This post is for you if you feel lost, depleted, heavy or tired.  This is for you if you feel that somewhere along the way you’ve handed over your joy, your energy or your strength to someone else (maybe your career, your kids or your ex).   If you have decided that now is the time to step up, connect to who you really are and find your inner glow then you should read on.  There is some powerful stuff here for you.

I help women who know it’s time to make changes in their health, vitality and joy to step up and commit to themselves and their self-care.  I do this through a blend of health coaching, personal training and yoga so that my client’s mind, body and spirit are balanced, strong and flexible.  In this article I share some of my techniques with you – for free.

Only 4 short years ago I was lying on my couch recovering from my second surgery for endometriosis, they’d removed an ovary and I literally felt broken.  I was getting better slowly, day by day, but all I had to look forward to was a job I didn’t actually like and many lonely nights on the couch watching another few episodes of Real Housewives.  (Listen, I don’t want to bag the Housewives viewers out there, but isn’t there some part of you deep down inside that knows you should be doing something else with your time?  I mean, you only live once!)  My mind was completely depleted of energy and my spirit was depleted of joy but somehow my body wasn’t depleted of ANYTHING.  I was heavier than I’d ever been in my life.  Needless to say I felt like crap.

After I had recovered from my surgery in early 2012 I luckily read the junk mail from my letter box and there was a little slip of paper advertising boxing classes. I signed up, incredibly nervous, bribed a friend to come with me and went along. It was amazing.

Boxing made me feel like I had woken from a deep sleep.

After 3 classes, already feeling fitter and stronger, I called my mum to say “I’m quitting my job in Sydney to move to Albany to become a personal trainer. I’ll have to move in with you.” In typical fashion mum said “When are you coming?”

These days I am living exactly the life I want. I wake up bursting with energy. Ok that’s a lie. I wake up with messy hair, bleary eyes and my dog trying to kiss me. But after 10 minutes I’m good to go! I fuel myself with good food, regular treats, some good red wine and I get to exercise for a living.

But I had to take action.  And if you want some changes in your life, beautiful one, you need to commit to taking action too.

If you are ready to step up, then I recommend you start with these 5 steps.

Step 1 – Make self-care part of your regular schedule.  Put it in your calendar and just do it!  So, what do I mean by self-care?  It’s whatever makes you feel good.  I recommend regular spa treatments, watching a funny movie, having a tea party with friends, plan and book the holiday of your dreams, do nothing for 30 minutes, colour-in some beautiful mandalas, take a gentle yoga class or a walk in the rain.  Make sure you surround yourself with like-minded, kind people who will support you (and even give you a bit of tough love when its required!)

Step 2 – Learn to live by the 80:20 rule.  Eat as well as you can for 80% of the time.  Find whole unprocessed foods and learn to cook them.  You will feel more energetic, I promise.  But give yourself 20% of the time for some treats.  Enjoy the food you love and let go of feeling bad about it.  It’s ok to treat yourself from time to time because you actually deserve it!  Just avoid the mindless chomping down of junk food.  If you are going to eat some chocolate (or whatever your treat of choice is) then savour it and relish in it.  And forget the guilt!

Step 3 – Gently move your body every day (and try to go a bit harder once or twice a week).  Hard core exercise is actually quite stressful on the body and the spirit and can leave a lot of people feeling depleted.  Experiment and find exercise that works for you. I walk my dog every day for about 20 minutes.  I try to take incidental steps throughout the day and aim for 10,000 in total.  Then a couple of times a week I get active in one of my boxing classes or hit the kettlebells for 20 minutes.  Find a routine that works but don’t be afraid to be flexible and take a step back if that’s what your body needs.

Step 4 – Keep a gratitude journal.  The thing is, what you focus on expands.  If you write down at least 3 things every day that you are grateful for you will, over time, naturally start noticing things that make you happy.  It’s easy to get bogged down by what makes you unhappy but I am setting you a challenge.  Keep your gratitude diary for 30 days and see what difference it makes in your life.  I want you to tell me if your joyful moments don’t increase!

Step 5 – Drink more water.  Really and truly.  Do it.  Our bodies need a lot more water than you realise.  Download an app to keep track or buy a fancy glass and drink 8 refills every day.  Do what you need to do to get this essential nutrient into your body.  You will thank me!

But my overarching theory is this – we are all individuals.   One plan will not help every single person.  And that makes me happy because the world would be a boring place if we were all the same.  So my number one piece of advice to all my clients is this:  Whenever you eat, exercise, go to work, make love, sleep in or whatever you are doing ask yourself these questions – “Will this nourish me?  Will this bring me joy?”  And if you can answer yes to both questions you are on the right track.

I’d really love to hear from you now.  Tell me in the comments section below, which step are you going to take today? Big changes can happen by taking one small step and writing down that step will make it much more likely to occur..

If you would like to see 5 more steps to increasing joy, vitality and inner strength in your life then download my free cheat sheet: 10 Steps to Find Your Inner Glow and Live Your Happiest Life.  Or skip that and book a free 30-minute discovery session with me to see if working together will make you happy, healthy and empowered. And please join my free Facebook group “Everyday Vitality” to receive free daily advice from me.