Make rest and renewal a priority goal for 2018

Hello 2018…and here we go again!

It is time for your social media feed to be inundated with inspirational quotes encouraging you to set yourself up for 2018 for an epic and awesome year! You will be inspired to create a list of new year’s resolutions and to start establishing your strategic plan and defining your goals and objectives in weekly and monthly increments – your blueprint for success.

You will be encouraged to revisit your personal or business values, prioritise your values, address values conflict and then realign your values.

You will apply the golden rules of goal setting and define S.M.AR.T. goals, stretch goals, find short-term quick-win goals, develop long-term strategic goals.

You will create vision boards, dream boards, storyboards both in hard copy or a digital version.

You will sign up for 7-day challenges, 14-day challenges and one-month challenges.

You will buy a fancy pants diary or journal to document your approach. You will download the latest and greatest apps to keep you on track and quantify your progress to enable you to achieve the dizzy heights of awesomeness both personally and professionally.

You might also be thinking of taking things to the next level by engaging a business coach, enrolling in continuing education, joining a mastermind program, or attending an intensive immersion event.

Ok. So, following that formula will have you well on your way to kick off 2018 flushed with enthusiasm, positivity and energy. Nailed it. Already.

But…BIG ‘BUT’…you need to lay the foundations to enable success.

There are so many amazing tools and mechanisms that can set you up for success. However, success is dependent on having the solid foundation of a well-rested, well-restored, and well-nourished body and mind. Your body and mind serve as the enabler of success.

Taking time to establish a solid foundation and practice of rest and renewal will increase your chances of success and help to build and maintain resilience during the busy or tough times without compromising your physical, mental, psychological and spiritual well-being.

Now it can be easy to get excited and put your foot on the accelerator when working towards new goals or transitioning through change – especially with the start of a new year as your trigger or starting point.

But stop for a minute before you dive into the new year. Take the time to set yourself up for success by developing a regular practice of rest and renewal to enable you to access a state of rest and the ability to renew your body and mind – anywhere, anytime.

5 foundational practices for rest and renewal

This solid foundation will make for a more enjoyable, fulfilling journey and a successful, prosperous (and hopefully relaxed!) 2018 and one that you can navigate with ease.

Practice 1 – Breathe

Know: You know how to breathe, you do it all day every day. You also know the saying ‘Take a few deep breaths’ when subject to stress or pressure. This saying is not an old folk remedy; instead, it is advice that has stood the test of time. There are so many compelling benefits of slow, mindful deep breathing which are backed up by robust scientific evidence, which is too hard to ignore.

In a nutshell (this is not designed to be a science lesson, but important) breathing deeply and mindfully helps to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system which triggers the body to release hormones to decrease blood pressure and your heart rate, thus creating a relaxation response. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for ‘rest and digest’, and works with the sympathetic nervous system to regulate stress. Under stressful or dangerous situations, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, releasing hormones to enable the ‘flight or fight’ response and shallow breathing. Hence the saying ….’Take a few deep breaths’ when under stress.

Do: Use your full lung capacity to breathe mindfully and deeply. Find a comfortable place to sit up straight and place your hands either on your belly or in your lap. Exhale through your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose and into your belly area. Breathe in for the count of six through your nose and out for the count of six through your mouth – matching the length of inhale with the length of exhale.

Try this for a 4-minute practice in the morning and the evening and extend by a minute each day. You will find you will develop clarity, calm and connection with yourself. The best place to be when strategising, prioritising, planning and decision-making.

If during the day you find yourself getting stressed, try your new breathing practice.

Practice 2 – Inner inventory and checking in

Know: Your values will guide your intentions, where you direct your energy, the choices you make and the actions you take. Mindfully checking in with yourself and developing a habit to do this regularly, every day and a couple of times during the day will enable you to lead with intention, focus on your priorities and things that matter, and access states of calm and rest when needed.

Do: You can achieve this simple practice anywhere, and at any time and it only takes a few minutes. To make the most of your time, focus on the following three elements:
Emotions – what am I thinking, feeling or experiencing. Am I feeling stressed or calm?
Mental state – Where are my thoughts at the moment? What thoughts can pass on by so I can regain focus on the things that matter?
Physical – How am I feeling physically right now? Are my shoulders tense? My teeth clenched? Do I have a tension headache? Recognised what your body is feeling and use deep breathing to bring your attention to the tension and evoke a state of calm.

Practice 3 – Try waking up naturally

Know: We were never meant to be woken abruptly, in darkness, by loud, sudden beeping alarms or siren type noises. Loud noises can add to stress levels by triggering the body’s protective ‘fight or flight’ response. Soon you are increasing your adrenaline levels. You have heard about the fight or flight response, and you know that it is useful when confronted by a serious threat. But, prolonged active state of fight or flight can lead to deeper stress issues not to mention never feeling rested.

Do: Instead, try to wake up each day with the rising of the sun. Waking up naturally is much gentler on the body and a more beautiful start to the day. Teach yourself to wake up on time by priming your body’s internal clock. To do this, stick to a regular bedtime routine and train yourself to wake at a specific time. Now, this may not be achievable every day, so perhaps try for a morning where you don’t have to rush off to any commitments of obligations. Overtime, gradually extend your practice to other days.

Practice 4 – Create your ‘Rest Nest’

Know: Rest starts with the right setting for your body and mind to relax and renew, whether you are taking the time out for a mini-meditation session, restorative yoga session, or you are preparing for sleep. Create your sacred place for rest. Your ‘rest nest’.

Do: Create a space conducive to rest:
• Dimming the lights will help your body to regulate and tell you that it is time to go into rest or sleep mode.
• A relaxed and peaceful room surrounded by the colours and things you love (without the clutter) will give you a sense of home.
• Maintain an ambient temperature, not too warm and not too cold.
• Reduce noise and chances of interruption. Earplugs for sleep or lightweight noise-cancelling earphones are great for listening to soft sleep waves.
• Surround yourself with scents using aromatherapy. There are so many amazing benefits of aromatherapy including improving your mood and helping you to relax such as Lavender.
• Choose a comfy mat and blanket (for mediation or restorative yoga) with your favourite props, or, dress your bed in the most divine sheets with lots of pillows!
• Know what postures evoke calm for rest, mediation or sleeping. You should never be in uncomfortable positions when trying to rest.
• Fluffy dogs and cats outside. While cute, a pet in your rest or sleep space will create curiosity for them and they will only distract you!

Practice 5 – Practice the art of the Little Lie Down (LLD)

Know: The benefits of a power nap have been validated by Spanish scientists – the master nappers. The power nap can be as refreshing as a good night’s sleep by allowing your mind and body to power down and recharge. I learnt the art of what I call the LLD – A Little Lie Down when working in the Australian Defence Force. I discovered how to manage my energy that might be required for long hours and through the night by capitalising on any opportunities to catch some shut-eye – anytime, in any place, and in any position…and with boots on! I carried this practice into my life and now know when I am feeling weary on a weekend afternoon, to have an LLD. I feel incredibly refreshed afterwards. Lately, I have been practicing restorative yoga prior to greatly enhance the affects.

Do: Mastering the art of the LLD takes time if you are brand new to this.
A short nap of 20-30 minutes is recommended which can provide improved performance and alertness without leaving you feeling sleepy and or interfering with your night-time sleep. Make sure you have a nice and comfy place to rest. Try some gentle stretches or restorative yoga poses to relax your body. Don’t forget to eliminate any distractions i.e. turn your phone to silent, and remember to breathe.

You are welcome!

Would you like to set yourself up for success for 2018?




I am facilitating the ‘Deep Rest and Renewal Time Out 2018'. A beautiful supported environment for you to experience deep rest. Unapologetic deep rest and learn how to create the habits for rest and renewal for yourself in your own space and set you up for success for 2018.

This workshop will help you to decode simple secrets to enable you to access deep rest and set yourself up for success in 2018.

This deeply nourishing experience will provide you with techniques to unwind, relax and de-stress to repair your mind and body and take the pressure of our bodily functions for a mini-time out.

Give yourself a juicy dose of ‘me-time’ to re-establish the deep connection to your mind and body to access states of rest and relaxation for deep rest and renewal.

Communicate with your mind and your body to dial down the flight or fight mechanism and tell yourself there is no tension or danger – reducing the stress hormones and increasing the positive hormones we need to feel restore and renew.

Move from ‘knowing’ mode to ‘being’ mode. You will connect with your body’s intelligence to recognise when you need to rest, restore and renew and go there. Deeply. Without apology.




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