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Category: MINDSET

  1. The ONLY resolution I am making for 2019!

    Posted on

    *warning: this post does include the 'sh word'. Quite a lot. So please do not read on if this would offend you*

    It's that time of year when everyone is making resolutions to drink less, eat more healthy food, go to the gym and so on and so on. All good and worthy resolutions and all which show that New Year is a time when we all feel fired up to make a fresh start, to up our game and to be 'better' in everything that we do.

    sporty legs

    But, in 2019, I am taking a different route towards resolutions and it involves making just one decision - the decision to let one question help me make the year as sucessful as I possibly can - and that question is 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?'

    I hit a bit of a slump in the latter half of 2018. My eating and drinking habits got progressively unhealthy and I piled on weight, I was getting frustrated that life kept getting in the way of my work and I had a general feeling of apathy that I just couldn't shake. 

    But then, I got fed-up of being fed-up.

    This wasn't the me that I wanted to be – I wanted to be shit hot Helen, not sad, lazy Helen.


    I once went to a talk by the son of the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. He is now a motivational speaker who travels the world, and this talk I listened to was one of the best I have ever heard. It had a real impact on me and several messages within it hit home – one being about how we should all do the very best we can, no matter what it is that we're doing. He spoke about how we can all step up our game – like turning up a thermostat, we can all dial ourselves up a notch or 2 to be an even better version of ourselves. And this is what I needed to do. I needed to turn up my thermostat.

    And this is what I vow to do in 2019. And I am doing it by asking myself the constant question 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?' Now, Shit Hot Helen is the version of myself that I aspire to be – she is successful in her business, is losing weight and getting healthy and she cares about herself and how she looks. Quite frankly, she's on it! And the exciting truth about Shit Hot Helen is that I have everything within me already to be her – if I want to be and am willing to put in the work.

    So now, if I feel a bit tired and don't feel like doing that extra work that I know would make a big difference I ask 'What would Shit Hot Helen do?' (she'd dig deep and do the work!)

    When I feel a bit fed-up and feel like reaching for the wine and chocolate, I ask 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?' (She would have the willpower to avoid the wine and the chocolate and would make herself prepare a healthy snack or maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air)

    When I'm tempted to just throw my scruffy jeans on to nip to the shops I ask 'what would Shit Hot Helen do?' (she would make the effort to choose a nice outfit and leave the house feeling much better about herself)

    And so it continues. And the more I take the course of action that Shit Hot Helen would take, the more I can become her – a better model of myself. And by doing this I will begin to make better decisions in all aspects of my life - in health, in work and in relationships. It is one resolution that serves all areas of life. And one which sets me up to succeed and not to fail by giving me the space for habits to change and behaviour to shift. I may not always take the course of action that SHH would, but the more I ask the question the more my thermostat has the chance to turn in the right direction. 


    We all have within us the potential to be that shit hot version of ourselves – and if we start behaving like they do, then we can all turn up that thermostat and become them.

    So for me, the route to a successful 2019 isn't in making resolutions that may not last, it's about asking one question that reminds me that everything I need for success is already there, it just needs the energy and the determination to use it. 

    So, start asking yourself the same question about your own shit hot self and we can all strive together to reach our fullest potential in 2019.

    Let's turn those thermostats up!

    Helen x

  2. Choose not to wear the sh*t badge.

    Posted on

    I can recall with frightening accuracy times in my life when people said things that left a massive dent in my confidence – like the times at High School when the cool girls would warn me against jumping in the pool at swimming lessons because I was so fat that all the water would come out, or the time one of my University tutors bluntly told me I couldn't draw. And there are many more times I could tell you about – and perhaps you too have clear memories of things that people said or did, possibly many, many years ago, that were less than flattering.

    And I bet, like me, you remember them like they were yesterday. And maybe like me, instead of just denting your confidence, they also become evidence to feed the self-doubt and the crippling overthinking. I look back now, and with my older, more confident head on, I don't have any anger for the people that said these things, but I am so bloody annoyed at myself for listening.

    what you allow quote

    Not only did I listen, I replayed these things time and time again. I wore them. I wore them like a badge. A really, really shit badge. I had so many fantastic badges to wear. Big, shiny, colourful badges, representing all the good things people said and all the amazing things about me. But I chose not to wear those ones. I hid them, lost them – was too timid to wear them. But the tiny, shit one – I chose to wear that one. And that is the brutal truth. I chose to wear it. Nobody made me.

    And that is my point – we can never control what is said or done to us. But we can control how we deal with it. I think it is so important that we all work hard to love who we are to the point that negative or hurtful experiences can be dealt with without lasting damage – and that we are so proudly wearing a vast collection of big, bright, shiny, badges that any rubbish ones soon get hidden and forgotten about. In fact, we need to build up that collection of big, bright, shiny badges so much that they become our suit of armour – a proud confidence in who and what we are that makes us more able to cope with the bad stuff, and in some circumstances, to give us the strength to fight back because we know we don't deserve it.

    maya angelou quote

    We need to give ourselves permission to love who we are and be proud of it – and we need to build up our children to do the same. Yes, we will always potentially come across times and events that challenge us but we have to make sure we don't give them more of our time, attention and belief than we do the positive and uplifting times. Replay the compliments, the successes and the things that deserve to be celebrated.

     Don't choose to wear the shit badge.


  3. Sorry, not sorry! Let's stop over apologising...

    Posted on

    As I try to grow braver and bolder in my own skin, one thing I am becoming much more aware of is the language I use and the effect it has on my behaviour – and one very strong example of this is the amount of times I say 'I'm sorry'. And so often for things that I really shouldn't be apologising for.

     Now, don't get me wrong – I am a firm believer that an apology when one is needed is both a brave and correct thing to do. But, I have a feeling that plenty of you lot are a bit like me and apologise far too often – like if someone punched me in the face I would apologise to them for hurting their knuckles (ok, that's a bit extreme but you get my point!)

    One example that made me think about this, was planning a Facebook post for my Art page after not posting for a couple of weeks while the girls have been off school. I was going to start it (as I have many times before) with something along the lines of 'Hi, I'm really sorry I haven't posted for a while...' but then I thought, is that really something I should apologise for? Yeah, I should probably post more often, but should I be sorry that I have spent some wonderful time with my husband and children over the last couple of weeks? Should I feel remorseful about the walking, the baking, the gardening, the days out, the late nights and all the fun with family and friends we've been having?

    No, I really shouldn't.

    The more aware I am becoming of the language I use, the more I realise how often 'sorry' creeps into my every day life. How many of these are familiar to you?


    When eating in a restaurant: 'I'm really sorry but it seems you have forgotten the sauce...'


    Catching the attention of a shop assistant: 'sorry to bother you, but could you show me...'


    Turning up a few minutes late meeting a friend due to something genuine or beyond your control such as the dog escaping or the train being delayed: 'I am so sorry I'm late...'


    Someone bumping into you quite rudely in a shop: 'oh, sorry...' (yes, us apologising to them!)


    All seemingly innocuous, but if like me you are a serial apologiser, these are evidence of us apologising for our own wants and needs (and often, rights), and in many ways apologising for our own existence and the inconvenience it may cause to others!

    So, join me in no longer being sorry that we are here – and no longer apologising for not getting the sauce we paid for or for the failings of the national rail network. By just paying attention to the words we use we can grow in confidence and become more assertive.

     sorry quote

    5 ways to stop over-apologising:

    1) Become more aware of your own language. Pay close attention for a day or two and see if you do apologise as a matter of habit. Only if you are aware of something can you change it.

    2) Pause. Give yourself just a brief moment of time to ask the question, 'have I done anything here that I should be sorry for?'. If not, don't apologise. Is it your fault the train was delayed? If not, don't take the blame. Was the fact the waiter forgot to bring the sauce for the steak your fault? If not, don't say you're sorry.

    3) Replace the word sorry with a more confident substitute! Depending on the circumstances, 'excuse me' or even a friendly 'hello' can be enough to gain someone's attention without apologising for disturbing them!

    4) Say thank you, not sorry. This change of language can be very powerful. Late meeting your friend because of that train again? Don't apologise for being late, thank them for being so patient and waiting for you. Can't make a night out with friends because you're already going to a lovely family celebration? Don't be sorry for going to a special family party that you're really looking forward to – thank them for the invite and explain with no apology your prior commitment but say how you will look forward to the next chance you have for a night out with them. No guilt, no apologies – just circumstances accepted in a much more confident and positive way.

    5) Exist! One of the main reasons we over apologise is because we hate to inconvenience anyone or cause any discomfort or conflict. But life, by it's very nature, creates chaos. There will always be things that happen beyond our control (or even sometimes within our control) that mean we will have to make our existence felt – and we need to embrace this and not shy away from it. Our existence is our one and only life, and we need to stop apologising for it.


    And crikey, I have really gone on in this blog post, but I'm not sorry... ;)

    Helen x





  4. Come fly with me...

    Posted on

    I've just bought myself a new pin badge.

    (It's from the lovely Bread & Jam)

    I'm a sucker for a badge. I don't always wear them, but I like them pinned to my bag or blu-tacked up near my desk. This one though I think I should wear, proudly.

    winging it pin

    I have come to realise that we are all indeed winging it. All those people we look up to and admire are the same as the rest of us – they are in essence making it up as they go along, but they do so confidently and without any pretence that they know everything. In fact, the most successful people know that making mistakes along the way is a vital step to their success and they welcome the unknowns and the 'failures' along the way. (Remember, what goes on behind the scenes is always – always – different to what we see presented in a polished, public, confident way).

     winging it quote 

    It is easy, when we enter the dangerous game of comparing ourselves to others, to think that everyone else has it all worked out. But they haven't. Really they haven't. So, we need to go a bit easier on ourselves - to stop expecting ourselves to play this crazy game of life perfectly. We are all just doing the best we can – and if we embrace the fact that we are all just winging it then things become a whole lot easier. The mistakes along the way become a valuable part of the journey and we give ourselves permission to sometimes make the wrong move.

    I am indeed totally winging it myself.

    me and quote

    I work hard and I keep on learning but ultimately to change myself and my life I have to do things I have never done before and tread through unknown, and often scary, territory. Sometimes things go incredibly well, sometimes I play things extraordinarily badly. But, I am doing the best I can. And none of us can really do any more than that.

    So, come on, grab your wings and come fly with me... :)

    Helen x

  5. The Grateful Fed-Up

    Posted on

    I'm fed-up. Proper fed-up.

    We've had no boiler for over a week now, and this arctic weekend especially has been a bit miserable as we all tried to keep warm huddled round an electric heater. I'm fed-up of being cold, I'm fed-up of not being able to have a hot shower and I'm fed-up of struggling to dry all our clothes.

    And you know it's ok for me to feel fed-up because it hasn't been a particularly pleasant week – and because my fedupness (that's a word, honest) is vastly overshadowed by my gratefulness.


    • I am so grateful that we do actually have a roof over our heads and ways of keeping warm under it, even when the central heating isn't working.

    • I am grateful to have amazing parents who have helped us out, least of all with the use of their shower and radiators!

    • I am grateful to have had lots of offers of help from friends and to now have some hypothermia preventing electric heaters that some amazing friends did a late night dash to get us from their office.

    • I am grateful that if we do need hot water I can boil the kettle or heat up a pan of water.

    • I am grateful that I have got plenty clothes so have been wearing on average 4 layers a day!

    • I am grateful that me, my husband and our 2 children are all robust and healthy and able to cope with a bit of cold and disruption.

    • And I am grateful that tomorrow, hopefully, our brand new boiler will be being fitted and our short-lived but challenging boilerless life will come to an end.

    And I could go on. (But don't worry, I won't)

    Being grateful isn't about everything being perfect, or even everything going right! It is about being genuinely thankful for the things you do have and for recognising all the good things in your life even when things do go a bit pear-shaped. And sometimes remembering to do this can be hard – especially when things are really tough.

    But I do, sincerely believe, that even in the darkest times there are things to be grateful for. We just need to be willing to find them. Being grateful doesn't take the bad times or the challenges away – it just makes them more manageable to get through!

    So, I remain fed-up (and yeah, verging on feeling sorry for myself sometimes!) but never once, am I losing sight of how lucky I am.


    Helen x