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10 Simple gratitude practices that you can start today

As I’ve said many times, practicing gratitude has helped me be happier in my life and get through some tough times. Practicing gratitude is really easy. Its just saying thank you. Thank you for the gifts you have received, in whatever packaging they came in, whether you need them or not, whether you deserved them or not, say thank you.

10 Simple gratitude practices

Begin a gratitude journal. This is so easy. You can use a simple notebook, or go all out and buy yourself a beautiful journal from Etsy or Amazon. Take a few minutes each day, either in the morning or last thing at night, to think about what you have been grateful for. You can choose 3, 5 10 or however many things you can think of, but get into the habit of taking the time to think about them and write them down. Also, try and think of different things. You may be grateful for your family and friends, but you’ve been given so many more gifts. Notice and celebrate them. If you’re artistic, then get a bullet journal instead, and decorate each day. Pinterest has loads of ideas. Just search “gratitude bullet journal” and take a look.

Think about what you say. I’ve noticed that when I speak I use words like, grateful, blessed, thankful, lucky, fortunate and gifts. So many things have come my way, so it’s only right to acknowledge them.

Say thank you. Whenever you receive something, whether it’s a card, present, hug, your cup of coffee or meal etc. Say thank you to the person who gave it to you. It’s good manners, but so many people don’t even acknowledge the giver any more, especially those providing a service.

Go one step further. Sometimes, you can go one step further than saying thank you. You can write a letter to the person, write a letter of praise to the person’s boss, give them a shout out on social media, write a good review and so on.

Write a thank you note. When we were growing up, and we were old enough, we always wrote a thank you letter for birthday and Christmas presents.

Look for the positive in a negative situation. Sometimes, when things are rough, it’s really hard to see the positive side of a negative situation. But there is usually something to be grateful for. When my dad was dying, I was grateful for the doctors and nurses who made him comfortable. I was grateful for the opportunity to be there holding his hand when the time came, and I was grateful for the time we shared in the last few years.

Donate what you don’t want. One of the things you realise when you practice gratitude is how much you have. Pay it forward, and donate some of the things you don’t need, that someone else would be grateful for. There are so many people in need these days who would appreciate what you no longer want.

Pay it forward. Make someone else’s day by paying it forward. Whether When someone does a good deed for you, then pay it forward, and do it for someone else. Whether its buying a cup of coffee, or helping someone else in the way you were helped, paying it forward spreads joy as well as gratitude.

Random acts of kindness. Instead of responding to someone else’s good deed, why not just do a good deed yourself. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

Practice forgiveness. Sometimes the lessons we learn are learnt the hard way, and they can be very painful. By forgiving the person who hurt you, you are not absolving the person from their guilt, but you are releasing yourself from the pain that you’re holding onto. Acknowledge the lesson and be grateful for it, but in a positive way. Sometimes the gifts we are sent come in unusual packages!

Sometimes the person you have to forgive is yourself, so this can be a very powerful way of helping you move forward. One way of doing this was suggested by Carolan Dickinson in her Udemy course: “(your/persons name) from my heart to yours, I forgive you for anything real or perceived you may or may not have done to hurt me, from this lifetime or any other.” Repeat three times.

There are lots more ways you can practice gratitude and if you’d like to read more, then check out this article from Lifehack. You may also want to read Roberts Emmon’s article. He’s a scientific expert on the effects of gratitude.

 

10 Simple ways to increase your energy levels that work

10 Simple ways to increase your energy levels that work

As a busy mum and carer, the one thing I always wanted was more energy. When I had more energy, I was better able to cope with what life threw at me, my vibration was higher and I was a nicer person to be around. When I was tired, everything felt harder. It was harder to get started in the morning, harder to get motivated and harder to focus.

It easy to deplete your energy stores, especially when you’re putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, so here are some simply ways to increase your energy levels that I found work for me. At heart, it’s a series of self care practices that helped me get through the last couple of years.

Simple ways to increase your energy

Get your bloods checked out.

I have an under-active thyroid, so when my levels are low, I get bone tired. But there are a whole host of other physiological reason that can cause you to feel tired. For women, it could be linked to your hormone levels, (PMT or the menopause). Alternatively, for both genders it could be caused by something like anaemia. Getting your bloods checked out is a good way to rule out any physiological causes of your tiredness.

Get an early night.

One of the reasons I was always tired was my dad would wake me up in the middle of the night for something. Then once I was awake, it was hard to get back to sleep. I found going to bed earlier gave me a little more sleep, and at weekends, when my husband was home, I’d take an afternoon nap.

Poor sleep has been shown to adversely affect not just your physical health, but also your mental health. If your sleep is disturbed, always make time to catch up. Sleep is like a bank account. You can be overdrawn for a period of time, but sooner or later, you have to balance your account and put the money back.

Try meditating

I’ve found meditation is a great way to quiet your mind and de-stress. Practiced regularly, mediation has been shown to reduce stress levels, which has a knock on effect on your sense of well-being, your focus and your physical health. For example, when you’re more relaxed, your blood pressure and heart rate are lower than when you’re stressed.

Have a look on YouTube for some mediation music, lie down and listen to it. Let your body relax and try and empty your mind. I found I get my best ideas after I’ve meditated.

Take a look at what you’re eating

We live in age age where obesity is becoming an epidemic, whilst, paradoxically, we’re more mal-nourished than ever. By mal-nourished, I don’t mean we’re starving, I mean that our diets lack the full range of nutrients that our bodies need. We’ve been brainwashing into believing fats are bad for you, but the body needs fat, for the fat-soluble vitamins i.e. vitamins A, D, E and K.

Eating a balanced diet, with a wide variety of different vegetables will most definitely increase your energy levels.

Take a look at what you’re drinking

Too much caffeine, from tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks affects your ability to get off to sleep, which then has a knock on effect on your energy levels. Try and reduce how much caffeine you drink after 6pm, and increase how much water you drink. We should be drinking 2 litres of water per day, but usually we drink much less. When I worked in the hospital, we always kept a jug of water and glass on the patients bedside tray.

Go for a walk

It may seem counter-intuitive, but I found going for a walk, especially when its around nature, not just increases your energy levels, but also reduces your stress. Walking the dogs in the woods was like a walking mediation for me. Breathing in fresh air and taking in the sunlight really gave me a boost.

If you’re looking to increase your energy, then any form of exercise will do. Have a look at yoga and qi gong exercises on YouTube, or enroll on a course via Udemy.

Journalling

I’ve recently taken up journalling to help me unwind. Journalling helps you work through the things that are bothering you, but it also allows me to write down ideas, and clarify my goals.

I bought a bullet journal, so that I can be a little more creative with my journal. Have a look at my Pinterest board for some fun ideas.

Using positive affirmations

I’ve found that thinking positive, and using positive affirmations, are a great way to increase your vibration. Louise Hay has some of the best positive affirmations I’ve come across, so have a look at her affirmations page. I’ve kept a couple of pages in my journal free just to write down the affirmations that appeal to me. I also include them on my vision board.

Choose some affirmations that speak to your spirit. Trust your intuition and repeat these daily.

Self-healing

I’m currently working towards my Reiki Master and Reiki teacher qualifications, and so practice Reiki self-healing regularly. It’s a little like meditating, but focusing on clearly the chakras. I sometimes feel called to add some crystals to my healing practice. These amplify the healing for the targeted area.

Declutter

Decluttering is very cathartic. Releasing stuff you no longer need or want allows you to make space for other things to come into your life. In addition. your home feels bigger and brighter, and it takes less time to clean and maintain.

You could also sell some of your excess stuff and use the money to pamper yourself.

These are the 10 ways that have worked best for me. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

New month, new goals

New month, new goals

Normally, I would set goals at the beginning of the year, and I did. But my change in circumstances means I now have more time to work towards the goals that are important to me. So now I’m setting some new goals. I call it Project: Get a Life!

New goals

Homeschooling goals

This month, the main goals is to change dads former bedroom into a place my son can work in peace.

To do this we want to:

  • paint the room
  • replace the carpet
  • remove the wardrobe and dressing table
  • add a wall of bookcases, a desk and reclining chair
  • add pictures and posters

In addition:

  • my son has 2 adventure camp weeks booked
  • he wants to learn how to knit and Japanese
  • we will meet up with other home schooling families at least twice during the month
  • make progress on my sons reading, working through the Toe by Toe book
  • visit at least 1 heritage site
  • complete at least 4 experiments

Health goals

This month, my main goal is to increase my activity. I’ve been mainly housebound for the last year, so some fresh air and long walks would be good. I also want to increase my vegetable in take. One change at a time.

Spiritual goals

This month, I want to practice self-healing. I have completed numerous courses on Reiki, but with all the pollen around, my asthma has kept flaring up and I couldn’t practice as much as I wanted.

I also want to:

  • develop my knowledge around crystal healing
  • complete my angel practitioner course.
  • attend a workshop on bio energy, with the intent of potentially doing a diploma in this area.

Business goals

Whilst I’m taking time out to deal with my grief and my dad’s estate, this month I want to:

  • get clear on what my business will involve, my core message and how I can help my clients
  • create the business framework I want to make this work
  • set up my healing room. This will largely involve packing up and removing dad’s things.
  • start blogging again, writing one blog post a week
  • develop one email opt in, publish it and start building a new email list
  • re-publish my Facebook page

I have already signed up to attend a number of different networking events, allowing me to get out and meet people again. I have also signed up to a money mastermind business group on Facebook.

Money goals

My main goal this month is to reduce my spending and develop a budget that I can work with, and stick to. This will clarify how much my business will need to bring in, in due course.

Fun goals

One of the fun goals I want to achieve this month is to ride a segway. There is a place not far from us that does this, but we’ve never had the opportunity. I also want to knit a scarf with my son and read a couple of books.

So these are my new goals for this month. The joy of being a life coach is that I know I can make them happen. Project: Get a Life begins!

Starting a new chapter

If you’ve been following me or my blog, you’ll know that I took time out of my business, and life generally, to care for my dad. Sadly, he passed away last month.

The privilege of caring

As you can imagine, it’s been a difficult time, but I take solace in the fact that I did as much as I possibly could for him since my mum passed away. I organised her funeral in the UK, and brought her ashes home to Ireland so she could be buried in the family plot. I traveled back and forth to the UK, flying into Exeter and driving my dad (and his dogs) back to Ireland to stay with us. When he decided to move close by, I helped him find a new home, helped him pack, organised the movers and helped him set up his new home. When he was settled in, I’d drop my son off at school then pop in and make him breakfast. I’d pop back later and he’d stay with us for lunch and dinner, going home later. Initially, he was able to drive him self around, but as his health deteriorated, I became his chauffeur.  When his health deteriorated even more, he came to live with us. Many’s a time he’d wake up in the middle of the night, not realising the time, wanting a cup of coffee. Caring for him in his last years has been a privilege, but not without it’s down side. Like when we had to change his bedding several times a day. Or when the only food he would eat came from the chip shop, because mum always made chips with dinner.

I won’t lie, there were days when it was hard, but I have no regrets. I did my best and in doing so, taught my son how I want to be treated. Dad never wanted to go into a nursing home, and the only times he set foot in one was for respite. For that I am infinitely grateful.

A new chapter

And so I’m embarking on a new chapter in my life. Life has been very strange since dad passed away. After all the arrangement were made, and dad was buried next to mum, I now have time on my hands. It took me a while to sleep through the night, not having to listen out for dad in case he needed anything. It’s also taken a while to relax without feeling guilty.

It’s weird, not having to plan things to ensure that if I went out, there was someone in the house in case he needed anything.

It’s weird being able to eat what I want, because I’m not juggling the needs of 2 fussy eaters.

It’s even weird being able to go out. After becoming a virtual hermit, its strange getting out and meeting people.

I also have my house back. We can go though things like family photographs and get rid of the hundreds of photos of the garden that my mum proudly took, decluttering them down to treasured memories. I’m even creating an album for my nephew showing his mum growing up and the photos of him as a baby and child, before his mum passed away so suddenly. We have bought a scanner to scan in all the negatives, so they aren’t lost, but many of the photos were of someone else’s memories, and they won’t be of interest to someone else.

Project “get a life”

I’ve called this new chapter Project: Get a Life.

Part one is getting my home back, making it a home, not a nursing home. I’m going to turn dad’s room into an office/study. A place where I can build a new business and my son can have his home school. The garden room we built for my dad and his model trains will become my healing room. A place where I can practice the skills I’ve learnt as a healer, and a mediation space where my spirit can heal. (Perhaps as a reflection of my circumstances, I took courses in Reiki, Crystal and Angelic healing in the last few months.)

I’ve bought different journals, one as my sons home school journal, one for ideas, one to focus on my business ideas. This has helped my clarify what I want and don’t want in this new chapter. The goals, the adventures, the fun. It’s where my life coaching skills are coming into their own. For example, we’ve been to the local tourist information office and got all the leaflets for the area, planning my son’s home school learning with loads of field trips. I’ve even updated my vision board, knowing that there are many less obstacles to implementing them now, and the possibilities are not quite infinite, but close.

So that’s where I am now.

Assessing where I am, where I want to be and creating a road map of how to get there.

Healer, heal thyself. Coach, coach thyself.

Waiting for the no-talent police…

Waiting for the no-talent police…

Are you waiting for the no-talent police to get you?

In her book “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It” Dr Valerie Young, cites many successful people who feel like impostors. Mike Myers (you know, the famous comedian and really successful actor) famously said that he felt such a fraud he was waiting for the no-talent police to come and arrest him! If you’re like me, you know that feeling… I’ve spent most of my life ensuring the no-talent police didn’t find me!

If you’ve had a look at the blog content on this site, you’ll notice that over the years, I’ve changed direction more times than some politicians! Being able to step back, I’ve had time to reflect and understand why this has happened, and to be honest there were a number of reasons for this:

  • working with computers came easy to me, so social media seemed a natural place to start. I found LinkedIn easy to work with, so I didn’t get that other people didn’t. It felt wrong to charge for something anyone could do.
  • I had books I’d written but didn’t promote because I didn’t feel that they were any good. Any good reviews where from people who were just being kind.
  • at heart, I wanted to help people who need it most, so would set up packages and everything, but wouldn’t do very much to promote them. If I tried and failed, I’d only make things worse…
  • when I did get clients, I felt such a fraud, I would under-charge or even not invoice them because I felt I hadn’t actually done anything!
  • I had a email list but didn’t make use of it, because I didn’t think I had anything of value to say
  • sometimes I withdrew into myself so much, I didn’t do anything for months.
  • I could come up with what I thought were great ideas but struggled with marketing and sales, because I hadn’t really thought about who’d want to buy such a package, and when no-one signed up for the programme that just reinforced my idea that I was clueless when it came to business.

Whenever, I made progress, I did something (or didn’t do anything) and ended up taking 5 steps back. I spent so much time being afraid, I kept on finding excuses not to do something. My inner impostor positively crippled me. I really made it difficult for the no-talent police to get me!

Life coaching helped

As a life coach, I had loads of tools at my disposal. The success bank is a great one, but for every success, there was pretty much always a voice inside, that would nullify that success:

Success bank: yay, I wrote and published a book. Inner voice: so what, no-one is buying it.

Success bank: yay, I ran a 5k. Inner voice: big deal, so did a lot of other people and they did it a hell of a lot faster than you. Sure you were nearly last!

And so on.

But this is where having my own life coach made a difference. When you have a Life Coach yourself, you have a person who is able to cut through that inner voice bullshit and turn it a round:

Success bank: yay, I wrote and published a book. Life Coach: that’s great. So many people talk about doing it and not only did you write it, you formatted and published it yourself.

Success bank: yay, I ran a 5k. Life Coach: that’s brilliant. I know how hard how you’ve been working to get to that level of fitness. How many other people are still sitting on the couch wishing they could?

So how do you start overcoming the impostor syndrome?

I think the first step in overcoming anything, it to first acknowledge it for what it is. Dr Young states that if you can identify with any of the statements below, then no matter how many certificates or qualifications you have or how much other people recognise your talents, you know, deep inside that you are a fake and a fraud:

  1. any success you have is down to luck, good timing or some sort of computer error!
  2. I can do it, so anyone can
  3. you agonise over the slightest flaws in your work
  4. any constructive criticism is more evidence of how much of a fraud you are
  5. when you do succeed, it’s because you fooled them yet again
  6. you’re worried that

So, are you waiting for the no-talent police to show up too?

Update: what I’m up to…

It’s been a while since I’ve used the blog, so I kinda feel like I should give you guys an update.

Carer

I had to step back from my business because of my dad’s deteriorating health. He’s still with us, and has good days and not so good days. He’s losing weight and has a very small appetite. We’re keeping him out of hospital with the support of his GP, and have loads of support from the community nursing team. We don’t know how much time dad has left, so we just work on a day by day basis.

We’ve had some respite and are now on a list for regular respite when we need it. We’re entitled to something like one week per quarter.

Homeschooling mum.

With my son, we pulled him from school last year, as he was spending so much time avoiding it, and doing so little work when he was there, we kind of felt that we could do no worse! We have focused on helping my little one learn to read confidently. As a person with dyslexia, he has struggled at school. At home there is less pressure and many different opportunities to learn. His reading level has improved significantly, although it sometimes feels that it’s at the cost of other subjects. However, without this foundation, he will not progress.

I don’t get much personal time, and weekends is usually time to catch up on sleep.

Personal development

As you can imagine, I don’t get much me time, but I have set myself some goals for this year, and I’ve booked myself in one some e-courses and one day courses on a Saturday. My focus has been on addressing my issues around feeling like an impostor, whilst learning about self-healing with Reiki, meditation, crystal healing and using angel cards.

I’m currently working towards becoming an Archangel Practitioner. This will allow me to provide angelic healing as well as Reiki. I will also be able to do angel card readings and teach people how to create their own angel altar.

I’ve also enrolled on courses for:

  • crystal healing
  • EFT – emotional freedom technique or tapping
  • meditation teacher training

My hope is that when I’m ready to return to being a Life Coach, I can bring my holistic skills in to support my clients as they tackle their own issues around the impostor-syndrome and self-sabotage. In the meantime, I’m going to write about the different archangels, the different crystals and their uses, and open a shop on the site to supply items and gifts that relate to this practice, for example crystals, angel wish jars and guardian angel boxes.

I hope you bare with my as I continue my journey. I’ll be rebuilding this website to reflect the business I want to develop in the background. There will still be lots of resources but many will be part of my archive.

Take care for now

Karen x

101 Goals for 2017

Last year, I set myself 100 goals for 2016, and whilst I didn’t achieve all of them, I achieved an awful lot more last year, than I have in past years. In doing so, I noticed a shift in perspective.

I actually started looking for opportunities, and I took them.

So in 2016, I did far more than I’d originally planned:

  • When a TV company asked for people to apply for a new show, I applied.
  • At the Transform your Business and Life seminar, I signed up as a VIP and bought a stand at the event.
  • When there was an opportunity to meet and greet Sir Roger Moore, I signed up.
  • When the blog awards came up, I submitted my blog. It wasn’t shortlisted, but I tried.
  • When we went to a restaurant and saw that they did a 7 course tasting menu, we booked to go the next day!
  • When I went on a spa day and noticed that they did acupuncture, I booked a session.
  • When a friend posted about attending a Tony Robbins event and doing the firewalk, I realised that was a goal I wanted to achieve too, and that I could.
  • When friends on Facebook started talking about their experiences of doing the Camino Way, I started reading about it and decided that would be another thing that I would love to do, but I would need to work on my fitness levels.

So I’ve decided to make the coming year another fabulous one. And this year I’m going one better. Literally. These are my 101 goals for 2017!

10 Events to go to

  1. A TEDx talk
  2. April – The All-Ireland Business Summit – Booked
  3. Attend a Tony Robbins event

 

10 Shows to see

  1. February – Cirque Du Soleil – Booked
  2. February – Dirty Dancing – Booked
  3. April – Blood Brothers – Booked
  4. April – The curious incident of the dog in the night time

 

10 Movies to watch

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  2. Cars 3
  3. Despicable Me 3
  4. Star Wars VIII

 

10 Books to read

  1. A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
  2. A brief history of time by Stephen Hawking
  3. Great expectations by Charles Dickens
  4. Wild Swans by Jung Chan
  5. The power of now by Eckhart Tolle
  6. The road less travelled by Dr M Scott Peck
  7. Flourish by Martin Seligman
  8. The curious incident of the dog in the night by Mark Haddon
  9. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

 

10 Habits to develop

  1. Meditate
  2. Repeat positive affirmations
  3. Send birthday cards on time
  4. Make my bed
  5. Wash up before going to bed
  6. Only post positive images on Facebook
  7. Be grateful for 3 things
  8. Limit my daily to do list to 3 things
  9. Save money each month
  10. Publish a post on LinkedIn each month

 

10 Fitness/Lifestyle goals

  1. Run 1k
  2. Run 2k
  3. Run 3k
  4. Run 4k
  5. Run 5k
  6. Take part in a colour run
  7. Climb Croagh Patrick
  8. Walk part of the Camino Way

 

10 Creative goals

  1. Make my own soap
  2. Make my own Kombucha
  3. Make my own year planner

 

10 Fun goals

  1. Try clay pigeon shooting
  2. Book an archery lesson
  3. Drive a Ferrari
  4. Make some apple and blackberry jam

 

10 Things to do with my son

  1. Grow a sunflower
  2. Visit the cinema
  3. See another pantomime
  4. Visit the national reptile zoo in Kilkenny
  5. Go blackberry picking
  6. Do the Moon River boat tour
  7. Visit Glencar waterfall
  8. Visit Parkes Castle
  9. Visit Marble Arch Caves

 

10 Business goals

  1. Develop a new coaching program
  2. Join a Mastermind group
  3. Be published in the Huffington post
  4. Join Leonie Dawson’s Shining Biz-Life Academy
  5. Become an NLP Practitioner
  6. Speak at a TEDx event
  7. Run a Kickstarter campaign for my planner
  8. Publish a post on LinkedIn each month
  9. Publish a weekly podcast

 

1 Scary goal

 

Is your website at risk of being hacked?

Is your website at risk of being hacked?

I have a couple of websites that I own and have built myself. As a result, I’ve gotten reasonably confident using WordPress. One thing that I’ve set up is an email to let me know if someone is locked out of my site, so that I can contact them to see if I can help. However, what this has shown me instead is that someone is seriously trying to hack into my website!

How can I see if someone is trying to hack me?

From your WordPress dashboard, click on [Settings].

Now click on [Limit logon attempts]

This morning, I found that 1962 failed attempts have been made to login to my website, using 3 different usernames:

  • cluttercoachkaren
  • admin
  • test

What can I do to prevent my website being hacked?

  1. Recognise that any website can be hacked, however, you don’t have to make it easy.
  2. When you create a username for your website, don’t use admin, test or anything similar. As you can see, these are the first usernames someone has used to try and take over my site.
  3. Have more than one username for your website. Keep one for system administration (setting things up in the background) and one for blogging with. That way, if someone does hack your password for your blog, then that person doesn’t have control of your website.
  4. When you create your password, use as many characters as you can. Again, don’t make it easy to hack your website by using any of the common passwords. Each year SplashData compiles a list of the most frequently used passwords. Check out the list, and make sure that your password isn’t one of them!
  5. Change your password periodically. When I worked in the NHS, all users were forced to change their passwords monthly.
  6. Checkout [Limit logon settings]. Limit the number of times someone can try and logon without being locked out.  In addition, make sure that you have both [Log IP] and [Email to admin after] ticked. You can then forward this information onto the police should they be successful, and use the emails as evidence.
  7. Install plugins such as Wordfence to protect your site. I also have Sitelock installed.
  8. Backup your website frequently.
  9. Purchase an SSL certificate from your website hosting company.

We are all at risk of being hacked in some shape or form. Being aware of the risks is the first step in prevention.

Useful articles:

Take care for now

Karen x

Website basics: choosing a domain name

Website basics: choosing a domain name

I’m a Life Coach, so I want you to know I’ve been where you are. I know that you are creative, resourceful and whole, however, I also know that I’m very lucky in that techy stuff doesn’t scare me. If something goes wrong, then I don’t blame me, a think about the different things that could have caused it and use a process of trial and error until it’s fixed.

So, what I’m going to do with this series of blog posts is start off by walking you through the basics of setting up your own website from scratch.

I’m also going to break the cardinal coaching rule, and offer some advice. You don’t have to do this alone, but you also don’t have to learn the hard way. I’m going to share some of what I’ve learned so that you can take some shortcuts. Before you can build your website, you need to choose a name for it. That is what today’s post will cover.

What is a domain name?

Your domain name is simply the address that someone types in to find your website for example, the domain name for this website is coachkarenbrown.com. From the domain name, you can add web pages and blog posts to make a website. In the background, there is a computer where all the website information is stored and another computer that holds the

It’s like your home. Your home has:

  • an address
  • a postal code to be able to locate it physically
  • is also registered with the land registry body of your country.

When you bought the address, you actually bought the land and everything sitting on it.

When you buy a domain name, it’s a bit like buying a caravan. You can live there, and it can have rooms like a house, however, it can live in any number of different places/computers. When you buy hosting, you’re essentially buying the pitch where your caravan can settle. If you’re not happy with the service, you can move.

Why choosing a domain name is important?

One of the first mistakes I made was in choosing my domain name. My business has developed from when I started out, just writing ebooks. Now I’m a life coach who writes, develops training courses etc. My first domain name wouldn’t even cover the basics.

How to choose your domain name?

Choosing a domain name is important because it is the address of your website. You want people to be able to find it easily. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you choose yours:

What does your business do?

There are so many different types of coaching: Life, Business, Career, Lifestyle etc. Coaches can also provide a range of services and packages so be clear from the very start, what your goals are for your business. If you haven’t done so already, create a business plan, setting out

What is your business name?

Your choice of business name will influence:

  • whether you are building a brand around the business
  • whether you are building a brand around you

If your coaching business is your name, then first check to see if your name alone is available as a domain name. For example, karenbrown.com is already taken and in use, however, coachkarenbrown wasn’t.

Beware: read your domain name before you buy it. Here are some example cited by wiki where the name had to be changed:

  • Who Represents  – whorepresents.com
  • Therapists finders – therapistsfinder.com
  • Experts exchange – expertsexchange.com

Where will your business be based?

If you’re providing 1:1 coaching in a small geographical area, then when you choose your domain name, then you can use that country’s domain extension (.com, .ie, .co.uk, .nl, .au etc), however, if you plan on offering any online packages or courses at all, then choose a .com web address. This is still a generic, global extension.

Note: if you’re a coach based in ireland and want a .ie domain name, then you are limited in who can actually provide these. There are also 11 different categories in which you can register a .ie domain name. Check out this link for more information.

How can I find out if my domain name is available?

Many companies, such as godaddy.com, namecheap.com have a search option. Just type in the name that you’re going to use and click search. You will be told immediately if it is available.

What if my domain name isn’t available?

If someone has bought the domain name you want and are using it, then you’ll simply have to come up with an alternative. Think about what you do and the transformation that you want to bring to your clients, and then consider using keywords in your domain name.

However, sometimes, you’ll find that someone has bought the name that you want, but aren’t using it. There is a facility to back-order a domain name, and buy it off the person. However, they won’t do this out of the goodness of their heart, so it will cost. I waited about a year for the jobmagnets.com website domain name to come available, but was able to buy it at cost. Now I own it completely. However, karenbrown.com is owned by the travel writer, so is unlikely to ever come up!

Can I buy more than one domain name?

Yes. You can buy as many as you want. For example, you may want to buy all the different domain name extensions for your site name. There is then a facility to point them all to the one website, so that yourname.ie and yourname.co.uk automatically forwards your traffic to yourname.com.

Alternatively, you may develop a package and want to protect it. In this instance, you can buy a separate domain name for this branch of your business, set up the website and then include a link to it on your main website. Or just own the domain name, and keep it so that no-one else can use it. I’ve bought the domain name to my books before and then forwarded them to the Amazon page. There are so many options that you can investigate. You have a choice.

Useful links:

These are the questions that will enable you to choose the right domain name for you.

I hoped this helped, but if you have any further questions, post a comment below.

Take care for now.

Karen x

Finding Hygge

Until yesterday, I’d never heard of Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah). However, I’ve been reading Pia Edberg’s book “The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge“, and discovering what it is and what it means for me.

What is Hygge?

There is no direct translation into English, however, the nearest thing would be the concept of coziness.

…the art of creating warmth, comfort and wellbeing through connection, treasuring the moment and surrounding yourself with the things you love.

Pia Edberg

What struck me most about this concept was that it kind of combines the whole KonMari/keep the stuff that you love type of thing, with mindfulness, something that I’ve been working towards for a while now. But, it also made me think of the art of homemaking.

Hygge is where the heart and the soul meet.

Homemaker?

When you read about homemakers in some newspapers and magazines, the role of homemaker is pretty much looked down upon. Women are now expected to have careers, raise families and run the home to perfection. And yet, there are only so many hours in the day. Those women who manage this usually have help, in the form of nannies to look after the kids, and housekeepers to run the home.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with this, but for me, I’ve come to realise that, in my own typical way, I have my priorities arseways round. Instead of being a reluctant homemaker, I should be embracing this role. Prioritising it even. Afterall, isn’t my primary value around family, and isn’t that what homemaking all about?

So, I’m going to be making a conscious decision to read more about hygge, and the concept of coziness. I’m going to be creating Pinterest boards to identify what coziness means to me for each room of my home.

What this space.

Take care for now

Karen x

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