lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014

The path to success

Juggling the conflicting demands of your career and home life can mean you have little time for yourself. Don’t despair, as taking back control of your life and creating some precious ‘me time’ is possible, says Katrina Wood
 The path to success

Many women endeavour to be all things to their spouses, family and friends, as well as trying to please their boss and focusing on developing a satisfying career at the same time. They live out this scenario on a daily basis, juggling the conflicting demands and pressures. Up to a certain point, the adrenalin and sense of purpose will carry them through, but there can come a time when things start to slip and the capacity to think clearly and keep on top of everything diminishes.

You become irritable, you don’t sleep well, you comfort eat and you don’t exercise or spend enough time relaxing. You believe that stress is inevitable and you have to keep going. This can all build up slowly and then you don’t have time to stop and see what is happening in your life. Stress also affects your ability to make good decisions and act on them.

In order to do things differently there are three interwoven strands to unravel – change, stress management and putting yourself first. Change is a process, not an event. Failed New Year resolutions are testament to the difficulty of maintaining new habits and behaviour, which in turn erodes self-confidence.

It is not selfish to sometimes put yourself first, despite what many of us believe. Paradoxically, when we put ourselves first and make sure that we take care of our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, somehow we have more energy, can function more effectively at work and still have time for personal relaxation and nurturing our social relationships.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun”, as Albert Einstein once remarked, and creativity can take many forms; it is part of how we think, what we believe and our attitude to life. Creativity can play a key role in unravelling the strands of change, stress and self-worth as it opens up surprising solutions and alternatives. We can allow ourselves to see things differently and explore a range of options, getting in touch with what is important and the direction we want our life to take.

Tried and tested
The two-part “7 Stepping Stones” programme has been devised by personal development coach Katrina Wood and stress management coach Jenny Cooper to offer a unique approach that can help you take back control of your life.

Prior to becoming a coach, Katrina was a PA at top management level for many years, so knows all too well the daily struggle of balancing a busy home and social life with the stress and demands of an assistant’s role. It was this common experience, shared with Jenny and women the world over, that led to the development of their Stepping Stones concept. The workshops not only provide some much-needed ‘me time’ for the participants, simply by the nature of just turning up, but they also deliver practical tools and techniques for clarifying goals and establishing the means to reach them.

Maria Miller, an admin professional, explains how she never had a moment to herself. “Like many of us, I’m busy, so I knew I had to take time out for me to think about my life and what I wanted,” she says. Once home from work, her young children keep her on her toes. Maria attended the Stepping Stones workshops and says they “helped me to become more focused on working out what my goals and dreams are and provided me with the skills to facilitate the necessary changes”.

Maria found the workshops also helped her to seek out her own solutions. She spent 10 minutes each evening working on an embroidery sampler and to her surprise enjoyed it so much that the 10 minutes extended. Giving herself some ‘me time’ has reduced her stress and she believes she is now a better parent and business woman as a result.

She concludes: “All you need for this programme is an open mind and I would strongly recommend that any PA take time out to attend these two half-day workshops and find out how you can improve your own life.”

Katrina Wood runs her own coaching company and has devised the “7 Stepping Stones” programme in conjunction with Jenny Cooper of Key Steps Coaching. Find out more at

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