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iStock 000007504991XSmallAs my youngest kids are becoming more independent and capable, I'm finding they're able to help more around the house, so I thought I'd talk about this again; it's been while. Here's a previous article about delegating chores.  If you live with your partner and/or kids, this one is for you. Actually it would apply to shared accommodation as well, though I know that can be even harder to manage.

Basically, it's my view that all capable members of a household should contribute as they are able to. It's good manners, it's fair and it makes sense. Even in a home with domestic staff, household members should be capable of cleaning up after themselves and showing courtesy to others.

For kids in particular, I think it's important for them to learn good manners and basic skills.

In my house, I work on (yeah, I still have to work on it) having everyone keep their own room tidy, clean up after themselves by putting their things away, putting their dirty washing in the laundry baskets (with socks untangled and sorted into lights and darks), putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wiping the kitchen bench and the table, folding and putting away their own clean washing. The kids also help with feeding and cleaning up after pets, emptying the rubbish bin and the recycling, cleaning the toilet and bathroom, sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, emptying the dishwasher, putting things on the shopping list and putting groceries away when I've done the shopping. Everyone helps clean up after meals (yeah ok, in theory). My 16 year old knows how to operate the dishwasher and washing machine. She can even make spaghetti from scratch (a recent improvement from being able to boil the pasta and heat up the sauce I already made).

I know, they do complain, quite a lot as it happens. Here's the thing. Complaining happens more after a relapse of letting them not do much – the more they accept it as normal and get into a routine (meaning you get into a routine of making it happen), the less they bother to complain.

Also, it's crucial that you do accept and fully believe yourself that getting everyone to help is the right thing to do, because if you doubt it and feel guilty, they'll smell that a mile away.

iStock 000023144189XSmallBrace yourself for this one because I’m going to give it to you straight!  It’ll be OK, trust me, I’m a Life Coach.  You can handle it, I have faith in you.

Let’s start off pretending we’re not talking about you and me here, let’s say we’re talking about other people.  Well, these other people, a lot of them, a lot of the time, have trouble taking responsibility for their own experience of life.

How unfortunate for them, you say.  Poor things, how do they manage? 

Well what they do, see, is they tell a lot of stories, to themselves and to anyone who’ll listen.  Maybe you’ve heard a lot of these stories, from some people more than others, and you know what I’m talking about.  You know the ones where you’re trying to lend a sympathetic ear, or maybe you’re trying to offer helpful suggestions, but the poor sod seems hell bent on convincing you that their problems can’t be solved, and also about how unfair it all is and how they’ve been mistreated, hard done by, ripped off and taken for granted.

Well, you say, a lot of people do have genuine hardships and grievances, and you’d be quite right.  But if you pay attention, you’ll notice that some people are more interested in describing every intricate detail of the unfairness which has been thrust upon them through no fault of their own than they are in doing anything about it.  It’s almost like they’re enjoying it!

iStock 000022028767XSmallSomething that comes up in many of the self development books I read is the idea of self talk. It's the chatter that goes on in the background in our own heads.

It matters how we talk to ourselves! Language is a powerful tool for change.

But what if, like me, you find it quite tricky to notice your self-talk? What if sometimes it's fuzzy and so far in the background that it evaporates as soon as you go looking for it. Surely I'm not the only one who has an issue with this. I know that when I make a mistake or don't follow through on a decision, I don't say to myself "oh, you idiot!", or "stuffed up again eh?", or "well of course you didn't go to the gym today, you're just naturally lazy" etc. But I do recognize a feeling that says pretty much the same thing.

Learning to notice and identify those feelings might be easier for some than trying to identify specific words said to yourself. Do still look out for any bits of actual words you may say in your head, or even the occasional ones you may say out loud or to the cat about yourself, but worry not if you feel you're just not getting them all. At those times when you sense there is some negative self talk in there somewhere, but you're not quite sure what it was or if it was even in language, just pick up on what the general feeling was.

iStock 000008379558XSmallWe all feel a little flat from time to time or notice an unwelcome emotional response to whatever.  The most important thing to know about emotions is that they are not totally out of our control.  Perhaps, like me, you're inclined to sometimes forget the bloody obvious when you feel yuk.  Here are a dozen practical and simple things we can all do to lift our mood.

1. Change your physiology.  If you were an actor and I asked you to make yourself feel sad for the part you're playing, you'd need to change your physiology.  You might slump and slouch, breath shallowly, look down, do stuff with your face, not move much and so on.  Try it and see how you feel.  Now, try smiling, (can be as fake as you like), standing or sitting very straight, moving playfully, breathing deeply from your tummy, putting your arms out with your palms up, and see if you can still feel sad that way.  What if you dance or laugh?  What if you stick your finger up your nose?  Remember, something as simple as sitting straight, brathing deeply and smiling can make a huge difference to your emotional state.

2. Acknowledge yourself.  Ask yourself right now, what can you thank yourself for from the last 24 hours or the last 24 years?  There will be something - maybe you made yourself a great cup of tea this morning, maybe you're happy with what you found to watch on TV last night, maybe it was cool how you gave directions to someone while you were shopping, maybe you know you've done some great  things for your kids, maybe you like the shoes your'e wearing, maybe you coped really well with some criticism or rudeness.  It's gets easier with practice.  Think it, say it to yourself, feel it, picture it.  Smile and say to yourself "good job emtying the rubbish bin, well done".  This is about learning to notice the positive about ourselves.

iStock 000005279893XSmallOur brain likes to choose the known over the unknown, even if we're not enjoying what's known and we know it's not good for us. This is highly inconvenient, but, like most things, came about out of good intentions. Our brain wants to keep us safe.

Fortunately we have the ability to make conscious choices and override our automatic responses if we choose to.
Even so, the pull to make the same old crappy choices, like:

- Another glass of wine
- Skip exercise today
- Leave the dishes til later
- Leave anything that needs to be done til later
- Doing some un-necessary shopping when we can't afford it
- Insert your crappy choices here

The pull to carry on with these familiar crappy choices can be very strong.

To Do ListsI do love a list! It gives me a feeling of purpose, of taking control, and the comfort of knowing those things are written down where I can find them. I've written about to do lists before here.

You see, getting things written down gets them out of our pre frontal cortex where they take up too much of our conscious attention, distract us, and cause overwhelm, which, of course, contributes to procrastination. This frees up our conscious thinking, allowing us to more easily see possibilities, options and solutions.

So, have your lists, list lovers, and if you don't already indulge in list making, do take it up. Because I said so, or if you like, go research the science.

"But the list just sits there and won't attend to itself" you say. Sadly yes, but I still argue that it is better to have it. I know there is danger of the list itself being overwhelming, but used correctly, that won't happen. The To Do list can be your secret weapon, your faithful assistant, not your nagging guilt machine.

Here's my advice for using lists so that they don't just sit there but serve you as a tool for getting more done:

iStock 000024857327XSmallWhenever you get stuck on something or feel you’d like to be making more progress on it and you’re not sure what is holding you back, it’s a good idea to get back in touch with the reason you wanted the thing in the first place, the purpose of it, what it will mean to you, what it will give you.

When we lose touch with our purpose, we run the risk of carrying on pursuing things that no longer have the meaning they once held for us, doing things for the wrong reasons, achieving an outcome but missing the mark of what it was designed to do.  This means time and effort wasted.

iStock 000017090291XSmall

I recently dug myself out of yet another email backlog, and felt so much lighter, so much more energised, and experienced actual excitement and enthusiasm, and it got me thinking (stuff gets me thinking all the time) – whenever I get some annoying thing sorted out, it does me the world of good, whether it’s cleaning the oven, (yeah, it’s finally clean – but had to have the parrot sleep upstairs in my room so as not to poison him), taking a load of old clothes to the charity bin, making a phone call I’ve been putting off, or a whole day’s worth of niggly little errandy detaily things, or whatever it is I finally realise has been bugging me.

599616 494363540585168 1870003173 nIf you’re anything like me, and I know you are because you’re reading my blog, you sometimes resist making decisions, or doubt or fail to follow perfectly good ones you have already made.

Doing something about this can change your life, reduce the size of your bum, improve your relationships and get your home clean.  Yes, it’s that important.

I’ve talked about it before in this article here a while ago, and I have some more to say about it now.

Our lives are a series of decisions, and success is based on making good decisions, making plenty of them, trusting ourselves and following through on them.

 

reduced broom sweeping cerealThis clutter and mess thing is like the chicken and the egg.  The external - our environment, is affected by what is going on internally - how we feel about ourselves, and is a reflection of it.  At the same time, our external environment influences how we are feeling on the inside.

When we feel lost, unmotivated, indecisive, down on ourselves and so on, this is often reflected in our environment, with things getting dirty, messy, disorganized and yuck.

It might start with a bit of rubbish in the car and a few papers laying around, laundry piling up, skipping exercise, and before you know it you’re being nominated for Hoarders and you have TV cameras documenting the state you’ve gotten into, (Ok, hopefully not that bad, if you do something about it now).

On the inside it starts with a decision.  

The decision to put off some task like the dishes, putting something away or attending to some paperwork will have been preceded by a feeling.  So where did the feeling come from?  

Fear

Is there an area of your life where you're feeling fed up, frustrated, or giving up? Perhaps deep down you know that there is some kind of fear holding you back.

Do your fear response mechanisms start to kick in when you even think about it?

It might be falling behind on a project (cough cough, aahhm...), an area of your home or office that's getting messy and dirty, goals related to your weight, study, or how you relate to your kids or your partner. Is it affecting your self esteem and even impacting on other areas of your life? Blegh!

It might be a small thing or it may have gone so far it's causing real problems. Perhaps it's something like:-

- Putting off exercising

- Over eating

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"I am grateful to Yvette for the changes that she has facilitated in me. I feel that my learning from Yvette will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has brought me to a brighter, positive more confident and happy place in my family and work life."

Anshula Ohri, Toronto,
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"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

 

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Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Gemma,
Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Heather
Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

Keri, 
New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia