Lifestyle Freedom

3 Lessons I Learned from Tony Robbins

I recently attended a Tony Robbins event in Sydney called ‘Unleash The Power Within.’ It was an incredible event – I laughed, I cried, I had breakdowns and breakthroughs!

During the event he got us to really think through who we are, how we could be growing and learning, and what actions we need to be taking to be our best selves in all areas of life. It was inspiring and transformative.

I have narrowed down all my learnings from the weekend into the three key messages that resonated with me most, which I share in my latest vlog in more depth (plus some footage from the event to pump you up).

Three lessons I learned from Tony Robbins:

1. Always be learning AND aim to be learning from the best
2. Invest in working on mastering your mindset and rewiring your brain!
3. Build your Dream Advisory team to help you grow beyond belief

I’ve realised that while I’m proactive about continually learning and growing, I need to make sure the people that I’m learning from really are the best of the best (aka Tony Robbins!).

Mastering your mindset is NEVER a one-and-done sort of process; it’s something that we all need to continually work on, re-shifting how we think about ourselves, others, and life.

I’ve also now made a goal of creating my Dream Advisory Team by the end of this year.

Because no matter how wise or knowledgable you are about your business, you absolutely need people to give you advice, encouragement, and critiques.

No one has the answer to everything, but when we help each other grow and share our knowledge and skills we can truly become our best selves!

Another thing that fascinated me at Unleash The Power Within was learning what the #1 fear was out of all those 8,000 amazing, excited, and driven people attending. Can you guess what it was?

Money. It’s frustrating that this continues to be a fear and source of worry for so many of us (really, who hasn’t been worried about money at one point in their life?!). But it needs to stop. Money shouldn’t be such a strain on so many people!

That’s a topic that I want to tackle with you right now.

What would it feel like to YOU to wake up every morning and see $200 of recurring revenue landing in your bank account?

Would that ease some of your financial stress? Would you be able to enjoy life more, going on fun excursions and trips with friends and family? Would an that $6,000 in income each month make a difference to you?

Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself that creating that sort of recurring revenue simply seems impossible right now.

But it’s not! It’s totally doable and people do it all. the. time.

How do I know? Because since starting my blog back in 2010, I’ve created an incredible online business, writing books, releasing podcasts and vlogs, and creating courses, workshops and retreats.

I’ve seen my revenue consistently grow to multiple six figures, while enjoying more and more lifestyle and business freedom! It’s been an amazing dream, and something that I’d love all of you to experience as well.

So as part of my new FREE Video Workshop I’ve released a video training on how to monetize your skills and talents and grow your business.

I show you how to do this with my 1 Page ‘Miracle’ Business Plan, and walk you through the steps within it to help you get a real handle on your goals, objectives and current and future revenue streams that will bring you financial freedom.

I’ll give you plenty of real-life examples of how to add more revenue streams AND show you how quickly they can add up to 6 figures and beyond.

Plus you get to download the template and use it for free!

So if you’re tired of not making the income you know you’re capable of or feeling like how you earn your income isn’t aligned with who you truly are, then click here to start making your dream life a reality.

How I plan my day (and entire week) for success

I am always deeply curious about how the really effective, productive, successful people plan their days and spend their time.

Do they spend it swanning around, lazing by the swimming pool or perhaps hanging out at rooftop bars?

I think not.

I think they are ruthless about their time management and planning what matters in their life.

And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned over ten years in business, is that:

Discipline equals freedom.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m a free spirit, who for many years used to say “I want to do what I want, when I want and I want to choose where I want to travel and I only want to work on these things today.”

I realised pretty quickly though that what I was doing, wasn’t actually giving me freedom.

This was being disorganized, not being accountable to what matters and not taking responsibility for how I wanted to live my life and how I wanted to spend my time.

If you are one of those people too, I totally get it.

But you are actually becoming your own worst enemy by living like this. You are creating your own version of chaos by not planning out what matters, what is actually important and how you wish to spend your work, creative and free time.

If you are somebody who has so many daily things on your To-Do list you’re also setting yourself up to fail because, what I realised a couple of years ago, when I took a very good hard look at my calendar is this:

We don’t actually have that much time. We don’t have that much time from the moment we awake.

If you take out time for eating sleeping, fitness, friends, family, social events, meetings appointments and all those other wonderful things that just make up life and are also important, guess how much time you actually have?.

Research has proven it to be around three focused productive hours of work a day. THREE!

Results from a study by VoucherCloud in the U.K revealied that employee productivity averages just two hours and 53 minutes per day.

Now of course, we have more than that depending on how effective we are as entrepreneurs and freelancers!

But in reality if you take into account disruptions, distractions, procrastinating and life, at the end of the day if you actually just allowed yourselves three hours a day, and that’s all you do, I can guarantee you would use those three hours so much more effectively than you currently do.

Behind the scenes of how I plan out my day and week for productivity

If you watch my vlog here you’ll see me actually sharing my calendar on my laptop screen.

I want you to not freak out because it looks really full on with lots of beautiful colours. What I want you to focus on is how I block out exactly what I want to work on as well as my free time which is baked in to my calendar.

That means date nights with Josh, walking with the dogs, fitness, massages, dinners with friends, cultural events and afternoons off.

What I’m then left with then is exact amount of time that I have in my day to work on the stuff that matters.

This might be more free time and fun events with people I love. Or it might be really really focused work on my business.

Doing this, is the single most important switch that I have made in my life. It’s  what we teach in our Life Pilot 10 Day Challenge – how to structure out your goals and actions each day, week, month etc and put YOU time + self care + holidays first.

That’s because you and I know, from experience, that the first thing that gets taken away when you’re stressed out or really busy is your free time on weekends and evenings, as well as your holidays and vacation time.

If you’re saying “Natalie, I never give up my holidays!” – well good for you because that’s the way it should be.

But I do see too many entrepreneurs going:

“I’ve just got to work this weekend” or;

“I’ve got to do another late night” or;

“I’m going to skip yoga to finish this client deal” or;

“I’m not going to make it to my gym class because I have to finish this proposal today”.

This has to stop!

If you knew how much as possible to achieve in a day, in fact in three hours or less, and you actually were more realistic about where your time goes and what you can achieve, you would condense the amount of work that you have to, into a shorter time frame and do far more effective work.

How I use my calendar for daily planning

Step 1: Block it out

I block out 15 minutes of planning every single morning at 6:45am. This may not sound like much but it lets me look at my three things in my Life Pilot spreadsheet for the day and ask myself, whether these tasks (that I set the night before) are still a priority for today.

I also look ahead at my weekly goals to make sure I’m on track to meet them, and then I check my calendar to make sure that once I’ve hit those three most important things, I’ve allocated time for other activities too, including downtime.

Then I go in and schedule chunks of time throughout the day for work projects including a time for email, so that it doesn’t distract me from the important work.

Most of this I colour code in blue for business, that way I can see green for lifestyle, yellow for personal growth/ learning and more.

Remember what gets scheduled, gets done!

The only reason my calendar system works is that I commit to it.

If the rebel in you looks at your calendar you’ve set out and says “Nah, I don’t feel like doing that right now”, then make damn sure you move that task to a time on the same day, or that week so it still gets DONE!

Step 2: Track your time

I use toggl.com for tracking every minute of my day. I love it.

I use the desktop application and simply put in the description of what I’m working on, assign it to a project e.g Freedom Plan Book, Freedomist Vlog, Launch Planning etc.

That way at the end of the day, I can see exactly how much time things are actually taking me to do throughout the day.

Over a period of days and weeks this gives you a really clear picture of where your time is going, versus where you think you’re spending it.

It also gives you a very clear idea of what things take up too much time and where you don’t spend enough time. You can’t hide from the data.

What’s more you can share this with your team members and also see their reports, you can Toggl client work to the second as well.

Step 3: Pomodoro it

The Pomodoro method is a lifesaver. You simply set a timer on your phone, watch or use the Toggl Pomodoro setting, and work for 25 minutes on ONE thing.

After that time is up take a 5 minute break. This is critical to your energy and motivation levels.

Even if you’re in flow, trust me, take a break!

I go out and throw the Frisbee to the dogs, I drop down and do some press ups or sit ups. I jump around and dance to music I love, I kiss Josh, or jump or I might leave a friend a quick video or audio message to say hi.

When that timer goes off, get straight back into it. That’s it. Then rinse and repeat, but after 2-3 hours straight, take a good half hour break for lunch or a workout or a walk in nature.

I can I tell you those time constraints by using the Pomodoro methodology is amazing for making you just focus in on what exactly needs to be done and do it as quickly and effectively as you can.

Step 4. Schedule in fun and reflection

In my calendar I have breakfast with Josh or at a cafe, lunch, workouts and fun time. 

At 9pm I also have reflection time where I look at how my day went, I do my gratitudes and I check the Life Pilot spreadsheet to see what I hit, missed or progressed in terms of my three most important actions.

Steph 5. Rinse and repeat

After the reflection time I then set my three goals or intentions for the next day, based off my weekly goals and even my monthly. That’s because I have all those baked into the Life Pilot tool, including my 3 year vision.

The results speak for themselves

For those of you always wondering how to turn your big dreams into a daily action, this is how.

Life Pilot, Google Calendar and Toggl have helped me build a very clear picture about my behaviours and habits.

It  has shown me a clear pattern, over 17 months of using it, for what is really working in my life and where I continue to procrastinate or let myself down. 

These colour-coded trends on the key areas of my life show me what times of the day I really shouldn’t schedule in deep work focused work – like writing, producing, strategising or proposals.

As well as the best times of the day that I’m better off doing a workout and recharging, or hosting a meeting.

Before I never fully understand just how ‘little’ time I actually had in any given day, I was always overestimating and putting too many tasks into my days and weeks to achieve and then coming up short.

I also wasn’t balancing out the key areas of my life – not that it was all work, in fact if anything it was more lifestyle!

But health, my relationships, wealth, personal growth – I wasn’t factoring them into my everyday activities, which meant I wasn’t focusing on them, which ultimately meant I didn’t improve them or get anything done or progressed.

It’s been a game changer for me and has been transforming other people’s lives because it is a system for life planning that focuses on your head, heart and gut – therefore what really matters to you.

It’s the reason why I can go into September feeling excited and nervous about the launch of my Freedom Plan book and Accelerator, but fully aware of exactly what I need to accomplish and how to fit that in around life, fun and self care.

Its been transformative. I want that for you to. 

Head to lifepilot.co to join our next LIVE 10 Day Challenge.

My Energising Morning Routine

Did you know that, according to IDC research study, 80 percent of smartphone users check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up?

I don’t think that’s the sort of productive start to the morning that I’m personally looking for. And yet I know I’ve been guilty of checking my phone in the morning and doing the old “I’m trapped in the social media news feed scrolling”.

What I do know to be true is this, how you start your day determines exactly how the rest of your day will turn out. Wake up like a champion and you’ll likely have an amazing day.

Wake up and let others dictate your day by replying to notifications, emails and ‘urgent’ requests, before you’re even out of bed…your day will simply suck.

That’s why I want to share science-backed proven research around how make your mornings magical and why these new habits I’ve been implementing actually work!

My New Energising Morning Routine

I want to share with you my new morning routine that is leaving me energized, excited, happy and fresh faced.

I’ve actually put together a really beautiful pdf which shares with you not only the steps of my routine, but how you can create one for yourself, because I’m well aware that what works for me might not work for you.

Download my routine in a handy FREE checklist!

So here is my current morning routine (video version here):

#1. Wake up early

I am waking up pretty naturally around 5:30 AM. I always set my Fitbit Versa watch for 5:45 AM just in case. 

But typically for the last month or so, I’ve been waking up really naturally around 5:30, which is pretty awesome news for me because like many people, I’m usually a night owl so I can stay up pretty late.

I don’t typically work in the evenings as that’s my social and relax time. However I can work really effectively at night and I like staying up late. Even so I’ve been pretty good at getting up in the morning too.

I’d consider myself a night and morning person if that’s even possible?!

Once I became an entrepreneur and once I enveloped this freedom lifestyle – being able to do what the heck you want when you want, I did notice myself getting a little lazy on the early start time and expanding my work to fit the ample time I had.

So I had to nip that in the bud with waking up early and setting an alarm to develop a great early morning routine.

#2. Drink Water

The first thing I do, after waking up and doing a big cat stretch, is to drink a big glass of water. It flushes out the system and also it’s just like a really refreshing, beautiful way to start the morning.

#3. Move my body with Yoga

I roll out of bed and I literally have about three meters to walk to my drawer, where I pick up my yoga gear, which I’ve  preset out already, including the g-string for my yoga pants!

That’s easy people because it’s been proven, that if you have your exercise or workout gear right near you, you’re far more likely to kind of like fall/ roll or leap out of bed and get straight into it.

Therefore you’re more like to make the workout or exercise happen.

$4. Essential Oils

I then put on my lovely oil diffuser and I usually have put in a concoction of essential oils the night before that I really like.

One of my favourites is a refreshing, energising citrus mix of lemon and wild orange. Sometimes I go for the more soothing, calming, lavender and Frankincense essential oils. I get my oils here.

Grab my new routine in a handy FREE PDF!

I breathe that in deeply and then I roll out my yoga mat. If I’m honest, I usually have a little cuddle with my dogs who are like, ‘Is it yoga time yet Mum?’

They are pretty sleepy in the morning since Josh and I have changed to this earlier time. He and I typically do yoga on either side of the bed, which is pretty fun.

We do 15 to 30 minutes of Yoga with Adrienne, who is my favorite yoga goddess. She’s made home based yoga is such a pleasure. It means you can do it when you’re traveling. You can do it from home, you can do it from anywhere. 

Her free YouTube channel is fantastic. I’m also a member of her Find what Feels Good community. A little shout out to Adriene. She’s one of the most wonderful people on Earth and it’s pretty rare for me to say that.

I just find she is such a breath of fresh air, such a positive, refreshing, joyous, happy, positive person who also makes me feel like no matter what stage of yoga you are at, you can do it.

#4. Meditation

After I’ve rolled up my yoga mat and am feeling pretty good about myself, I sit on the comfy rug at the foot of our bed, and lean my back up against the bed, and I open up my insights timer app.

Not: This is the ONLY time I grab my phone.  I will choose somewhere from a 10 to 20 minute guided meditation, a chanting mantra meditation, or simply one that just plays a really beautiful chime or gong, when the time is up.

I’ll focus on my breath. But I’m more of a fan of the guided meditation because I still haven’t quite worked on the focusing the mind.

Depending on how excited I am about the day ahead, which is usually a lot, my mind can be wandering to some of those tasks and projects already. So I really liked the guided meditation. This app is free.

You can bookmark your favourites.

You’re probably realizing a pattern in my morning routine – that is to have stuff preset. I have:

  • The playlist of Yoga with Adriene ready to go.
  • My yoga clothes ready to jump into
  • My essential oils pre chosen the night before

All of this routine and this discipline gives you more freedom in the morning because let’s face it, even when you are jumping out of bed, you’re not always firing on all cylinders until you get really used to it.

So make your life easier by setting up everything in your routine beforehand.

#5. Hot and Cold Shower

After meditating, I jump into a nice hot shower. I’m actually a pretty quick showerer. Josh, however, on the other hand takes a long time in the shower!

Recently I have been finishing off with the cold water trick. I have it on nice and hot and before I even know it, my hand just turns it around to cold and it absolutely shocks my system into being awake!

So I enjoy the nourishing hotness of the shower. And then I have an instant wake up from the cold water. Thank you very much cold freaking shower.

It is also the fastest way to get out of the shower I can tell you that, but it absolutely wakes you up and livens your senses and invigorates your muscles.

#6. Get Dressed

Next I roll into getting dressed, doing whatever I need to look refreshed and feel ready for the day. As a minimalist I keep makeup light and cycle through my clothes regularly with favourite combinations.

#7. Hot Water and Lemon

I then go through to the kitchen, around 6:30am and I make a lovely warm water and freshly squeezed lemon drink to kickstart my metabolism in the morning and feel really cleansed.

Did you know that lemon in warm water has a bazillion benefits including:

  • detoxification – flushing out your system
  • antibacterial – they help you fight the common cold
  • hydrating
  • great for skincare and anti aging.

There are numerous benefits and I’ve popped them in a downloadable pdf for you that includes this energizing morning routine.

Get the FREE downloadable PDF routine checklist

From here I’m often just gazing out the kitchen window at that point at our beautiful view of nature and doing some deep belly breathing.

This is where I will verbally state what I’m grateful for, if I haven’t already.

#8. Daily Greens

I happen to use Dr. Libby’s Daily greens and Radiant reds powder that is is at least one of my servings of vegetables for the day. 

It tastes disgusting by itself, so I put it into coconut water and then it tastes so good. It’s like my way of cheating to get it in first thing in the morning, just in case I don’t get my salad or veggies intake.

I hope you have enjoyed my new, energizing, morning routine. It’s likely you are doing something similar already and I would love to see what the results are for you if you followed this or your own version of it.

Remember I’ve put this all into a really cool checklist laid out in a pretty PDF book for you to download. It includes more details about each of these routines and why they work.

Grab my new FREE routine checklist here!

In the comments below let me know what you liked about this, or share your own routine!

A Simple Methodology to Win at Life One Step at a Time

Last April I did a complete 180 degree shift in my life and learned three valuable life lessons from it, that I want to share with you here.

You see, I went from being the ultimate digital nomad, traveling the world, being single for almost 6 years and running my online business I loved, into a completely different life.

This included buying and moving into an amazing ‘lifestyle’ property with 5 bedrooms, 2.5 acres of land and a 240sqm modern barn!

Kairangi Haven

I did this with my life partner Josh, even though we’d not been together that long, we were both up for an adventure. Soon after moving in we got our adorable puppy Kayla, the White German Shepherd and I started my three month Business Sabbatical.

In short, a massive amount of change in a very short time frame, not only in my life, but to my very identity.

I’m not sure I recommend it. I mean I love change but this was a bit too much, all at once. But it knocked me down on my ass and forced me to get back up again, and again and again.

The Six Human Needs in Life

Many years ago I read Personal Development ‘Guru’ Tony Robbins book. Awaken the Giant Within. Regardless of what you think of Tony, I can’t speak highly enough of this book.

In it he describes the six human needs we should fulfil in order to be happy and successful.

No 1. is Certainty — you know a roof over your head, food on the table, stability, security. Basically assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure, which in many ways I now had.

No 2. is Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli. I definitely had that too as this was a whole new lifestyle for me and now I had a fur baby that challenged me in more ways than one.

What I realized I was lacking pretty early on, that I had when I was traveling the world and running my business and helping people change their lives to have more freedom, was No 3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed.

I was no longer feeling unique as a digital nomad living life on my own terms, as I had technically ‘settled down’, I didn’t feel important, in fact I felt like I’d become an overnight stay at home Mum!

It was winter, and the first one I’d experienced in six years, and we had a puppy Kayla, that I would stay at home with for the first 2 months full time as my partner Josh was finishing up a teaching stint at his business so commuting into town each day.

Kayla at two months old

On top of that ‘Project House’ as I called it lasted around two months and was pretty intense, as you could imagine after living out just a suitcase. But when it finished, I didn’t have a project to keep me feeling on purpose.

Sure I had trees to plant and gardens to establish, a community to build in a new town and so much newness to get used to, but I had lots of time on my hand as I was taking a break from my business, which really had been my life (in a great way) for so long.

I did have No 4. Connection/ Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something — with Josh, Kayla, my family who I was finally in the same country as, and our new lifestyle.

I did also have a personal version of No 5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding as I was learning a lot about ‘lifestyling’, gardening, permaculture, rural life, puppy training, being in a relationship and not traveling.

And, after too many years of dabbling, I was deep diving into yoga and meditation properly, to give me a foundation and feeling of being grounded in amongst the change. Yoga with Adrienne was a godsend!

What I didn’t have was No 6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.

After years of coaching, mentoring, advising, teaching, creating and helping others to find their own version of freedom in business and adventure in life, I felt like a bit of a phoney.

Most people who knew me as the Suitcase Entrepreneur, were wondering what on earth I’d done taking on this new life.

I felt personally disconnected as I’d deliberately taken time off my business to recharge and prove that everything I teach and stand for — automating your business so it can run without you, is true.

Turns out it was, but not at a cost. My identity was too tied to my brand and my work. That meant my significance was not linked to being of service, but to being important and needed.

Basic human needs sure, but when all is said and done, and you’ve had your success, fame and glory, people will forget you unless you leave a legacy, unless you change lives, unless you take actions that really matter and make an impact.

Unless you show up in this world and lovely deeply, both yourself and everyone else.

Lesson 1: Significance is not about you, it’s about who you serve in life

A few months into my new life I went into a rare dark state of ‘not muchness’. It wasn’t depression but a deep sense of feeling lost, unworthy and as if all I had achieved in life, all the skills I’d learned and shared, everything I’d spent years working so hard to build, simply didn’t matter.

Of course none of this was true, I was just feeling sorry for myself and deliberately wallowing in this feeling.Contemplating what matters in life

This is probably one of just two periods in my life where I’ve felt this way, for which I feel blessed, and I drew on the lessons I’d learned from reading Awaken the Giant Within when I was in my early 20s.

I purposefully lingered in this uncomfortable place because I know, and you know, that growth and learning come from being uncomfortable.

Of the 6 Human Needs stated above, each of us puts these six needs in their own unique order of importance. That said, the first four shape our personality, but growth and contribution shape our spiritual needs according to Tony’s blog post:

“The problem is, if you have significance or certainty as one of the top two needs of your personality, your life is guaranteed to have problems.”

Yep. I was having them.

Ironically not because I had no certainty, which means you like to keep life the same so you have to artificially control your environment, control the people and control yourself.

According to Robbins, “the only way to achieve that is to lower your expectations or just be stressed out all the time, neither of which are a good option.”

I had too much certainty, and more than I was used to. I’d say uncertainty would be in position 1, and all those years of travel and moving about and constantly making decisions about everything catered to that.

But my real problem lay in significance, and “if it’s one of your top two needs, you always have to be competing with someone else. More than likely, you have to lie to yourself about your real abilities or surround yourself with people that are less skilled.”

I’m not sure I went that far, but I had certainly been lying to myself. I had become stagnant in a world where growth is a constant. Many people I had mentored or coached were outgrowing me.

I’d relied too much on my earlier success and had stopped learning — well not completely, but not with the voracious appetite I had before.

I’d become tired, jaded and disenchanted with the industry I was in and longed for something fresh and new. But deep down that wasn’t totally true.

It was up to me to fall in love with what I stood for, with what I already knew, with what I did well, all over again, but this time with a renewed energy, mission and outlook.

Apparently “all dysfunctional behaviours arise from the inability to consistently meet these six needs. But, if you are able to reach them, in a healthy order — meaning significance and certainty are not at the top — you will have fulfillment.”

And if you go even further to understand them, you can start to create new patters that stop any self-sabotage and create new patterns.

So that’s what I set about doing. And it wasn’t easy and it certainly was a long, slow process compared to what I’m used to. I tackled it in two ways:

1. Introspection

I revisited everything I knew to be true, and threw out what was not serving me, to come away with a fresh perspective. I sent emails to five people I trusted and respected and asked them some specific questions about how they saw me, what they thought I had that was unique and valuable.

Then I went back over four tests I’d done, in some cases, years before like Wealth Dynamics – to reassess my entrepreneurial superpower, Strength Finder, How to Fascinate and The Four Tendencies and dug deep into the results to relearn about myself.

I write about these more extensively and how they can help you in my new upcoming book The Freedom Plan.

2. External Reflection

Then I focused on what I loved most about my work – which was helping people to achieve their own goals and dreams.

Luckily I had kept an email folder full of wonderful feedback from my community over the years. This is something I recommend everyone to do, because on those days when you’re feeling down it can bring you right back up again.

These loving messages, praise, testimonials and simple shoutouts, meant the world to me. Not because they made me feel special (which they did), but because they reminded me what happens when you put yourself out there to make other people feel special.

That was my why. That was the reason I had to continue on and giving of myself, day after day. These people needed me, and I needed them. Together we are making the world a better place through our actions and intentions.

Lesson 2: Create fake constraints in your daily life

One thing that has never wavered throughout this major life change is my commitment to understanding, nurturing and having true freedom.

The thing is with this new lifestyle, peace, quiet and nature surrounding me daily, I’ve done an almost too good a job of prioritizing life and fun!

That may not sound like a bad thing, and I agree, it’s not, we all need to recharge, take time off and be present on a daily basis.

Use fake constraints to be more productive

The thing is, too much of a good thing is a curse not a blessing and I got a little lazy. Not in the physical sense of the word — I got fitter with all the dog walking, gardening, hiking, tennis, boxfit and outdoor activities, but in terms of my own time management.

It’s incredible how quickly a day can escape from you when you don’t have any pressing engagements or real priorities.

In a bid to fully embarce my business sabbatical I’d removed all constraints, yet as I have preached to all my clients and customers, friends and family, discipline gives you freedom.

I had lost my discipline. So I set about taking it back to get more freedom — sounds ironic but it’s true.

I created fake time constraints every day.

If you’ve never used this technique, and find yourself procrastinating a lot, or you work from home and get distracted by ‘other’ to-dos, then try this out.

Simply create hard stops in your day that you have to stick to, like lunch with a friend, a gym class, an art exhibition you want to see and then stick to it.

That act alone will force you to condense your available time into a shorter period, instantly making you more focused and productive.

I did it by using a powerful morning routine, including yoga to get up early and get in a daily rhythm. I made sure by 9am I was doing something of purpose — training the puppy or doing several hours of learning of a course I’d enrolled in online to learn new skills.

I created ‘meetups’ in town to get out of the house and out of my familiar surroundings (still sounds so strange to say that after 6 years of being nomadic, where everything was strange and wonderful all the time).

I put them at 3pm in the afternoon or earlier so I had less time to ‘faff’ about and do odd jobs around the house and garden that were nice but not truly useful.

Before I knew it I was pumped to get back into work and reinventing my business and brand over at nataliesisson.com

It started to work. My spirits lifted, the funk I was in receded and I felt more in flow, and as if I was moving towards my new found purpose.

I could now see that true joy lies in richness of experience in all areas of life and that not all of them can realistically be in balance at the same time.

The beauty lies in accepting that and owning it while always correcting course. Luckily I had been working on that too.

Lesson 3: We are all our own Life Pilots

In June last year, deep in the heart of my ‘funk’ period, Josh and I flew to Melbourne as he had a conference he was speaking at and I needed a change of scene and to travel again.

It was exactly what I needed. Simply a change of scene sparked my creativity, drive and imagination as to what I wanted to work on.

Josh and I walked and talked, sat in cafes and dreamed and schemed on life’s possibilities. We came up with several businesses I could choose to pursue.

He wisely knew that if I could find one thing to focus on I’d be off and running.

He was right. What I chose wasn’t the right thing at all it turns out, but it led me to think deeply about what excited me, what this next stage of life could look, feel, smell and feel like.

Together we got thinking about purpose, missions and goals. Something I thrive on but had been missing since I took time out.

Before I was like a ship out at sea with no wind, letting the waves take me whereever they wanted, with no real purpose or direction.

And now I was full sails ahead with a chart to guide me and a journey I had chosen with destinations to arrive at along the way!

Unbeknownst to us, that day was the start of Life Pilot, a system we developed together that we’ve been using for over 12 months, that lets us envision our best lives, set and track our goals and hold each other accountable.

But it’s more than a damn effective life planning tool, it’s become a compass for whether we’re being present, courageous and focusing on priorities.

It shows us if we are aligning with our values and putting our time and attention into the causes that matter most.

What started as a simple, yet slightly geeky colour coded spreadsheet and a deep and meaningful chat about life back in June 2017, has turned into a system that sees us setting our 3 most important actions every day together.

Life Pilot planning

Each Sunday we make time to reflect on our weekly goals and ask ourselves important questions. This ties into making sure our monthly and quarterly goals in 8 areas of our life, are in line with the three year vision we set for ourselves.

We plan holidays and adventures around this too to turn it into something fun and even magical.

I think the reason it works so well is it’s not just me setting goals and trying to meet them, it’s both of us building a life together and helping each other dream and take purposeful action.

We think this could be a system you could use in life and benefit from immensely, because unlike the plethora of tools, journals, books and apps out there, this one works as you have someone you’re sharing it with.

Yes you can use it by yourself, but it’s even better if you do it with your partner, spouse, best friend, peer or simply someone who’s willing to hold you accountable and ask you the right prompts and questions, to help you achieve what you really want in life.

The more we’ve told our friends and community, the more interest we’ve had to share it with them. So we ran a small pilot throughout the month of July and the results have blown us away.

We had no idea whether our system would work when used by other lovely humans, but it has and more effectively than we could have imagined.

That’s because everyone has dreams and desires and needs, and yet ‘finding time’ to make those a reality is so much harder than we realize.

There are many reasons for this but the primary one is that if we haven’t take the time to dream, scheme and visualize our ideal life, there is NO way we are going to get there if we don’t back it up with a plan and focus and daily actions.

That’s what Life Pilot solves, the rest is all up to you.

Each month we open up a new Life Pilot 10 Day Challenge to take people through exactly what we do, and give you the system we’ve created that’s made a massive difference to our lives.

I truly hope you join us!

Unclutter Your Life

Do you need to unclutter your life? Are you bogged down by too much stuff? Are you spending money on things you just don’t need?

Well then, let me tell you that if you choose to unclutter your life you will actually feel lighter, more joyful and more personally and financially free.

In an earlier podcast I covered off on the Art of Minimalism and all it’s benefits.

I practiced this for seven years when I lived out of my suitcase and those were some of the most freeing years of my life.

I had a rule. If I bought something new – an item of clothing or a toiletry item for example, then something had to be taken out to accommodate it.

That thing that I was ‘releasing’ would be donated, sold or given away to a friend I was visiting, and if they didn’t want it, I asked them to give it to someone who needed it most.

The result was I rarely bought anything I didn’t truly need, value or love. It was such a good feeling.

And those are still my three criteria now we have a gorgeous property and large house, that we could easily ‘overfill’ with too much stuff.

I also have three questions that I like to ask myself for any new purchases:

  1. Where would this live?
  2. What am I going to do with it?
  3. What is it replacing?

In this podcast I go into more detail about how those questions immediately help you to make better decisions. I also cover off on:

  • How to unclutter your house, one room at a time
  • Why buying new things may be covering up a deeper unmet need
  • How these three questions can help you before you even buy something new

Resources to help you Unclutter:

Read: Oprah – 10 Ways to Declutter Your Life

Take Uncluttered – A 12 week course and community, Uncluttered is designed to open up space in your life for the things, activities, and people that are most important to you.

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The Power of a Time Audit

Have you ever stopped to think about exactly where your time goes?

Do you find yourself saying “I’m so busy” or “I don’t have time” far too often?

Well how do you know you don’t have time, if you’ve never tracked where your time goes?

I’m talking about doing a time audit of your day to day activities when it comes where those minutes and hours of work actually go.

I recently did just this and mapped out my businesses and projects into a percentage figure of time they account for in my life, each week.

It’s not only illuminating, but a necessity for all of us.

The moment you can define where your time is spent, you get to be far more proactive about how you spend it and what you prioritize.

In this episode I:

  • Drink champagne
  • Tell you what a 100% of my work time is broken down into each week
  • Share my favourite time management and tracking tool (that’s changed my life)
  • Share a brilliant technique that ensures you cram a lot more work into a short time than you normally would!

I’d love to hear your time breakdown in the comments below.

Key resources to check out:

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