : Best Life Ever

Dear All,

I started the New Year with no internet connection. Let's hope it's not a foretaste of the year ahead.

The connection is thankfully back, but what its absence did was left me free to visit Tate Modern and what a brilliant way to start the New Year. I'd never heard of Brazilian artist, Cildo Meireles, but I'm now one of his biggest fans. I hate to be an art bore, but there were three installations there that really affected me and I'd like to share them with you.

All three of them seemed relevant to my New Year mood and New Year thoughts.

The first installation was simply a tiny 9mm cube of wood in the corner of a totally empty room. There was just a spotlight on the cube of wood. Meireles is very political, but I'm not even going to attempt to express the thoughts behind his actions. To me, this was a wonderful perspective for the year ahead. I felt that I am that totally tiny little cube in the middle of all that space, and how wonderfully insignificant I and all my problems are. So, my first 'lightbulb moment' of the year was that I am going to keep remembering that space and me as that tiny little cube of wood and keep all my worries in proportion.

The second was a red room. These photos sadly do not do it justice. Yes, I know the walls were white and the ceiling was white too with a diffuse light coming through it, but everything (yes, everything) else in the room was bright red, or as near to bright red as you can get. I have never craved for the colour blue as much. That room was so incredibly suffocating, so intense, so dead it was uncanny. I would never have believed it. It felt surreal starting a New Year like that. In a red prison, longing for colour.

The third was the final installation - again, forgive the picture, the best the Tate provides. Two rooms, ankle deep in talcum powder which felt damp underfoot. One room totally dark, the other long with a burning candle at one end. A magical, 'in the bleak mid-winter' scene of fog, mystery, poetry and hope. I loved it.

Go if you can - don't wait for your internet connection to fail.

Happy New Year,
Founder Life Clubs
PS This week at Life Clubs we're going to be thinking about our Best Life Ever. More trips to the Tate feature high on mine. What makes you happy?