Shit. I cant believe I am actually writing this. I had been sitting at my computer for a while trying to think of the perfect title for this article when this idea hit me. I knew I had to write it because I WISH someone had written about this years ago so I could have read it and taken some action as it truly did change my life.
Before I get into all of the juicy details I want to fill you in on where my life was at when I took on this challenge. I was exhausted. I had 3 young children. I was a young mum but I felt like I had aged several decades from having 3 children. My body was unrecognisable from pregnancy, child birth, lack of sleep, surgeries, and general lack of care and maintenance. I had little energy and interest to take care of myself and would often just count down the hours and minutes until bed time. This was a cruel game as my kids rarely slept in their own beds and the nights were always longer than the days!
My husband at the time never complained about my appearance but because I had zero self confidence at this point, I would create these horrible stories in my mind about what he must have thought of me. I hated my body. Even though all of the parenting books kept telling me that I should be abundantly grateful that this incredible body of mine could create such magnificent beings. I wasn’t grateful for that. I was pissed off that no one told me the ramifications of having three children. I didn’t know that I would end up with this weird flapping bit on my stomach after having a cesarean section! I didn’t know the stretch marks would cover my stomach, thighs and boobs. No one told me any of that, and I guess they had good reason.
So as you can see, I wasn’t in the best mental state at this time.
I was scrolling through Facebook one night which is how I spent a lot of my days and nights while I breastfed. I often thought about what mothers did before smartphones were invented and Facebook was around. What else could they do one handed for the many hours of the day and night they would spend with a babe attached to them? Anyway. While I was scrolling I saw an article. It was talking about a 30 day orgasm challenge. I thought it was interesting and a lot more entertaining than re-reading the rest of my newsfeed again. So I clicked through and as I read, I thought that maybe I should give it a go. It was talking about how daily orgasms can increase your energy and even heal trauma. I was quite keen just to get some more energy back and knew that it wouldn’t hurt to give it a go!
The next day I psyched myself out at the thought that the kids would barge in after their nap. I decided to get a lock on my door and talked myself into starting the next day. The next day came and so did I (if you know what I mean). It was a bit weird to do it with the full intention of it being a daily challenge. I’d always felt as though I’ve got to be completely in the mood to masturbate or have sex. This time it felt like I was doing an exercise. It still felt really good but it didn’t have any life altering effects just yet.
Over the next few weeks I continued with the daily challenge. Some days it didn’t happen because life was busy. However, I definitely crossed off most of the days during the challenge.
I probably noticed some changes around the start of week 3. I definitely had a lot more energy. Not necessarily from the pleasuring side of things so much as I truly wanted to start taking better care of my body. I was starting to think about what I was eating. I started running around with the kids more as I was happier in myself. I started showering and shaving on a much more regular basis. It was like all of this masturbating had woken the real Nicky back up. I wasn’t in an exhausted daze anymore.
I understood how my body felt rather than just observing how it looked and endlessly trying to make it look like it ‘should’.
My first big lesson was that I was so much more in touch with the feeling of my body both inside and out. Rather than just focusing on being disgusted with how my body looked, I was focused more on how my body felt. My body felt amazing. Interrupting my days of tending to my children with intense personal passion really helped me come alive inside my body. This was significant and was probably the basis for the rest of the changes I felt in the months after completing this challenge.
I gained confidence in myself as I was far less stressed and tense.
Now that I was focused on feeling good in my body I became a whole lot more confident in myself. I noticed that I was far less stressed and tense. My body was now opening up to pleasure, energy and fun. I felt like these feelings had been blocked out as they aren’t necessarily essential for surviving and I felt like my body had been in survival mode when my kids were so young and dependent.
I appreciated my body a whole lot more.
I absolutely appreciate my body a whole lot more. It could experience so much pleasure! When I opened up to more energy and fun I also started playing more. With a fit and healthy body I was able to play with my family and enjoy life a whole lot more.
I tapped into my intuition and creative side which led me to overhauling my ‘mummy’ wardrobe and style.
This was probably the next stage and came after completing the 30 day challenge. I truly felt like I had tapped into my intuition. For the previous 10 years I had been busy finishing University, dealing with my mum passing away and then busy creating and raising a family of my own. I was so distracted with life that I had stopped listening to my intuition. I think it had stopped working as I never listened to her!
When I started really tuning in I was able to be a whole lot more creative. I started changing up my style of clothes. Rather than wearing my activewear on a daily basis, I decided to mix it up and bought real jeans, nice shoes and clothes that were more flattering and a little ‘out there’. I really enjoyed stepping out and expressing myself in this way rather than just hiding in black activewear all of the time.
I enjoy wearing prints and boots and makeup and big ear rings. However, NO ONE can stop me from wearing my mum bun. I still love it. The ease of putting my hair up into a bun with a fun scrunchie is something that is going to last a lot longer yet.
I began to really fall in love with myself and appreciated that I am enough.
This was the biggest lesson of all. I actually fell in love with myself. Throughout my teens I felt fat and never really fit in. Then in my late teens and early 20’s I had such a great figure and I missed that when I got pregnant. I had placed all of my self worth into how I looked. I finally felt like I fit in when I was in great shape and had a flat stomach. When it disappeared and made way for stretch marks and my hair falling out, I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough or skinny enough or just enough.
As I moved through all of these emotions through daily orgasm and even after the challenge when I dropped back to a couple of times a week, I realised that I will always be enough. I also learnt that although we worry what other people are thinking about us, they are often just thinking about themselves and are worrying about what we think of them. So the lesson of this story is to stop worrying about what others think and get some good batteries!
I’m a huge fan of habits. In fact, creating habits in my day helps calm my sometimes unbalanced anxiety. Habits or routines throughout my life helps me be a better person especially when it comes to raising my kids. As a single mum with 3 kids there are a lot of tasks to do. So creating specific habits around the most important things I need to do to keep them healthy (and alive) can make our days run a whole lot smoother.
Whether you are aware of them or not, your days (weeks, years, and your entire life) are made up of habits. They can be beneficial habits like brushing your teeth or eating a healthy meal. They can also be more destructive habits like turning to alcohol to relax each day or spending most nights on the couch watching Netflix. The habits you do each day make up your whole life. So it’s important to start being aware of them.
If you are focused on personal improvement then you have probably tried to create new habits once or twice. You’ve probably tried to overhaul your whole life by creating a LIST of new habits that you absolutely are going to stick to this time. The problem is that when we try and create too many habits at once, they rarely stick. It’s like throwing a basket of tennis balls at someone in the hope that they will catch them ALL.
All of the experts on creating habits tell you to choose ONE and then stick to it for 30, 60, or 90 days. If you are anything like me, you’ll get impatient at the sheer thought of taking THAT long to make some changes in your life. The thought that it would take me 100 years to implement all of the changes that I want in my life stops me from making any. OR I get really bored at just trying to improve myself a tiny little bit at a time. I’m more of an ‘all or nothing’ kind of girl.
Over the years I’ve come to tackle habit creation a little differently. I focus on ‘The One Habit’.
The method behind this is that your key habit is to be able to identify what is the ONE HABIT that is going to move the needle (aka have the biggest impact) the most in your life right now. Now, this method isn’t for the beginners in habit creation. In order for this strategy to really work, you need to know where the fuck you are going in the first place! Where are you heading in life? What is your end goal? What kind of life are you focused on creating?
If you know your end goal and you’ve got the vision board stuck up on your wall then this habit creation strategy is for you.
To determine what your ONE HABIT is I want you to think about the next step that you need to take to get to your end goal. I’ll use my life as an example. For me, I know that part of my end goal is to speak on an international stage all about my new book. In order to do this my ONE HABIT is to write daily. Makes sense right? Sometimes it can be that easy for people. Sometimes you need to go back a step. For me, writing daily is fucking hard! I’ve got beliefs to overcome, I’ve got kids to feed, I’ve got Netflix series to watch in order to procrastinate a little. So what I did is I focused on the ONE HABIT of planning out my week every Sunday night. This meant that I would schedule my whole week; including the hours I would be working in my job at the office, when I would do my workout, when I would take the kids on adventures, and most importantly my daily writing block.
When it comes to my daily writing, it’s not necessarily always writing on my book or writing anything that other people might read. It’s often journalling through my own fears of putting a book out there or general life insecurities. However, I know that writing is an important habit that will get me to where I want to go, and mapping out my week on Sundays has helped me create that habit.
I’ve been mapping my week out for about 6 years now. This ONE HABIT has helped me move the needle in my life to incorporate new habits a lot easier. However, this might not be the ONE HABIT that you need right now. You need to think about how you work, what motivates you, and your own end goal. I want you to think about what is ONE HABIT that would really move the needle in your life?
Once that ONE HABIT has truly become a habit (you don’t have to think about doing it anymore, it’s just part of your life) then you can start working on the next ONE HABIT. There is no right or wrong. You might think this new habit is going to be a game-changer in your life, it might not work out that way. The solution? Pick another habit. Don’t stop. Don’t stay stagnate. Don’t cry about it. Get up and pick another habit.
✨ To see results you need action not more information.
Earlier this week in one of my morning videos I discussed my massive desire to always be learning. I LOVE learning. Reading, listening to podcasts, online courses, conversations and watching documentaries. I spend around 2 hours per day learning!
BUT... I realised that it's not a lack of information that stops us from getting the results we are looking for. It's a lack of action. Whether we are trying to lose weight, start a business or save money, generally we know WHAT to do.
It's the actually DOING that becomes our hurdle. We over-learn. We over-analyse. We over-think.
We over-plan. But we dont seem to over-DO. If we slow the learning and crank up the doing, we will start to see results. THEN when we are ready to uplevel we get back into learning to improve our skills.
We just need to ensure that the DOING follows.
You can check out my video below to get the whole story.
? Is this something you are struggling with? I would LOVE to know!
The Art of Conscious Habits
Is there such thing as having a mid-life crisis at 32?
I had done EVERYTHING right. I got good grades in high school which lead me straight into a business degree at University. I did the whole 'Gap' year living in Cambridge UK whilst travelling and working. I went back to University and got my teaching degree.
I got the right job, got married, bought the house, had the kids and ran a successful home business. All by the time I turned 31.
How come every time I looked around, I wasn't happy?
I had been doing what everyone expected of me my whole life. Thinking that this would make me happy. It really didn't.
However, as this had been my default way of living, I didn't really know exactly what I wanted.
At the ripe old age of 32 my marriage fell apart, I became a single mum with 3 young children and trying to work out what the hell I was supposed to do.
As I had been self-employed with an unpredictable income, I couldn't really set myself up for my new life. I decided to apply for 1 single job that was exactly what I was looking for. I thought to myself, if this is what's meant to happen then I will get it. Long story short, I got the job. Thinking back now, I have no idea what I would have done if I hadn't got it! But I guess that's not something I need to worry about.
Getting this job changed so much for me. I didn't think I could ever go back to working for someone else. However, being employed simplified my life, allowed me to buy my house, sort out my finances and surround myself with some amazing people on a daily basis.
Fast forward a little while and life just keeps getting better. I'm still forever trying to fit in a daily workout but realise that's not a huge priority in my life at this point. I'm surrounded by love and support, I've given myself the space I needed to think about EXACTLY how I want to live my life and simplified things to reduce stress and distraction.
How did I turn things around?
I focused on my CONSCIOUS HABITS.
Whether we are conscious about them or not, habits form the basis of our life and who we are as a person. How you approach each day is a habit. How you get ready in the morning is a habit. How you react when driving to work is a habit. How you interact with people is a habit. How you react to the good and bad in life is a habit.
Each of these habits form your life.
So, what if you became more CONSCIOUS of your habits? It makes sense that you could actually change your life... right?
The first area of habits I created for my new life was maintaining my home. When my home is a mess, my mind is a mess. This is also something simple to start with that has a big impact on many areas of your life.
I started mapping out some habits I wanted to implement on a daily and weekly basis. I didn't go crazy. I created a morning and evening routine, plus a weekend routine. It involved putting on a load of washing, doing the dishes and making my bed each morning. The evening involves putting the washing into the dryer, making dinner, get the kids in the shower, bed time routine for them and then a tidy up of the main areas of the house before I went to bed.
My weekend routine involves grocery shopping, a more detailed tidy up, washing sheets, putting washing away, cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming the floors. I would love to add that I mop my floors each week but I want to be super transparent. I probably haven't mopped my floors in over a month. Ok, 2 months if I'm being honest with you.
These simple little habits that I included each day helps me to keep the house tidy and running smoothly without things building up too much. The key with 3 young children is to really reduce your standards. They don't teach that to you in the baby books! You're welcome.
The next habit I included was a daily walk. This isn't necessarily to create Michelle Obama arms or chiselled abs, but for some space to think, being outside and movement. All 3 of these things improve my day dramatically and help me stay in touch with how I want to live my own life.
Some days it can end up being a 1.5 hour walk whilst others it is a 15min round trip walking the kids to school. I don't care. This simple habit is one that impacts many areas of my life including; reducing stress, keeping my mind clear, moving my body and getting time outside.
The photo above is one I took on a morning walk up the hill when a gorgeous wallaby come to say hello.
Having a tidy house allows me the mental space to go for a daily walk as I don't feel the pull to clean (as it's usually already done!). My daily walk gives me the space to think and encourages me to write and learn as I listen to podcasts. The habit of listening to motivating podcasts encourages me to continue growing in my own personal development.
See how the art of ONE single CONSCIOUS HABIT can start to snowball into many many daily habits that propel you forward into the life you TRULY want?
As I continue to grow in the direction I'm crafting for my own life, I slowly add more and more conscious habits and remove more and more UNconscious habits.
There are many habits that you can focus on introducing into your life in all different areas. For me, it's important to create habits around the key areas that make the greatest impact on your life first.
For me that is around the HOME, around my HEALTH and then around my FINANCES.
Slowly stack your habits as they become comfortable and ingrained in your daily life.
I want you to think about ONE SINGLE habit that you could start with. If you can't think of your own then I encourage you to start the habit of creating a tidy home. You can break this down by simply making your bed every single day.
Slowly you will build on this. I encourage you to start small and truly commit to these CONSCIOUS HABITS to see very real improvements in your life.
'Wolfpack' by Abby Wombach
I saw this book recommended by Brene Brown and it looked interesting. It's only a small book but it really INSPIRED me.
You need your own Wolfpack
Whether its to support you through life or business, having a supportive group of people around you is essential.
Last week I called on my own Wolfpack as I had a presentation for work and all 3 of my kids home from school. If it wasn't for one of my friends coming to the rescue, I would have had 3 noisy kids sitting in the front row of a workshop!
In this book, Abby talks about the team she plays for and how they all come together to support each other not just in sport but in life too.
Working and raising 3 kids is a juggling act. This week alone I've had 1 child sick and then got sick myself which has meant a lot of juggling and a few exhausted tears!
During these times I will always call on my family and friends to help me through, while always being there for them.
The whole concept of the Wolfpack is about surrounding yourself with people who have always got your back. It's not about QUANTITY but focused on QUALITY.
This lesson was so fascinating to me. Most people who know me well, know that I'm not a huge follower of sport. In the book, Abby talks about POINTING to your team. I've never noticed this in sports before, but when someone scores a goal they point to every member in their team as they all helped make that goal happen.
It reminded me to constantly be POINTING to all those who have helped me along the way.
So here I am POINTING to all of my family + friends who have supported me along the way.
Love you all!
Go for your Dreams
This lesson is nothing new however, Abby talks about having the courage to go for your dreams when you have the support of your Wolfpack.
Sometimes it feels safer to set a goal/have a dream and keep it to yourself so that if you fail or find it too hard to keep going then you don’t lose any pride, because no one knew!
BUT if you let your Wolfpack know they can help you get there, keep you accountable and even kick your butt when you might need it.
I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand but have put it off for years. It was too expensive, too hard, too far and lots of other reasons.
However, I told Ollie about wanting to go to New Zealand and he helped me make it happen. We got back from our trip last week. It was more beautiful than I thought it was going to be!
My BIG dream is to interview authors to help share their message especially to women who want to rebuild their life. This is a scary dream and one that those around me keep me accountable to.
What’s your big dream? Have you told your Wolfpack?
'The Code of the Extraordinary Mind'
I love to read. What I love even more than that, is learning something new from a truly impactful book. That's what this book was. It truly helped me shift my life out of bit of a rut. It also helped me during a time I was on a quad-bike and shit scared about sliding down a mud hill. But I will share that story with you in a minute.
This book has been incredible! Vishen is the founder of Mindvalley and has created an incredible online school with a focus on meditation and mind hacking.
It's really encouraged me to look at the key areas of my life and what I really want to be doing with my life.
I've had a lot of significant life changes personally over the past year. I felt as though I had ticked off all of the boxes; marriage, kids, house, career, travel. BUT when I looked around it felt nothing like i thought it would.
This book has helped me understand how my mind works and the importance of focusing on how you want to FEEL in life rather than the things you want to achieve.
For me that's feeling LOVE, FREEDOM and JOY. Being surrounded by people I love and who love me, doing work that I really enjoy that doesn't feel life work giving me freedom, and joy in adventures, resting and playing each day.
I want to share with you the 3 key lessons from this book. Although, I have to say that I learnt SO MUCH more than that...
You Control Your Mind - he talks about how people think you achieve extraordinary things in life. They think the same as everyone else except that they realise they can train how they think.
Our mind is controlled by us. We can program the words and the images that are going through our mind to create a completely different experience to what we are experiencing right now.
I played around with some of the exercises in the book today when I was quad biking down this muddy embankment and scared shitless! I remembered that I can manage my own mind and my reality.
Instead of thinking... I'm shit scared right now. I changed it to... I'm so excited right now, I can totally do this.
It helped calm me down, allowed me to focus and actually enjoy getting bogged and nearly tipping and drenched up to my knees.
It was fun!
It was the exact same experience except that I had changed my thoughts and managed to train my mind.
Success Is A Sequence Of Failures - I've often admired successful people and felt as though they were an 'overnight success'. I know deep down that it's not true but it always appears that it happened easily and quickly for them.
In this book Vishen talks about his own journey to creating an incredible online school, MindValley, and how it certainly was NOT an overnight success.
He spoke about the common journey for success to be one failure (lesson) after another. After each failure you adjust your path a little based on the lesson and keep moving forward. People who have achieved extraordinary things haven't just given up and figured they would be better off chilling out on the couch watching Netflix.
This really resonated with me. Recently my personal life has changed significantly and these stories of success made me realise that everything that has happened in the past year has all been part of the lessons I needed to learn to readjust and keep moving forward.
I really believe that if it is something that you truly want or want to do in life then you just need to pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
Your Daily Habits Create Your Life - if you think about each of the habits you perform every single day, week and month... they form your whole life.
This book made me look at the simple daily habits that I have had for a long time. Some of my habits are great and helping me create the life I truly want. However, it also made me identify some of the bad habits that I need to reassess and change.
One of those habits that I want to change is the sporadic nature of my meditation practice. When I look back over my life, when everything was going amazingly, I noticed that I was meditating every single day. It was sometimes for only 5 minutes in the morning. It didn't matter. The act of taking the time to meditate had a significant impact on how well my life was going.
I'm committed to implementing my daily meditation practice again. Vishen has a 6 phase meditation practice which looked similar to how I was meditating before and I'm going to implement that.
For every personal development book I read, I like to have a key takeaway or task to implement to truly improve my life. I hate reading a book, thinking how truly profound it was, to only forget everything about it within a few days!!
If you are playing along at home and don't have time to necessarily read the books I chat about on here, then I urge you implement your own meditation practice. Play around with the idea and even just sit and breath for 1 minute a day when you first open your eyes.
I would love to know if you do take that on!