Sunday, 30 January 2011

What makes a good question?

This week's workshop (week of 31st January) is about asking questions that make you think.

Let's give it a go... What would it benefit you most to think about?

I remember last year when I was working at Feltham Community College with the Year 10s (14 year olds). A little unsure - I'd never worked in a school before, I decided that the most important thing I could do right at the start of the lesson was to make them realise that Life Clubs was not going to be like anything they'd known before. I started the first lesson by going round the room asking each of them in turn what they really enjoyed doing and why. Needless to say, there were a few that thought it amusing to say they 'didn't know' in answer to my questions, but the rest said that no-one had taken an interest in them like that before.

They were right. We often don't take an interest like that in ourselves and others either. We tend to ask each other the same questions: 'When's supper?'... 'What's on telly?'... 'What are you doing tomorrow?' We don't ask 'Do you feel like cooking supper tonight?' or 'What could we do instead of telly?' or 'What would make tomorrow special for you?' Instead we settle for the familiar.

Life Clubs questions are inspirational and thought-provoking. They help you work out what it is you already know, but might not be focusing on. And, like with most subjects, there are the standard questions and the fun ones.

What I really enjoyed today, is that walking round the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford there was a question (only one) that could have been written by Life Clubs...

If you were to decorate your own coat of arms, what animals would you choose?

I don't know about you, but I'd have an eagle.

See you this week at Life Clubs. Is there anything that could stop you coming?
Author of How To Get What You Want

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Out of my comfort zone

I went way out of my comfort zone this week and it felt scary...

A few years ago I ran a series of workshops at the drinks company, Diageo. They were a hit, we got wonderful feedback, everyone felt calm and energised at the end of them and I met a group of lovely people.

Quick flashback...

So, here's my secret... I have never had 'a job'.

Well, that's not strictly true. I worked for Electra/Asylum and CBS Records in Los Angeles when I was in my early twenties in the art department working on album covers (such fun), but since then I've always been self-employed.

When I created Life Clubs seven years ago, I never imagined the workshops being used by corporates and now, even though Life Clubs has been run in lots of corporates who have all loved the workshops, there's still that fearful little voice going round in my head saying 'What do you know about the life of someone with a job?', 'How can you bluff it with an HR person and say you understand their problems?' 'Stick to what you know'.

As our workshop of 24th January is all about those beliefs we have about ourselves that limit us, I decided to take action. I met the lovely man who came along to all my workshops at Diageo and asked him what I could do about getting repeat business after all that lovely feedback.

He welcomed me with open arms and, the moment I left, emailed two members of the HR team and the lady who ran the Women's Network introducing Life Clubs with effusive praise.

Don't sit (like me) waiting for three years for the phone to ring, just make that call. Leave your comfort zone for pastures new.

I went way out of my comfort zone this week and it felt scary... and wonderful!

See you this week at Life Clubs to work on your beliefs.

Hope you're having a great weekend,
Founder Life Clubs
PS If you're in a wonderful relationship, are over 25 and have been together for more than 18 months, please do answer this sex in relationships survey ... thanks.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Planning ahead

I've been surrounded by people this week talking to me about strategies and asking me if I had planned what I wanted to happen in the next two years, so it felt as if last week's club about planning ahead was very relevant.

I know that if I plan ahead it makes everything easier. It makes it easier to say 'No', easier to focus and easier to feel calm.

Today's my birthday and I've got a lovely plan for the day. All the family are going out for brunch and then off to see The King's Speech. Two things I want to do that I'm really looking forward to. I'm just waiting now for some of the teenagers to wake up so I can open my presents!!!

Today's a simple plan just for me, but most of my plans are much bigger. I know I can feel as if my plans are overwhelmingly large and I don't know how to tackle them. Those plans can seem to cover all aspects of our lives and often we don't really know where to start.

Next week's club is all about planning and how to make it simple. We'd like you to know every day what you're doing - just like I do today - but to have an overview so that each day builds on the next. All that in 90 minutes!

I'm saying 'No' to writing more today because of my plan. Hope you all have a great day too - over here the sun is shining.

All best and see you at Life Clubs,
Nina x

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Happy New Year...

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope this year is healthy for you and brings you a wonderful, balanced life.

I don't know what New Year resolutions, goals, decisions etc you made for yourself, but last week's Life Club workshop (our first of the New Year) was all about you and what's important to you. What relaxes you? What sustains you? What gives you pleasure?

This picture used to be me (only with grey hair)! I love my work and you could often (well, slight exaggeration, occasionally) find me slumped over my desk in exhaustion. Last week I decided to change all that and go to bed as early as I could every night without my laptop but with a good book or even (serious treat) a film. Sleep before midnight is, I've been told, the best.

The week has been wonderful. I've been in bed most nights before 10.30 and, most of them, I've even been asleep by then. I watched 'Toast' one night (thoroughly enjoyable)'Bleak House' another (riveting), read an old diary another night and the others I just dropped off nice and early. I feel great.

I'm not a great believer in resolutions, but this week's workshop brought home to me how important it is to treat yourself well. I make sure my children get enough sleep, so what about me? Why don't I look after myself as well as I do them?

What would you do differently if you were looking after yourself as well as you look after others?

Next week's Life Club is all about finding out what you want in your life over the next two years. It's about discovering what's important to you from the past and present and weaving those things into the future - just by drawing circles. I've already done my circles and am feeling inspired.

See you there.

Hope you're having a great weekend,
Founder Life Clubs
Author: The Big Book of Me, The Life Book, How To Get What You Want