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Goodbye To 2016 And Say Hello 2017

shutterstock_154633811As 2016 ends and you move on into the next year, take some time to review, to contemplate and to maybe mindfully meditate. Give yourself the opportunity to have a brake just for a day or two before you go back into your normal routine – to work, back to school or just your everyday life.  

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and a pen, and get your journal or notebook to write your answers.  Take a little time to create space and freedom to reflect on the past year. As we can learn a lot by reflecting the past year by celebrating your achievements even the small things, mourning your losses and being grateful for an eventful and challenging life.

Here are a few questions to get you started…

Reflective questions:

  1. What was your highlight/achievement of 2016?
  2. What was the most challenging/hardest thing that happened?
  3. Who were the most important people in your life last year?
  4. What was the most important thing that you learned last year?
  5. What was your biggest time waster in your life this past year?
  6. Choose 3 positive words to describe 2016
  7. Choose 3 negative words to describe 2016
  8. What was the best book you read
  9. What was the best film or programme you watched
  10. What was the best thing you experienced.
  11. In what ways did you grow either emotionally, physically or spiritually last year?
  12. What was the best use of your time last year?

Lastly, create a phrase or a short statement that describes this past year for you.

2017 Goal Setting

As you move forward looking into 2017 it is more helpful to think of solutions rather than resolutions. I don’t believe in resolutions because resolutions are plans and for most people plans rarely worked out particularly well. Its funny that resolutions are meant to bond us and be helpful because we all want to change something, like lose weight, stop a habit, learn something new like a language, play an instrument, add a skill or experience or start on that novel.

  1. Quit smoking, stop drinking, eat more healthily, do more exercise, or lose weight
  2. Stop procrastinating, improve motivation
  3. Become more confident, maybe more social
  4. Get more sleep, or improve quality of sleep
  5. Improve relationships or find a new relationship
  6. Find a better work/home life balance
  7. Improve financial situation
  8. Learn to let go of past hurts, traumas and find a new way to deal with issues
  9. Learn how to control your emotional responses
  10. What three things would you like to see or do this year?
  11. What would you like to change this year?
  12. If you got to December 31st 2017 – what would you regret not doing, saying, experiencing?

If you are feeling stuck or don’t know where to start then this is where I can help. Contact Sarah for a FREE no-obligation initial phone consultation on 07734 104421 or email sarah@sarahbrambleby.com.

Find more balance, be happier, more resilient and successful by:

  1. Schedule some fun time everyday
  2. Stop overthinking and take action
  3. Believe in myself & tap into my confidence
  4. Let myself off the hook
  5. Remember my true worth
  6. Be prepared to take risks
  7. Take my needs seriously
  8. Be kind to myself
  9. Keep my sense of humour
  10. Appreciate everything I have… “I am grateful for….”

Well, there you have it, a list of advice and tips to help you see your New Year’s plans through and make some long-term changes in your life. Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

Sarah Brambleby is an experienced Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Certified Havening Techniques® Practitioner and Certified BWRT® Practitioner. Registered with the Accredited Voluntary Register and a member of the both the National Hypnotherapy Society and the National Counselling Society accredited bodies. She uses an integrative approach with Hypnotherapy, Counselling, Havening Techniques®, BWRT®, EFT, CBT, Mindfulness and Coaching, in a safe and friendly non-judgemental therapeutic environment based at the Risborough Therapy Clinic in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.

Mind, Body, Fertility Workshop – Sat 21st May

logoI am excited to be one of five complementary therapists from the Thames Valley area that have combined their expertise to create a workshop specifically to help with unexplained infertility.  It is a one day practical programme to assist couples or individuals who want to conceive and may be experiencing emotional and/or life stress.

Fertility and the ability to conceive is unique to you and your partner, there is no magic bullet and no one size fits all solution. Yet there are things that you can do to get your body and mind in their optimum state. We’ve created a practical workshop to help you gain unique insights and information for both mind and body, and you will get the chance to have your questions answered by our team of experts.

I am thrilled to be participating in a mind, body, fertility workshop. As a specialist in anxiety disorders there is so much that can impact the body at a sub conscious level. I thought it might be useful to understand why hypnotherapy is a very effective therapy with fertility issues…. Mind, Body, Fertility Workshop Flyer final.
There is a growing body of research on psychological aspects and the relationship with infertility. It is believed that psychological stress alters levels of cortisol (F), prolactin (PRL), and progesterone (P), which in turn have an adverse affect on pregnancy outcome. Whatever your specific psychological issues are, hypnosis assists by developing a new narrative around infertility and can remove negative emotional patterns and change thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

However regardless of which member of the couple may be experiencing the problem, the issue of infertility is still shared by the couple. Together the couple will have a much better understanding of what the other one is going through and be more supportive.

Typical fertility psychological issues:fertilityphoto

  • Performance pressures
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma (especially childhood trauma)
  • Pre-existing physical conditions or issues e.g. pain
  • Guilt
  • Grief/Loss
  • Loss of identity
  • Self esteem
  • Depression
  • Anger

Come and experience hypnosis for yourself during my workshop session and learn useful tools to manage your stress/anxiety to help you to move forward in your journey to pregnancy and beyond.

Workshop Booking Details:

Date: Saturday 21st May, 2016

Time: 9am – 6pm

Venue: Thame Barn Centre, Church Road, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3AJ www.thamebarnscentre.co.uk

Costs: £195 each. £300 for couples. More information is available www.facebook.com/MindandBodyFertilityworkshop

To Book Eventbrite

For further information please contact either Sarah Brambleby on 07734104421 or Saffron Rogerson on 07926 004062. Restricted places available due to room size, so book as early as you can to avoid disappointment.

Downloadable Flyer Mind, Body, Fertility Workshop Flyer final

 

Havening Techniques local training opportunity

HaveninglogoHavening Techniques® – A Better Life Through Neuroscience

Havening Techniques certified 2 day practitioner training opportunity, coming to venue on the boarders South Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th May, 2016. The course venue is very easy to reach of both M25 and M40 motorways and for anyone living or working in London or the Home Counties areas. If you are interested to book or discuss the benefits of this training, please email Louise Carmi, certified trainer on louisecarmi@gmail.com and for more information see www.louisecarmi.com.

Participants completing this training will be eligible to attend our exclusive Havening Conference in Solihull 10th & 11th June, 2016. With presentations from Dr Ronald Ruden, Dr Stephen Ruden and Dr Paul McKenna.

The Havening Techniques® is a psychosensory method, which is designed to alter thought, mood and behaviour. Changing the brain to de-traumatise the memory and remove its negative consequences of particular stressful life events or traumatic experiences. As part of it’s protocol, the Havening Techniques® uses the sensory input of Havening Touch® which can either be facilitated or self applied, which triggers the delta waves in the brain. The delta waves in turn prompt helpful chemical chain-reactions in the amygdala. This removes specific AMPA Receptors from the surface of neurons in the amygdala where the traumatic event is ‘stored’.

The Havening Techniques® have three distinct applications, one is for emotional disturbances and encoded psychological trauma, second is for wellness, stress management, and peak performance, and the third is as a self-help tool. These techniques are the result of over 14 years of scientific research and development by New York based Medical Practitioner and PhD in Chemistry, Dr Ronald Ruden, author of ‘When the Past is Always Present’ and ‘The Craving Brain’ with support of his brother Dr Steven Ruden. Both doctors use Havening Techniques regularly in their practices.

Now you can learn the techniques for your own personal use. This

Meeting Dr Ronald Ruden, Author When the past is always present & creator of Havening Techniques.

Meeting Dr Ronald Ruden, Author When the past is always present & creator of Havening Techniques.

training is ideal for therapists and professionals working in mental health, wellbeing and people development, who wish to learn about Havening Techniques® and would be interested in starting their journey to qualify as a Certified Havening Techniques® practitioner. It is particularly beneficial for first responders, emergency services (police, fire service, ambulance staff, paramedics, nurses, doctors), psychologists, counsellors, hypnotherapists, coaches and NLP practitioners.

Havening Techniques® combines easily with many other methods and approaches. Examples of therapeutic areas include; trauma, PTSD, phobias, anxieties, stress responses, physical complaints, chronic pain, anger, grief and many other issues like fear of abandonment and panic attacks. In particular Havening Techniques have been used to support the recovery of military veterans and their families with the aftermath of service related trauma.

See the website www.havening.org for more information, training events and a list of fully certified trainers and practitioners.

Self Harm Guide for Parents

shutterstock_134295569Although I work with people who are over 18 years old, I was struck by the increase of parents asking me for advice, after they have discovered their child self harming.

It’s almost impossible to say how many young people are self-harming. It is thought that around 13% of young people may try to hurt themselves on purpose at some point between the ages of 11 and 16, but the actual figure could be much higher.

In 2014, figures were published suggesting a 70% increase in 10-14 year olds attending A&E for self-harm related reasons over the preceding 2 years.

Girls are thought to be more likely to self-harm than boys, but this could be because boys are more likely to engage in behaviours such as punching a wall, which isn’t always recognised as self-harm or doesn’t come to the attention of hospitals. In reality self-harm doesn’t happen to one type of person, it can’t be predicted and scarily, we don’t really know how many people are going through it. This is all really vague, but you can take one thing away from it – you are not alone, whether you are harming or seeing someone you love or work with go though it. It’s more common than you think.

There is help and advice out there and I’ve listed a couple below that may help:

Oxford University Centre for Suicide Research

Young people’s self-harm can leave families confused, anxious and feeling like there’s nowhere to turn. Now, based on in-depth research with parents, a team from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry are launching a guide to help parents and carers who are trying to cope with this difficult situation. Coping with Self Harm Guide

Videos of some of the interviews with parents are also available online: http://www.healthtalk.org/self-harm.

SelfHarmUK

Selfharm UK is committed to helping people overcome difficulties with self-harm, providing information that can help children stay safe. https://www.selfharm.co.uk/get.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.

Communication can be so tricky!

Something happened recently to people I care about (keeping confidentiality) it reminded me that all to often poor communication seems the root cause to relationship breakdowns in families, or with friendships or between colleagues.

When it all goes wrong

What starts as a conversation can easily escalate into a fight in which the original issue gets forgotten/lost, you lose track of what you’re even yelling about, and nothing gets resolved. Even simple discussions turn into heated, unproductive arguments that ultimately damage their relationship (friends/family etc). Angry fighting leads to distance, yelling, sarcasm, insults, and name-calling undermine trust. This type of communication creates defensiveness and alienation, which makes it nearly impossible to address their issues together.

“The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. “
Writer, George Bernard Shaw

Art of communication

I believe that the ‘art of communication’ requires an awareness not only of how we are communicating with another person, but how we also communicate with ourselves. In this way you can bring out your authentic self, by making a conscious effort to bring out the best in someone else through your communication. Making communication less me-centric, or talking at someone rather than with them.   Although if you know that someone is spoiling for a flight, then make your excuses and leave it until the emotional intensity has subsided. Don’t let them use you as an emotional punchbag.

What is Mindful Communication?

Mindful communication is about talking to another person mindfully, it starts with awareness and then giving them the attention they deserve. So no matter who you are speaking with comes from a place that is present, kind and respectful for no other reason than that’s how you want to treat them and be treated in return.

Mindful communication:

  • Being present. Try to pick the most appropriate time and place for both parties and preferably no distractions (phones, tablets, tv). For example last thing at night you are likely to be tired and may not be the most suitable time of day.
  • Be prepared. Make some notes about what you want to say, read it out loud and see how it sounds to you. Keep to the point.  Make sure you are not using inflammatory language. Be aware of the tone and expressions you are using.
  • How does it sound? If it’s acceptable to you, thats great however, if it’s not, change it as you would want it said to you.
  • Listen – I mean really listen. Try not to interupt – we all have a tendency to do this and have had it done to us, but it really doesn’t help!
  • What does your body language say?  For example – have good eye contact. Your body language is also important as it often gives away so much information about you.  Body language can demonstrate how you really feel and it can conflict with your words/meaning.
  • Tone and expression. These are considered to be even more important than the words you use. So if its a difficult discussion that needs to happen – think about doing it face to face.
  • Remember that there are two sides to every communication. Acknowledge the other person’s point of view – you don’t have to agree with it but it helps them to be heard.  This can also help them to open up to you, and have the added benefit finding out any hidden agendas or games being played.
  • The Sandwich Method for difficult conversations. It should go without saying that all of your issues or criticisms (positive or negative) should be authentic and well thought out.  You should ask yourself the question – it is useful or do you really need to challenge/critique/feedback?  Does it have to be now or can it be deal with better at a later time?  Or will it just make a situation worse? For challenging situations try the ‘Sandwich method’…

The Sandwich Method

  1. Start off with positive feedback (authentic praise of something they did recently). Try and give some detail to it, so it will feel more in proportion to the feedback/criticism.
  2. Provide your constructive criticism.  Be brief, yet clear and thorough in your delivery of the feedback/criticism you want to share. Provide your constructive criticism. Ideally you are giving them constructive criticism on just one thing (at most two things)…I find criticism of 3 or more items is too much for a person to handle at one time. Additionally, try to give them the criticism in the context of how it can help them reach their goals.
  3. End on a positive note – Ideas on how to end with positivity include:
    You could simply reiterate the initial positive feedback/compliment you had given them.
    – You could speak in general terms about how much progress they are making.
    – You can compliment them on their receptiveness to receiving constructive feedback/criticism.

I’m not putting myself on any pedestal, as I’ve made plenty of mistakes too. However shutterstock_105969221I’ve noticed that as I continue practicing mindful speech and increased my listening skills, the ‘pot of gold’ at the end of my rainbow is that I’m seeing a positive impact with my children, family and friends. I’m sure I will occasionally mess up, but I can see how its made me a better person which is improving my ability to communicate more effectively in both my personal and business life.

 

10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Do you have a good business idea?  This should be something you are passionate about, since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.

2. Is it viable? Before you’ve spent loads of money take the time to think about how viable your idea is. Is it something that people want and would actually pay for? Will it create enough of a profit to make it worth your while? Get a business plan template from a business bank or there are loads of resources online which can also help you.  Make sure you complete it with a good level of information and real hard data.

3. Who is your Target Market and who are your competitors? Be specific as you can, there are lots of benefits to you to know you market.  Be as clear as you can about this as it will help you in your communication, marketing and PR activities which should help you to have a better chance of creating selling opportunities.

4. What will it cost to provide or produce this product/service?  Use a business plan to ensure you have all the information to judge if this is viable or not. A good business plan will cover everything you need to creating a sound business, cutting corners could cost you dearly.  There is also another tool called a SWOT analysis can be used to assess the strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats internally and externally.

5. Do you have the people resources or do you have the necessary skills, expertise and experience necessary to make this idea work?  It might help you to pay close attention to your competitors to help you identify all the resources needed.  So should you go it alone or is time to get someone else involved?

6. Are you being professional?  It is so important to create a good first impression at all stages in the process.  Be professional in your communication and dealings with the bank, investors, potential alliance or supply chain partners and don’t forget  recruitment, as you never know who will be instrumental in helping you and your business succeed.

6. Do you have any suppliers or alliances?  Can these relationships also help you get to your target market – choosing the right supplier is important as your business will be judged on their work.

7. What tools or services will you need to be effective and free up your time?  A website is essential these days as its the most important tool to help you with your marketing, social media, PR creating sales opportunities. There are an amazing array of other web based tools that could be useful in running your business smoothly and cost effectively?

8. Are you competitive? By either offering something your competitors don’t, make sure you spend time on your pricing and promotions. Social Media can also play a significant role in helping to actively promote your business.  You can do it yourself as there is training widely available or employ an expert.

9. What is the customer experience? Often the key to a successful businesses will be ‘repeat’ business, so how can you make sure your product and/or service is the the best it can be.

10. What makes your customers ‘happy’?  If you don’t know you should find out through direct contact or surveys.

Its so easy to get caught up with the ‘proposition’ is for the customer, we forget how important to mention more about who we are, why we are passionate about what we do and how we are differentiate ourselves from the majority of our competitors.  We all know that people buy from people (with some exceptions).  In the services world your main competitive advantage could be as simple as ‘you’ – all your knowledge which could be considered your greatest asset. The combination of your skills, your experiences and your personality that can make all the difference.

My top tip is to briefly describe your story and make sure you really highlight what is special/diffferent about you or your business.  If you need some help contact Sarah Brambleby for a free initial consulation on 07734104421 or email sarah@sarahbrambleby.com.

Strategic Alliances work….

During the last couple of years I have become part of a strategic alliance with other members of Athena Networks for Women in particular with Lorraine Cheney of Navitas Design, WordPress web-developers specialists in creating on-line environments. We also work with our graphic designers Julie Lodge of Jamtastic Design and Sue Aperghis they have the talent to be able to design websites and other printed material so that they are not only eye catching but are practical and easy to navigate. Kelly Jo Hearsey of Kelly Jo Photography provides stunning portraits and commercial photography which can tell a visually engaging story essential for all websites or for promotional materials. We also work with a wide range of other suppliers based upon the needs of the client including SEO & social media experts, video producers, PR consultants and management consultants.

We really enjoy working together because we know each other’s skills and expertise and we share a common ethos which is ‘great quality services at affordable prices’. Our alliance improves customer satisfaction and our combined creativity and experience definitely produces a better end product.

Strategic Alliance blog

Debbie Winfield of Debbie Winfield Accountancy started a new company recently and needed our help with a new logo, business stationery and to create a new engaging contemporary website.

“The collaborative team, including Sarah, Lorraine and Julie, have done an excellent professional job in creating my new website.

Sarah listened to my ideas, talked to me about my developing business and past experience and used her extensive experience to develop a clear marketing strategy. Sarah coordinated the design and development with the team and created the content.

Julie has done an amazing job in creating a professional friendly feel to the designs for my new business logo and to the website design that exactly conveys the look and feel that I wanted.

Lorraine through her technical expertise brought the website to life and provided a very professional service throughout the website development process and my on-going support needs.

Kelly is an amazing person and a fantastic photographer. She is truly professional and has the wonderful ability to put those she works with at ease and it is a pleasure to work with her.

Not only has it been a pleasure to work with them all throughout this project, they have made it so easy for me to launch my new business. I would highly recommend this collaborative team for their professional marketing services.” Debbie Winfield FCCA, Debbie Winfield Accountancy Limited www.debbiewinfieldaccountancy.co.uk

If you would like more information on our professional marketing services, please call Sarah Brambleby on 07734 104 421. www.sarahbrambleby.com

Confused or frustrated with social media?

As a small business owner we often have to wear so many hats – we end up having to do jobs that we do not have any experience or expertise.  Is the answer to outsource or to learn how to do the role ourselves?  Only you can decide based upon need, financial ability or interest.  So how do we continue to deliver our products and or services and have enough time to do all this social media across our chosen platforms and to a decent quality and quantity?

It’s not easy particularly as not all social media activity achieves:

  1. Quality – in terms of giving useful hints, tips and news.
  2. Quantity – how will our messages be received – too much information and too often be a turn off.
  3. Authentic – be a support to our brand/image.

So how come we often get it either so wrong or not enough?

I do not hold myself up as an expert in this area – only that I understand what I’m doing and what the SM tools should do for any business.  My own frustration is one of bandwidth – the time to do my own social media and as often as I can to help my clients or to be useful to other SME’s.

So the answer has to be a combination of strategy and planning.  Also based upon the level of expertise it could require some training and facilitation.

Tips:
  1. Decide on your Communication Strategy – This includes Social Media but you need to consider all the areas/vehicles for you communication e.g. email, newsletters, blog, website.
  2. Decide on the few communication vehicles/methods/tools – You do not need to do them all – so where are your target market or current clients.
  3. Plan your diary / or outsource – If you want your business to be successful you need to commit to communicate with your target market or existing clients.  So what is it to be?

If you need help and advice I work with Social Media experts that can help you and your business gain the right level of training or assistance.  Call Sarah on 07734104421 for more information.

 

Over 90% of websites don’t work….

Would you build a house without an architect or a plan?

Too many business owners rush into a new website without first assessing the potential risk of going with the wrong provider. Before you even engage a web designer or developer there is often more work needed to provide essential information.  For example do you have:

  • Business plan with clear business goals?
  • Marketing strategy?
  • Knowledge about your specific market or ideal client?
  • Written value proposition?
  • Any evidence / credibility?

I’m not suggesting you need all these elements with loads of information, it should be appropriate to the size and complexity of your business. It makes me sick to my stomach just how many people have lost thousands of pounds putting their trust in the hands of so called experts and have paid a very heavy price.  Wasting not only money, but your time and the stress/frustration of having to live with it until you can afford to do something else. So can you afford to make a mistake?

So what is the missing link – ‘me’ of course a marketing consultant.  Your website needs to not only attract visitors, but keep them long enough to convert them into buyers and that is a specialist skill you need on your side.  We play a vital role acting as an advocate for the client, providing the right level of advice and support, to help with any areas of work and appropriate actions needed.

Together with my trusted business partners we can provide a one-stop shop that can help you to create an affordable professional website or support your marketing needs.  Call Sarah on 07734104421 for more information or a FREE 30 minutes consultation.

 

 

Need help to strengthen your value proposition?

All too often essential steps are missed when developing a value proposition, which increases the risk of costly mistakes.  Strengthen your proposition by asking vital questions and take the time to make sure you include some competitive/market research.

I feel awful when my client’s admit just how much money they have wasted on their marketing and sales activities.  They didn’t stand a chance of working because they have missed out some of these essential questions:

  1. What product/service/solution you are proposing?
  2. What is different and/or unique about this offering?
  3. How will does this address a client’s pain or pleasure?
  4. Who are your target market (be as specific as possible)?
  5. How will it be priced and packaged?
  6. How does this compare with your key competitors?
  7. What are your routes to market (Direct/Indirect)?
  8. Do you have any evidence that this proposition is attractive and works?

If you need help with your next steps call Sarah Brambleby for a FREE initial telephone consultation on 07734104421.