How to use process goals to stop sabotaging success

When we set end result goals and focus on them relentlessly it can feel a bit flat after achieving them. There are a couple of ways around this.

One is to set a further end result goal so that when you’ve reached the first goal and you’ve celebrated (very important!), you have something else to aim for. My end result goal might be to have a full diary of paying coaching clients. Once I have met that goal, I might decide to increase my prices and then my new end result goal is to have a full diary of clients paying the higher rate.

Process goals, however, are the key to a happy journey to the end result. My process goals for coaching (and therapy) are to practice empathy, genuineness and unconditional positive regard for every client. It gives me so much pleasure to be with them in this way. I try on what it’s like to be them and can offer my understanding from this way of being. It is just wonderful to be with people like this.

It’s the same in climbing: if I just focus on the end result of getting to the top, it’s not as fulfilling as, say, focusing on my technique whilst climbing. When I decide to pay attention to my footwork, placing each foot carefully, I arrive at the top without being attached to getting there. It’s so much more pleasurable.

Does this make sense? What’s your experience of process goals and end result goals?

Would you like to try out my coaching? I’m a Therapeutic Coach and I work with people who’d like to leave trauma triggers behind and regain their old confident self. I offer a free 30 minute consultation where we look at where you’re at now, where you’d like to be, and what you could do to get there. If it feels appropriate I can share how we could work together. You can book your free session here:

Love, Julia xxx

How to engage your willpower to change ingrained habits

How to engage your willpower to change ingrained habits

What kinds of ingrained habits?

Coping mechanisms that used to work but now hold you back like…

  • Social anxiety
  • Not being in your body
  • Quickly moving from one thing to another

Some others could be: 

  • Comfort eating
  • Over working
  • Addictions
  • Anything that used to feel good but doesn’t any more and you want to stop doing it but it’s a habit.

Coping mechanisms become habitual.

Habits can become a way of recognising yourself – “I exist because I do this.” Does that make sense?

When you begin to change them questions like, “who will I become?” might arise.

You could journal on who you want to become to counter the anxiety around this:

  • Use details – what kind of days will you have? 
  • Use all your senses to describe what it will be like. 
  • Write about it regularly. 
  • It allows the anxious parts of you to get used to what it will be like.

And then there’s purpose – why do you want to become that person? You could journal on that too.

It might be because: 

  • It will feel better
  • You want to be able to do things that you used to be able to do
  • You want to learn from it and teach other people

I’ll share some of my purposes that have helped me change habits over the years.

  1. In 2012 I wanted to overcome social anxiety.
  2. In 2018 I wanted to be able to feel my feet so I could climb better.
  3. Recently I wanted to enjoy the transition between waking and getting up.

There were brilliant by products to me using my willpower to achieve these things:

  1. I got out of the black hole of depression, anxiety and PTSD and I got a degree that prepared the way for my Master’s in Creative Psychotherapy.
  2. I became more embodied, which allowed me to be more in touch with my feelings and emotions in a mindful way, that allowed me to be more authentic and meet my needs better.
  3. The gentle sensory transition from asleep to awake and getting up that I use somehow allows my creativity to kick in first thing and I find myself writing content that flows quickly and easily.

So how can you use your willpower effectively to change your ingrained habits?

Kindness and curiosity are key.

Trauma does not involve kindness.

So using willpower in ways that are unkind is another form of trauma.

How can you tell?

Unkind – as you use your willpower: 

  • Your teeth might be gritted
  • Your self talk could be: “come on, get on with it!”
  • You might find yourself really having to push to do it.

Kind – as you use your willpower:

  • You feel gentle and relaxed
  • Self-talk could be: “it’s okay for you to –” or “that’s it. You’re doing great.”
  • You’re more in flow and feel curious and you create experiments to see what’s possible for changing your habit.

HOWEVER, if you’re unused to being kind to yourself it might feel odd and that’s okay. 

The more you do it the more normal it becomes.

Imagine yourself as your own best friend and talk to yourself like that.

What do you want to change?

Why do you want to change it?

How will you change it? What experiments will you try?

I’d love to know so feel free to comment or message me!

And if you’d like help with it I offer Therapeutic Coaching where I hold space for you to find your answers within yourself.

My fees are a sliding scale from £45 to £225 per session and what you pay depends on your budget and how you like to use money – some people like to use it as an accountability tool – we can chat about this.

Reach out for your free 30 minute session where we delve into your current situation, what you’d like to have happen, and what might help you get that.

Love, Julia xxx

Can’t sleep? Listen to what your parts need…

When there are parts of us stopping us from sleeping it can feel annoying, frustrating and pressure can build up, making it even more difficult to get to sleep.

…I’ve been there – frustrated at the restless legs (that’s a Restless saboteur).

… or annoyed at the listening for strange sounds (that’s a Hyper Vigilant saboteur)…

… or the thinking about how affected I’ll be in tomorrow’s tasks if I don’t sleep now (that’s a Controller saboteur).

The saboteurs need love and to be listened to. They are stuck in the past and need reassurance that this situation is different to back then (if it is. If the situation isn’t different then their worries are reasonable). 

In this video I share what’s what it’s like to listen to their needs, take action to meet them and the sense of wholeness that comes from being a ‘good enough parent’ to them (and you get a little peek inside my van!):

Leave me a comment below to let me know how you communicate with your parts :o)

Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow

Some relationships can feel draining.

Yet we might choose to stay in them…

… perhaps they seem convenient…

… or we hope they will change.

They probably won’t. In this video I share what’s underlying those kinds of resistance and how amazing it feels to let them go… do pop a comment below to let me know your experiences of letting go of what no longer serves you :o)

Decluttering your life and your mind frees your energy and creativity!

A Loving Community is the Antidote to Judgemental Society

I feel my heart expanding with love when I think about Sophie, Anna, Naomi and Mama D. Sophie set up an online writing group during the first lockdown and we all met most Wednesday mornings at 10am.

I felt like it was a bit naughty meeting at that time of day (even though I’m self-employed and choose my own work hours), which I associated with ‘work time’. It’s how a lot of us were trained since the age of 5 after all – working hours are 9am til 3pm or 4pm or 5pm, depending on which school, and then job you go to.

Of course, some jobs require us to work longer or different hours (that perhaps interfere with our sleep) and a lot of them now want us to do more for less, squeezing us into a time pressure cooker. Is your pressure valve working okay?

At some point last year I stopped going to our weekly writing meets. I felt like I had to seriously show up for my business and do more than I used to do. It was actually true that I needed to show up, but what I needed to do was work smarter, not harder

…to have support from other people, tools to grow, times to create, times to plan and schedule, times to coach and facilitate, and time to play and nourish myself.

The writing group on a Wednesday morning is so nourishing. We start with a check in – each person takes 2 or 3 or 4 minutes to state where they’re at with the others listening deeply. Then we write for 20 minutes and often others’ check ins come into what we write. We read aloud what we wrote and receive loving feedback. Then we go about our day, filled up with love and care.

In this way we share our hopes, our fears, what’s shitty, what’s not and we love each other. This week I shared about my shitty situation with my landlord, who I am cutting ties with. Here’s what I wrote:

Getting away… I can now.

I could before but I didn’t.

I tolerated. Put up with.

But no more.

Getting away… a switch has flipped

And I’m angry.

I can’t unsee what I’ve seen or felt or heard.

I want respect from someone who can’t or won’t

And that uncertainty hangs heavy.

Is he deliberately manipulative?

It doesn’t matter.

My responsibility is me, and Obi,

Who I love with all my heart.

I take care of me.

I say no.

I say no more.

I make plans to live in my van again.

I think of the challenges.

The freedom.

The beauty.

The subversion.

The tweaks I can make.

The routines that soothe…

Like yoga nidra at bedtime,

Cooking simple food on one hob,

And eating from the pan.

Filling up with drinking water from garages.

Parking next to canals

and watching families of ducks swim by.

Writing by the light of my head torch,

Toasty under my duvet and blanket.

Getting dressed in bed.

Walking through Ruff Wood

As the sun rises and touches the trees

Painting them yellow briefly.

Peeing in a bucket in the middle of the night

And chucking it down a drain or on the grass.

Wondering what the local dogs’ noses will make of the information in the scent.

Waking in the middle of the night

To raindrops hammering on the roof

And sticking in earplugs that mute the rain

But isolate the beat of my heart.

It’ll be cold and contained and simple

And I’ll source so many of the ‘normal’ things externally.

Like washing my clothes in the launderette,

Washing myself in a shower on campus,

Lounging on sofas in the great hall

To watch Gilmore Girls on my laptop.

It’s exciting and scary.

And I’ll miss Obi.

But I’ll have space from feeling triggered,

Feeling small,

Questioning myself –

Giving him the benefit of the doubt when he doesn’t deserve it,

This man whose only photo on display in the lounge

Is one of himself.

That speaks volumes.

This man who on the first night invited me to chat

And spoke about himself the whole time.

It was there from the beginning

In plain sight

And I have wrestled with all my might.

But now I’m free.

When I shared what I wrote I felt heard, seen, loved and loving and that gave me strength to bear the pain of what I was going through and stay true to myself.

This kind of loving is the sense of community I intend to be in ALL The time and I’m working on that.

This kind of loving is what my clients feel when they’re working with me and it’s an antidote to the judgmental norms of the societies we live in.

This kind of the loving is how we change the world.

Read this far? Want to work with me? Let’s find out if we’re a perfect fit! Click here to book your clarity call:


Julia xxx

Heal from past relationships with empathy for yourself

Recently I had to draw on all my self-compassion reserves and practises when I gave my lodger notice to move out and he behaved angrily towards me.

I could feel lots of child parts of me feeling hurt and that it was unfair so I was very careful to sit with them, rather than react to my lodger.

It wasn’t just child parts that were triggered – it was also parts of me from my 20s and 30s who needed to express and heal from relationships I’d ended and felt guilty about ending (as if it wasn’t my right to end them!).

I allowed it all to unfold, holding space for these parts to feel the feelings I couldn’t really feel back when they were traumatised. I also released a lot of shame and guilt that wasn’t mine, and some that was. 

It was not an easy process. In fact I felt great discomfort for a number of days. Inner work is not always lovely and light. It’s also about sitting with the darkness and allowing it to be just as it is so you can feel and process and love the hurts. 

I’m so grateful to my lodger for his angry reaction and the judgements he made that triggered these parts to bubble up. Whatever situations we find ourselves in are opportunities to heal and learn.

Once the processing finished I found I felt more whole, more authentic, which means I know myself more. From this space I set and maintain boundaries with greater ease. Does this make sense? Let me know in the comments :o)

I teach the techniques for this in my Sage and Saboteur Empathy Activation 3 Part Series program. It soon becomes second nature when you seize the opportunities to embrace your saboteurs (the parts of you that make you self-sabotage) and, more importantly, those hurt parts of you that need to express themselves for healing to take place.

Are you ready to be more whole, more authentic and set boundaries with greater ease? You can apply to take the Sage and Saboteur Empathy Activation program by booking your clarity call and we’ll see if it’s a good fit for you. Click the button below to apply.

Why is it so easy that I am love and I share love?

This is the question I am living in the energy of after a wonderful Akashic Records reading by the gorgeously gentle Glenda Barber.

In the reading I had a vision of really connecting to source energy and opening my heart, feeling unconditional love flow through me.

I saw a giant hand, big enough for me to step onto, so I did, and sat there in the palm, feeling awe. I slowly became aware that I was being looked at with awe too.

It was such an amazing feeling. Imagine looking at a magnificent sunset – one that is so beautiful it brings you to tears – and then becoming aware that the sunset is in awe of your beauty too.

I can’t unknow this feeling. And my mission now is to infuse even more love into everything I do. I am love and I share love.

This makes it even easier to be okay when there are people who have big “shoulds” judging me. I used to crumble when people judged me. Now I recognise it as their stuff.

It still affects me. My body needs to shake off the trauma of judgement and I can soothe the child parts that need reassurance.

The more we do the inner work of expanding self-compassion, the more easily we’re able to reset ourselves when we need to. We can recognise exactly what we need to do to care for ourselves and take those actions.

Living in the energy of a question is one of those ways of expanding self-compassion… Last night when I lay down to go to sleep, I repeated, “why is it so easy that I am love and I share love?” until I fell asleep.

I don’t need to answer this question. I just need to say it with curiosity and wonder as if it is already true. My subconscious can then get to work on answering the question by making my life reflect it. It might kick up some resistance, which I can release. It gives me actions I can take.

What question would you like to live in the energy of? It has to be something wonderful that you’d love in your live and phrase it as if it’s already happened. Then say the question repeatedly as you go to sleep, and take the actions that occur to you to propel you towards it.

Let me know in the comments what your question is so I can give it some love!

I’d love to help you feel more self-love – wouldn’t that be amazing? Feeling secure and confident? Let’s have a chat about how I can help – book your clarity call – I can’t wait to listen to you!

Finding it hard at Christmas? Try sage exquisite attention

I know how hard it can be to be on your own at Christmas (I’ve been there).

I also know how hard it can be to be with others at Christmas (I’ve been there).

Paying exquisite attention to your senses and your breathing can make all of that just a little bit easier and even create amazing connections with yourself and your loved ones. Here’s how:

If you’d like some support with creating amazing connections with yourself and loved ones book your clarity with me and we’ll chat about what you want for yourself and your loved ones in 2022:

Leave me a comment below and let me know how you’re spending your December bank holidays 🙂