Posted in Uncategorized

30 Things You Didn’t Know About Me!

Today I want to share 30 things you didn’t know about me! So I’ve written quite a few blog posts now and it suddenly occurred to me that a post like this might be rather fun for you guys to get to know me a little more. So here is 30 things you didn’t know about me (in no particular order)…

1. I live in the UK in a place called Warrington located between Manchester and Liverpool. When I go on holiday I always tell people I’m from Manchester just because it’s easier as they have heard of it!

2. I have a 11 year old son (Lex) who is my world but he drives me potty! He is energetic, creative, funny but oh so stubborn! Completely knows his own mind… wonder where he gets that from?! LOL

2. I have one sister (Heather) that is eight years younger than me but often seems to be the wiser one (thanks for you ongoing life advice sissy!)

3. My favourite colour is yellow because it reminds me of the sunshine.

4. My favourite tipple is red wine. I won’t pretend I know my wines, I don’t! I just usually go for one of the more expensive ones on the menu and hope for the best.

5. I have a pet lizard called Eugene, he’s a bearded dragon and is ten years old. He is so adorable! Lizards are my favourite animal closely followed by alligators.

My friend Eugene

6. I’m obsessed with getting beauty treatments. There is nothing I love more than a pampering… my particular weakness being facials.

7. I am Disney mad. On my bucket list is to visit every park. So far I’ve only done Paris and Florida (both several times) I look at something Disney related every single day without fail and I love following Disney pages on Instagram.

8. I love to travel and average 4 trips a year. I get seriously fed up of paying off holidays, I’m never not paying one off! but they are oh so worth it.

9. I once missed a flight back from Ibiza by a whole day through partying too hard ha ha! When I tried to check in I was told this flight left this time yesterday?!?! 24 hours… POOF! Your only young once 😉

10. Two of the best places I have ever visited (aside from Disney) are Positano and Langkawi – Many moons ago but the beauty of the Andaman sea and the rainforest is still imprinted in my mind.

Chilling in Positano

11. A favourite day out of mine is the zoo! No matter where I go I try to visit one. Zoo’s I have visited include… Central Park, Berlin, Barcelona and very soon I’m going to San Diego!

12. I’ve been practising yoga about 2 years now, doing 2-3 classes a week. I’m going to be yoga teacher when I grow up! when I was much younger I tried yoga and found it boring. Clearly I didn’t understand the benefits – I do now.

13. I love fitness and have total gym guilt if I don’t go! Despite having an active job I deem going to the gym a very important part of my life.

14. I’m a Cookie monster! Seriously though how nice are cookies?! in particular cookie desserts when they are warm, melted and gooey with ice cream, yummm!

15. 4. I teach dance and cheer for a living. I have my own dance academy with 250 children in. Dance is my life! I’ve ran my dance business for 19 years… does that make me old? No it does not! I started it at just 17 😉

With some of my cheer stars!

16. Some of my friends refer to me as a Duracell bunny because of my endless energy apparently!

17. I can’t get enough of roller-coasters… I find them totally thrilling. High on my bucket list is to visit Ferrari world in Abu Dhabi.

18. Amongst my favourite films are Wolf of Wall Street, Catch me if you Can, Mrs Doubtfire, Honey I Shrunk the Kids and yeah basically all Disney films.

19. I actually hate skinny jeans. They look great but as soon as I get through the door I literally stand on the door mat and peel them off!

20. I really enjoy doing crafts but don’t do them enough these days. Sitting in a big mess surrounded by crafting materials being creative sounds like a day in heaven to me!

Pottery painting

21. I’m petrified of walk through horror type experiences. Once was more than enough to try this… I know it’s not real but my brain refused to believe that (serious heart failure and crying!)

22. I love quotes… my favourite one of all time is – ‘she dreamed improbable dreams, followed her heart and created her own little fairytale’

23. I believe in fairies. My grandma and I use to make little gardens for them within her garden. We use to make little goblets out of the silver wrapping off kit kats wrappers and leave them out for them.

24. One day (when we move) I want a Disney Den aka a summer house in my garden, full of Disney stuff I love. It will also have a reading nook and a crafting area.

25. I love fashion although I don’t spend quite as much as I use to on it. Putting outfits together is one of my favourite things to do, especially for holidays.

Ready for a night out

26. I am a planner and love to know exactly what I’m doing and when. I like to fill my diary with plans but sometimes regret over planning and having no down time!

27. I don’t watch much tv, it feels such a waste of my life!

28. I was married and divorced by the age of 28. Everyone told me to wait but head strong young me wouldn’t listen. I lived in Germany near Düsseldorf as an army wife for 3 years. I also gave birth to my son there.

29. I hate tomato ketchup, I can’t even look at it ha ha! I also hate wool that feels really woolley, do you know what I mean?! All wool when wet feels disgusting and squeaky, ugh!!

30. This post actually started off as 20 things and I could have gone on and on… so my final one is I talk to much! That’s why I started this blog to give everyone’s ears a rest ha ha!

I hope you enjoyed my 30 things you didn’t know about me… is there any you can relate to? Or anything I mention here you would like me to see me blog about? Why not say hello below and tell me something about yourself!

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Personal Development

I’m so in Love With Blogging!

I’ve just realised… I’m so in love with blogging. I’ve just spent a good hour of my morning reading others blogs again. Gone are the days when I would mindlessly scroll through social media. Granted I still like a nosey at Instagram but it’s reading blogs that’s stole my heart.

So here I share my reasons why I’m so in love with blogging with you guys!

1. Escapism

I am literally transported into your world. Just as a good book provides escapism so does a great blog post. I can sit there smiling as you I can hear the passion in your writing. A great blog post takes me on the journey with you, I’m captivated.

2. Transparency

I love how transparent people are. How people share there journeys with you with a no holds barred approach. It’s commendable and gives others the confidence to speak out about things perhaps they wouldn’t.

3. Advice

Don’t under estimate the value of a good blog post for advice. There’s people out there who maybe have been what you are going through. It could be advice on something health related such as anxiety or it could be advice on something as simple as what to wear on holiday.

4. Inspiration

Blogs are inspirational in more ways than one. You may be inspired by someone’s strength to overcome something. You may be inspired to visit a destination they have visited. Perhaps you are inspired to be more productive.

5. They open your mind

I like to think that I am not a closed mind person. But even I have come across blog posts that have opened my mind. That moment when you think wow I never really thought of it like that.

6. Educational

Every day I am leaning facts about things I didn’t know. Reading blogs is expending my mind more than scrolling through social media posts ever would. I love learning new facts about things I’m interested in. You guys are educating me and I’m grateful.

7. Language

Language is a beautiful thing. I am a lover of words. I love to hear a new word that I don’t know the meaning of and look it up. I am learning so many new words on my blogging journey. I have actually started to carry a small notebook in my handbag so I can jot down any words I come across that I didn’t know and write the meaning of them to refer back to.

8. Creativity

I am a creative person. I teach dance for a living, I love to craft (although I rarely find time) I’m happiest when I’m being creative. Blogging is another creative outlet for me. I look forward to sitting down on a Sunday morning and writing my latest blog post.

I have just literally wrote this post in 10 minutes. It came so easily to me because I really love blogging and the reasons why are so obvious to me. I’m still at the beginning of my blogging journey and to be honest I’m kind of winging it. I hope to develop mine further but for now I’m just happy to have found another passion. My reason for starting mine was I just have so much to say and tell the world ha ha! But I hope I’m providing the above too now I know the power of blogging.

So keep doing what your doing you lovely people. I’m so happy to be part of the blogging community.

Is there any other reasons you would add to the above why you love blogging? I would love you to share them with me. Why not just come say hello? I would love to get to know more bloggers.

Have a great day!

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Personal Development

June Goal Review

I almost forgot to do my June goal review! I’m lay on my sofa feeling pretty exhausted right now. Life has been so busy this blog post is actually a day later than planned. Anyway… Happy July! July already? Yikes!

June goal review

So I decided at the beginning of the year I would check in with my goals every 3 months. I reviewed them last in March, you can check out that post here. So what’s been happening since then? Or not happening!

1. Fun & Adventure

I shared last time that I had booked a sky dive, well I actually did it this month, go me! Of course this was worthy of a blog post of its own so you can find out what I thought and how it went here.

Visit Disneyland Paris was top of this category. We made it there in April and had a fantastic time as always. I also had visit Paris down but sadly we were there when Notre Dame burnt down and that was one of our main reasons for visiting the city. I have been before but not for many years. I would love to watch the Moulin Rouge so a future trip here with my other half could be on the cards.

2. Career

*Sigh* My goal was to start a YouTube channel for my dance school, in March I amended that to working on my Instagram instead which was going great. I’m sad to admit that has fallen a little by the wayside. I’m still posting but not like I was. I need to up my game again!

3. Friends and Family

Not exactly excelling at this right now! But hey, I’m not the only one busy I guess. I did go swimming with my nephew for the first time though. Look how cute he is!

Spending more time with friends and family

4. Financial

Finally a big tick next to this one in my June goal review! Still stayed of debt and saving in my new pension pot every month. It’s easy to put money away in it when I’ve labelled it in my head as future amazing holidays pot! Ha ha!

5. Spiritual

Oh dear… well let me see, I only meditate if I’m at yoga so epic fail on the meditate every day goal. I always think I don’t have time but then they say the people who don’t need to meditate the most. I occasionally do my daily affirmations when I’m up early and remember!

6. Fitness

Okay so I am still managing yoga 2-3 times a week which is good. The other goal here was improve running on treadmill. I actually hate running, I don’t know why I set this goal! I wouldn’t say I’ve improved it but I am definitely still pushing myself to do it.

7. Personal enrichment

Read more often… hmmm I read on holiday does that count?! This needs addressing really. Also in this category was take a floristry course and I did! Okay so it was only a day one but I loved it and made this beautiful arrangement. It’s definitely spurred me on to do a course over a series of weeks.

June goal:  Flower arranging

8. Self care

Drink more water, check (most days), body brush 3x a week, I’m managing 2. Smoothie a day? Probably about 4 a week. Lastly sticking to a good morning routine – FAIL. I want to work on this for next review and in turn that should help my meditation goal.

So that concludes my June goal review. How do I feel about my goals mid way through the year? I would say happy enough. However in all honesty I don’t think I’ve really thought about them much since my March review. I need to check in between my goal reviews on here to ensure I am on track or what’s the point in making them?

Have you checked in with your goals? How’s it all going? Maybe you didn’t set any… well with still half a year to go why not set some now?

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Personal Development

First Sky Dive… Would I do it again?!

So I have completed my first sky dive… OH MY LIFE I actually went through with it! I questioned my sanity in the weeks leading up to it… I mean who in their right mind willing launches themselves out of a flying aeroplane?! Me! I did, ha ha! I’m still buzzing, can you tell?

Ahh the good old bucket list, many things are on it but none quite as terrifying as a sky dive. I like to challenge myself and this has been on my list forever. Booking a charity skydive to raise funds for the MS Trust seemed like a great plan. I mean if people sponsor me I can’t wimp out right?! So I rang up and booked at skydive northwest in the lake district. Luckily for me my sisters partner Dan wanted to do one too so I had a sky dive buddy.

We arrived at the centre on a slightly gloomy and windy Sunday morning and was relieved that jumps were going ahead. After handing in our forms we were taken for a 20 minute briefing. Clear instructions were given about everything, I felt well informed which is good given my life was literally in someone else’s hands!

Ready to sky dive
Attire on, feeling brave? not really…

Obviously as first timers Dan and I were doing tandem jumps. My instructor told me he did his first jump at 16yrs old alone (wtf?!) and had been jumping for 30 years. This eased my mind, he clearly was a competent sky diver.

Once kitted up we entered the air field and headed towards the aeroplane. Honestly my nerves at this point were building badly. More so when I got inside the plane and realised just how small it was.

Boarding the plane
Not feeling as confident as I look!

The plane quickly climbed and my ears were popping and I was trying to not panic! We went up fast and I kept thinking oh this must be it… but no! Up and up we went. The exact height we were jumping from was 14,000ft… but honestly this meant nothing to me! I don’t have a great concept of distance.

At last the door opened and the cabin filled with air and became much louder. At this point you realise you’ve never been in a place with the door open, I mean why would you?! It was pretty scary. Three guys who were jumping alone left the plane. As I watched them tumble down and my heart was in my mouth.

All aboard the sky dive plane
Terrified… can’t even muster a smile!

Then the door shut and apparently we were to go higher… excuse me?! This is when he head fell off. What do you mean higher?!! I started to internally panic thinking I just can’t do it, I just can’t do this!

On the edge ready to jump
Dear God, please don’t let me die!!

But soon enough the door opened again and it was my turn. I shuffled forwards with my instructor and I don’t think my heart has ever beat so fast! As I sat on the edge with my head back (as instructed) I thought I this is it, I actually might die!

Then we left the plane, holy crap we were out! I couldn’t tell you if he counted or anything but we were out! The initial fall was scary.

Freefalling!
Yikes! I can’t believe I did it!

But afterwards it was weird… your going down obviously but it’s just like the winds under you holding you up. The camera man was encouraging me to wave etc but I was too scared to move. I attempted a smile but it made my teeth cold ha ha!

First time sky dive smiling
Smile for the camera…

The free fall was a minute and let me tell you it was the longest minute of my life! I was kind of enjoying it but at the same time thinking where’s the parachute?!! It must have been a minute now…

I could see a cloud below me and it was coming faster and faster… silly as it may sound I was worried about going through it. As we entered it I think I held my breath for a few seconds ha ha! But nothing to worry about, except it was even colder and I now could see nothing.

Flying through the clouds
Look I’m flying!

Then with a slight hoist back up as my body dropped vertical I realised that was it, the free fall was over. I kind of breathed a sigh of relief that indeed the parachute had not failed. Oh wow look at the world below me! I took in the views whilst trying not to dither (did I mention I was cold?!) it was very peaceful.

Parachute finally opens
The moment we dropped into a vertical position as the parachute released

Soon enough we were coming in to land, remembering my briefing and also a reminder from my instructor I lifted my legs high as we swooped down. I was smiling my head off at this point, I think it was a mixture of relief and feeling amazed that I had indeed gone through with a sky dive.

Survived my first sky dive!

I Raised £466 for the charity the MS Trust. It’s close to my heart as my lovely mum has MS. Thank you so much to all those who donated.

Would I do it again? Yes and no… if I was somewhere amazing on holiday and I thought the views would be worth it absolutely. Am I about to throw myself out of a plane as a new found hobby? Definitely not, I will stick to my thrills at theme parks!

Would I recommend it? 100% yes… why? because life is for living and you should try everything once 😉

Rachael 🙂 x

You can book with Sky Dive Northwest here – http://www.skydivenorthwest.co.uk

Posted in Personal Development

You can do anything but not everything…

You can do anything but not everything… something I realised off the back of my digital detox weekend a couple of weeks back.  As an ambitious 17 year old I launched my own dance academy and have never looked back since. Driven by passion and a desire to be successful I have been teaching and running my business for almost 20 years (yikes!)

Too much self help?

For some time now I’ve been delving into the world of business, productivity and self improvement by watching YouTube videos, listening to audio books and reading. But could too much self help be a bad thing? I was starting to feel like I was under achieving and became so overwhelmed that I felt like I was going to have a breakdown.

Is one business not enough?

Not only was I single handedly running my business I was also in the process of setting up two more. A dance wear company and a fitness one both driven through the platform instagram.  Heading for burn out I had to take a step back and think what am I ultimately trying to achieve here? You can do anything but is trying to do everything a mistake?

You see everything comes at a cost and running my dance business with over 200 pupils is a mammoth task alone. I am busy enough already so why do I now feel the need to add more? Because I’m literally being brainwashed. Statements like “everyone should be making money online these days” had really got in my head and I started thinking I should be investing in a second business and making a second income.

Time for me?

This was further fuelled by analysing other peoples lives on social media! I know, what a nightmare… now I won’t go into that as that’s a whole nother blog post. But my impending breakdown was coming from a place of feeling I don’t have any time to enjoy the simple things in life. I might go to yoga, indulge in the odd massage and facial but I literally run in and out of these squeezing them into my otherwise manic day. Bottom line… I just don’t stop!

No headspace…

My mind was constantly in overdrive with all the tasks I was failing to do. If I tried to take time out feelings of guilt would creep in massively. It actually got that bad that when I was with other people I was never fully present. I might have been there in person but my mind was literally in a world of its own and I had no head space. I convinced myself I didn’t have time to just chill out at home… a day of doing nothing was just not on my agenda. Is it any wonder I was heading for burn out!! I started to wonder have I actually become addicted to being busy?!

Time to re-evaluate

Breaking point came when I realised that my situation wasn’t going to change. If I keep pursuing ideas and striving to be better I will forever be stuck in a place of not being satisfied and feeling stressed. I want to be able to look forward to a day just chilling out, being fully present with family, not feeling guilty that I’m not doing the million and one things in my head.

I am enough…

So I’ve made big changes… I’ve realised I am already killing it. I am successful and it’s time to own that.  I have created a lovely life and I should be proud of myself. I’m doing what I always set out to do and I love it as much now as when I was 17, not many people can say that. I’m where I’m suppose to be, it’s okay… I don’t need to try and take on the world. You can do anything but not everything.

Am I reaching my full potential? Maybe not… maybe I have got more to give but is it worth the stress and time? Like I said everything comes at a cost. A cost to your mental health and happiness is just not worth it. It’s time for me to just be… enjoy my life as it and start to reconnect with the things I love. Not constantly be pursuing another dream. My life is passing me by whilst I’m trying to build an even better one! Right now for the first time in ages I feel at peace with myself and it feels amazing.

Can you relate to this? Are you constantly consumed by your own thoughts and ideas and never really present? Maybe it’s time to free yourself from a tortuous cycle… remember, you are enough.

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Personal Development

Checking in With my Goals

Spring is fast approaching… seriously though where did January and February go?!! I swear as I get older time is moving faster or maybe I’m just busier than ever… now were officially in March I will be checking in with my goals for the first time this year!

Checking in with my goals

Checking in With my Goals: March 2019

So like many at the very beginning of the year I zealously compiled a list of goals I hope to achieve this year. I sectioned my goals into eight categories (see below). You can also check out my original post here.

But there is no point making these goals if we don’t check in! For me when something goes down on paper it makes it more official, it has to happen. This is why you should always write your goals down. I think looking at your goals around about quarterly is where it’s at… monthly is just too much for me – hell, give me time to breath!!

So let’s look at some things I have achieved or scheduled so far off my goal list…

1. Fun & Adventure

Skydive – holy crap, I actually booked a sky dive!! Let me tell you I am terrified but it is something I always wanted to do… as I’m getting older I’m kinda going off the idea a bit so what must I do?! Get it locked down. Yup… I’m going to throw myself out of a plane for charity – yikes!! This is happening in April. I’ve booked with the company www.skydivenorthwest.co.uk

Under this section also was go to three places I’ve never visited before… this is totally getting smashed. With four trips impending it’s safe to say I will go to way more than three! How exciting?! Watch this space to hear about my upcoming trips!

2. Career

Firstly let me just tell you what I do… I have a dance school; I teach dance. On my list was start a YouTube channel… this was also on it last year. Has progress been made? Hmmm not exactly. Maybe this goal was too much to chew… I’m a busy girl and that’s going to take commitment.

What I have done is upped my game on Instagram. Remember goals are totally adaptable… I’m now posting every day to my dance insta and I’ve braved doing videos on there. This is a big step for me! Remember to celebrate the smaller achievements too. Will this lead to YouTube… maybe! It’s a step in the right direction!

3. Friends & Family

A simple goal – to spend more time with them. Am I achieving it? Very debatable… am I making it a priority? Definitely not… I’m so absorbed in my dance business that I don’t spend enough time with loved ones. Let’s see if I can change this for my next goal review!

4. Financial

Stay out of debt – I paid off what I had last year and so far I’ve not took out anymore – go me! However with said 4 trips impending this is going to be tricky… I will remain optimistic but we will see.

Another financial goal I have FINALLY achieved is starting to save a pension… I left it way too long but better late than never!

5. Spiritual

Definitely time to check in with this goal, I can’t lie… it’s not going great. I’ve managed to write in my gratitude journal a handful of times only… I just forget!! Meditation is definitely lacking… I’m also having trouble sleeping of late. I think I am being more mindful though so that’s something I guess. Spiritual goals definitely need more work.

6. Fitness

Yoga every day? Erm not quite ha ha! Oh my… I definitely over committed on this one. It’s not going to happen. I’m soooo active in general with my job, I also go the gym too. I’m managing yoga 3x a week and loving it! You know what, I’m okay with this.

7. Personal enrichment

Okay so a big goal here was to learn more about blogging and develop mine. I have definitely committed to this… it’s a big blogging world and there is so much to learn! But I’m enjoying this journey so far. Since January I have done a few free courses, made upgrades to my blog, dipped my toe into SEO (what a mind field)  and committed to a posting schedule – every Sunday.

Read every day? If that includes internet research and blogs absolutely… books… no. Perhaps I can improve my sleep by reading more again… food for thought.

8. Self Care

As far as self care goes I’m pretty good… as in I have a facial a month, a massage, nails maintained and my hair. But self care is so much more. How about taking time out, knowing when your over working and learning to say no. I’m not great at this… I’m still trying to take on the world, this needs to change.

Smoothie a day? I’ve managed maybe 4 a week… not a bad start. What I’ve learned with smoothies is simple is better. Don’t over complicate them and I’m more likely to make them.

Body brush 3 x a week, no problem! This I can proudly say I’ve achieved. Small victory but none the less important… have you read about the benefits of body brushing?! Hmmm maybe to share in another post.

Yeah so that’s it guys… I’ve checked in on my goals for the first time this year. There are some I don’t mention as this post would be way to long… but point is I’m reviewing them!

Checking in with my goals, sky diving

Are you checking in with your goals? I would love to hear how your doing… let’s celebrate our achievements as we go.

Rachael x

Posted in Personal Development

36 Things I’ve Learned in 36 Years…

I’ve had a blogging break. Not intentionally but life has been so busy as usual! I’m feeling slightly inspired this morning so here I am. This Saturday just gone I turned 36 years old, happy birthday to meee! The past few years I use to dread being another year older. I’m so over that now… a quote I read had a really profound effect on me…

I am fortunate enough not to have lost anyone my age that I’m close to. But I know of people I went to school with, friends of friends my age who didn’t make it to the age I am now. Sure when I take a selfie I might try a million angels so the light hits right and round my eyes look better! But who doesn’t?! It is an absolute privilege to grow older and we should never forget that. Cliche it may sound but every day is a gift and you never know what tomorrow may bring. I am grateful for every one of my thirty six years. My life has been the winding road that it’s meant to be… lessons have been learned but memories have been made.

I feel like it’s only in the last two years I have really become comfortable with being me. I was far too worried about what others think and afraid of looking bad. Whilst this does still bother me occasionally I’m so glad most the time I’m confident enough stay true to myself. This is my life and I realise I must do what’s right for me… I value others opinion but I’m the one holding the pen to my story. You will never keep everyone happy. So here’s 36 things I’ve learned in my 36 years so far…

1. One of the best things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood

2. If you know what you want to do when you leave school then you are lucky, I’m still doing now what I did at seventeen and I love it just as much now as I did then

3. Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life… so true… when the thing that you do to get money doesn’t feel like work you are living your best life

4. Child birth was the most excruciating pain ever and maybe you will forget but I certainly haven’t

5. Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever do. It’s basically giving up the life you know for a completely new one

6. There is no love quite like being somebody’s mummy

7. You will discover your parents were always right even though you probably still won’t admit it to them

8. Don’t strive for perfection in everything you do, it’s just an illusion. Striving for perfection will leave you in a constant state of frustration

9. Travel will make your soul soar, money spent on holidays is never money wasted

10. A few good genuine friends are better than many. As you grow older you will learn which ones are in it for the long haul with you. Cherish them

11. Not everyone has the same heart as you but don’t let that change yours

12. Know what you need and be unapologetic about caring for yourself. Self care is not selfish it’s necessary to your wellbeing

13. Gratitude is the way forward. Wake up every day thankful for all the amazing things in your life. Remember there’s always something to be thankful for

14. Forgiveness is a super power. Forgive others not because they deserve it but because you deserve peace. This is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned

15. Learn the art of growing without loosing your inner child… some of my favourite days now are still spent colouring, going to the zoo, building sandcastles or playing on swings

16. Never ignore the feeling in your gut… trust your vibes… energy doesn’t lie. I have learnt to listen to my intuition more as I have got older

17. What you say about other people says more about you than it does about them. Be kind with your words, never gossip

18. Protect your energy… surround yourself with positive people who lift you higher

19. It’s never too late to start over in any area of life. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Yes you can! You can do anything you put your mind to!

20. It’s free to dream but dreams only come into reality with hard work. When you look at people who seemingly have it all, respect the hustle they went through to get there

21. Your reality really is a projection of your thoughts. Keep them good, positive and inspiring.

22. Good manners will take you far in life

23. Always Smile… smile when you wake up, smile to yourself, smile at strangers – better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back. Smiling makes your eyes sparkle…

24. Having love in your life is everything… family, friends, relationships. Without love… there is nothing

25. Look after your body… it’s the only place you have to live. Nourish it with good food but don’t deny yourself treats. Keep it moving… remember your only as young as your spine is flexible

26. Read… the more you read the more things you will know. A good book is a wonderful way of escapism

27. You can never take too many photos! Snapshots of moments gone by will make you smile in your future, even when you ‘weren’t looking your best that day’

28. Practice mindfulness, savour the moment you are in. We live in a fast paced world… remember to pause and smell the sea air, the cut grass, savour the taste of the food you eat, hug someone a little longer

29. You get what you pay for. Quality over quantity every time

30. You can’t change other people… you can only change your reactions to them. Walk away from people and situations that no longer serve you

31. Keep an open mind… it takes all kinds of people to make a world and what a wonderful thing that is

32. Never make a promise you can’t keep

33. Disappointments are part of life but never loose hope… keep pushing forward

34. Mistakes are our greatest teachers. Don’t linger in regret about them, acknowledge them and move on

35. Not everybody will like you or understand you and that’s okay… they are not your people

36. Happiness is an inside job. It’s letting go of what you think your life should look like and embracing every moment. Always strive to find joy in the day to day.

So that’s it! Cheers to me and my 36 years… let’s see what lessons my next 36 will bring me – I hope I’m blessed enough to see them.

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Personal Development

10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Exercise!

Well it’s 2019 and I bet plenty of you have muttered these words… ‘right that’s it after Christmas… I’m going to get fit/loose weight/diet. But come February is your determination wavering after the usual hum drum of life sets back in? Your so tired after work, the kids need you, you’ve not got time, blah blah… we’ve all been there. So how can you start and more importantly stick to a new you fitness routine? I was thinking about this on the treadmill the other day. What sparked me to is knowing that January will be a manic month in the gym but come February it will trail off. So here’s my advice on how to stick with fitness this year.

1. Make it a health mission

Firstly I think it needs to be just that… a health mission. This is about you feeling better, brighter, more energetic and full of life. That needs to be your on going goal to feel good… notice how I say ongoing… there’s no end goal here this is your life and you should strive to feel the best you can through out it.

2. Find something you love

You need to find something you love. You can’t make this a chore! If you know you hate the gym don’t pick that!! Maybe you could go swimming? Walking or jogging? Tennis? Zumba? This is all about committing to exercising. Don’t let you mind just jump to the gym… what did you enjoy as a child? Could you join a local team? Bottom line… if you don’t enjoy it it’s harder to stick to it.

3. Get the right gear

What ever you choose get the right clothes to wear. You want to look the part even if you don’t feel it. Also if you buy yourself a new fitness outfit it will spur you on into going to… I mean you don’t want to have wasted your money! The wrong gear can also make you sweat more. I once had some trainers that I swear made me hotter when I trained… they just weren’t breathable enough.

4. Find the right place to train

So this doesn’t apply if your exercising at home but if you are doing it out the house not all places to train are the same. Just because you didn’t like one gym doesn’t mean you won’t like another… some are large and spacious, others more intimate. Some are women only which might appeal, some are aimed at body builders/heavy lifters. I wasn’t a fan of swimming unless it was on holiday… pools are not warm enough and I’m always cold in the changing room after. I recently changed fitness club and guess what? I tried the swimming and I loved it! The pools not busy, temperature is good and the changing rooms are lovely.

5. Find the right instructor

Much like the right place to train an instructor that is good at what they do and train at a pace you enjoy is worth their weight in gold. Personal trainers vary massively I’ve learnt over the years… yours should really make you feel at ease and listen to you but also motivate you to go that extra mile. Instructors of fitness classes styles will vary too. I’ve found this a lot though in yoga. I once went to a class where the teacher literally whispered what we were doing through out! I struggled to hear and kept having to crane my neck to see what she was doing! Some people may have enjoyed that but I preferred to hear the direction clearly. If your trying a fitness class, try several! Find an instructor you like.

6. Don’t set unrealistic goals

I love goal setting, goals are great as they motivate you! But try not to set super challenging ones. You will only be disappointed when you don’t achieve them. Instead set goals in bite size pieces… if you are just starting out running and your aim is to run a marathon keep it in mind but maybe write down run 5k first and keep upping your goal. Another one is promising yourself you will go the gym five days a week when you know it will be a struggle. Why not aim for three which is more manageable and if you go any extra it’s a bonus.

7. Schedule your workouts

Life is busy! Get those work outs in the diary like you do with work appointments and drinks with friends. If it’s in the diary it has to happen! This is my mentality anyway. If it’s right in front of your eyes as you look at your day/week which is bound to be full of non negotiable stuff your exercise regime becomes a part of this too. I also find finding fitness classes where you have to book in helps. I’m on the fence about exercising with a friend thing though… if you do this be careful who you choose as their just not feeling it tonight can rub off on you. If you come dependent with going with someone.

8. Create the ultimate playlist

It’s amazing how much music can motivate your work out. Obviously if your going to a fitness class they are mostly done to music. But that music is carefully selected for a reason. Get together a playlist of songs you love but ones that make you want to train faster and harder. Also if you’ve got headphones in people are less likely to speak to you and interrupt your work out – BONUS!

9. Take progress photos

Okay so you may well hate this at the beginning if your unhappy with how you look… but take the photos trust me. You might think your not progressing or changing but you can miss these little changes as you go along. Progress photos will help you to notice better and will serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come. That said I’m a big advocate of its about how you feel as much as how you look.

10. No such thing as a bad work out

You’ve heard this before but it’s totally true. I’ve had days where it’s just not happening for me, I’ve done half a work out and literally left the gym! Then the next day I’ve come down with a cold. Listen to your body… it knows. However be realistic with yourself… make sure it’s your body that’s not feeling it and not your mind. If you really feel unwell don’t push it. Any form of getting your body moving is better than none. Also if you have a bad day don’t let it set the tone for the whole week!

It might not be easy at first but persevere. In my experience there will come a point when it is part of your routine and you feel almost guilty if you don’t go/do it.

Any other tips you would add here? You’ve got this… in 2019 your going to feel amazing!

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Personal Development

New year, new goals… How exciting?

So with 2018 drawing to a close like many of you my thoughts are turning to the year ahead. Apparently this is a late post for 2019 goal planning as a quick google told me a lot of people were writing such posts back in October. But in my opinion it’s better late than never and technically were not even late as there’s still two days of this year left!

I totally love having goals, it makes me feel excited about the future. But it’s rare I write them down… it’s usually all just in my head or in the notes of my phone. But I read somewhere that a study revealed that by writing your goals down you are more likely to achieve them. So I spent yesterday afternoon finalising how I want my year to shape up by actually getting them down on paper.

I’ve always loved drawing and colouring so there was something therapeutic about cracking out my felt tips and making my 2019 goals oh so pretty!

For optimum goal planning I found it’s helpful to break them down into categories as oppose to having a long list. I decided to divide my goals into the following eight categories as I feel it covers all areas of life. But choose categories that you feel are relevant to you.

  • Fitness
  • Family and friends
  • Personal enrichment
  • Fun and adventure
  • Spirituality
  • Self care
  • Financial
  • Career

For each of the eight categories I wrote 2-5 goals down. Some could have fit in more than one category but I just put them in the one I thought they were most relevant too. Just to give you an idea here’s a few of mine…

Fitness – To do yoga every day

Family and friends – spend more time with my adorable nephew Noah

Personal enrichment – develop my blog

Self care – Have a green smoothie a day

Fun and adventure – sky dive!

Spirituality – meditate every day

Financial – stay out of debt completely

Career – finish setting up my clothing company for dance and cheer

These and several of my other goals could be further explored. For example read more often – I could then write a list of books I want to commit to reading. The sky dive could be pencilled in my diary or even booked. Look how you can further develop your goals to make it more likely for you to achieve them.

Finally I made sure my list had space still so under each category as I may decide to add more. It’s important though to not overwhelm yourself initially so remember your list is adaptable. Who said goals are just to be planned at the beginning of the year? Goals can be set at anytime but January is obviously the perfect month to look at the year ahead with optimism and excitement.

So off you go to plan your goals! I hope I have inspired you if you haven’t already done it… I hope in 2019 you achieve all you want to.

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m Just a Dance Teacher…

Much like stay at home mums do I get the phrase said to me ‘oh your just a dance teacher’ this is of course after asking me what else I do. I know people think I’m just off all day. This couldn’t be further from the truth… Now let me start by telling you that I have my own dance academy. I don’t own a premises but I do rent several buildings to teach in. Not being in one base means I have over 220 pupils at present. That’s a lot of kids! My classes range from 10-18 children each, no more, thank goodness. So that’s 220 pupils I manage, 220 parents.

In any one day I can get up to say 30 texts ‘*insert name* can’t come today’ ‘what’s the song they are dancing to?’ ‘Have you seen *insert name* coat/water bottle/school bag) ‘I have this friend, can she start’ You get my jist… this is time consuming. On top of this there are the new starter enquiries which are constant and worse still the ‘I’ve been on the waiting list a year, how far along am I now?’ Which always make me feel awful. I am also contactable via email, phone and WhatsApp. I have a very active Facebook page too and a relatively new Instagram (that actually I keep failing to post on, is it any wonder why? ha ha!) I play constant catch up replying to people.

I teach 22 classes in total in a week, 8 cheer, the rest dance. I work 6 days out of the seven… yes I just teach after school but all these dances need choreographing. At any one time I can be choreographing over 40 dances if classes are learning more than one routine. That’s ALOT of dance ideas to churn out and remember! I do some on the spot but I do have to take out at least 15 hours a week for choreography. Also the music doesn’t download itself and certainly doesn’t edit itself… one track can take several hours for cheer.

Then there is the admin side. Registers, enrolement forms, emails keeping parents in the loop, slips to hand out in class. Don’t get me started on keeping up with accounts too! Keeping up with UKCA information for the cheerleading. If we’re doing merit awards they all need filling out and medals ordering. It’s not unusual for me to be doing admin till 1am in the morning at times.

Then there is the annual show… for dance this is every May. The show whilst not until May gets prepped by me from January. Not that people realise… it takes me a whole five months of graft to put together that two hour performance you see on stage. Endless planning, letters, staffing – plus chaperone licensing. Costumes… I sort all the costumes… everyone has two. Yup… that’s around 300+ costumes I kid you not. Some just simple t-shirts etc but they all still need sourcing and sorting. Ticket sales, seating plans, lighting plans, props, running orders, dressing room arrangements, rehearsal arrangements… the list is endless.

On top of my usual working six day week I quite often work a Sunday too doing dance parties. Which whilst I love them are probably the hardest of all. You see little *insert name* loves to dance so she’s having a dance party… this doesn’t mean all the other kids do though so you have a hard job keeping everyone interested and involved. Add to this the birthday child might be turning 7 but she’s got several 2-3yr old cousins that are running wild and make sure you bring your loudest voice because your not only shouting over the 25 party kids also the chatting parents. I’m not gonna lie… after a party wine usually follows ha ha!

Some weekends we enter cheer competitions which takes over the whole day (usually a Sunday) these take a lot of preparation for. Through the summer months we sometimes dance and cheer at local carnivals.

Like many kids activities I stop for school holidays… ahhh rest time! Ermmm no… if I’m not working I don’t get paid and whilst I do have some school holiday time to myself I also run holiday club to keep my wages coming in. This consists of me entertaining up to 25 kids all day. Dance, crafts, sports, games etc. I’m paid to play, I love it but this all needs planning.

Now all this sounds like I’m moaning about my job… but I’m not. I absolutely love it! Not so much the admin side as the actual creative side but I live to dance. Dance is life for me and without it I would be half a person. I am blessed to teach so many children and be part of their lives… I am grateful every day for that. I don’t go to work… I go to dance! I like to think of us as one big dance family. I pride myself on actually knowing the children as well as just teaching them. I like to know what’s going on in their lives and hear about what they’ve been up to (Some of the stories I hear are hilarious – I know everything about you parents ha ha!)

But no… I’m not just a dance teacher… I’m a business owner, marketing expert, girl boss, choreographer, administrator, accountant, stylist and events planner… does that that cover it?… and you know what… I wouldn’t have it any other way 💕

Rachael x