NewZealandCoach’s Weblog

Things you need.
December 12, 2008, 4:46 pm
Filed under: Self

Have you ever read those lists of things you’re supposed to keep in your wardrobe? things like ‘cashmere sweaters’ and ‘trench coats’.  I don’t know about you, but my ‘basics’ list does NOT include cashmere sweaters! I was thinking about this … why is it that when we feel down about the things we are lacking in our lives, all these lists pop up on the Net.  Things that involve spending money (which is usually the reason people are cross in the first place – they don’t have any!).

the things I think you need?

To stand up straight.  I was peoplewatching today and I was quite surprised at how many had terrible posture.  Maybe it was because I did ballet for a number of years, maybe it was because I can still hear various family members screeching “Stand up straight!”

To drink enough water.  I struggle with this – I don’t like the taste of horrible town water, but it’s still something that we constantly underestimate.  It does make a very big difference.

To spend some time outside.  It’s refreshing, it wakes us up and cheers us up.  It’s also  helpful for your vitamin D stores.

To get enough sleep.  This is a difficult one for me too.  I’m naturally an ‘owl’ – a night person.  I get my best work done at night, but apparently the best sleep a person gets is before midnight.  So I’m working on it 🙂

To get enough exercise.  This doesn’t have to mean you go to the gym, or run around the block.  It can mean you walk down to the shop on the corner, or that you walk  around your garden, or that you have a go at doing an ‘exercise’ dvd or take the dog for an amble.  Don’t be a perfectionist – just do something.  Something is better than nothing.  A pedometer is a good motivator too.

Getting up in the morning and making an effort.  This one trips me up sometimes … if I’m working at home I tend to just get dressed and get going, but really it is better to get tidied up with a shower etc … puts you in a better frame of mind.  I don’t know how many times I have been surprised by an unannounced visitor with my ‘home clothes’ on and my hair sticking up 🙂

Is there anything else you think is valuable – something else you find essential? leave a comment 🙂

November 18, 2008, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Coaching, Family, Organisation | Tags:

Hi everyone!

Sorry about the silence.  Things have been very busy here lately!

There will be changes coming to the site.  We are having some design work done, so soon you will have new things to look at here.

In the meantime … I have been working on some really interesting situations.  Don’t ever think that your particular needs are unusual, because I’m sure I’ve met up with just about everything you could possibly think of 🙂 Scribble down some notes on what you’re thinking about, and give me a call.  You know where to find the number on the site!

The new twins are doing well.  We went down to see them yesterday.  They were asleep for most of the time though … I had forgotten how small new babies are.  They slept peacefully in their double pram, both covered in matching blankets that Mum knitted for them.  My sister is looking very composed and relaxed for someone who had five children and jazz ballet exams in a town over 100k’s away in the weekend …

Christmas is coming.  I can’t believe it!  We have Christmas parties to go to already, so someone is organised out there 🙂

Is all your planning done? and if you leave a comment telling me all your Christmas shopping is done …. no, mine isn’t either! Consider me your personal Christmas wake-up call …

welcome …
October 21, 2008, 5:50 pm
Filed under: Family

So many things going on for so many people!

I’ve had a lot of reschedules going on lately.  I think things are just getting very busy for a lot of people – everyone’s trying to fit in another hours work into each day!

I want to welcome my sister and brother-in-laws new additions – *twins*!  Hunter and Petra arrived early yesterday evening.  Congratulations 🙂

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
September 10, 2008, 1:20 am
Filed under: Coaching, Work and Motivation

I’ve talked to a few people lately about career issues … it’s ranged from selecting options at high school, to people in their 20’s who aren’t sure they’re on the right career path … to people who think they are stuck in dead end jobs because they don’t know what they want to do.

Think about this : 40 is the new 30.  ‘Middle age’ stretches into the 50s.  People are getting married at 50, 60, and 70.  If you’re 25 and unmarried it’s no longer unusual.  People are having first children in their 40s and 50s.  So why on earth do we think that people should know what their career path will be when they’re 21?

Realising what you want to do is a lot easier if you look back at the things you’ve enjoyed.  A job/career doesn’t have to be a grind.  Think of the things you enjoy and are happy about doing.  Don’t think about money, or status, or who has the best parking space – think about what makes *you* happy.

The other thing to consider is that career paths are constantly changing and evolving.  A lot of jobs around are thing that weren’t even heard of when I left school! (and I’m not that old, so sssh!)  People are retraining, going on courses, seminars, upskilling and gaining new qualifications.

If you’re stuck in a job that you don’t like, sit down and think hard about what it is that’s upsetting you.

  1. it’s boring, my mind wanders, and I’m not learning anything
  2. there’s no one around my own age
  3. I don’t like the corporate culture
  4. I’m not making enough money and I feel undervalued
  5. I am sick of being stuck inside, I’d rather be out and about
  6. I prefer working with the elderly, they really interest me
  7. there’s too much pressure, I find it hard to switch off after work
  8. I want to be my own boss, I’m sick of management types telling me what to do, and I think I’m ready to take the plunge …

There can be a number of things that aren’t right for you.  But don’t ever think you’re stuck there.  There are a number of options you can take.  The bad thing is that if you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, it messes with your self esteem.  If you want to do something, break it down into little steps.  Investigate re-training options, look at working part time in the field you think you might like, talk to other people who are doing jobs that you think are interesting.  Make a list of the most improbably interesting jobs you can think of, think about being self employed.

To summarise – it’s never too late.  You always have options.

more on motivation
August 29, 2008, 2:22 am
Filed under: Coaching, Organisation, Self, Work and Motivation

There’s always something more interesting to do than writing a report, cleaning the bathroom, doing your GST or working overtime.

There’s always someone online searching for ways to motivate themselves to do the boring, the nasty, and the just plain old horrible jobs that they don’t want to.

What bores me might fascinate you, but that’s not the point!

1. Set yourself 15 minutes to work really hard on the boring job. Tell yourself you only have to do 15 minutes then you’re allowed to stop. Chances are you’ll be on a roll and will get a lot more achieved than you originally thought.

2. Get some company. It might be someone to come with you on the daily walk you know you should be doing. It might be a trainer once a week at the gym. It might be a mentor, or a coach, or your sister. Company makes things easier and you can both complain about the boring job at the same time 🙂

3. Write about what’s going on. You can do this in a Word document and stash it somewhere secret on your hard drive. Or you can buy a gorgeous blank notebook and use that. But write about it – all the benefits of it, why it will make your life easier, why it might get you more money.

4. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t be tempted to agree to a deadline you know will be impossible. Negotiate some extra time so you can do a really good job. When you finish earlier you’ll be proud of yourself, and the other stakeholders will be impressed 🙂

5. Break boring things into smaller tasks. It’s all very well to say ‘this house is a tip, I want it clean by tomorrow’. Come on, you know that’s not going to happen. Start with the area that annoys you the most. Start with the front entrance, or the kitchen. Start with your bedroom so you have somewhere nice to retreat to at the end of the day.

6. If you’re writing the boring report I mentioned earlier – or any piece of writing there are several tricks you can use. Firstly, look carefully at what is required. Don’t go off on tangents, stick to the subject. Less work, less stress and much more professional. Begin your document by working out a topic sentence for each part you need to address. Topic sentences are the beginnings of paragraphs, and they usually are an overview of what the paragraph will be about. This way you organise your thoughts, your document will be well organised, and you won’t forget to include essential points.

You can also turn your monitor light right down, and use a stream of consciousness method. You will obviously not be able to see what you’ve typed, and this will get the creativity going. This method will not give you a finished product, but if you type all your ideas completely randomly you will be able to organise them later into the broad idea of your document. This method will sometimes bring out points you hadn’t planned on adding, which can be interesting and useful for another perspective.

Don’t plan on perfection for the first draft. No one ever gets perfection the first time. Use the 15 minute method and just TYPE!

7. Make yourself a chart 🙂 As I said before, break your goal down into parts, and give yourself a tick every time you complete a part. This will also help you sort out the specifics of what needs doing. You will be able to see at a glance where you are and what you need to work on next.

8. Ask for help if you’re stuck. It is much better to ask for help before a deadline, than to sheepishly admit that something hasn’t been done.

9. Think about your efficiency. If you’re trying to complete a task in a noisy room, or while kids are running around, or while the rest of the office is having Friday afternoon drinks – STOP. Think about what you need to work effectively and make sure you get it. Look at your timetable for the day and organise things to suit yourself as much as possible. You might need silence, or background noise, or a good supply of water. Make sure you get it.

10. Find a picture which illustrates your completed goal. If it’s a work thing you’re dealing with, focus on the pay rise, the holiday plans, the increased income. Even the compliment from your boss. If it’s a home thing, visualise the outcome. Look around online for your picture or even in magazines from your house. Make yourself a poster and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Look at it intently, focus on it, imagine yourself on a better path. Be determined to get there.

Because everyone deserves to have a happy life.

As we all know, life does not always give us what we want. The life we want requires effort, struggle, passion, frustration and that favorite word – motivation. You are improving yourself every time you struggle … it’s just hard to see sometimes. Think carefully about the big picture of how you want things to be, and the boring stuff won’t be so boring any more. It’s just one more step towards your goal.

August 24, 2008, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Organisation, Relationships, Work and Motivation

Have you ever tried doing one of these?

You can use them for anything you like.  They really help get your creativity going.  They are great for people who visualise things in pictures, they are great for organising your thoughts, they are great for reminding yourself of things you’d possibly forgotten.

Use as many colours are you like.  Scribble, use pictures instead of words, let yourself go off on tangents.  You don’t have to finish it all at once, leave it for a while and come back to it.

Use mindmaps instead of notes for meetings, use them to find solutions to problems, use them to gather your ideas together.

Maybe I’ll do one and post it so you can see how messy my brain can get!

Children, teenagers and self esteem.
August 18, 2008, 8:13 pm
Filed under: Family, Relationships

FRIENDS for Life: The world’s leading resilience and life skills programme for primary and secondary school aged children.  (the programmes are different to take into account the needs of pre-teens as well as teenagers).  It can be used as both a treatment (clinic and pastoral care) and prevention (school based) programme for anxiety and depression, building self-esteem and social skills training.

Fun Friends: Adapted from the Friends for Life programme and designed specifically for 4, 5, and 6 year olds, Fun Friends teaches emotional resilience that will stay with young children for life. It can also be used in pre and primary schools as a prevention tool and in clinical groups as a treatment.


This is the training I did a month or so ago.

My daughter came home from school the other day with one of those *ahem* books on puberty that schools give out. While I appreciate what they’re doing, I didn’t appreciate the mention of anorexia and bulimia in the book. So much of what children are taught is so negative. How to protect themselves from drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, dangerous strangers or dangerous people in their own home. I hate it.

When I left my previous job it was something I really wanted to look into. How to find the tools so that children can manage their emotions, behavior, and self esteem. How they can learn to make friends. How they can learn to ask for help. Sometimes children can’t even identify their own feelings …. I learned so much at the course I did. It was well worth while.

So now I am qualified to teach teachers how to implement the programme, and I’m also qualified to teach it myself. I am thinking about offering after-school programmes because I believe that all children need it.  Not only in Hamilton or its environs, or Auckland but across New Zealand It is so full of strategies, fun, discussion, learning and positivity …. and it’s the only programme of its kind which has the endorsement of the World Health Organisation.

I might post a link to the site if you want to find out more. I have to get busy now, because I need to write a proposal for someone that’s interested. Never a dull moment!

time management
August 12, 2008, 2:29 am
Filed under: Coaching, Organisation, Work and Motivation

The truly peculiar thing about time management … is that there are 24 hours. Every day. No exceptions.

So why do some people get so much done? they write a chapter of their future best selling novel, they whip up a batch of scones for a fundraiser, they milk 400 cows twice a day, they deal with kids dropoffs and pickups, they have a sparkly floor, dinner isn’t late and they still get to watch some tv.

Other people are at work before everyone else, in a suit without any wrinkles. They have three meetings and a team breakfast, a meeting with their manager and their managers manager. They do lunch at that nice place in Ponsonby, then they clear up various emergencies while speaking nicely to clients on the phone. They drop off their dry cleaning, they go to the gym, they go out to dinner and then they walk the dog.

It makes me tired just typing it 😛

so what is the secret? we all get the 24 hours ….

and by the way I just had to do a tiny skite here, my idol sent me a text today to tell me I did 96% on my latest coaching exam 🙂 🙂

August 9, 2008, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Work and Motivation

Do you plan what you’re going to do each day?

I never used to be a fan of lists. I think this was because I liked ‘freedom’ and making a list would interrupt what I *really* wanted to do, it would make me feel pressured, and if I didn’t get everything done I’d feel bad. Weird reasons for not doing it?! Making lists can work. Just make sure you dont put undue pressure on yourself to complete it in one day, if that won’t work for you. Just the act of writing it down will consolidate it. If you look at the assortment of jobs you have to do, you can prioritise them. What absolutely needs doing today? what can safely be left until tomorrow? What will annoy you if it’s not finished by evening? You can also categorise things and plan it out so you’re not wasting time and energy rushing all over the place. You have to meet someone at a particular place. You look at what you’ve written and you see you also need to pick something up/drop drycleaning off/buy groceries, so you incorporate everything. You’re not wasting petrol or time, you plan it so you get these things done and get home again before the 5.00pm rush.

Sometimes when you’re lacking motivation it’s because it just all seems too much. Writing it down gets it in perspective. Many times it won’t look like such a burden or so impossible when it’s in a linear form. A rush of things to do all at once will immediately put the pressure on. Taking the time to organise it and put some structure into your day will be calming, and help your brain start to come up with ways to do things efficiently.

I use a couple of different strategies – I have a Palm which contains a LOT of information. It has yearly events, birthdays,contacts (all categorised so I can find things easily), and daily events colour categorised for each person in the family, and for business(es). It sounds over the top, but it makes me feel better when things are organised. I set the system up, so it works for me.

I also have a whiteboard, which has the day-to-day unexpected events on it. I use it to write notes to the kids for the next day (don’t forget dentist appointment etc), write phone numbers if I don’t already have them if the kids are going somewhere, an ongoing points system and also the jobs that the kids are scheduled to do. I use different colours, I draw pictures, I stick things up with magnets. Lots of my magnets are from trips so they bring back happy memories while I’m busy organising the rest of the household lol

Just some ideas, tell me what you think 🙂

dawn (at)

ps …
August 8, 2008, 12:23 am
Filed under: Coaching, Family, Photos

grr, I tried to paste the code in to show you *my* result, and it won’t work. It is BROKEN. I’ll have to wait until my resident geek comes back and see if he can make it go.

Also! breaking news, fresh in! crossing to live feed now …

I finished an exam this morning and emailed it off to be marked. It was *hard*. I have to confess that half way through I thought why on earth am I doing this, when I left school I swore I’d never ever do any exams every again, but never mind, it was eye opening and made me think about my coaching practice. Always a good thing. I am always researching and talking to other coaches and reflecting on what I do, but a written exam has a way of cutting to the chase, so to speak!

Last but not least, here is a picture of the latest addition for you. Now, seriously, on record so you can all mock and point if I ever go back on my words …. no more pets. NO MORE PETS!

Gotta love that waggy tail!

Gotta love that waggy tail!

The newest addition
The newest addition