Day 24 of F.O.O.D. – using NOUGAT to help you say ‘no!’

Wow, I’ve made it! Day 24 of my FOOD Advent Calendar and I’m sharing my Christmassy NOUGAT to help you reset some boundaries. In many conversations this year there seems to be an expectation we’re available 24/7 just because we’re WFH. This isn’t sustainable. Let’s practice being more assertiveness otherwise we’re going to suffer from burnout!

When you say ‘yes’ to something, you say no to something else. Prioritise the right things

If you find it hard to say no, observe others who are good at being assertive. What techniques would work for you?

Understand the triggers that make you say yes when you really mean no.  Is it because you feel you ought to, or embarrassed to say no?

You will know when you really want to say ‘no’ because your gut feel tells you. Listen to it and tell the other person how you feeling using the ‘I’ word

If the other person is acting aggressive, make sure you stay in control. Remember your attitude affects your behaviour which in turn affects their attitude and behaviour.

Words are only one piece of the communication! Tone and body language can often give us away! Try practising saying ‘no’ out loud in front of the mirror so that your tone and body language are congruent with your words!


Day 23 of F.O.O.D. – BAKE to take the stress away

Stress means different things to different people as we all have such different tolerance levels. But at the end of the day, it’s what we feel when we think we’ve lost control.

For Day 23 of my F.O.O.D. Advent Calendar I’m going to share my BAKE technique. You’ll always find me in the kitchen when I’m feeling overwhelmed; it’s one of my happy places. Here are some ginger biscuits I prepared earlier!

When we feel stressed, we often let our beliefs run wild. What stories are you are telling yourself? Could there be another way of looking at it?

Sit down and draw a four square grid on a piece of paper. Label each square ‘avoid, alter, adapt, accept’ then work through each element. For example in avoid could you pare down your ‘to do’ list? In alter is there a way of sharing your feelings rather than bottling them up? Could you adapt your standards and perhaps accept forgiveness could play a part?

Be kind to yourself. If you’re not being kind to yourself, you can’t be kind to others. Is there a way you can reward yourself when you achieve a milestone? It could be going for a walk at lunch time.

Finally have belief in yourself that you can achieve what you set your mind to achieve. When we have self efficacy, we are more likely to get the job done

Day 21 of F.O.O.D. – Using PEACH to network

I’ve chosen a PEACH of a subject for Day 21 of my F.O.O.D. Advent Calendar …. networking; a lifeline and survival mechanism in these challenging times.  Here are a few ingredients to help you.

Do your preparation. Turn off distractions. Practice your elevator pitch. And don’t turn up with your friends otherwise you’ll only network with them!

This leads on to events. Choose the events that work best for you and meet the objectives of you attending in the first place. Where are you most likely to meet your perfect client?

The biggest tip I can give about attitude is that you never learn anything about the other person when your mouth is open! Be curious of others. Remember that networking is a mutually beneficial relationship and if you get it right, you should be able to sell other people when you leave, and they you!

People buy people first. What are the characteristics that you demonstrate consistently? Are you sincere, authentic, respectful?

One of the biggest hurdles in networking is to feel confident entering a busy room. Ask groups if you can join them. Pick someone that’s standing by themselves. But remember to circulate. You are there to meet people

Day 20 of F.O.O.D. – Use GARLIC to ask for help

What a year of challenges and they’re still continuing with recent announcements on our tier 4 restrictions.  Thankfully day 20 of the F.O.O.D. Advent Calendar is all about asking for help and as usual on a Sunday, I haven’t got a technique, but I do have some benefits!  So when you’re feeling daunted or a little bit vulnerable and don’t feel like asking for help, think about the benefits of the superfood GARLIC!

When we ask for help we GROW!  We see things from a different perspective to our own and can then use that learning to take on bigger challenges

When we have a greater AWARENESS OF SELF we are able to recognise the triggers that lead to us needing some kind of support.  When I start procrastinating it’s time to pick up the phone!

When I do reach out, I reach out to people I RESPECT.  I see them as a font of knowledge, skills etc and so when people contact me I’m so happy to help as I feel that they do it for the same reason.

By asking for help, we’re LEADING BY EXAMPLE showing that it isn’t a weakness but a way of continuing to strengthen our growth mindset

The INTERACTIONS that we have with others build our support networks and provide us with a sense of belonging.  Think #yougotmethrough2020 and everyone who kept you buoyed up.  I’m eternally grateful to everyone in my network

I hear it all the time – ‘I’ll be judged as not able to cope if I raise this as an issue’.  Let’s make it easier for people to have the COURAGE to speak up and get the help they require.

Day 19 of F.O.O.D. – Using VINEGAR to set goals

It’s day 19 of the F.O.O.D. Advent Calendar! Are you thinking about your goals for next year? VINEGAR has always been good for the body, now use it for the mind!

Our imagination is crucial for the achievement of our goals.  Visualise your goal with clarity! Know what it looks like, feels like

Be inspired by your goal. If it’s a ‘have to’ it will feel like a chore. How can you make it a ‘want to?’

A goal is like giving your subconscious a problem to solve so it will set about gathering information to achieve it. It will spark off our natural creativity to help find the right solutions seeing opportunities where you didn’t see them before

If you don’t think you can do the goal you set out to do, you’ll never even start on the track towards achieving it. Believe in yourself. Think of what you’ve achieved in the past and it will strengthen your efficacy.

Set yourself some measurements over a period of time to gauge your achievements. Little steps every day.

I’m a great believer in writing affirmations – a statement of your belief that you are doing what you say you will do and helps your mind think you’re already achieving it

And if things may go off track a little, pull it straight back on course the next day. You have more resilience than you think