Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Category Archives: Knowing The Way Forward

Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut, or in behaviour patterns that we can’t break out of. Here are lots of ideas and tips to help you move forward, to make changes and become your best self.

Who do you want to be in 5 years time?

The best youWho do you want to be in 5 years time?

Some folk love questions like this, and the chance to wax lyrical about skills development, character growth through study, and self-analysis. To some, such questions smack too much of navel-gazing – after all, we just have to get on with it make the best of whatever lot we happen to have.

But whatever camp you find yourself in, a sure way to stay as you are is to have no clear idea of where you are going. Think of the roles you fulfil every week – career person, friend, partner/spouse, parent, volunteer, chief-cook-and-bottle-washer. Be honest with yourself – are you being the best of you within each role? Using your own unique skills, strengths, personality and experience in combination to bring out the best in whoever is working alongside you?

This is not a guilt trip, but simply a challenge to become more of the best of you, and to grow rather than accept change is impossible and stay stuck. None of us are ever going to have this completely sorted. But we can always grow, always learn, always say thank you and sorry quicker. If you don’t believe me, think back to who you were 5 or 10 years ago – what your character was like then. My guess is that some of the rough edges have been knocked off, but if you are anything like me, there is a way to go!

The question of who you want to be in 5 years can seem too vague, and impossible to grasp in concrete terms. And who has time to contemplate such matters?

But my challenge this week is, do you have time not to? Let me put it this way:

Imagine you are being introduced to a large group of people who do not know you by your spouse, partner, or a very close friend. What would you want that person to say about what you are like as a partner or friend?

Or in the same situation, by a colleague? Or your children? Or a member of your family?

Visualise them describing you in as much detail as you can – their tone of voice, degree of animation, choice of adjectives. What common themes come out of each narrative that describe and build a picture of your character? And perhaps more uncomfortably what would you not want them to say about you?

This is your starting point. Let some of these ideas mull around for the next week, and we will develop them further next time as we work together to grow into whoever we are going to be in 5 years time.

Are you the person you want to be?

Are you growing in the direction you want to Are you living life the way you want to?

And are you the person you want to be? Huge questions I realise for this point in the week, but you know me, I like to challenge.

And when would be a good time to ask such questions? Sadly, we are often only forced to face up to who and where we are in life in response to unexpected traumatic events. I say sadly because the reality is that in the meantime, in the absence of such life events that bring our purpose into sharp perspective, we can drift along on the waves of compromise. Sometimes comfortable, sometimes complacent, and often without the external stimulus required to make us question who and where we are.

Last week we were considering who we were 5 years ago, and that getting to who we are today is the result of many, many small, in-and-of-themselves inconsequential steps that combine to a much greater whole. But that is just the start: the foundations for who we are seeking to become next.

So, consider with me:

Are you drifting along in life, fairly content but without a clear sense of purpose?

How often do you take time to look at your life’s direction and goals?

Together, we will explore over the next few weeks how we can

  • gain clarity in who we want to become
  • set goals and establish direction for our lives
  • start to implement changes in the form of small, achievable action points.

Sound good? And at the end, a very special offer that you will not have come across before. Stay with me to find out more and grow into the person you want to be!

How did you get to who you are now?

Who are you becoming? Who were you 5 years ago?

An odd question to start with, you observe. So let me explain where I am in my thinking. Over the course of this past week, I have had several conversations with people who find themselves now, today, in a different place, and – more excitingly – as different people to where and who they were five years ago. Common themes that were identified in bringing about such change include –

Different attitudes to themselves and others, with greater understanding.

Negative self talk has been identified and is being addressed.

A willingness to look under the surface of what is going on to the root emotion, and seek to learn and change.

A growing acceptance of strengths, skills, and life experience that now enables them to be who they are now and do what they now do.

Now I imagine for each of them, had I described to them 5 years ago the person that they would now be, and what their lives  would now look like, I suspect that might have been too much of a world-change for them – too big, too unlikely, too unrealistic.

And of course, herein lies the point. None of these precious folk have got to where they are in one, dramatic step. I can confirm that none of them woke up one morning to find their lives utterly transformed. Sometimes we fantasise about this very thing – short-cutting the hard stuff, leaping past the problems, frustrations and challenges and simply waking to a brand new shiny us, content, fulfilled and living a purpose-full life.

But in so doing, we would miss all the character development and growth that occurs in and because of  the hard, challenging and frustrating stuff, and of course the joy in the celebrations, and the more routine life events in the middle.

It is rare to get to where you want to go in one fell swoop.

The key, of course, is one step at a time. Taking lots of small steps, being kind to yourself, sometimes stretching yourself, and choosing each day to make decisions based on the person you want to be in 5 years time. And that is a whole new post!

Half a century together in small steps

Celebrating small steps together   Imagine spending half a century with another person.

50 years.

2600 weeks.

18,250 days, give or take the odd extra one for a leap year.

That is an astonishing amount of time to remain with the same person, committed through thick and thin, joy and grief, mundane and monumental. This week, in our household, we are celebrating my parents achieving just that – their golden wedding anniversary. And as we ponder the question of how to change the world, and other such seemingly impossible accomplishments, it occurs to me that the only way to arrive at that milestone is one step at a time.

Think with me about someone significant in your life – be it a spouse, partner, or cherished friend. Now think about not only how much that relationship means to you, but how important it is to sustain and nurture that relationship for the long haul. Of course this is not always possible, and life sometimes intervenes to truncate precious relationships. But for now, today, I simply want to think about the little steps we can take daily that build over the years into a long-lasting, satisfying and significant relationship.

In each little step, do we choose to value the other, to respect and affirm them?

In each step, do we seek to listen more than we speak?

Do we choose to laugh more than we rant?

Do we work to understand the other, and what really matters to them?

At the other end of the spectrum, we also witnessed this week the most joyful, excited and fabulous wedding of two friends. They are just starting out on their journey together, and 50 years from now is a long way away!

But those years are composed of 26,280,000 minutes – each one an opportunity to stop and savour the moment, to value the other, to learn how to communicate. Whether they have been in your life for 50 years or 50 minutes, how can you this week show your precious folk that they really matter?

And if you want more ideas and tips on how to invest in your relationships, sign up for your free coaching guide and newsletters here!


How big is your world?

What would be your first change?

How big is your world? Last week, I was reflecting on a Huge Question:  how are you going to change the world?

Goals, challenges and direction in life give us focus and meaning, as we have explored through the Steps to Happiness over the past months. It is good to have ambition, to dream big dreams, to want to make a difference.

But often, the mundanities of life and the reality of non-stop-gerbil-wheel-living cause us to slide inexorably from the heady heights of perfectionistic idealism and land with a bump into normality, deciding to delay the awesome responsibility of changing the world to Another Day, Another Time or simply that we are not cut out to do this and it is up to Someone Else.

And if we continue down that slippery spiral, there is the risk that we end up in the land of What’s the Point Anyway, wading through the swamp of Fear and Failure. Not to get too heavy about it.

Does it have to be thus?

No, no, and no again I say. How do you change the world? One step at a time, to quote the cliché. So, this week, two questions:

What one change would make the biggest difference to your world, the one which you inhabit?

And what would the first step towards that change look like?

Grow happier with a friend alongside!

it's good to work together!

Persevering with implementing changes in our lives towards becoming happier is tricky – there is much we can do on our own, but the secret is in having someone

believe in us.

Someone who knows us, believes in what we are doing, and knows that we can get there.

We were made to be in relationship with each other, we were not created to be an island. It is not only ok to ask for help, it strengthens our relationships and creates interdependence – together, we are much more than the sum of each of us separately. On our quest towards happiness, as we consider how we can implement ideas raised in considering the 10 Steps to Happiness, having a friend alongside makes the whole challenge more achievable, and perhaps more fun.

So this week, who could you ask to hold you accountable and encourage you as you make and keep changes in your life?

And who could you do that for?

Persevering towards happiness.

keep going!

Not only is lack of motivation an issue for us as we try and implement changes to our lives, the other thorny problem that often stops us in our tracks is perseverance. We know what we want to do, and we start out with great gusto and enthusiasm. And then life pressed down around us, or we get derailed by something tricky, or we simply revert to learned behaviour patterns that are very strong and hard to break.

So this week, think about what works for you in terms of keeping going with something. Whatever it is you are seeking to implement,

be it spending more time with friends, working towards a goal, accepting yourself, or exercising more,

the question is the same: What keeps you motivated? What will encourage you to keep on keeping on until your new activity becomes a habit?

Perhaps you could set up a weekly reminder on your phone?

Write it on the calendar?

Put a post-it note on the fridge/front door/computer/tv?

Find a way to persevere with something, and your success and confidence will grow as you do so.

Your free gift to unlock your own happiness!

Your key to happiness               We have reached the end of our exploration of the 10 keys to happiness, and much food for thought has been consumed and digested. Perhaps for you more questions have been raised than have been answered – I do love to ask questions! – and what has been highlighted is that you are unsure how to proceed. You know you are a bit stuck and something has to change in your life, but you are at a loss as to how you approach it.

Well I am delighted to be able to give you an opportunity to become unstuck, and explore these issues in more detail.

Is it really possible to implement all we have been talking about in the keys to happiness?

Do we really have that kind of time – surely we are all super busy and running around crazy and this just something else to add to the never-ending-to-do-list?

And herein lies the rub –

the secret is not lack of time, it is how we see and use time.

Want to find out more?

Want to start to transform how you use time?

Excited about implementing some of the keys to happiness but not sure how to proceed?

Your free 8 page self-coaching guide will give you plenty more food for thought, as well as inspiration, encouragement, and lots of practical ideas that you can start putting into practice straight away. Simply fill in the form below, follow the links, and the guide is yours (do check your spam folder in case the initial welcome email ends up in there!).

It’s good stuff – I’m not in the business of wasting your time or filling your inbox with spam. I simply want you to become your best self and live your best life, inspired and inspiring.

Goals. No, not football!

What direction are you going in?

Do you know where you are going in life?

Imagine living life with no sense of direction or purpose, no idea of what you are aiming for. Sadly, in this crazy frenetic world, sometimes that is exactly how we do end up living, at least for a season. It seems there isn’t the time to step back and look at our lives, what we have learned, from where we have come, and then dream and plan for where we want to go.  But without goals, life can seem meaningless, bland, and lacking in purpose. Sounds a bit grim doesn’t it!

However, much can be done to change this, and the sixth step to happiness is Direction – having goals for life. Happiness doesn’t just happen, or suddenly land in our laps. Working out what is important to us, and then thinking, planning, and pursuing those things brings fulfillment and happiness. And that involves creating goals. Goals motivate us, give us a sense of achievement and fulfillment, challenge and inspire us, and focus our efforts and use of time/skills/energy.

That said, they can’t be just any old goals –

If they are not your goals, you won’t own them and they won’t motivate you.

If they are too big, the risk is you will become overwhelmed into inertia, and give up.

If they are too vague, it is hard to know how to channel your energies into specific activities towards your goal.

If they are too small, and reached too easily, you risk missing out on your full potential.

SO – how to create Goldilocks goals – goals that are just right. The world of management is full of good ideas and management-speak, and one that works well here is very simple. Create goals that are SMART.

S – specific: keeps you focused

M – measurable: enables you to check your progress, and celebrate achieving your goal

A – attainable, attractive: do-able, you feel good about it, depends on your own choices not someone else’s

R – realistic, relevant: you can envisage yourself doing it, enjoyable, therefore less likely to give up

T – time bound: a deadline gives you more motivation, an end point and a means of providing accountability

Not rocket science. None of this stuff is – but putting it into practice can be life changing. So what are your dreams? Why not take an hour this next week to write down your dreams, create SMART goals for the top two or three, and start working towards them. Imagine your life with direction and a clear sense of not only where you are going but how to get there. Yes please!


Fully living and living full-y

May 2013 013       Spring is on the way, and everywhere around there is the budding, bubbling prospect of new life blossoming and blooming. Hooray and hooray again you hear me exuberantly exclaim! I am very much an outside person, love light, love sunshine, love the warmth (why oh why am I living in Glasgow I often ask myself!) and like many of us, by this time of year, am pretty desperate for some sunshine and light after a long, dark winter.

Along with all this newness and freshness comes a thought, in tandem with last week’swhat makes you feel fully alive?

Everywhere around is new life, but is that true for you in your life? Are there fresh ideas, fresh inspiration, fresh challenges and dreams this year, or is it all a bit stale, a bit same-y, a bit stuck-on-the-same-old-conveyor-belt?

Think with me a minute about the last time you felt fully alive – where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? And then think about how many of those elements you could incorporate into your every-day-life? It might be about investing more in your nearest-and-dearest, those whose friendships really enrich you and with whom you connect at a soul level.

Perhaps actually getting out there and putting into practice that long held dream, whatever size it is. Perchance you could explore something new for you, tapping into the creative person that you know you are deep down inside, but which might not be given voice very often.

I believe we are on this planet to live life to the full, and yet so often it seems like we live a two dimensional, monochrome version of what could be multicoloured, vibrant, life giving and life affirming.

So when you next see a wee bud on a tree or bush, or the friendly faces of some new lilies of the valley, stop and ask yourself what you could do or change about your life to bring into it that new-spring-alive fullness?