Competition time! Win a coaching session plus a copy of my new ebook!

ebook cropI’m hugely excited to be launching my new ebook called ‘Create Your Own Dream Action Plan’!

It’s released on Monday 15th of September and I am so excited because it’s a really great digestible piece of work that can really make a difference to your life!

I’m giving away two copies of the book and for one lucky person, they’ll also get a coaching session with myself as well which is worth $147!  It’s really a great prize and I’m excited to see who wins!

There’s a couple of things to do to enter the competition, the only mandatory entry is ‘liking’ my Facebook page.  All the others are optional.  It’s open until midnight GMT on Sunday 14th September and I’ll email the winners ASAP after it closes.

So are you ready to get your dreams started?  Ready…. Set…. Go!!!!

 

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Blog Hop: My Writing Process, and Three Writers You Want to Meet

I was tagged in this ages ago by the lovely Lillian Yates Duggan from My Ideal World. She’s a fantastic writer and has been blogging and writing about her process about finding the right path to go down for her dreams which include travelling with her children (sound familiar??) I’d encourage you to check her blog out especially if you’re like her and working out how to achieve your dreams.

I’ll tag three other people at the end, all great friends of mine and all great writers!

1. What am I working on?

I’ve never really considered myself a writer, I guess because I’ve never really had any visions of writing a novel some day! I dunno why, but that is, in my head, what a writer is. Of course that’s wrong!

So at the moment I’m working on a book for Untrapped Life called ‘Create Your Dream Action Plan’ which consolidates a whole heap of knowledge from me about how to get dreams off the ground and into action. It’s going to be a really easy to digest and not too heavy!

Other than that I’m also working on bringing my travel blog back in to being (which is over at www.BartsGoAdventuring.com) since we’re travelling again now. It’s more of a journal, but I do like to make some of the articles helpful for anyone stumbling across it on Google.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to think of myself as a non-fluffy person. I’m not touchy feely and I’m not all about the feminine aspects of life. I’m straight forward and no nonsense!

I’m also incredibly succinct.  I am so bad at actually writing enough ;)

3. Why do I write what I do?

I want to share with others my enthusiasm for the things that I feel like I’m good at in life and that is travelling and achieving crazy dreams! I embrace things that may not be ‘normal’ and strive to add them in to my life if they’re a good fit. I know there are so many other people out there who feel the same so writing about it connects me with those other people who are also wanting to escape normal, or who already have!

4. How does my writing process work?

Generally I think about what I want to write when I’m in bed and not wanting to disturb my husband. Then by morning I have completely forgotten what I was going to do – frustrating!

But normally I have a general idea of how I will write an article. The hardest part for me is generally having a great title. Once I have that then the writing comes so much more easily.

 

Ok, time to pass the baton on! Every one of these friends of mine should so write a novel!

Nic Goddard is another crazy person who went after her dreams. She is currently living on a remote Scottish island and trying out the self sufficiency thing. One of her biggest dreams is to be a writer though and she has the talent for that in bucket loads! You can find her at Wondering Wanderers.

Jax Blunt and I have been friends since our eldest teens were toddlers and we used to spend many a day setting the world to rights over a cup of tea when we lived near each other. She’s blogged since almost the beginning of those days over at Making It Up and she’s been way better at keeping blogs in the same place (I have had so many blogs in different places over the years!) than I ever have been!

Merry Raymond is another long time friend, long time blogger and great writer. She’s been blogging for over 10 years at Patch of Puddles and she’s also a great business woman, setting up a online toy and craft business way back in the early internet shopping days.

House Sitting – can it help out your dream?

This is my daughter on our first house sitting assignment!  An older dog who liked to be pushed in a push chair!

This is my daughter on our first house sitting assignment! An older dog who couldn’t walk far and liked to be pushed in a push chair!

If you’ve been listening to the podcast recently you may have spotted that I have been including a sponsor in the show – they are Trusted Housesitters.  I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little but about housesitting as I do think it’s a really great idea and something that can definitely be incorporated in to many dreams!

First of all, what is house sitting?  Well, it’s looking after someone’s house for them while they are away on holiday, business or similar.  Often the house will come with pets to look after and it helps the home owners by not paying for kennel or cattery fees and it also keeps their house occupied.  Result!  The house sitters will look after the home and pets, in exchange for accommodation.  Some people do charge, but there is a growing trend for it to be a swap whereby it’s an equal exchange.  With the internet making the world so small you can imagine where this could take you!

As you know, I like, no love travelling!  When we were planning our big trip last year I came across the idea of house sitting and was really intrigued by it.  I think I’d read about someone who started their Round The World trip with 3 months somewhere like Ecuador.  It sounded amazing – what a way to ease yourself in to a huge lifestyle change.  My mind went in to overdrive as I imagined how we could incorporate this idea in to our travel plans.  I signed up to Trusted Housesitters and started the process of applying for anything that seemed like it would fit us.

We’re a family and I thought that it would be tricky for us to get sits, and really I wasn’t sure if we’d enjoy it either, so I applied for a couple of local sits too so we could get experience, a feel for how it works and some references from people who weren’t friends and family.  We had a great time housesitting for some lovely little West Highland Terriers (a dog we’ve loved the look of and often wished for) and realised that yes, we could see us doing this in future.  We eventually managed to get 2 house sits while we travelled, one in France and one in Scotland.  I was over the moon – this meant we could settle for a bit and explore really deeply in an area, we could save money and we could enjoy having some pets (we’ve rented houses for a while so pets haven’t been allowed).

All sounds very easy and I’d love to say it was, but being a family made it tricky.  Not everyone welcomed the idea of kids!  But with determination and persistence we managed to make it work.

Now what has this to do with dreams?  What has this to do with Untrapped Life?

Well, quite often I hear that my listeners and readers want to live a freer life.  It might not mean travel, but it means freedom to go and do what they want.  It can be hard to shake of the chains of our lives though, yes?

Housesitting could be an excellent idea if you want to experience living life with no ties.  It can enable you to live for a few months in another country while still being able to work (if you work online) or maybe just for you to explore your own country.  It can be tricky to get the courage to leave our normal lives behind, but with a ‘home’ and some pets waiting perhaps it can be make the transition easier.  Perhaps it will enable you to start earlier as you have less outgoings to think about,

It could also simply just be another idea to help you take a vacation while you’re saving for your big dream to happen.

For some people it turns in to a life style all on its own!  Take a look at Jodie and Nat from International House Sitting and you’ll see what I mean!  If you have a dream to travel but you don’t know how to then maybe see if this might work for you!

Alternatively, maybe you have pets of your own.  Could house sitters help you?  Could it free you up to achieve a dream?

There are many house sitting sites too, but the one I have knowledge of and experience actually getting sits through is Trusted Housesitters.  It’s got a wealth of listings for you to choose from and they have recently added a feature where the home owners can specify if they are open to applications from families – amazing for us!

As it happens we’re embarking on the house sitting road again very soon and hope to make it something we do regularly as it really fits our lifestyle, or what I hope our lifestyle will be when we set off travelling again.  And if you ever know of any pets that need some love and attention, you can always contact me and see if we’re available to sit for you!

I’d love to hear your stories of house sitting – have you done it before?

Can you succeed and reach your dreams without a plan?

as long as you don't stopI know I talk about having a plan and knowing where you’re going quite a bit.  I was thinking earlier on today about if it’s possible to actually succeed and reach your dreams without a plan.  What do you think?

Do you need a plan?

There’s a great phrase that goes something like this:

it’s the journey, not the destination

and you know what, I love that.  I absolutely agree that life is all about the journey and we should embrace and enjoy that as much as we can.  BUT, I also don’t think that we should go through our lives without a thought at all either.

You can be successful

I don’t think there can be any doubt that people who meander along in life with no real plans can still be successful.  It can absolutely happen!  Doors can open wide and by having no set agenda you can be free to pursue any avenue you like.

We can be successful at work, academically or financially without a plan.  Absolutely.  We can have all the trappings of a ‘successful’ life…

but

Is it what you wanted?

This is the thing that matters though.  As I said, there can be no doubt that we can be successful despite having plans, but is the success the thing you wanted?  Yes, you might have reached promotion at work and have everyone saying how successful you are, but what if you just want to live a simple life in the country with a few chickens?  All of a sudden the ‘success’ doesn’t seem like it’s right does it?

Plans direct you where you want to go

If we know what we want we can see where we need to go to get it.  There really isn’t anything wrong with having focus and a desire to achieve your goals.  After all, we have one go at this life and we need to make sure that we have no regrets when we get to the end of it.  Let’s not regret even giving it a try right?  Everything is possible if we only reach out and aim for it.

 

So what if you’re the type of person who really needs plans?  Well, I have an idea for you!  I have launched my new programme which is just for people who feel lost without a plan and who are worried that if they don’t sort themselves out life will pass them by  and their dreams will stay as dreams.  The Dream Action Plan helps you combat overwhelm and combat that running round in circles feeling and truly helps you become clear on what you want and how to begin getting there.

If you need more help I do offer one on one calls, including a discovery session.  Check out my mentoring packages and see if anything fits you!

 

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it’s something.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop ~ Confucius

Don’t be afraid to fiddle with your plan

It would be really easy for me to say that once you have a plan formulated for your dreams, whether they are business related or more towards the leisure end of the spectrum, that you have nothing left to do but implement it.

That *can* be the case, and I do know that having that rock solid plan at the start is going to completely help you get momentum and get going, but there is one thing that might get to off track and feel like you’re failing and I don’t want you to feel that way.

Sometimes as we go along, we have great ideas and we are so excited to get started we throw ourselves completely in at the deep end.  Which is great at first, it’s exhilarating to be doing what we want and to be making progress.  But then sometimes we get a bit tired.  It’s hard to keep treading water in at the deep end of the swimming pool and it’s hard to do that in life too.  But what do you do?  Move to shallow waters and fail?  Or keep going until you might burn out?

Well, to put this in context, I have felt like this myself very recently.  As many of you know I host a podcast and it was being broadcast 3 times per week.  I love podcasting, it’s making me do things I never knew I could do before and I wanted to capitalise on my feelings.  I’d initially planned to do a show twice a week and then I upped it fairly soon after starting – I wanted to interview more people and I had a huge list of people to feature.   Which all went well and I was ahead of myself until I used up most of my ‘banked’ interviews while I was away on holiday.  Then a cancellation here and there and all of a sudden I was struggling to keep on schedule and have time to fit it all in.  I wasn’t tired, I still loved it, but I was starting to feel like it was taking over and I wasn’t moving forward with my other goals and my dream overall.  I decided last week I was going to go back to 2 shows a week, I’m back on top of it all and still having time to do everything else.

So what has this to do with your dreams then?

Well, if you noticed, a word that I don’t like crept in back there.  Fail.  By moving to 2 shows a week I could have felt like I’d failed.  By trying anything that is on your plan and realising it’s not working and fiddling with it you could feel like you’ve failed.  You haven’t.  I haven’t.

What I have done is fiddled and made it work for me.  I have re-evaluated what’s important and what needs to be focused on.

That is not failing.  By planning, taking action and deciding it’s not for you, that is not failure.  It’s GREAT!

So I want to encourage you all to have your plan, but do NOT in any way feel like you’ve not succeeded if you do not follow it to the letter.  Life is fluid, we are constantly learning, changing and evolving.  By taking action and responding to how that works or doesn’t work, you can never be considered a failure.